Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
When: 5:30PM AZ Time
Watch: Fox Sports AZ, NBA League Pass
This has been the most frustrating and disappointing season in recent memory, possibly in franchise history, but the games continue, and tonight the Suns (13-27) roll into Boston to face the Celtics (20-19). Since December 14, the Suns are 2-13. During that streak, the team lost Eric Bledsoe to a season-ending injury and were embarrassed in a loss to the woeful 76ers.
While this season is a wash, the absence of Bledsoe has allowed rookie Devin Booker to log significant minutes, and the young sharpshooter has shown flashes of stardom with his fantastic shooting stroke. Archie Goodwin has also received minutes the last couple of games with Ronnie Price out with injury, and has shown his known ability to attack the basket, though his poor FT shooting has partially negated that.
Unfortunately, Alex Len is out with a hand injury so we don't get to see his hoped-for development. But hey, Lorenzo Brown! He plays for the Suns now, and also played at NC State with T.J. Warren. Brown tallied 7 points and 5 assists in 20 minutes. Never mind the 5 turnovers. With Price out for a few weeks to have toe surgery, expect to see plenty more of Brown. Yay?
As for the Celtics, they're fighting for one of the final playoff spots in the East, and feature our old friend Isaiah Thomas as their leading scorer. They broke a four game losing streak Wednesday night by downing the Pacers 103-84. Boston's been struggling this new calendar year, with a 2-5 record sinking them to a tie with Orlando in the 8th spot.
A team full of grade B players, the Celtics are on the same quest for a franchise-altering star as the Suns. They play fast (4th in the league in pace), strong defense (3rd in D-Rating), but inefficient offense (20th in O-Rating), and the sum is a team sitting right in the middle of the pack.
PG: Brandon Knight vs. Isaiah Thomas
SG: Devin Booker vs. Avery Bradley
SF: PJ Tucker vs. Jae Crowder
PF: Jon Leuer vs. Amir Johnson
C: Tyson Chandler vs. Jared Sullinger
View from the other side: Celtics Blog