Kyrie Irving: Celtics Have to Be More Mature Late in Games After Loss to Hornets – Bleacher Report

Kyrie Irving: Celtics Have to Be More Mature Late in Games After Loss to Hornets - Bleacher Report
Preview: Reeling Hornets face Boston Celtics for the fourth time
Share Share Defending Smart defending himself tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports In the middle of the Celtics collapse last night in Charlotte, they were nursing a four-point lead with just under three minutes to go. Marcus Smart had just rimmed out a wide open, corner three and Kemba Walker followed up Smarts miss with a three of his own. On the ensuing possession, Smart tried to stop the bleeding from the Hornets on a 17-3 run and take advantage of his match up against a smaller Devonte Graham.

Share Share Reeling Hornets face Boston Celtics for the fourth time tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports What: Charlotte Hornets (32-39) vs. Boston Celtics (43-29)

Kemba Walker made 10-of-22 from the field for 31 points with five rebounds, six assists and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes during a 113-106 win over the Wolves on Thursday. There were some major changes to the rotation today, but it certainly didnt affect Kemba. Last season, Walkers minutes didnt trend down until the last week of the season, and hes always said he just wants to play basketball. The Hornets may give him what he wants to just keep him out there in hopes hell re-sign this summer. Keep him rolling, but is fantasy owners may want to make sure hes a go for a back-to-back set on Saturday and Sunday.

The Hornets are still on the outside looking in at the postseason with the regular season nearly over. Charlotte will need a lot of wins and help if they want to sneak into the final playoff spot. Head coach James Borrego switched up his rotations in the Hornets most recent game: a 113-106 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The over is a perfect 4-0 in the previous four meetings between these two teams but the under has been extremely profitable when Boston has been on the road recently. The under is 10-4 in the Celtics last 14 road games and is 5-2 in their last seven games when playing on two days of rest. On the other side, the under has cashed in four of the Hornets last five games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous contest.

Now, the Hornets will look to desperately build on that game as they host the Boston Celtics on Saturday night at Spectrum Center. Led by all-star point guard Kyrie Irving and a talented cast, the Celtics have somewhat underachieved during the regular season. For a team that was widely considered a championship contender in the eastern conference, Boston is currently the fifth seed.

Share Share Charlotte Hornets vs. Boston Celtics game thread tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports This is the last classic night of the season. Maybe the Hornets will send them out with a bang. Thatll be tough considering the Celtics took them to the woodshed in both of the last two meetings.

However, there is still the postseason that truly decides the fate of many franchises. The Celtics will be in the playoffs and will likely face the Indiana Pacers in the first round. They might have to play that series without homecourt advantage, but they have time to change that. Meanwhile, the Hornets need a big comeback to have a shot at making it. A game like this could be a potential turning point, but Charlotte has fallen apart over the last few weeks.

This is the last time that the Hornets will play on Saturday this season. Were really getting close to the end.

Cody Zeller will once again sit out with a sore knee and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is again out with a concussion. Both of these players are tough losses against a team that has high quality wings and bigs. Despite that, the Celtics will be without Aron Baynes, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford due to various injuries.

Robert Williams injury: Celtics C leaves in first start

The schedule doesnt favor the Hornets at all down the stretch. Charlotte still has to play the Toronto Raptors twice and the Golden State Warriors on the road. If there is any positives, the Hornets do have a home win over the Celtics this season. Although that win was great, Boston won both of its home games against Charlotte this season. The most recent matchup was a 126-94 home win for the Celtics on January 30th.

When the teams returned to the court, media in attendance were informed that Williams would not return. Boston bigs Daniel Theis and Guerschon Yabusele will carry the center minutes. Celtics coaching staff also informed NBC Sports Boston broadcasters that Marcus Morris Sr. might play in the middle when Charlotte sends out small lineups.

In the end, a lot of things have to go right for the Hornets if they want a shot at winning this game. With more of the younger Charlotte players getting playing time, it will be interesting to see if the positive response against the Timberwolves continues into this game with the Celtics. The Kyrie Irving vs. Kemba Walker matchup will be a fun one as always, so well see if the Hornets can pull off an upset at home.

Williams was slated for minutes in tonights contest already, with Aron Baynes sidelined with an ankle sprain and Al Horford resting.

Posted in Irving