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Atomic's NBA Saturday Best Bet #2: Celtics @ Jazz - 3/18


We're heading to Utah for Atomic's second Saturday NBA article pick!

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Boston Celtics @ Utah Jazz

I love this spot for Lauri Markkanen who is over this line in his last 21 out of 29 games where he records 30 or more minutes. Robert Williams the Celtics #1 rim protector is also out this game so the Celtics will be very under sized against a 6'10 small forward this is going to be a tough matchup for any of the Celtics especially with how Lauri is screened for in order to get open with multiple down screens which will likely force White/Smart/Hauser/Kornet/Griffin to guard him the Celtics play a ton of 1 on 1 defense & they actually allow the #4 most ppg to #1 options in the entire NBA so while they have a pretty good team defense the first option tends to go off against them.

With Collin Sexton & Jordan Clarkson both OUT in this one I expect Lauri to have to step up in an already pretty big role for the team & as mentioned earlier with Boston having pretty good individual defenders I think they do a good job at stopping the others & forcing Lauri to score & take over, Lauri has gone over this line in his last 13 out of 16 games without Sexton where he logs 30 or more minutes with a 3 point spread in this one I am thinking it stays close & he plays the 4Q. Neither team plays tomorrow so we should get a full out effort & some heavy minutes from Markkanen the Celtics also allow the #10 most PPG to SF's the L30D (+3.04) a pretty big bump compared to their averages so positionally they have been bad & as mentioned earlier they have been allowing #1 options to get off while limiting the others this is a pretty low line for Lauri considering Sexton/Clarkson are missing so I love this spot for him.

Atomic's Pick

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Lauri Markkanen over 26.5 points @ -120
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