Hornets Attempt to Level Season Series Against The Boston Celtics

April 12, 2024

The Celtics have not released their injury report ahead of tonight’s Hornets game and appear likely to rest one or more starters ahead of the playoffs.As is often the case at this point in the season, both sides head into tonight’s matchup with a vastly different outlook. The Hornets have been out of playoff contention for weeks, collecting three feel-good wins in their last ten games. Boston on the other hand has secured the first place in the eastern conference and is now using its remaining games to try out more unusual line-ups ahead of the playoffs.The Celtics have slipped up a few times recently, losing twice to the short-handed Hawks, and getting handled pretty easily by the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks in their most recent games. Apart from those miss-steps, Tatum and Co. have won each of their last ten outings. One of those victories came against the Hornets on April 1st in relatively comfortable fashion. Five different Boston players scored fifteen or more points, overcoming the absence of Jaylen Brown and a tough shooting night from Jrue Holiday who only sank one of his eleven field goal attempts.General Manager Brad Stevens has done an excellent job at building a roster whose success does not rely on certain players’ productions. Even when perennial MVP candidate Jayson Tatum and his running mate Jaylen Brown don’t deliver their best scoring output, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Sam Hauser, Payton Pritchard, and Al Horford can all chime in with double-digit points, making it nearly impossible to beat them by simply shutting down part of the team. Key match-up: Defending the three-point-lineEverybody knows how crucial 3-point shooting is to success in the modern NBA, but the Celtics have taken that moniker to a new extreme this season. They take the fifth most threes of any team ever, throwing up 42.6 attempts per game. Additionally, they hit 38.8% of their triple tries, which ranks third in the league this year. All of this does not bode well for the Hornets, who find themselves close to the bottom in pretty much every category concerning opponents shooting from the outside. If they somehow manage to turn that trend around at TD Garden, their odds at winning would rise drastically.