Celtics vs. Thunder: Clash of NBA Titans

Celtics vs. Thunder: Clash of NBA Titans

Not surprisingly, the Boston Celtics had the best record in the NBA when the calendar turned to 2024. The Celtics were built to win a championship this season and are 26-6 so far. But the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that finished 34 games below .500 just two seasons ago and is now in the final stages of reconstruction, has also suddenly emerged as a contender in the Western Conference.

Tuesday and a matchup between Boston and host Oklahoma City pits the two powerhouses against each other with the winning streak on the line. The Celtics have won six straight games, the fourth of a streak of five or more games this season. Boston has also won 11 of the previous 12.

I think the structure of our team makes things easier with Jrue (Holiday) and (Kristaps Porzingis),andquot; Celtics star Jaylen Brown said. andquot;So, and thanks to us players, I think we’ve improved. andquot;I think credit to the front office for building a cohesive team and then credit to the coaches for knowing where weand#039; should be, and make sure we see where the reading should make the play clear to us.

I think coaching has been great this year, making sure we see the game the way it should be played.andquot; Boston has been helped by Holiday, who is averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists, and Porzingis, who is averaging 20.0 points and 7.2 rebounds, as well as the continued rise of guard Derrick White.

White averaged 17.0 points and 5.3 assists while shooting 49.1 percent from the field, all career highs. The Celtics hope to have Holiday back after he missed Sunday’s 134-101 win over San Antonio with a sprained right elbow. The Thunder have won four straight and seven of their last eight and enter Tuesday’s game with the second most losses in the conference. Oklahoma City is 22-9 this season.

The core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren has played well all season in Oklahoma City, while third-year guard Josh Giddey has struggled. However, Giddey has two strong performances in wins over the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets, scoring 32 points on 14-of-26 shooting, 14 rebounds and nine assists.


Heand#039;does exactly what I expected, Gilgeous-Alexander said of Giddey. andquot;I’ve said it before, every young player has different aspects and needs to adapt, especially early in their career. I had to get through it. … Josh did exactly what he had to do – learn from it, improve and attack it.

The Thunder were the best in the NBA at exploiting their opponents and #039; fouls, an average of 20.3 points from turnovers – 1.5 more than any other team in the league. Against the Celtics, teams are averaging just 14.5 points per game, the lowest in the league. Oklahoma City committed just seven turnovers and scored just four points in Sunday’s 124-108 win over Brooklyn. Tuesday’s game is the first of two games between the teams this season.

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