Boston: 99.1 points/100 possessions (16th)
Phoenix: 101.4 points/100 possessions (11th)
Boston: 100.6 points/100 possessions (17th)
Phoenix: 103.5 points/100 possessions (25th)
Probable Phoenix Starters: Stephen John Nash (PG), Jared Dudley (SG), Grant Henry Hill (SF), Channing Frye (PF), Marcin Gortat (C)
Boston: Rajon Rondo is not in the building, so Avery Bradley will start. Keyon Dooling and Chris Wilcox are out. Jermaine O’Neal is permanently day-to-day.
View From The Opposing Bench: Valley of the Suns
I only just remembered today that Kevin Garnett flicked Channing Frye in the clementines last season. What a treat that rivalry is. The next and last time the Celtics faced the Suns, Garnett added insult to Frye’s actual injury by burning him for 28 points on 12 of 14 shooting. That was a simpler time: Vince Carter and Nenad Krstic started. Mickael Pietrus was on the other team. Aaron Brooks was in the United States. The only Celtics bench player still with the team was Avery Bradley, who shot 1-4. The more things change, man. The more things change.
This season, both teams are old and struggling with the young talent that has disrespectfully taken over their divisions without permission. The once high-powered Phoenix offense has fallen out of the top ten, making them a great matchup for the declining Celtics defense. Only one will emerge tonight with the coveted sixth win.
Avery Bradley is somehow starting tonight, but at least he’ll be matched up with Steve Nash, the most offensively lopsided player in history. Bradley, possibly the most defensively lopsided player in history, will have his hands full with Nash on one end, and they’ll both basically check out of the game on the other end. It would be great, though, to see Bradley drive past Nash’s cardboard cutout to the rim on several occasions tonight. Other players will also enjoy favorable matchups: Pierce will go up against Grant Hill, possibly the only time he’ll get someone older than he is. Garnett will face Frye, and already knows his weak spots. Ray Allen’s struggles, on the other hand, could continue: the Suns have upgraded on defense from VC to Jared Dudley, who shines at overpowering smaller guards and looking like Jim Jones.
C’s 94, Suns 88