The Boston Celtics will be back in NBA action on Friday evening, as they look to end their recent disappointing form against the struggling Houston Rockets.
Celtics vs Rockets Preview
Celtics Slipping Down Standings
It has been a disappointing couple of games for the Celtics, as they have lost their last two in the NBA. Furthermore, the Celtics have lost seven of their last ten, which has seen their win percentage fall to .479. That is slightly below the average required to qualify for the playoffs, but they remain in the final qualifying spot at this point of the campaign. Boston are being put under pressure by the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls, while the Toronto Raptors also aren’t completely out of contention should they turn their recent form around. The Celtics last two defeats have come against the New Orleans Pelicans and the Dallas Mavericks. The defeat against the Mavericks on Wednesday night was their last defeat, as they fell to a 113-108 loss.
Boston started slow in the game, and never really got into top gear until midway through the third. However, the damage was effectively done at half-time, as the Celtics were trailing 64-45. There were some excellent performances by Celtics players though, as Jayson Tatum scored 25 and Jaylen Brown finished with 24. Meanwhile, Kemba Walker also scored 22 in the defeat. However, the only other Boston player to score more than ten points was Marcus Smart, who finished with 17.
Rockets Still Struggling
The aim for the Houston Rockets will be to end the season in some kind of good form. They have struggled to get going throughout the season to this point, and lost for the eighth time in ten games recently against the Brooklyn Nets. The defeat was their 34th in 47 games this season, which meant another disappointing reunion with James Harden. Harden scored 17 against his former side for the Nets, and added eight assists and six rebounds. Things started very positively for the Rockets in the game, as they scored a stunning 42 points in the opening period. However, their lead was completely evaporated in the third, as they were outscored by the Nets 29-19.
Kevin Porter Jr led the Rockets for points, as he finished the game with 20. Meanwhile, Danuel House had 18, while there were 14 points apiece for Christian Wood and Kelly Olynyk. Sterling Brown and D. J. Augustin both also finished with more than ten points in the defeat. The Rockets will be looking for a similar start against the Celtics on Friday evening, but they will be hoping for a maintained performance across all quarters.
Celtics vs Rockets Pick
The form of the Celtics recently will be a huge concern for those that have gambled on them winning the Eastern Conference this season. They have struggled for the consistency required to be a serious threat in the post-season. There have been glimpses of progression by the Rockets recently, but this will be another challenging test. It should be a much-needed win for the Celtics on Friday night.