The Boston Celtics have won seven games in a row and are now 33-12 on the year, which is good for first place in the Eastern Conference standings and the best record in the NBA. And on Thursday, January 19, they’ll face off against the Golden State Warriors for the second time this year in an NBA Finals rematch.
It was an intense battle when the Celtics and Warriors squared off in the Finals, and at the center of it was Draymond Green, who went back and forth with Boston’s crowd. During a recent chat with Kendra Andrews of ESPN, Green sent a message on the possibility of Celtics fans mocking him for his pre-season incident with Jordan Poole.
“If someone brings that up, I’m more worried about Jordan than myself,” Green told Andrews. “I’m always hyper-alert because I want to see how that’s compounding in Jordan’s head. What actions do I need to take in that moment to make sure it doesn’t mentally affect him.”
Before the season began, a video leaked of Green punching Poole in the face at practice. It blew up into a huge issue, and Green issued an apology to Poole, Poole’s family, and the Warriors organization.
In addition to that, Green also revealed how he plans to greet the Boston crowd ahead of their second rematch of the year.
“I’ll greet them with a nice smile,” Green told Andrews. “Just as I did after we won the championship.”
Celtics fans and Green don’t get along, but the Warriors veteran has put together a solid season this year. He’s appeared in 40 of the team’s 44 games and is playing 31.4 minutes per contest. Green is averaging 7.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game on 50.2% shooting from the field and 32.5% shooting from behind the three-point line.
Jaylen Brown Sends Message Before Warriors Game
Heading into the contest against Golden State, the Celtics are seeking revenge. Not only for their loss in the Finals but also for their loss earlier this season. And ahead of the second tilt of the season between the two sides, Brown sent a message to his teammates about earning a win after the results of the Finals.
“The reality is, you remember it, you learn from it, you grow from it, but you let it go at the same time and you move forward,” Brown said. “We’re not the same team as last year, they’re not the same team as last year. Some of us are not the same players we were last year. I’m not the same player I was last year…This year, our offense has been able to take leaps by understanding the game, seeing the game, and understanding what they want to take away.”
Celtics Predicted to Avoid Making Trades
Boston has more to worry about than their upcoming matchup against the Warriors, though. The trade deadline is coming up on February 9, but according to Keith Smith of CelticsBlog, the Celtics are more likely to engage in the buyout market than make any trades at the deadline.
“Various sources told CelticsBlog that they expect Boston to be a top destination on the buyout market,” Smith wrote. “One source said, ‘They don’t need to make a trade. Why bother? They don’t need anything. Brad [Stevens] already gave Joe [everything he needs]. And that Gallo [Danilo Gallinari] exception [Disabled Player Exception] will allow them to outspend everyone else for a buyout guy. They can let the deadline pass and then just pick off the best free agent or two for playoff depth. And vets will all want the Celtics because they can get paid and they can win.’”