Over the summer, several cities with NBA teams were hoping to land the biggest prize in free agency by signing a former MVP who could drastically change the fate of a franchise. The Boston Celtics were one of those teams. Unfortunately for them, though, Kevin Durant opted to take his talents to the Bay Area. On Friday, the Celtics and Golden State Warriors will do battle, as reported by ESPN.
Despite an attempt by many to find controversy on the team, the Golden State Warriors are doing pretty well thus far this season. It is still going to take some time to develop chemistry because it is never easy to add someone as talented as Kevin Durant to a roster that is already filled with the likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. However, the Warriors are sitting at a 9-2 record, putting them second behind the surging Los Angeles Clippers.
The Golden State Warriors are on a five-game winning streak right now, which means that there is a good amount of momentum behind the team. When they went on their record breaking run through the NBA last season, the team simply willed their way towards picking up victories to keep things going as long as they possibly could.
The Boston Celtics have won three of their last five games, so they might not have as much momentum as the Golden State Warriors heading into the game. They are coming off of a victory over the Dallas Mavericks, but that team has been playing without Dirk Nowitzki for much of the season.
Also, the Boston Celtics are not at full strength. Two members of their starting front court will not be available against the Golden State Warriors. Jae Crowder and Al Horford are both unavailable on Friday. Crowder would have been useful because he can play solid defense against Kevin Durant. Though he has extended his range, Horford would have been utilized inside the paint because the Warriors interior defense is no longer what it used to be with Andrew Bogut leaving town.
Even though they are not at full strength, the Boston Celtics should not be counted out. Their last four games against the Golden State Warriors have all been decided by five points or less, so it should not come as a shock that the game on Friday night might be more competitive than expected.
In the game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Boston Celtics decided to go with a small ball lineup since they did not have Jae Crowder and Al Horford available. Head coach Brad Stevens went with a three guard lineup as Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Marcus Smart all started the game together. Kelly Olynyk started up front with Amir Johnson. Neither are natural centers, but that is fine because the Golden State Warriors often times use a 6-foot-7 forward at the position.
The most interesting matchup might be between Kevin Durant and Jaylen Brown. The Boston Celtics rookie swingman has shown some promise thus far. Brown looks like someone that could stay in the NBA for a very long time. Guarding a prolific scorer like Durant is a hard task for veterans, so Brown will be facing quite the challenge on Friday night.
Then again, Isaiah Thomas might turn his point guard battle against Stephen Curry into a shootout. Thomas has a knack for being able to play with a chip on his shoulders because he feels that he does not have the proper respect from those in the NBA. Going toe to toe with Curry could help his cause.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]