at Boston Celtics (45-31) at Brooklyn Nets (38-37)
Saturday, March 30, 2019
6:00 pm ET
Game #77, Road Game #38
TV: NBCSB, YES, NBA-LP 752(DTV)/753(xfinity)
98,5 The Sports Hub, WCBS 880 AM
Barclays Center Probable Starting Matchups
Terry Rozier vs D'Angelo Russell
Marcus Smart vs Joe HarrisSmall Forward
Jayson Tatum vs DeMarre Carroll Power Forward
Marcus Morris vs Rodions KurucsCenter
Aron Baynes vs Jarrett Allen Celtics Reserves
Greg Monroe Injuries
Kyrie Irving (rest) out
Al Horford (rest) out
Jayson Tatum (illness) questionable Two Way Players
Brad StevensNets Reserves
Allen Crabbe (knee) out Two Way Players
Alan WilliamsHead Coach
Kenny Atkinson Game Notes
The Celtics are coming off a big win over the Indiana Pacers and now travel to Brooklyn to take on the Nets for the fourth and final meeting between these two division rivals in regular season. The Celtics lead the series 2-1, winning in Bostoon 112-104, and 116-95 and losing in Brooklyn 102-109.
The Celtics are playing on the second night of back to back games. This is their final back to back set of the season. The Celtics are 5-7 on the second night of back to back games and 2-2 when those games are home/road. Brooklyn should be rested as they last played on Thursday.
The Celtics are now in 4th place in the East. They are tied with Indiana but own the tie breaker. They are 3.5 games behind Philadelphia. The Celtics are 18-19 on the road and have won two straight games. The Nets are in 7th place, half a game behind Detroit and half a game ahead of Miami. They are 21-16 at home and have lost their last 2 games. Both teams are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
The Celtics went from having no one out to having Kyrie and Horford out for rest and Jayson Tatum questionable with an injury. For the Nets, Allen Crabbe is out with a knee injury. It's pretty certain that Terry Rozier will start at the point, and I'm guessing that Marcus Morris will return to the starting power forward spot. If Tatum can't play, either Brown or Hayward will likely start in his place.
The Celtics have clawed their way back to the 4th seed and home court in the first round. But this game is just as important as the Pacers game was to keep that 4th seed. The Nets are fighting to stay in the playoffs and so they are going to play hard and the Celtics have to match that. The Pacers are also playing back to back games and will host the Magic, who are also hungry and fighting to stay in the playoffs. A loss for the Celtics and a Pacers win will put the Celtics back one game for that 4th spot again and so they must take this game very seriously, even if they are short handed. Key Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs D'Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell is averaging 20.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 7.0 assists on the season.
Terry Rozier has done well to fill in for Kyrie when he is out and hopefully will do that in this game as well. Slowing Russell will be important to getting a win.
Marcus Smart vs Joe Harris
Harris is averaging 13.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. Harris is the reigning 3 point contest champion and is shooing an impressive 61.6% from the field and 46.6 % from beyond the arc. The Celtics should not leave him open under any circumstances. Honorable Mention
Jaylen Brown vs Spencer Dinwiddie
For the second game in a row one of the key matchups is on the bench. Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging 17.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists off the bench. He is shooting 44.9% from the field and 35.7% from beyond the arc. Keys to the Game Defense
- Defense wins games. The Celtics have let their defense slip a bit in recent games but they are at least talking about ways to get back to their defensive mindset. Their defense will be tested once again against the Nets, who are averaging 112.7 points per game. In order to win they are going to have to make defense their priority and slow down the Nets' offense. The Celtics especially need to guard the 3 point line as the Nets attempt 35.7 pointers per game and make 12.6 per game. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics need to be the more aggressive team in going after loose balls, rebounds, 50/50 balls, and in going to the basket. They also have to be aggressive on defense. They have to be the team that wants it more and they have to play that way for 48 minutes. They can't let themselves play with less than 100% effort because they are playing the Nets because the Nets always play hard themselves. Rebound
- The Celtics need the ball in order to score. They need to rebound on the offensive end to give themselves extra possessions and to keep the Nets from getting fast break points. They also need to rebound on the defensive end to keep the Nets from getting second chance points. The Celtics are averaging 44.6 rebounds per game compared to 46.2 for the Nets. Much of rebounding is in their effort and the Celtics need to give extra effort on the boards as a team in order to beat the Nets to the rebounds.
Play the Right Way
- The Celtics need to play as a team. They need to share the ball and make the extra pass to find the open man. They have to have each others' backs on defense and they have to play with energy. They have to play 48 minutes and not lose focus. Bench Play
- The Nets bench has outscored their opponents a league leading 61 times. They are averaging 47.5 points per game. The Celtics' bench play takes a hit with 2 and possibly 3 starters out and so the rest of the players have to pick it up and play extra hard to make up for being short handed. The Nets bench will come out and play hard and the Celtics bench must match that. X-Factors Road Game
- The Celtics are playing on the road where at times they have struggled. They have to focus on playing the game and playing as a team and not let the frustrations and distractions of playing on the road get in their way. Back to Back
- The Celtics are playing on the second night of back to back games and had a tough game against the Pacers go down to the wire on Friday night. Will the Celtics lose steam down the stretch or will they play hard from start to finish to try to keep the 4th seed now that they have it?Next Man Up
- The Celtics are going to be short handed with both Al Horford and Kyrie Irving resting and possibly without Jayson Tatum as well. In the past, the Celtics have given extra effort and the next man up has come through for the team. They need to do that in this very important game to keep the 4th seed.