By: Evan Singleton
Keys to the Game: Celtics vs Warriors (November 16, 2017)
Turnovers and Rebounds:
Last season the Warriors were near the top in both aforementioned categories, and the Celtics were near the bottom. This season is completely different. Looking at rebounding percentage and turnovers per possession, the Celtics stack up near, if not at the top of the league. Whereas the Warriors are in the middle-of-the-pack for both. The Celtics beat the Warriors twice in their last three meetings, and that was with the lacking categories of turnovers and rebounding. So, now that the tables have turned (in those two statistics) I believe the Celtics may actually have an edge here. Think back to that loss. It would've been 3-of-3 if the Celtics rebounded well.
Tatum, Semi, Theis:
Rookies Jayson Tatum, Semi Ojeleye, and Daniel Theis have actually been pretty big factors thus far into the season. Tatum's all around play has been fantastic, Semi's defensive ability has surprised, and Theis' rebounding skill has been important. They have all produced value in their respective role. However, the question arises, can they do it tonight? Can they hang with the best of the best? If I had to rank their importance: Tatum, Theis, Ojeleye. At least two of those names will be looked back on after the game for good reasons.
Stars vs Stars to Bench vs Bench:
Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green... that is a hell of a core. Kyrie Irving and Al Horford don't necessarily compare. However, this is a regular season game and the stars won't play "playoff minutes." So therefor, Kyrie and Al simply need to hang with the GS studs and then hand the torch over to Smart and Rozier on the bench. I believe that the Celtics bench is superior to Golden State's. So when I note Stars vs Stars, I mean that Irving and Horford need to battle them. They may not get the upper hand, but if the stars of the Celtics can at least heavily compete with Golden State, we'll have ourselves a ball game.