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How we see it goin’ down: Celtics vs. Raptors

Sebastian Lena March 13, 2013 Gametime, Previews 10 Comments

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

Referees: Ken Mauer, Marat Kogut and Michael Smith

Spread: BOS -5.5 

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The Matchup

Record: 34-29 Record: 25-39
At home: 22-9 On road: 9-23
Streak: Lost 2 Streak: Won 1
Leaders Leaders
Buckets: Pierce (18.7 ppg) Buckets: Rudy Gay (19.6 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (7.8 rpg) Boards: Amir Johnson (7.3 rpg)
Dimes: Pierce (4.6 apg) Dimes: Jose Calderon (7.4 apg)
For the Stat Geeks: For the Stat Geeks:
Offensive Rating: 102.1 (25th NBA) Offensive Rating: 106.1 (12th NBA)
Defensive Rating: 102.3 (6th NBA) Defensive Rating: 107.5 (23rd NBA)
Pace: 91.3 (18th NBA) Pace: 90.4 (24th NBA)

Last time

The Boston Celtics have taken the first two against the Toronto Raptors this season. First Rajon Rondo passed his way through their Canadian foes with 20 assists during a 107-89 victory on Nov. 17. Three months later, the Celtics utilized a 30-16 fourth-quarter advantage to eek out a 99-95 victory on Feb. 6. Kevin Garnett led the way with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

This time

Get it to: Brandon Bass 

Don’t look now, but we all might be in for another healthy dose of Brandon Bass.

Over his last two games, Bass has been solid. He finished with 6 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks during Boston’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. Bass then followed that up with another solid outing last night—10 points, 7 rebounds, one block and 2 steals. In his last three games Bass is 11-of-16 (68.8%) from the field and is averaging 8 points per game.

Furthermore, there’s the recent news that the Raptors’ starting power forward Andrea Bargnani is out for the remainder of the season.

This would be a perfect game to increase Bass’ role in the offense. Especially with Garnett slumping as of late—7-of-29 (24.1%) from the floor during the past two games.

Gotta stop:  Amir Johnson

You probably expected to see Rudy Gay here. But with Gay still dealing with a back injury, Johnson is the player the Celtics need to key in on.

Over his last five games, Johnson has been tearing it up. He’s averaging 16.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over 33.2 minutes per game. Johnson is also shooting 69.2% from the field.

If Boston’s rebounding woes were a banana, Johnson would be the gorilla. He’s put together rebounding efforts of 16 and 15 in the past four games.

Got to keep the banana away from the gorilla.

The Wild Card:  A rested Paul Pierce

The Celtics haven’t missed a beat without Rajon Rondo this season. The team has been 14-6 since he departed.

The same can’t be said about Paul Pierce.

Boston looked a mess without Pierce against the lowly Bobcats—an NBA-worst 14-50. It struggled to find good looks and they only finished with 15 assists. Not to mention, they suffered a 26-point loss to the cringe-worthy playing style of Charlotte (still pinching myself to make sure it’s not just a nightmare).

Regardless, the Captain is back and a lot should change.

Pierce averaged 19.5 points per game on 49.1 percent shooting last week. His play earned him a nomination as Eastern Conference player of the week.

How we see it goin’ down

Besides last night’s disaster, the Celtics have been playing good basketball. I don’t expect that to change tonight.

Rivers will have his team ready for the stretch run and one last-ditch effort at claiming the Atlantic Division crown again.

Celtics 91

Raptors 80

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  • http://twitter.com/CurtHays Curt Hays

    I think we should get it to Chris Wilcox and Shavlik Randolph. WE HAVE NO INSIDE GAME.

    I realize that avoiding rebounds on offense at all cost is part of the strategy of Doc Rivers, but I’m tired of it. In the first half last night against Charlotte, Boston could’ve dominated with only a few second chance opportunities.

    We need to get something going in the paint. Bass won’t do it, KG isn’t supposed to, and Sullinger is out. Shavlik and Wilcox FTW.

    • eddysamson

      I agree. After last night I’d like to see more of Shavlik. I think he might be useful.

      • wayne

        yeap, Doc should continue to give time to both Randolph and White. (White might be a little more aggressive down in the post, though). But we can’t judge them after only one game of extended play; if that’s our criterion, most of our guys would be deemed inadequate because they all started a little slow, then picked up….in fact, we’re still waiting on the J Terry. (note): we’re being told that his value is gonna show more during the playoffs.

    • http://twitter.com/teambasketball Maria P.

      Completely agree. It’s frustrating to watch them settle for outside shots, especially when they’re not falling. Wilcox needs to step up and do something. Let everyone else run down court for defense and leave Wilcox to fight for rebounds.

      It’s been nice seeing Bass being aggressive, though.

    • Red’s Cigar

      Yikes…did any of you actually watch the game last night? Shavlik look lost on both ends of the floor. Nerves probly had a lot to do with it but good lord. Makes me wonder if i could light it up over in china too.

      • eddysamson

        I couldnt watch the 2nd half but I thought he looked good in the 1st half. He set some nice picks had that put back and a few more rebounds. He was kind of like Jason Collins out there and I bet he can get better with more playing time.

        • Red’s Cigar

          Willing to bet you woulf change your mind if you saw his second half performance. It was embarassing. I wouldnt care about his offense if he played solid D, but thats just not the case. Constantly missed rotations. Maybe he can improve with more minutes tho, we’ll see

  • RedsLoveChild

    Shavlik is not NBA material.

    It`s clear that Randolph has never seen the inside of a weight-room!

  • Nate

    Never ‘get it’ to Brandon Bass, the team would have 50 turnovers.

    • Lakerhater

      no kidding whenever I watch him I think he has to be related to Sheldon Williams