The match-up we’ve been waiting patiently for is finally here. The two hottest teams in the NBA this year are ready to square off at the beloved TD Garden. The Celtics are riding a 13-game winning streak after losing their first two bouts of the year. They’re the best defensive team in basketball, and that has been the formula to winning games. Golden State is on a 7-game winning streak, with the highest scoring offense in the NBA (duh) which is what is leading to their success, not only this season, but the previous two as well. This will be the biggest test for both teams this year so far, and there’s no doubt in my mind that…the Celtics continue the streak tonight and take down the Golden State Snakes, I mean Warriors. Sorrey!
Defense Defense Defense
When facing a team like Golden State, there are too many weapons on offense to just focus on shutting down one player. We’ve seen almost every Celtics player make a huge stride in their defensive skills such as Kyrie, Horford, and Brown. The Celtics have the guard defense (even without Bradley) to give Thompson and Curry fits. Jaylen is a bigger guard that can move extremely well for his size and will be giving Thompson the clamps all game. If Golden State has trouble getting Klay going, they could be in some trouble.
Marcus Smart is Curry’s worst nightmare. He’s just an absolute pest on defense, and if he can get into Curry’s head early and take him out of the game, the Celtics can easily turn the momentum to Kyrie being the one that shows up Curry. The tape shows that Curry struggles defensively against Irving, and Irving struggles against Curry. However, Kyrie has stepped up his defensive game with more effort, speed, and toughness. I’m curious to see if he can continue his string of success against the best 3-point shooter in NBA History.
Al Horford has become a beast on the defensive end, and I just don’t see Draymond Green having an impact on this game, at least not as much as he’s had in the past few games. Horford completely took care of Porzingis earlier in the season, and Zingy is the hottest player in the NBA currently. Draymond isn’t going to give anything up against Horford, but Al doesn’t need to score in order to have a huge impact on the game. I believe he will do that defensively and limit the capabilities of Draymond.
Both teams are currently in the top 10 for rebounds with the C’s being fourth and GS being sixth. The rebounding numbers are shocking Celtics fans around the world, including myself. I never thought this team would rebound the ball this well to start the season, and if they continue this trend, they are going to be the favorites to win on a nightly basis. Last year, they were 22nd in rebounding and still split the season series against GS, who finished third in rebounding last year. In order for the Celtics to gain control of the game, they need to rebound the ball well on both sides of the ball. The second chance points need to be high in order to compete against such a talented offensive team that runs the floor so well in transition.
Throughout this streak, the Celtics haven’t had Hayward at all, as well as having Kyrie and Horford miss games. They’ve still found a way to win despite being down men. They’ve came back from a 17-point deficit (twice!) in order to keep the streak alive. This Celtics team has no quit in them at all, and if GS keeps them in the game in the fourth quarter, the Celtics are going to give them a run for their money. Golden State has to come out hot and play their game or the Celtics will just keep fighting and fighting until the Warriors can’t stop the green. If GS gets put into a hole early, they’re in a situation they’re not used to, and it’ll be tough for them to crawl out.
Young Guns Bring the Energy
This crowd tonight is going to be nuts. The game has a playoff feel to it even though we are in November. The Celtics young guns are going to bring the energy and set the tone for the game. If the young guys such as Tatum, Brown, Smart, and Rozier start off hot and set the tempo early, the crowd will be behind them and give Boston the advantage just like the Warriors have at Oracle. I want to see the emotion pouring out of their skulls. I want them to treat this game like Game 7 of the Finals.
Cut the Grass
Kevin Durant is the best scorer in the NBA. I don’t know if there is, or ever will be, a way to limit his offensive skill, but Jayson Tatum is going to cut the grass tonight. Tatum has this fire in him that burns when he sees snakes in the building. Tatum is going to step up huge and show Durant how a man his size works in the post. He should be taking KD to the block all game and forcing him to work on the defensive end. Tatum has surprised me with his defensive skill, and he’ll have his hands full with Durant. I expect him to take the challenge and succeed in helping the Celtics shut down the mighty Warriors.
Is it 8 PM Yet?
No. Unfortunately. But soon!
Thank you for reading!