Boston Celtics (27-12) at San Antonio Spurs (13-26) Sport #40 1/7/23


The Celtics attain the tip of their 4 recreation Western highway journey with a go to to the San Antonio Spurs. The Celtics misplaced the primary two video games on their highway journey to the Denver Nuggets, who’re first within the West, and to the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, who’re thirteenth within the West. The Celtics then defeated the Dallas Mavericks, ending their 7 recreation win streak. That is the primary of two conferences between these two groups this season. They are going to play once more in Boston on March 26.

The Celtics are 1st within the East, 1 recreation forward of the 2nd place Brooklyn Nets and a couple of video games forward of the third place Milwaukee Bucks, who misplaced by 29 factors to the Hornets on Friday. The Celtics are 12-7 on the highway and 5-5 of their final 10 video games. They received their final recreation after dropping the primary two video games on the highway journey. They’re 12-4 towards Western Convention opponents.

The Spurs are 14th within the Western Convention. They’re 4 video games behind thirteenth place Oklahoma Cityand 2.5 video games forward of the final place Houston Rockets. They’re 8-13 at residence and 3-7 of their final 10 video games. That they had misplaced 3 straight video games earlier than beating the Pistons on Friday. They’re 8-6 towards Jap Convention opponents.

The Spurs are enjoying on the second evening of again to again video games. They confronted the Detroit Pistons at residence on Wednesday. They’re 1-6 on within the second of again to again video games. The Celtics misplaced the sequence 0-2 final season. They’re 43-56 general all time towards the Spurs and 21-28 in video games performed in San Antonio. The final time they performed in San Antoinio, Derrick White was the Spurs beginning taking pictures guard.

The Celtics have simply Danilo Gallinari on the harm listing as he rehabs from the torn ACL he suffered within the off season. The Spurs had simply Devin Vassell on their harm listing on Friday however have added Jakob Poeltl with an Achilles harm and Keldon Johnson with a hamstring harm. Going by their depth chart I’ll guess that Zach Collins begins for Poeltl and Doug McDermott begins for Johnson.

Possible Celtics Starters

PG: Marcus Good
SG: Derrick White
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Al Horford

Celtics Reserves
Malcolm Brogdon
Grant Williams
Robert Williams III
Sam Hauser
Payton Pritchard
Blake Griffin
Justin Jackson
Luke Kornet

2 Approach Gamers
JD Davison
Mfiondu Kabengele

Danilo Gallinari (ACL) out

Head Coach (Interim)
Joe Mazzulla

Possible Spurs Starters

PG: Tre Jones
SG: Romeo Langford
SF: Doug McDermott
PF: Jeremy Sochan
C: Zach Collins

Spurs Reserves
Keita Bates-Diop
Malaki Branham
Stanley Johnson
Josh Richardson
Isaiah Roby
Blake Wesley

Two Approach Gamers
Dominick Barlow
Charles Bassey

Devin Vassell (knee) out
Jakob Poeltl (Achilles) out
Keldon Johnson (hamstring) out

Head Coach
Gregg Popovich

Key Matchups

Derrick White vs Romeo Langford
When these two groups final met in San Antonio, Derrick White began at taking pictures guard and Romeo Langford was a Celtic. Everyone knows that when gamers face their former groups they in some way turn out to be tremendous stars. Langford is averaging 6.9 factors, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.0 assists. He’s taking pictures 49.6% from the sector and 27.3% from past the arc. The Celtics have to be prepared for his finest shot.

Marcus Good vs Tre Jones
Jones is averaging 12.8 factors, 3.6 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.4 steals per recreation. He’s taking pictures 43.8% from the sector and however simply 27.6% from past the arc. The Celtics have to protect him for the go in addition to the shot and likewise watch out round him as a result of he’s a menace to make a steal.

Honorable Point out
Al Horford vs Zach Collins
It’s only a guess that Collins will get the beginning rather than Poeltl. Collins is averaging 9.2 factors, 5.5 rebounds, and a couple of.4 assists. He’s taking pictures 55.7% from the sector and 38.6% from past the arc. The Celtics want to stick with him particularly within the paint to stop rebounds and put backs.

Keys to the Sport
Protection – Protection is a very powerful key to profitable video games. The Celtics have strayed from their defensive identification of final season however they’ve proven glimpses of returning to that protection at occasions this season. The Celtics are seventh with a defensive ranking of 111.1 whereas the Spurs are thirtieth with a defensive ranking of 119.2. The Celtics must particularly defend within the paint because the Spurs are eighth with 53.9 factors within the paint per recreation. The Celtics have to make protection a precedence and play robust staff protection in each recreation and never let up.

Rebound – The Celtics can’t rating in the event that they don’t have the ball, and they’re going to battle if they provide up second probability factors to the Spurs, who’re sixth within the league with 15.9 second probability factors per recreation. The Celtics are averaging 43.9 rebounds per recreation whereas the Spurs are averaging 42.6 rebounds per recreation. Rebounding takes effort and when the Celtics put forth the additional effort on the boards, that tends to unfold to different areas of the sport as nicely.

Be Aggressive – The Celtics have to play laborious and be the extra aggressive staff. They must go after rebounds, free balls, and 50/50 balls. They must be aggressive on protection and in attending to the basket. They must be the staff that works more durable and needs it extra. They’ve allowed groups just like the Magic and Thunder to play more durable than them and misplaced to groups they need to have simply beat. They need to not make that mistake once more.

Play the Proper Approach – The Celtics want to maneuver the ball to seek out the very best shot. After they play hero ball and don’t preserve the ball transferring, the Celtics are straightforward to beat. However, once they preserve the ball transferring and transfer with out the ball, they’re very robust to beat. They should give attention to enjoying protection and having every others backs. They should crash the boards and field out. They should give attention to taking and making good pictures. If the three’s aren’t falling, take the ball to the basket. Play with focus and with vitality.

Don’t Underestimate – The Celtics have confronted a number of of the underside groups and misplaced to them as a result of they got here out and performed with little or no effort, anticipating a straightforward win, however as an alternative obtained the very best shot from a younger staff. They’ve misplaced to the Magic twice, the Pacers, and the SGA-less Thunder, all of whom they need to have crushed. The Spurs are a backside staff and likewise lacking three of their high gamers. The Celtics can’t loosen up as they did earlier than the Thunder recreation or they are going to as soon as once more endure a loss in a recreation they need to simply win with somewhat effort.

Highway Sport – The Celtics are enjoying on the highway as soon as once more. Journey and staying in resorts could be a distraction and may also take a toll on gamers. Enjoying in entrance of a hostile crowd may also be a distraction, particularly for youthful gamers. The Celtics must put all of these distractions apart and give attention to enjoying their recreation. The final recreation of a highway journey is all the time a troublesome one.

Teaching – Gregg Popovich is taken into account by most to be the most effective coaches within the league. Joe Mazzulla has been a university assistant coach for 7 years and spent 1 yr as an assistant with the Pink Claws and three years as an assistant with the Celtics. That is his first yr as a head coach. Ime Udoka misplaced each video games to the Spurs final season. Can Joe Mazzulla do higher this season? Matchups and training technique chould come into play on this recreation.

Officiating – Officiating is all the time an X-Issue. Each crew officiates otherwise and groups want to regulate to the best way the sport is known as. Will they name the sport evenly or favor the house staff? Will they name it tight or allow them to play? Hopefully we get honest officiating they usually allow them to play and the Celtics give attention to enjoying the fitting manner and never get distracted by the dangerous calls and no calls.



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