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Game 68/82: Celtics (48-19) @ Hornets (40-30) Open Thread

 

Emotional homecoming for Sasha Pavlovic tonight.

Boston at New Orleans
8:00 PM
New Orleans Arena
CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:

Boston: 104.7 points/100 possessions (13th)
New Orleans: 103.5 points/100 possessions (19th)

Defensive Efficiency:

Boston: 97.5 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
New Orleans: 100.9 points allowed/100 possessions (6th)

Probable New Orleans starters: Christopher Emmanuel Paul (PG), Marco Stefano Belinelli (SG), Trevor Ariza (SF), David Moorer West (PF), Chukwuemeka Ndubuisi Okafor (C)

View From The Opposing BenchHornets247

For the first time in our collective memories, the C’s are Accuscore underdogs tonight. And you know what, Accuscore? I’m not sure I blame you.

This is, needless to say, not a great matchup for the Celtics right now, especially not in a SEGABABA. They’ve lost four of six, all against worse teams than the Hornets, and they’ve been burned inside and out. Chris Paul is the last person Rajon Rondo wants to deal with on an injured whatever. Likewise, Nenad Krstic will have his undersized hands full with Emeka Okafor on the glass. Meanwhile, the last remaining C’s offensive threats (whichever one of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen has a half-decent game tonight) have the potential to be choked by Trevor Ariza and David West. Combine all this with, again, a SEGABABA, and start looking forward to some extra room on the C’s bandwagon.

Looking at it a different way, a win would be huge tonight.

WHAT THE HORNETS DO WELL

Defend almost everywhere. The one exception is at the rim, where they’re near the bottom of the league, but they manage to minimize attempts in that area because of Okafor’s presence. Credit Tavares “Monty” Williams and his excellent coaching in the aftermath of the Hornets quitting on Byron Scott last year. Monty’s also one of the increasing number of head coaches who were once under the tutelage of Doc Rivers; Doc coached Monty during their time in Orlando. Speaking of Doc  and New Orleans, remember the highlight of the last Hornets game? It was this.

WHAT THE HORNETS DO POORLY

Make the right shots. The Hornets are fourth in the league at converting long twos, but 16th in three-point percentage. They can shoot, it would seem, but not where it counts. This is the result of the contributions of David West, who is Garnett-like in his tendency to hover just inside the three-point line at the elbow, and just about as deadly.

PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY

It’s misguided to name anyone other than Chris Paul here, because his success is inextricable from his team’s. Here’s what bugs me about the seemingly irreversible Derrick Rose MVP campaign: Derrick Rose is still not the best point guard in the NBA. Pretty much the only category in which he exceeds Chris Paul is in the number of shots he takes. Paul’s a more efficient scorer while taking barely any assisted shots, he’s a superior rebounder, and Rose can barely see Paul in the assists column, the specialty stat of their shared position. Rose is the best player on a much better team, and that’s obviously what people look for when handing out the award for the best player in the league. But Paul is the better player.

PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY

Aaron Gray. This seems like a good time to remind people that former Celtics Hubber Zach Lowe coined my favorite NBA nickname, “The White Flag”, in reference to Aaron Gray. A nickname that underscores both a player’s role and physical appearance while using a minimum of words is deserving of recognition. Also, I have OSU over Gray’s Pitt Panthers in the NCAA final.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE TONIGHT

Lost in the recent failures of the starters to score or play defense has been some encouraging play from the bench, specifically Jeff Green. Would love to see him continue to fill it up. Other than that, it would be nice to see Rajon Rondo either score on or contain Chris Paul, because he couldn’t do either against Kyle Lowry. Rondo didn’t play in the last game against New Orleans, but he’s matched up pretty well against CP3 historically.

PREDICTION

Call this a New Orleans jinx if it turns out to be wrong. NO 93, C’s 90.

  • MikeD

    Interesting prediction. I'd hope this team would come out with intensity and play shut down D after the embarrassment last night. We'll see

  • Morpheus

    HAHAAAA that was funny. Now that's dirty play. See Aaron takes it all in stride, can't say the same for Bitch Frye.

  • kricky

    You'd think they'd come out and play good D form the start after last night's stinker. What is up with all these wide open jump shots they're giving up?

  • someguyinsac

    Yuck is a soft word for this first quarter.

  • kricky

    Sat down with a beer and a deep dish pizza from our favorite local joint ready to enjoy the game. They way they played in the first Q I just feel sick to my stomach. I am throwing the fucking Pizza in the trash.

    • hdavenport

      Better pull that pizza back out!

      • Chris O

        You tell him lol…DELONTE!!!!

  • Mike James

    Well at least they are consistent in scoring 37 points in the half…. This team is a joke right now….

  • Morpheus

    Fu*king bullshit effort out there….starters are effing atrocious. Doc should go with the bench for the entire 2nd half, teach the starters a lesson.

    • Mike James

      Yep, as much as I don't like te Suns, when they came here the bench almost won that game. Doc just try it, they can't do any worst….

  • stephen

    Agreed– This team is clearly going through the motions now– Let us see what happens in the 2nd half–they suck and they know it– If there is no come back –?

  • kricky

    Starters are just playing like doo doo. Especially on D where they aren't closing out shooters leading to open 3 after 3 after 3. They just look like they are out of gas at this point.

    Starters are just playing like doo doo. Especially on D where they aren't closing out shooters leading to open 3 after 3 after 3. They just look like they are out of gas at this point.

    Maybe it's just time to do a replay of last year and shut it down. What the hell is the point of trying to get the seed if we are losing these games anyway? Plus it'll give the bench guys good minutes too.

    I know this is a shitty option. But it may be the best one we have to make a playoff run.

  • someguyinsac

    There's life after 3, keep it up!

  • LStrike

    I'm glad I turned this game on at the start of the 3rd.

  • Chris O

    Woohoo DELONTE!!!!

  • I_Love_Green

    Haha I have no idea how we have the lead now. This is fun to watch though

    • Chris O

      Seriously….this is crazy, especially that last possession where Pierce just drew the foul after 2 crazy errant passes lol

  • Dan

    What happened to Rondo?

    • Chris O

      Not sure but he was injured I heard them say left hand I think

      • Chris O

        O no right hand

    • LStrike

      Ran into Garnett and got kneed in the nuts and hurt his shoulder.

      • Chris O

        Ummm no his right hand is taped…

        • LStrike

          Okay, not what the commentators said.

          • Chris O

            I know at one point they said left hand too lol, who knows

          • LStrike

            You're probably right man, I don't doubt you.

            But when I turned the game on about 5 minutes into the 3rd they showed a replay of Rondo accidentally running into Garnett when he was guarding Chris Paul going baseline. After the reply they were making jokes about Rondo's voice while he had an ice-pack near his groin region while also referencing his shoulder that got crunched.

  • rondeezy

    wheres a chair

  • Mike

    You tell him Curly aha

  • Chris O

    HOW IS THAT NOT A FOUL?!?!?!?!?

  • steveb

    Two words. Refs. Suck.

  • LStrike

    Come on C's!! The headline for the last write-up against the Hornets was "Crunch Time Fail"! Let's not let that happen again!

  • rondeezy

    yo hayes you should write up a celtics loss every night

    • Chris O

      Haha for real, whatever it takes lol

  • kricky

    This team's ability to flip the switch will be the death of me.

    But I will die a happy man if we can hoist up #18!

  • Jamie

    So what injury does Pierce have now cause he looks terrible.

  • LStrike

    The DD's delivered tonight.

    Davis & Delonte.

  • Mike

    What a weird game lol. And I just noticed now that Murphy and Arroyo didn't play and Ray Allen 44 minutes ouch.

  • Morpheus

    Ray's gonna be gassed for the game on Monday. When is Wafer's ETA?
    Might have to play Green at the 2.

    Tommy almost had a heart attack when the BS refs didn't call a foul on Pierce who got raped.

  • Zee

    Ugly win, but still makes a difference on the standings. Now tied with Bulls for #1 (again). This is monumental, as we usually don't do well on back to backs. Way to grind it out fellas.

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