Tip: 7:30PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Mike Callahan, Sean Corbin and Tre Maddox
Spread: BOS -4.0
The Warriors smoked the Celtics, 101-83, in December. The Celtics played without Rondo and any ability to shoot the ball.
Get it to: Paul Pierce
The Truth was embarrassed in the first game vs Golden State. He shot 4-20 and looked very old playing against the 20 year old Harrison Barnes. Let’s resurrect my analysis: “This may have been the worst basketball I’ve seen Paul Pierce play, and I watched a lot of games in the lost seasons (1999-2006).”
I’m expecting a lot more tonight from the savvy veteran. He remembers what happened in that game and will seek redemption.
Gotta stop: Stephen Curry
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you’re aware that Curry scored 54 against the Knicks on Wednesday night. He made 11 of 13 3 FGs. We’re all salivating at the chance to watch Avery Bradley and Curry lock horns, but this will be a team effort.
The Wild Card: Perimeter defense
Guess who leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage? The Warriors at 39.8%. The Celtics rank 5th (34.2%) in Opp. 3 FG. Curry gets all the attention (and deservedly so, he’s shooting 46%) but Klay Thompson, Jarrett Jack and Harrison Barnes are all shooting better than 36% from 3.
How we see it goin’ down
The Celtics have won 7 straight at home and own a 94.8 defensive rating* at the Garden this season. The Warriors are a high-scoring, fast-paced team. Can we dumb it down and say if the Celtics play their brand of defense, they win this game?
*Thanks to Chris Forsberg for the stat