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How we see it goin’ down: Celtics – Suns

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) January 9, 2013 Previews 13 Comments

Tip: 7:30PM     Court: TD Garden     Watch it: CSNNE    Hear it: WEEI

Referees: Jason Phillips, David Guthrie, Josh Tiven

Tickets to this and other great Celtics game

The Matchup

Record: 17-17 Record: 12-24
At Home:  10-6 At home: 2-15
Streak: Won 3 Streak: Lost 3
Leaders Leaders
Buckets: Pierce (19.9 ppg) Buckets: Goran Dragic (14.6 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (7.1 rpg) Boards: Marcin Gortat (8.8 rpg)
Dimes: Rondo (11.3 apg) Dimes: Dragic (6.4 apg)
For the Stat Geeks: For the Stat Geeks:
Offensive Rating: 102.7 (22nd NBA) Offensive Rating: 103.7 (18th NBA)
Defensive Rating: 104.1 (10th NBA) Defensive Rating: 108.2 (26th NBA)
Pace: 91.3 (20th NBA) Pace: 92.2 (11th NBA)

Last time

The Suns won their only matchup with the Celtics last year.  Marcin Gortat had 24 points and 12 rebounds.  But the Celtics didn’t have Rondo, and this was before Avery Bradley became St. Bradley, Patron Saint of Lockdown D.

This time

Get it to: Rajon Rondo

I’ll trust Rondo to got at Goran Dragic and get past him.  With Gortat on KG, Scola on Bass, and P.J. Tucker (a young, defensive spark that could be disruptive) on Paul Pierce, it’s up to Rondo to draw them away from their assignments and get guys open shots.  I think a steady diet of pick-and-rolls to go along with their usual sets will get the job done.

Plus, running Dragic off of a bunch of good, hard picks will help in this….

Gotta stop: Goran Dragic

Not only the Suns leader in scoring in assists, he’s a point guard capable of causing the problems that have plagued the Celtics in the past.  In wins, Dragic is averaging 17.5 ppg on 50.4% shooting along with 7.4 assists.  But in losses, he’s putting up 13 ppg on 42.7% shooting with 5.8 assists.  Slay the Dragic and the rest of the Suns should wilt.

Stick Bradley on him, pick him up full court, make his life a living hell.  Between being forced to play defense and being forced to bring the ball up against Bradley, the Celtics might have this kid sucking his thumb while curled up in the fetal position by halftime.

The Wild Card: Marcin Gortat

Since going to Phoenix, Gortat has feasted on the Celtics.  He’s averaging 18.6 points on 22-39 shooting (56.4%) and 14 rebounds a game.  It’s possible he can explode again and keep this game tighter than it should be.

How we see it goin’ down

You guys are going to hate this….

This is a case of two teams heading in opposite directions.  The Celtics have won 3 games in a row against quality opponents.  Their defense has risen to the top 10, and they’re riding high on the return of Avery Bradley.

The Suns have lost 9 of their last 10 games… and they’ve lost 10 straight road games.  They’ve only won twice on the road all year.

I know you guys probably want me to reverse jinx this pick and say the C’s will have a let-down against a bad team after 3 big, emotional wins.  And while I’ll acknowledge that a let-down is possible, I’m betting the C’s are good enough to pull out of it, and the Suns are bad enough to let them.

Attack them defensively… let Bradley, Lee and Rondo take turns beating up their back court, and enjoy a little Gino when it’s all said and done.

Celtics 104
Suns 85

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  • KGino

    Predicting a Gino sighting?! We’re in trouble!!

    But seriously, it’s okay to predict wins now that Bradley is back. The reverse jinx only applied to the terribly inconsistent celtics team we watched B.A.B. (before AB)

    • http://redsarmy BCF

      Hahaha B.A.B I like it

      • KGino

        haha yep, he really does make that much of a difference that you have to separate our season in two.. B.A.B. and A.A.B haha

  • Brian

    thanks now we are getting our ass kicked. just kidding man even my mom could predict a gino sighting tonight. This is when the run starts. Don’t leave me hanging on the recap. 15 mins max from when the girls come out with the gino shirts I need the recap to keep the cs high going until I can wake up the next day read the paper watch sports center and have nba network on loop to start my day on the treadmill.

  • http://driveittothemoon.com/ Lee in Oregon

    The Suns suck and a severe ass-kicking is in order. Should also be a nice chance for KG and Channing Frye to renew their friendship.

    • Shawn

      Fryes out for the season due to heart surgery

      • http://driveittothemoon.com/ Lee in Oregon

        i’d forgotten that. At least they have JO…..

  • Cal

    Scared of this game for some reason.

  • TommyPoints

    Expect KG to pull the pin from the grenade tonight…the man is going to blow up on the stats board channeling all of his fire from the entire Melo incident. Since we are home he is going to come right into the Jungle with a Katana blade drawn!! The man is a weapon tonight!

  • MartijnF

    C’mon man, everybody knows the real X-factor is Jermaine O’Neal!

    • Astarot

      Yeah JO’s back I’m wondering what kind of JO we’ll see tonight. He was helping them big when Gortat played awful (he’s still healthy so that’s BIG for him) but he’s not that ‘impressive’ now but he’s still playin better than during his time with Cs.

  • Astarot

    Gonna be intriguing to see Gortat against Garnett this season (not that I’m going back to the trade talk), he shook earlier struggle off and now he’s got 4 double-doubles in last 5 games even though the Suns sucks he’s back in shape so let’s see what he’s got.

  • Nate

    They just played yesterday too