Author Topic: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20  (Read 4926 times)

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Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« on: July 18, 2020, 06:49:37 PM »

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  vs 
Boston Celtics vs Oklahoma City Thunder
Friday, July 24, 2020
5:00 PM ET
Scrimmage #1
TV: NBCSB, NBA-TV (replay also on NBA-TV at 9:30 pm ET)
Visa Athletic Center




Probable Starters

PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Gordon Hayward
PF: Jayson Tatum
C:  Daniel Theis

Celtics Reserves

Romeo Langford
Javonte Green
Semi Ojeleye
Brad Wanamaker
Grant Williams
Robert Williams
Enes Kanter
Vincent Poirier
Carsen Edwards
Tacko Fall

Injuries
Kemba Walker (knee) doubtful
Tremont Waters (concussion) questionable)

Head Coach
Brad Stevens


Probable Starters

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Luguentz Dort
SF: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
PF: Danilo Gallinari
C:  Steven Adams

Thunder Reserves

Darius Bazley
Deonte Burton
Hamidou Diallo
Terrance Ferguson
Devon Hall
Mike Muscala
Abdel Nader
Nerlens Noel
Dennis Schroder

Injury List
Isaiah Roby (foot) out
Andre Roberson (knee)  probable
Nerlens Noel (ankle) questionable

Head Coach
Billy Donovan

Game Notes
The Celtics open their play in the bubble with a scrimmage against the Oklahoma City Thunder.  This is the first game for both teams.  These two teams met twice before the hiatus with the teams playing pretty much even. The Celtics are the only team with 5 players in ESPN's Bubble top 50 while the Thunder is one of 4 teams with 4 players in the top 50. 

The Celtics are 3rd in the East with a record of 43-21 while the Thunder are 5th in the West with a record of 40-24.   The NBA determined that the Thunder lineup of Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and Steven Adams was the best in the league (minimum of 100 minutes) was the best in the league prior to the hiatus. 

They played in Oklahoma City on February 9 where the Celtics beat the Thunder 112-111.  Marcus Smart stole the ball with 5.8 seconds remaining to preserve the 1 point win.  They faced off again in Boston on March 8 where the Thunder beat the Celtics 105-104.  Dennis Schroder hit a layup with 8 seconds remaining to put the Thunder ahead and Jayson Tatum missed a fadeaway jumper with 1 second remaining giving the Thunder the win.

The NBA will be changing some of the rules for the scrimmages, the most notable will be that they will play 4 ten minute quarters rather than the normal 12 minute quarters.   We may also see more than the normal 3 referees on the court, but that was just being discussed and hasn't been decided as yet. 

Just as in the regular preseason, the lineups may be fluid as coaches seek to get all of their players some court time.  Brad Stevens said on Tuesday that Kemba is unlikely to play in this scrimmage and that the starters will play short stints.  The reserves have gotten very high praise for their play so far in practices and it will be interesting to see their progress as they play vs another team.  I'm going to guess that Smart will get the start but we may see Carsen Edwards or Brad Wanamaker in the starting lineup instead. 

Andre Roberson has not played since January 2018 when he injured his knee but has been practicing with the team and will probably play in the restart but whether he plays in this game or starts will remain to be seen. Isaiah Roby is out with a foot injury.  Nerlens Noel suffered a minor ankle injury on Saturday and is questionable at this point. 

Key Matchups
vs
Kemba Walker vs Chris Paul
Chris Paul's veteran leadership is one of the reasons for the Thunder's surprise success this season.  He is averaging 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds,  6.8 assists per game.  He is always a threat to score both in the paint and on the perimeter.  The Celtics have been taking it slow with Kemba and so we may see Marcus Smart playing more at the point. 

vs
Gordon Hayward vs Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Gilgeous-Alexander is another reason for the success of the Thunder.  He is averaging 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists.   He had 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in the first game between these two teams but missed their second meeting.  Hayward will need to stay with him to keep him from having a big game in this one.

Honorable Mention
Jayson Tatum vs Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari is playing well for the Thunder.  He had 24 points and 5 rebounds in the February 9th game between these two teams and 18 points and 6 rebounds in their second meeting.  He is averaging 19.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists.  He is shooting 44.1% from the field and 41.2% from beyond the arc.  Of all the Thunder, he is the one who is most likely to get hot from the perimeter.  Jayson has been playing very well for the Celtics and in addition to his offense,  the Celtics will need him to play tough defense on Gallinari. 

Player to Watch
Dennis Schroder
Schroder comes off the bench and often plays down the stretch for the Thunder.  He had 27 points, 6 assists and 2 steals in the March 8 game, including the game winner.   He is averaging 19.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists.  He is shooting 46.8% from the field and 38.1% from beyond the arc.  The Celtics need to defend him well as he can take over a game when he comes in.   

Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense is always a key to winning.  The Celtics will need to defend the perimeter as well as the inside because the Thunder have players who can score both inside and out.  The Thunder tend to take care of the ball and turn it over only 13.5 times per game (6th).   The Celtics are 4th with a defensive rating of 106.2 while the Thunder are 9th with a defensive rating of 108.4.  The Thunder may get a boost on the defensive end if Andre Roberson can come back to play anywhere near where he was before the injuries. 

Rebound - Rebounding  is also an important key to winning.  Much of rebounding is desire and effort and the Celtics have to put in the extra effort to grab rebounds.  The Thunder average 42.7 rebounds per game while the Celtics average 46.0 rebounds per game.   It will be important for the Celtics to win the rebounding battle if they want to beat the Thunder. 

Bench Play -  During the season before the hiatus, we would often see the Celtics starters get off to a big lead only to see the lead disappear when the reserves would come in.   The Thunder has a strong bench that averages 55 points per game, led by 19 points from Dennis Schroder.   Celtics' reserves have reportedly shown great progress so far in Orlando so it will be interesting to see how they look in actual competition. 

X-Factors
Scrimmage - With this being a scrimmage that doesn't count in the standings, the lineups and rotations may be a bit odd with coaches trying to give every player minutes and experiment with lineups. 

No fans - It's going to be interesting to see how teams react to not having fans in the stands.   There is no home court advantage and no cheering fans to affect the referees or either team.  There's no telling which teams this will affect more. 

Rust
- All of the teams will be a bit rusty after not playing since March.  Some teams may shake off the rust quicker than others but we may see both teams being very rusty in this first play against an opposing team in 4 months. 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 06:09:48 PM by FLCeltsFan »

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2020, 07:02:01 PM »

Offline liam

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AWESOME!

TP FLCeltsFan for coming back strong!

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2020, 07:02:57 PM »

Offline saltlover

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Thanks for the game thread FLC!  Canít wait for basketball to come back!

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2020, 07:14:01 PM »

Offline RodyTur10

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TP! We have been waiting a long time for another game thread.
Go Celtics!
Rationalism over beliefs

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2020, 07:23:47 PM »

Online FLCeltsFan

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TP to liam, saltlover, and RodyTur10 for being the first 3 to post in the game thread!!! 

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Bubble Celtics!!!

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2020, 07:24:50 PM »

Online FLCeltsFan

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I know the game thread is up a week early,  but I'm so excited I just couldn't wait a week to post it  :)   

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2020, 07:32:29 PM »

Offline gouki88

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Man, I have missed these (and you FL!)

Hope all is well on your end, GOOOOO CELTICS!

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2020, 07:33:14 PM »

Offline Ogaju

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TP FLCF FOR A GREAT GAME THREAD.

GO CELTICS!

BEAT THE THUNDER.

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2020, 07:45:13 PM »

Offline Silas

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Go Cs!  It's been a long wait, and a TP  to FLCF for a great game thread.
I'm very busy doing nothing of substance!

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2020, 08:43:53 PM »

Online mobilija

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Wooooooooot!
CELTICS BASKETBALL!!!!
Thank you FlCelt!
Missed this...thank you....bubble donít burst...

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2020, 11:22:36 PM »

Offline slamtheking

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TP FL for the most anticipated thread we've had here in months!!

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2020, 11:51:17 PM »

Offline blink

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thanks FLCF for the thread!  TP!  I really needed this one.
So glad to talk about basketball. 

I wonder if ESPN or NBATV will be televising this as well??

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2020, 05:50:23 AM »

Offline makaveli

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can't wait...

what gives me hope that this whole bubble thing works out is the football premier league that worked out just fine, without any players being infected, games cancelled etc, and they've done it without a bubble.
what doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2020, 06:14:05 AM »

Offline RodyTur10

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can't wait...

what gives me hope that this whole bubble thing works out is the football premier league that worked out just fine, without any players being infected, games cancelled etc, and they've done it without a bubble.

Within two months here in the Netherlands audiences are back allowed in the stadiums at sports games. Don't want to start a new discussion about corona, but it's a shame that there won't be any crowds during this season ending. It's not the same without a pumped up stadium.
Rationalism over beliefs

Re: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder Scrimmage #1 7/24/20
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2020, 08:01:57 AM »

Online Surferdad

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I'll probably watch, but frankly I've lost my appetite for basketball. This is a practice game leading into a ridiculous re-start of a season that is over.  Heck, Jayson Tatum has already said he would rather be with his son and I don't blame him.  Are the players motivated?  Some are sitting it out.  The whole thing is phony and not really that interesting, Mr. Silver.