at New Orleans Pelicans (14-14) at Boston Celtics (15-10)
Monday, December 10, 2018
7:30 PM EST
Regular Season Game #26 – Home Game #11
TV: NBA-TV, NBCSB, FSNO
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub , WRNO 99.5
TD GardenProbable Starters Point Guard
Marcus Smart Shooting Guard
Jayson TatumPower Forward
Daniel Theis Celtics Reserves
Gordon Hayward (doubtful)
Al Horford (doubtful)
Guerschon YabuseleTwo Way Players
P. J. Dozier Head Coach
Brad Stevens Probable Starters
Tim Frazier Shooting Guard
Jrue Holiday Small Forward
Solomon HillPower Forward
Anthony Davis Pelicans Reserves
Anthony Davis (questionable)2 Way Players
Trevon BluiettHead Coach
Alvin Gentry Game Notes
The Celtics put their 5 game winning streak on the line tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans at TD Garden. The Celtics have finally gotten on track and now look like the Boston Celtics team we all expected them to be. Over the 5 game winning streak the Celtics have won the games by an astonishing 28.6 points a game, including a franchise record 56 point win against Chicago Saturday night. New Orleans come into the game going 4-4 since they lost to the Celtics in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. The Pelicans will be playing the second game of an on the road back to back. They won last night in Detroit 116-108 led by Jrue Holiday's 37 points.
Alvin Gentry has been dealing with some injuries and poor play from a number of the Pelicans, so has been playing around with his starting lineup since last the Celtics saw New Orleans. Julius Randle replaced Nikola Mirotic at PF in the starting lineup 4 games ago and has been nothing less than outstanding putting up 29.5 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 3.3 APG while shooting 60% from the field and 50% from three. Old friend, E'Twaun Moore, has been replaced by Solomon Hill in the starting five for the Pels with mixed results. And tonight, Anthony Davis is questionable due to suffering a hip injury last night that limited The Brow to just 6 points. Of course, if Davis is healthy, it will be up to the Celtics to attempt to shut down the All-NBA center who has dominated the league with 27/12/5 numbers with 1.5 steals and a league leading 3 blocks per game. And Boston will also need to find a way to shut down, much like they did in their first meeting, Jrue Holiday who has played tremendous all year scoring over 20 points a game while dishing out 8.9 assists per, good for third best in the league.
For the Celtics to pull out the victory they will need to start on the defensive end because the Pelicans put up the 2nd most points per game and have the third best offense in the league. Alvin Gentry has his team playing at one of the fastest paces and compliments that with excellent offensive rebounding, scoring efficiently and sharing the ball. As good as the Pels offense is, their defense may be just as bad. The give up 115.6 points per game good for 3rd worst in the league. This is most likely because New Orleans gives up some of the most points in the paint, give up a lot of threes and their opponents hit those threes at a high percentage. The Pelicans also foul a lot and so, give up a lot of points at the free throw line.
Normally, Brad Stevens would most likely have his team play very similarly to their win against New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, however, the injury bug has hit the Celtics hard. Aron Baynes, Kyrie Irving, Guerschon Yabusele have all been ruled out for tonight's game and Al Horford and Gordon Hayward are doubtful and could easily miss tonight's game as well. Daniel Theis will man the middle and hopefully has as good a game as he did against Chicago when he went for 22 points 10 rebounds and 5 assists. I have put Jaylen Brown into the starting lineup to replace Kyrie Irving due to the fact that if Hayward is out, the Celtics will need Terry Rozier to handle the ball with the second unit. Boston will need big games from Marcus Morris and the Jays for them to pull out the win. Luckily all three have been playing stellar ball over the last 6 games or so. Robert Williams was recalled from Maine and I would expect a lot of fans will be happy, as Williams could play some extended minutes tonight.
It's going to be tough to pull out a win tonight if they are down 5 players(I am not counting Jabari Bird), but Boston has played inspired ball up and down the lineup over the last 5 games. Let's hope they can overcome and get victory number 6 in a row.