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Celtics look for first preseason win as they take on the Hornets

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The Celtics and Hornets face off with both teams looking for their first preseason win.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

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Boston Celtics (0-0) at Charlotte Hornets (0-0)
Thursday, October 6, 2016
7:30 PM ET
Preseason Game #2
TV: CSN-NE
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub
Greensboro Colliseum, Greensboro, NC
Referees: David Guthrie, Ben Taylor, Zach Zarba


The Celtics and Hornets are both looking for their first preseason win. The Hornets lost to the Mavericks 95-88 in their first preseason game on Monday. The Celtics lost to the Sixers 92-89 in their first preseason action on Tuesday. The Celtics will face the Hornets once again on Saturday at the Mohecan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Kemba Walker is expected to return for the Hornets after missing time with a knee injury. He returned to full practice on Saturday and is expected to play in this game. Ramon Sessions started their first game and would probably start this game if Kemba has a setback. Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) and Gerald Green are both expected to miss this game for the Celtics.

The Celtics starters got off to a fast start against the Sixers and looked very good but the reserves couldn't keep the lead and struggled on both ends of the court. Brad Stevens has said that the score doesn't matter as long as the Celtics improve with each game. Hopefully both units can put it together for a complete game in this one.




Possible Starters

PG: Isaiah Thomas 4
SG: Avery Bradley 0
SF: Jae Crowder 99
PF: Al Horford 42
C: Amir Johnson 90

Probable Reserves
Ben Bentil 50
Jaylen Brown 7
Marcus Georges-Hunt 45
RJ Hunter 28
Demetrius Jackson 9
Jonas Jerebko 8
Jalen Jones 52
Damion Lee 56
Jordan Mickey 55
Terry Rozier 12
Marcus Smart 36
James Young 13
Tyler Zeller 44

Injuries

Gerald Green (hip flexor) out
Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) out

Head Coach: Brad Stevens




Possible Starters

PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Nicolas Batum
SF: Michael Kidd Gilchrist
PF: Marvin Williams
C: Roy Hibbert

Probable Reserves
Ramon Sessions
Frank Kaminsky
Spencer Hawes
Marco Belinelli
Andrew Andrews
Jeremy Lamb
Aaron Harrison
Christian Wood
Rasheed Sulaimon
Perry Ellis
Treveon Graham

Injuries
Brian Roberts (hamstring) day to day
Mike Tobey (hamstring) questionable
Cody Zeller (knee) day to day

Head Coach
Steve Clifford

Key Matchups
vs
Isaiah Thomas vs Kemba Walker
Walker is coming back from a knee injury that kept him out of the first game and will be looking to get back on track and lead his team to a win. Isaiah will be ready to give him a challenge and loves to compete against other top PG's in the league.

vs
Amir Johnson vs Roy Hibbert
Johnson will be challenged by the 7'2" Hibbert but his quickness and toughness should give him an advantage against the somewhat soft Hibbert.

Keys to the Game
Something in Reserve - The Celtics starters played like a well oiled machine on Tuesday, but the reserves struggled to hit their shots and also struggled on defense. They need to play more as a unit and step up their game on both ends of the floor.

On the Rebound - The Celtics can't score if they don't have the ball. They were out-rebounded 46-42 by the Sixers and need to put more effort into crashing the boards.

Be Offensive - The Celtics shot just 40% from the field and 27% from beyond the arc. They simply must shoot better than that if they want to get a win in this game.

Be On the Defense
- Defense wins games. The Celtics have the players to be a top defensive team and they have to put it all together and defend as a team.

X Factors
Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, and Jaylen Brown - These three players have to find their offense and develop chemistry. If they do, look out!