Boston Celtics vs Utah Jazz Preview and Predictions -02-26-2020
The Boston Celtics continue their west coast road trip when they face the Utah Jazz Wednesday night. The Celtics are third in the Eastern Conference while the Jazz are 36-21 and in fifth place in the Western Conference. The Jazz have won the last two against the Celtics, covering both times, but they haven’t met since last season. Tipoff is Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. Utah.
Tatum has career night in loss to Lakers
The Celtics gave the Los Angeles Lakers all they could handle Sunday in Los Angeles before losing 114-112. The game came down to the final minute when LeBron James hit a fallaway jumper over Jaylen Brown with 30 seconds left to win it. The teams traded free throws down the stretch and the Celtics turned it over in a last second attempt to win. Jayson Tatum had a great game with a career high of 41 points. Brown added 20 points while Daniel Theis added 16 and Marcus Smart had 14.
“The kid is special,” James said of Tatum, reported the Celtics web site. “Obviously that’s a reason he’s a first-time All-Star, and he’s been special all year.”
His teammates were impressed too. “Certainly, I think he has taken it to another level,” Gordon Hayward said of Tatum. “They’re trying to take the ball out of someone’s hands, so they’re leaving somebody open. We have a lot of weapons, so we should take advantage of that.”
While the loss was disappointing, the Celtics can take solace in the fact that they played without all-star guard Kemba Walker, who was out with an injury. He didn’t play Tuesday night at Portland and he is questionable for Wednesday’s game at the Jazz.
Jazz lose third straight
The Utah Jazz had a game they’d rather forget Monday night as they got hammered by the Phoenix Suns at home by the score of 131-111. It was their third straight loss since the all-star break as they dropped to 36-21. The usually good Jazz defense got torched by the Suns who shot 56 percent from the floor and made 12 of 20 three-pointers. Utah had 37 free throws to keep them in the game, but they turned it over 19 times and were out rebounded 38-30. Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 38 points but no one else did much as Bojan Bogdanovich added 16 points and Rudy Gobert had 13.
“There are certain games in the course of a season where you don’t play well; you lose; things happen. There’s other games that … are low-point type games. Those usually involve more than a lack of execution, but a lack of commitment to the things you need to do to win,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said, reported the Salt Lake City Tribune. “We’re gonna keep getting the same result if we don’t focus and execute on the defensive end.”
The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league’s original eight teams, the team play their home games at TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League (NHL)’s Boston Bruins. The Celtics are one of the most successful teams in NBA history; the franchise has won the most championships in the NBA with 17, accounting for 23.9 percent of all NBA championships since the league’s founding.
The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, who have won 16 NBA championships, second behind the Celtics. The rivalry was heavily highlighted throughout the 1960s and 1980s. The franchise has played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals (including their most recent appearances in 2008 and 2010), of which the Celtics have won nine. Four Celtics players (Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Dave Cowens and Larry Bird) have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards. Both the nickname “Celtics” and their mascot “Lucky the Leprechaun” are a nod to Boston’s historically large Irish population.
The Celtics’ rise to dominance began in the late 1950s, after acquiring center Bill Russell in a draft day trade in 1956, who would become the cornerstone of the Celtics dynasty. Led by Russell and superstar point guard Bob Cousy, the Celtics won their first NBA championship in 1957. Russell, along with a talented supporting cast of future Hall of Famers including John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones, Satch Sanders, and Bill Sharman, would usher the Celtics into the greatest period in franchise history, winning eight consecutive NBA championships throughout the 1960s. After the retirement of Russell in 1969, the Celtics entered a period of rebuilding. Led by center Dave Cowens and point guard JoJo White, the Celtics returned to championship caliber, winning two NBA titles in 1974 and 1976. The Celtics again returned to dominance in the 1980s. Led by the “Big Three” that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, the Celtics won the 1981, 1984, and 1986 championships. After winning 16 championships throughout the 20th century, the Celtics, after struggling through the 1990s, rose again to win a championship in 2008 with the help of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen in what was known as the new “Big Three” era.
Following the win in 2008, general manager Danny Ainge commenced a rebuilding process with the help of head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics to a return to the playoffs from 2015. During the following season, the Celtics clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the Conference Finals. This prompted an aggressive rebuild in 2017, where the team acquired All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, the pair struggled with injuries throughout the 2017–18 season, and the team was again defeated in the Eastern Conference Finals.