The Boston Celtics will try to end their Western conference road trip on a good note tonight in Energy Solutions arena against the Utah Jazz. They’re coming off of a 92-86 loss to the Portland Trailblazers where they looked flat and flatout got beat.
The Jazz tonight at home will be no picnik, either. The Jazz are 21-6 in Energy Solutions arena and have historically been a great home team. The Celtics will need to work through all of the crowd noise in order to win tonight and have a successful road trip.
Both teams have played relatively well coming into this game. Both are 6-4 in their last 10 games and have beaten some good teams along that stretch. Both are fighting to preserve the 7th playoff spot that they have in their respective conference as well. So this game has a lot riding on it for both sides.
Three Keys to the Game
- The Celtics are going to need to drown out the crowd noise because its going to be loud. Energy Solutions arena–and Utah in general–has been famous for being loud and causing team disruption in the NBA. They’ve been a great home team for the past few years and the crowd noise is a large part in that. The Celtics have to know they can’t get lazy and not communicate. Coming off of a back to back, that would be extremely difficult for some teams. The poise that this team has should be a positive for them here. They’ll at least have a chance. Opponents have a eFG% of 47% when the Jazz are at home as opposed to 50% on the road.
- They’ll need to watch for Gordon Hayward tonight at home. He’s the Jazz’s most versatile perimeter player and will be able to play inside out with Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap. Hayward shoots 40% from beyond the arch at home and his net rating is a 7.9 as opposed to a -5.8 on the road.
- They’ll need to contain Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap. Not only that, but they’ll have to worry about Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors coming off of the bench. These are all very huge bigs and they’re really good at rebounding as a whole. The Jazz rebound 51.3% of the misses at home and these four are a large part of that. The Celtics will need to push the pace and not worry about rebounding but they’ve still got to watch them on the offensive glass.