Golden State Warriors vs Boston Celtics 12/17/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics Matchup Preview (12/17/21)

There is no better time than now for the Boston Celtics to host the Golden State Warriors for an intense west-coast versus east-coast matchup. The Celtics have just returned Jaylen Brown to the lineup after he was finally cleared from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for a large portion of the 2021-22 NBA season. After clearing him a few weeks ago, Brown re-tweaked his hamstring. The Celtics’ medical staff took no more chances and immediately pulled him from the lineup. Now, Brown should be at full health and ready to go without further issues. The timing could not be better for the C’s: Jayson Tatum has been playing some of the best basketball of his entire career and is only three days removed from a 42-point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks. Tatum has averaged 32 points in their past seven games, and the return of Brown will only further help him. Without Brown, Tatum sees more double-teams because the Celtics don’t have the offensive firepower to prevent defenses from leaving certain guys more open than others.

Meanwhile, Golden State has been in a mild funk in its past four games, despite winning three of them. The Warriors are not supposed to be perfect, but only beating the Pacers by two points and the Blazers by ten is not what the public is accustomed to seeing this season. They ultimately have no reason to worry at all, especially with the impending return of Klay Thompson and James Wiseman later this month or early January. Still, for the purpose of covering the spread, I would say to tread lightly. Take a look below and see the further analysis of this game specifically.

Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds

Finally, here is an NBA game where pretty much the entire rosters of both teams are healthy, short of Thompson and Wiseman for the Warriors, who have been out all season. The Warriors have been in a slight funk, and I’m not convinced that the game against the Pacers was an isolated event. I like the game to be extremely close and go down to the wire. Now that Brown is back for the Celtics and is presumably 100% healthy, they should generate some offense. I like the Celtics to cover as long as they are slight home dogs.

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TV Schedule

Date: 12/17/21
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, MA
Channel: ESPN

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Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup

PG: Steph Curry
SG: Jordan Poole
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Draymond Green
C: Kevon Looney

Golden State Warriors Analysis

The Warriors are counting down the days to return two critical starters into their lineup. They have waited for two years for Klay Thompson to return and several months for Wiseman. In the meantime, Golden State still has work to do. It has been in a minor slump the past few games, with Steph and the rest of the team shooting poorly from the field. The Warriors rank third in points per game, fourth in offensive efficiency, and second in eFG% (effective field goal percentage) on the season but have merely averaged just over 100 points per game in their past four games. When their offense struggles like this, they become mortal, and other teams begin to believe they can compete. Golden State will need to snap out of it and start hitting shots again if it wants to avoid dropping one on the road to a fully healthy Celtics team.

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

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

Boston Celtics Analysis

Boston finally can say that it has a healthy roster. It was thought that Jaylen Brown was good-to-go when he returned from a hamstring injury the first time, but it turns out that he was not. Now, the Celtics decided to deploy him back into the starting lineup, and everything looked good. Tatum had a massive game while Brown was great for them as a secondary scorer. The problem with Boston is that it is a bottom-half team on offense, so it does not have as much room for error on the defensive side. The Celtics allowed 117 points to the Lakers and 114 to the Clippers in back-to-back games last week, and that can’t happen if they want to win more than 50% of their games. Brown is a massive help on the defensive end, but he can’t fix everything alone. If they want to get a home win against the best basketball team, they have to play better defense than the past few weeks.

Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics Daily Fantasy Picks

Jordan Poole is fighting through the growing pains of being a significant scoring option on one of the best teams in the NBA. Poole suffers from inconsistency, but he can be an explosive scorer and, thus, very valuable in DFS. On the season, Poole averages just shy of 18 points, four assists, and four rebounds; however, we have seen plenty of games where Poole has exploded for 25+ points, including against the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans, and Houston Rockets. Additionally, in Poole’s past 13 games, he has a near 46/40/90 shooting split. His usage may decrease once Klay Thompson returns, but you should play him in the meantime if the matchup is right.

It must be frustrating to be a Boston Celtics fan. The C’s have Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who are arguably two of the top 25 players in the NBA currently, yet they still can’t seem to reach their potential as a team. Regardless, Jayson Tatum’s last game was unbelievable. He finished with 42 points on 16-for-25 from the field and 7-for-13 from three. Additionally, Tatum racked up five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. These games from Tatum remind us how truly great he is despite only being 23 years old. You should note that Tatum has had an impressive seven-game run, averaging 32 points and nine rebounds on a 50/40/83 shooting split. If you weren’t playing him in DFS before, perhaps you should consider doing it now.

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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