The Celtics have been rolling as of late, and have managed to come out victorious in their last eight games. They're playing hard, defending like they haven't defended this season, and most noticeably, they've got their swagger back. No longer do the C's look frustrated and even somewhat rattled, to an extent. Instead, they look like defending champions.
Boston will look to extend its winning streak to nine with a win over Sacramento tonight. The Kings are hungry for a win, having lost their last six games, and should have some extra motivation to come out like gangbusters against the men in green. Why? Look no further than December 28, when Sacramento hosted the C's at Arco Arena, only to be embarrassed in front of their home crowd, 108-63. That 45-point defeat would mark Boston's highest margin of victory since they were able to snatch the soul of the New York Knicks last November (104-59).
On the bright side, Kevin Martin returned to the lineup last month after missing 22 of 24 games with a nagging groin injury. Since rejoining the team on December 30, he has been dynamite. So far this month (14 games), Martin has held averages of 26.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 3.1 APG to go along with an extraordinarily efficient three-point shooting clip of 45.2%. In addition to that, he has been getting to the line with the best of them, as he has knocked down 91.2% of his 10.5 free throw attempts per game this month.
Even so, Sacramento has struggled mightily, especially away from home. As a result of that, along with Oklahoma City's recent surge, the Kings currently sit dead last in the Western Conference at 10-36, and their .217 winning percentage is superior to just one NBA team (Washington, .205).
With that in mind, along with the fact that Sacramento holds the league's second-worst road record at 3-21, it's safe to say that the odds are against them to off the green at the Garden.
PG SG SF PF C
PPG: Kevin Martin (24.0)
RPG: Brad Miller (8.1)
APG: Beno Udrih (4.5)
SPG: Beno Udrih (1.2)
BPG: Spencer Hawes (1.4)
PG SG SF PF C
PPG: Paul Pierce (19.1)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (9.0)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.0)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (2.2)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (1.8)
|2008 - Kevin Martin||24.0||3.3||2.8|
|2008 - Ray Allen||18.1||3.4||2.8|
Tony Allen (strained right ankle - game time decision)
Brian Scalabrine (concussion - out)