Boston Celtics (5-4) at New Orleans Pelicans (1-9)
Monday, November 14, 2016
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #10 – Road Game #6
TV: CSN-NE, FSNO, NBA-LP 756(DTV)/756(Xfinity)
Radio: WZLX 100.7, WRNO 99.5
Smoothie King Center
Referees: John Goble, Marat Kogut, Leon Wood
The Celtics complete their 2 game road trip with their only visit to the Smoothie King Center to face the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans are 0-5 on their home court with their only win coming on the road at Milwaukee. These two teams will meet again on January 7 in Boston.
The Pelicans have been hard hit by injuries with Jrue Holiday out for personal reasons and Tyreke Evans and Quincy Pondexter out with knee injuries. Cheick Diallo is on assignment with their D-League affiliate.
Anthony Davis took a hard fall on Friday in the Pelican's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. When he left the court he was holding his lower back. It's possible that his back was sore already from carrying the entire team so far this season. They may choose to play it safe and sit him for this game or if he does play, he may not be 100%.
Isaiah Thomas sprained his left index finger in the Celtics win over the Pacers and his status is unknown for this game. He played with it through the Pacers game. Xrays were negative but it affects his shooting so whether he plays and how effective he is we don't know. Al Horford traveled with the team on this trip but he didn't play in Indiana and hopes to play in this game. He will be a game time decision. Jae Crowder is expected to miss this game.
Al Horford (concussion) possible
Jae Crowder (ankle) out
Demetrius Jackson (Red Claws) out
Jrue Holiday (personal) out
Cheick Diallo (D-League) out
Tyreke Evans (knee) out
Quincy Pondexter (knee) out
Anthony Davis (back) questionable
Kelly Olynyk vs Anthony Davis
Davis is dominant and is averaging 31.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 3.0 blocks per game. Kelly has been playing very well since his return from the shoulder surgery that kept him out of the first 7 games but guarding Davis is a tall order for anyone. As I mentioned above, he took a hard fall in the last game so he may or may not play and if he plays, he may not be 100%.
Isaiah Thomas vs Tim Frazier
Tim Frazier played for the Celtics in training camp and then for the Red Claws before he was called up to play in the NBA. He is off to a strong start this season, averaging 11.5 points, 8.1 assists, and 3.5 rebounds. Isaiah's finger may affect his shooting in this game so we may see more of Terry Rozier at the point.
Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense will always be the key to winning. The Celtics have got to play tough defense and get stops if they want to win this game. The Pelicans average 101.3 points and allow 109.5 points. The Celtics showed signs of getting back to their gritty play in the past two games and hopefully they will continue in this game. The Celtics have to play strong defense from start to finish.
Rebound - The Celtics have to crash the boards as a team. Rebounding takes effort and the Celtics have to show that effort on the boards. When they put that extra effort out to dominate the boards, it often translates to all other areas of the game as well.
Be Aggressive - The Celtics have got to be aggressive in going to the basket, playing defense, diving for loose balls and just playing harder. Their effort and aggressiveness can make them very tough to beat.
Injuries - The Celtics will still miss Jae Crowde. Isaiah Thomas will be less than 100%, as will Al Horford if he plays. The Pelicans will be missing several players themselves and if Davis plays, he won't be 100%. So the team that can overcome their injuries the best will get the win.
On the Road - The Celtics are playing their second straight game on the road and need to focus on the game and block out the opposing crowd. They have to have extra focus and energy to make up for the home court factor, including home cooking from the refs.
The Celtics complete their 2 game road trip with their only visit to the Smoothie King Center to face the New Orleans Pelicans.