Boston Celtics game previews from Nov. 14 and Nov. 20, including games against the Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans.
Last week, the Celtics managed to go 2-1. They were blown out by the Wizards early in the week and then rebounded to defeat the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers in back to back nights. Boston is still without Jae Crowder and Al Horford, but Kelly Olynyk has returned. In the wins against the Knicks and Pacers, he averaged 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. He also hit five threes in those two games, showing that he can be a lethal weapon when healthy.
This week, the Celtics have some tough games. They face the best team in the league and a lot of good big men. This would be a great week for an Al Horford return. ASAP!
New Orleans Pelicans
Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, at 08:00 PM ET Away
Boston starts off their week in New Orleans to face off with Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. Davis has been excellent this year, averaging 31.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, and three blocks a game. Unfortunately, his teammates have mostly been dreadful, and the Pelicans sit at 1-9 overall.
Davis is going to be a force to be reckoned with, in particular against the undermanned frontline that the Celtics are currently playing with. It's very likely that he'll have an outstanding game, but it's his teammates who are going to need to have good games if the Pelicans are to win this game. I expect another subpar game out of them, given the harassing defense that the Celtics played in New York and Indiana coming to town, Boston wins this one by the double digits.
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, at 07:30 PM ET Home
After facing Anthony Davis, the Celtics get a look at a Dallas team that is dealing with some injuries. Dirk Nowitzki will likely be out with an Achilles injury, and Deron Williams has been dealing with a calf injury.
Their prize of the offseason, Harrison Barnes, is leading the team with 22.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. This is another game that the Celtics should win by double digits, especially with it being at home.
Golden State Warriors
Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, at 08:00 PM ET Home
The best team in the league heads into Boston for their only visit at T.D. Garden this season. The Warriors are currently 7-2 and could be on a five-game winning streak heading into this matchup with the Celtics. Last year, the C's pulled out all of the stops to beat Golden State. They narrowly lost, 124-119 in double overtime, at home and then defeated the Warriors 109-106 later in the year at Oracle Arena. Snapping Golden State's 54 game home winning streak.
The Celtics recruited Kevin Durant in the offseason, but he spurned them to sign with the team that had dispatched his former team in seven games in the playoffs. Boston is going to play with some fire and intensity; they certainly didn't respect Durant's decision. It's hard to pick against the Warriors in any matchup, but the Celtics have a shot at the upset if Jae Crowder and Al Horford are back from injury.
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, at 07:00 PM ET Away
The only back-to-back of the week, and it comes the night after having to battle Golden State in Boston. This game is a recipe disaster and has the potential to be a let-down game by the C's. A win against the Warriors and they could come in and play like they have a hangover, a loss against the Warriors and they could come in with no morale.
The Pistons are also a young, upstart team and their young players seem to get hot at the right times against the Celtics. Last season it was KCP, Andre Drummond, and Reggie Jackson who each had great individual games against Boston. Drummond is always able to prevent a matchup problem, and I expect him to have a big game. The Celtics pull this one out, but it's gonna be close.