The San Antonio Spurs will face the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden Arena on January 17. This will be their second and final matchup this season. The Celtics lead their season series 1–0. In their last game on December 31, Boston defeated the Spurs 134–101, where Jayson Tatum scored 25 points. The Spurs are in 15th place in the Western Conference, having lost two consecutive games and 12 of their last 15. Meanwhile, the Celtics are at the top of the table in the Eastern Conference. In addition, they have a league-best 19-0 home record.
Boston might play the upcoming game without three of its top players on Wednesday. Jrue Holiday, Derrick White and Kristaps Porzingis are listed as questionable. As for San Antonio, Sidy Cissoko, Charles Bassey and Zach Collins are listed as out. Despite their star players being listed as questionable, the Celtics remain big favorites against the Spurs. The Celtics have plenty of offensive firepower, led by Tatum and Co-Star Jaylen. On the other hand, the Spurs rank 28th.
Moreover, the Celtics have the league’s second-best defensive rating, while the Spurs are only 24th. San Antonio has played a little better since adding point guard Trey Jones to the starting lineup, going 2-4 in their last six games. This has provided them with an opportunity to play more around star rookie Victor Wembanyama. However, the Spurs still lack the firepower and experience needed to challenge a legitimate NBA title contender like the Celtics.
The starting lineup of the Celtics is likely to include Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday and Derrick White. However, if Holiday, White and Porzingis are out, reserves like Peyton Pritchard, Sam Hauser and Al Horford could start the game for the team. As for the Spurs, they should have their entire lineup available. Their lineup includes Tre Jones, Devin Vassell, Julian Champagnie, Jeremy Sochan and Victor Wembanyama.
Undermanned or not, the Boston Celtics have a substantial talent advantage over the Spurs. The Celtics are undefeated at home, so they will be motivated. Therefore, they will probably look to continue their streak. If the Celtics are at or close to full strength, they should be able to cover the spread (-16.0), as they beat the Spurs by 33 points in their previous matchup. However, they will probably win comfortably. Additionally, given the Spurs’ extremely poor defense, both teams should be able to surpass the total/under mark of 237.0.