at Philadelphia 76ers (0-2) at Boston Celtics (2-0)
Preseason Game #3, Home Game #2
Monday, October 9, 2017
7:30 PM ET
TV: NBCSB, NBCSPA, NBA-LP 753(DTV)/752 (Xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 97.5 The Fanatic
TD GardenProbable Starters
PG Kyrie Irving........... SG: Jaylen Brown
C: Al Horford
SF: Gordon Hayward .............. PF: Jayson Tatum
Brad Stevens Probable Starters
PG: Markelle Fultz ................. SG: Nick Stauskas
C: Jahlil Okafor
SF: Justin Anderson .............. PF: Ben Simmons Sixers Reserves
James Blackmon, Jr
James Michael McAdoo
Timothe Luwawu Cabarrot (knee) probable
Joel Embiid (knee) out
Dario Saric (rest) probable
Markelle Fultz (shoulder) probable
Richaun Holmes (wrist) out
JJ Redick (rest) out
Robert Covington (rest) out Coach
The Celtics and Sixers meet for the second time this preseason, this time in Boston. In their first meeting, the Celtics came out on top after the Sixers put up a good fight and stayed with them for much of the game. The important thing is that the Celtics showed some improvement and look to be building chemistry on both the first and second units.
I listed the same starters for this game as for Friday's game, but it's the preseason and it's difficult to predict the starters since coaches like to experiment with different lineups. The Celtics could go back to Baynes in the starting lineup or they could move Marcus Morris into the starting lineup at power forward. Or, they could start the same group they did in Philadelphia on Friday.
With both Holmes and Embiid out for this game, it seems that the Sixers are down to a pair of Okafors and Amir Johnson. I’m guessing that they will start Jahlil Okafor and bring Amir off the bench, but then again, they may want Amir in the starting lineup at center to anchor their other young starters. JJ Redick and Robert Covington are expected to sit out this game for rest. I've guessed that Stauskas and Anderson will start, but I may be way off with those guesses.
Markelle Fultz missed the game on Friday with shoulder soreness and is listed as probable for this game. Embiid and Holmes are both listed as out. Saric has been resting after playing all summer in Eurobasket and is probable to play in this one. Key Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs Markelle Fultz
We didn't get to see this matchup because Fultz was out on Friday with a sore shoulder. Although Ben Simmons does most of the ball handling and runs the offense when he is in the game, Fultz will likely be covering Kyrie. Fultz disappointed in his first game with the Sixers, struggling with fatigue when he was the primary ball handler and had just 4 points on 2-13 shooting with 3 assists. Hopefully we will see him in this one.
Jason Tatum vs Ben Simmons
It will be interesting to see if the Celtics start Tatum again in this game. If so, his defense will be tested as he tries to stop Simmons, who will be initiating the offense for the most part, unless the Sixers decide to end the point forward experiment. Tatum needs to make Simmons shoot from outside and keep him out of the paint.
Jayson Tatum vs Markelle Fultz
These two players won't be matched up against each other in the game for the most part, but they are always going to be compared. When Danny Ainge traded the #1 pick for the #3 pick and passed on Fultz, who was the consensus top pick, in order to take Tatum, it assured the fact that these two players will be scrutinized and compared for the rest of their careers. Keys to the GameDefense
- The Celtics' defense was better than expected in their first game against the Hornets. They have the potential to be a very good defensive team and they need to work hard to live up to that potential. Defense wins games, even in the preseason. The Celtics were able to force 24 turnovers in the first game and they need to be tenacious in this game as well.
- The Celtics have to be the more aggressive team and go after all the loose balls, and aggressively go after rebounds, and be aggressive on defense. They also have to be aggressive in taking the ball into the paint. The more aggressive team will usually get the benefit of the whistles. The Celtics have been aggressive so far and that has helped them to win both games. The play of the game was Marcus Smart fighting for a steal and winning. The Sixers announcers said that Marcus would chew your arm off to get the ball. The entire team needs to play that way. Move the Ball
- The Celtics had beautiful ball movement in their first game and they need to work at doing the same in this game. Hero ball rarely wins games and so they have to consistently move the ball and play together. If they build those habits in the preseason, it will make them that much tougher to beat when the games count. It would be nice to see the second unit develop that same ball movement.
- The Celtics have to be careful not to let up because they beat the Sixers just a few days ago. The Sixers will be looking to avenge that loss and will come out strong and the Celtics need to be ready for that. X-Factors It's Preseason
- Winning isn't always the top priority in preseason games. Coaches are going to experiment with lineups and try to sit their stars as much as possible to avoid injury before the season. So, we need to enjoy watching them play and be glad that real basketball is almost back. Who is Playing -
In the first meeting between these two teams, the Sixers were missing several key players. Embiid and Luwawu are both close to returning from injury and Fultz should be back from sitting out one game with shoulder soreness. Also, Saric was healthy but sitting out for rest. Also, Marcus Morris wasn't ready to play for the Celtics after joining the team the day before. If any or all of these players can play in this one, it may make a big difference.