An early bump in the road already has some asking questions about this team’s future success. The Celtics lost to the Magic Monday night in Boston with the whole team shooting ice cold most of the contest. The team now heads to Oklahoma City to face off against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. It is important to remember that there is a long season ahead of us, and the Celtics have the talent to figure everything out. Sit back, relax, and let Captain Stevens correct the course.
This Thunder team will be a great test for the Celtics as they are one of the Western Conference teams who are a tricky matchup for the C’s. However, this season as anything but ideal for OKC starting out 0-3 with losses to the Warriors, Clippers, and Kings. The team and home crowd will be feisty for a win in this one, too.
Everyone knows about Paul George and Russell Westbrook those two are the faces of this franchise, but the real test for Boston will be containing Steven Adams on the boards. Adams has always had dominant games against the Celtics and their lack of size down low. He is one of those bully-ball kind of centers who will force his way to any rebound with a high likelihood of an offensive board. In the first three games this season, Adams is averaging 14.7 points and 14.3 rebounds per game. Without Aron Baynes playing in this game, it will be all hands on deck to battle for boards down low.
For the Celtics, it will be more of the same, hoping that the offense starts gelling and everyone flips the switch. The Thunder have the type of offense where if you can’t keep up with the scoring, they will leave you in the dust. Outside of Paul George, OKC does not have many defensive threats to slow Boston down on offense. This can be a great opportunity to get the offense going.
The only injury for the Celtics will be Aron Baynes tonight. He is still day-to-day with a hamstring issue after leaving last weekend’s matchup against the Knicks in the second quarter. The Thunder have a game time decision to make with Alex Abrines. He is also day-to-day dealing with an eye injury.
The starters will be the same from Monday night in Boston. This lineup should cause trouble for the Thunder who will have their normal five out there if Abrines is healthy to play. As mentioned, look for Marcus Morris to come in to get solid minutes to combat the presence of Steven Adams in the post. Hopefully Horford will have success drawing him out as much as possible playing around the arc. Both teams need this win to build some confidence early on.
PG - Kyrie Irving – Russell Westbrook
SG - Jaylen Brown – Alex Abrines
SF - Gordon Hayward – Paul George
PF - Jayson Tatum – Patrick Patterson
C - Al Horford – Steven Adams
Boston: Aron Baynes (Hamstring); Jabari Bird (Personal)
Oklahoma City: Alex Abrines (Eye)
How to Watch
Time - 8:00 PM EST
TV - TNT