The Celtics have gotten off to a rocky start in the 2015 campaign. They sit at 3-4, seven games in and the competition will only be getting tougher. However, Boston will too. What has killed Boston in the early going is poor first quarter scoring, and turnovers. Lots and lots of turnovers. Boston had nine turnovers just halfway through the second quarter and 18 for the game last night against Indiana.
The Road Ahead
Next up for the Green are the Atlanta Hawks, fresh off a Conference finals appearance a year ago. Atlanta has a lot of ways to beat a team, you could expect that with an offense that is averaging 104.4 PPG.
Point guard Jeff Teague is a scoring threat for sure, averaging 18.2 points so far this year, so his matchup with a feisty Marcus Smart should be fun to watch. Boston will need to get the ball inside to their big men like Jared Sullinger, who has been a very pleasant surprise for Boston.
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Before the season, Sullinger was expected to be near the bottom of the rotation but, coach Brad Stevens has to be loving what he's been seeing from Sully as he has cashed in on every opportunity he's gotten thus far. The C's also must cut down on the turnovers if they want to have a chance of winning on Friday.
Atlanta is a team that will make you pay for your mistakes on the scoreboard. Get the ball to your playmakers like Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas and run some isolation and let them draw fouls and pick up easy points at the line.
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After hosting Atlanta, Boston will head on a two game road trip. First up is Houston, another team who appeared in the conference finals last season, only to lose to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors.
The Rockets, unlike Boston have a superstar and his name is James Harden, who has seemed to find his touch after putting up a combined 112 points in his last three games. Boston will certainly have their hands full with Harden.
They're not out of the woods just yet though, they'll fly to Oklahoma City to match up with the Thunder and Russell Westbrook. The Celtics may have caught a bit of a break however as the Thunder announced superstar Kevin Durant will miss a little over a week with a hamstring strain.
That means they can turn their attention to locking down an explosive Russell Westbrook. hopefully Avery Bradley will be healthy and ready to return so he can help in that effort to maintain Westbrook. All the Celtics have to do is just let the game come to them, look for good shots, don't force passes and play as a team and they'll be just fine.