The Boston Celtics have been the best team in the NBA for most of the season. However, the Celtics have stumbled the past few games at TD Garden, although they will have an opportunity to get back on track when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.
Celtics Look To Snap Home Losing Streak As Longest Homestand Continues
Boston (35-11) is in the midst of its longest homestand of the season. Boston began its season-high seven-game homestand yesterday with a 115-96 setback to the Los Angeles Clippers. However, the game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
The Celtics shot 36% from the field and 25% from beyond the arc, both season-lows. The C’s trailed by as many as 36 in the third quarter following the Clippers’ 21-0 run.
“A good old-fashioned ass-whooping,” Holiday said. “They did everything better: Rebounding, transition, 50/50 balls, it seemed like they were a step ahead.”
The loss to the Clippers was the second straight at home for the Celtics, who began the season with 20 straight victories at TD Garden. The Celtics’ other loss was to Denver by two points on January 19.
However, the setbacks drop the C’s record to 5-6 against the top 7 teams in the league, per Weiss.
Still, Boston is 20-2 at TD Garden, which is still the best record in the league. The Celtics are also outscoring opponents by a league-high 13.3 points, almost three points higher than anyone else.
Boston will have an excellent opportunity to improve all their numbers during this homestand, starting with the Pelicans. This will be the first game between the clubs this season, but the Celtics have won the last four meetings, including the two at TD Garden.
Boston will then face Indiana on Tuesday for the club’s fifth and final meeting between the teams. The Celtics and Pacers have split the previous four matchups, though the C’s won the only other contest at home.
Next up for the Celtics are the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 1. The Celtics have won three straight, which includes a 126-115 win on Christmas Day.
Boston will conclude the homestand against Memphis (Feb. 4), Atlanta (Feb. 7), and Washington (Feb. 9). The Celtics are 1-0 against each of that trio of teams.
Three Players Are Dealing With Injuries
Boston could be without three players starting tomorrow. Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford are questionable for the contest against the Pelicans. Meanwhile, Luke Kornet is doubtful, according to Bobby Manning of CLNS Media.
Horford, Porzingis both questionable for #Celtics #pelicans with Luke Kornet doubtful. Kornet hurt his hamstring and did not return last night. Porzingis missed last game with his left ankle sprain and has missed one half of back-to-backs recently anyway. Horford sits B2Bs.
— Bobby Manning (@RealBobManning) January 28, 2024
These could be a major problem for the Celtics as Porzingis, Horford, and Kornet are three of the four centers on the team roster. Thus leaving Neemais Queta as possibly the only healthy five-man.
Porzingis sat out the Clippers game after spraining his ankle on Thursday. However, Mazzula told Weiss he didn’t expect the big man to miss much time.
Joe Mazzulla doesn’t expect Kristaps Porziņģis’ ankle sprain to keep him out “Long at all.”
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) January 27, 2024
Porzingis has been very efficient and excellent on the defensive end in his first year in Beantown. But the 28-year-old has already missed 13 games. The Celtics are 10-3 without him this season.
Horford is dealing with a neck sprain. He was limited to 19 minutes against the Clippers, his second-fewest all season. Horford typically sits out at least one of Bostons’ back-to-back games. So, if Porzingis can go tomorrow, the 37-year-old may sit out anyway.
Kornet left Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury and is expected to miss at least Monday’s affair.