Following their 20-point beatdown of the Memphis Grizzlies, the San Antonio Spurs will now turn their attention to the Boston Celtics.
This will be San Antonio's 2nd game versus Boston, the 1st of which ended up as a grueling, ugly victory for the Spurs, who were carried by the sharp shooting of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
In their last game ,against the Grizzlies, the Spurs were finally able to get their offense scoring well, shooting over 50% for the first time in 6 games. Leonard, as we've come to expect, provided the hit hand for San Antonio, finishing with 27 points on 13 shots. He was especially scorching from beyond the arc, making 7 of his 9 attempted 3-pointers. Aldridge also fared well from the field, scoring 18 points on 14 shots.
The Spurs will look to maintain that sharp shooting against the Celtics, who have a scrappy bunch of young players that sit at 8th in the Eastern Conference standings.
Boston currently ranks 3rd in the league in DefRtg, being lead by stingy play from Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder. They pressure ball-handlers all night long, and have a tough, bruising style.
On the other hand, the Celtics' offense doesn't pack a very potent punch. As a team, they rank in the middle of the pack in TS% and points per possession. But, even though they haven't yet formed a powerful offense (This is partly due to 2nd-year guard Marcus Smart being out for extended time with a knee injury), they do have individual players that can hurt a team.
Their leading scorer is Isaiah Thomas, the diminutive, often-underrated 5th-year point guard out of Washington. Thomas averages 20.8 points per game on 42.2% from the field. He's a volume shooter, so his scoring percentages are a bit low, but he does demonstrate an excellent ability to get to the rim for such a small player. He's also able to set his teammates up well, averaging 6.3 assists on the year.
Bradley is another player to watch out for when the Celtics have the ball. Bradley has always been a sharp player defensively, and was solid in transition and cutting to the rim because of his athleticism, but was limited elsewhere offensively. That has changed this year due to a massive improvement in his 3-point shooting. Last season Bradley shot 35.2% from deep, which is a respectable, but unspectacular figure. This season, that percentage has jumped all the way up to 42.9%, even as his number of 3-pointers attempted went up.
The Celtics will do their best to muck this game up, as they did in the teams' initial matchup, and will attempt to grind out a victory with their defense. San Antonio has to control the pace of the game by asserting themselves offensively and playing at a comfortable speed. The Spurs' defense, perhaps the best in the league to this point, should be able to keep Thomas from getting to his spots, as well as prevent Bradley from getting deep looks.
|Spurs at Celtics|
|November 6, 2015|
|AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX|
|7:30 pm CST|
|Tony Parker||PG||Isaiah Thomas|
|Danny Green||SG||Avery Bradley|
|Kawhi Leonard||SF||Jae Crowder|
|LaMarcus Aldridge||PF||Amir Johnson|
|Tim Duncan||C||Jared Sullinger|
The Celtics fans' perspective can be found at Celtics Blog.
Game Prediction: Spurs by 4.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher.