The Celtics have a two game home stand that starts tonight before they head out to Houston to face the Rockets. I know they are hoping to continue this winning streak, replicating what they were able to do their last two games. Well, they struggled a bit against the Knicks, but thy still came out with a win.
Return of Marcus Smart
Marcus sat out for a while with a hand injury he suffered on the west coast road trip in late January. His name was also thrown around during the trade deadline, with the Grizzlies hoping to get him for either a 1st round pick or Tyreke Evans. Now most thought that would have been ‘smart’, considering Evans averages about 20 points a game. I bet those fools are glad that Danny loves Marcus too much to give him up, because our defense has improved dramatically since his return. I know it’s only been two games, but you can see a difference in the team as a whole. Just go back and watch the end of that game against Detroit, where 8 missed shots were forced by the Cs — and Smart was on the floor for that. My point is, our defensive flame is back and burning bright.
The next five games look something like this for the Celtics:
- 2/26, v. Grizzlies
- 2/28 v. Hornets
- 3/3 @ Rockets
- 3/5@ Bulls
- 3/8 @ Timberwolves
The first two are winnable, and with the production of the bench as of late, the starters shouldn’t have to exert much energy. This is key with the road trip coming up. The Rockets and Timberwolves are no joke, even though the Celtics have beaten them AND held them under 100 points. The Rockets are nearly unstoppable when Paul, Harden and Capela play. The Wolves will be without Butler, but that won’t make a difference because the team is rife with talent. The Cs are going to need Monroe to shine in these games, especially with Baynes dealing with an elbow. He can’t keep missing those put backs!
Toronto’s next five games are VERY winnable. But I don’t expect the Pistons and Wizards to go down without a fight. Besides, the Raptors lost in OT to the Bucks, so they aren’t invincible. Though, I will add that if the playoffs started today, Toronto gets Miami and Boston gets Philly. I mean, of course we want the #1 seed, but as long as our Kryptonite sits at #8, we’ll take the #2.