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HomeBasketballPreview Boston Celtics (12-4) at Atlanta Hawks (8-7) Recreation #16 11/25/23

Preview Boston Celtics (12-4) at Atlanta Hawks (8-7) Recreation #16 11/25/23


The Celtics are again in motion taking over the Atlanta Hawks at present. That is the primary of three conferences between the 2 sides. The final time they squared off in Georgia was Recreation 6 within the first spherical of the playoffs the place the C’s superior, beating the hosts 128-120.

Atlanta is coming off the primary sport of a back-to-back after beating the Washington Wizards final night time 136-108.

Boston is trying to get again on observe after shedding their In-Season Match match with the Orlando Magic (113-96). Not solely did Boston lose its final sport, however they’ve dropped two of their final three video games.

Kristaps Porzingis left the sport with a calf damage on Friday and had an MRI to find out the severity. In keeping with his Instagram, it’s not as unhealthy as initially feared:

Though it seems to be like Porzingis prevented a serious damage, he’ll miss at present’s sport. The Celtics recalled rookie Jordan Walsh from Maine to fill the additional bench spot with KP out.

Walsh is off to a superb begin with the Maine Celtics. In six video games, the rookie is averaging 15 factors, 6 rebounds, and a pair of.3 assists.

With the Latvian out, the C’s can flip to Ol’ Dependable in Al Horford. Horford has been nice this season, particularly when he’s needed to begin for Porzingis.

Persevering with with accidents, Jrue Vacation sat out in opposition to the Magic and is questionable for at present with a proper ankle sprain he suffered on Wednesday in opposition to the Bucks.

For Atlanta, Jalen Johnson left yesterday’s sport with a wrist damage and didn’t return. If Johnson can’t go, that could be a massive miss for Atlanta. The ahead is averaging 14.1 factors and seven.3 rebounds. The Hawks are additionally with out Mouhamed Gueye (again) and Kobe Bufkin (thumb).

Atlanta at present sits eighth within the convention and are having blended outcomes, though they’re at present on a two-game successful streak.

Matchups to look at

Trae Younger and Dejounte Murray in opposition to Boston’s guards. Ideally, Boston may have their defensive duo of Derrick White and Jrue Vacation.

Younger is averaging 26 factors and 10.6 assists this season. The previous Oklahoma Sooner is in a wealthy vein of kind over the past three video games, averaging 35.7 factors whereas capturing 52.3% from the sector and 56.3% from deep.

Along with the red-hot scoring stretch, Younger has made 5 or extra threes in every of these three video games whereas meting out 9 assists.

Murray alternatively is capturing the very best he’s had in his profession. Getting into Saturday, Murray was averaging 21.6 factors whereas capturing 47.5% from the sector and a career-best 41% from three.

White and Vacation may have their fingers full as Younger is a risk from anyplace on the courtroom, whereas Murray is a inventive scorer and may get to his spots. If Vacation doesn’t go well with up for the matchup, I anticipate Jaylen Brown to begin on Murray. Brown has his defensive lapses at occasions, but when he’s the first defender he must be up for the problem.

Keys to the sport

Restrict Trae Younger: With the run he’s on, he’ll be feeling himself tonight, and the C’s should all the time know the place he’s on the courtroom. As a lot as Bogdan Bogdanovic, Murray, and De’Andre Hunter can damage groups, Trae will get everybody going. Restrict him and Boston has a superb probability of successful.

Don’t fiddle within the fourth quarter: Within the final three video games, Boston both let groups again in (Charlotte and Milwaukee) or there was a run within the sport that took all momentum out and wobbled the C’s (17-0 run in opposition to the Magic).

At present, if Boston has a lead halfway by means of the fourth quarter, I’d wish to see them shut it out and never have a nervy end just like the prior video games. It’s nice that the Celtics can blow out groups, nevertheless it’s necessary for them to additionally work out tips on how to put video games away within the fourth quarter earlier than it will get to crunch time.

Rebounding: Possibly as a result of all of my coaches rising up all the time emphasised the significance of successful the rebound battle, it’s ingrained in me that grabbing extra rebounds will provide you with a greater probability of successful. With no KP, everybody should be lively on the glass particularly since Clint Capela (9.9 boards per sport) remains to be one of many higher rebounders within the sport.

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