Celtics fans will once again miss the chance to voice their displeasure toward Kyrie Irving as the Brooklyn Nets visit Boston on Tuesday. The Nets vs Celtics odds have Irving's new team as the underdog Tuesday.
Irving was ruled out for the remainder of the season when Brooklyn announced Feb. 20 he would undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. The surgery was performed Tuesday.
Irving had already missed the Nets’ first trip to Boston on Nov. 27 with the ailment, but fans still made their negative feelings toward him clear, which prompted him to respond on social media postgame.
By doing so, Irving might have turned the heat on himself in Boston, where he played two seasons before joining Brooklyn last offseason, even higher. His new team is sure not to care as it focuses on pairing the star guard with a healthy Kevin Durant next season and beyond.
“We are looking at the big picture here,” said general manager Sean Marks when Irving’s surgery was announced. “We are not looking at the next 2-3 months, we are looking at the next 2-3 years.”
Since that announcement, the Nets have lost five of six, including their last four in a row. Tuesday’s contest marks the end of a four-game road trip for Brooklyn.
Nets vs Celtics odds
|Date||Tuesday, March 3, 2020|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|How to watch Nets vs Celtics||TNT|
|Nets vs Celtics odds – point spread||Celtics -6.5|
|Nets vs Celtics odds – over/under||219|
The Celtics, meanwhile, enter off their first home loss since Jan. 18 after falling 111-110 to the Houston Rockets in an overtime thriller Saturday night. The defeat was just Boston’s fourth in its last 18 games and dropped it to 23-6 at home on the season.
The Celtics haven’t lost consecutive games since Jan. 16-18.
Boston receives a boost for the game as All-Star guard Kemba Walker will play after missing the team’s last five games with a knee injury. Walker began ramping up activity late last week but will play limited minutes Tuesday. He could be joined by Robert Williams III after the big man was cleared to play against Houston but didn’t appear in the game. Williams hasn’t played since early December due to a hip injury.
“You can tell, he’s been antsy to go for a while now,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Williams on Friday. “So we’re happy that he’s going to be able to be back.”
Despite being shorthanded against the Rockets, the Celtics roared out to a 17-point lead in the first half before slipping in the third quarter to let Houston back in. Jaylen Brown made a miraculous game-tying three at the buzzer of the fourth quarter to force overtime, but Boston missed several chances to put the game away in the extra period before ultimately taking the loss.
“We still have another level we can go to,” Brown said postgame. “Tonight we fell short, but it's another good learning lesson, another great game for us to build off of and learn.”
Brown surpassed 20 points for a career-best fifth straight game, finishing at 22. Jayson Tatum led the team with 32 points — his fourth straight game over 30 — and added 13 rebounds.
Tatum is averaging 34 points per game in five contests since playing in his first All-Star Game.
Similar to Tatum, Spencer Dinwiddie has made a star turn for the Nets this season as he leads the team’s active players at 20.9 points per game. Despite his play, the team has registered three straight losing months since a 9-6 November.
Tatum is out Tuesday due to illness.
“We’ve gone through stretches like this before,” said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson after a skid-extending 116-113 loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday. “It’s a long season. We’ve had opportunities. We’ll get it back. We’ll get it back down the road.”
Atkinson added he felt the team showed vast improvement in its competitiveness in Miami after cutting a 14-point deficit with 8:31 to play all the way down to one on a Joe Harris 3-pointer with 11.4 seconds left. Still in the playoff race, with a nearly five-game lead on the No. 8 seed, any kind of momentum is key for the Nets to hold on.
“Every game in the regular season is a building block, a building process until we get to that destination, the playoffs hopefully,” said Dinwiddie. “So we want to build every game and get better, take positives from our game. But you want to do so more in wins than in losses.”
The Nets won their last meeting with the Celtics, 112-107, as hosts Nov. 29. The victory came two days after Boston won their first matchup on its home court, 121-110. See more on sharpside.com
Walker torched the Nets for 39 points in that first meeting. Dinwiddie led the way in the rematch with 32.
The Nets and Celtics will conclude their season series in Brooklyn on March 21.