Boston: 98.8 points/100 possessions (18th)
Cleveland: 97.6 points/100 possessions (T-21st)
Boston: 95.3 points allowed/100 possessions (3rd)
Cleveland: 101.5 points allowed/100 possessions (22nd)
Boston: Rajon Rondo is out. Ray Allen and Keyon Dooling are both questionable. And it looks like Jermaine O’Neal is going to give it a go.
Cleveland: Injury free.
UPDATE: Boobie Gibson for Cleveland is out with a stiff neck. Ray is going to play. Rondo and Dooling are out. Jermaine O’Neal is a true game time decision. Doc still doesn’t know.
Probable Cleveland Starters: Kyrie Irving (PG), Anthony Parker (SG), Omri Casspi (SF), Antawn Jamison (PF), Anderson Varejao (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Cavs The Blog
The Celtics get their first look at the number one overall pick Kyrie Irving tonight and I doubt the outing will disappoint. While I have serious doubts about Irving’s ability to become an elite player, it was cool to see him put up an efficient 32 points against the Nets. I don’t expect the same kind of production against the C’s. If Avery Bradley can slow down Jameer Nelson and John Wall it’s only natural to assume he’ll pester to rook’ all evening.
On the injury front, the Celtics look like they’ll be without Rajon Rondo, Keyon Dooling, and Ray Allen. This is all subject to change but honestly, I hope it doesn’t. The C’s are rolling right now and the none of those players are going to allow Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett to play less minutes. It’s true that with Rondo and Allen back, Pierce won’t be required to be as versatile but he’s still going to be running up and down as much.
As for the Cavaliers, the league’s worst team last season have played much better this season. They are still going to need some time before the young guys really put it all together but there are definitely reasons to be encouraged (if you’re a Cavs’ fan, of course). The Cavs have played pretty well in their wins, sporting double-digit point differentials in 6 out of their 7 victories. They can score and they also give themselves extra opportunities by how well they rebound the ball offensively. Brian said as much today in ESPN Boston’s 3-on-3:
Varejao is an absolute menace. He never stops moving and works hard for every board, point, and scrap he can get on the court. To Cavs fans, he’s the quintessential energy player. To everyone else, he’s annoying. The Celtics will need to do everything necessary to contain him. And I mean everything:
There’s really no point in betting against the C’s right now with the way they’re rolling. Couple that with the fact that the Cavs only have one quality win on the season (1/6 against Minnesota) and the C’s should prevail.
Celtics 101, Cavaliers 93