- The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors matchup on Tuesday night
- Golden State is without second overall pick James Wiseman (wrist)
- See the odds, spread and analysis on the game below
The Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics meet for the first time this season at Chase Center on February 2nd. Golden State are three-point underdogs, and come into this game with a depleted frontcourt.
James Wiseman (wrist) has been ruled out for a few weeks, leaving Kevon Looney as the only traditional center on the roster.
Boston, currently fourth in the Eastern Conference, is looking to bounce back from consecutive losses. The Celtics won both matchups with Golden State last season, but this is a much more competitive Warriors roster even without Klay Thompson and Wiseman.
Boston Celtics vs Golden State Warriors Odds
|Boston Celtics||-2.5 (-110)||-138||Over 226 (-110)|
|Golden State Warriors||+2.5 (-110)||+118||Under 226 (-110)|
Odds taken on Feb 2nd from FanDuel
The Warriors are permanently going small. Kevon Looney, who stands at 6’9, is their tallest active player. Eric Paschall and Draymond Green will play a fair bit of small-ball five, according to Steve Kerr. Golden State have spent much of the season running smaller line-ups, and Boston are a good opponent to do so. Daniel Theis, Robert Williams and Tristan Thompson are not going to overpower them from the post.
After calamitous defensive performances to start the season, the Warriors have been elite on that end since Green returned. He’s accustomed to guarding bigger players, and the defensive improvement of Andrew Wiggins gives Kerr more flexibility with his frontcourt minutes. Wiggins will likely spend a lot of time guarding Jayson Tatum, while Kelly Oubre could get considerable minutes taking the challenging Jaylen Brown assignment.
Steve Kerr noted how the Warriors are No. 2 in the NBA in opponent’s FG% (44.1). They are also now tied at No. 10 in DRTG (108.9).
Kerr said, simply, it’s Draymond. Said after Green got a game under his built, he took over on defense. Since then, Dubs are 4th in DRTG (106.7)
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) February 2, 2021
With Kemba Walker ice-cold against the Lakers and Marcus Smart sidelined, the Celtics offense is reliant on Brown and Tatum. This is an interesting matchup for the Warriors, particularly if Green ends up playing the five. It’s a real test of Wiggins and Oubre’s defensive credentials.
Steph Curry has faced everything this season. Coaches have thrown all their defenses, gimmicky or otherwise, at Curry. Some have worked, others have been discarded when Curry works his magic on or off ball. Brad Stevens isn’t quite as aggressive as Nate Bjorkgren or Nick Nurse, but the Celtics’ head coach could get a bit funky on Tuesday. The absence of Smart makes Curry’s life easier, and makes things considerably trickier for Stevens.
Curry is fifth in scoring, second in three-point makes per game and fifth in shots per game. The Warriors are 2-5 when he scores under 25 points. It’s not quite as straight forward as keep Curry quiet and you’ll win, but it’s pretty close to that. Smart was the obvious matchup. His absence could force Stevens to throw more doubles at the two-time MVP – the alternative is probably to have Brown chasing Curry around the court.
Stephen Curry on what the Warriors’ championship window is: “Who’s to say we can’t put pieces together? I’m in the middle of my prime. … It’s hard to say what the number is, but I think we’re in a good position.”
— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) February 2, 2021
The Celtics rank ninth in opponent three-point percentage and fifth in opponent three-point attempts. Those numbers will give the Cs confidence, but slowing Curry’s scoring is a different challenge to anyone else in the league.
Golden State’s Record
Golden State has lost their last two games against good teams. Losses to Utah and Phoenix were both blowouts, but they came just days after wins over the Lakers and Spurs. The Warriors have had a strange season – they have beaten both LA teams, but outside of that, their record against postseason contenders is pretty underwhelming. They are just 4-8 against teams over .500.
Nobody in the league quite has the range of 3️⃣0️⃣
Elevate your insight game on his January stats with By The Numbers, presented by @googlecloud pic.twitter.com/qG2TPOeZbA
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 1, 2021
Boston’s situation isn’t much better. They are 3-6 against teams over .500, and have won just two of their last six. Extenuating circumstances are at play with Kemba Walker still working his way back and Jayson Tatum missing time, but they are again weakened with Marcus Smart’s injury.
There are games when the Warriors’ lack of size will be a real problem. This is unlikely to be one of them. Smart’s absence makes it easier to envisage another big Curry night – the Warriors’ moneyline is the best value bet here.
Pick: Golden State Warriors Moneyline (+118)