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NBA  |  Jan 16, 2018
Pelicans vs. Celtics
Celtics
-4½ -105
  at  5DIMES
in 9h

Brad Stevens may be the best coach in the NBA with the possible exception of Gregg Popovich. So it's not a huge surprise the Celtics own the best point spread mark in the league at 27-15-2 (64%).  Boston has won seven in a row. The Celtics are extremely well rested having last played on Thursday in London and draw New Orleans with the spread opening smaller than I thought it would.  The Celtics' No. 1 ranked defense surrenders nearly 14 points fewer points per game than New Orleans. Boston catches the Pelicans off a big comeback overtime road victory against the Knicks this past Sunday. All but one of New Orleans' starters, Rajon Rondo, logged more than 44 minutes in that game. Anthony Davis played nearly 50 minutes. This marks the Pelicans' thrid game in five days. New Orleans is at Atlanta on Wednesday. So if his team falls far behind, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry just may keep his starters out the rest of the way in order to rest them for tomorrow in a far more winnable situation.  This is just Boston's second game in 11 days. So perhaps there could be a rust factor. But I believe Stevens will have his team fresh, well-prepared and raring to play again. The Celtics have had four full days to recover since returning from London. They practiced on Saturday and Monday. The extended time off has allowed Al Horford and Jayson Tatum to recover from their knee injuries. Both are expected to play here.  Davis and DeMarcus Cousins can present matchup difficulties. Stevens has the coaching acumen and versatile roster to combat this, however. Think unsung center Aron Baynes. Stevens versus Gentry is a huge coaching mismatch in Boston's favor.  The Celtics have defeated the Pelicans in five of the last six meetings, including the past three at TD Garden.  (Editor's note: Stephen Nover is recognized as one of the top basketball 'cappers in the country with the record to prove it. Stephen is 135-99-5 on his last 239 NBA plays and is on a 63 percent college basketball run. Make sure not to miss any of Stephen's winners!)   


 

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