Tip: 7:30PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSNNE Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Joe Crawford, Leroy Richardson and James Williams
Behind Kevin Garnett’s 24 points and 9 rebounds, the Celtics beat Memphis, 98-80, in their only meeting last season. The C’s have won 8 of the last 10 games with the Grizz.
Get it to: Whomever can make a shot
Paul Pierce is shooting 40% over his last 5 games. Jason Terry is worse, at 35% over the same span. The bench is half-asleep. Rajon Rondo is nursing a sore hip. Oh yeah, Memphis is #1 in points allowed and defensive efficiency. There’s a good chance the Celtics score 67 points tonight.
Gotta stop: Zack Randolph
Z-Bo is having another excellent season, averaging 17 points and 12.5 rebounds. He can kill you in the paint and with his jumper. Want a frightening stat? Randolph averages 4.7 offensive rebounds per game.
The Wild Card: Avery Bradley
Our beloved ball-hawking guard is finally back after two shoulder surgeries. While we’re all expecting him to plug the leaky holes on the perimeter and nail those corner three-pointers, we have no idea how many minutes he can play or how rusty he will be. There is one certainty – his return will electrify the crowd and hopefully his teammates.
How we see it goin’ down
Memphis is a very good team. Not only do they defend exceptionally well, they are a beast on the boards (2nd in offensive rebounding). This one could get ugly.
This has to be a circle-the-wagons game. The C’s are coming off an embarrassment of a road trip. The Garden will be buzzing thanks to the long-awaited return of AB. The energy level will be high. I don’t know how they are going to do it, I just know they are going to do it.
Celtic pride will be restored… at least for a day.