Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors Preview
One team in tonight’s matchup has the NBA’s best record and one has the worst. The way things were going last season for the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, you’d expect that the Celtics were the team headed in the wrong direction, but that’s simply not the case.
Boston has not lost a single game since opening night, amassing a 9-1 record with nine straight victories and taking the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the league. They are 4-1 at home so they haven’t faced too many challenges yet. With Gordon Hayward injured, things may start to get a bit more difficult with Boston, but that may not start tonight.
That’s because the Golden State Warriors are 2-10 this season, good enough for last place in the West. They have lost five straight entering tonight’s game and their brand new arena, the Chase Center in San Francisco, hasn’t really provided the comforts of home just yet as they are 1-5.
Time: 10:30 PM ET
Arena: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Celtics: Gordon Hayward (O), Robert Williams III (GTD), Daniel Theis (Q)
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Damion Lee, Jacob Evans, Kevon Looney (O)
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
The Boston Celtics were in the middle of a 135-115 shellacking of the San Antonio Spurs last Saturday when they suffered their first big loss in the season – and it wasn’t the type of loss that goes into the tam’s loss column. Gordon Hayward, who had been having a great season, injured his hand and it needed surgery that will keep him out an expected six weeks.
“I felt like we were building some good momentum as a team, as well as me individually. So the timing of it, definitely frustrating,” Hayward said. “It (stinks) watching and not being able to go out there and play, especially with the start that we’ve had.”
The Celtics were able to win their last two without Hayward, but they just got past the Washington Wizards on Wednesday 140-133 in a game where Wizards guard Bradley Beal scored 44 points.
It took seven Celtics players reaching double digits in scoring to hold off the Wizards. They were led by Kemba Walkers’ 25 points, followed by Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown who had 23 and 22 points apiece.
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup
The Golden State Warriors have had a rough season, and that didn’t get any easier this week as they had the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers and now Boston Celtics on their schedule, all top NBA teams this season. Against the Lakers on Wednesday, they were blown out 120-94.
The Lakers dictated the pace right out of the gate, scoring 38-first quarter points to put the pressure on the Warriors even without Anthony Davis in the lineup. The Lakers also limited the Warriors to just 12 fourth-quarter points to secure the win.
But the offense has not been the only issue. Defense, which has consistently been the Warriors’ calling card, has not been so this season.
“You can’t put your imprint on a game, you can’t take control, you can’t get whatever pace you want,” Draymond Green said. “You’re always on your heels. If you’re always on your heels and you can’t get a stop, you can’t win.”
D’Angelo Russell led the Warriors with 21 points and eight assists. Eric Paschall still came off the bench with the return of Draymond Green, but played a bigger role and was able to finish with 15 points.
Jordan Poole, Draymond Green and Willie Cauley-Stein all finished in double figures as well.
Key Player Matchups
Kemba Walker vs. DeAngelo Russell
You might want to have your popcorn popped in advance for this matchup. Walker and Russell have seen plenty of each other in the past as they were two of the premier point guards in the Eastern Conference, who shared an All-Star locker room last season. They can both light up the scoreboard and are creative off the dribble.
Jaylen Brown vs. Draymond Green
I’d expect Brown, not Tatum, to draw Green here. Brown has looked very good for the Celtics this season and has been solid on both ends of the court. Green just returned from injury last week, and he hasn’t shown the ability to stand out as much without his sharp-shooting teammates around him, but he’s still a very good defender, who will take his assignment on a younger, quicker Brown as a challenge.
Kemba Walker and D’Angelo Russell are fantasy studs for tonight. Walker is available for $8.2k on FanDuel, which is expected to net owners 43.81 points. Russell is $8k with a 42.21 point projection.
Celtics center Enes Kanter and Warriors guard Jordan Poole are low-risk value players. Kanter has a salary of just $4.9k coming off his injury, but he’s played well since returning and he’s expected to finish with 26.38 points tonight. Poole has really stepped up with all of the Warriors’ injuries. He is available for $4.2k and has a projection of 24.27 points.
Bet on Matchup
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