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Game 65/82: Celtics (47-17) @ Nets (21-43): Open Thread

 

Boston at New Jersey
Prudential Center
7:00 PM
TV: CSN

Offensive Efficiency

Boston: 105.1 points/100 possessions (13th)
New Jersey: 100.1 points/100 possessions (27th)

Defensive Efficiency

Boston: 97.7 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)*
New Jersey: 106.4 points allowed/100 possessions (20th)

*Not updated to include yesterday’s record-breaking effort

Probable Nets’ starters: Deron Williams, Sash Vujacic, Anthony Morrow, Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez

View from opposing bench: Nets are Scorching

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The Celtics look for the 4-game season sweep tonight against a New Jersey team that has been playing well of late. And when I say “playing well,” I mean they are riding a 4-game winning streak against the Clippers, Warriors and Raptors (twice). The Nets are 6 games out of 8th place in the Eastern Conference. So while they are not yet mathematically eliminated from the postseason, most Nets’ fans have already turned their attention towards trying to sign Zach Randolph or David West this summer… Also, Deron Williams should be back in the lineup tonight after missing the team’s last two games to be present for the birth of his son.

WHAT THE NETS DO WELL:

Dirty work defensively. This is a bit of stretch, but the Nets aren’t half-bad when it comes to rebounding and blocking shots. They rank 8th in Defensive Rebound Rate, and 13th in Block Rate. So we’ll see if either is a factor tonight. Rebounding could be a slight concern for the Celtics. Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries have been playing out of their minds lately, and the C’s have had issues in certain games when it comes to pulling down boards.

WHAT THE NETS DO POORLY:

Score the basketball.  New Jersey has struggled in most statistical categories this season. The Nets’ eFG% is 27th in the NBA at 47.4%. In particular, New Jersey has had problems scoring inside. They rank 28th in the league with a 59.5% shooting percentage on shots at the rim (by contrast, the Celtics are No. 1 at 68.7%). They also only record about 39 points in the paint per game (22nd). However, it’s likely that Williams’ presence will improve these numbers, as defenses have been sending double-teams at an overwhelmed Lopez all season long. More on B-Lo in a second.

WHICH PLAYERS MAKE ME WORRY:

Deron Williams: He scared me on the Jazz. Now he scares me on the Nets. Don’t see this changing for the rest of his career…Averaging 15.8 points and 15.2 assists per game with New Jersey.

Kris Humphries: Humphries has been incredibly inconsistent all season. But in the last 4 games he’s averaging 17 ppg, 17.3 rebounds, and is shooting 63% from the field. Hey, he is about to be a free agent and is looking for that next contract. Put up a 20-10 against Kevin Garnett tonight and that’s good for at least an extra $500,000, right?

WHICH PLAYER DOESN’T MAKE ME WORRY:

Brook Lopez: Clearly, Lopez is one of the big winners in the Williams trade. He definitely wasn’t ready to carry a team offensively, which he was forced to do for the last 5 months. He’s a very good player, but not great. I think he has “3rd-best-player-on-a-potential-championship-team” written all over him. But the reason he doesn’t make me nervous is that he plays below his potential on too many occasions. Takes too many shots to get his 20 points (48% eFG rate). Doesn’t rebound as well as he should (averaging only 6 rebounds per game) for a 7-footer. Kinda reminds me of Chris Bosh in those ways. However, he has been playing well lately (27-9 in his last 5 games) and you just have to hope that he doesn’t break out for a monster game like he does every once in a while.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM BOSTON TONIGHT:

Nenad Krstic continue to impress. He is averaging almost 16 ppg and 13 rebounds over the last 3 games, albeit against relatively inferior opponents. While I certainly don’t put these stats in the “fluke” category, it would be unfair to expect this type of production from Krstic once the playoffs roll around. With 17 games to go in the regular season, the main focus for the Celtics is hanging on to that No. 1 seed. But in terms of individual players, Krstic is the guy we all want to see more of. We all know what to expect from the Big 4. But I want to see how much confidence Doc Rivers really has in Krstic (i.e. is he ultimately going to end up giving the big man 35 minutes per game in the playoffs?)

PREDICTION: Celtics 106, Nets 94

  • Guest

    That's a carry, at least it used to be. Like traveling, that call has disappeared from the game

    • Rav

      yeah, it would have been ridiculous if he had been allowed to carry on dribbling after that. Putting a bit of your palm on the bottom half of the ball isn't a big deal, but here the ball is on top of his plam

  • Jamie

    Must win game to keep home court throughout in the east. have to beat up on the bottom feeders

  • Brad Spead

    its still weird for me to see D-Will in a Nets jersey…

  • dtla la

    I'll take any opportunity to watch Sasha Vujacic, a frequent commenter here and absolutely someone for whom we should have traded Ray Allen in late '09. You cannot stop the Machine; you can only try to contain him.

  • dtla la

    Vujacic can trip-doub anytime he wants. I just hope it's not tonight.

    • Chris O

      Vujacic isn't even going to be the best 'Sasha' on the court tonight….

      • Batman

        Sasha Rondo?
        Oh wait…..

  • Batman

    Rondo's jumper is off

  • nbsmatambo

    never on lol

  • dslack

    That was a goaltend.

  • Batman

    rondo cannot hit a shot

  • kricky

    The team looks better with Arroyo running the point.

    What happened to our all star PG? He looks absolutely awful.

    • Batman

      Another classic Rojan Rando performance

    • Tom W

      I really think he's hurt. Something's wrong with him that he's not telling us.

  • I_Bleed_Green

    Rondo blows…bench him!!!

    • I_Bleed_Green

      Shit I jinxed rondo

      • someguyinsac

        I didn't him want benched that way, either.

  • Paul

    These f****n refs are killing me!! Hopefully they even things out in the 2nd half…

  • kricky

    The Cap treating us to at least one highlight real nasty dunk a night. We are not worthy!!!

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

    Ray Allen doubled in the post?

  • kricky

    I've been asking that same question since the All Star Break.

  • hdavenport

    13-1 FTA disparity right now.

    • Tom W

      22-8 in the 4th quarter…hasn't really evened out much.

  • I_Love_Green

    COME ON!!!

  • Tom W

    Anybody else really sick of these crappy games against crappy teams?

    • I_Bleed_Green

      I almost threw my remote at the tv watching rondo

  • jonathan

    Has Anyone Noticed D Will is wearing his headband upside down? http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/po
    Screw The Nba, And Let Rondo do his original Thing

  • Tom W

    In all seriousness though, our defense on the perimeter seems late. Seems like we are giving up a LOT of open threes that kill our runs.

    • kricky

      This was on Rondo and Green tonight. Rondo going under the picks and Green late in closing out his man.

  • ElRoz

    NJ scored 31 points in the 3rd!

    Boston seems to be always lossing back to back road games agaisnt very bad teams – Washington, Cleveland, NJ….horrible.
    Doc know it…KG knows it..Piecre knows it…Rond and Allen know this…and they cannot do anything about it.

    Doc always gives starters the 4th qt off before these games…and they still cannot win!
    Bulls #1 in the East – Boston cannot even win in NJ!
    The fight for #2 is now on against Miami…which might still get it

  • I_Love_Green

    Rondo would foul a 3 point shooter….

  • GREENMAN

    lack of aggressiveness. lets pass up layups for 22 ft jumpers.

    • Tom W

      Yeah. Seems like the only time we are going for layups is when Baby tries them against people twice his height and gets them blocked.

      • GREENMAN

        rondo and baby jumpers with 1:30 left? really? goodbye #1 seed.

  • Zee

    Sigh… Rondo cost us this game with some very poor gameplay!

    • kricky

      The deterioration of his play is very troubling. If he is nursing an injury then he has to sit when West gets back.

      • Zee

        The offense centers around Rondo. Our men were depending on him, like they do every night. It began with him and it went down from there. He is the master link to our offense. Sure, the vets can create their own offense, but as long as Rondo is on the floor then he is controlling the game. Why? The ball is in his hands. Missed jumpers, turnovers, bad passes, lack of energy and focus.

        Now, that pick that was set on him in the opening minutes could be the cause for throwing off his whole game, and then to twist his ankle not long after. His rhythm was thrown off early own.

        Yet, Doc should've noticed this and called for adjustments. Rondo should've asked for a change too, knowing he wasn't operating at full potential.

        Still, no excuse for this loss. We had them beat all around.

  • GREENMAN

    on another note, did Doc coach anyone this game? was he not watching the jump shot brigade? just sit there and feel sorry for yourself. great coaching strategy.

  • I_Love_Green

    Rondo got punked by D-Will. This team is really bad right now.

  • ElRoz

    Pierce and Rondo stink….they just stink and Boston is OUT of excuses. The ineffective starters got the 4th qt off last night.

    This team is now fighting Miami for the #2 spot…..if Boston is lucky they'll have game 5 and 7 at Chicago in the Eastern Finals…and we know how Doc's C's have done in decisive games on the road in 2008-2010: horrible.

    Games 6 and 7 in LA last year, don't forget – home court isn't important?

  • kricky

    We'll have to go at least 13-4 the rest of the way to get the #1 seed. And there are a ton more back to backs, including one later this week. I just don't see it happening.

    Time to shut shit down and get everyone healthy for the playoffs.

  • Zee

    I disagree that our team is bad. The offense centers around Rondo. Our men were depending on him, like they do every night. It began with him and it went down from there. He is the master link to our offense. Sure, the vets can create their own offense, but as long as Rondo is on the floor then he is controlling the game. Why? The ball is in his hands. Missed jumpers, turnovers, bad passes, lack of energy and focus.

    Now, that pick that was set on him in the opening minutes could be the cause for throwing off his whole game, and then to twist his ankle not long after. His rhythm was thrown off early own.

    Yet, Doc should've noticed this and called for adjustments. Rondo should've asked for a change too, knowing he wasn't operating at full potential.

    Still, no excuse for this loss. We had them beat all around.

    • I_Love_Green

      Our team is bad right now. Right now, Rondo is playing the worse ball of the season, the Big 3 aren't shooting the ball well, and the new guys (not named Kurly/Arroyo) aren't doing much. Murph's nonexistant, I completely forgot about Sasha, and Green has been so inconsistant.

      I think when Delonte comes back, Doc will give Rondo 1, maybe 2 games off. and when Von comes back Pierce could possibly get some rest.

      • Zee

        If you allow one game to shape your view, you're not viewing the season right.

        • I_Love_Green

          The team that has been playing basketball recently has been playing bad ball. You cannot deny Rondo has been really bad since the all star break, and the big 3 haven't shot the ball well in the last couple games. I'm talking about the team's recent play, which has not been very good.

          • Zee

            Initially I thought Rondo cost us the game, but not so… Yeah, he was bad, but the thing that cost us this game was the FT's. We didn't get to the line a 2nd time until the end of the 3rd quarter.

            It's easy just to blame a game on player and poor play, but everyone other than Rondo played very well. It came down to FT's. See it from all angles, not just one.

  • stephen

    Rondo needs to get his head out of his ass and get over the Perkins trade. Another foul on a three point shooter, then shooting a 20 footer when we are within 4, which he has no business taking!!!!! He looks like he's in a daze out there. Doc needs to stop pussifying this team and get some of his guys back. Delonte West for example has been out with the longest spained ankle injury I have ever seen. It's also time to bring Shaq back. We can pretty much sorget the #1 seed in the East. Chicago has a lollipop schedule left. Now we have to worry about finishing behind both Dallas and LA as well. C'mon Doc—it's time to tuffin up these wussies.

  • Zee

    Some of y'all are over-reacting. This is one game. Don't trip. Saying team members sucked TONIGHT is one thing, but as a whole? You trippin'. We fine. Rondo had an off night. We didn't get to #1 in the East for no reason. Lets not forget that we have had more injuries than usual, new players and much more. So our team does not suck. We simply had a game lost that we should've won. Rondo was the cause, but he'll be fine. We can tolerate now, but not in the playoffs.

    • kricky

      It's not just one night. IN the last seek we've lost to the Clips, Nets and Sixers and, save the Bucks game, struggled to beat inferior teams. Chicago, LA and the other contenders have been putting teams away in the same stretch.

      Also, this is not just one game. RR has not had a Rondo like game since the All Star Break. If we don't get our guy back we can kiss this season goodbye quick.

      Also Green was horrendous tonight, especially his D.

  • stephen

    If Rondo doesn't want to lead this team, let Arroyo do it. He sure as hell couldn't do any worse. Rondo is selfish, still blubbering over the Perkins trade. Over-reacting. I'm not sure about that. What happens if we fall apart to the point where we fall behind Miami? And we sure as hell don't want to fall behind the Lakers. Somebody needs to confront Rondo about his lack of focus—and soon.

  • Zee

    Oh, and lets not forget the number of FT's each team took! We took what? 5??? Them??? 25+??? They're defense is not that precise!

    SO CORRECTION >>>> THAT cost us the game! Not Rondo. Had we gotten as many calls as they did, we would've won hand down!

    Is this the 90's all over again where refs are paid to call games? Do they not want Celtics #1 seed in the East????

  • stephen

    @Zee—I'll take this one step further—It's a known fact that Satan Stern hated Red Auerbach and has always had it in for the Celtics. It's also a fact that Stern and Phil Jackson are friends. A commisioner should not be personal friends with any coach or any owner for that matter. Period.

    • Zee

      I honestly don't trust that Stern guy. Dude seems questionable business-wise.

      • Batman

        Oh come on blaming refs is for laker’s fans guys. A couple things: rondo sucked today and everyone needs to chillax

  • stephen

    Questionable? That's putting it mildly. When your friends with the coach of the Lakers, isn't that what we would call a conflict of interest?

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