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San Antonio Spurs vs Boston Celtics

Effectively, that is undoubtedly a type of video games the place you would like you can flip off the “Harm” setting. Tonight had the potential to be a marquee match up between two of the NBA’s finest squads. Because it stands, the Spurs might want to muster up a stronger efficiency than what we’ve seen these days in the event that they’re to cease their dropping skid.
After a heartbreaking begin to the season, it seems the tides are starting to show for the Celtics. They’ve received 4 in a row, and appear to be a deep, formidable group helmed by one of the vital revered coaches within the league. Whereas this streak might solely function one spectacular victory, a 96-89 stunner in Milwaukee, there’s motive to assume they'll replicate their success shifting ahead.

San Antonio Spurs (Four-2) vs. Boston Celtics (Four-2)

October 30, 2017 | 7:30 pm ET

Spurs accidents: Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps), Tony Parker (quadriceps), Joffrey Lauvergne(ankle)
Celtics accidents: Gordon Hayward (ankle), Marcus Morris (knee)

Boston’s protection is stellar

After dropping two key defenders (Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder) within the off season, Boston ought to have anticipated a precipitous decline of their protection. It’s not like their protection was all that nice final 12 months, both; they posted the 13th defensive ranking within the league and “held” opponents to a gaudy 105.Four ppg. And but, right here we're, with the Celtics presently positioned second in defensive ranking whereas permitting solely 90 ppg over their successful streak. How has Brad Stevensmanaged this one?
Effectively first off, the roster is totally totally different. The one gamers remaining from final 12 months’s group are Marcus Good, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier. FOUR PLAYERS! For perspective, the Spurs misplaced three gamers this off season, none of which have been key rotation gamers. Boston’s roster turnover has fully reworked their defensive chemistry.
Kyrie Irving – or somewhat the lack of Isaiah Thomas – has actually helped. Irving doesn't have the repute of a defensive stopper, nor ought to he, and Stevens has just about mentioned so himself. However as lackluster as Kyrie’s protection could also be, it's a dramatic enchancment over Thomas and his profession 111 defensive ranking.
Additionally, the Bradley and Crowder departures and Hayward harm have given Marcus Good, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier pictures at main roles. Up to now, they've stepped as much as the duty. This pesky quartet has given opposing guards suits and brought a number of the defensive strain off of Irving.
Sudden contributions have additionally come from rookie swingman Semi Ojeleye. Six video games into the season, this 12 months’s 37th choose has been tasked with defending some fairly large names.
He has impressed to datesignificantly in some key minutes towards Giannis in Milwaukee.
All of that is to say that Boston has a powerful defensive core. I haven’t even talked about the contributions from Al Horford and Aron Baynes, however you get the concept. Nevertheless, you will get as many defensive stops as you need, however if you happen to can not produce on the opposite finish of the ground, don’t anticipate a lot within the postseason. This brings me to my biggest concern about Boston:

The Celtics lack playmaking

Sure, I do know they've Kyrie Irving, one of many league’s most dynamic scorers, however their offense has not seemed nice and is beneath league common in a number of metrics. Whereas this may very well be excused as a result of they haven’t performed a lot collectively, I simply don’t know what the Celtics’ secondary choice is when good groups can toss a defender or two Irving’s approach.
Standard knowledge would level to Horford as the only option. The attention check says that he doesn’t actually match that mould. The numbers agree – 76% of his made area targets final 12 months have been assisted, indicating that he's an important match with a playmaker, however can not do a lot on his personal.
The place can we go from there? No less than one in all Good, Brown, Rozier and Taytum can be a dominant playmaker ahead of later, however they don’t seem like fully reliable choices for now. Boston has the star playmaker and the important thing position gamers, however they nonetheless want that closing piece to place all of it collectively. Gordon Hayward would have match there properly.
Matchup to look at: Dejounte Murray vs. the Celtics protection. After a powerful begin to the season, Murray has tempered expectations with some dud performances. The Celtics are going to be his most troublesome check but. Boston can throw a number of totally different choices Murray’s approach, so it’ll be attention-grabbing to see how he’ll adapt. If he can’t, this may very well be a protracted evening.

Vegas line: Celtics by 2.
Recreation prediction: Spurs by Four.
For the Celtic followers' perspective, go to Celtics Weblog.
As all the time Tony should dominate Fisher.
As all the time, PtR's Gamethread can be up this night for many who wish to chat by means of the sport. However if you happen to're not capable of log in right here, you possibly can strive the Fanvana app which helps join sports activities followers and was created by a fellow Spurs fan. Try the free app on iOS or Androidto find different Spurs followers and be part of the reside chatter for tonight's recreation. You possibly can comply with PtR's tweet stream immediately on Fanvana as the sport unfolds.
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