Boston Celtics vs. Charlotte Hornets
|Date & Time||Friday September 28, 2018, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Charlotte Hornets +6.5 -- Over/Under: 204.5
The Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets meet Friday in NBA preseason action at the Dean E. Smith Center.
The Boston Celtics enters the preseason with hopes of developing chemistry and more depth to make an NBA Finals run. Getting a healthy Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving into the groove of the starting lineup will be at the top of the list. This Celtics starting five is as talented as any in the league and getting everyone on the same page before the regular season begins puts this club ahead of the curve. In terms of preseason play, I’ll be keeping my eye on rookie Robert Williams, who showed flashes at Texas A&M but is just scratching the surface of his potential. Williams is super long and athletic, but he’s much more than a center, as he has three-point range and runs the floor well. Semi Ojeleye also had some key moments in the playoffs last year for the Celtics and should be much more improved in his second season. As long as they’re healthy, the Celtics are the clear frontrunners to make it out of the Eastern Conference. The Boston Celtics have won nine of their last 10 preseason games.
The Charlotte Hornets have a new head coach in James Borrego, as he comes over from the San Antonio Spurs and was once the lead assistant for the Orlando Magic. The Hornets should be better with a healthy Nicolas Batum to go alongside Kemba Walker, but the ceiling is limited for Charlotte unless bench players emerge to take pressure off the starters. Tony Parker brings over much needed experience, but Bismack Biyombo needs to start playing up to his contract, youngsters such as Miles Bridges and Dwayne Bacon have the chance to emerge as key second unit players. The Hornets roster is very limited from a scoring standpoint, so any help Kemba can get and any depth that can be delved in the preseason, will be key for the Hornets regular season success. The Charlotte Hornets have split their last 10 preseason games. Malik Monk is questionable with a pelvis injury.
The Celtics are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Hornets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 Friday games. The Celtics are 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Charlotte and 12-3-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings. The under is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings in Charlotte.
I'm not trying to lay such big chalk in the first preseason game, or preseason games in general, but I'm not high on the Hornets at all. This has been consistent with me over the years, as there's just not enough talent and guys who can create their own offense. While the Celtics are sure to play a million guys and ease their starters into things, the depth on this Boston roster is insane and is sure to be a success even in a meaningless game. So, give me the Celtics in a comfortable victory.