The Boston Celtics have been on quite the roll following their lone loss of the season against Philadelphia. The C’s are the 3rd highest scoring team in the east only behind Milwaukee and Brooklyn. Boston embarks on a five game west coast road trip. Games against Denver, the Clippers, Phoenix, Sacramento and the team formerly known as the Golden State Warriors now, I have no idea what they are.
The C’s have been bit by the injury bug, obviously the team lost Gordon Hayward for the next five weeks, but other lingering injuries bear some watching. Robert Williams, Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter are three players to pay attention to. Realistically, the hometown team will have only two games that this may be a problem for, the Clippers and Denver. The trip starts in the new Chase Center against the Warriors. The dubs don’t have Steph, Klay and Draymond Green has been 50/50 most nights. D’Angelo Russell has done everything humanly possible to keep Golden State in the games. Russell has averaged 34 points a game over the previous four games, but defensively is what has burned the Warriors. Golden State has the third most points allowed on average (121.1 ppg).
Where’s the problem? Boston has scored 123.6 points/Game over their last five including 256 points combined over the last two games. Pay attention to the play of Willie Cauley Stein in the paint during this game as he was the Center I personally wanted to play in Boston during the last off season.
Two nights later, the Celtics play the Sacramento Kings who are without De’Aaron Fox, and Marvin Bagley III. Although they have a plethora of injuries, the Kings can still upset a team especially with a 12:30pm pacific time tip-off.
The next night, Boston will take on Phoenix in potentially the game of the trip. Matchup wise, the Suns may matchup best against the Celtics. Kemba Walker and Devin Booker combined may score 100-110 points but the supporting cast is what will decide the game. For Phoenix, Booker is joined by Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr, and yes the big aussie Aron Baynes. Compare them to what Boston has with Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, both teams complement each other very well.
You may want to take a nap before the Celtics game against the Clippers on Wednesday night. Obviously Kawhi Leonard is the focal point, but LA also has a returning Paul George. PG13 may be on a minutes limit, but the way the C’s will win this game is by the three. LA has the size with Kawhi, Patrick Patterson and Ivica Zubac. They may not have the offensive firepower to combat what Boston has with the high scoring potential. This may be the game that Kemba truly takes the reigns of the Celtics.
The C’s will take on Denver next Friday and if it’s a close game, that could favor the Nuggets. Over the Celtics last five games, the average margin of victory was 12.8 and the Nuggets who are 4-1 over their last five have an average margin of victory of 4.8 while losing to Atlanta by 4.
Regardless of the Boston team, west coast road trips can be wishy washy. The Celtics last four west coast road trips feature a 10-6 record dating back to the 2017-18 season. Drink the coffee, or an energy drink, because the next five for Boston are going to be fun.