The Boston Celtics are hoping that the confines of home will help them get off to a better start tonight in game three of this First Round series against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks have gotten off to quick starts as evidenced by the 55-26 disparity in the opening quarters of their first two games. Head Coach Brad Stevens is still pondering a lineup change for game three.
“We’ve got to be better at the start, but at the same time it’s not going to be just about the first six minutes,” said Stevens. “We’ve got to play well throughout the whole 48. [The Hawks are] playing at a really good level that we’re playing against. They’re a really good team. And so we have to play well.”
The Celtics center Kelly Olynyk as well as Avery Bradley are still listed as day to day and without them, the offense has had difficulty in stretching out the Hawks defense.
Point Guard Avery Bradley matched his season high in points with 27 last night as the Boston Celtics defeated the Denver Nuggets 111-103 at TD Garden. The win was the fourth straight for the Celtics who last lost to the Toronto Raptors on January 20th.
“We have a lot of room to improve, but when we turn it up and we’re in the right position, we can be a good defensive team,” Celtics Coach Brad Stevens said. “If we don’t guard, we won’t win. That’s a part of us playing well.”
The Nuggets tried to claw their way back into the game but Boston forced 15 turnovers to thwart any kind of comeback and have lost four out of their last five games.
The Boston Celtics have been running through a rough patch and hope to end their three game skid after losing to the Grizzlies Sunday. Before the getting a win against the Nets last Monday, the Celtics last won against the Knicks at home. Only difference is that the Knicks are now on a roll of their own winning five of their last seven games.
“Every spectacular play we have, we just gain energy from that on the defensive end and we’re able to play better, more together as a team on the defensive end, just because we have that energy from that highlight or whatever happened,” Kinicks center Kristaps Porzingis said.
The Celtics players have kept their optimisim up as noted by Guard Avery Bradley.
“I’m pretty sure everyone’s frustrated,” Bradley told reporters in Memphis after the Celtics gave away a 21-point second-half advantage in a 101-98 loss to the Grizzlies. “We just need to move on. We can’t hang our heads. We know we haven’t been playing well. We just need to rally together and get a win.”