The holiday season is effectively over for the Boston Celtics. After playing only one game last week the Celtics will play four games between now and Sunday.
Tuesday 1:00 vs. Atlanta Hawks
Thursday 8:00 @ Chicago Bulls
Friday 7:30 vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Sunday 7:00 @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Let's take a look at the week ahead with some questions.
Question #1: How many games will the Celtics win this week?
One or two wins seems most likely in this bunch of games.
The Hawks have looked more comfortable recently, they are 6-4 in their last 10. However, they are also not great on the road. They are only 5-10 this season away from Atlanta. As opposed to their solid 12-4 home record. Finally, the loss of Al Horford is pretty terrible. His torn pectoral muscle will hurt this team's chance of snagging that third seed in the East.
The Celtics beat the Hawks 94-87 in Boston on November 22. Look for another Celtics win on Tuesday afternoon.
The Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans games should probably warrant a split. The Bulls are bad at basketball, but the Celtics are only 5-9 on the road this season.
The Pelicans are a west coast anomaly. They could be a top six team in the East. Anothony Davis could give this team a big challenge under the basket.
The Oklahoma City Thunder seem like a sure loss, especially on the road.
Question #2: Who should Celtics fans be excited to watch play this week?
Obviously Kevin Durant is an easy answer. However, Anthony Davis might be the most intriguing player to watch play in the NBA. He just returned from a hand injury on December 18 and picked up right where he left off.
He is a dominant rim protector, but the most fun thing about Davis is his ability to run the floor. This will be a huge challenge for the Celtics.
Since his return from injury Davis is averaging 20.2 points, 11 rebounds and is shooting 54.2% from the field.
Here is a highlight clip from his 26 point and 17 rebound game earlier this season:
Question #3: What is one thing Celtics fan should be watching for this week?
During Saturday's win against the Cleveland Cavaliers Jared Sullinger's role was changed. He saw some more time with the second unit. His performance was disappointing and this will be something worth watching over the course of the next few games.
Will Stevens stick with this wrinkle in the rotation? Will Sullinger get more comfortable? Was it a one shot deal to combat something the Cavs were doing?
We will find out this week.
Baxter Holmes highlights the transition here: Jared Sullinger Sees Time with Celtics' Second Unit
Question #4: When will Rajon Rondo be back?
We really wish we had the answer to this question. Rondo has pushed his timetable back to February, while also saying he does not have a timetable. Considering Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, and, most recently, Russell Westbrook have come back unsuccessfully from knee injuries it might tempt Rondo to take some extra time.
The nice thing about this dilemma is it has not created any sort of rift between the player and the fan base. Fans are content imagining what it will be like when Rondo returns. Right now they do not seem to care if it's in February, March, April, or September.
Enjoy the week of basketball. Make it a resolution to come back and read us every day!
- Boston Celtics Starting Five Week of November 11
- The Boston Celtics Starting Five for the Week of December 2
- Boston Celtics Stumble into a Holiday Vacation with More Questions than Answers
- Starting Five: Looking at Boston Celtics Preseason So Far
- Jordan Crawford and Brandon Bass Help Boston Celtics Snap Their Losing Streak.
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