Tip: 8pm Court: Amway Center Watch it: TNT Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Michael Smith, Nick Buchert, David Jones
|Record: 7-9 (2nd Atlantic, 7th East)||Record: 12-5 (2nd Southeast, 3rd East)|
|On road: 2-4||At home: 6-2|
|Streak: Won 2||Streak: Won 1|
|Buckets: Pierce (16.5 ppg)||Buckets: Dwight Howard (19.7 ppg)|
|Boards: Garnett (7.3 rpg)||Boards: Howard (15.6 rpg)|
|Dimes: Rondo (9.4 apg)||Dimes: Jameer Nelson (5.4 apg)|
|For the Stat Geeks:||For the Stat Geeks:|
|Offensive Rating: 100.4 (20th NBA)||Offensive Rating: 105.2 (9th NBA)|
|Defensive Rating: 99.1 (5th NBA)||Defensive Rating: 100.7 (12th NBA)|
|Pace: 89.1 (27th NBA)||Pace: 89.6 (25th NBA)|
The Celtics embarrassed the Magic, 87-56, on Monday night. With a vintage defensive performance, the Celtics held Orlando to a franchise low point total.
Get it to: Paul Pierce
With Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo out of the lineup, the Celtics need Paul Pierce to facilitate and score on offense (no pressure). After a crappy start, Pierce is rounding into form. He should be able to get his own shot on any defender Orlando throws at him.
Gotta stop: Ryan Anderson
Of all the Magic players who stunk on Monday, Anderson may have been the worst. 0 points, 0-8 FG, 0 rebounds. He responded with 24 points and 8 boards vs Indiana the following night. Orlando's game plan won't change: get the ball to Dwight Howard who, when he can't get off a shot amid a double team, will kick it to the open guy (aka Anderson).
The Wild Card: Boston's depth
The Celtics will be without Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, and, it seems, Mickael Pietrus. Keyon Dooling and Chris Wilcox will return, but how effective will they be? And Jermaine O'Neal is a game-time decision, so how much can they get out of Stiemsma and maybe even JaJuan Johnson if they need to go that far down the bench?
How we see it goin' down
Orlando will play with a lot of emotion as they look to exact revenge for the beatdown. The Celtics need to weather the early storm and not dig too deep a hole. Even if the Celtics come out strong, I am skeptical about their chances of winning this game on the road. Boston won the previous game because they worked harder. I don't see that happening again.
Prediction: ORL 97 – BOS 90