Boston Celtics (13-4) @ Charlotte Bobcats (7-9) Game Preview
Tuesday, December 1st, 7:00PM
Venue: Time Warner Cable Arena
TV: CSNHD, CSNN Radio: WEEI
Game # 18, Away Game # 8
To take a page out of forum poster RAacker's book, ROLL C's ROLLLLLL! The Celtics are in the middle of a four game winning streak, fresh off of a victory against Miami, and the last time the Celtics beat the Bobcats, they did it by over 30 points and won their next 4 games. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Celtics are 1 game in on a 4 game road trip that includes a visit to the Spurs in the Alamo Dome.
The news gets worse too. The Bobcats are on a lil' streak of their own. On November 20th they were 3-9, but four games later including an impressive win over Cleveland they're now 7-9, and ancy to get back to .500 for the first time in almost a month.
Despite the lopsided nature of the loss earlier in the season, these Bobcats should not be underestimated. First it should not be forgotten that the Bobcats took us to overtime in 2 out of 3 games last season, taking one. On top of that the Bobcats have also added veteran "Jack" of all trades (har-har) Stephen Jackson since the two teams met in October.
The good news for us fans is that it should be a pretty darn good game. Both teams are trying to really assert themselves and find a rhythm after uneven play throughout the season. On top of that, if history is any lesson (besides that awesome 33 point win in October), this game should be hard fought on both sides.
Probable Starting LineupsBoston Celtics:
Injuries and Stuff
Boston: Glen Davis (out), Tony Allen (out)
Major Matchup: Paul Pierce V Gerald Wallace
Paul Pierce has been the most consistent Celtic this season on the offensive end, and has had no problem putting the team on his back when they begin to sputter on the scoring side (at least twice a game it seems like). Gerald Wallace has been no slouch either however. He just got named NBA player of the week for the Eastern Conference after averaging 25.3 pts, 13.7 rbs and 1.7 steals over three games.
The numbers are on Pierce's side though, because over the 20 games in these two players' careers they have faced each other, Pierce is averaging 23.9 points to Wallace's 12.4 The question is; Can Wallace ride out this hot streak and come up with a big game?
Other Noteable Matchups:
Kendrick Perkins V Tyson Chandler
Perk has diversified his bonds, and added an offensive game this season. Tyson Chandler on the other hand seems to have regressed from his hardcore rebounding, solid shot blocking, alley -oop (from Chris Paul...coincidence?) getting ways of seasons past. However, in games where Chandler has managed 10 pts or more, the Bobcats are 2-1, and the once loss was by 3 points. In late October Perk held him to a nice dandy little goose egg in the points column. If he can manage that again, things will look considerably better for the C's.
Stephen Jackson V Ray Allen and everyone else who plays the 2
Ray Allen is averaging 35 minutes per game on the season, and (former) Capn' Jack is netting a tidy 40. The Bobcats go to a pretty tight rotation of about 7 guys, so Jackson both Jackson and Wallace will see time against the Celtics reserves. Marquis Daniels has been pretty solid out there on the wing, but really he can only cover one of them no matter what his dredlocks tell you. That means there will be time when the Cat's premier wingmen will be squaring off against the likes of Eddie House or ever Brian Scalabrine. This does not bode well for the Celtics.
Keys to the Game for the Good Guys:
1: Ram. It. Low.- Call me optimistic but I think Tyson Chandler can't hang with Perkules anymore. Couple that with Boris Diaw on Garnett and that's just the starting lineup. After that it just gets ugly for the Bobcats. We gotta get that ball low early and often.
2: Keep Gerald Wallace off those boards!- Wallace is legitimately one of the league's leading rebounders After Wallace the best they can off is Chandler's 6.4 per game. If we can clean the glass like we used to in them olden days (2007/2008) we ought to get plenty of second chance points (a real weakness this season).
3: Solid defense from the second unit- You can't run a tight rotation all season and be ready for the playoffs. You'll gas out sometime in May....BUT you can run a tight rotation and surprise a (easily) superior team that puts resting its starters as a major priority. We need to really manage our three wing guys' (Pierce Allen Daniels) minutes so that 1 of them is guarding Wallace and/or Jackson at ALL times. And no Scalabrine talk. Don't be silly.
Bill Walker Watch: 1 game, 0 pts, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 earth shattering life changing dunks
Probability of significant playing time: 0%
-He's averaging about 20 points and 10 rebounds in the D-League though!