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This recurring segment will provide a brief (sometimes very brief) analysis of the opponent, look at ways how the game can go, predict a winner and dive into Vegas spreads and then some throughout the season.

Recap of previous matchup: OK, what the hell was that? Did we almost lose to the Nets' third unit? Fortunately, the team had their learning moment early in the season against a relatively weaker opponent. There are unavoidably going to be freaky games in an 82-game season, and we shouldn't overreact because we happened to have ours very early in the season. Offensively the Celtics were amazing, the ball movement looked great, everyone had a bunch of assists and points... Again, though, limited sample size. Caution is important.

On to the next one.


Who is the favorite tonight and why?: Slightly Boston Celtics (although 538's model, which gives us a 33% chance to win disagrees with that), because people are low on Chicago Bulls' backcourt that hails from the early 90s with its lack of 3-point shooting, and the roster they have built is totally contradictory to what their coach would like them to play so they're having a bit of an identity crisis. Oh, and their Big 3 all have huge egos and no one yet knows what's gonna happen on the court.

How can the Bulls beat us?: Well, their Big 3 all have huge egos and no one yet knows what's gonna happen on the court. On paper, the Bulls shouldn't be a good team in today's NBA. But there are experienced players on your roster who have more than a few rings collectively, you should never be counted out. If the Bulls can hang with us until the end, anything can happen. Rajon Rondo will always dish inexplicably weird passes that create opportunities for his teammates, Dwyane Wade can still play and Jimmy Butler is a threat on both ends of the floor. Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson are very good frontcourt players, and they do have some shooters in Nikola Mirotic and Denzel Valentine. In short, if we get too cute, the Bulls will have the firepower to throw some knockout punches. Oh, and we're playing an away game back-to-back which usually isn't a good sign, yet last year the Celtics' record for such games was 6-5 and their offensive rating was 105.6 so hopefully things won't change on that front this year.

Who will win the Tommy Award?: I went with Bradley yesterday who had a very decent game with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists but Tommy picked Jae Crowder. I'm picking Jaylen Brown as tonight's most impressive player. He's Jimmy Butler's favorite young player and they work out together. After having an impressive debut yesterday and overcoming the first-day jitters Brown should put up a solid display that will catch many by surprise.

Who wins against the spread?: Currently the Celtics are favored by 1.5 points, so practically we're picking who will win the game. The last time Chicago was an underdog against the Celtics and managed to win was in January 2013, 12 games ago, and the score was really close: 100-99. I choose to believe that after the borderline collapse last night the Celtics come out of the gates strong and do not make the same mistakes two nights in a row. I pick the Celtics -1.5. (My record so far: 0-1)

If you disagree with my analysis and think I'm stupid or would like to read more of my scorching hot takes, you can find me on Twitter. You can read my other CelticsLife posts here.

Photo credit: Winslow Townson - USA TODAY Sports

semioticus (shelbyl) 10/27/2016 01:00:00 PM Edit
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