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Game 31/82: Celtics (24-6) vs. Hornets (18-14) Open Thread

 

New Orleans at Boston
TD Bank Garden
3:00 pm
CSN

Offensive Efficiency

Boston: 108.3 points/100 possessions (11th)

New Orleans: 104.2 points/100 possessions (23rd)

Defensive Efficiency

Boston: 99.4 points allowed/100 possessions (1st)

New Orleans: 102.6 points allowed/100 possessions (6th)


Probable New Orleans starters:

Chris Paul (PG), Marco Bellinelli (SG), Trevor Ariza (SF), David West (F), Emeka Okafor (C)


View from opposing bench:
Hornets 24/7

Thumbnail: The Celtics will play their first game sans-Kevin Garnett this season.  There will undoubtedly be an adjustment period and the Celtics are lucky they are able to experience these growing pains against a struggling New Orleans team.  After cursory look at the Hornets last couple of box scores it looks like there is a few consistencies the Celtics can count on: 1) Chris Paul will be dirty, 2) if given the chance, Marco Belinelli will jack up more than 10 field goal attempts.  When Belinelli does this, the game usually ends in a Hornets loss.

WHAT THE HORNETS DO WELL

Defense. The Hornets rank 6th in defensive efficiency, which isn’t surprising when you see that 4/5ths of Hornets starting lineup are known for their defense.  David West and Emeka Okafor are both known window washers, Chris Paul is a thief, and Trevor Ariza’s length has been the bane of more than a few superstar’s existence.

Defensive Rebounding. West and Okafor may be known for their above average offensive rebounding, but overall the Hornets rank second in the league in defensive rebounding rate.  This actually suits the Celtics just fine as they don’t plan on snagging any offensive boards anyway (they rank dead last in offensive rebounding rate).

WHAT THE HORNETS DO POORLY

Offense. The Hornets either rank near the bottom or middle of the pack in each of the offensive four factors. On the whole, the Hornets are not known for causing turnovers or getting to the free throw line.  Aside from West, Okafor and Jason Smith there is not a man on the roster who plays at least 15 minutes and grabs more offensive rebounds than league average.

PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY

Chris Paul and Jarrett Jack. Chris Paul playing against a less than 100% Rajon Rondo or a 100% Nate Robinson speaks for itself.  Furthermore, Jack was a constant thorn in the Celtics’ side when he played for Toronto.  I cannot wait to see how Avery Bradley does today.  Time to put on the big boy pants.

PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY

Marco Belinelli. Dude can fizzle out just as well as he can fill it up.  He will likely fizzle against Ray Allen’s defense.

Trevor Ariza. New Orleans is the second team who has tried to make Trevor Ariza a franchise swingman and is the second team to realize that it probably wasn’t a good idea.  I like Ariza and what his defense can bring to a team.  That said, he doesn’t make me worry.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE TONIGHT

Get One For the Gipper. The Celtics may not have Garnett for this game, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get on Paul Pierce’s back and ride him for a win.  Pierce wanted to do that against Detroit but the Palace is a hard place to play- especially if your team is also suffering from intense malaise.  It’s New Years Eve and the Celtics should want to celebrate.  I know I do.

The Celtics should establish the paint early with Shaquille O’Neal’s ability to overpower Okafor.  At the same time, they should run Ray Allen off some screens and watch Belinelli try to chase him around.

PREDICTION

It’s New Years Eve and I’m feeling resolute. Celtics 105, Hornets 92

  • ElRoz

    105 points for Boston? Are you even thinking when you write that? NO has good defense and Boston is w/o Rondo: anybody would realize they would not have gone past 100 at best…maybe 90 points. Good defense vs. Celtics w/o Rondo or West or KG…..

    the sad thing is when they go to Toronto they will have to work evry very hard to avoid a 3 game losing streak…then SA comes to town and Boston basically has no offensive movement wihtout Rondo and KG – you saw the last offensive possession of the game today, right?
    W/o Ronod and KG this is a .500 team – not better.
    So what should Doc do? Try to win games still by plaing Pierce and Ray more and more minutes? I don't think that's smart…..they should let Miami pass them in the East and save their players.

    • jacksobd

      It's easy to comment on predictions after the game has already been played.

      • ElRoz

        I only read this after the game was played….but I repeat, it would be clear to anybody that actually watches the C's that w/o Rondo and against one of the better defenses in NBA – that is if you follow the games – they would struggle to score 90…this has nothing to do with watching the game first and then commenting:
        A very good defensive team in NO vs. a Boston team that has averaged less than 92 points and shot about 50 percentage points below their usual mark over the last 6 games with Rondo out…put two and two together and 105 points sounds like a wild guess.

  • Batman

    THis was a disappointing game
    We had a chance to win the game but we blew it
    Waaay to many turnovers
    Way too stagnant offense
    And Glen Davis wasn't terrible but he didn't do as well as i thought

    • ElRoz

      …no Rondo. Period.

      • Batman

        agreed

  • GranTur

    No KG, Rondo, Perkins, or Delonte.

    Two of our three most important players are out….obviously it'll be a grind. This shouldn't be a surprise to anybody.

    Gives a chance for others to grow/learn/shine.

    Also gives a chance for people to get healthy. All that matters is the playoffs.

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  • Miki

    Interestingly in this year how much points gain the Celtics front desk I think more

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