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NBA expert Adam Taylor is here with his prediction and picks for the Sunday night matchup between the Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics and gives two other picks for today's NBA action.
ANALYSIS

NBA Predictions and Best Bets: Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics and More

Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics

When: Sunday, October 24, 7:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: NBA TV

Spread: Celtics -6

Total: 224.5

Click Here For Rockets vs. Celtics Odds

Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics Prediction

Two games, two losses, that's the story for the Boston Celtics entering tonight's contest. Unfortunately, the fairy tale never got started for a Celtics team dealing with a new coaching staff and a large influx of veterans to shore up their leaky bench. Despite a promising preseason and a hard-fought double-overtime loss to the New York Knicks, the Celtics fell flat against the Toronto Raptors. Boston will enter tonight's game against the Houston Rockets, hoping to stop a slow start turning into an early-season crisis.

The Celtics may need to find a victory without the services of Jaylen Brown, who is questionable entering tonight's matchup with left knee tendinopathy. However, things are pretty different in H-Town. With minimal expectations on a rebuilding roster, the Rockets can play freely as they focus on development, meaning they're a dangerous prospect for a team struggling for confidence.

It's worth noting that the Rockets' maiden win of the young season came against another rebuilding roster in the Oklahoma City Thunder – read into that what you choose. In terms of matchups, both the Knicks and Raptors had success when forcing the Celtics bigs to switch out onto the perimeter, and Christian Wood could thrive in the space behind the defense if he times his slips correctly. On the other hand, the Rockets don't have the defensive personnel to deal with Jayson Tatum and their plethora of wing players.

The Celtics are a far better team than what we saw against the Raptors, as shown by their resurgence during their season opener to the Knicks. As such, opting against the Celtics would be an exercise in futility.

Rockets vs. Celtics Pick

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Prediction

When: 9:30 p.m. ET

Lakers vs. Grizzlies Odds

Similar to the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves teetering on the edge of an early-season crisis, and the only difference is we could see this one coming from a mile away. The Lakers have rebuilt vast sections of their roster and struggle for spacing on the offensive end, so it's only natural they're experiencing growing pains.

It doesn't help that the Lakers are still without four roster members, all of which are projected to be key rotation pieces. Trevor Ariza, Talen Horton-Tucker, Wayne Ellington, and Kendrick Nunn are all out for tonight's contest; if even two of those players are healthy, the Lakers' spacing woes look far more manageable.

Having beaten the LA Clippers last night, the Memphis Grizzlies took their season to 2-0, and their production has been exceptional on both ends of the floor. Even without Dillon Brooks, who has a broken hand, the Grizzlies are utilizing the return of Jaren Jackson Jr. to provide them another dimension on offense – having relied heavily on Ja Morant last season. Heck, even De'Anthony Melton is getting in on the offensive fun, as he finished last night's game with 22 points. For reference, Melton has built his reputation on the defensive end but is flashing signs of a developmental jump.

In recent years, the Grizzlies have embraced the draft and have built a multi-functional roster filled with dynamic players at every position. Despite the Lakers' star names and my urge to

back them in this contest, something is happening in Memphis that has been brewing for nigh on 18 months.

It's a bit of a long shot, especially coming off a back-to-back, but taking the Grizzlies to beat the Lakers is enticing – especially when factoring in injuries and a disjointed roster working through some chemistry issues.

Lakers vs. Grizzlies Pick

Brooklyn Nets vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction

When: 4:00 p.m. ET

Nets vs. Hornets Odds

What a spectacle this game promises to be! The Charlotte Hornets are one of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA right now, blending flashy passing, breakneck speed, and a robust defensive intensity that has you on the edge of your seat. Of course, not much of that matters when you're facing the Brooklyn Nets, who have almost a full future Hall of Fame roster at their disposal.

Both teams will likely be without one of their starting guards. Terry Rozier is questionable for tonight's game with an ankle sprain, while Kyrie Irving remains out indefinitely for the Nets. However, as you would expect from an offensive powerhouse such as the Nets', defense remains an issue, and if the Hornets can continuously find an open man, they should have no problems pushing this game to the final few possessions.

However, the Hornets have their own defensive inefficiencies, and the Nets' have two superstars who will take advantage of every minuscule error. It's tough enough for sturdy defensive teams to cover James Harden and Kevin Durant, never mind a team known for taking risks.

In all likelihood, the Hornets will fall to 2-1 on their season, as the Nets' project to be too strong and deep for their young and exciting counterparts. Some of the best value can be found in the Nets' winning by a comfortable yet not realistic margin, so you can either back the Hornets to keep it respectful or trust the Nets to squeak this one out.

Nets vs. Hornets Pick

Other NBA Games

Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors 

Kings vs. Warriors Odds

The Warriors are on somewhat of a roll and look as deadly as ever in the half-court, while the Sacramento Kings seemed to have found a defensive system that suits their personnel. Despite the Kings' now projecting to be a respectable opponent, the Warriors should have more than enough to see off their challenge. Expect Curry to torch the Kings' perimeter defense and one of their rookies to have a big offensive night.

Oklahoma City Thunder Philadelphia 76ers

Even without Ben Simmons, the threat of Joel Embiid and the 76ers supporting cast should be too much for the Thunder to handle. Oklahoma is a rebuilding team with plenty of potential and can rely upon Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to keep their offense ticking over at a respectable level. However, the 76ers are of the premier teams in the Eastern Conference, so

they should have no problem dispatching their Western Conference strugglers in tonight's contest.

New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic 

Knicks vs. Magic Odds

The Knicks have come out of the gates hot, reaping the rewards of Julius Randle's sustained improvement and the additions of veteran guards Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier. While the Orlando Magic is a fun and exciting team to watch and clearly has a bright future due to their young players and limitless potential, that will not help them tonight. The Knicks should extend their perfect start to 3-0 tonight.

Article Author

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Adam has been covering the Boston Celtics since 2015 but has been an NBA fan since 1994. Never one to get too high, or too low, Adam likes to blend video and stats together for a clearer picture of the NBA game.

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