BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics improved to 13-9 on the season following Wednesday night’s 105-100 win over the Chicago Bulls, and can now turn their attention to their biggest game of the season Friday night.
That’s when the defending champion Golden State Warriors will bring their perfect 23-0 record to town, with reigning MVP Steph Curry averaging an NBA-leading 32.2 points per game this season. The Warriors are the top-scoring team in the league at 115.8 points per game, and also lead the league with a plus-14.6 point differential.
But the Celtics are one of the better defensive teams in the league, holding opponents to 97.9 points per game (tied for 7th in the NBA) with a plus-5.3 points differential (4th in the NBA). So you can see why Friday night has the making to be one of the best games of the season so far.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Thursday morning to discuss the upcoming game, and said the C’s will have to be at their best, and have to hope the Warriors miss a few shots (they lead the league with a 49.6 shooting percentage), if they want to snap that incredible streak.
“You just have to hope they miss some. We have to make shots and take really good care of the ball,” said Ainge. “They’re one of the best transition teams I’ve seen. In the half court, at least you have a chance to match up 5-on-5. We have to take really good care of the ball and have good shot selection.”
The Celtics will be without one of their best defenders for the game as point guard Marcus Smart continues to work his way back from a knee injury. While the Celtics won’t have Smart for Friday, Ainge makes it sound like the guard will be returning to the floor very soon.
“Marcus is coming along really well. He has been getting treatment and working out, conditioning twice a day and sometimes three-times a day,” he said. “It’s hard to tell a time frame. He’s not ready to play yet; he’s at least a week away and Im not sure exactly when he’ll be back. He’s coming along fine.”
Ainge also shares a few Larry Bird stories from his rookie season, and defends his love for Chipolte: