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Charlotte Hornets vs Boston Celtics: Match Preview and Predictions - 22nd December 2019

Achyut Dubey
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 22 Dec 2019, 14:35 IST

The Celtics are playing with playoff-level intensity every night
The Celtics are playing with playoff-level intensity every night

Match Details

Fixture: Charlotte Hornets vs Boston Celtics

Date & Time: Sunday, 22 December 2019 (6:00 PM ET)

Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA

Last Game Results

Charlotte Hornets (13-19): 107-114 loss to Utah Jazz (21 December, Saturday)

Boston Celtics (19-7): 114-93 win over Detroit Pistons (20 December, Friday)

Charlotte Hornets Preview

The Charlotte Hornets are yet to function to the maximum of their capabilities. They are currently situated at the 9th spot on the East standings with an underwhelming 13-19 (0.406) record next to their name.

Their field-goal percentage and points total are ranked amongst the bottom 5 in the league, as they have now lost three of their last four games. Moreover, Rookie PJ Washington is expected to be out until Christmas with a fractured finger.

Key Player - Devonte' Graham

Graham is in line for the Most Improved Player Award
Graham is in line for the Most Improved Player Award

Devonte' Graham is the 34th overall pick from last year's draft and has broken out in a major way this season. Perhaps the most fearless scorer in the NBA right now, the 24-year-old is shooting at a 40% clip from beyond the arc and has dropped the second-most three-pointers (119) in the league so far this season.

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He is averaging a team-high 19.1 points, along with 7.5 assists per game. Former Big 12 Player of the Year (2018), Graham has taken over the offensive heavy lifting for the Hornets squad and has become their go-to individual for crunch situations down the stretch.

Hornets Predicted Lineup

Bismack Biyombo, Terry Rozier, Devonte' Graham, Nicolas Batum, Miles Bridges


Boston Celtics Preview

Despite missing Gordon Hayward to a left foot issue, the Boston Celtics managed to win games in convincing fashion. Although behind by 5 games, the Celtics are currently the second-best team in the East with an impressive 19-7 (0.731) win-loss record.

Having won seven of their last ten matchups, Boston is a top 5 unit in terms of defensive ratings along with dropping over 110 points per contest on the offensive end. Coach Brad Stevens has yet again fabricated a resilient group of individuals who are playing gritty basketball and desperate to top every team in the league.

Key Player - Jayson Tatum

Tatum
Tatum's defense has shown notable improvement this year

Jayson Tatum is gradually becoming the NBA player he was destined to be. Scoring a career-best 21 points per game, Tatum's 1.4 steals per game have really caught the eye of keen basketball observers.

His defensive rating of 100.4 has been worthy of respect, considering that the 21-year-old is playing over 34 minutes per game and pulling down 6.9 boards on average as well. His active defensive presence has compensated well for a noticeable drop in his shooting accuracy this year.

Celtics Predicted Lineup

Daniel Theis, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown

Hornets vs Celtics Match Prediction

The Celtics are 11-1 at home this year so far, while the Hornets have just lost the first of a back-to-back. The scales are tipped in favor of the hosts as they look to regain full strength with the return of Gordon Hayward and a probable Marcus Smart.

Where to Watch Hornets vs Celtics?

There will be local coverage of the game on Fox Sports Southeast - Charlotte and NBC Sports Boston from 6:00 PM (ET). You can also live stream the game via NBA League Pass.

Published 22 Dec 2019, 14:35 IST
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