The Boston Celtics return home tonight in desperate need of a little home town cookin’.
Their dinner date? The 10-1 Indiana Pacers, who are tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA.
Wednesday night, Boston finished off a three-game road trip in which they lost each contest by double digits. The Celtics have failed to reach the century mark since beating the Orlando Magic back on November 11th, but have allowed four consecutive opponents to top 100 points. It should be noted that Boston has not allowed five straight opponents to score 100+ points in a game since April of 2010.
It should also be noted that the previous statistic doesn’t mean bumpkus tonight.
Despite the Celtics’ current five-game losing streak, the Cs came to play the other night against the Spurs, fighting them to a draw in the first half and actually taking a lead in the third quarter before the Spurs dismantled Boston with some precision passing and timely 3-point shooting. Celtics coach Brad Stevens had this to say about his team’s effort:
“The team that played tonight could be a really fun group to build with. I think that’s what you take from here. We talked about this early in the year. There’s going to be nights where we measure progress a little bit differently.”
Boston got solid contributions out of Jared Sullinger (who has been the Celtics’ best player as of late), Jeff Green, and Avery Bradley, each of whom scored 19 points. Those three players will once again determine whether or not the Celtics can hand Indiana only its second loss of the year tonight.
On the Pacers’ side of things, Boston will have to find a way to do what no team in the NBA has been able to do so far this season: stop Paul George. George is getting his to the tune of 24.4 points per contest, fifth-best in the NBA. I look for Avery Bradley to hound George all night long.
Meanwhile, the Celtics will have to also find a way to crack Indiana’s stingy D: the Pacers hold teams to a paltry 87.5 points per game. So, the Celtics are letting opponents crack 100, while the Pacers keep teams to under 90. Something’s gotta give tonight – let’s hope Stevens did his homework and has the Cs ready to reverse some trends!
Tonight’s game tips off at 7:30 p.m.
Make sure you follow me on Twitter throughout the game – @HoudiniCeltics – and come back later tonight for my take on the action! Thanks for the read!