Well, the New England Patriots are officially out of the NFL playoffs. That means for a guy like me who loves basketball, and baseball still a few months away, my complete attention is now on the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are currently 25-8 and sit at second in the Eastern Conference, along with the third best NBA record. They also have won eight of their last nine games. With those stats in mind, let's take a look at the week ahead.
Monday 1/6 @ Washington Wizards
Tonight's game between the Celtics and the Wizards shouldn't be much of a contest...you would think based on records. But looking at a few stats, this might not be a slam dunk of a game. The Wizards are fourth in the NBA in points per game with 116.1, trailing the likes of Milwaukee, Houston, and Dallas. They also have a star shooting guard in Bradley Beal who always has possibility of going off. The one place that the Celtics should own the Wizards is on the boards. The Celtics currently sit 12th in the NBA in rebounds per game, while the Wizards rank dead last. Do I think the Celtics win this game? Ultimately yes. But it might not be as easy as people might think.
Wednesday 1/8 vs. San Antonio Spurs
The Celtics take on the Spurs on Wednesday at the T.D. Garden. The Spurs are having a down year as they currently sit 14-20. However, they are holding onto the 8th seed in the Western Conference. This is a game that the Celtics will need Kemba Walker back for as he's been recently sidelined with the flu. The Spurs do have the two headed monster of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge that can take over any game. The Spurs are also fourth in the NBA with a 47% field goal percentage. The Celtics defense needs to show up for this game. Otherwise, the Spurs can come in and shock the Celtics in the T.D. Garden. But, I think the Celtics take care of business in this one as well.
Thursday 1/9 @ Philadelphia 76ers
This game, I'm not as confident in the Celtics. I think the Celtics are just as good as the 76ers. But, they are on the road and on the second night of a back to back. The 76ers have had problems recently. Even Al Horford is complaining about his role within the offense. But, this is the Celtics and this is their rival. The 76ers still have a very talented team with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Mike Scott. In this one, I think the 76ers take care of the Celtics again. But hey, I've been wrong before!
Saturday 1/11 vs. New Orleans Pelicans
The Celtics finish their week with a Saturday night showdown at the T.D. Garden against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans enter the game with the second worst record in the Western Conference. Obviously, they're still working on Zion Williamson coming back to full health. In the meantime, they have a few players to work around. Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and J.J. Redick are a few players that the Pelicans can work with. With this game, the Celtics should take care of business. Finish the week on a high note and get some momentum going into next week.
There's your Celtics game slate of the week. It should be a very good week for the Celtics. They should finish no worse than 3-1 with the potential to go 4-0 if they play a really flawless game in Philadelphia. Let the long week commence!