Celtics

Celtics vs. 76ers odds: Best NBA picks as Al Horford returns to Boston

Celtics vs. 76ers odds: Best NBA picks as Al Horford returns to Boston

Who doesn't love an old-fashioned rivalry game?

The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers meet for the second time this season Thursday night, this time at TD Garden, where Al Horford spent three seasons in green and white.

Horford's new club put a whupping on the Celtics in their season opener, but the C's are 10-0 at home this season and will be out for revenge against their Atlantic Division foe.

Does Boston have enough firepower to set the record straight Thursday night? ... We're not so sure.

Here are our moneyline, point spread and point total picks for Celtics-Sixers, as well as two NBA locks against the spread.

(All odds provided by WestGate Superbook.)

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics, 8 p.m. ET

Moneyline: Philly and its size are just a tough matchup for the Celtics, especially if two of Boston's better defenders (Marcus Smart and Gordon Hayward) can't play. I'll take the action on the Sixers (+105).

Point Spread: The Sixers are coming off quality wins over the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets and are the only team that's really handled Boston this season. The Celtics have to lose at home at some point, and I think the Sixers (+1.5) do the honors.

Point Total: Both Philly and Boston have favored the under recently, but the Celtics' home juice should keep this game close throughout and get both teams over the century mark. I'm rolling with the OVER on the 210 point total.

Darren's record picking the Celtics' moneyline, point spread and point total: 32-24-1

NBA Locks of the Night

Dallas Mavericks (-5.5) at Detroit Pistons: The Mavs are 8-2 against the spread on the road this season. That's all the evidence I need to take Luka Doncic and Co. over a "meh" Pistons team.

Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets (-6): The Nuggets are back from an East Coast road trip to play a mediocre Blazers squad that's lost three of its last five. Denver rides the comforts of home to a comfortable victory.

Darren's record picking NBA locks against the spread: 21-15-1

Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson presents big test for undersized Celtics

Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson presents big test for undersized Celtics

The Boston Celtics are in the midst of a three-game win streak, but their lack of size could land them in some big trouble Sunday vs. the New Orleans Pelicans.

That's because they'll be up against the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Zion Williamson.

After missing most of the season with a knee injury, Williamson has made his presence felt in the first two games of his NBA career. In his debut against the Spurs on Wednesday night, the 19-year-old tallied 22 points and seven rebounds while drilling four 3-pointers.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

In his second game Friday night vs. the Denver Nuggets, Williamson dropped 15 points in 21 minutes (7-for-9 shooting) while bringing down six boards and blocking a shot into another stratosphere.

Watch below:

The 6-foot-10, 285-pounder presents an obvious challenge for the undersized Celtics, who likely will be without big men Enes Kanter and Robert Williams in New Orleans.

That means it'll probably mostly be up to Daniel Theis and Marcus Smart to keep Williamson in check. Who knows, maybe even Tacko Fall will get some minutes. The 7-foot-5 UCF product does have some experience playing against the former Duke star, as the two met up in last year's NCAA Tournament.

The Pelicans are a lowly 17-29 on the season and 0-2 since Williamson entered the lineup. The C's are on the other end of the spectrum at 30-14

Forsberg: Will Kemba have C's company at All-Star weekend?

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pelicans, which begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 6 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens joins elite company with win No. 300

brad-stevens-boston-celtics-vs-orlando-magic-12420.jpg
USA TODAY Sports photo

Celtics coach Brad Stevens joins elite company with win No. 300

BOSTON -- For most of Brad Stevens’ time as Boston Celtics coach, he tends to get more out of his teams than most expect. 

So, it was only fitting that on the night he came up with a historic win No. 300 with the Celtics, it would come in a game where his team was at far from full strength. 

No Jaylen Brown (ankle). 

No Jayson Tatum (groin).

No Enes Kanter (hip bruise).

No problem for the Celtics, who rallied from a 16-point deficit before pulling away for a 109-98 win.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

And with the victory, Brad Stevens became just the fifth coach in Celtics history reach the 300-win milestone, a group that includes Red Auerbach (795 wins), Tommy Heinsohn (427), Doc Rivers (416), K.C. Jones (308) and now, Stevens. 

It is an impressive mark when you consider the company he now finds himself in, a fitting accomplishment that speaks to how Stevens has immersed himself into being an NBA head coach after arriving from the college ranks. 

In Stevens’ first couple of seasons in the NBA, when the Celtics weren’t nearly as successful as the Stevens-coached teams at Butler, there were steadily rumblings that Stevens would get tired of the NBA coaching lifestyle and losing, and eventually return to college coaching. 

Despite such speculation, Stevens has consistently maintained that he wants to be in the NBA coaching this team. 

Stevens downplayed the milestone and deflected credit when asked about the milestone after the game:

And games like the comeback win over Orlando on Friday night remind us that Stevens is not only all-in on this Celtics team, but he’s all-in on being one of the winningest coaches in franchise history. He got it done with an undermanned, injury-riddled bunch and it was similar to a number of wins he has amassed that have led him to where he is now. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pelicans, which begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 6 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.