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How we see it goin’ down: Celtics vs Rockets

Chuck - Red's Army January 11, 2013 Gametime, Previews 15 Comments

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

Referees: Bill Kennedy, Tony Brown and Olandis Poole

Tickets to this and other great Celtics game

The Matchup

Record: 18-17 Record: 21-15
At Home:  11-6 On road: 7-9
Streak: Won 4 Streak: Lost 1
Leaders Leaders
Buckets: Pierce (19.5 ppg) Buckets: James Harden (26.5 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (7.0 rpg) Boards: Omir Asik (11.1 rpg)
Dimes: Rondo (11.2 apg) Dimes: Jeremy Lin (6.3 apg)
For the Stat Geeks: For the Stat Geeks:
Offensive Rating: 102.6 (23rd NBA) Offensive Rating: 108.4 (7th NBA)
Defensive Rating: 103.8 (10th NBA) Defensive Rating: 105.5 (15th NBA)
Pace: 91.1 (20th NBA) Pace: 97.0 (1st NBA)

Last time

Some guy named Greg Smith absolutely torched the C’s in their previous meeting – a 101-89 loss in Houston back in December. The Celtics managed to shoot just 40%. You may remember KG and Kevin McHale shared an emotional hug following the game.

This time

Get it to:  The open man

The most favorable match-up is Paul Pierce vs Chandler Parsons (0.944 ppp, 22nd percentile). Look for the Celtics to attack there, but I really want to see ball distribution. Move. Move. Move. That’s when the Celtics excel. The C’s also need to capitalize on fast break opportunities, and there could be many, Houston plays at a frenetic pace.

Gotta stop:  James Harden

Anyone else looking forward to Avery Bradley locking down Harden? Harden isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, he’s averaging 29 ppg and 50% FG in his last 5 games.

The Wild Card:  Whose second unit shows up?

The Celtics and Rockets both get 31.2 ppg from their bench.  I would call that even. The Rockets reserves outscored their Boston counterparts 42-32 in the previous meeting. Somebody needs to prevent Greg Smith from scoring 20 points and shooting 90%. I’m talking to you, Jared Sullinger.

How we see it goin’ down

I like what I’m seeing from the Celtics. The offense is balanced and the defense is suffocating (82.8 ppg) over this four game winning streak.

To dumb down Houston’s offense, they score a lot and play at a fast pace (1st). But their Achilles’ heel is the turnover (league leading 16.6 per game). If Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Rajon Rondo (wishful thinking) bring some big time ball pressure, the Celtics can stop the Rockets.

The streak continues tonight. I like Bradley’s defense and the home crowd.

Celtics 98

Rockets 96

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  • Curt

    Let’s see if LoveChild’s analysis after the previous Houston game holds true:

    “RedsLoveChild December 14, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Pierce remains the “elephant in the living room”. This is no slump…he is completely washed-up! It happened very quickly…it has caught the Celtics off guard…they don`t quite know what to do about it.”

    • KGino

      Completely washed up..

      Yet averaging more points, rebounds, and steals than he has in the previous 3 seasons, while averaging less minutes than he has in the previous 3 seasons…

      LOL.

      • Curt

        You come in here using facts and observation to try to make it seem like Pierce is good.

        The reality is that if you just watch some games with your head stuck up your Lakers, you’ll see how bad he is.

        • KGino

          Wait what? Was that PlasticLoveChild pretending to be Curt?

          • Curt

            Alright, I’m going to tone it down on RedsLoveChild now. I don’t disagree with everything from Red. I just wanted to post the one thing.

            Maybe Red is right. We’ll see after the All Star break.

  • kyle

    paul pierce is far from done. he just only brings he A game when we need it

  • Larry Legend

    Rondo needs to play well tonight. He’s really been aggravating to watch lately(more than usual). He’s been just ok this year to me. Way too much dribbling and not enough ball movement. And the more extra-curricular stuff that happens the more frustrating he gets for me. Celts looked better vs. NY and PHX without him than they did with him. I’m not saying get rid of him, but I’m concerned a little about how we play with him at times.

    • KGino

      Agreed 100%. Would like to see Rondo be aggressive getting to the rim early in the shot clock, or making his initial pass way earlier in the shot clock.

      Ps> Notice Curt ^^ calling out that guy now haha.. that was my goal for harassing him, to make other fans aware of his BS.. Looks as tho its working.

      • Curt

        AND I get mentioned by KGino. Haha.

        For the record, I get very frustrated by P2 waiting for the playoffs to shine, then I remember that we need him healthy. THEN he has a game in which he puts up 2 or 3 thousand points, and I remember that he really CAN turn it off and on.

        P2 and KG are the reasons I don’t doubt the Cs. Ever…EVER.

  • JimmyG

    Larry, I regretfully share in your concern. I have been a defender of him through thick and thin but something feels different this year. For me, I think it’s because his on the ball defense has become so porous. Again, I don’t think we should trade him and I obviously think he’s an asset (especially come playoff time), but something is amiss this year. Let’s hope it improves (like his jumper has!)

  • Curt

    It appears to me that Rondo is using the regular season as a series of experiments to see what tools/options he has for the playoffs. Come playoff time he’ll be back to the triple doubles and showing kids how the fundamentals really work.

    He is taking unnecessary risks and doing things out of the norm, but you guys KNOW he is all about the W.

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

    This should be a great game. I assume Avery Bradley will be checking Harden, really looking forward to that. I agree with Chuck, if the Celts guards put the clamps on Linn & Harden, the game is ours. We owe these guys a pounding…

    • Curt

      Watch out for Chandler Parsons…

  • Quest

    If the bench keeps playing better than the starters that just gives Ainge more reasons to trade one of the Big 3.

  • CFan

    Wonder if Kennedy tried to stall for time again…