Boston: 97.9 points per 100 possessions (23rd)
Oklahoma City: 106.1 points per 100 possessions (2nd)
Boston: 95.3 points per 100 possessions (3rd)
Oklahoma City: 99.2 points per 100 possessions (14th)
Probable OKC Starters: Russell Westbrook (PG), James Harden (SG), Kevin Wayne Durant (SF), Serge Jonas Ibaka Ngobila (PF), Kendrick Le’Dale Perkins (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Daily Thunder
Boston: Chris Wilcox, Brandon Bass, and Jermaine O’Neal are all out with injuries. Rajon Rondo is serving a time out. Kevin Garnett will play and Greg Stiemsma will start.
Oklahoma City: Thabo Sefolosha is out.
For those of you that think Rondo getting suspended is evidence that the NBA is rigged for some reason, consider that he’s sitting out for two national television games that the Celtics weren’t favored in to begin with. The league would prefer he play in these games.
Of course, with KG in and Rondo out, the Celtics are about to replicate a tweaked version of the lineup that crushed Orlando in consecutive games almost exactly one month ago. This could be a fun test to see if the defense is tighter without Rondo, as some have been speculating. Of course, Oklahoma City is much better than Orlando.
Possibly of interest in the absence of a competitive game will be increased minutes for JaJuan Johnson, Avery Bradley, and Greg Stiemsma. Stiemsma will start with the top two centers out: the last time he got more than 20 minutes, he put up 13 points on 5-7 shooting. Since then he’s taken 17 shots in 20 games. Should be fun to watch him tonight, along with Johnson and Bradley trying to build on their efficient scoring performances against Dallas. (UPDATE: Stiemsma’s not starting anymore. Mickael Pietrus is, moving Pierce to the 4 and Garnett to the 5. Weird!)
Blah blah Kendrick Perkins blah Kevin Durant blah James Harden’s beard. Enjoy the game!
Celtics 85, Thunder 91