Celtics-Magic preview: How to keep the streak

Celtics-Magic preview: How to keep the streak
November 11, 2013, 9:30 am
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BOSTON — Even though it was just one win, there's still a certain glow surrounding the Celtics after they knocked off Miami 111-110 on Saturday.

But as tempting as it may be for them to relish the victory, players and coaches alike see it as a potential trap that may replace what has been a non-stop competitive drive with complacency.

"We're not in a position where we can think too much of ourselves," said Boston head coach Brad Stevens.

Especially with Orlando (3-4) coming to town looking to exact a bit of revenge after Boston's 91-89 win in the Magic Kingdom on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the Celtics (3-4) will try to extend their winning streak to four in a row for the first time since they won five straight from Feb. 25 to March 8. That streak, just like this one, began with a win over Utah.

"We just want to keep taking steps forward," Celtics guard Avery Bradley told reporters following Saturday's win over Miami.

Here are a few more keys to tonight's game:

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: The insertion of Jordan Crawford in the starting lineup and the use of Phil Pressey off the bench has created better ball distribution for the Celtics. But, just as important, it's created fewer turnovers. During their three-game winning streak, the Celtics have decreased their turnovers to 13.3 per game compared to 20.8 during their four-game losing streak to start the season.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Jeff Green vs Mo Harkless. Green is coming off a 24-point game against Miami which included a highly improbable, game-winning three-pointer off one leg with no time left. Boston probably won't need such late-game heroics tonight, but the steady aggression he showed down the stretch needs to become part of who he is and not an every-now-and-then anomaly.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Arron Afflalo came into the NBA known primarily as a defender. But the 6-foot-5 veteran has proven to be a more than capable scorer. He comes into tonight's game averaging a team-best 19.7 points per game along with 5.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

STAT TO TRACK: Contesting shots around the paint will be huge for the Celtics, and they have two of the league's best in Green and Brandon Bass. Among players averaging at least 30 minutes played while contesting at least four shots around the rim per game, Green (2.1) and Bass (2.4) rank fifth and seventh, respectively, in field goals allowed at the rim. They are the only pair of teammates to rank in the top 10.