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Game 58/82: Celtics (42-15) @ Jazz (32-28) Open Thread

 

Boston at Utah

9 P.M. ET

Energy Solutions Arena

CSNNE


Offensive Efficiency:

Boston: 104.8 points/100 possessions (13th)

Utah: 105.3 points/100 possessions (11th)

Defensive Efficiency:

Boston: 97.3 points allowed/100 possessions (1st)

Utah: 106.3 points allowed/100 possessions (t-19th)

Probable Utah Starters: Devin Harris (PG) Raja Bell (SG) Andrei Kirilenko (SF) Paul Milsap (PF) Al Jefferson (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Salt City Hoops

Thumbnail: Usually, a road date in Utah is a grim prospect for NBA teams. But the Jazz are mired in chaos and change, having lost both coach Jerry Sloan and star point guard Deron Williams over the last two weeks. It’s shown on the court, as the Energy Solutions tenants are 1-6 in their last 7 games, including a weekend loss to the trainwreck Pistons. So, despite the Celtics’ injury du jour – a Delonte West ankle sprain – the Celtics are poised for a victory in the final game of their western road trip.

WHAT THE JAZZ DO WELL/WHAT THE JAZZ DO POORLY:

This is harder to gauge than usual with both a new coach (Ty Corbin) and a new point guard (Harris) calling the shots and rookie big Derrick Favors coming off the bench. A few quick things to watch:

  • Jefferson has put up some big games lately and has a soft defender on him (see below) so he could prove a threat.
  • Milsap can be a terror on the offensive glass but KG has the length to neutralize him (KG’s been edging closer to his pre-calf strain self this month. He’s averaging 9.9 rebounds a game in February).
  • The Jazz are a bad defensive team integrating a new coach and new point guard. The Celtics could very possibly carve them right up, the same way Detroit did on Saturday (120 points scored).
  • Rajon Rondo should be thrilled to see Harris instead of Williams, who has given him trouble in the past.

PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY:

Jefferson. We’re going to get a look at Nenad Krstic’s post defense tonight as he tries to put the clamps on one of the best post scorers in the league. Don’t expect the second coming of Kendrick Perkins out there, but Krstic was frisky against the Clippers on Saturday as he tried to win over his new teammates. And if his shooting can pull Big Al away from the basket, the Celtics could have some room to operate in the paint as well.

PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY:

Harris. I love Deron Williams. Deron Williams is a top flight point guard. Devin Harris is no Deron Williams.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM BOSTON TONIGHT:

It’d be nice to see Avery Bradley get some minutes in West’s absence but Doc Rivers has resisted every opportunity to give him extended run. So, we may see long minutes for Rondo and a return of Paul Pierce, Point Forward. Whatever Doc does with the backup 1, it could be instructive as to his intentions if the Celtics don’t sign a buyout guy at the point, and West continues to struggle with his health. In that sense, consider this a potential playoff preview.

An assertive game from Jeff Green would also be more than welcome and *sigh* we’re back to hoping for no new injuries. It’s more than a bit wearying, isn’t it?

PREDICTION:

A messy display on the defensive end from the Jazz, and more growing pains from Boston (particularly when the Celtics have their makeshift bench in during the second and fourth quarters). Expect Rivers to revert to a Rondo-Allen-Pierce-KG-Davis lineup to bring stability down the stretch.

That should get it done.

Boston 109 Utah 99

  • talesofJP

    Hoping to see some good stuff from the new Celtics again tonight. When can buyout players sign with new teams by the way?

    • somguyinsac

      I'm also hoping to see them pickup where they left off from the other night and build on it. As for players signing, I believe it's anytime after they clear waivers.

    • hdavenport

      They can sign as soon as they clear waivers, which they're on for two days.

      • nbsmatambo

        48hrs from wen they r bought out

  • What More Can I Say?

    30 days after they clear waivers

    • somguyinsac

      Thought that only applies when the return to the original team they were bought out from?

      • ryan

        I think that's right

        • talesofJP

          I think it is the 30 days for the same team (Big Z last year with Cleveland and Washington). Also, Ray is on fire so far, seems like Raja Bell got under his skin a bit early, made him angry.

  • Zee

    Didn't like that fastbreak bucket Rondo turned up. We made the score, but we almost didn't get it. Why pass up easy buckets??? Pun intended.

    One the other hand, Krstic looks GREAT!

  • NY Celts Fan

    Alley Oops, rebounding, running the floor I like Krstic. Green is impressing me too…
    Man that 10-2 lead just disappeared in NO TIME.

    • Zee

      Yeah, that was a 12-0 run we went on after the timeout. Awesome!

  • Zee

    GO BRADLEY!!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/BradChampagne @BradChampagne

      Bradley plays unbelievable D. Love that kid.

  • kricky

    Wow, Doc giving the 2nd unit heavy minutes and trusting AB. I like this.

  • NY Celts Fan

    I LOVE Bradley's defense, textbook form. Hopefully he gets some swagger from Rondo.
    The new kid (Johnson?) brings energy from the little I've seen.

  • pam

    bradley is playing with so much energy. im optimistic about his jumper and his future with the cs

  • kricky

    Rondo needs to stop passing the ball when he has a point blank shot. That 3 second call on Krstic was his fault.

    • Mike

      I kinda think his defense has been pretty iffy to say the least and its been like that for a while. He seems lazy a lets guys pass by him so he can poke the ball from behind a plays too much the passing lanes and all of that causes the defense to adjust and one guy is open to score at will.

  • Ryan DeGama

    RT WojYahooNBA Adrian Wojnarowski
    Troy Murphy has phone calls set with Pat Riley and Danny AInge on Monday night, and source says "still torn" between Miami and Boston.

    • talesofJP

      makes me think that we need to win this game, maybe convince him further after the Heat lost last night

    • jack

      we beat the heat three times this year… use your head Troy Murphy.

    • jack

      Any chance Dalembert still gets bought out if Murphy heads to miami?

      • somguyinsac

        No, Sac / Anaheim wants to keep him if they can.

    • hdavenport

      This means nothing, but that's the first time I've seen Miami listed first.

  • kricky

    Nice to see RR logged onto celticshub during halftime to see what parts of his game need work LOL

  • Batman

    Rondo needs to stop with them turnovers
    I know I sound dumb saying this every game, but the main reason we aren't a more efficient offense is cause of TURNOVERSSS

  • Mike

    Watching Ray Allen shoot is like pure perfection daiuummm

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