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Celtics (40-14) at Golden State (26-29)
Game Time: 10:30 PM, Oracle Arena. TV: CSN Radio: WEEI
Boston: Paul Pierce (18.8 ppg) Golden St.: Monta Ellis (25.3 ppg)
Boston: Kevin Garnett (9.0 rpg) Golden St.: David Lee (9.4 rpg)
Boston: Rajon Rondo (12.2 apg) Golden St.: Stephen Curry (6.0 apg)
Who'll go off: Rajon Rondo
The Warriors, while playing better defensively lately, are not exactly a lock-down type of team. In his last four games against the Warriors, Rajon Rondo has dropped 30, 18, 11 and 22 points while adding 15, 12, 9 and 7 assists. I have no doubt Rondo will continue to slice through Golden State's "defense" to do whatever he wants.
Who needs to be stopped: Monta Ellis
He's the obvious guy. The last time they met in Oakland, Monta went off for 37 points on 57.7% shooting. If the C's are going to give up 37 points to anyone, they'd better be sure he's shooting in the low 40% range. At least then you know the guy is just chucking and it's most likely hurting his teammates. Few teams let Monta go off for 30+ on a nearly 60% shooting night and live to tell the tale.
C's will lose if: They let David Lee feast on the offensive boards.
Lee averages 10 boards a game in wins and about 8-and-a-half in losses. So keep him off the glass and you improve your chances. We all know the Warriors like to run and gun (they're 7th in points per game, 4th in pace)… so don't give them any help by giving up a ton of second chance points. The C's will get tired enough trying to keep up with the pace… there's no need to compound that by having to defend two or more possessions in a row.
Miscellany: The last time the C's won at Oracle, Jiri Welsch was on the team. They've lost six straight games since then, making this the only road arena in which the new Big 3 is winless. Golden State is 7-3 in its last 10 games. Chop off that 10th game (a 121-113 OT loss to Charlotte) and the Warriors have given up 97.6 points a game in that stretch. Delonte West is expected to make his return in this game, but will likely play limited minutes.
Prediction: The Celtics come out of the break energized and Doc Rivers reminds the troops that they haven't won here yet as a group. The C's lock down on D early, give up a run late, but hold on for a 110-102 win.
After the jump, Accuscore runs the game through its simulator
This is a simulation provided by Accuscore. This page automatically refreshes to a new game once the Celtics game is over. Click here for a full page version. Use the scroll bar across the bottom to see hidden information