- What: Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets
- Date: Thursday, January 12, 2023
- Location: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: TNT, NBC Sports Boston
Tonight’s (Thursday, January 12, 2023) nationally televised NBA game features the second meeting of the 2023 NBA season between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. Tonight’s game, which TNT broadcasts, is a Week 13 matchup between the NBA-leading Boston Celtics and the No. 2 team in the East, the Brooklyn Nets. The first meeting between these clubs took place in December. The Celtics won that game 103-92.
The Celtics and Nets have both been playing well in 2023. As of this writing, the Celtics are 7-3 in their past 10 games, while the Nets are 9-1. While this game is important for both teams because of the standing, the Nets have more pressure on them tonight as they will be without Kevin Durant for approximately a month after he suffered an MCL sprain in his right knee in the third quarter of Brooklyn’s win over the Miami Heat on Sunday night.
Boston holds a 29-12 overall record in 2023. Meanwhile, Brooklyn is 27-13 and 1.5 games behind the Celtics for the lead in both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference.
Before we look at the betting breakdown for the January 12, 2023 NBA matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 NBA Finals and our tips for betting on the NBA.
Boston Celtics breakdown
The Celtics have been the best team in the NBA for most of the 2023 NBA season. That’s not surprising when the team’s biggest stars, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart are playing at the top of their games. Tatum leads the team in points (30.8), rebounds (8.1) and minutes (36.7). Brown is contributing 26.8 points per game on 35.5 minutes, while Smart leads the team in assists (7.2) and steals (1.3), while putting up 11.1 points on 32.6 minutes per game.
Boston also got some good news in mid-December as Robert Williams III returned to the team. Williams has played 10 games for the club, averaging 19.8 minutes per game while mostly coming off the bench.
There is some concern about Williams and Smart playing tonight, as both are having knee troubles. However, neither player is expected to be out for a prolonged time.
The Celtics are the fourth highest-scoring road team in the NBA this season, with an average of 121.8 points per game. As for the team’s defensive game away from TD Garden, Boston is in the middle of the league at 113.0. Boston has a 13-7 road record in 2023.
Brooklyn Nets breakdown
The Brooklyn Nets had a bad start to the season. Ben Simmons struggled to find his footing after a long time away from the court, Kevin Durant had to overcome looking for a way out of town during the off-season and Kyrie Irving missed a stretch of games after he came out in support of an antisemitic movie and the team suspended him. The Nets found their footing after back-to-back losses in mid-November and have not looked back since. Following road defeats to the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings, the Nets have gone 21-4.
The one-two punch of Durant and Irving has been carrying the team. Durant is averaging 29.7 points per game on 36.0 minutes, while Irving is putting up 26.0 points on 36.5 minutes per game. Nic Claxton leads the club in rebounds (8.3) and blocks (2.6), while also scoring more than 11 points per game. After Claxton, no one one on the Nets team is scoring more than 9.9 points per game. With Durant out of the mix for tonight’s matchup, the Nets need some players to step up in a big way.
The Nets are in the middle of the pack in home scoring, with an average of 116.3 points per game. Brooklyn has limited visiting teams to Barclays Center to an average of 109.3 points per game. Brooklyn has a 13-5 home record. The team’s last home loss was its December 4 setback to the Celtics.
The Nets are saying all the right things ahead of their first game without Durant, but saying and doing are two entirely different things. Boston has been the best team in the NBA in 2023 and they will look to exploit Durant’s absence in any way they can. Brooklyn needs to remain focused and motivated and if they fall behind, they cannot beat themselves mentally. I’m not sure that it’s in the cards for the Nets against the Celtics tonight. The best bet in this matchup is to pick the Celtics to beat the Nets.
Pick: Boston Celtics to beat Brooklyn Nets
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