The Boston Celtics are coming off consecutive wins in Atlanta and Charlotte and look to extend their winning streak on Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. They had a great practice today really meshing well as one unit and having a much stronger understanding of the tasks at hand.
Today was Avery Bradley's birthday and he didn't receive a happy birthday serenade from his teammates, but jokingly said that he is expecting and demanding it tomorrow prior to the game. Kelly Olynyk and Rajon Rondo were missing from practice today as they both were tending to their injuries and Keith Bogans was limited in practice because he is recovering from flu-like symptoms. The main focus in practice today was to find a way to beat the 7-7 Grizzlies and the Celtics feel confident that they can get the job done. Here are the keys for the Celtics to nabbing their 7th win of the season.
Don't Let the Grizzlies Control the Pace: The Boston Celtics and the Memphis Grizzlies have two different distinct ways to control the pace of the game. The Grizzlies like to slow down the pace of the game and that's how they've been successful in the past. The Celtics just need to keep the fast-paced offense going and the solid defense needs to stay intact also or the Grizzlies will take control of the game.
Don't Let Mike Conley Get Comfortable: Memphis' leading scorer Mike Conley is averaging 18.8 points per game this season. When Conley gets hot, he stays hot. Conley is the main facilitator of the Grizzlies offense and it is going to have to be a solid team effort to not let him shooting lights out all night long. Jordan Crawford, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Phil Pressey will have their hands full to keep Conley in front of them on defense and don't give him any scoring chances.
Take Advantage of No Marc Gasol: The Grizzlies have lost the reigning defensive player of the year Marc Gasol indefinitely with a sprained MCL. Since Gasol's injury, the Grizzlies have given up 97.5 points per game and allowed their opponents to shoot on average 51.4 percent in those games. The Grizzlies will still put on a tough defensive game, but now that they don't have Gasol, it will be a huge advantage for the Celtics to capitalize on scoring chances.
The Boston Celtics lost their first meeting with the Grizzlies down in Memphis 95-88, but have a lot of advantages to winning this one on Wednesday because they have seen Memphis already once. The game will tip-off at 7:30pm at the TD Garden.