Nov 23, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) drives the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) during the second half at the TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the Thunder 108-100. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics Attempt To Steal Oklahoma City's Thunder


Today, the Boston Celtics face the Oklahoma City Thunder in a game with significant importance for Boston. This is their biggest test to date, and they’ll have their hands full trying to slow down the 46-16 Thunder. Being a nationally televised game, this is the Celtics chance to prove to the league that they are a threat to any team in the Eastern Conference, and maybe with a decisive win, make us believers that Boston is a championship contender. Getting the victory in Oklahoma City won’t be easy. Boston will have to play all 48 minutes with the same intensity and try to keep Kevin Durant at bay.

Keys To Victory

  • While the Boston Celtics must play with an up-tempo offense to get easy buckets in transition, they cannot afford to let the Thunder do the same. Oklahoma City is one of the best teams who runs the floor, gets easy shots at the rim, and completely runs the other team off the court. Boston has to get back on defense, especially after missed shots. The Thunder will be ready to run, and they’re a team that can play that style the whole game because of their youth. If the Celtics can’t slow them down, it could be a long afternoon
  • For any chance at stealing a win in Oklahoma, Boston cannot allow Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook to go off on an offensive explosion. Avery Bradley, who’s one of, if not the best defensive player in the league will have the assignment to try stopping Westbrook. If Boston’s defense forces him to take bad shots, and not get the ball to Durant, the Thunder’s offense won’t be as effective, and much easier to deal with. When it comes to defending Durant, this is where the zone defense for Boston will come in handy. While Durant is a great scorer and can make shots from anywhere on the court, Boston must keep him out of the paint. They have to make him work for his points and give him no easy looks at the basket. Don’t be surprised if Jeff Green gets some time covering Durant. Green’s length and quickness should be something Doc Rivers uses in their attempt to slow down the Thunder’s offense.
  • The biggest key for the Celtics if they want to get the victory today, is they must play as a team. During their five game winning streak, they’ve tackled every opponent as a team. Today will be no different. In fact, they’ll have to play together if they want any chance at stealing a win away from the Thunder. The bench’s production will be crucial for Boston, as they’ll have to matchup against Oklahoma’s ability to keep their key players in for longer periods of time because of their youth. This won’t be an easy game. But if the Celtics play as a unit and trust each other on every play, they’ll have a shot at getting the victory.

It’s a big game for Boston. During this playoff run, Celtics fans are beginning to believe that they can beat any team, and if Boston plays the way they’re capable of, this could a very close game and maybe result in a win. If all goes well, Boston could be fifth in the Eastern Conference standings by tonight. Every game is important now, and to get a victory over a championship caliber team will be a big confidence booster moving forward.

 

Tags: Boston Celtics Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder