The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips for the third clash this season between East rivals Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks.
08:00 (AEDT), Mon 14th Feb @ TD Garden, Boston
History: Played 455: Celtics 279 V Hawks 176
Last meeting: January 22, 2022: Hawks 108 d Celtics 92 at State Farm Arena
Final Thoughts: There’s only two games on the NBA docket – both tipping off early – due to Super Bowl Sunday. Boston Celtics are gunning for an eighth straight win as they push towards the Eastern Conference’s top-six, while Atlanta Hawks are looking to regain some momentum and consolidate their play-in spot.
The 32-25 Celtics have climbed to seventh courtesy of 14 wins in their last 18 games, including their last seven on the trot. Their streak includes a 30-point blowout of the Heat at home, a 35-point spanking of the depleted Nets on the road and a 108-102 victory over the Nuggets at TD Garden on Saturday (AEDT).
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been in fine form, while big man Robert Williams III (15 pts, 16 reb) stepped his game up against influential Nuggets counterpart Nikola Jokic. Derrick White – a deadline day acquisition which saw Josh Richardson traded – impressed off the bench first up with 15 points (including 3 three-pointers) and 6 rebounds. White should add even more starch to an improving Boston defence.
The stuttering Hawks moved within a win of a .500 record with a seven-game winning run in late-January. But they are 10th with a 26-29 record after losing four of their last six. Last season’s Eastern Conference Finalists pumped the Pacers 133-112 on Wednesday (AEDT) but fell 136-121 to the battling Spurs three days later.
Trae Young averages 27.6 points and 9.6 assists this season. In the Hawks’ last three wins, he’s scored 34-plus points – but their last three losses saw the point guard held to 22 or less. Bogdan Bodanovic top-scored off the bench against the Spurs with 23 points.
But the Hawks have won both of the teams’ encounters so far this season. Jayson Tatum’s 34 points was not enough to prevent a 110-99 loss in Atlanta in November, while Trae Young and John Collins both had 21 points and 9 rebounds in a fast-finishing 108-92 Hawks home win last month.
The Celtics have won five of their last six against the Hawks in Boston are 19-10 at TD Garden overall this season (12-16-1 ATS), winning their last four. The Hawks are 10-16 on the road (9-17 ATS, third-worst in the league), winning only one of their last six.
The Tatum versus Young battle headlines this game between two potent offensive units. But the Celtics’ defence – averaging just 93.5 points conceded in their past 10 games, to the Hawks’ 110.5 – shapes as the difference here.
Best Bet: Handicap – Celtics -6.5 @ $1.90