The Boston Celtics open their home schedule on Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. This will be their second game against a team that could potentially be mired in the bottom of the Eastern Conference trying to decide whether to make a run at the 7 or 8 seed or slide into the lottery and take a chance with the ping-pong balls.
In their first game, the Celtics did exactly what many people thought they would do. They competed for 36 minutes, even erasing a 16 point deficit in the third quarter. However, the fourth quarter was not successful (or incredibly successful, depending on what you want from this team…), and the Celtics ended up losing the game (and the fourth quarter) by seven points.
Losing to the teams at the top of the conferences is probably a given for the Celtics. While the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers showed that the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets might have bad nights as they prepare for the playoffs, it does not seem likely that the Celtics will tally a lot of win against the top teams. However, games like tonight's against the Bucks are the ones will shape this team's record and placement in the East.
Let's take a look at some things to look for tonight:
The veteran forward spoke his mind during the preseason, then had a quiet game one. He took one shot, scored 3 points, and had 4 steals. Unfortunately, the steals were overshadowed by the turnovers, he had 5. The man he was in charge of guarding, Rudy Gay, scored 19 points but turned the ball over 5 times also. Wallace's job will usually be to guard the team's best forward, especially if the line-up has Jeff Green lined up at the shooting guard position.
Tonight, Wallace will be working on O.J. Mayo, another good scoring forward that will test Wallace's ability. It will be interesting to see how Wallace responds to Wednesday's performance and if he becomes a bigger part of the offense.
The forward's debut tonight could add a little bit of interior toughness tonight. The Celtics were out rebounded by the Raptors and Sullinger's presence in the paint could at least help that deficit a little bit. He should also bring a little bit of scoring to the team.
Second Chance Points
This could be the stat of the year for the Celtics. They were outscored 28-12 on second chance points. Offensive rebounds have been a huge problem for this team, they hold the top three spots in average offensive rebounds per game all-time. In other words, the 2011-12 and 2012-13 teams had the worst offensive rebounding totals in the history of the NBA. Or at least since they started keeping track of the statistic.
Crunch Time Players
This has the makings of being a close game, at home. What will Brad Stevens do at the end of the game. He gave out equitable minutes against Toronto in the fourth quarter. Gerald Wallace played 11 minutes, while no one else played more than 8 minutes. Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, and Humphries all got around seven minutes. Phil Pressey was the only one to not get any minutes after seeing the court at some other point in the game.
Brooks' ability to score is clearly not impressive enough for Stevens to overlook is horrific defending. He played zero minutes in the opener, which was rather surprising. Considering Courtney Lee continues to disappoint on both ends of the court, it seems likely that Brooks should start to see the floor a llittle bit more.
He rebounded well on Wednesday night (9 boards in 20 minutes), and might have earned himself some more time on the court considering the poor rebounding numbers the Celtics have. Faverani, the starting center, only managed 3 rebounds in the entire game.
You need to satisfy your competitive drive, so why not beat our experts in fantasy football. At FightClub, our official Fantasy Football partner, you can change you team weekly and win cash. Get a free $5 credit when you sign up and try them out. And each week, Sports Media 101 will sweeten the pot and award the player with top points an extra $25. Match-up and show them how good you are. Can you handle FightClub?
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
- Highs and Lows from Boston Celtics Preseason Opener
- Boston Celtics Training Camp Countdown – 12 Questions: Who Should Be on the Court at Crunch Time?
- Some Brief Thoughts Following the Boston Celtics’ Loss to the Toronto Raptors
- Which Boston Celtics’ Players Will Fill the Scoring Void Left by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry?
- Vitor Faverani Should Be the Starting Center for the Boston Celtics
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/138l