Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks 12/14/18: Starting Lineups, Matchup Breakdown, Odds, Daily Fantasy, Betting
Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Preview
Boston has had to deal with several illnesses and injuries lately, but they keep chugging along and they’ll be looking for their eighth consecutive win tonight against a team that could desperately use a win.
The Celtics won their most recent matchup with the Hawks on November 23. In that game, Celtics big man Aron Baynes, who will start tonight, had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead Boston.
The Hawks have lost seven of their last 10. They were able to get a big win over the Western Conference-leading Nuggets recently, but any progress they made seemed to unravel in their 107-114 loss to Dallas.
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Arena: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
The Celtics are without Al Horford and could also be without Jaylen Brown, but Gordon Hayward is expected to return, and Boston seems to be resilient regardless of who is sidelined. The Celtics were able to erase a three-game skid last month by going on their current seven-game streak, which has included more than a few blowouts.
The Celtics struggled early in the season, starting 10-10 before coach Brad Stevens made strategic lineup changes that have proven to make a difference. Aside from that, the “next man up” attitude seems to have helped the Celtics when losing key players. Marcus Morris has made the most of a bigger role, as has Baynes and Marcus Smart.
Aside from those changes, the byproducts of that have been a high-scoring offense and a pesky defense, one of the best in the league that should make life considerably harder for the Hawks tonight.
Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineup
Like the Celtics, the Hawks have tried to make changes to try to get the team off life support, but nothing seems to be taking. Taurean Prince remains out, and that has not helped matters. Atlanta has been unable to find anyone to replace the 15 points and four rebounds Prince was averaging.
One possible solution coach Lloyd Pierce has tried is starting Kent Bazemore. Bazemore saw inconsistent minutes in November, and his play was affected. As he’s been given a bigger role and more minutes, Bazemore is beginning to deliver for the Hawks. He scored 22 points in two of his last three games, and he’s been able to provide a boost defensively as well.
Rookie Trae Young has been up and down all season, but he was mostly up against the Mavericks in a matchup with the player he was traded for, Luka Doncic. Young finished with 24 points and 10 assists, a performance the Hawks would love to see a repeat of tonight.
Celtics vs. Hawks Betting Odds
On paper, this matchup doesn’t appear close, even with the Celtics’ injuries, and the sportsbooks seem to agree as the Celtics opened as -13 point favorites. Currently, that has seen a minor change at -12.5.
The over/under is 223 points and there has been some line movement, with the Celtics opening at -1300 and now live at -1200.
The Celtics have a 69.6 win percentage at home and they are 154-61 as the favorite. The betting splits look bleak for the Hawks. They are 52-93 on the road and 46-108 as the underdog.
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DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks
Kyrie Irving and John Collins are the studs for tonight’s game. Irving has played very well during the win streak. He has a $8,700 salary on FanDuel and is projected for 38.14 fantasy points. Even when several Hawks players have been inconsistent from time to time, the one player who has always been solid for Atlanta since his return has been Collins. His $8,100 salary should net you 33.15 fantasy points.
At a $5,300 salary, Marcus Smart is certainly a value for his fantasy owners. He’s coming off a great two-way performance and the Celtics have benefitted from his insertion into the starting lineup. He is projected to finish with 22.67 fantasy points tonight.
For the Hawks, Young has a low enough salary at $6,600 to make him a value pick. He’s projected to rack up 30.08 points in his matchup with Irving tonight.
Find all of our Fanduel and Draftkings projections here: https://www.lineups.com/nba/nba-fantasy-basketball-projections.