Celtics-T'Wolves preview: Search for consistency

Celtics-T'Wolves preview: Search for consistency
November 16, 2013, 10:15 am
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(USA Today Sports Images)

Brad Stevens came into the Boston Celtics job well aware that he would have his ups and downs.

But few would have predicted such a sharp contrast between success and struggles for this team.

They open the season with four straight losses, but rebound with four straight wins.

The streaking continues with the Celtics (4-6) now riding a two-game losing skid after Friday's home loss to Portland.

Like every other coach, Stevens would love for his team to play with more consistency.

But the tug-and-pull between winning and losing, doesn't seem to affect him outwardly as much as it burns him up on the inside.

"It's more topsy-turvy for everybody else than it is to for me," Stevens said. "You know, I hate losing. I don't stomach it well, I don't deal with it well. But I'll be back to work (Saturday)."

Here are some keys to tonight's game:

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:  Controlling tempo will be huge for the Celtics against the Timberwolves who love to get out and run as much as possible. Minnesota is averaging 19.1 fast-break points this season, second in the NBA to Phoenix's 23.4.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Jeff Green vs Corey Brewer: Green's speed won't do him a lot of good against Brewer who like Green, excels in the open floor. At his best, Green balances drives to the basket with knocking down 3-pointers. The Celtics will need that if they are to have any shot at pulling off the upset.

PLAYER TO WATCH: A healthy Kevin Love is giving the Timberwolves hope that a return to the playoffs is in the cards this year. A legit league MVP candidate this season, he's averaging 27.2 points and 13.8 rebounds per game.

STAT TO TRACK: Boston will have plenty of challenges tonight, among them being how to limit Minnesota's shot opportunities. Minnesota is 17th in field goal percentage at 44.2 percent, but are averaging  a league-high 89.1 field goal attempts per game.