Scouting Report: Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are experiencing the definition of a roller coaster season. After starting the season 0-4, new head coach Brad Stevens and his revamped roster won four straight, including a thrilling last-second win in Miami, to get to .500. Since then, Boston has lost six straight against a brutal schedule and comes into Atlanta with a record of 4-10.
The Celtics have five players averaging double figures, led by the physical Jeff Green. Green is a playmaker who can shoot or get to the rim, so there’s no easy way to defend him. He’s shooting 40 percent from three, though Boston as a team is third worst in the NBA at just 32 percent. Closeouts will be important, but it’s better to let the Celtics beat you from the perimeter.
The Celtics are also in the bottom five in the NBA in rebounding. The Hawks have given up a lot of offensive rebounds this season, so tonight will be a good opportunity to get that corrected against a team that doesn’t crash the glass well. Kelly Olynyk was injured last night and his status for tonight is unknown, so that will only hurt Boston’s interior game more if he can’t go.
Lastly, Boston is last in the league with just 17 assists per game. They’re a very slow-moving team in the halfcourt, so Atlanta will have to be aware of the dribble-drive, as guards like Jordan Crawford and Avery Bradley are looking to shoot first.
The Hawks have improved greatly on defense over the past four games, and hopefully they can keep it going against a Celtics team that has struggled to score during their losing streak.
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