Coach Rick and the team here have simply been tearing it up as of late. The stars must be in perfect alignment or something, so we’ll take advantage and head to Boston for one final NBA tilt before the All-Star. It’s Clippers and Celtics from TD Garden and recent history between the two teams might have something to do with the outcome...and our growing bankroll!
Game: Los Angeles Clippers (37-17, 29-25 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (37-16, 31-20-2)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 13, 2020
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Current Line: BOS -1.5 Total: 228
TV Coverage: TNT
Boston had won seven in a row before losing to Houston on the road on Tuesday. James Harden put up 42 points and Russell Westbrook 36 as the Celtics shot 43.5 percent from the floor and committed a costly 18 turnovers.
Boston has won 10 of its last 12 games and, more importantly, its last six consecutive home games.
Speaking of playing at home, the Celtics have one of the best home records in the league. They stand at 22-5 at the Garden currently.
On the other end, the Clippers would much rather play at the Staples center - where they are also 22-5 - than TD Garden. Los Angeles is just 15-12 in road games this season.
The Clippers have lost two of their last three games, both defeats coming on the road. The most recent loss came on Tuesday night in Philadelphia where Ben Simmons recorded a triple-double (26 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) in a 110-103 victory.
Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points for the Clippers and somehow the 76ers overcame shooting 29 percent from 3-point range.
Despite the loss, the Clippers remain among the favorites in the Western Conference. Los Angeles is currently third in the standings just one game behind second-place Denver. The Nuggets have won four straight and Clipper head coach Doc Rivers would love nothing more than closing out the first half of the season on a high note.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Clippers have won the last four straight over Boston. That includes a 107-104 victory on November 20 earlier this season at the Staples Center. The Clippers have also won the last two meetings in Boston.
LA Clippers vs. Boston Celtics - Full Game Highlights | November 20, 2019
Ignore the Trends
Don’t let that warp your thinking. Coach Rick isn’t.
The Clippers are on the final leg of a four-game road trip. L.A. is 1-2 and looking forward to getting on a plane, heading home, and enjoying the All-Star break.
In their loss to the 76ers on Tuesday, Paul George was dreaming of not playing in the All-Star game and sipping on a few Mai Tais after shooting 3-of-15 and finishing the game with just 11 points.
Now, Boston’s Jaylen Brown does have a calf bruise, but he is expected to play on Thursday. With Kemba Walker, Gordon Hayward, and Jayson Tatum; it may not matter. The Celtics are rolling. They have won their last six games at home in a row and, as mentioned previously, 10 of their last 12 games overall.
More importantly, Boston is 8-4 ATS in their last 12 games. For the season, the Celtics are a positive 31-20-2 ATS and 16-10-1 ATS at home. For the Garden fans before the All-Star break, Boston wins at home...and covers.
Today’s NBA Free Pick Against the Spread: Boston -1.5
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.