Taylor’s Tickets to Triumph: Celtics – Thunder


After shedding to the Denver Nuggets on January 1, the Boston Celtics shall be out to regain some momentum after they face the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder on Tuesday night time. Nevertheless, the Thunder are most likely the worst staff to face when chasing a victory as a result of, regardless of their youthful expertise, they by no means know when to stop, and so they by no means shrink back from a battle.

Nonetheless, the Celtics constructed their popularity on their willingness to win gritty, or no less than they did final season. Ideally, the Thunder will carry that very same battle out in them on Tuesday and set off a brand new chain of occasions that sees the Celtics return to the combatively stringent opponent they have been en path to the NBA Finals final season.

After all, discovering a approach to mix this season’s offense with final season’s protection can be one of the best of each worlds and will surely assist re-establish the Celtics because the staff to beat within the NBA. However, in all truthfully, I’d accept a easy victory over the Thunder, to get issues again on observe. With that being stated, let’s check out 3 methods the Celtics can place themselves for fulfillment.

Funnel them towards the rim

Minnesota Timberwolves v Boston Celtics

Photograph by Brian Babineau/NBAE by way of Getty Photos

Oklahoma ranks third within the NBA for proportion of photographs on the rim, with 38.7% of their offense coming inside 4 ft of the basket; nonetheless, they’re changing their makes an attempt at a tempo that places them dead-last within the league. If the Celtics wish to management the glass and dictate the tempo of Tuesday’s sport, discovering methods to funnel the Thunder towards the rim must be excessive on their agenda.

By permitting the Thunder to stay with their rim-pressure sport plan, the Celtics shall be guaranteeing there are many rebounds accessible, permitting them to get out in transition and into their early-offensive units. Moreover, the Thunder are solely twenty third within the league for fulfillment on putbacks, that means they’re not doing an ideal job of following up their misses with some dependable second-chance offense.

Get slumping stars again on observe

Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets

Photograph by Matthew Stockman/Getty Photos

Malcolm Brogdon is in a 5-game hunch. Sam Hauser has been off the boil because the begin of December. Derrick White’s sizzling taking pictures has cooled off considerably. A number of Boston’s position gamers have discovered issues laborious over the previous 4-to-6 weeks, and it’s proven in how the Celtics have stuttered via video games at instances.

Anticipating the entire Celtics’ slumping gamers to snap out of their funk in the identical sport is unrealistic, but when Brogdon can discover his rhythm in opposition to a staff who at present occupy the thirteenth spot within the Western Convention, then that may be an enormous step towards regaining the fear-factor Boston’s second unit has operated with to start the season.

After all, if Hauser instantly goes for 18 from the sector, then that may put the icing on the cake. However beggars can’t be choosers, and proper now, I’m begging for Brogdon to come back again to actuality.

Don’t take the bait

Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets

Photograph by Bart Younger/NBAE by way of Getty Photos

The Thunder are very inviting with regards to attacking their rim — in actual fact, they’re twenty seventh within the league for shot frequency inside their restricted space. Nevertheless, that’s how the Thunder fools you. They depart the door open after which wait to finish their sting operation.

You see, Oklahoma would possibly permit a ton of photographs round their basket, however they rank fifth within the NBA for rim protection, limiting their opponents to only 63.6% inside 4 ft of their basket. As an alternative, the Celtics want to stay to their ordinary sport plan of producing high-quality photographs from the perimeter and punishing any missteps the protection has when navigating the barrage of screens Boston will ship their method.

Closing Ideas

There’s no disgrace in dropping a sport to the Nuggets on their residence court docket; they’re the most effective groups within the league and are enjoying with a chip on their shoulder. Nevertheless, the Celtics can’t afford to slip into one other shedding streak so quickly after snapping out of their final one. As such, Tuesday’s sport in opposition to Oklahoma has come on the good time, assuming Boston can overcome their combative nature.

It could be good to spend tomorrow speaking a couple of Celtics victory, however it will be even sweeter if Brogdon was a driving pressure. As such, I’ll be cheering for 2 issues from the Celtics when this contest will get underway.



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