Boston at Dallas
8:00 P.M. ET
American Airlines Center
Boston: 100.7 points/100 possessions (24th)
Dallas: 102.1 points/100 possessions (19th)
Boston: 98.3 points/100 possessions (3rd)
Dallas: 98.5 points/100 possessions (4th)
Probable Dallas Starters: Jason Kidd(PG), Vince Carter (SG), Shawn Marion (SF), Dirk Nowitzki (PF), Brendan Haywood (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: The Two Man Game
THUMBNAIL: Once again, the C’s will likely be without Kevin Garnett (personal reasons) and Brandon Bass (knee), this time on the second half of a back-to-back against the defending champs. The good news? The Mavs are coming off playing in New York yesterday as well, increasing the odds this will be an ugly matchup between the two aging squads. In order to help get us ready, I did another 3-on-3 with the boys over at ESPN Boston to get ready for this national affair. Be sure to check out the full piece but here’s our thoughts on the biggest worries we have about the Mavs.
Payne: Dallas’ defense and overall talent level. The Celtics’ defense, overall, this season, has been very good, but Dallas has so many offensive weapons and they have great length throughout their whole roster. Given the Celtics’ offensive struggles lately, I’m worried about Dallas just smothering them on the defensive end.
Robb: Before yesterday, Dallas had been playing extremely well as of late, rolling off five straight wins over quality opponents. With a refreshed Dirk Nowitzki wreaking havoc on defenses already and the Celtics ill-equipped to stop him without the services of Kevin Garnett, this back-to-back could get ugly in a hurry.
Forsberg: Dallas opponents are shooting a league-worst 41.6 percent from the floor and average a mere 91.2 points per game. For a Boston team struggling to generate any sort of rhythm on offense at the moment, that’s an incredibly daunting obstacle on the second night of a back-to-back. Opponents have shown an ability to get to the free throw line against the Mavericks, but that’s clearly not one of jumper-happy Boston’s strengths at the moment. The Celtics need to be super aggressive this evening if they’re going to score enough to hang around against a team with this many weapons.