The 10-10 Boston Celtics finish off a three game road trip with a matchup against another underperforming team stuck in a similar situation, the 10-10 New Orleans Pelicans. Before everyone clamors to the trade machine about a potential AD deal, it is worth a read of this article and this article.
New Orleans has been very impressive at home in the Smoothie King Center (8-1) as perennial 1st team All-NBA candidate Anthony Davis is putting up staggering numbers once again this season. The Pelicans have gotten some solid performances from forward pairing Nikola Mirotic and summer FA signing Julius Randle to start the season, as they are averaging 19 and 18 points apiece. Ever reliable two-way point guard Jrue Holiday is having another solid year posting 20 ppg and 9.2 apg in a fast-paced, up and down style of play. Alvin Gentry’s team currently lie 4th in league-wide offensive rating at 112.8, however the Pelicans are prone to give up easy points in transition and defensively, they are among the worst in the league.
After logging a win and a loss on this recent road trip, the Celtics come into NOLA knowing they let a very winnable game slip away late against the Dallas Mavericks. J.J. Barea and his pick and roll play destroyed the Celtics late in the game as it seems to be the same lapses occurring late in games. The head scratching performances of this team have been highlighted by a “lack of toughness”, and inconsistent individual performances. People around the league have rightfully begun to acknowledge the underperforming Celtics. Defensively we are starting to see a clearer pattern of this team emerge and as NBC Boston’s Chris Forsberg outlines:
Celtics defensive rating by quarter (league rank):— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) November 26, 2018
1st: 95.1 (1st)
2nd: 105.8 (6th)
3rd: 104.2 (11th)
4th: 106.4 (10th)
Celtics def rating by half:
1st: 100.4 (2nd)⁰2nd: 105.3 (11th)
⚠️Celtics defensive rating in clutch time (+/- 5 points, last 5 min) ⚠️ ⁰
Jaylen Brown will sit out tonight with lower back soreness after he suffered in a heavy fall in Dallas, while Gordon Hayward will return to the squad after missing a single game with ankle soreness. Expect Brad Stevens to change up his starting five once more as injuries have forced multiple changes on this road trip.
- Anthony Davis will play
- Marcus Smart to start in place of JB
PG - Kyrie Irving – Jrue Holiday
SG - Marcus Smart – E’Twaun Moore
SF - Jayson Tatum – Wesley Johnson
PF - Marcus Morris – Nikola Mirotic
C – Al Horford – Anthony Davis
Boston – Jaylen Brown (Out- Lower Back);
New Orleans – Anthony Davis (Questionable- Hip)
How to Watch
Time – 8:00 PM EST
TV – NBC Sports Boston