Can the Celtics Do it Without Kyrie? Betting Analysis on the Celtics vs. Timberwolves

January 2, 2019 | insideinjuries | No Comments kyrie irving knee surgery

It’s an East vs. West matchup tonight in Boston as the Celtics take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Neither team is living up to their preseason expectations, but some of that could be due to injuries. Two of the Timberwolves’ starters are questionable for tonight’s game with injuries, but the Celtics will also be without their top scorer.

Both Jeff Teague and Robert Covington are considered questionable for tonight’s game in Boston. Teague has been dealing with a right ankle injury since mid-December and has missed the past 8 games. The Inside Injuries algorithm calculated a grade 1 injury and a 3 week Optimal Recovery Time. Teague is still 1 week away from the Healthy to Return Date, so even if he does play, he won’t be very effective. Covington is also dealing with a right ankle injury, but his injury just popped up yesterday. Even if it’s just a mild tweak, Covington will need at least a week to fully heal. Both starters were limited at this morning’s shootaround and are not expected to play tonight. This is a major blow for the Timberwolves’ chances of beating the Celtics.

With Teague almost certainly out tonight, the Timberwolves bad luck streak continues as back-up PG Derrick Rose is considered doubtful, also with a right ankle injury. Rose’s injury history is one of the longest and most complicated in the NBA and the veteran is almost always dealing with some sort of injury. Luckily, the Timberwolves star player, Karl-Anthony Towns (he leads the team in points, rebounds, and blocks) is a Low Injury Risk and should be playing at Peak Performance tonight. Their Overall Team Injury Risk is Elevated (23%), despite the two major injury concerns. The team’s Health Performance Factor (our metric for measuring player performance) is also Above Average.

The Celtics main injury concern is Kyrie Irving. The Celtics just ruled out Irving for tonight’s game with an eye injury, which means they will be missing their top scorer, as well as their top play-maker (Kyrie leads the team with 6.6 assists per game). The other major concern in Boston is that four out of the team’s 5 starters are a High Injury Risk (Irving, Brown, Morris, and Horford). Their Overall Team Injury Risk is also High (28%). The Celtics should still be able to perform fairly well despite their injury risk, as the team carries an Above Average Health Performance Factor.

The spread right now favors the Celtics by -6, and with two starters sitting out for the Timberwolves, we expect the Celtics to cover. Things could get close with Irving out though, especially considering the High Overall Injury Risk of the Celtics starters.