The Boston Celtics come back home after a five game road trip to take on the Sacramento Kings. These two teams played earlier this season. In fact, they played only eight days ago. The Kings came away with a 100-99 victory after a last second Marcus Smart floater bounced off the front rim and out. The loss snapped a Celtics 10 game winning streak. The two teams are back tonight facing off in the T.D. Garden. So, here are a few things to look at during the game.
Kemba Walker’s Status
By now we’ve all seen what happened Friday night. Kemba Walker took a nasty spill and ended up being taken out on a stretcher. All of Celtics nation was relieved to hear that the injury was only a sprained neck. I don’t think Kemba plays tonight. He shouldn’t either. It’s too soon to bring him back after a fall like that. Then again, it is the NBA and they have the best doctors/treatments in the world. If Kemba feels he is 100% ready to go, then good for the Celtics. But if there is any doubt about his ability to perform it might be good to sit him out for this one. I think we all can agree that we’d rather have Kemba ready for the Brooklyn home and home series than for this game tonight. We’ll see what happens!
Containing Buddy Hield
When the Celtics played the Kings eight days ago Buddy Hield was a problem. He ended up with 35 points and hit some big shots down the stretch. Hield can be a problem when he gets going offensively. What is the simple solution to slowing down Hield? Have Marcus Smart guard him the whole game. We all know how great Smart is on the defensive end of the floor. It makes too much sense to have Marcus staying on Hield for the entire game. Don’t worry about the Harrison Barnes and Bogdan Bogdanovics’ of the world! Contain Hield and the Celtics will be in good shape.
Production From The Bigs
This was going to be the Celtics big problem all season. Where will they get production from the frontcourt? Enes Kanter so far has not been as advertised. Granted, he was out for about seven games with a left knee contusion. But now he’s getting stable minutes and needs to start showing us his low post moves that made him effective in Oklahoma City, New York, and Portland. Robert Williams is another question mark. Yes, he is a defensive and blocking presence. But when will the offensive side show up? Great, you can put home an alley-oop. Can you attack the basket effectively? Can you develop a 5-10 foot jump shot? These are questions that Robert Williams needs to answer. If you get good production from the bigs it will only help the Celtics chances of winning more.
This is a game the Celtics need to win. You’re at home against a sub .500 Kings team. Sure, Kemba and Hayward might not be playing. But you still have a ton of weapons to help beat this Kings team. Win tonight, sweep Brooklyn and end November with some momentum. Kemba should be back soon and Gordon Hayward is back around Christmas. Until then, hold your head up above water, starting with a win tonight!