Celtics star, former Hawk Al Horford remains in concussion protocol

Celtics star, former Hawk Al Horford remains in concussion protocol

Celtics star, former Hawk Al Horford remains in concussion protocol

With Crowder and Horford out of the lineup the last two games, the Celtics have allowed 122 points in a loss at Cleveland and 123 last Sunday night at home to Denver. Mudiay outscored the Celtics' by himself in the first quarter 24-23. G Will Barton (ankle) remained out for the Nuggets.

The team wanted Crowder to watch the game against the Nuggets on television from the locker room, but he insisted on being on the bench.

With the addition of Al Horford, the Boston Celtics were expected to take another leap this season and become one of the elite teams in the East.

If the Celtics can find a way to contain the front court duo of Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic, they will also have to contend with the rookie Jaylen Brown taking the most hard matchup of the game against Danilo Gallinari. The Boston Celtics had a film session before their practice following their loss to the Nuggets and went over their mistakes. Kenneth Faried could start.

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Harris, in his first start of the season, was also impressive. I have no idea what Malone has in store, but he will likely move to a more veteran group of starters after another pitiful first quarter. Chandler left with a hamstring injury but Malone didn't think it was serious. It was the kind of quarter no Nuggets player had experienced in five years.

Will a backcourt player please stand up?

Perhaps it wasn't a coincidence that, when Mudiay goes off for 24, he was joined in the backcourt by good friend Gary Harris. "When we don't come out with a sense of urgency, we're not a good team", he added. The backcourt can not continue to be very bad if the Nuggets value winning basketball games. "I have not gotten anything deeper than that, but he did not do anything with our team today". Take of that what you will. Boston has 12 other guys on the team who all need to step up on the defensive end when their name is called. The Nuggets will try to impose their size on the Celtics, and if they are not able to get comfortable with Brown at the four and Smart at the three, then they will be forced to overcome the Nuggets' maximum impact on the interior. How will the group respond to an immediate turnaround after a hard loss?

The Nuggets shot 70.8 percent (17 for 25) in the first quarter on their way to 42 points. Will a potential change or two to the opening group fix that?

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Boston hasn't been great defensively, nor is Horford considered a defensive stopper, but with Horford on the court the Celtics gave up 106 ppg.

They have three of the peskiest perimeter defenders in the league right now in Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder. The Washington Wizards are shooting 29.4 percent from beyond the arc and 78.4 percent from the free throw line. There was no way the overshadowed, lightly regarded Denver Nuggets would come to TD Garden and punch the home team in the mouth, especially after looking so uninterested the night before in Detroit. The rest will certainly follow.

The acquisition of Al Horford alone will be enough to get the Celtics out of the first round, and maybe even to the Eastern Conference Finals.

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