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Game #48 - Preview: Celtics @ Pacers

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Boston Celtics
Record: 39-9
Last Ten Games: 7-3
Points scored per game: 99.5
Points allowed per game: 89.0
Pace Factor: 90.4 (19th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 109.6 (10th of 30)
Defensive Rating: 98.0 (1st of 30)

Indiana Pacers
Record: 21-30
Last Ten Games: 3-7
Points scored per game: 103.1 points per game
Points allowed per game: 105.3
Pace Factor: 98.0 (3rd of 30)
Offensive Rating: 104.5 (19th of 30)
Defensive Rating: 106.8 (18th of 30)

Hat tip to basketball-reference.com for info on the Celtics and the Clippers.

Rajon Rondo vs. Travis Diener
Ray Allen vs. Danny Granger
Paul Pierce vs. Mike Dunleavy
Brian Scalabrine vs. Troy Murphy
Leon Powe vs. Jeff Foster

Match Up Notes

Brian Scalabrine: I listened to the Celtics Stuff Live episode following the victory over San Antonio and as usual enjoyed Mike Gorman's contributions. Over the course of his time on the show the Celtics announcer made the case that it makes sense for Scalabrine to start. Gorman's reasoning was that Kevin Garnett will eventually take back his starting job. At that time Glen Davis and Leon Powe will be role players off the bench. Therefore they need experience in this role. Gorman also guessed that Scal would probably slide behind "Leon Davis" when KG returned to the lineup. That's the best explanation I've heard so far. And of course it is more about who finishes than who starts.

Jeff Foster: One of my favorite random guys in the NBA mainly because he is a rebound machine. Could the Celtics possibly say "screw it let's go for broke", sign Roshown McLeod and trade him for Jeff Foster. Obviously that deal makes no sense for Indiana, is financially ludicrous and can't even be checked in the ESPN Trade Machine. But it sure was fun. If you're scoring at home that's my first awful trade idea as a blogger. Big day.

Danny Granger: I really like his game. Still I'm not entirely sure if he should ever be a team's leading scorer.

Jermaine O'Neal - Last season he continued to put up good scoring and rebounding numbers, while simultaneously getting some Defensive Player of the Year buzz.  Well in case you haven't gotten the memo O'Neal hasn't played since January 16th. Now he's just another guy on a losing team with a bad knee, a ridiculous contract and probably some very bitter feelings about that Pau Gasol Trade.

Scheduling Note

The Pacers have been home since a road game in New York last Wednesday and have played 2 games in the last 6 days. Meanwhile, the Celtics had a day off following that thriller over San Antonio. There does not seem to be a huge advantage for either side here.  

Random Observation

After defeating the Washington Wizards, Miami Heat (seemed like a big accomplishment at the time) and the Memphis Grizzlies in their first three games of the season the Pacers have really struggled. A scroll through Indiana's game results screams inconsistency. For example from November 17 through November 28th the Pacers went 5-2 against the Jazz, Lakers, Hornets, Mavericks, Cavaliers, Nuggets and Trailblazers, with the losses coming at the hands of LA and Cleveland. However, prior to that stretch they suffered through a 6 game losing streak. Factor in a 2-9 stretch, which included a 5 game losing streak, in late December and early January as well as their current 3-7 run, and you have a mediocre team.

The Latrell Sprewell "I Need to Feed My Family" and in the process perhaps end my career Memorial Award

To David Harrison. In late January Harrison, a free agent to be, seriously jeopardized his career by A) testing positive for marijuana and B) sounding off about the NBA's policies, on radio no less.

The Blogger Who Most Recently Ripped Off Bill Simmons' Award Gimmick Award

Me

I Did Not See That Coming

Did you know that Kareem Rush, who spent last season out of the Association, is averaging just under 9 points a game, with five games in which he has scored over 20? Remember he was released by the Bobcats.  

I Did See That Coming

The last time the Pacers took the floor Jamaal Tinsley, of three years remaining on his contract fame, grabbed a DNP. Three years guaranteed?! And there isn't even a team option, team or player, in there. Is there any chance he is a Pacer when that contract ends?  

Story That I Have No Interest in But Somebody Might

Check out that starting lineup again for the Pacers. What do Diener, Dunleavy, Foster and Murphy have in common? Granted this would be a moot point if Tinsley and O'Neal could go. Regardless these types of developments can have long standing repercussions. Also who plays the 2 in that lineup?

Last Time They Met

I'm going to apologize ahead of time for linking to myself. But I really enjoyed my recap of their first game. In case you forgot Jamaal Tinsley whacked Paul Pierce upside the head. As a result Pierce went on a scoring binge, did a few push-ups, yelled, scowled a lot and chest bumped several teammates. Seriously it even made the write up on NBA.com. Granted it was over the top and a spectacle to boot. But it was effective and was also a far cry from that whole ejection, "broken jaw" debauchle.

Don't forget to check out fellow SB Nation blog Indy Cornrows.