The struggling Celtics, who currently sit at 14-17, will host the 19-13 Pacers tonight at the TD Garden. Indiana has a nice two game win streak going, while Boston has dropped four in a row after beating the Nets Christmas Day. On Wednesday, the C's hosted a strong Memphis Grizzlies club. The Grizzlies had some trouble with Boston, but prevailed 93-83. There were some improvements seen, but they still were out of it most of the way. The Pacers are dangerous, and a team that the Celtics probably don't want to see at this point. But, they don't get that choice. They will have to play a better team and hope they win. Here are tonight's five keys to victory:
5. GET KG ON TRACK:
Kevin Garnett, like the rest of the team, is terrible right now. Against Memphis, Garnett had just 12 points on 5/14 shooting. This seems to be a recurring theme for him. He scored a decent amount of points, but misses most of his shots. When he plays well, the team plays well. He needs to step up.
4. GET PIERCE ON TRACK:
Paul Pierce is probably the best scorer Boston has. When they're hot, he seems to be scoring 40 on 20/22 shooting. But when the team is struggling, he only gets like 15 points on 5/15 shooting. Against the Grizzlies, he had a good 17 points on 6/14 shooting. He and KG are both really struggling and they need to turn it around. Make your shots!
3. HOPE AVERY SHOWS UP:
Avery Bradley made his anticipated return to Boston Wednesday night. But after the opening cheers, he went downhill. He finished with just 4 points on 2/6 shooting. It may have been his first game, but he looked lost. Each one of his misses was a horrible shot that looked like a fourth grader put it up. He has potential, and if this team is going to turn it around they will need him.
The rebounding numbers for the C's from the Memphis game are one-sided. The Grizzlies out-rebounded Boston 39-27. It was 31-24 on the defensive boards, and 8-3 on the offensive boards. Basically, my point is that the Celtics need to stop these stupid one-and-done possessions. Go after the ball and maybe, you will actually score some points.
1. STAY AWAY FROM THAT ONE BAD QUARTER:
In the second quarter Wednesday night, the C's were out-scored 25-15. In the other three quarters, the score was even at 68. If they could've competed in that one period, they probably could've won. They need to play well in every quarter, not just three of them.
Tip-off for this one will be tonight at 8:00 pm ET. It can be seen on CSN- New England. I will be doing my live in-game updates column tonight, so make sure to check that out. Finally, please try to enjoy the game.
Celtics must have read these because they followed every one of them.