Game Preview: Golden State Warriors vs Boston Celtics
The Golden State Warriors will have to make a quick turnaround following Tuesday’s impressive win against the Indiana Pacers, as they will be taking on the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. Klay Thompson came through in the clutch against Indiana, rounding off what was a very solid 25-point effort on his part with a smooth jumper in the post to win the game. Even though the Celtics are in a rebuilding year, back-to-backs are always tricky, especially when the first game is as physically taxing as the contest against the Pacers proved to be.
Frontcourt: On paper, the Celtics’ frontcourt doesn’t look particularly intimidating. The most notable threat is obviously Jeff Green, who is averaging a career-high 17 points per game. However, playing with worse teammates than he did last year has been tough on Green’s efficiency, and the looks he gets are nowhere near as good as they used to be. Jared Sullinger has started most games this season, but Kris Humphries took his spot in the starting lineup while Sullinger was out with a concussion. Brandon Bass is one of the better mid-range shooters in the league, and he can generally get open looks in his sweet spots when he shares the floor with Rajon Rondo.
Backcourt: Rondo remains the engine of this team, as he survived the trade deadline without being moved. He has gotten back into his groove and has dished out 10 or more assists in all five of his last games. Jerryd Bayless has also fit in quite nicely into his significantly more important role with the Celtics after being moved by the Memphis Grizzlies, and has put up a couple of explosive scoring games since then.
Keys to Warriors Victory:
Which Klay Thompson will show up?
Thompson had a great game against the Pacers, dropping 25 points and a game winner. Before that he shot just 4-15 from the field against the Toronto Raptors, and dropped 25 points on the New York Knicks before that. Those are his numbers over the last three games. Since that 25-point outing against the Knicks, Thompson hadn’t scored over 20 points since February 6. For the Warriors to be successful, they need to be able to count on Thompson to be more consistent.
On the surface, this looks like an easy game for the Warriors. The Celtics have only beaten the Atlanta Hawks (who are 1-11 in their last 12) in their last seven games and the Warriors have a whole lot more talent. But games like this can be tricky, especially on back-to-backs, and it will be important for the Warriors to not underestimate Boston.
Boston Celtics (20-40) vs. Golden State Warriors (37-24)
4:30 PM PST, March 5, 2014
TD Garden, Boston, MA
TV: CSN Bay Area
Radio: KNBR 680 AM
Celtics Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Jerryd Bayless
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kris Humphries
Key Reserves: C Jared Sullinger