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Pregame Post-Ups: High-Powered Offenses Collide at TD Garden

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Hope you’re ready for some holiday fireworks tonight at TD Garden.

Yes, we know it’s the wrong holiday for fireworks, but they’re sure to go off tonight when the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses in the league match up at the Garden.

Boston, which owns the top offensive rating in the league at 118.8, hosts the No. 2 team, Sacramento (116.8) at 8 p.m.

“Both play with a good amount of pace. Both shoot a lot of 3s. Both have great spacing,” said Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla. “So I think it’s just a matter of what we can limit.”

One of Boston’s main targets to limit tonight will be De’Aaron Fox, who, along with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, is one of the top 14 scorers in the league thus far in the season. Fox ranks 14th with an average of 25.4 points per game, while Tatum ranks fourth (30.6) and Brown ranks 13th (25.6).

What has boosted Fox’s breakout season, along with his team’s season in general, is the fact that Sacramento is playing at a very high pace. They rank fifth in the league in that category at 101.88 possessions per game. Utilizing their high level of athleticism and shooting ability amid that high pace has led to a consistent offensive punch, the likes of which few teams can match.

The C’s certainly can match Sacramento’s scoring punch, which should make for entertaining basketball tonight. Mazzulla did point out, however, that the manner in which these score their points is not the same.

“I think they get their 3s a little bit different than we do as far as their transition, and having (Domantas) Sabonis as a playmaker more than anything else,” Mazzulla said. “So we’re trying to limit how they get those, but it should be a good test for us, especially on the defensive end.”

Boston has passed the majority of its tests this season. Let’s see if it can do so again tonight during this matchup between the two highest-powered offenses in the league.