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Game #57 - Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Charlotte Bobcats

Boston Celtics
Record: 44-12
Last Ten Games: 7-3
Points scored per game: 100.2
Points allowed per game: 90.4   
Pace Factor: 91.1 (16th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 109.6 (10th of 30)
Defensive Rating: 98.9 (1st of 30)

Charlotte Bobcats
Record: 19-38
Last Ten Games: 1-9
Points scored per game: 95.1
Points allowed per game: 101.1
Pace Factor: 91.4 (15th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 102.8 (24th of 30)
Defensive Rating: 109.2 (26th of 30)

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

Rajon Rondo vs. Jeff McInnis
Ray Allen vs. Raymond Felton
Paul Pierce vs. Jason Richardson
Kevin Garnett vs. Emeka Okafor
Kendrick Perkins vs. Nazr Mohammed

Schedule Notes

The Bobcats lost to the Knicks in New York on Wednesday, while the Celtics defended their home court against the Cavaliers. Both teams took Thursday off. Advantage Boston.

Season Series

In their first meeting Boston snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on a Ray Allen buzzer beater. Huge bonus points for three reasons:

  1. The Bobcats thought they had the game in the bag.
  2. Allen's celebration was excellent. This video doesn't do it justice. You have to see him run the length of the court to fully appreciate it.
  3. If memory serves Allen's mother was at the game with a picture of him on her shirt. But I could be wrong on that one.
Unfortunately the next meeting was not magical for Boston. Jason Richardson absolutely went off for 34 points, Nazr Mohammed, of all people dropped, 18 points and the Bobcats won by 12. That still stands as the biggest margin of victory over the Celtics all season. Furthermore, the Celtics went on to lose two of their next three and faced adversity for the second time all season, with the first of course stemming from they way they lost the Pistons game.

The Bobcats' Current Roster

This game has a lot of potential to end up like the most recent LA Clippers game. That's not to say the two teams would be in the same league if healthy. The Clips would clearly be superior. However, health is a big issue for both teams. In fact let's check out the state of the Bobcats:

Derek Anderson - I would be excited about his presence if it were still 2001. And ultimately that excitement would be misplaced.

Earl Boykins - A while back I argued against the Celtics signing Boykins. Why? Let's just say I don't have a ton of interest in a player that gets posted up by Nate Robinson.

Matt Carroll - He can shoot. Although I get the sense that Charlotte needs a lot more from him. He'd probably be a great role player on a winning team.

Jermareo Davidson - I have no idea who he is. Granted that means I have to follow college basketball (Alabama) and the NBA draft (36th pick last year, came over in J-Rich trade) more. However, the good teams don't tend to have players that make me say, "Who the hell is that?"

Jared Dudley - He's a bit undersized but knows how to play the game and has John Hollinger singing his praises.

Raymond Felton - I thought his game would take off this season with Brevin Knight out of the picture. And to be honest his numbers - 13.9 points, 6.9 assists - are decent. But I was expecting more. Of course he plays in Charlotte so I never really see him.

Othella Harrington - He got just under 4 minutes of time in the Bobcats' recent blowout loss to the Knicks. And that may be too much time.

Ryan Hollins - See my comments on Jermareo Davidson and change the first parentheses to (UCLA) and the second one to (50th pick, 2006 draft).

Sean May - Out for the season, which is really too bad.

Jeff McInnis - There may still be a place for him in the NBA. But I would not say that place is a starting lineup.

Nazr Mohammed - I like Mohammed more than most and have nothing else to say about him.

Adam Morrison - Out for the season, and you have to wonder how many seasons he has left. The former Gonzaga standout has a lot to prove next year.

Emeka Okafor - I like him a lot more as a power forward. Still is there any debate of the last several years more dead than the Okafor vs. Dwight Howard debate?

Jason Richardson - Richardson makes too much money for his skill set. Yet I still love his game. He was knocked out of the Bobcats' last game but expect him to play tonight:

"I wanted to come back today. I'm the type of person, if I can walk, I can move, I can play. He's (Sam Vincent) the coach, he decided not to play me, and I have to respect his decision. On Friday, I'll be all right. There's no damage to the eye, no scratch on the eye, but a lot of swelling." - Jason Richardson

Any wonder why I like this guy?

Gerald Wallace - He's in my top ten of non-Celtics. And it's because he plays above the rim with reckless abandon. Unfortunately he recently suffered his fourth concussion in four seasons, which is downright frightening. Strangely this most recent one came from a Mikki Moore elbow, rather than a ridiculous fall. I wish him the best, particularly as he contemplates his long-term health.

Prediction

The subs get plenty of burn.