Tip: 7:30PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSNNE Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Tom Washington, Bennie Adams and Scott Twardoski
Spread: Boston -11, O/U: 191
The Celtics swept last season’s series, 3-0. During a 94-84 win in February, Paul Pierce surpassed Larry Bird on the team’s all-time scoring list. Boston won 102-95 in March behind a possessed Kevin Garnett. The Celtics were victorious in April minus Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and some shooting guard who now plays for Miami.
Get it to: Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce
The Bobcats are dreadful on defense, specifically Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (thanks Chris Forsberg). There’s no reason why the Truth can’t work over the young Gilchrist and live at the free throw line tonight. Teams are shooting 46% vs Charlotte.
Gotta stop: Ben Gordon
I think I’m still scarred from Gordon’s performance vs Boston in the 08-09 playoffs. Gordon is having the best shooting (percentage) season of his career and he’s really cranked it up in January, averaging 19.6 points on 52.6 percent shooting. I’d sic Courtney Lee on him. And while I’m playing coach, I want to see Avery Bradley put the clamps on Kemba Walker.
The Wild Card: The second unit defense
Two of Charlotte’s top 3 scorers (Gordon and Ramon Sessions) come off the bench. Their second unit ranks 3rd in ppg (42). The Celtics can’t afford sleepy defensive efforts from Jeff Green, Jason Terry and Jared Sullinger.
How we see it goin’ down
This game screams letdown. The Celtics return from a two-day respite to face one of the worst teams in the league. We know what type of craptastic effort they are capable of in these types of situations.
The Celtics catch a break because Charlotte will likely be without Byron Mullens (11.6 ppg. 7.8 rpg), their top rebounder. He’s missed the last 9 with a sprained ankle.
This game will be closer than it should, but I’m not ready to pick against the Celtics.