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Game 82/82: Knicks (42-39) @ Celtics (55-26)

 

Is It Finally Avery's Turn To Shine?

New York at Boston
TD Garden
8:00 PM EST
CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 103.9 points/100 possessions (19th)
New York: 108.4 points/100 possessions (5th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 97.7 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
New York: 106.9 points allowed/100 possessions (21st)

Probable NY starters: Chauncey Billups (PG), Landry Fields (SG), Carmelo Anthony (SF), Shawne Williams (PF), Ronny Turiaf (C)

Probable BOS starters: Carlos Arroyo (PG), Von Wafer (SG), Jeff Green (SF), Glen Davis (PF), Jermaine O’Neal (C)

View from the opposing bench: Knickerblogger

Thumbnail: It took the Celtics until game 82 to finally find meaninglessness. During Monday’s game with Washington, the second seed was still undecided. But nothing’s on the line tonight in this glorified exhibition game that also serves as an unrepresentative playoff preview. Doc Rivers will rest his starters, Amare Stoudamire and Delonte West will sit with injuries, and defense will likely be played in passing, if at all.

So why watch? Let’s see if we can’t find a few reasons.

Reason #1: Avery Bradley. Conditions are perfect for the C’s rookie PG tonight. Rajon Rondo has the night off. West is hurt. Arroyo can’t play the whole game. Bradley may break his season high in minutes, 15, which he set back in December against the Nets. It would almost be cruel for Doc to anchor him to the bench tonight, wouldn’t it? This is his last chance at game action until next fall.

Reason #2: Jeff Green. The fleet forward tore up the Wizards on Monday night for 20 points and 15 rebounds in 47 long minutes. You can read little into the specific numbers but the extended run and improved rhythm can only help him going into a playoff season that may serve as a referendum on his time in Boston. He got up 20 shots Monday. Let’s hope for that many again tonight.

Reason #3: Jermaine O’Neal. JO put up a 15 and 13 line on Monday and tagged on 5 blocks, all impressive totals. But even more striking are the 37 minutes he logged. He hadn’t played that many minutes since March 18, 2010. Back in the lineup now for 7 games, is it possible that O’Neal really will live up to his Feb 5 tweet where he promised “I know I haven’t been out there much this year, but I promise I will be there when the Cs need me the most! That I guarantee!”? ‘Cause that time is now.

Reason #4: Mike and Tommy. The NBA knows you hate listening to your local announcers and will shuttle Mike and Tommy off the air at the conclusion of the first round. So, this is your last chance to listen to Tommy in his relaxed state. By Sunday night, he should be practically volcanic.

Reason #5: Your blood pressure. Of course, the tension rises for all Celtics fans this weekend. Tonight is the last game where you can laugh off a bad call or a subpar Boston effort. Speaking of which…

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM BOSTON TONIGHT

  • Avery Bradley logging 25 minutes and drawing more iron or mesh than air on his jumpers. A career-high in points (6) is not out of the question.
  • Jeff Green dominating offensively against a small New York front line and containing Anthony, like we hope he’ll do come Sunday night.
  • A JO performance, circa 2001.
  • No more #%@#% injuries.
  • Gino.

PREDICTION:

Boston 108 New York 104

  • Batman

    I wanna see Troy Murphy show who's boss

  • _Banania

    Oh yeah no more f****** injuries ! And I would like to see Arroyo in TD too :)

  • ElRoz

    Troy Murphy and Pavlovic and Wafer need to play – the first two to keep BBD and Green from playing too much – I'm scared about injuries again; BBD has been playing good minutes all season anyhow – rest him a bit as well. 12-15 minutes.
    I don't wat to see JO play too much either – worred about injuries again. Give him 12-15 minutes and sit him like BBD. Same with Green – I'd love for him to get mor playing time, but he did already and tonight I'd use him for 12-15 minutes and that's it – or do you want to see something wrong happen again, like with Delonte? Therefore: JO, BBD, Green, ad Kristic should get 12-15 minutes in my opinion – otherwise you're risking.
    Use Murphy, Pavlovic, Wafer.
    Arroyo must get 30 minutes again to get ready – I have no idea when Delonte comes back or for how long he'll stay healthy, probably 4-5 games. Arroyo might be useful w/o Delonte – play him now like against Washington..

  • no fool

    I'd like to get Murphy in there tonight especially so we can use him in the playoffs against strong rebounding teams that can't take advantage of his slowness. Because Baby's play is very inefficient and he doesn't board, which means he's just a sparkplug off the bench that increasingly has better options for that (Krstic/Green/West). So Murphy can get out there, stretch the floor and protect the defensive glass, which I'd like to see in the playoffs. We can't put up with Baby being mediocre anymore, he's not being covered by Perkins on the glass and we have tougher teams to face than last year.

    • kricky

      Agreed. Get Murphy in there an tell him to fire away as many shots as he can. IT woudl be amazing if we could gt him going with the 3ball.

  • CG12

    Screw Pavlovic. He is terrible. And Avery should only play if Arroyo is about to keel over. This is another chance to get the guys who might actually contribute in the playoffs a little more integrated. That means long minutes for Wafer, JO, Murphy, Arroyo, Krstic, and Green. Baby doesn't need the minutes. There are no circumstances under which Avery could plausibly help the team in a playoff game, unlike the other guys. I still, for no good reason, think Murphy could get it going. He was a real player in this league for many years. He isn't that old, so I don't think he just lost it all the sudden, but maybe he did. If he can crush on the defensive boards and hit a couple of 3s, that would be so nice.

  • someguyinsac

    Here's the final casting call for the postseason bench mob. Wonder who will be stepping it up tonight?

  • talesofJP

    Amare is playing, he should be owning this game right now. Good to see Bradley get the steal/dunk.

  • Tom W

    AVERY BRADLEY IS PLAYING LIKE A BOSS! This is awesome, haha.

  • tom

    boy I like how this unit plays together. I wouldnt mind this team alongside rondo, pierce and a dominant big man :)

  • Zee

    I missed the start of the game. Did NY begin with their starters? I haven't seen Melo in the game. Is he playing?

    • someguyinsac

      Just Amare, I believe.

      • Zee

        Yep, thanks!

        • Janos

          is true

  • talesofJP

    this is great watching Bradley, maybe we should have seen more of him earlier…

  • Guest

    Turns out Avery isn't as terrible as everyone says he is. He just needed the minutes.

  • Batman

    Avery Bradley doing work!

  • Batman

    Is Jermaine just resting or is something wrong?

    • Mike

      resting. they sad hes great I think.

      • Mike

        *said

  • james patrick

    Okay, why can't our reserves play like this all the time! lol

  • I_Love_Green

    There you go Rook!! I'm lovin what I see from Avery right now!

  • Batman

    Avery only gets 8 minutes?!?? ARGHHHH
    Also Sasha is stroking it

  • Mike

    I liked that sasha stood up to him.

  • kricky

    More Bradley!

  • Zee

    He tapped him in the groin.

  • Mike

    Rondo be taking notes from bradley on how to shoot.

  • Zee

    These last two games are great for our starters to see. I believe having confidence in your bench, and even the bench having confidence in itself, is good for the overall morale of the team. You can play more confidently like this.

  • Zee

    Bradley is doing well, but lets not forget Sasha! He is BALLIN' LIKE ITS HIS CALLN'! lol!

  • Zee

    Shoot! Everyone is ballin'!

  • Janos

    RYAN is boston playoff start on saturday or is start on sunday?

    • Batman

      Sunday at 7 ET

      • Janos

        Thank you batman.

  • Zee

    GREAT GAME!

  • kricky

    Nice job by the Bench. And we finish the season with never having lost more than 2 games in a row, for whatever that's worth. The only other team that's done that isthe Bulls.

  • Tom W

    That was fun. Avery Bradley, welcome to the NBA!

  • someguyinsac

    I can see why Avery wasn't going to be used as a trade chip, this year anyways.

  • johnschaffer

    if and i say if doc would play subs more ,who knows ???? they played great i think ,nice game

  • carlosr

    56-26 it's not bad, but this team could have won 60+ games easily. Now, let's beat the Knicks. I Think the C's will win in 5.

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