HOW TO WATCH
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts.
Time: 7:30 p.m. (EST)
Channel(s): Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
After losing a tight one to the Milwaukee Bucks Charlotte turns their sights towards the struggling Boston Celtics who are injured, and on a three-game losing streak. This is a pivotal matchup for both teams as this game has real seeding implications as we wind down on the last stretch of the regular season.
The Boston Celtics will be without starting PG Kemba Walker tonight, who is dealing with a left oblique strain. Starting Center for Boston; Robert Williams is also still listed as questionable with knee soreness. The big question is star forward Jayson Tatum’s status who missed the Celtics last game with an ankle injury.
Charlotte has been playing good basketball as of late and has managed to win two of the last three games and keep themselves in the playoff conversation. The Hornets shooting from the perimeter, in particular, has been taken up another notch and the defense has been more consistent quarter to quarter.
The last time these two teams matched up the Hornets completely out-classed Boston in every phase of the game in a 21-point route in Charlotte. More than just the incredible three-point shooting the Hornets did a great job defending and forcing Boston to take some tough and ill-advised shots. With Boston missing some key starters look for Charlotte’s defense to continue forcing them into tough situations.
Keys To The Game
The Celtics are allowing nearly 40% shooting from the perimeter and rank 19th in opponent three-point shooting percentage. Charlotte shouldn’t shy away from shooting the ball the same way they did against the Celtics in the last meetup. Boston’s defense struggles with close-outs and rotating on defense, if the Hornets continue to move the ball and trust their reads, they’ll find good shots in this one.
Pack The Paint
The Hornets did a fantastic job keeping Boston’s playmakers away from the rim in the last meetup and made the Celtic’s offense one-dimensional for the majority of the game. Boston’s offense is a head-scratcher this year, a complete philosophy change for a team that routinely is one of the top teams in the league in points scored in the paint.
Boston has now embraced becoming a three-point shooting team with no real consistent three-point shooters. This works in Charlotte’s favor as all of these missed bad shots that Boston puts up from deep are just as good turnovers. Charlotte just has to keep the ball pressure and effort high and force Boston into bad shot selections.