The Boston Celtics’ ‘Big Three’ are down to just one now, with Kevin Garnett joining Rajon Rondo on the sidelines for at least a week, as his side prepare to start a tough stretch of five games in seven days on Tuesday night with a home clash against New York.
Garnett’s absence is another huge blow for a Celtics team which has lost four straight games, three of which have come while giving up at least 104 points. That figures put an even bigger burden on Paul Pierce to come up with the goods and the veteran All Star is good value at 1.85 to score over 18.5 points.
However, the Knicks have broken out of their recent slump with four successive victories since Carmelo Anthony was restored to rude health and he’s backable at 1.85 to notch 29 points or more.
With Kenyon Martin also providing a boost since signing late as a free agent, expect New York to avenge their 102-96 loss when the old rivals met in January.
Written off and counted out a month ago, the Dallas Mavericks have made a late surge towards the play-off spots with a 9-4 record this month so far, spurred by a scoring output which has increased to almost 105 per game of late.
They’re now only 1 ½ games behind the LA Lakers, who hold eighth spot in the Western Conference, but they might struggle to close the gap even further when they host the LA Clippers tonight.
The Clips have won both previous meetings this season with Blake Griffin grabbing double-doubles in each. Dallas are +1 on handicap but look for the total points to go over the line of 202.0, available at 1.91.
Looking ahead, these are the kinds of games LA must convert to prove they are genuine title contenders. They’re still fourth favourites at 15.00 but have gone out to 7.00 to win the West and those odds could grow if they don’t start to make a serious case.
Best Bet: Take Paul Pierce to score 19 or more for Boston against New York at 1.85
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