Tip: 7:30PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSNNE Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Bill Kennedy, Tony Brown and Olandis Poole
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.
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.