The Christmas games are coming in just a few days, but for now, we are gifted a matchup between two of the hottest teams (Clippers and Celtics) in the NBA. Scroll down for a breakdown of our two favorite NBA player prop picks from this matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers Player Prop Picks
For the Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers non-conference bout, we have listed out our two favorite player prop picks, featuring James Harden to record 34 or more points, rebounds, and assists and Al Horford to hit two or more three-pointers. Our analysis is listed below for each player prop pick!
James Harden Over 33.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-125)
Guessing whether James Harden will lean more on his scoring ability or playmaking ability for others each game can be challenging; however, we at least know that he will have the ball in his hands a lot and will be heavily relied upon for offensive production with Kawhi Leonard sidelined due to a hip injury.
In the past ten games, the Los Angeles Clippers have gone 9-1, and Harden has played terrific in that stretch. Harden has been even better in his past five games, averaging close to 23 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds. Further, he boasts a shooting split of 48/53/86 in those games.
Further, Harden has hit the over in three of those five games; he fell one point, rebound, or assist short of hitting it against Dallas and only played 28 minutes against the Knicks. Additionally, Harden’s usage rate of 23.6% in that span is promising for a PRA prop; however, his usage rate of 29.6% in his one game without Leonard this season (he finished with 38 total points, rebounds, and assists) is what gives the Over on this prop viability.
While Boston is one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, Harden matches that with elite isolation talent, allowing him to hit tough shots over formidable opponents. Expect Harden to have the ball in his hands a ton; it would not shock me if he cleared this line with just points and assists.
Al Horford Over 1.5 Three-Pointers (-125)
Without Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford will be moved into the starting lineup for the Boston Celtics. Boston is not afraid to get up a lot of three-pointers, as it ranks first in 3PAs per game (42.9.) Horford will benefit from more time on the floor and more 3PAs since Porzingis will be sidelined.
As far as matchups are concerned, Horford loves to hover around the three-point line and be the screener in pick-and-pop situations, which can be problematic for defenders like Ivica Zubac, who’d rather spend a lot of time defending the paint. Zubac is fairly mobile, but he does not want to chase Horford around and defend him on the perimeter; it is not a part of his game defensively.
Additionally, Horford has played in six games without Porzingis so far in the 2023-24 regular season and has hit at least two three-pointers in four of those games. Even better has been the volume that Horford has seen in those bouts, averaging 6.6 three-point attempts in five of those six games.
The Celtics’ December 4th game against Indiana was more of an outlier, as he only attempted three shots and one three-pointer in 31 minutes. For a player that shoots just shy of 37% from three, that is solid volume. Horford will get plenty of opportunities to knock down threes in this one.
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