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Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. (Toronto Raptors win 113-101 (Photo by NurPhoto/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
March 11th, 2022
The Pistons could be in for a long night on Friday when they travel to TD Garden to take on the Celtics.
Boston has won four straight games and 17 of its last 20 thanks to a lethal combination of smothering team defense and lights-out individual play from Jayson Tatum. The three-time All-Star is averaging 30.1 points in the Celtics’ last 20 games, and has delivered two 50-pieces since Jan. 23, when he erupted for 51 points in just 32 minutes against the Wizards.
As a team, the Celtics have held opponents to 100 points or less in 10 of the team’s last 20 contests, an almost unheard-of accomplishment in today’s high-octane NBA. Boston boasts the league’s top defensive rating and ranks in the top five in opponent points, opponent points in the paint, and defensive rebounding. The club’s turnover-inducing ball-hawking has led to victories over fellow Eastern Conference contenders like Miami, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia, and has the Celtics positioned for a deep playoff run.
Things are a little less sunny in Motown, where the Pistons have tumbled to the bottom of the Central Division following a series of tough defeats. Detroit’s latest loss was a 114-108 letdown to the Bulls, in which they coughed the ball up 16 times and were outscored by 13 points in the final quarter. The Pistons will have to do a far better job protecting the rock tonight to have any shot against Boston.
Pistons vs. Celtics gets underway at 7:30 p.m. ET, and we have the three best player prop bets for tonight’s matchup below.
Will Friday night be "Time Lord’s" time to shine? Boston’s starting center has recorded 23 double-doubles this season and is tantalizingly close to averaging a double-double on the year with 10.0 points and an oh-so-close 9.8 rebounds per game. Those numbers have gone up a tick in March to 10.0 points and 11.2 rebounds, and he’s recorded a double-double in three of his last five outings.
ROBERT WILLIAMS MY OH MY! 😱pic.twitter.com/ws1Oj9LM24— Guy Boston Sports (@GuyBostonSports) March 10, 2022
ROBERT WILLIAMS MY OH MY! 😱pic.twitter.com/ws1Oj9LM24
Williams has also fared well against the Pistons this season, tallying 11 points and 11 rebounds on Feb. 4, and 10 points and seven boards in limited playing time on Feb. 26. It’s going to be close, but at plus odds this is a wager worth making.
28.5 points is admittedly a high projection for most mere mortals, but not for a transcendent superstar like Tatum, who’s currently in the midst of the hottest stretch of his five-year career. The Duke product is averaging 42.0 points over his last four games, and he’s doing it with the kind of efficiency usually reserved for Nerf hoops on the back of bedroom doors, hitting 56% of his field goal attempts and 46% of his 3-point attempts during that span.
Jayson Tatum’s 54 point game against Kevin Durant was a masterpiece 🔥 pic.twitter.com/kHexUU0m7k— Celtics Junkies (@Celtics_Junkies) March 7, 2022
Jayson Tatum’s 54 point game against Kevin Durant was a masterpiece 🔥 pic.twitter.com/kHexUU0m7k
In his three games against Detroit this season, Tatum has put up 24, 22, and 26 points. Yes, those numbers are all beneath tonight’s projected total, but they also occurred before he morphed into the second coming of Michael Jordan. Keep on pounding the Over on Tatum so long as the rim continues looking like a hula hoop to him.
It should come as little surprise that Marcus Smart’s assist totals have increased exponentially as Tatum’s scoring has jumped. Boston’s lead guard is averaging 8.8 dimes in March, up from 5.2 the month before. He’s also been especially good at finding his targets lately, topping seven assists in five of his last six games.
Another big night from Tatum means another big performance from Smart, who dished out seven helpers the last time he faced Detroit on Feb. 26. Take the Over, and enjoy watching their devastating two-man game in action tonight.
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