If the Celtics play like the Celtics it usually means a victory. However, this season has been a struggle.
A journey for consistency, as Doc Rivers continues to search for the most effective rotations and roles for everyone. The team also needs to regain their defensive identity, something that has been the staple of the Kevin Garnett era in Boston.
The first key to picking up a win tonight is defense. Sacramento is a young, energetic team, coming off a game in which they beat the Knicks at the buzzer. Limiting fastbreak opportunities and forcing the Kings to play a half court game will go a long way towards finishing a frustrating road trip on a positive note.
The second key is playing smart. The veteran Celtics know that Keith Smart’s club will look to run any chance they get. Boston, who will have Rajon Rondo tonight, must limit turnovers and be smart in shot selection.
The third key is simply making shots. The team struggled to knock down open looks last night, and went 31-86 (36 percent) from the field. Shooting 5-22 (22.7 percent) from beyond the arc also did not help.
Seeing the ball go through the hoop will serve as a nice confidence booster for players such as Courtney Lee and Jeff Green If the two are effective at the offensive end, expect it to carry over to their play at the defensive end.
Make shots, tough defense, and limiting Sacramento’s fastbreak opportunities should help the Celtics get back to five hundred. Boston is only 6 ½ games out of first place in the Eastern Conference. As we begin to enter the middle portion of the season, there is plenty of time to figure this thing out and make a run.