The Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans will matchup Wednesday in a battle between to of the NBA’s fastest-starting teams.
Boston, who owns the NBA’s best record of 29-12, are riding the momentum built last season during a run to the NBA Finals. New Orleans, who is 25-16 and occupies third place in the West, has been much more surprising in its ascent this season.
Something both teams have in common, however, is their shared goal of riding a great young core to an NBA title. Pelicans head coach Willie Green thinks the Celtics are on the right path.
“(Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla) has done a phenomenal job,” Green said pregame, per team-provided video. “You look at their team and you can tell their fighting for something big. They go out every game and they play hard, and they compete. It’s not a lot that they don’t do well.
“… This group has been together for a while. They’ve had a number of playoff experiences. They have a ton of experience on this team, and in getting to the finals, they’re hungry. You can see it when they come out and play. Each and every game they’re playing like it’s the last game of the season.”
Even in working Robert Williams back into the lineup slowly, and seeing Marcus Smart go down with bumps and bruises that have kept him out of a couple games, the Celtics seemingly always find a way to keep up with the standard they set for themselves. Being afforded the opportunity of riding superb outings from Jayson Tatum and/or Jaylen Brown every night will do that.