Charlotte at Boston
Boston: 104.4 points/100 possessions (15th)
Charlotte: 100.1 points/100 possessions (26th)
Boston: 97.4 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Charlotte: 104.4 points allowed/100 possessions (16th)
Probable Charlotte starters: DJ Augustin (PG), Gerald Henderson (SG) Stephen Jackson (SF), Boris Diaw (PF), Kwame Brown (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Queen City Hoops
Thumbnail: Ailing Celtics, meet thy cure. The Bobcats, 2-10 over their last twelve games, are rapidly spinning down the drain, three games back of the last playoff spot in the East. On a normal night, this would be a worry, the kind of game the Celtics just love to mail in. But tonight, given all the scrutiny they’ve faced both internally and externally, we should all expect Boston to come out and thrash the Bobcats. Anything less would be a letdown. And it’s not like this team suffers letdowns, right? Especially not against Charlotte.
WHAT THE BOBCATS DO WELL
Lately, they’ve been doing precious little well.
Statistically speaking, they get to the line, or they did until the departure of Gerald Wallace, who was sent to Portland at the trading deadline as part of Michael Jordan’s nefarious plan to kill basketball in Charlotte for good. They also do a solid job of holding teams off the offensive glass, which, given Boston’s disinterest in second chance points, should give them a chance to get out and run.
Except they play at a relatively slow pace.
The one area where Charlotte may be able to overmatch the Celtics is effort. Boston’s has been spotty and while the same can be said for the Bobcats lately, their mid-level defense can rise into the elite on occasion, assuming everyone is focused (watch the Charlotte bench on that topic – they can out-energy you if not out-talent you).
WHAT THE BOBCATS DO POORLY
Score. If the Celtics D could assert itself for a whole game with the same effort we saw in the second halves against New Orleans and New York, Charlotte might not crack 60 points. Not only that, Jackson, their one periodically frightening player, has been slumping lately due to a hamstring injury. He’s shooting .320 for March, scoring only 13.4 points per game.
PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY
Every member of the Celtics.
Could there be any other answer? Boston has an advantage at every starting position tonight against the Bobcats. And even so, Charlotte could easily be up 10 points after one quarter.
PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY
Every member of the Bobcats.
I’m not being glib. Look over their roster and tell me if anyone on that team worries you.
And yet they could be up by 15 at the half.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE TONIGHT
A victory most of all, but one in which the Celtics lead comfortably after the first quarter would be nice. A return to crisp ball movement on the offensive side would be nicer. A low turnover total would be a joy. Rondo attacking the paint and actually finishing wide open layups would be wonderful. Nenad Krstic returning to his double-double form of a couple weeks back would also be impressive (if unlikely).
I’d just settle for the win.
Boston 92 Charlotte 81