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HomeBasketballOklahoma Metropolis Thunder (52-23) at Boston Celtics (59-16) Sport #76 4/3/24

Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder (52-23) at Boston Celtics (59-16) Sport #76 4/3/24

In a matchup of first within the East vs First within the West, the Celtics host the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder for the 2nd and ultimate sport this season. The Thunder received the primary sport 127-123 in OKC on January 2. These 2 groups break up the collection 1-1 final season with every group profitable at dwelling. The Celtics are 78-66 total all time towards the Thunder and they’re 39-27 in video games performed in Boston. The Thunder are enjoying within the second of again to again video games. They’re 7-5 on the second night time of again to again video games and they’re 1-2 when the video games are each on the highway.

The Celtics stay 1st within the East, 12 video games forward of 2nd place Milwaukee, 13.5 video games forward of third place Cleveland, 15 video games forward of 4th place Orlando, 15 video games forward of fifth place New York, and 16.5 video games forward of sixth place Indiana. They’re 32-3 at dwelling and 8-2 of their final 10 video games. They’re 20-7 towards Western Convention groups and have received their final 2 video games.

The Thunder began Tuesday 1st within the West however ended the night time at third. They’re half a sport behind of 1st place Denver and 2nd place Minnesota. They’re 5 video games forward of the 4th place Clippers, 7 video games forward of fifth place Dallas and seven video games forward of sixth place New Orleans. They’re 23-14 on the highway and 7-3 of their final 10 video games. They’re 19-6 towards Japanese Convention groups and they’re coming off a loss of their final sport.

The Celtics are enjoying within the first sport again dwelling after a 6 sport highway journey. They went 4-2 on the journey, beating Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans and Charlotte and dropping 2 video games to Atlanta. After this sport they’ll keep at dwelling for two video games towards Sacramento, and Portland. Then it’s one sport on the highway in Milwaukee earlier than ending the season at dwelling towards New York, Charlotte and Washington.

The Thunder are enjoying within the third sport of a 5 sport highway journey. They beat New York and misplaced to Philadelphia of their first two video games of the highway journey. The loss to the 76ers was with out their 2 prime scorers. After this sport they’ll proceed the highway journey by way of Indiana and Chicago. They are going to then end the season with a 4 sport dwelling stand with the primary 2 video games towards Sacramento after which Milwaukee and Dallas.

Jaylen Brown sat out Monday’s sport after injuring his hand within the sport towards New Orleans. Jaden Springer missed that sport with a knee harm and JD Davison missed the sport with an ankle harm. As of now, solely 2 Celtics are on the harm report. Jaylen Brown is questionable with a left hand sprain and Jaden Springer is questionable with left knee tendinopathy. Each are anticipated to be a sport time choice however I count on them to play if in any respect doable.

For the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed his third contest out of the Thunder’s final 4 video games when he sat out Tuesday’s sport at Philadelphia resulting from a proper quad bruise. Jalen Williams additionally sat out Tuesday in Philadelphia with a left ankle sprain. Each have been dominated out for this sport. Aaron Wiggins and Jaylin Williams began Tuesday’s sport vs Philadelphia and can doubtless begin as soon as once more.

Possible Celtics Starters

PG: Jrue Vacation
SG: Derrick White
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Kristaps Porzingis

Celtics Reserves
Oshae Brissett
Sam Hauser
Al Horford
Svi Mykhailiuk
Payton Pritchard
Jordan Walsh
Luke Kornet
Xavier Tillman
Jaden Springer

2 Manner Gamers
JD Davison
Drew Peterson
Neemias Queta

Jaden Springer (knee) questionable
Jaylen Brown (hand) questionable

Head Coach
Joe Mazzulla

Possible Thunder Starters

PG: Aaron Williams
SG: Josh Giddey
SF: Lugentz Dort
PF: Jaylin Williams
C: Chet Holmgren

Thunder Reserves
Bismack Biyombo
Ousmane Dieng
Gordon Hayward
Isaiah Joe
Mike Muscala
Cason Wallace
Lindy Waters III
Kenrich Williams

2 Manner Gamers
Keyontae Johnson
Olivier Sarr
Lindy Waters III

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (quad) out
Jaylen Williams (ankle) out

Head Coach
Mark Daigneault

Key Matchups

Derrick White vs Josh Giddey
Giddey is averaging 12.2 factors, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. He’s taking pictures 47.6% from the sector and 34.4% from past the arc. Towards the Celtics within the first sport, Giddey completed with 23 factors, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. He shot 57.1% from the sector and 57.1% from past the arc.

Kristaps Porzingis vs Chet Holmgren
Porzingis will likely be matched up with 7’1” Chet Holmgren. Holmgren is averaging 16.6 factors, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and a pair of.4 blocks per sport. He’s taking pictures 53.3% from the sector and 37.3% from past the arc. He’s a tough cowl however this additionally must be a enjoyable matchup to look at.

Honorable Point out
Jaylen Brown vs Lugentz Dort
Dort is averaging 10.6 factors, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. He’s taking pictures 47.6% from the sector and 39.8% from past the arc. Within the first sport towards the Celtics he completed with 9 factors, 8 rebounds, 1 help, 3 blocks and 1 steal. In Tuesday’s sport towards the 76ers, he completed with 15 factors, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and a pair of steals whereas taking pictures 50% from the sector and 50% from past the arc.

Keys to the Sport
Protection – Protection is at all times the important thing to profitable. The Thunder common 120.4 factors per sport (third) and they’re 4th with a defensive ranking of 111.5. The Celtics common 120.9 factors per sport (2nd) and they’re third with a defensive ranking of 110.7. The Celtics must tighten up their protection and make enjoying protection a precedence particularly towards this Thunder group that averages 120.4 factors and have a defensive ranking proper behind the Celtics. The Celtics must defend the paint because the Thunder are seventh within the league with 52.5 factors within the paint per sport. However in addition they should defend on the perimeter as a result of the Thunder are first within the league, taking pictures 39.1% from past the arc.

Rebound – Rebounding can also be a key to profitable. The Celtics must rebound on the defensive finish to maintain the Thunder from getting second probability factors and they should rebound on the offensive finish to provide themselves further possessions. The Thunder are twenty seventh with 41.9 rebounds per sport whereas the Celtics are 2nd with 46.5 rebounds per sport. A lot of rebounding is need and energy and the Celtics as a group must put within the further effort to beat the Thunder on the boards.

Take Care of the Ball – The Celtics must preserve their focus and never flip the ball over. The Thunder are 1st within the league with 20.3 factors off turnovers per sport. The Celtics have to maneuver the ball as a result of they’re a a lot better group once they transfer the ball and don’t over dribble. However they have to keep targeted and make cautious passes and never get sloppy. In addition they must bear in mind when dribbling the ball in order to not enable the Thunder to get steals. The Thunder will make them pay in the event that they get sloppy and switch the ball over.

Be Centered and Prepared for a Robust Sport – The Thunder are on the prime of a tricky Western Convention and are a really robust group defensively. The Celtics must be able to go to the basket in the event that they wrestle from three. In addition they must be able to shoot from midrange if each the paint and the perimeter are defended tightly. The Celtics should keep targeted on enjoying arduous for 48 minutes, on enjoying robust protection, on preventing for rebounds, and on enjoying the suitable means.

Don’t Underestimate – I virtually felt higher once I thought that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams had been enjoying. The Celtics have a means of enjoying down to groups lacking their stars, as they did towards the Lakers with out LeBron and AD. The Celtics can’t underestimate the Thunder as a result of they’re absolutely able to beating the Celtics with out SGA and J Dub. They’re a younger and hungry group and if the Celtics take them evenly, they’ll make them pay for it.

At House vs Again to Again – The Celtics are at dwelling and they need to get motivation from enjoying in entrance of their followers. It’s the first sport again after a protracted highway journey and generally that sport is hard. The Celtics have had a day without work after enjoying in Charlotte on Monday. The Thunder are enjoying again to again on the highway and so fatigue could also be an element for them down the stretch. The Thunder are 1-2 when their again to again video games are each on the highway and so the Celtics must defend their dwelling courtroom and draw power from their followers.

Officiating – Officiating is at all times an x-factor. How the refs name the sport has a giant affect on how the groups play. Will they allow them to play or name each little little bit of contact? Will they name it evenly or will they favor one group or the opposite. All of it results the end result of the sport and the Celtics must play the suitable means and never enable the officiating to take them out of their sport. The refs have been fast to name techs for complaining this season and the Celtics must do not forget that. Additionally, they need to by no means be caught complaining to the refs whereas the opposite group goes in for a rating.

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