The Celtics (12-10) are coming off a 100-91 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Boston did not have Jaylen Brown or Marcus Smart, but still managed to have six players in double figures. Jayson Tatum was the C’s leading scorer with 23 points (8-22 FG), to go along with seven assists and four rebounds. Kemba Walker was right behind Tatum, scoring 14 points (4-20 FG) to carry Boston’s backcourt.
There are a few key injuries to go over before tonight. Jaylen Brown is questionable to play due to a knee injury, while Mike Conley has already been ruled out with that nagging hamstring injury. The Brown news could swing things in a big way later on. Let’s get into some picks beforehand.
Update: Jaylen Brown (knee) is available to play vs. the Jazz.
Pick ATS: Celtics +6
I’m going to take the Celtics and the points knowing that if this injury report were clean, the line would be a lot closer. Boston is just a disciplined team and doesn’t lose by that many points on a regular basis. The Celtics have covered this number in three of their past four losses. The big thing is Brown. If he comes back and isn’t on a restriction, this line is going to move at least 2-3 points, maybe even more.
So getting the Celtics and this many points early on is favorable. Even if Brown doesn’t play, this is a matchup the Celtics can hang around in. Remember, Conley has already been ruled out, so that’s a little hit to Utah’s depth. Tatum is more than capable of carrying the C’s to a win over the Jazz. Walker has been playing well. Give me the points.
Player Prop: Jordan Clarkson O18.5 points (-122)
Again, we already know that Conley is out. Chances are Clarkson won’t start in his place in the back court. That shouldn’t impact Clarkson’s outlook as the 6th Man for Utah. He should get additional minutes and play in crunch time with Conley sidelined. If the game is close, that bodes well for this points prop. If the game isn’t close, Clarkson should still play 30+ minutes and get most of the usage in garbage time. The Celtics could be without two of their best perimeter defenders in Smart and Brown. If Brown returns, there may not be too much overlap between the two wings anyway.
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