Houston Rockets (10-23) at Boston Celtics (24-10) Game #35 12/27/22

Houston Rockets (10-23) at Boston Celtics (24-10) Game #35 12/27/22

The Celtics continue their position at home as they host the Houston Rockets. This is the first of two games between these two teams this season. They will meet for the second time on March 13 in Houston. The Celtics have swept the last two season series between these two teams. This is the sixth game of the Celtics homestand of 7. They are currently 2-3 in the first 5 games.

The Rockets are playing the second of back-to-back games. They beat the Bulls in Chicago on Monday night. This is the second game of a 3 game road trip for them. The Celtics are 94-55 overall against the Rockets and are 47-21 all-time in games played in Boston. He had lost 5 games in a row before this win.

The Celtics are first in the East, 1.5 games ahead of Milwaukee after beating them on Christmas Day. They are 2 games ahead of 3rd place Cleveland. The Celtics are 13-5 at home and 5-5 in their last 10 games. They have won their last 2 games. The Celtics are 9-2 against Western Conference teams.

The Rockets are 15th and in last place in the West. They are 1 game behind 14th place San Antonio and 3.5 games out of 13th place lakers. They are 4-13 on the road and 3-7 in their last 10 games. They are looking to win their second game in a row. They are 5-6 against Eastern Conference teams.

On Monday night, the Celtics just sent Danilo Gallinari down as he continues to rehabilitate a torn ACL. Robert Williams (illness) and Payton Pritchard (thigh) were added Tuesday as questionable for this game. For the Rockets, Jae’Sean Tate was listed as out with an ankle injury. Eric Gordon is also listed as out for injury maintenance as the Rockets play back-to-back games. My guess is that KJ Martin will replace him in the starting lineup.

Celtics likely starters

Celtics Reserves
Grant Williams
Sam Hauser
Malcolm Brogdon
Payton Pritchard
Luke Cornet
Blake Griffin
Justin Jackson
Noah Vonleh

2 way players
JD Davison
Mfiondu Kabengele

Danilo Gallinari (ACL) is out
Robert Williams III (illness) questionable
Payton Pritchard (thigh) questionable

Head Coach (Interim)
Joe Mazzulla

Probably rocket launchers

Rocket Reserves
Josh Christopher
Tari Eason
Bruno Fernando
Usman Garuba
Boban Marjanovic
Garrison Matthews
Daishen Nix
TyTy Washington

Two-way players
Days of Darius
Trevor Hudgins

Jae’Sean Tate (ankle) out
Eric Gordon (groin) out

head coach
Steve Silas

Key confrontations

Marcus Smart vs. Jalen Green
Jalen Green is averaging 21.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He is shooting 40.9% from the field and 30.7% from beyond the arc. The second-year player for the Rockets is playing very well and is leading them in scoring this season. Green is coming off a 24 point, 6 rebound, 3 assist game against the Bulls. The Celtics need to defend him well to prevent him from having a big game.

Derrick White vs. Kevin Porter, Jr
Kevin Porter, Jr is averaging 18.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He is shooting 42.3% from the field and 31.5% from beyond the arc. Derrick White has been playing well for the Celtics and we expect him to continue to do so in this game. Porter is coming off a 36-point, 7-rebound, 9-assist game against the Bulls. The Celtics need to slow him down in this game.

Honorable Mention
Al Horford vs Alperen Sengun
Sengun is averaging 14.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He’s shooting 54.8% from the field, but just 17.4% from beyond the arc. Al Horford has played very well for the Celtics, shooting 50.8% from the field and 45.1% from beyond the arc. Al needs to take it out to the perimeter to limit himself to the rebound. Sengun is coming off a great game against the Bulls with 25 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. The Celtics need to prevent him from having another big game in this one.

The keys to the game
defense – Defense is always key to winning. Players struggle on offense in some matches, but can always play defense. The Rockets are averaging 109.4 points per game (28th). The Celtics are averaging 118.7 points per game (1st). The Rockets are 28th with a defensive rating of 115.0 while the Celtics are 7th with a defensive rating of 110.7. The Celtics especially need to defend the paint, as the Rockets are 14th at 50.8 paint points per game.

rebound – To score, the Celtics need the ball and to get the ball, they will have to crash the boards as a team. The Celtics average 43.6 rebounds per game (11th) while the Rockets average 46.8 rebounds per game (4th). A lot of rebounding is effort and when the Celtics put in extra effort on the boards, it usually carries over to the rest of their game. The Rockets are a very good rebounding team and lead the league with 17.4 second-chance points per game. The Celtics must come into the game determined to go the extra mile and fight for every rebound to limit those second-chance points for the Rockets.

Don’t underestimate – The Celtics are coming off a big win over the Milwaukee Bucks and it would be easy for them to have an underwhelming game against the 10-23 Rockets, but they have to come into this game with the same mindset they had coming into the Bucks. They underestimated the Magic and lost to them despite their low record. The Celtics shouldn’t make that mistake again and point out that the Rockets just beat the Bulls and therefore should be taken seriously.

Be aggressive – The Celtics need to be aggressive in driving the ball to the basket and not settle for 3 pointers on every possession, especially if the 3 doesn’t fall. They also need to be aggressive when it comes to fighting for rebounds and loose balls. And they have to be aggressive on defense. They need to play harder than the Rockets and play like the team that wants this game the most. They allowed Magic and pacers playing harder than them and losing to teams they should have won. They shouldn’t make the same mistake in this game.

X factors
Home vs road Back to Back – The Celtics are at home for the sixth consecutive game. The Celtics have the crowd behind them and if they give a good effort, win or lose, the fans will cheer them on and help motivate them. The Rockets had to travel, stay in a hotel, play in front of a hostile crowd and on an unfamiliar court. The Rockets are also playing on the second night of back-to-back games and fatigue could also be a factor.

officiant – The profession is always an x ​​factor. Some refs say the game is tight and others let them play. Some favor the home team and others do the same. At times, the Celtics have spent more time complaining to the refs than playing good basketball. The Celtics must play with any call against them and not allow bad calls or any calls to lose their focus on the game.

#Houston #Rockets #Boston #Celtics #Game

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