The Boston Celtics will conclude their four-game road trip with a matchup against the OKC Thunder on Saturday night. The Celtics are barely holding on to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference while the Thunder are out of playoff contention.
Fixture: Boston Celtics vs OKC Thunder | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Saturday, March 27th, 9 PM ET (Sunday, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics picked up a huge win against the red-hot Milwaukee Bucks last night. Brad Stevens' men only have a 22-23 record right now but they'll get a chance to stabilize their season over the next couple of weeks. They have a seven-game homestand following their game against OKC Thunder on Saturday.
The Boston Celtics will be hoping for new acquisition Evan Fournier to make his debut against OKC Thunder. Fournier is averaging a career-high 19.7 points per game this season and would be a valuable weapon off the bench.
In the meantime, Marcus Smart is slowly regaining his rhythm. He had 23 points against Milwaukee, which included a whopping seven three-pointers. Kemba Walker also had 21 points but the Boston Celtics need him to be more accurate from the field.
Key Player - Jayson Tatum
After a lean patch in late February, Jayson Tatum is slowly getting back to his best. The combo forward had an impressive 34-point outing against the Milwaukee Bucks. Even though he can take shots from anywhere on the court, he's getting more comfortable in driving to the cup. Tatum leads the Boston Celtics in scoring this season with 24.8 points per game and has also managed a healthy 6.8 rebounds per game.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
G Kemba Walker, G Marcus Smart, F Jaylen Brown, F Jayson Tatum, C Robert Williams
OKC Thunder Preview
The OKC Thunder are really staring down the barrel right now. They haven't played bad basketball at all lately but they're likely to suffer without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who's set to be on the sidelines for some time with plantar fasciitis.
Rookie Theo Maledon has done a great job in recent games and will continue to take on more ball-handling responsibility in Gilgeous-Alexander's absence. Sophomore Ty Jerome has also been a valuable addition for the OKC Thunder this season. Jerome is a good passer himself and has shot the ball at 46.2% from downtown in March.
Veteran center Al Horford has had a great impact on OKC Thunder's frontcourt players. Both Aleksej Pokusevski and Isaiah Roby have benefited from playing with him. Now the Thunder will also have the chance to give deadline day acquisition Tony Bradley a run alongside Horford.
Key Player - Luguentz Dort
Luguentz Dort is already amongst the best on-ball defenders in the NBA. He had an astonishing chase-down block on John Wall in OKC Thunder's win against the Houston Rockets last week. He also had 23 points in that game. Dort's scoring average isn't that great but he picks up the scoring volume in Gilgeous-Alexander's absence and would be expected to do the same against the Boston Celtics.
OKC Thunder Predicted Lineup
G Theo Maledon, G Luguentz Dort, F Aleksej Pokusevski, F Isaiah Roby, C Al Horford
Celtics vs Thunder Match Prediction
The Boston Celtics are surging in form and have acquired some reinforcements in the trade market. In comparison, the OKC Thunder are without their key player and are likely to work on their developmental goals by fielding experimental rotations. Expect the Celtics to emerge victorious in this tie.
Where to watch Celtics vs Thunder?
Local coverage of the game will be available on NBC Sports Boston and FOX Sports Oklahoma. You can also live stream this matchup via the NBA League Pass.