Time: Tuesday, February 16th, 10:00PM EST
TV: CS-Sacrament, CSNNE Radio: WEEI
The Line: West Coast Road Trip Game 2 of 5, (Road record 17-9)
Celtics have not lost to Sacramento since KG was acquired.
The first 50 games? I've already forgot about them. Those deflating/humiliating/disheartening losses over the last month or so? Water under the bridge. Today, you princes of Massachusetts, you kings of New England, today is the first day of the rest of your
It is convenient then, that the Kings tonight will serve as a good appetizer for the rest of this considerable road trip. After tonight we've got the Lakers on Thursday, Portland on Friday, then Denver on Sunday. That's 3 of the West's top 8 teams, including the top 2, in four days. This is exactly what the Celtics need. A trial born of fire to legitimize them again for the remainder of the season.
Normally I mark these games on the calender because this Sacramento team intrigues me. They've got two of the top 5 rookies this season in Omri Casspi (a weird uber celeb somehow now), and Tyreke Evans. They also have good young talent in Jon Brockman AKA The Brockness Monster AKA Jon Da Ogre AKA Stubby Girlie Arms Brockman and Jason Thompson. On top of all that, they've got one of the two guys on every "Trade Ray Allen" enthusiasts's wishlist in Kevin Martin. Normally this game should be interesting because of the subplots. Not tonight though. Not after the last month. The only subplot here is that we need a W.
There will be some uncertainty I'm sure because of the impending trade deadline on Thursday, but our boys need to put that out of their mind. These next four games, starting with the Kings tonight, are nothing short of critical. Tonight, especially, is a must win. The Celtics cannot limp into LA and expect anything other than a loss. We need a cold blooded killer win tonight. We need to embarrass these so-called Kings. We need bully them. We need to give them a snakebite, steal their lunch money, give them a wedgie, and swirlie the heck out of them until they fake sick at recess and go home to mommy. That's what needs to happen tonight, and that's what will happen.
Probable Starting Lineups
Injuries and stuff: JR Giddens (OUT)
Injuries and Stuff: Fransico Garcia (OUT)
Matchup of the Night: Tyreke Evans V Rajon Rondo
This folks, will be something to watch indeed. Tyreke Evans is 6'6, and can legitimately play the 1,2, or 3. He's also fast as heck and strong as a bull. The guy is built like a defensive end, but fast.
Then we have poor little Rajon Rondo. The man of the lightening quick first step, cold blooded competitive nature, and triple double waiting to happen (hasn't had one since 1/10 against Toronto).
Question: Which young point guard is best? Rajon Rondo or Tyreke Evans? Fact: Rajon Rondo eats young point guards for breakfast. Bears. Beats. Battlestar Galactica.
Other Noteable Matchups:
Kevin Martin V Ray Allen: This matchup is noteable because there is a small possibility that these two players could switch teams before the deadline. Now, one great game by Ray Allen here wouldn't switch Danny Ainge's mind. He's no slave to the mobs. But, Ray Allen wants to stay here. In order to stay here, he needs to contribute every night. Maybe it wouldn't affect whether or not he's traded, but if you think Ray Allen isn't coming to play tonight, you're crazy.
Three Keys To The Game, For The Good Guys:
1) Hit 'em Early, Hit 'em...middle (?), and Hit 'em Late- Before, when I said the previous half of the season was forgotten, I meant that. But seriously, I swear to cheez-its...if the Celtics come out playing like microwaved leftover pizza (You're killin' me smalls! You eat it cold of course!) after the half I will...probably complain about it a lot in the forums and in the chat. But seriously, play the whole game guys.
2) Take The Low Road- Question, Who wins this matchup: Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace vrs Omri Casspi, Jason Thompson, and Spencer Hawes? Go ahead..take your time.
What's that? The Celtics in a landslide? Well you read my mind! Ram it low boys!
3) Don't Look At the Calender!- It's all well and good for bush league writers (see: IndeedProceed) to say this game is important in part because of the games ahead, but in the NBA, as in most any professional sport, the team that looks ahead to the game tomorrow while they're playing the game today is the team that gets beat. The forum will be slick with purple blood soon enough boys, lets take care of Sacramento first.
Watch: 8 games, 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 Life Shattering Earth changing dunks
Probability of significant playing time: 15%
-It's weird that Bill Walker is now the human victory cigar. If it's a blowout, he might get 10 mins. Might.