Do you guys remember the night of November 1? You know, the night where the Celtics stunk, no longer had the "it" factor, and the sky was falling? That was the night the Indiana Pacers took out our beloved C's in convincing fashion (95-79). Boston shot just 34.6% from the field that night, and turned the ball over 24 times.
Obie Ball had burnt the Celtics yet again.
But times are different, now. The boys in green have found their groove with a 15-1 record since that wretched loss to Larry Bird's new team, while Indiana has played mediocre 6-9 basketball. Rajon Rondo has led the charge for the green with averages of over 13 points, five rebounds, eight assists, and two steals over the past eight games.
However, let's not sleep on the Indiana Pacers. We've done that before, and the result has already been discussed.
Last night, Indiana reassured us that they are capable of going blow-for-blow with literally anybody in the league, as a last-second tip from Troy Murphy led the Pacers to a 118-117 victory over NBA media darling, Los Angeles Lakers.
Boston's winning streak is at nine games and counting, but it's pretty clear at this point that these Pacers won't allow an easy road to 10.
PG SG SF PF C
PPG: Danny Granger (24.7)
RPG: Troy Murphy (11.3)
APG: T.J. Ford (5.4)
SPG: T.J. Ford (1.2)
BPG: Danny Granger (1.7)
Pacers X-Factor: Ride Momentum
If I'm an Indiana Pacer, I've got to be feeling pretty good about myself, despite the sub-.500 overall record. Jim O'Brien's club took out the Celtics on November 1, and then shocked the L.A. Lakers last night with a buzzer-beating thriller to ice yet another big W. This is a team that should feel as though they can hang with anybody in the NBA, at this point, and they've proven as much. Indy needs to take those positives and transform them into extra fire wood.
PG SG SF PF C
PPG: Paul Pierce (18.7)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (7.2)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (2.2)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)
Celtics X-Factor: Maintain Focus
For any team on a nine-game winning streak, it's imperative that you come out focused and refuse to let it get to your head. Games like these are what we like to call "trap games," and the Celtics have been bit in the butt by this very same Pacer team about a month ago.
Stay strong, C's.
|2008 - Danny Granger||24.7||5.4||2.6|
|2008 - Paul Pierce||18.7||6.6||3.4|
Mike Dunleavy (tendinitis in right knee - out)
Keys to Victory
- Maintain Focus
- Own the Boards