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Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets prediction and pick for Thursday's game. Handicapper Jonathan Macri breaks down Celtics vs. Nets plus Pistons vs. Cavs in his best picks for Thursday's NBA action.

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets Prediction: Boston looks to avenge pre-break hiccup

  • When: 7:30 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: NBA League Pass

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Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets Line Movement

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets Prediction

As the second half of the season opens, there are a number of storylines that deserve attention, but no team will have a brighter spotlight shone upon them than Brooklyn.

The Nets waited until the 11th hour, but they finally ripped off the band aid that was a pouting James Harden. Ben Simmons has taken his place, but has yet to make his Brooklyn debut for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear. He won’t be available for this game, nor will Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant.

Even without their new big three though, the Nets have been more than respectable of late. Following close losses to Washington and Miami, Brooklyn soundly beat the Kings at home before coming back from 28 down against the Knicks at MSG. They finally ran out of gas at home against the Wizards in the final outing before the break, but still, the Nets have at least stopped their free fall and given some hope to anyone who thinks the play-in may not be their ultimate destiny.

Against any other opponent, that recent stretch of decent play would be enough to contemplate picking them here. But Boston isn’t any opponent. Since January 1, the Celtics have the best net rating in the NBA. They’ve been dominant at both ends of the court, and only a hiccup against a Pistons team they were clearly taking for granted prevented them from going into the break with a 10-game winning streak.

The last time these two teams played, Boston won by 35 back on February 8. Other than Seth Curry, the same rosters will take the court here. The margin won’t be as severe, but the result will be no different. Take advantage of a single-digit line and give the points on the road.

Celtics at Nets Pick

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Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

  • When: 7:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: NBA League Pass

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Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Line Movement

Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction

Speaking of those frisky Pistons, they try to carry their pre-break momentum into what was supposed to be a tough matchup with the NBA’s most surprising team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. There’s only one issue: the Cavs will be without their starting backcourt of All-Star Darius Garland and newly acquired Caris LeVert, both of whom are out with injuries. Cleveland has been resilient all season, and they have no shortage of wins with multiple key pieces missing in action. This one won’t be easy though. The Pistons won the last time these two teams played less than a month ago, and that was with Garland in the lineup. The Cavs have also dropped two straight coming into the break and it’s impossible to shake the feeling that the other shoe may be dropping soon given all of their injury woes. You’d like this line to be a bit higher, but even as is, it’s a lot of points to be giving with an injured team on the road. The Pistons aren’t good but are feisty. They’ll come out of the gate swinging just enough to feel good about taking the points here.

Cavs at Pistons Pick

Article Author


Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.


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