The Boston Celtics are currently sitting at the four seed in the Eastern Conference. They are 17-7 after coming off tough back to back losses to the Pacers on the road and 76ers at home. The Celtics are off until Wednesday, giving them a nice five day break before having to go to Dallas to take on the Mavericks. While we're at it, let's take a look at the week ahead for our beloved Boston Celtics.
Wednesday Dec. 18th @ Mavericks
Wednesday night features a pit stop in Dallas to take on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. The only thing about this game is that it looks like Doncic will be sitting out.
Doncic rolled his ankle in a recent home game against the Miami Heat. It's been reported that he will be out until at least Wednesday, and potentially longer. We hate to see great players like Doncic go down, and we wish him a speedy return. But as far as Wednesday goes, that is a HUGE break for the Celtics. Sure, the Mavericks also have Kristaps Porzingis. But one player is not going to beat you now a days in the NBA. Ask Nikola Jokic what happened in Boston when he was basically the Nuggets' whole offense. The Celtics will need to find a way to neutralize Porzingis. Otherwise, who is going to beat you on this Mavericks team? Courtney Lee? Tim Hardaway Jr.? It would be ridiculous for the Celtics to lose this game without Doncic. Then again, crazier stuff has happened!
Friday Dec. 20th vs. Pistons
The Celtics then return home on December 20th in a matchup with the Detroit Pistons. In this game one name is going to be a thorn in the Celtics side: Andre Drummond. Drummond is the leader in a lot of categories this season for the Pistons. He's averaging 18 points and 17 rebounds a game. Drummond is a name that has been floated in trade rumors, as the Pistons are currently 11-15 and going nowhere. But for now, the Celtics have to find a way to keep him off of the offensive glass. Guys like Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter are going to have some difficulty with Drummond's size. Just when you think you only have to deal with Drummond, you have Blake Griffin to deal with too. The duo of Drummond and Griffin is a nightmare to have to box out to get rebounds. Derrick Rose is having a resurgent season, and leads the offense for this Pistons team. To me, the Celtics have the depth that should be able to outplay the Pistons. Plus, the Celtics shouldn't lose two in a row at home.
Sunday December 22nd vs. Hornets
I'll keep this one brief. Terry Rozier makes his return to the T.D. Garden during the regular season. The Celtics are heads and shoulders above the Hornets. The Hornets have no star players, and don't have a guy like Kemba Walker anymore (sorry Charlotte!) that can be a closer. The Celtics win this game with ease and don't overthink it at all!
The Celtics have a realistic shot of being 3-0 this week. Two home games against under .500 teams, and a road game without the opponent's star player? Yeah, this is the week to be back in the thick of things for that two seed in the Eastern Conference. And for the love of all things great, PLEASE let Marcus Smart be back soon. We need our heart and soul! Take care of business this week Celtics, you need it!