The Celtics host the Charlotte Hornets for his or her first assembly this season. They will play a second time on April 25 in Charlotte and a 3rd time on April 28 as soon as once more in Boston. The April twenty eighth assembly would be the second of again to again video games for each groups. The Celtics have gained their final 7 dwelling video games in opposition to the Hornets. They are 66-43 all time vs the Hornets and 35-19 all time in Boston.
The Celtics are eighth within the East and must play within the Play-in Tournament to make the playoffs if the season ended at the moment. They are half a recreation behind the Knicks(7) and 1 recreation behind Atlanta(5). They are 1.5 video games behind the Hornets(4) and the Heat(5). They are 1.5 video games forward of the ninth place Hornets. The Celtics are 4-6 of their final 10 video games and 14-9 at dwelling. They are on the lookout for their 2nd straight win.
The Hornets are 4 spots forward of the Celtics in 4th place within the East. They are 6.5 video games behind the third place Milwaukee Bucks. They are tied with Miami(5) and half a recreation forward of Atlanta(6) and 1 recreation forward of the Knicks(7). They are 1.5 video games forward of the Celtics. It goes with out saying that this recreation is essential for playoff positioning. The Hornets are 5-5 of their final 10 video games and 12-14 on the highway. Like the Celtics, they’re on the lookout for their second straight win.
With the Hornets win in Indiana on Friday, they gained their 4th highway win in 5 video games. In 3 of their final 5 highway video games, they’ve additionally held their opponents underneath 100 factors. Their bench got here up with 55 factors, together with 23 factors by Miles Bridges, who crammed in for the injured Gordon Hayward within the second half. They had 7 gamers in double figures together with Bridges, Zeller and Wanamaker off the bench. The Celtics want to completely take this crew significantly.
Jaylen Brown left Friday’s recreation in opposition to the Rockets after bumping knees with DJ Augustin. He is listed as questionable for this recreation. I’ve included him within the beginning lineup but when he can’t play, Brad may as soon as once more go along with Grant Williams to fill in or he might begin Evan Fournier after his massive recreation on Friday. Tristan Thompson (covid) and Semi Ojeleye (hip) are each listed as out. Romeo Langford was as soon as once more left off the harm report however I wouldn’t get too enthusiastic about his season debut as but.
For the Hornets, Gordon Hayward left Friday’s recreation vs the Pacers with a sprained foot and didn’t return. He is predicted to overlook at the very least 4 weeks, which may rule him out for all 3 conferences between these two groups. Miles Bridges crammed in for Hayward in opposition to Indiana and can possible get the beginning on this recreation. LaMelo Ball (wrist) and Malik Monk (ankle) are each additionally listed as out for this recreation.
Probable Celtics Starters
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Robert Williams III
Semi Ojeleye (hip) out
Tristan Thompson (covid) out
Jaylen Brown (knee) questionable
Probable Hornets Starters
PG: Devonte Graham
SG: Terry Rozier
SF: Miles Bridges
PF: PJ Washington
C: Bismack Biyombo
Vernon Carey, Jr
LaMelo Ball (wrist) out
Gordon Hayward (foot) out
Malik Monk (ankle) out
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Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Marcus Smart vs Terry Rozier
Rozier will possible have a chip on his shoulder coming again to the crew that drafted him however didn’t give him a beginning function. He is main the Hornets with 20.3 factors, 4.0 rebounds, and three.4 assists. He is taking pictures 46.8% from the sphere and 41.3% from past the arc. Marcus might want to gradual him down to provide the Celtics a superb likelihood to get a win.
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Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Kemba Walker vs Devonte Graham
With Hayward out, the second key matchup will possible go to Walker vs Graham. Graham is averaging 13.9 factors, 2.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists. He is taking pictures 37% from the sphere and 37.2% from past the arc. The Celtics want Kemba to play properly and have a superb recreation on each ends of the courtroom.
Jayson Tatum vs PJ Washington
Washington is averaging 11.7 factors, 6.5 rebounds, and a pair of.7 assists. He could be very able to placing up massive numbers and has had a 42 level recreation this season already. The Celtics want Tatum to play unselfishly and transfer the ball as a substitute of seeking to play hero ball.
Keys to the Game
Defense Defense Defense!! – Defense is the important thing to profitable each recreation. The Hornets common 111.2 factors per recreation whereas the Celtics common 112.3 factors per recreation. The Celtics are twenty second with a defensive ranking of 112.0 whereas the Hornets are thirteenth with a defensive ranking of 111.2. The Celtics should make protection a precedence and play robust particular person and crew protection in the event that they need to get a win.
Rebound – Rebounding takes effort and need and when the Celtics have each of these on the boards, that carries via to the opposite elements of their recreation. The Hornets common 44.1 rebounds per recreation whereas the Celtics common 44.0 rebounds per recreation. The Celtics should commit to provide effort to get rebounds. They can’t rating with out the ball they usually can’t quit additional possessions to the opponent by failing to rebound and anticipate to win.
Play Team Ball – The Celtics play finest once they transfer the ball and discover the open man. They must play TEAM ball and share the ball and no participant ought to attempt to do an excessive amount of or play hero ball. They additionally have to decide to play crew protection. The Celtics play the very best when the scoring is unfold out and nobody participant has to do an excessive amount of. The Celtics finest video games this season have been video games during which they’ve had 26 or extra assists per recreation. The Hornets are averaging 26.8 assists per recreation whereas the Celtics common 23.1 assists per recreation. The Celtics should decide to transferring the ball and to taking part in collectively.
Play 48 Minutes – The Celtics have began off gradual in some video games after which performed onerous within the second half to catch up. They have additionally gotten off to a superb begin and constructed a lead after which they’d go away from what received them the lead and lose the sport. They want to return out sturdy and play onerous initially, particularly on the defensive finish and never permit the Hornets to get off to a superb begin and construct a lead. They additionally have to play onerous proper as much as the ultimate buzzer with no let up.
Home Game – The Celtics are taking part in of their third straight dwelling recreation. The Hornets haven’t performed as properly on the highway in addition to they’ve at dwelling with a 12-14 highway file. The Celtics have to reap the benefits of being at dwelling and having their followers there to cheer them on.
Former Team Factor – Kemba Walker, Terry Rozier, Brad Wanamaker and, although he gained’t be taking part in, Gordon Hayward are all going through their former crew. Players (aside from Kyrie) wish to face their former groups and play their finest recreation as a kind of revenge issue. Sometimes it really works out they usually have an enormous recreation however generally, like Terry’s first recreation in opposition to the Celtics final season, they wrestle as a result of they attempt to do an excessive amount of. Either method, groups all the time attempt to play onerous to get a win for his or her teammates in opposition to their former groups.
Officiating – Officiating is all the time an x-factor. Sometimes you don’t even discover the refs however different instances, they very clearly make their presence identified. Every crew calls the sport otherwise and gamers by no means know what to anticipate. Sometimes they name it tight with a foul for each little little bit of contact. Sometimes they let the groups play and permit loads. Players want to regulate to how the sport is being referred to as and never permit the officiating to take their focus off of taking part in their recreation.