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Kings vs. Celtics Preview: No Free Pass to Shoot It in Massachusetts

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The Kings are in Boston to rematch their spectacular game from last week. Can they make this yet another surprising victory?

Kimani Okearah

So I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Good news is that Kings have a game Monday night! The bad news is that they’re on the second night of a back to back, against a team the Kings beat in the waning moments of a game last week and who just lost the floor general to a sprain neck. The Kings are in Celtics territory looking to sweep the season series against the East’s second best team and yes, you heard that right about Kemba Walker: the man won’t be rolling out tonight after he pulled the basketball equivalent of a butt-fumble, smacked his face into his teammates belly and rattled his brain and spinal cord in the process. Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Monday, November 25th, 4:30 PST

Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Boston Team Cry: If there is any fanbase in the NBA that can commiserate with the Celtics and their base, it would be the Kings. Losing two of your best players for weeks on end due to funky injuries is something the Kings are facing now and while they should be trudging through another lost season, their depth (and a wacky bit of parity in the West) has seemingly kept the Kings on the edges of the playoff hunt so far. The Celtics have youth and depth on their side, as well. Kemba goes down and Boston gets to call up one of the top defensive players in the league to fill in for him in Marcus Smart. Gordon Hayward dings his left wing and the Celtics get to move around pieces like Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum for more minutes. Boston is dinged up but still has the depth and conference situation be the second best record in the East right now. Don’t get fooled by the fact that they’ve lost three of their last four games (starting with the Kings snapping their ten game win streak, I might add): the Celtics are still playing winning basketball right now. Those two losses were to the now full strength Clippers by three in overtime and to Denver by four a few nights later. Absolutely nothing to scoff at.

If the Kings want to replicate their success against the Celtics they’re going to have to push hard on the defensive end and get a little lucky. The Kings forced the Celtics into 11 first half turnovers the last time around, a fantastic feat seeing as how they average that many turnovers in an entire game. Then in the second half, offensive and defensive sets started to breakdown and the Celtics walked out of the Golden 1 Center with a loss, but, also only having turned the ball over 14 times. If the Kings can get their hands on some deflections and hope that Marcus Smart and Carsen Edwards aren’t nearly as steady with the ball as Kemba is, there’s a solid shot the Kings can take a win out of Boston. The other big factor will be previously mentioned Smart and how he makes up on the offensive end for Cardiac Kemba’s firepower. Walker is not just the Celtics floor general, he’s also their leading scorer and nearly tied for the lead in assists with Smart. Last Sunday, the Kings forced Marcus Smart to be a shooter and he ended the game shooting 2-16 from the field. With Walker out Monday night, Smart’s expected to be more of the offense and is going to have to produce a little more than 12.5% of his shots going through the hole. The Kings will really focus on taking Smart’s green light to shoot it and turning it into a stop sign.

Prediction

Buddy Hield snaps out of his weekend funk to eat some Boston baked beans for a second week in a row, Bogdanovic’s hamstring issue gets sorted after they realize he’s been running around with a set of brass spheroids into gym shorts and Celtics fans get another chance to swoon at the King of Quads, Carsen Edwards.

Kings 107, Celtics 101