The Boston Celtics have struggled in the absence of their star forward Jayson Tatum. They have lost 3 straight games to fall to 8-6, not counting Sunday night's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics now face a scrappy Chicago Bulls team that cones in with a record of 7-9. The Celtics beat the Bulls twice last year. covering both times. They have not yet met this season. Can the Celtics snap their losing streak?
Celtics struggle without TatumThe Boston Celtics have struggled without their star player Jayson Tatum. In their last three games they got embarrassed by the New York Knicks and then got swept by the Sixers in a two-game set. The losses have dropped them 2.5 games behind the Sixers in the division. The Celtics played at home on Sunday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The results were not available when this was posted. The good news is that their all star guard Kemba Walker is back after sitting out the first part of the season.
Jaylen Brown just became the 38th player to score 4,000 points in Boston Celtics history— ForeverBostonGreen (@BostonGreenews) January 23, 2021
36. Jayson Tatum - 4,171
37. Marcus Smart - 4,109
38. Jaylen Brown - 4,000 pic.twitter.com/4hkynNGcRW
The bad news is Walker hasn't had much of an impact in terms of wins and losses. But he's slowly playing himself back into game shape. In Friday's 122-110 loss to Philadelphia, he played 28 minutes, his most since returning. He had 19 points. Jaylen Brown led the way with 42 points and 9 rebounds while Marcus Smart had 20 points. But the Celtics badly miss the scoring of Tatum as they have had trouble getting consistent scoring from anyone outside of Brown. Tatum remains out until early February in the COVID protocol.
Bulls fall to LakersThe Chicago Bulls have played well this season under new coach Billy Donovan. They are are 7-9 on the season, 2.5 games behind the Pacers in the Central Division. They have won 3 of their last 4 games but lost on Saturday to the best team in the NBA, the LA Lakers. The Lakers beat Chicago 101-90. The Bulls held the hot shooting Lakers to just 21% shooting from three, but they only shot 39% from the field themselves.
Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Coby White had 14 points and 7 rebounds. Patrick Williams added 13 points and 8 rebounds while Lauri Markkanen had 12 points and 7 rebounds. Wendell Carter has missed the last two games with a thigh injury and is questionable for Monday's game. The Bulls are 5th in the NBA in scoring and 7th in three-point shooting percentage, but they are 28th in points allowed.
Stats & Trends
- Celtics are 3-5 ATS on the road this season.
- Bulls are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Bulls are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
Take the Bulls here to cover. There's a few reasons why I like the Bulls here. One, the Celtics are playing the back end of a back-to-back having played Sunday night at home versus the Cavs. They'll be flying out for Chicago right after that and will be road weary. Also, the Celtics will once again be without Tatum and since he's been out, the Celtics have struggled to score. The Celtics lack depth as they have not been able to find reliable scorers in the second unit outside of Payton Pritchard, who is out with an injury. The Bulls have been playing well as of late despite the loss to the Lakers and they should be able to cover here against a road weary, struggling Celtics team.