It’s a completely meaningless regular-season finale for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards from the Orlando bubble on Thursday as the Celtics are bound for the playoffs and the Wizards the draft lottery. Boston likely will rest key players and that will affect the NBA odds.How to Bet Celtics vs. Wizards NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, noon ET
- Where: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Orlando
- TV: NBA League Pass
- Stream:com, NBA TV app
- NBA Odds: TBA (on which players rest)
The teams have spilt two meetings. They last met on Jan. 6 in D.C. and the Wizards pulled a surprise by winning 99-94. Wizards journeyman Ish Smith scored 14 of his game-high 27 points in the final period — including 10 in a row on 5-for-5 shooting in one stretch. He made 12 of 18 shots and chipped in four assists and four rebounds off the bench for Washington. The Wiz were without pretty much all of their good players due to injury or rest yet the Celtics never led. Boston was without All-Star guard Kemba Walker.
Boston’s 140 points on Nov. 13, 2019, in a blowout were the Celtics’ most points they have scored in the series since 11/25/92 (150). Washington’s 133 points in the loss were the most the Wizards had scored in regulation against the Celtics since 12/2/95 (135).
Why Bet on Boston?
The Celtics are locked into the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They probably will play few if any starters because they all played Tuesday in the team’s fourth straight win, 122-107 over Memphis. After being tied up at 13 points apiece nine minutes into the opening frame, Boston ripped open the game on a 22-4 run and never looked back.
The Celtics’ dominant stretch lasted roughly half of a quarter, beginning at the 2:55 mark of the first and wrapping up at the 8:57 mark of the second. They finished with 122 points for the third consecutive game. After starting 1-2 inside the bubble, the Celtics turned a corner to discover their best rhythm of the season. During their first three bubble matchups, the team averaged just 19.0 assists per game. However, that number has risen to an impressive 29.3 APG over the last five contests.
All-Star guard Kemba Walker hit 7-of-10 shots and two 3-pointers for 19 points with four rebounds, three assists and a steal in 28 minutes. He has been dealing with a sore knee.
“Today was probably the best I’ve felt out there,” Walker said. “I’m really comfortable making my moves and stuff like that…I’m working every single day to continue to get my leg stronger, get my knee stronger. I’m feeling good.”
Jayson Tatum hit 10-of-13 shots, 4-of-5 3-pointers and 5-of-5 free throws on his way to 29 points. His field goal clip of 76.9 percent was his second-best effort of the season and the fifth-best of his career. Throughout the bubble, Tatum has put some distance between himself and the rest of the roster as the most dependable source of production as they enter the playoffs.
Gordon Hayward had 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. Hayward’s been very efficient in Orlando and is outdoing his regular-season averages. It’s especially true in the paint, where he’s averaging 8.2 rebounds per game in the bubble.Why Bet on Washington?
The Wizards are the only team yet to win a game in the bubble at 0-7, and they frankly haven’t been close to winning one. Washington is off a 126-113 loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Rookie Rui Hachimura hit 6-of-18 shots, 3-of-9 3-pointers and 5-of-6 free throws for a team-high 20 points to go with five rebounds and one assist. Hachimura kept his recent scoring run going with his third consecutive game in double figures. On the season, Hachimura is first amongst rookies in rebounds (6.1), fifth in points (13.5), seventh in field goal percentage (.466) and fifth in free-throw percentage (.829). Hachimura is one of four rookies to average at least 10.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
Ish Smith came off the bench to score 19 with five assists, Jerome Robinson started and scored 15, Thomas Bryant had 13 points, eight boards and a block, and Isaac Bonga and Anzejs Pasecniks each scored 10.
Smith made it eight consecutive games scoring in double figures in his team’s loss. Bryant finished in double figures for the sixth time in seven games since the NBA restarted its season. He’s been a productive player for the struggling Wizards, averaging 8.9 boards per game in the bubble.
The Wizards are one of three teams this season to average 114+ points and 25+ assists per contest. Washington is currently seventh in the league in points and 12th in assists per game. Washington’s 114.7 points per game is the sixth-highest average in team history and marks only the second time averaging 110.0+ ppg in the last 40 years.Expert PredictionCeltics 122, Wizards 114