Boston Celtics (3-1) at Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2)
Wednesday, Nov 5
8:00 PM ET
Game #5, Road Game #3
TV: FS OK, CSN HD
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The Celtics are playing in their second set of back to back games of this young season. They didn't fare well in their first back to back situation, falling to the Pacers by double digits on the second night of that set after blowing out the Bulls in the first. The Celtics were undefeated in the second of back to back games last season and hopefully will get back to that trend with this game.
This has to be a bittersweet game for Ray Allen. This is the team that traded him and that he spent so many years with, but their fans in Oklahoma City have no allegiance to the player who spent so many years as the face of the Sonics. This will be the Celtics first ever game against the Oklahoma City Thunder although they have a long history with the Sonics.
These two teams are connected by several players and transactions. Jeff Green, their starting small forward was picked by the Celtics in the draft and promptly traded to Seattle to bring Ray Allen to Boston. Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak, the two players who came along with the draft pick are no longer with the Thunder as they were traded to Cleveland in the middle of last season when the franchise was still the Sonics.
Another connection has been Robert Swift. There have been countless stories and rumors about Danny's infatuation with Swift. It was said that Danny very much wanted Swift but had to settle for Big Al when Seattle grabbed Swift ahead of him. Big Al was a key to bringing KG to Boston and is one of the most promising young big men in the league. Meanwhile, Swift has been plagued with injuries and has not seen any playing time this season.
The Celtics played a very tough game against the Rockets that went right down to the wire with KG playing 36 minutes, Ray Allen 35 minutes and Pierce 44 minutes. Even Perk played 35 minutes. Add that to the fact that they had to travel after the game and fatigue could be a problem in this game.
PG: Rajon Rondo PPG 14.0 RPG 5.00 APG 6.0 EFF + 21.00
SG: Ray Allen PPG 11.0 RPG 2.50 APG 0.5 EFF + 4.50
SF: Paul Pierce PPG 27.0 RPG 3.00 APG 4.0 EFF + 21.00
PF: Kevin Garnett PPG 14.5 RPG 8.00 APG 2.5 EFF + 16.50
C: Kendrick Perkins PPG 2.0 RPG 8.00 APG 0.0 EFF + 7.00
PG: Earl Watson PPG 8.0 RPG 2.00 APG 4.0 EFF + 9.00
SG:Kevin Durant PPG 12.0 RPG 3.00 APG 2.0 EFF + 4.00
SF: Jeff Green PPG 7.0 RPG 3.00 APG 2.0 EFF + 3.00
PF Nick Collison PPG 7.0 RPG 6.00 APG 1.0 EFF + 10.00
C: Johan Petro PPG 2.0 RPG 3.00 APG 0.0 EFF + 2.00
Mouhamed Sene (knee) day to day
DJ White (jaw) out
Russell Westbrook (ankle) day to day
Ray Allen will have his hands full with last year's #2 draft pick. Durant can score and had 18 points in his last game against the Wolves. At 6'9", Durant has a height advantage over Ray but Ray has the experience advantage. Should be a good matchup.
Rondo and Watson are two very quick point guards. It will be fun watching these two speed up and down the court and Rondo will have his hands full trying to stay in front of Watson on defense. Watson is also quick to swipe the ball, averaging 2 steals per game and he takes good care of the ball with only 1 turnover per game.
Celtics Bench vs Thunder Bench
The Thunder got 39 points and 19 rebounds from their bench in their last game against the Wolves. The Celtics bench players have got to come to play or they may be embarrassed by the Thunder's bench. It seems as though the Celtics bench has been either excellent or terrible with no middle road. An interesting matchup here will be Leon Powe versus Chris Wilcox off the bench.
Celtics Fatigue vs Thunder's Young Legs
The Celtics are playing for the second night in a row while the Thunder has been off for 2 nights. They played a tough game against the Rockets the night before and have to travel as well. They will need to come out with energy as the Thunder have some young and athletic players who will look to take it right at the Celtics every chance they get. The key is whether they will have the energy after all the energy they had to expend to beat the Rockets and the travel after the game.