Both the Boston Celtics and the Utah Jazz are among the top 4 teams in their conferences and will try to stay there in order to secure a home-court advantage in the first playoff round.
After a tough start under first-year coach Ime Udoka, the Boston Celtics are one of the hottest teams in the league in the past month. Brad Stevens left the Celtics bench to become a general manager and his first move was hiring Udoka as his replacement. The Celtics had a tough transition losing 6 of the first 10 games of the season.
But with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown playing in terrific form, it was just a matter of time before the Celtics climb the standings and sit among the best teams in the conference. Currently, they are fourth in the East with a 42-28 record.
The Celtics have won 6 of the last 7 games and are coming off a blowout 110-88 road win over the Golden State Warriors. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the C’s with 26 points each.
Tatum is leading the Celtics with 26.7 points per game which puts him 8th in the league and he also has 8.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Brown also has great numbers with 22.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game but the player who has really emerged this season is Robert Williams III. The center has become a real defensive asset in the paint and is averaging almost a double-double with 10 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
The Celtics are the best defensive team in the league allowing 103.7 points per game which ranks them second, while they are on top of the league allowing 43.1% shooting from the field and 33.5% from the three-point line.
The Utah Jazz are currently fourth in the Western Conference with a 43-26 record. Given the fact that their two best players Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have missed a significant time this season because of injuries and health and safety protocols, the Jazz are in a pretty good situation.
A huge set back was Joe Ingles season-ending injury which the team solved by trading the player away.
The Jazz have won 3 of the last 5 games and are coming off a 125-110 win over the Chicago Bulls. Donovan Mitchell had an amazing night scoring 37 points on 9-of-15 shooting fro the three-point line. The three-time defensive player of the year, Rudy Gobert recorded 14 points, 20 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Donovan Mithcell is currently sidelined with a minor injury and is questionable for the game against the Celtics. The 25-year-old guard out of Louisville is leading the Jazz this season with 25.7 points per game which ranks him 11th in the league. Mitchell also adds 5.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Rudy Gobert is leading the league with 14.8 rebounds per game while he also adds 15.4 points per game on league-best 71.1% shooting from the field.
What makes the Jazz a real contender is their bench where they have Jordan Clarkson who has 16 points per game and is the frontrunner for the Sixth man of the year award. Hassan Whiteside would be a starting center in most of the teams in the league but the Jazz have him as a backup for Gobert. Whiteside has 8.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game on 64.9% shooting from the field.
The Jazz are ranked sixth in the league with 114 points per game and fifth with 46.3 rebounds per game.
Our betting tip for the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Los Angeles Lakers game
The Boston Celtics have been playing great lately winning 8 of the last 10 games including a blowout win in San Francisco against the Warriors. Boston is 24-12 at home that is the third-best record in the East. The Jazz is probably one of the toughest opponents for the Celtics as they have won the last four games and are a great three-point shooting team. Donovan Mitchell is questionable for this game and without him, the Jazz would stand no chance against the Celtics. This will be definitely a close game and Tatum and Brown will be the difference makers as the Jazz will have no matchup for the Celtics duo. Boston has Robert Williams III and veteran center Al Horford who will decrease Gobert’s impact in the paint. All that will lead the Celtics to another win that will bring them closer to the top of the East.
Prediction: Boston Celtics to win