December 21, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Milwaukee Bucks power forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (12) is fouled by Boston Celtics center Jason Collins (98) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston Celtics will have their home opening game tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks. Both teams are coming into the TD garden off of a loss. The Bucks lost to the New York Knicks after clawing back from a huge deficit, and the Celtics were taken care of on the defensive end by the Toronto Raptors.
The Cetlics are looking to open up the home part of their season with a win tonight. To do that, though, there are some things that they need to look out for. This quirky Bucks roster isn’t the most menacing thing, but if the Celtics aren’t careful they could come out of Boston with a win tonight.
Three Keys to Winning
Below are the three things that the Celtics need to do in order to win tonight’s game. The Celtics have to make sure that they are careful because this Bucks team can sneak up on you and snatch a win right out of your hands. If they look past them, even for a second, they risk the chance of losing.
Get the ball in Jeff Green’s hands
The Celtics are going to need to get the ball into Jeff Green’s hands and let him score. He isn’t the best creator, so there will be a challenge presented to the Celtics when he’s denied of the ball. But if they can get it to him while he’s slashing, he can do some damage.
Green scored 25 points on only 16 shots last game. He was consistent in attacking the rim against the Raptors. He took 10 shots within five feet of the rim and five shots outside of that area. He did most of his damage there, scoring 10 points and he also got to the foul line nine times.
He was also able to hit two shots from beyond the arch as well. So if Green can give the Celtics a similar offensive effort tonight, they should be able to come out with the win.
Close out on the three
This Milwaukee Bucks team can be dangerous on the oustide. They’ve got a plethora of shooters on their roster–even with Brandon Knight and Luke Ridnour absent.
They only shot 5-16 from deep in their last game, but O.J Mayo missed all three of his attempts. That isn’t something that is likely to keep happening–he shot 40% from deep last season. Illyasova also didn’t take one three in the game, so if he gets the opportunity we should expect more from him as well.
This team is built off of three point shooting and Larry Sanders protecting the paint while cleaning up the glass on both ends. The Celtics have to be careful not to let them get great looks from deep or the game could get ugly very quickly.
Get back on defense; protect from transition
The Bucks don’t really have a guard who is able to get into the lane at will. Gary Neal will be starting at point guard tonight with Knight and Ridnour both out. They’re going to look to push the ball more to create easy scoring opportunities and three point shots.
The Celtics are going to have to get back on defense, find a man and protect the rim. If they don’t then they’re as good as toast. This is probably the most essential aspect of the game because the Celtics can lock down the Bucks in the half court, but if they allow this to become an up and down game the Bucks will have the upper hand.
Overall, the Celtics should win this game. These are two bad teams that are about to go at it, but the Celtics have the upper hand in terms of roster talent. The Bucks are short-handed at the guard positions and they are coming off of a demoralizing loss against the Knicks. The Celtics have too many reasons to come out with a victory in this one.