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Celtics-Suns Preview: Isaiah’s Return

The Phoenix Suns have lost seven of their last eight games, and just days after being traded to Boston, Isaiah Thomas is heading back to Phoenix to make sure the Suns cold streak continues.

Thomas scored 21 points before he was ejected from last night’s game in Los Angeles, but repeating that might be tough against new Phoenix point guard Brandon Knight. Knight faced off against the Celtics in a different jersey on February 7th, where he scored 26 points. Knight is leading his new teammates in points per game with 17.7, and although he only scored 13 points in his Suns debut, he only played 25 minutes compared to his average of 32.5 minutes per game this season. Aside from being a terrific scorer, he is also a great passer, averaging 5.4 assists per game which is second among his new teammates behind only Eric Bledsoe who averages 5.9. Thomas will be faced with the task of stopping this guy.

Avery Bradley scored 20 points last night, and three of those points came from a clutch buzzer beating shot to bring the Celtics to overtime. He also had 28 points in the first game back from the All Star Game in Sacramento. Bradley is red hot, and it is up to Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe to try to stop that. Bledsoe averages 17 points per game and is a steady defender who should be able to give Bradley some trouble tonight. However judging by the past two games for the Celtics, Bradley is not slowing down anytime soon.

Alex Len is leading the Suns in rebounds per game with 6.9, and with Jared Sullinger out for the season now, the Celtics will be relying on Tyler Zeller to try to fight for rebounds under the rim against Len. Zeller scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Boston’s previous game against Phoenix this year. He is averaging 5.7 rebounds per game, and ever since he was placed into a starting role that number has improved. He will have to use his height to his advantage tonight to try to limit Len’s rebounding.

Prediction: Celtics 99 Suns 90

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From New Jersey, Griffin is a huge Celtics Fan. He started rooting for the Celtics when Kevin Garnett came to Boston, but he's also a big fan of Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk.
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