Tip: 7:30pm Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSN/NBA TV Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Tom Washington, Leroy Richardson, Scott Twardoski
|Record: 6-9 (3rd Atlantic, 7th East)||Record: 11-4 (1st Southeast, 2nd East)|
|At Home: 4-5||On road: 5-2|
|Streak: Won 1||Streak: Won 1|
|Buckets: Pierce (16.3 ppg)||Buckets: Dwight Howard (20.2 ppg)|
|Boards: Garnett (7.1 rpg)||Boards: Howard (16.1 rpg)|
|Dimes: Rondo (9.4 apg)||Dimes: Jameer Nelson (5.6 apg)|
|For the Stat Geeks:||For the Stat Geeks:|
|Offensive Rating: 100.7 (20th NBA)||Offensive Rating: 107.6 (2nd NBA)|
|Defensive Rating: 101.6 (14th NBA)||Defensive Rating: 101.6 (12th NBA)|
|Pace: 88.9 (28th NBA)||Pace: 89.5 (25th NBA)|
Celtics won last year's season series 2-1, winning both games at home. Kevin Garnett led the C’s with an average of 19.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game
Get it to: Paul Pierce
With the status of Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo still in doubt, Paul Pierce is the go-to guy. Coming off a near triple double, it's up to Pierce to continue his progression and lead the Celtics.
Even if both Ray and Rondo play, Pierce is going to have to do a lot of work to score the ball and give the C's a chance to win.
Gotta stop: Ryan Anderson
We've seen the formula for beating the Magic in the past: Single cover Dwight Howard, stick close to their shooters, and hope to force tough shots and misses. It falls under the mindset that even if Dwight scores 40, holding the rest of the team to 40 will get you a win.
Anderson is a candidate for most improved player and he's emerged as the second option on the Magic. If Anderson has a 20 point game, that means he's hitting from 3 and getting to the basket. You HAVE to limit the Magic's supporting cast, and that starts with Anderson
The Wild Card: Glen Davis
Big Baby is an emotional guy. That much we know. His return to the Garden to face his old team will be an interesting one. How will fans react? How will HE react?
If Glen Davis gets too wrapped up in the emotion of the game, he could torpedo Orlando's offense by taking way too many shots.. and he could hurt their defense by being overzealous and committing fouls.
BUT… the added emotion could also fuel an aggressive Big Baby who provides a ton of energy, is all over the place on D, and taking the ball aggressively on offense. Either is equally possible.
How we see it goin' down
It's a back-to-back situation after a tough game to hold off the Wizards. Ray Allen won't be 100% even if he plays. Rajon Rondo will have to play and give a super-human effort for the Celtics to even have a chance in this one.
Even if Rondo doesn't play, the Celtics will have to attack the basket and try to get Dwight Howard into early foul trouble. But I just don't see them having that in them after playing yesterday. The Celtics are going to get decimated on the boards, they're going to give up a ton of second chance points, and they're going to lose again at home, 101-89