Wolves at Celtics
6:30 pm CST
NBA TV. FSN+
Tonight's tilt is listed on NBA TV and FSN+, so hopefully the Wolves broadcast is available via League Pass.
Anywho, Boston comes in at 14-13 on the year but have lost three in a row to quality Eastern Conference opponents. They haven't played since Friday, however, and should be rested and ready for this one, while the Wolves were in Brooklyn yesterday afternoon playing the Nets.
The Celtics strength this year has been defense. They have the third highest defensive rating in the league, highlighted by their league best ability to turn opponents over. The Wolves must avoid getting into a high turnover, high paced game, which is when the Celtics are at their best. They have the 2nd highest number of steals in the league, and when they force live ball turnovers, it leads to transition opportunities.
Their starting back court leads them in scoring, with Isaiah Thomas at over 21 a game and Avery Bradley at over 15. Beyond them, the scoring is pretty evenly distributed among the rest of the rotation. The team as a whole shoots a lot of threes, but doesn't make a particularly high percentage, and seven available players average at least one attempt a game.
One area where the Wolves might find success is at the free throw line. The Celtics have one of the lowest FTrs in the league, while opponents get to the line at an above average rate against them. This is a Wolves strength, and they must take advantage by attacking the basket and forcing the referees to blow their whistles.
Kevin Garnett returns to Boston, a place where he is loved for helping bring a championship to the Celtics, for what might be the last time, though given that it's the 2nd night of a back to back, he may not play.
For the Celtics, Marcus Smart remains out with a knee injury, Amir Johnson is out with plantar fasciitis, and Jared Sullinger is out with back spasms.
Our blogging buddies are over at CelticsBlog. Be excellent.
No no no.
Enjoy. Chat. Go.