Monday, November 4, 2013
W2W4: C's vs. Grizzlies (Game 4 of 82)
By Chris Forsberg
The Boston Celtics (0-3, 0-2 away) visit the Memphis Grizzlies (1-2, 1-0 home) at the FedEx Forum on Monday night (8 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
* STOP US IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS BEFORE: Rebounding! This might be a category in all 82 games this season given Boston's lack of pure size. The Grizzlies have some bruisers up front and Boston will have its hands full. The Pistons gave the Celtics fits at times with their size and athleticism, and Boston seemingly went small to mix things up on Detroit. Brad Stevens might have to get creative again on Monday.
* GOING GREEN?: Jeff Green sat out the final 14:41 of Sunday's loss in Detroit. While Stevens said he simply decided to ride the group that rallied to the finish line of an 87-77 loss to the Pistons, Green has to channel any frustration from Sunday's extended bench stay and try to use that against the Grizzlies. Green took five shots over 20 minutes on Sunday and the Celtics desperately need him to be more aggressive towards the basket early in games.
* LET'S PLAY TWO (NIGHTS IN A ROW): Stevens dipped into the Larry Bird playbook earlier this preseason and pulled out the legend's quote about the NBA schedule. "Forty-one home, 41 away. Yup, looks right to me," Bird is credited with saying after checking out Boston's schedule for a season during his playing days. Stevens earlier this week downplayed the idea of home vs. away, and noted how every team endures back-to-backs and that his young Celtics team can't use it as an excuse. Boston needs to dust itself off after three winnable games got away and see what they can do against an expected Western Conference power.
* WHAT ELSE?: Gerald Wallace, one of Boston's best offensive players this preseason, is struggling to get going early in the regular season. Wallace, who took only one shot on opening night, scored five points on 2-of-6 shooting over 36:28 against Detroit... Vitor Faverani played only 6:27 in the second half against the Pistons and will be needed against Memphis' towering frontline... Rookie Kelly Olynyk had a stellar second half and should be looking to build off that on Monday.