The Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics meet for the second time on the season, with the Rockets winning handily at home. The Rockets come into the matchup with a few questionable rotational players. Gerald Green, Eric Gordon, Iman Shumpert, and Kenneth Faried are all up in the air for today’s matchup. Meanwhile, the Celtics still are possibly down big man Aron Baynes who may be able to finally make his return against the Rockets.
The Rockets have been one of the hotter teams in the NBA since the All-Star break. With only one loss since the break, the Rockets have been scoring the basketball at an insanely efficient clip and finally seem to have their necessary support pieces back and operating at full potential. Despite the return of Chris Paul and Clint Capela, Harden has continued his scoring ways. While he is occasionally prone to an off night, he no longer has to force his shot and can instead defer to Paul to help lead the way. The increased versatility on offense has the Rockets back in contention to make a serious run in the playoffs. It is also worth noting that the Rockets are 3-0 against the Warriors on the year.
The Celtics are coming off a much-needed win to help stem a four-game losing streak. Despite off nights from Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum, the Celtics were able to put together an extremely strong team effort that saw all five starters (and two bench players) score in double digits. Outside of Irving and Tatum, the offense was extremely efficient from the field. More importantly, though, the Celtics looked to get back to their defensive-minded ways and were able to hold the high-scoring Wizards to under 100 points.
Houston Rockets vs Boston Celtics Betting Line & Over/Under
(Betting Line and Total courtesy of Oddsshark.com)
- Houston Rockets (37-25) vs Boston Celtics (38-25)
- Sunday, March 3rd at 3:30 pm ET
- Point Spread: Boston Celtics (-2.5)
- Point Total: 226
Houston Rockets vs Boston Celtics Prediction
Despite the extremely strong defensive showing against the Washington Wizards, the Houston Rockets are an entirely different beast. Running coach Mike D’Antoni‘s patented seven seconds or less offense, the Rockets play at a breakneck pack and boast a multitude of weapons now that they have their complimentary stars back in place.
The Celtics aren’t the best offensive unit, but they have the pure talent to be able to hang with any team in the NBA. Kyrie Irving has shown the ability to carry a team on his own while Jayson Tatum is proving to be a late-game stone-cold killer.
Boston will be playing at home and won’t let the Rockets walk all over them, so look for another strong overall effort from the Celtics, this time with Irving and Tatum pitching in more efficient scoring nights. Expect a ton of points in this matchup that could really go either way.