Game On: Boston Celtics v. New Orleans Pelicans

Published: December 7, 2015

The New Orleans Pelicans will try to build off one of their most impressive wins of the season as they take on the Boston Celtics tonight at the Smoothie King Center. On Friday, the Pelicans beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-108 in overtime. The win was the team’s third win in their last four contests at home, including a 104-90 win against the San Antonio Spurs. Head Coach Alvin Gentry said about the win against the Cavs, “To get a quality one like that is good, but for us, it’s important to build on this and not take a step backwards.”

Here are the keys to the game:

Offense: The Pelicans are averaging 110.1 points per game on offense at home (compared to 95.8 points  per game on the road.) For the Pelicans to win against a Celtics team that is currently ranked third in defensive efficiency, allowing 97.1 points per 100 possessions. The Celtics deploy a switch-heavy defensive system at times (especially with Evan Turner, Jonas Jerebko, and Kelly Olynyk), that at times has been problematic for the Pelicans.

More Monster Anthony Davis: While this can (and just might be) a key to every game for the Pelicans foreseeable future, it may be even more true today. In Davis’ last three contests against the Boston Celtics, Davis is averaging 34.3 points per game and 14.7 rebounds per game.

Contain Isaiah Thomas: The Boston Celtics offense these days is predicated on the pick and rolls and penetration ability of Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics, (who are currently 18th in Offensive Efficiency with a rating of 101.2 pointers per 100 possessions) score at a rate of 104.8 when Thomas is on the floor. When he is on the bench, the team scores at a rate of 94.4. For the Pelicans to win, the team needs to contain Thomas as much as possible.

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