Welcome to Veterans Day, Hardwood Houdini fans!
I hope you’re enjoying the day, and have taken a moment to consider all that out vets have done for this country. That’s my PSA for the day. Now, onto the main event!
The Boston Celtics, currently riding a three-game winning streak, return to the TD Garden tonight with a chance to push their record to .500 for the first time this season. The Cs’ opponent? The Orlando Magic, who Boston beat 91-89 Friday night in Orlando. Coming off a monumental upset of the defending-champion Miami Heat, in which the Celtics saw Jeff Green nail a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer while he was floating out bounds, Boston needs to be careful to avoid becoming too confident in their abilities. After all, the Celts only shot 35.8% against the Magic, and were out-rebounded 56-51. Beating the Heat was all well and good, but it was but one game, and the Celtics are still a team with serious concerns to address.
Working in the Celtics’ favor tonight? Their defense, which is holding opponents to 95.1 points per game, 6th best in the NBA. When it comes to defending the arc, the Cs are even better, holding their opponents to 28% shooting – best in the NBA. Playing D is currently something this team does quite well, and should that trend continue there is no reason why Boston won’t continue to find itself within striking distance or even nursing a lead in the late minutes of many games this season, including tonight.
Celtics Player Who Must Step Up tonight: Jeff Green Hard to believe it, but the man who slew the Miami Heat with 24 points and that last-second dagger only had 10 points against Orlando, going 5-14 from the field and 0-3 from behind the arc. Boston was lucky to steal a win Friday against Orlando with Green struggling so badly; they won’t get lucky again tonight if he isn’t aggressive and getting his.
Orlando Player To Keep an Eye On: Nikola Vucevic The Magic’s starting center has the potential to wreak havoc on a Celtics front line that got destroyed by the Detroit Pistons’ big men and have been out-rebounded in almost every single game this season. Vucevic is coming off of a season low seven points, six rebounds performance against the Atlanta Hawks Saturday night, so look for him to try and get involved early in the paint in order to open up looks for Orlando’s outside shooters.
Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Make sure to grab Celtics tickets for tonight’s game. Follow us on Twitter @HoudiniCeltics to get our insight and color commentary throughout the action, and then be sure to come back here for our post-game reactions! Go Celtics!