Utah vs Boston

Utah vs Boston | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

Written by on March 15, 2021

Excellent matchup in the first game of a TNT NBA doubleheader on Tuesday as the Utah Jazz visit the Boston Celtics in a possible NBA Finals preview. Wouldn’t say that’s likely but possible. The Jazz will be short favorites on the NBA odds.

How to Bet Jazz at Celtics NBA Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

On Feb. 9, Boston lost 122-108 at Utah.  Donovan Mitchell had 36 points and nine assists for the Jazz. Joe Ingles scored a season-high 24 points and added six assists for the Jazz, while Rudy Gobert chipped in 18 points and 12 rebounds and Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 points and eight rebounds. Jaylen Brown scored 33 points and Jayson Tatum added 23 for Boston. After trailing by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, the Celtics cut it to 108-104 on free throws from Brown and Tristan Thompson. The Jazz slammed the door on a comeback by scoring on six straight possessions.

Utah has won the past two in the series overall and had taken three straight in Boston as well but is still only 14-36 there all time.

Why Bet on Utah? | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

The Jazz were upset 131-119 at Golden State on Sunday, Utah’s third loss in four games – but it still has the best record in the NBA at 28-10.

Rudy Gobert was a monster in the loss with a career-high 28 rebounds along with 24 points, four blocks, two steals and one assist. The 28 boards also tied a team record. His size gave the Warriors fits at both ends (eight offensive boards), but Utah’s defense was exposed as they gave up 131 points on 56.2% shooting.

Aside from Gobert’s big day on the boards, the Jazz managed only 23 other rebounds but held a 51-40 advantage on Golden State. Gobert had twice previously grabbed 25 rebounds. Donovan Mitchell added 24 points, Mike Conley 23 and Jordan Clarkson 21. Utah became the NBA’s last team to reach double digit losses. The Jazz had won five straight vs. the Warriors.

Ersan Ilyasova didn’t leave Utah’s bench on Sunday. He had signed with the Jazz earlier this week. “I think he’s anxious to contribute in any way that he can,” coach Quin Snyder said on Thursday. “We don’t expect him to show up and be ready to go right away … there’s an adjustment period, and we’re patient with him.”

Utah has posted 12 games this season with 20 or more made three-pointers, which is already the third most in a single season in NBA history. The Jazz are the only team in the NBA to rank in the top five in both offensive rating (116.5, 4th) and defensive rating (107.8, 2nd). Utah has the highest net rating in the NBA (8.7).

Gobert, Mitchell and Conley were all named to the All-Star team. It marked the first time the Jazz had three All-Stars compete in the contest since the 1989 All-Star Game, which featured Mark Eaton, Karl Malone and John Stockton.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder earned coaching duties to Coach Team LeBron in the contest, who led Team LeBron to a 170-150 win. Mitchell finished with 15 points, four rebounds and four assists for Team Durant. Conley had three points and two assists and Gobert finished with 10 points and seven boards for Team LeBron.

Why Bet on Boston? | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

The Celtics begin their busiest stretch of the season on Tuesday night against the Jazz to kick off five games and seven nights.

Boston closed a two-game road trip at 1-1 with a 134-107 win at terrible Houston on Sunday. Jaylen Brown had 24 points and only played 27 minutes because it was a rout. Jayson Tatum added 23 points. All of Boston’s starters played under 30 minutes for the first time in nearly a month.  Robert Williams III had 16 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.

Marcus Smart had five points, three assists, and one turnover in the win. Smart played just 19 minutes off the bench in his second game since returning from injury after playing 21 minutes on Thursday. Brad Stevens says he’ll return to the starting lineup once his minutes restriction is lifted, though.

Boston was only up by four after one period, but pulled away by halftime. The Celtics had a 13-point lead early in the third quarter before using an 11-2 run, with nine points by Kemba Walker, to make it 79-57 with about 10 minutes left in the period. The Celtics had lost seven straight on the road. Houston played without four starters due to injury or personal reasons.

Both Tatum and Brown were named All-Stars this season. They became the second pair of Celtics teammates to both receive All-Star honors in the same season before the age of 25 since 1953 joining Bob Cousy and Ed Macauley. Brown made some history earlier this season. He had 33 points on 13-of-20 shooting in just 19:14 of game time against Cleveland on Jan. 24. It was the most points scored by a player in under 20 minutes of game time during the shot clock era.

There’s talk that Boston could be in the trade market for Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge. Boston has a $28.5 million trade exception. The key factor to keep in mind is that Boston can’t cross the $138.9 hard cap line in any transaction. So fan Aldridge for any two of the following players from Boston would work: Jeff Teague, Javonte Green, Semi Ojeleye, Carsen Edwards.

Expert Prediction

  • Jazz 114, Celtics 108

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