Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview and Pick

Boston Celtics -3.5 (43-11) at Dallas Mavericks (31-20) O/U 198.5 9:30 PM ET Thursday February 12, 2009 on TNT
By Jason Green at

Tonight the Boston Celtics travel to the Big D to play the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs had a slow start to the season, but since PG Jason Kidd was given the duties of calling the offensive plays, they have started winning and are currently in the 5th position in the Western Conference and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. Even though the Celtics recently lost a tough game to the Lakers at home they are 8-2 in their last 10 games. Many thought that the window for the Mavs to go all the way may have been closed, but if they win these types of games they can prove that they are still a legit threat in the Western Conference. This is the last game before the All Star break and the Mavs could really use a win tonight to give them confidence heading into the second-half of the season.

The Mavs are 17-7 at home this season and the Celtics are 19-7 in away games.

Hoops bookies have the Celtics as -3.5 favorites with a total around 198.5. The Celtics are posted at -135 as away favorites and the Mavs are posted at +115 as home dogs.


The Celtics come into this game after an impressive 89-77 road win over the New Orleans Hornets last night. The high scorer for the Celtics in that game was Paul Pierce going for 30 points on 10/19 shooting. For the game the Celtics shot 35/79 for a FG% of 44.3%. On D the Celtics played a great game holding the Hornets to 26/64 shooting for a FG% of only 40.6%.

The Mavericks come into this game after laying a beat-down on the lowly Sacramento Kings 118-100 on Tuesday night. The high scorers for the Mavs in that game was Antoine Wright and Josh Howard both going for 23 points. The Mavs could not miss in that game, shooting 47/85 for a scorching FG% of 55.3%. On D the Mavs held the Kings to 35/79 from the field for a FG% of 44.3%.

This season the Celtics rank 9th in scoring (101.4), while the Mavs are right behind them ranking 10th (101 ppg). Even though the Mavs have decent 3-point shooters only the 76ers are shooting a lower FG% from downtown. On D the Celtics are much better, as they rank 2nd in points allowed (92 ppg), while the Mavs rank 15th (99.7 ppg). The Celtics are also better at hitting the glass, as they have a rebounding differential of +5.4 rpg, while the Mavs are at +1.3 rpg.

This season the Celtics are 28-24-1 ATS and the Mavs are 24-27. In terms of Over/under games this season the Celtics are 25-27-1 and the Mavs are 24-26-1.

On the injury front SG’s Ray Allen and Tony Allen are day-to-day for the Celtics and PG Jason Terry and SG Jerry Stackhouse is day-to-day for the Mavs.

Jason Kidd may have to run an up-tempo game tonight in order to pull off the upset, as even though super 6th man Jason Terry (19.9 ppg) is listed at day-to-day- he will miss a few weeks with a fractured hand.

The Mavs are hoping the sprained thumb that Ray Allen (17.9 ppg) sustained in last night’s game will hurt his shooting stroke.

The key match ups in this game will be between the two All Star PF’s Kevin Garnett (16.5 ppg) and Dirk Nowitzki (25.7 ppg) as well as at SF with Paul Pierce (19.7 ppg) and Josh Howard (17.9 ppg).

If Garnett and Pierce play good D tonight, they will be sitting pretty, as the Mavs do not have other scoring options.

The Mavs have to play good perimeter D and not allow Rajon Rondo (11.1 ppg 8.4 assists per game) get into the lane and dish out to the Allen and Pierce, who can both light it up from beyond the 3 point arc.

SG Antoine Wright (6.3 ppg) blew up for 23 points in his last game and he will have to do that again, as the Mavs need help in that department with Terry out.

The Mavs have won 10 of their last 11 home games including their last 5.

Jason’s Pick: Bad spot for the Celts here. Dallas wins straight up and covers!