Celtics-Spurs Pregame: Rich’s Take

The struggling Boston Celtics complete a three-game road trip tonight against the best team in the Western Conference, the San

Nov 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) and Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (3) battle for the ball during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Celtics 109-85. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs are 9-1, have not lost since November 2, and have won 7 games in a row, the last four of which they have won by an average of over 19 points per game.

Now that just doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Meanwhile, the Celtics have lost four in a row, scoring a measly 88 PPG during that stretch.  A key factor in the Celtics’ inability to score during this losing streak?  The play of Jeff Green, who scored only 4 points last night against the Houston Rockets after scoring 2 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

That’s not exactly the type of production we were hoping to get out of Jeff Green this season.

The Celtics got absolutely lit up by the Rockets last night, to the tune of an 18-40 first quarter deficit.  Houston hit 16 of the 20 shots they took in the first quarter, and were 5-7 from downtown.  Those numbers seem to imply that Boston didn’t D-up during the first 12 minutes, but that just isn’t the case: the Rockets simply shot the lights out, and never looked back.  Boston cannot afford to hang their heads following such a loss; sometimes, good teams fire on all cylinders, and when that happens, you simply tip your hat and get back to work.

The Celtics definitely have their work cut out for them tonight, but the keys to staying in this game are actually to continue doing some of the things the Cs did last night:

Create turnovers while minimizing their own: Boston caused Houston to commits 20 TOs last night, to Boston’s 12.  Boston also stole the ball 10 times.

Contest shots: Boston has to keep believing that getting a hand in the Spurs’ faces will actually work tonight, despite the fact that the Rockets could have shots with shovels in their faces last night, apparently.

Nov 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Avery Bradley (0) gets a rebound during the first quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Hit the glass: Boston was only out-rebounded last night by a 48-43 margin.  Since the Cs lack a dominant big man, rebounding will have to be done by committee, with every one chipping in.

Stealing tonight’s game would go a long way toward helping this team feel like it compete against anyone in the NBA.  It won’t be easy, we can dream, can’t we?

Tonight’s game kicks off at 8:30 p.m.  Follow us on Twitter @HoudiniCeltics throughout the game, and check back in later tonight for my thoughts!

Topics: Boston Celtics

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