Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets 2/8/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets Matchup Preview (2/8/22)

The red-hot Boston Celtics will head to Brooklyn to go toe-to-toe with the injury-riddled Nets. Boston has won seven of its past eight games, including five straight over the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans, Miami Heat, and Charlotte Hornets. While its schedule has not been robust with exceptional teams, it still managed to dust the Miami Heat by 30 points. The Celtics have the fortunate luxury of being almost entirely healthy except for P.J. Dozier and Bol Bol, who they had recently traded for. They look like a completely new team, especially on the defensive end, which could cause some trouble for Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, the Nets’ troubles are snow-balling: Kyrie Irving still is not playing in home games, Kevin Durant is out for the foreseeable future, and the team’s defense is an atrocity. Since Christmas, Brooklyn has had one of the bottom four defensive ratings, and it has shown no signs of improvement in the past few games. As a matter of fact, Brooklyn has dropped eight straight games. Unless it wants to lose nine straight, it has a lot to figure out. Check out my analysis below for my betting pick in this matchup!

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets Betting Odds

Kyrie Irving will be out for this game, and James Harden is currently day-to-day. If Harden is a no-go, then the Celtics should win by 15+ with relative ease, assuming they continue playing inspired basketball. I still like the C’s if Harden does play, but only around five or six points. Keep an eye on the injury report and see where the line comes out. I will more than likely be going with Boston against the spread unless it is extremely wide.

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How To WatchBoston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets

Date: 2/8/22
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY
Channel: TNT

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Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Robert Williams III
C: Al Horford

Boston Celtics Analysis

The Boston Celtics have been playing some great basketball recently; however, there has not been much consistency for individual Celtics players. For instance, last game, the leading scorer was Jaylen Brown, who poured in 26 points, and Jayson Tatum only finished that game with 15 points. Tatum was the primary scorer in the previous game, dropping 24 points, while Brown merely had 13. Now that the ball is not getting stuck on one side of the floor for the Celtics, they are no longer forced to rely on Tatum and Brown to have big games simultaneously. This has created a much freer flowing offense in Boston and thus, improved the morale. There is no indication how long this streak may last for the C’s, but winning five straight and seven of their past eight is a substantial accomplishment for a team that looked like it needed a few significant moves before the trade deadline just a few weeks ago. Additionally, Boston has the best net rating, defensive rating, and opponent eFG% (effective field goal percentage) in 2022, along with a 13-6 record. This Celtics team is one of the hottest teams in the NBA and finally looks like a playoff team again. If they keep this up, anything can happen once the postseason is upon us.

Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup

PG: Patty Mills
SG: Cam Thomas
SF: Kessler Edwards
PF: James Johnson
C: Nic Claxton

Brooklyn Nets Analysis

Contrary to the Celtics, Brooklyn is one of the coldest teams in the entire NBA. The Nets have completely collapsed, falling from first in a competitive Eastern Conference to seventh, where they sit now. This tumble has included an eight-game losing streak, including the Denver Nuggets (twice), Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and Minnesota Timberwolves. Brooklyn is now at a real risk to drop to a play-in team, which would be an all-time collapse after such a solid start to the season. This free-fall could partially be attributed to Kevin Durant suffering an untimely knee injury, but much more is at play. The Nets have one of the worst defenses in the NBA in the past six weeks, and unless they can turn it around, they may continue to drop games, especially to red-hot teams like the Celtics.

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets Daily Fantasy Picks

When it comes to role players who know what they bring to the table and consistently deliver, there are few better than Robert Williams. Williams is a terrific rebounder, consistent finisher around the rim, and superb shot-blocker. Williams has averaged roughly ten points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks per game in his past six games while shooting a marvelous 74.% from the field. Even for a big man who scarcely shoots outside of five feet, 74% is astoundingly high. Williams has been a huge reason the C’s have had so much success lately with his finishing ability, athleticism, and defensive prowess. He is not showing any signs of slowing down, so consider Williams as a bench or utility player in DFS, mainly because he impacts the game in so many different ways,

Kyrie Irving will not be available for this matchup because it is a home game at Barclays. Luckily, Brooklyn has another scorer who can step up and fill it up consistently if given enough minutes. That player is Cam Thomas, who has dropped 30 points and 20 points in his past two games on an average of 31 and a half minutes. In short, good things happen for Thomas when he gets at least 25 minutes. As a matter of fact, this has been a consistent theme for Thomas over the past few months. As Thomas continues to see more minutes, we will see high scoring. Luckily, this should be a game where he logs 25-30 minutes, which should end up resulting in a substantial amount of usage on offense.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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