The 10-2 Boston Celtics will be taking on the 7-4 Phoenix Suns on Monday night as part of their back-to-back games on the road. How will the C’s match up against the Suns?
The Boston Celtics have started off their west-coast road trip with two games that went down to the wire against the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. The Celtics will need to quickly turn things around, as they play the Phoenix Suns tonight.
During their last two games, Boston started off slowly. By starting in this fashion, the Celtics are doing just enough to get by and come out with victories. The C’s defeated the Warriors by five points, and took a dramatic one point loss to the Kings.
In the first two games of this road trip, Kemba Walker is shooting 35% percent on 11-31 from the field. Walker has also only connected on 3-15 of his three-point shot attempts. Most of the shots the All-Star has taken have been important and the C’s are going to need those to drop to win games.
Marcus Smart didn’t have the best offensive performance on Sunday afternoon against the Kings. the 25-year-old went 2-16 shooting from the field for five points, and missed the game-winning floater, which would have given the Celtics the lead with just a second or two left.
The Celtics have been lucky so far this season with the offensive success of their defensive juggernaut. It’s known — and obvious — that the Celtics shouldn’t be relying on the offensive powers of Marcus Smart. I think the C’s got a little too comfortable with his offensive production to start the season.
The loss of Gordon Hayward is starting to affect the production of the bench. The forward is the starter when he’s healthy and active, thus sliding Smart into the sixth-man role. But sometimes Smart does get the start and Gordon comes off the bench. Either way, the Celtics have lost one of those guys who would be running the floor for the second unit.
The bench has surprisingly been inconsistent thus far through the season for the green-and-white. Between Grant Williams and Carsen Edwards, I think we thought there would be more scoring opportunities on their behalf. If the second unit for the Celtics could be more consistent at getting points, the C’s would be in a much better position to take control.
The Phoenix Suns are an impressive team who can score the ball and earn points at any time during the game. If the Celtics start off slowly against the Suns, it’s going to be a very challenging game of catch-up. Phoenix is impressively getting production from everyone on their roster.
The Celtics and Suns should be a great match up. The C’s are averaging 115.1 points per game (45.3 FG%), with the NBA’s second best record of 10-2. With a 7-4 record, the Suns are averaging 117.6 points (47.5% FG%) and 28.8 assists per game this season.
The Boston Celtics will have to watch out for Ricky Rubio and not only his ‘Houdini’ like passes — see what I did there? — , but he can score the ball very efficiently as well. Another player having a great year is a familiar face to Boston fans, Aaron Baynes.
We all saw first-hand when Baynes was in Boston that he is a great shooter. The big-man is averaging 15 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season. Baynes is also shooting a very impressive 46.8% from behind the arc.
I think a major Key to the game will be to lock-down Devin Booker, who always seems to have some of his best games against the Boston Celtics. Sometimes the Celtics over compensate on defense (more so around the perimeter), but for the most part they should defend the Suns pretty well.