As a new feature suggested by one of our faithful CelticsBlog readers, we’re debuting 3 Questions. 3 Questions will look at three things we are watching for that night’s game. Then, when the Takeaways post the next day, we’ll address those three questions and more!
Without further ado, here’s 3 Questions: Celtics at Clippers!
1. How do Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown match up with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George?
Tatum and Brown are regularly compared to Leonard and George, as they are all wing leaders for hopeful title contenders. With Marcus Smart still out of the lineup, expect to see these four checking each other with some regularity throughout the game.
Tatum and Brown went head-to-head with LeBron James and Anthony Davis last weekend, and the young Celtics duo outplayed their veteran counterparts. If they can do that here, and get some help from their teammates, Boston could come away with a victory.
2. What’s going on with the big rotation?
Brad Stevens has spoke often about having three bigs he wants to find minutes for in Daniel Theis, Tristan Thompson and Robert Williams. It’s probably fair to put Grant Williams in this mix as well, as he’s far more of a big than a wing. That’s four guys to play roughly 60-70ish minutes. Boston tend to play with only big a lot , even though they’ve opened each half with a two-big lineup for most games.
Last time out, Thompson had his best game in green. Because Robert Williams was playing well, his stint ran longer. Then Daniel Theis closed out the game, and Grant Williams was in there too, kind of in a bigger Marcus Smart role. That left Thompson on the bench during crunch time. Stevens has to figure out better balance, especially when one guy is playing really well. Thompson deserved more time against the Kings, even if meant someone else had to sit or two bigs had to close the game.
3. What does the guard group look like behind Kemba Walker?
Walker should be back tonight after sitting out the second game of the back-to-back on Wednesday. Payton Pritchard was upgraded to questionable, with some thoughts he’d make his return tonight. Let’s be optimistic and hope that both are able to go. Walker is good for around 30 minutes now. That leaves 18 minutes behind him, plus maybe some together, given Marcus Smart is out.
The thought here is that all of those remaining minutes should go to Pritchard. If there is foul trouble, then Jeff Teague can see a few minutes. Beyond that, Teague could probably use a night off. It would be a great chance for him to clear his head. That worked wonders for Grant Williams a couple of weeks ago.
What are you looking at in tonight’s game? Do you like this new feature? We’ll still run the standard game preview/game thread. This is just an additional spot to talk about that day’s game. Let us know what you think in the comments!