How we see it goin’ down: Celtics – Thunder | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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How we see it goin’ down: Celtics – Thunder

Tip: 7:00 PM     Court: Chesapeake Energy Arena   Watch it: CSN, ESPN     Hear it: WEEI

                           Referees:  Marc Davis, Mark Ayotte, Nick Buchert

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The Matchup

Celtics text logo

Okc logo
Record: 15-16 (3rd Atlantic, 8th East) Record: 25-7 (1st Northwest, 1st West)
On the road: 4-8 At Home: 13-1        
Streak: Lost 4 Streak: Won 3
    Leaders  Leaders
Buckets: Pierce (17.4 ppg) Buckets: Kevin Durant (27.7 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (7.8 rpg) Boards: Durant (8.2 rpg)
Dimes: Rondo (9.5 apg) Dimes: Russell Westbrook (5.5 apg)
For the Stat Geeks: For the Stat Geeks: 
Offensive Rating: 100.0 (25th NBA) Offensive Rating: 108.6 (2nd NBA)
Defensive Rating:  98.4 (4th NBA) Defensive Rating: 102.3 (14th NBA)
Pace: 88.7 (29th NBA) Pace: 93.6 (4th NBA)

Last time

Russell Westbrook caught fire from 3 to hold off the late-charging Celtics. Rajon Rondo came an assist and a rebound shy of a triple-double and Paul Pierce scored 24 on 8-15 shooting.

This time

Get it to:  Paul Pierce

Without Rondo, Pierce is the point-forward.  And it's been said a million times before, but the way you slow down an explosive scorer on the offensive end is forcing him to play defense.  So if Pierce finds himself against Kevin Durant, he's got to make KD work.  Do that enought and you might… MIGHT… wear him out enough to make him front-rim some shots on the other end.

Yes, I understand how hopeful that sounds. 

Gotta stop:  Russell Westbrook

The Celtics have problems with ball penetration.  Westbrook makes a living beating people off the dribble and finishing with some ridiculously vicious dunks.  I don't want to sift through a Westbrook highlight reel when I'm going through this game again tomorrow.

The Wild Card:  Kevin Garnett

Back from two games away due to tend to a personal matter, KG will finally bring the C's a big who can stretch the floor.  That is vitally important against the Thunder, who just had Serge Ibaka chalk up a 14 point, 15 rebound, 11 block triple double.  If KG can get his shot going early, he might just open enough of a lane for others to get some points past the trees down low. 

How we see it goin' down

So those are the "what if's."  IF KG can hit shots and draw out a shot blocker… and if Paul Pierce can wear Durant out with some physcial offense… then the Celtics might have a shot at keeping this close.  

But they won't keep it close.  The Thunder are way too good.  Durant is a 23 year-old kid who can run for days and barely get tired.  Westbrook is on a ridiculous tear in February.  Ibaka is a shot blocking machine and a menace on the boards.  And if Perkins plays, that's one more defender we have to deal with.  

Even if the Celtics manage to keep this close early, OKC will impose its will and walk away with a 104-83 win.

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  • okc’s last 3 games of offense: 335 pts

  • KY Celts fan

    I’m rooting (routing?) for OKC to come out of the West this year. If any team can beat Miami, it has to be them.

  • Jerry Sondler

    Good opportunity for Moore, Johnson to get much needed experience against quality opponent.
    What to look for tonight?
    Look for Scott Brooks to “empty his bench” once the lead reaches 30.

  • Lee in Oregon

    Just my opinion but the only way Miami gets stopped is by Chicago with a healthy Rose. After that, everyone is an “also ran”, including the entire Western conference.
    I think/hope Bradley can slow Westbrook down tonite and hit afew more jumpers. I just hope the C’s are competitive tonite, Celtic pride needs reinstatement.

  • KY Celts fan

    Westbrook, Harden, and Durant can match Lebron, Wade, and Bosh point for point. It’s going to come down to defense, and with Perk and Ibaka, OKC has a pretty good chance.

  • Man. I decidedly don’t want to watch this. I will, but I really don’t want to.

  • Alex

    Celtics are gonna be getting the pounding of their lifetime tonight. Not sure if I’ll be watching this one.

  • Danno

    It’s hilarious watching all of the bandwagon newbies on here who’ve been crying about how some of us “Hate” Rondo, are now tucking tail and running at the sight of a tough opponent, and declaring a Celtic loss before the game has even started.
    Pussies. Go back to wearing Pink Hats on the Post-2004 Red Sox Bandwagon.

  • KY Celts fan

    Uh, Red predicted a loss. I’d hardly call him “bandwagon newbie” or a “pussie.”

  • Alex

    Trust me, I’m a big Celtics fan. I have enough Celtics merchandise and clothes to prove it. I’ve been to many Celtics games.
    As much as I want to see the Celtics beat the Thunder today, I just don’t see it happening. I’m being realistic. We are riddled with injuries and Rondo is missing.
    Do you actually believe the Celtics have a chance against the Thunder? Stop wearing your green tinted glasses and get a clue, bud.

  • Danno

    Um, Red has been dead for quite a while. John predicted a loss, yes. He’s trying to be as impartial as he can, being that he’s trying to be a respectable sports blogger. I can’t fault him for that.
    I just think it’s funny that everyone thinks we have no shot, when this is the same lineup of No Rondo, JO, or Wilcox, who were able to beat Orlando 87-56, and also come back from being 27 down to rally for a win.

  • Danno

    I believe they absolutely have a better chance of beating OKC WITHOUT Rondo in the lineup, yes.
    Bradley will give Westbrook fits all night long. If he can contain Russell, and the rest of the team does their job, and Ray can get some open looks – especailly since KG is back and the screens will be better, it is possible. Likely? maybe not.

  • Nathan

    The celtics win by 10 tonight.

  • Jess

    This team stinks man! I’m watching the game and they are garbage! Can Danny ainge hurry up and make the trades so we can start rebuilding fast!

  • Quest