Tip: 7:30pm Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: David Jones, Kane Fitzgerald, Michael Smith
The Celtics gave up 29 4th quarter points and dropped a 94-89 decision in Charlotte. The Bobcats bench outscored Boston's 44-15. It was the second night of a back-to-back for the C's
Get it to: Paul Pierce
Get the captain his touches dammit!! Paul Pierce is having an amazing season (as Mike Gorman highlighted in last night's show). Get the man the ball and let him continue with it… especially if injuries force Charlotte to start Dante Cunningham against him.
Gotta stop: DJ Augustin
Stephen Jackson might not only miss tonight's game, he's probably gonna be out a while. Tyrus Thomas is probably out tonight too. But we know what opposing point guards can do if the Celtics are not careful. The last thing the C's need is to relax too much, let Augustin go off, and make this game closer than it should be. He's capable of it. He did have a 19 point, 6 assist game against the C's in a January loss.
The Wild Card: Rajon Rondo
We've seen a re-emergence of Rondo's aggressiveness. Will it continue tonight? There is no reason he can't dominate this matchup. Lazy Rondo = stagnant C's offense. If he doesn't push the issue, then we're in for some frustration.
How we see it goin' down
Charlotte's playoff hopes are essentially over. They've lost 10 of their last 12 games and are fading fast. With injuries to two key players, there's no use in playing guys hurt and risking permanent damage in a long-shot to become top-seed chum. They just don't have enough left to challenge the C's, regardless of the disarray the team is in.
Yes, I am aware of the "they've got nothing to lose" effect that, coupled with the "we've got no reason to go hard" mentality that sets in with the C's in games like this could lead to maddeningly close game. But I'm going to look at the fact that the C's had a hard practice yesterday as a sign that they're going to want to put that honing of their skills to the test tonight.
I expect the C's to buck their recent trend, blast out of the gates tonight, then cruise after a dominant first quarter. Don't be shocked if we saw a 30-12 first quarter… followed by the C's backing off a little but still winning the next few quarters by 4 or 6 points each… leading to 25+ point drubbing, tons of rest for the starters, and KG pointing and laughing at Gino with 2 minutes left in the game.