Tip: 8:00 PM Court: Target Center Watch it: CSN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Jason Phillips, Brent Barnaky, David Jones
This is the only meeting between these two teams this season. The Celtics swept both games in last year's series. Paul Pierce averaged 23.0 points to go along with 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Kevin Garnett added a double/double against his former team with 13.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game
Get it to: Kevin Garnett
(a) He's been playing out of his mind lately, and has been our best all around player.
(b) He's back in Minnesota and that will get him amped.
(c) He's going to either be checked by a rookie, or an undersized Kevin Love. KG will be able to shoot over the top of either of them.
Gotta stop limit: Kevin Love
He's only averaging 31.3 points and 14.1 rebounds in March, so no big deal.
I seriously put the over/under on Love rebounds in this game at 22. The Celtics, as we all know, are a terrible rebounding team. The one thing that will work in our favor is that both Bass and Garnett play away from the rim, so that'll keep Love further out on the defensive end. But I'm mostly worried about how the Celtics keep Love off the offensive glass. If they can limit him there to just a few.. they will be OK.
The Wild Card: Rajon Rondo
He has been an assist machine. But in this game, he needs to attack the rim. The Minnesota Timberwolves are the third worst shot blocking team in the NBA, and the two guys who might block any shots in this game will be worried about KG and Bass. And on top of it all, Luke Ridnour will be starting against him.
Rondo has been exceedingly pass-first lately, which has been great. This situation, though, is a 20 point-15 assist game served up on a silver platter. He HAS to be aggressive and attack.
How we see it goin' down
The Timberwolves are a depleted team. They don't have Ricky Rubio or Nikola Pekovic. Kevin Love is playing out of his mind just to keep Minnesota in games.
But Love will have to come to earth sometime. His huge scoring nights have come when he has 4-7 from 3 type shooting nights. But Bass can defend against that. He might not be able to keep Love off the boards as well as we'd like, but he'll check Love in other ways.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have the ingredients to exploit the Wolves' weaknesses. This might go down as a statement game as the Celtics take control of this one early and win it wire-to-wire… 92-82