When: Wednesday March 23, 2011
Where: TD Garden
This is the return of Tony Allen, I heard there's going to be a tribute to him in appreciation for all he did for this team while he was here, including helping with the 2008 NBA Title. Boston should come in this one with momentum and make their night easy by getting out, sworming on defense, and executing on offense, then hopefully we see Gino when its all said and done. Memphis aint no push over, they're a good team, but Boston has got to come out and take advantage of the fact Rudy Gay won be playing.
The last time these two teams played, it went into overtime, and Boston ended up escaping with a 116-110 victory in Memphis. This was the game Shaq went off and carried this team to a 4th quarter rally, once we were close enough Captain Pierce took over, and there was never a doubt the C's would win in OT. Memphis just couldnt match-up with our intensity. These teams look a little different now, Rudy Gay is out for the remainder of the season, and Nenad is now our starting center.
Both teams are coming off HUGE wins, Boston got a BIG victory over it's division rival New York, and Memphis got a BIG victory over Utah as they try to hold on to that 8th and final seed in the West. they're only 2 games ahead of Houston in the race. Boston look to carry MOMENTUM into it's home, while Memphis try to contain momentum on the road, which is a hard task tonight. Boston is 30-6 on their home-turf.
Pierce will be defended by Sam Young, very different from Rudy Gay. Pierce should continue his hot shooting tonight and be on his "A" game on defense. Rajon Rondo must control the pace, and the ball, this team lead the league in forcing turnovers, Rondo has got to keep his eyes open, and set his teamates up perfectly.
Nenad will be going against Marc Gasol, who is pretty soft. Nenad should get whatever he wants offensively, but defensively he's going to have to hold his own, if Shaq make his return today, it is uncertain if he'll come off the bench, or start, but if he start, he should contain Marc. Kevin Garnett will be going against Zach Randolph, who is very good offensively and can rebound. Garnett is going to have to hold his own like he did Monday vs. Amar'e. And the bench has been a true up-grade since the trade, and they have to continue their good play tonight.
Like I said both teams are coming of of HUGE wins, both are on a 2-game win streak, Boston wants to prove they aint soft by playing 48 minutes of tough, physical basketball. And Memphis wants to beat another Elite team on their home-court, just as they did LA, San Antonio, and Dallas. Boston comes away and win easily 105-88
Shaquille O'neal - questionable
Jermaine O'neal - Out
Von Wafer - Day-to-Day
Rudy Gay - Out