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Game 3/66: Celtics (0-2) @ Hornets (1-0) Open Thread

 


UPDATE: Eric Gordon (knee) now appears to be out for this game, so the C’s really should take this one.

***

Boston at New Orleans
8:00 P.M. ET
New Orleans Arena
CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 105.8 points/100 possessions (9th)
New Orleans: 95.2 points/100 possessions (21st)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 109.3 points allowed/100 possessions (25th)
New Orleans: 90.9 points allowed/100 possessions (6th)

Key Injuries: Paul Pierce (heel) is likely out. Chris Wilcox (shoulder) is out. Mickael Petrius (knee) is still not quite ready.

Probable N’awlins Starters: Marco Belinelli (PG), Eric Gordon (SG), Trevor Ariza (SF), Carl Landry (PF), Emeka Okafor (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Hornets 247

Thumbnail: In the spirit of early season overreactions, let’s linger on the Celtics’ abysmal defense through two games (check the alarming number above), the mounting injuries and the awful, terrible, no-good concern that Boston has entered that no-man’s land of the Association, where they’re just good enough to beat most mediocre teams, but at least one major piece shy of being able to challenge the big boys (also known as Milwaukee-ness).

On the upside, Paul Pierce is a seriously major piece, and these have been two of the most encouraging losses of the last few years. The bench looks stronger, the offense surprisingly perky, and it is – after all – early. So, in this first auspicious SEGABABA of 2011-12, the C’s have a very winnable game in New Orleans and a chance to give us all reason to exhale.

Nobody here at CelticsHub wants to be writing about an 0-3 team tomorrow.

***

May I now direct your attention to Eric Gordon, the central player New Orleans received in the Chris Paul trade? C’s fans who didn’t watch a ton of Clippers games last year (everyone but Bill Simmons) may not be familiar with his game but he’s a rising star in the league and only 23 (as of Christmas Day).

What’s special about Gordon is his ability to create his own shot off the dribble and get to the line (you could make an argument those are the two most important offensive skills come playoff time and reference guys like Dwayne Wade, Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler and the like).

When you marry Gordon’s basket attacks with a passable outside game, he’s a worrisome matchup for anyone in the league, particularly Ray Allen, who may not be strong or fresh enough to handle him. I’d expect we’ll see Avery Bradley covering Gordon for stretches tonight.

***

PREGAME ANALYSIS

Pierce is out, Kevin Garnett has been less than assertive on the offensive end and the C’s still sport the 9th best offense in the league after four days of action. Speak not of small sample sizes! I reserve the right to be blindly optimistic, especially if the defense starts to resemble something like the one we’ve watched the last four years.

New Orleans has only one star and, more importantly for the Celtics, they’ve barely had time to figure out their offense since the Chris Paul trade was finalized. If Boston can keep Gordon out of the paint (hello strong side zone) and make consistent Celtics-of-yore efforts on defense, Monty Williams’ squad will likely be forced into second and third options off of broken plays. Clamp down on their outside threats (particularly Belinelli) and it’s a reasonable bet that the Hornets can’t do enough damage to win this one.

And of course, a few stops will unleash one Rajon Rondo to attack in the open court. Rondo looks determined to prove that he is not a big scaredy cat when it comes to attacking the rim. Through two games, Rondo is averaging 8.0 attempts at the rim (he was at 4.3 last season). He’s also taking an incredible 11.5 free throw attempts per through the first two games (last season: 1.9).

It’ll be interesting to see how Doc Rivers handles his rotation tonight, in this first 24-hour-turnaround of the season. Danny Ainge gave him a deeper bench than last year and though it’s been thinned by the injury to Chris Wilcox, there are enough guys there to contribute the kinds of minutes that will keep Allen and Garnett fresh in May. If Doc uses them.

Keyon Dooling and Brandon Bass have both distinguished themselves as rotation players through the first two games.

Who’s next?

PREDICTION

Joe Gerrity of the Hornets247 is predicting (tongue-in-cheek, mind you) that his post-game headline will read: Hornets Obliterate Celtics.

I’ll say he’s 100% dead wrong — for basketball reasons.

Celtics 99 Hornets 93

  • steveb

    I think we already see how this condensed season will make this year an anomaly. Knowing when to rest guys and when to grind it out will be crucial and take some time to develop. On a side not…just finished watching last nights game. When even the TNT announcers sound like Tommy, horrible calls, you know the refs are back in form.

  • Batman

    Eric Gordon is overrated in my opinion
    Nice young player, but all he can do is score
    Can't rebound, play make, or do anything else
    Hes a decent defender but hes undersized
    This Hornets team doesn't scare me, our legs scare me

    • Mark

      He hasn't reached his potential. He reminds me of Wade except Gordon is a better shooter.

      • Batman

        I agree he has nice potential and I'm not really saying hes bad or anything
        I just think a guy who currently gives u nothing except 22 points isn't that great

        • Mark

          He's a pretty good defender all things considered. He might be undersized but so is Wade. Don't take that as me comparing Gordon to Wade but there is something there that, if realized, might well make him the best SG in the league in the next 2-3 years.

          I'd like to see Ainge go after Gordon next summer but his ability to stay on the court health wise is a concern.

        • janos

          HI Batman!
          Did you do a good xmas gifts?

          • Batman

            Hey Janos
            I bought very good presents but sadly I did not receive the same quality
            How was your Christmas?

          • janos

            Who didnt give you the good ones?
            I got the HDTVS is so nice i watch all the game now

  • Phil

    Looks like Gordon's missing the game, as if the Hornets weren't impotent enough. Recent history suggest the C's can let teams stick around in these types of games, but it shouldn't be much of a game on paper.

  • Mark

    The only plausible scenario in which the C's lose this game is if Stern voids the results tomorrow and just declares the game as being forfeited by the C's.

    • Mark

      Whoops…

  • janos

    Hi Ryen, Janos here
    Many thing consider for game tonight, not just what player hurt. with commisiner watching hornet is hard tell they get good call or better treatments. I like Celtics win by 15 points. That my standing predict for all game though. Go Celitcs!

  • Batman

    We should play Sasha 40 minutes a game against scrubby teams and 0 against good teams

  • Batman

    STEAMER WITH THE BLOCK
    and we are a little foul happy today

  • Mark

    Holy… What a frustrating year this will be.
    :(

  • Batman

    Backs to backs are the same

  • ElRoz

    0-3…0-3…0-3…this game has all the making for the C's to go 0-3.

    KG's jumpers (at 6'11) and JO's ineffectiveness…I smell 0-3.

  • guest

    I’m done with the nba till they do something about this officiating. This is disgusting.

  • Chris from Danvers

    Wow…..ugly game……can't wait til the back to back to backs

  • ElRoz

    NO has 11 free throw attempts to Boston's 0 ……

    Ray Allen looks NOTHING like the guy who played yesterday…..is it due to the back-to-back?

  • GREENMAN

    Ray just got hosed on his 3rd foul. Is someone making a tape to send to the NBA?

  • I_Love_Green

    GOOD LORD this is going to be a long year.

  • Batman

    WE HAVE A BIG CENTER PROBLEM

  • Batman

    The steamer!

    • Batman

      He’s like a homeless man’s Mark Eaton

  • ElRoz

    Doc should be playing Stiemsma more often…I said it the first two games – put him in more often!

    Perhaps Doc should try the JO and Bass combo…and KG with Stiemsma

  • Batman

    Rondo with blazing speed

  • Chris from Danvers

    Only positive so far – Stiemsma with the 4 blocks….love the Mark Eaton reference.

    Gotta get more than just Quis going to the hole. And what is the deal with Celtics getting first two free throws with about 4:00 mins to go in the 2nd quarter. What gives? Looks like refs missed the preseason, too.

  • Chris from Danvers

    Hey a Sasha sighting

  • Mike

    JO spends more time adjusting his headband than trying to play and Rondo…where's Rondo from sunday? And then people wonder why he's always in trade talks… so inconsistent and no defense on jack whatsoever.

  • Mike

    Stiemsma has to be the starter from now on.

  • I_Love_Green

    This isn't frustrating at all.

  • Phil

    Am I missing something with Stiemsma? How is this guy not a starter in the NBA? He's dominating on defense right now. Kaman's gonna see him in his nightmares.

    On the flip side, KG's performance this game and this year has been worrisome to say the least.

  • Batman

    I’m on the verge of tears goddamn

  • Mark

    Ainge you lied. You said you would NEVER let the Big 3 get to this point.

  • Batman

    One more quarter to go
    If we pull out the W all is forgiven

  • Mike

    Why aren't Johnson and Moore getting any playing time? They can't be worst than the ones in there right now….

  • -jp

    This is god awful, just no effort at all. Speechless…

  • Batman

    yeah the tears won't stop

  • I_Love_Green

    Yeah this is sad to watch…

  • Batman

    STOP FORCING BASS TO CREATE DOC
    Also our team has way too many players who refuse to take the open jumper

    • ElRoz

      that's Doc's system…players just loose their offensive confidence on this team

  • Mike

    These refs are awful too.

  • Batman

    Doc waving the white flag

  • someguyinsac

    Can't wait for PP to play, these games are gruesome to watch.

  • Batman

    Its ok guys
    2007 Mavs started 0-4 and still won 67 games in the end

    • I_Love_Green

      Do we even win 37?

      • Batman

        the golden question

    • ElRoz

      yes they did…but this Celtic team is nothing like them.

  • Chris from Danvers

    This is rough….but at the same time, it is sort of like preseason game number 5. Still some time to get to know each other and gel. Not that this is a championship team by any means, but the last two that went to the finals all needed time to get to know each other. This team hasn't and it shows.

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

    "Joe Gerrity of the Hornets247 is predicting (tongue-in-cheek, mind you) that his post-game headline will read: Hornets Obliterate Celtics.

    I’ll say he’s 100% dead wrong — for basketball reasons."

    Wow. Just… wow.

    • I_Love_Green

      Joe Gerrity= Prophet

      • Ryan DeGama

        No kidding, huh?

        • janos

          This very bad, Ryan. Maybe get Haynes talk Gerrity get him on Celtic side for next times.

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

          lol, didn't mean to put you on blast Ryan, but just got home and read that while I watched the Celtics get obliterated.

          This sucks though. Hate to see them struggle like this.

  • Batman

    So….NJ and Toronto have better records than us

  • ElRoz

    As I wrote even before the Miami game…0-3 is not just a possibility, but is very likely!

    There you go.

  • Jack

    Landry, Okafor and Kaman were too much for us. Is there any way for us to trade for one of them, maybe some combo of oneal, avery and johnson. I wouldnt be surprised if a rebuilding team like the Hornets would want to make some deals to get younger.

  • john

    yes I'd disagree with everoyne about Stiemsma. Guy looks completely lost on offense, reminding me of our next Scalabrine.

  • ElRoz

    Now I know why neither Chris Paul nor David West wanted to come play for Boston this season…they apparently knew more than we did.

    Oh, and buy the way, let me say this again: JO SUCKS…HE SUCKS

    The leading shot getters were Daniels and Bass…not KG and Ray Allen.

    Rondo got outplayed by Jack big time: points, assists, turnovers…. Rondo looks like Rondo again.

  • red

    I know Celtic fans are loyal but JO should be waived he is not a NBA caliber player anymore and we would be lucky if we could trade him for a second rounder

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