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Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter, right, reacts after a foul was called against his team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019.
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter, right, reacts after a foul was called against his team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. |Rich Pedroncelli | Associated Press
NBA

NBA Monday: Greg Frank picks Hornets vs Raptors and Celtics vs Suns — are Boston and Kemba Walker burned out?

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

My Season stats: 1-1 Sunday, 28-18-1 overall.

Hornets (+9.5) @ Raptors (214.5)

Pick: Hornets +9.5

Hat tip to Charlotte head coach James Borrego. In the post-Kemba Walker era, the Gregg Popovich disciple has his team playing hard on a nightly basis and their 8-5 ATS record is good for sixth best in the NBA. Three of those covers came against the Clippers, Sixers and Pacers. That might be a combination of the Hornets getting up for games against top competition and teams expected to play into May overlooking a lottery team, but either way, the Hornets have been beating the number at better than a 60 percent clip. We like Charlotte to keep it rolling ATS tonight. Toronto returns back to “The Six” after a five-game road trip against Western Conference opponents. Often, the first game back from a lengthy road trip can be difficult and feel like another road game. We don’t think that is being considered in this point spread and are banking on another good fight from Charlotte which should have the Hornets inside the number when the final buzzer sounds.

Celtics (+3.5) @ Suns (228)

Pick: Suns -3.5

What a home run spot for the Suns tonight. Phoenix is fresh off three days off and Boston is playing its third game in four days. We discussed yesterday that blindly fading the Celtics during the five-game west coast trip they’re on would likely be a profitable move, and so far, the Celtics are 0-2 ATS on the trip. Phoenix continues to be one of the Association’s biggest surprises and is fourth in the NBA in scoring averaging a shade below 118 points per game. If the Suns hit that season average tonight, we’d be very surprised if the Celtics were able to keep up. A track meet isn’t going to end well for a Boston team playing for the third time in four days. Keep in mind, both of Boston’s first two games on this trip, Friday at Golden State and yesterday at Sacramento, were decided in the final minute. So, the Celtics are likely burned out while the Suns are rested. Phoenix wins by double digits.

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