This is the second pre-season game for both teams. The Celtics They won their first game 134-93 over the same Hornets in Boston. Then the Celtics lost on Wednesday to the Raptors while the Hornets lost 122-97 to Pacers Wednesday. These two teams met 116 times in the regular season with Boston leading the series 71-45. Charlotte won 43 games last season and finished 10th in a row while the Celtics won 51 games and finished second in the East.
I thought both teams would go with the same starters and limit the minutes. Both coaches will likely know what they have up front and may want to give camp some extra time to play. Gary Washburn from The Globe tweeted That all the first unit players were on the field doing well after the shoot was over and none of them were expected to play in this game, so who knows who will start.
The Celtics will once again miss Robert Williams, who is recovering from recent surgery to clean up some damage to his knee. They will also be without Danilo Galinari, who tore his ACL while playing for the Italian national team. Luke Kornet missed the first two games which is questionable for this game. Blake Griffin was not signed in time for the first game and he didn’t play in the second game. He is expected to play in this game, maybe about 10-12 minutes.
For the Hornets, Cody Martin will likely come out with left hamstring inflammation. Dennis Smith missed Wednesday’s match for personal reasons and is expected to miss this match as well. Gordon Hayward was scratched late in Sunday’s game with a knee injury and missed Wednesday’s game and is doubtful for this game. Xavier Sneed was signed Thursday to an Exhibit 10 contract and may or may not be available for this game.
Possible appetizer Celtics
PG: Marcus Smart
Secretary General: Derek White
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jason Tatum
J.D. Davison (2 way)
Mfiondu Kabengele (2 ways)
out / injuries
Exit Danilo Galinari (ACL)
Luke Kornet (Ankle) Day by Day
Robert Williams III (knee) outside
Blake Griffin (conditioning) possible
Maybe hornets appetizers
PG: LaMelo . ball
Secretary-General: Terry Roser
SF: Kelly Ober Jr.
PF: PJ Washington
A: Mason Plumley
Bryce McGuinz (two-way)
LiAngelo . ball
Injuries / Exit
Cody Martin (knee) out
Dennis Smith Jr. (personal) outside
Gordon Hayward (knee) outside
Xavier Snead (conditioning) questionable
Derek White vs Terry Roser
Former Celtic Terry Roser always takes games against the Celtics very seriously and approaches them with a chip on his shoulder. Last season, he averaged 19.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He shot 44.4% from the field and 37.4% from outside the arc. He probably matches Derek White, who is very capable of limiting Rosiere’s record.
Marcus Smart vs. Lamelo Bull
The player of the previous year, LaMelo Ball, played very well last season. He averaged 20.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 1.6 assists per game. He shot 42.9% from the field and 38.9% from outside the arc. Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart will do his best to slow the ball down in this game.
Jason Tatum vs BJ Washington
With the Celtics playing on a small scale, Tatum will likely meet Washington in strength forward. Last season, Washington averaged 10.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Tatum has started a bit slow in the first two games so far, moving 10-27 (37%) from the field and 2-15 (13%) from outside the arc in the two games so far. We hope he gets back on the right track in this game.
defense Defense is always the key to winning matches. The Celtics were the top defensive team last season and they have players to be an outstanding defensive team this season as well. The Hornets finished 28th in points allowed in the race last season but Steve Clifford has vowed to change that this season. The Celtics’ players started rotating where they left off last season, playing solid defense in their first two games. They need to keep that focus on defense in this game.
recovery – Second for defense is recoil. Lots of recoil is effort and hustle. The Celtics need to smash the boards as a team and fight for every bounce. The Celtics must defeat the Hornets for the Bounces to give themselves additional possessions and to keep the Hornets from getting the same. The Celtics scored 50.5 rebounds in their first two games while the Hornets scored 46 rebounds in their first two games.
be aggressive The Celtics have to work hard through the advice and promise that the teams will not outsmart them. The Celtics have a lot of talent, but talent without effort won’t win games. The Celtics should be more aggressive on the boards, in defense, when going for loose balls and they should be aggressive going into the basket. They can’t let the Hornets play harder than them. The Hornets will likely be looking to avenge their loss to the Celtics on Sunday and the Celtics should be ready to do their best in this.
take care of the ball In pre-season we often see teams making a lot of shifts because of trying to solve problems and getting used to playing with each other. The Celtics managed the ball more than 23 times on Sunday and they should do much better in this game. They have to work to limit these shifts. If the Celtics can take care of the ball and limit spins, they have a good chance of winning in this game.
Pre-season It’s still pre-season and both teams are still working on lineups, chemistry and conditioning. We may see limited starter minutes as well as some creative formations as both coaches look to assess camp players as Mazzola did on Wednesday against the Raptors. Basketball might not be so pretty if the bench players again get plenty of playing time.
On the road The Celtics play their first pre-season game on the road. The key starting and reserve players should be as good on the road as everyone was there before and played very well on the road last season. Younger players often struggle on the road and so we may see some younger players struggle more than usual. Also, officials tend to favor the home team, so the Celtics might not get many positive calls on this call.