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Game 57/82: Celtics (41-15) @ Clippers (21-38) Open Thread

 

Boston at Los Angeles

10:30 P.M. ET

Staples Center

CSNNE


Offensive Efficiency:

Boston: 104.8 points/100 possessions (t-13th)

Los Angeles: 102.3 points/100 possessions (22nd)

Defensive Efficiency:

Boston: 97.4 points allowed/100 possessions (1st)

Los Angeles: 107.4 points allowed/100 possessions (24th)

Probable Clippers Starters:

  • Mo Williams/Eric Bledsoe (PG)
  • Randy Foye (SG)
  • Ryan Gomes (SF)
  • Blake Griffin (PF)
  • DeAndre Jordan (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: ClipperBlog

Thumbnail: Welcome to the stretch drive. With Jeff Green and interim starting center Nenad Krstic primed to make their Celtics debuts tonight and Boston and Miami in a virtual tie for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, every game’s important between now and the playoffs. And the Celtics have staggered lately, losing winnable games to good and bad teams alike.

Of course, tonight the focus will be on seeing how the new Celtics fit into the lineup, and how Doc Rivers tries to use them. It’ll be a work in progress for awhile but we should get a good inkling about Doc’s plans. To that end, keep an eye on:

  • Whether Krstic spreading the floor opens up lanes for Rondo
  • Green’s defense on both threes and fours, his energy getting up and down the floor and what he can bring offensively
  • Small lineups (Rondo-Allen-Pierce-Green-KG/Baby) and big lineups (Rondo–Green-Pierce-KG-Krstic/Baby)

And if you need a non-Celtics reason to watch, there’s always the phenom Griffin, who is having one of the greatest rookie seasons in NBA history. Unfortunately, we’ll not get a look at injured Clippers guard Eric Gordon, another emerging star.

So, come for the newbies and stay for the victory.

WHAT THE CLIPPERS DO WELL:

Despite a poor offense and an even worse defense, the Clips actually present some matchup challenges for the Celtics on the frontline. The trio of Griffin, Jordan and Al-Farouq Aminu is young, long, athletic and energetic and could cause problems for Garnett, Baby, Krstic and Pierce tonight, particularly if they get up and down the floor and play with focus.

Talk of young Clipper frontline players gives me an excuse to embed a totally gratuitous Griffin highlight mix. Never get tired of watching him go up and throw down. Let’s just hope his dunks tonight come in a losing effort.

Interior Attack: The Clippers can do some serious damage inside. They take 27 shots a game at the rim, fourth best in the league. And once they’re underneath, they draw contact and get to the line. Their FTR sits at 33.9, also good for fourth in the league. And as a capper to those, they get on the offensive glass, with an ORR of 29.3, good for – you guessed it – fourth in the league.

Which is to say, they will attack the Celtics inside with their length and athleticism and try and take advantage of the absences of 21-feet of Celtics (and former) Celtics centers. Of course, with Gordon out and Williams still brand new to the team (if he plays at all), the Celtics have a good chance to cut off penetration and Ray and Rondo could go off for big nights.

WHAT THE CLIPPERS DO POORLY:

The Clips are mediocre in most ways, and guard play could be a particular problem tonight. But on top of that, they turn the ball over even more than the Celtics (14.80 TOR, third worst in the league) and are top-10 worst in the league in opponent’s three point percentage (calling Ray Allen…) and their own three point percentage (3rd worst).

PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY:

Jordan and Griffin. For the reasons noted above.

The Griffin-KG matchup is going to be fascinating.

PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY:

Without Gordon, the Clipper backcourt looks vulnerable to exploitation on both ends of the court.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM BOSTON TONIGHT:

Good energy from start to finish (from both bench and starters alike). A glimpse of why Danny Ainge made the trades he did – which means impressive debuts from Green and Krstic. KG swallowing up Griffin on defense.

PREDICTION:

A bit of a loose effort defensively as guys get used to each other.

A good fourth quarter to close out the Clips.

Boston 101 Los Angeles 94

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  • Batman

    Griffin is a terrible defender so we need to pound it in with KG.
    And the most amazing Clippers player to me is Eric Gordan. This kid improved amazingly and is possibly a quiet superstar. Of course Blake gets all the credit but w.e

  • Rachel

    I'm headed to the Staples Center now for the game! Into enemy territory. I've been looking forward to this game for so long, and then I got so bummed about the Perk trade. A win tonight sure would be great.

  • nbsmatambo

    i pray no-one gets dunked on lol

    • talesofJP

      ..oh well

  • talesofJP

    Start of the Jeff Green era

  • MDftw

    I cant stand bill walton

    i have to mute the game for it to be watchable

  • kricky

    All those moves sure have lifted the bench play. Ugghghgh!

  • Mike

    We went from a team that shot 50%bto 33 % in the last few games.

    P.s. : can someone tell Davis to stop those stupid jumpers….

  • kricky

    I don't believe what I'm seeing. Krstic looking like a white, balding Serbian Perk. Did you see him switch on the dribbler in the perimeter?

    • somguyinsac

      I'm impressed so far in his first game for us.

      • Zee

        Yes, I'm VERY pleased with his energy and play so far… even Green too… as well as Delonte. I belive that D-Leaguer will be returning though.

  • Batman

    Rondo is so fucking lazy sometimes god
    r u kidding me? 6 TOs at the end of the 3rd??!

    • kricky

      I think he's still a little rattled by the trade. Hasn't been himself the last 2 games.

    • Zee

      Dude, calm down.

      • Batman

        i would be calm if Rondo was just having a bad day
        but hes just throwing the ball away with lazy passes

  • Zee

    The potential I'm seeing is amazing! We're in great shape people! We look GREAT out there! Just takes a little time to mesh, but we're ballin'!

  • Batman

    Go delonte!

  • Zee

    WE LOOK GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! C'S UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL OTHERS FALL BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LStrike

    Yes, we do look great… Against the Clippers.

    • Mike

      The Clippers in a couple of years are going to be better than the fakers, they've got a lot of young good guys there.

      • Batman

        The Clippers will never be good, their owner is Sterling.
        He enjoys running a bad franchise

  • Mike

    Delonte's playing really well

    • Zee

      Yeah, he's getting more minutes in that Rondo in this 4th it seems. Maybe Rondo is still processing the trade.

      • Mike

        Yep I was just noticing that and you know what the offense isn't stagnant

  • Zee

    Where'd this Kaman dude come from? He is absolutely BALLIN' tonight! LOL!

    • kricky

      By the looks of him he crawled out from under a rock.

      • LStrike

        Chris Kaveman… I bet everyone saw that coming.

        • Mike

          Wasn't he an all star last year? He was injured and just came back and I hate when Doc puts Baby on guys like him because they can score almost every time just by being taller.

  • Zee

    Interesting concept here… I wonder if Doc has Delonte in because he can shoot the jumper and it adds more offense to close in the 4th???

    Any thoughts? Cause Rondo is sitting out a lot this quarter, and that's definitely NOT the norm…

    Hmm. Something to think about.

    • Zee

      Well, he just came back in at 2 minutes.

  • Zee

    And THAT'LL do it! Good W!

  • kricky

    Well they shook off some of those post trade doldrums. New guys got some reps and West and Krstic looked good. But not much of a test against a short-handed Clips team.

  • CMira

    Doc just said that Rondo is gonna run more the floor.. now that nate is gone!

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