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Game 32/66: Celtics (15-16) @ Thunder (25-7) Open Thread

 

Boston at Oklahoma City
7:00 PM
Chesapeake Energy Arena
ESPN

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 97.9 points per 100 possessions (23rd)
Oklahoma City: 106.1 points per 100 possessions (2nd)

Defensive Efficiency:
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

Injury Report:
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!

PREDICTION
Celtics 85, Thunder 91

 

  • OKCeltic

    Been a C’s fan for over 30 yrs but have not seen them play a regular season game in person until tonight. Going to be a tough game, but got to cheer the boys on. My son and I will be sporting our Celtic green. GO CELTICS!!!

    • someguyinsac

      My condolences that your first game had such an atrocious outcome.

      • OKCeltic

        I appreciate it, but no condolences needed. Getting to see the Green, in whatever shape they're in, was a Bucket List item. If I had to guess, I would say there were over a thousand other Celtic fans in the building. That's pretty good when tix are so hard to get here in OKC.
        I hate to say it, but the outcome was what we expected, but you always hold out a little bit of hope. They started out great, and I told my family the only chance they had was to slow things down, because OKC hates playing a the half-court game. Unfortunately, the turnovers got the Thunder off and running. I've watched nearly every Thunder game since they moved to OKC. When they get hot, they're ridiculous, and their crowd does their best to keep them going. I was more impressed by the C's (coaches included) willing to keep fighting in the second half.

  • homicidal

    i feel sorry for you dude it's gonna be ugly

  • hdavenport

    Updated above: apparently Pietrus is starting instead of Stiemsma. That means Pierce is tonight's starting power forward, I guess?

    • hdavenport

      Sean Grande is saying Pietrus is the 4, but I'm calling him the 3 because he should probably be a 2.

  • High Rollers

    I think the C’s are due for a much higher scoring output (from themselves) than they’ve seen lately. Watch for a breakout, even without Amazing Rondo and Moneyball Bass. We could easily get close to 100. Key will be limiting the Thunder to less than 100. Obviously.

    • High Rollers

      This breakout was weird. Looking back, how in the world did we get over a hundred points? I better check the box score…

      • High Rollers

        Over a hundred points, Paul and Ray really didn't look that good getting theirs, and the bench gave us nine, repeat nine, points total. Four rotation guys out. Paul missing free throws. Bradley dunking on Durant and swatting flies on Westbrook. Spotting the Thunder 72 and then nearly putting the lockdown on them. And that last one is almost becoming a habit for these C's! What the what?!?!
        I love it!

  • High Rollers

    MP gets the start? I love it! This is going to be interesting for sure.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Well sure is an interesting starting five. I have to agree that bringing Stiemsma of the bench is going to be important because with only JaJuan Johnson coming off the bench for us tonight as a big we will be hurting even more than usual for rebounds. This is going to be a weird game, hopefully not as dismal as it seems it could be.

  • Robbo

    I have taken the morning off work to watch this game – it may be painful but I'm intrigued to see how a depleted C's side takes on a powerhouse – in any case I have a bottle of whiskey to overcome the pain – but getting to work after the game will be difficult. Lets see some hunger and great defense….the offense will sort itself out

  • guest

    I think you were a little generous with the projected score. This isn't going to be a pretty game at all. I just hope Durant and Westbrook don't outscore the C's by themselves.

  • Anthony

    OMG… 30-3 run.. after such a nice start. SMH.

    At least AB is playing nice defensively AND offensively.

  • jimmy

    So ummmm I wonder how ainge is feelin

  • guest

    Well I guess this is gonna be Rondo's last all star game as a Celtic….

  • ripsonics

    Go C's?

    this is a drubbing.

  • guest

    I watched about 5 minutes of the first quarter and in those 5 minutes the lead disappeared in half that time it seemed, and now I look at the score on espn.com and OKC has scored 72 in the first quarter? That is like an nba 2k12 score at half time……..The dynamite is in place, now Ainge just needs to pull the switch.

  • noche

    no me gusta.

  • jimmy

    They almost certainly have 2 blow this team up after this…..teams like the bobcats r only spose 2 get beat down like this

  • someguyinsac

    Started well and went ugly. Then it went even uglier. ICK!

  • Batman

    Bradley is gonna be a good player for us for a while

    • ripsonics

      I agree. I like him A LOT.

    • Anthony

      Agreed. A couple of monster dunks (loved the dunk against Durant), a couple of monster blocks (loved the block on Westbrook), and played with confidence.

      Bradley's jumpshot has come a long way since the start of the season. How is it that Rondo still can't develop a the 15-18ft jumpshot when Bradley has seem automatic when he's open in the last 2 games.

      • Batman

        Rondos a 40% shooter from the midrange
        thats slightly above league average

        • Anthony

          Stats doesn't alway tell how good a player is.

          Down by 1 with 2 secs left, coming off a curl for 18ft jumper….who would you rather take that shot? Rondo or Bradley?

          • Batman

            uh rondo?
            they both only take open jumpers

          • Mark

            Doc wouldn't draw that up with 2 seconds left so it's pointless to pick.

      • Mark

        Even still Rondo is STILL heads and tails a better offensive player.

        • Anthony

          Rondo should be, he's in his 6th season. My point is just as a fan, I still cringe every time Rondo takes a jumper. Whereas with AB, as season start, his jumper was horrific. With last couple of games, the jumper seem pretty decent. Think he had it at the beginning of the season also but he just didnt have any confidence.

          • Mark

            Rondo's jumper is no longer cringe worthy. In fact he's shot it with a ton of confidence this season. Rondo is more likely to convert his jumpers than Bradley too. Rondo, however, passes up shots to get others involved whereas Bradley is directed to bring the ball past half court, hand it off and basically stay out of the way unless other options aren't available.

            Offense isn't just jumpshots though. Rondo is the type of finisher that Bradley will probably never be in this league and that's fine. Bradley isn't and probably won't be a heavy minutes guy unless out of necessity. Bradley will be a player for a decade because of his defense.

          • lakershater13

            Bradley finished pretty well over Durant.

    • joker

      haaaaahahah not if i have anything to do with it batman hahahahahaha

  • renton

    at this point why is Keyon in front of E'twaun in the rotation? Keyon isn't really offering anything but rest for Bradley/Ray. I know that Doc doesn't like playing his rookies but this shortened season calls for different methods.

    Also how long is Harden planning on letting his beard grow for?

    • ozcelts

      Tonight is the worst time management I've seen from Doc.

      Great opportunity to see what E"Twaun can do- we don't know his ceiling so why not play him and let him develop.

      There's a real chance here that Danny trades one of the young guys who develops into a top player in another jersey because Doc won't play them so we can't assess potential………………….

      • renton

        You aren't going to quite see E'Twaun's ceiling either because he is a rookie.

      • Jamie

        Why the big 3 played that many minutes when they were down 27 midway through the 3rd is beyond me. Ray 44 minutes?!

        Come on Doc

        • Anthony

          Because you don't give up on games. If the bench played, we would've been liable to lose by 50.

          Also, it's the Celt's last game before the All-Star break so not like they need the rest.

  • renton

    also, Dooling is constantly getting beat on defense and there is an obvious lack of offense.

  • guest

    I'm really hoping that it would be possible to trade Rondo to the Nets for D-Will. You'd have to attach someone to the package of course but after that, you use D-Will as Dwight Howard bait. Really I'll take anything at this rate. At least after tonight judging by the box score if we got rid of Rondo, Bradley won't be bad.

    • Mark

      There is still a HUGE drop off from Rondo to Bradley.

    • smalltownID

      Even I would admit that. Lets not get over our heads with Bradley. But it is a nice change of pace

  • dunny dun dun

    Doc is douche canoe

    • CelticsBIG3

      You suck

  • ElRoz

    KG can still do it…to me he is the most important player on this team…I hope they can resign him for next year as a starter with limited minutes or as a guy of the bench…say 20-25 minutes a game. If they gave JO $6 mil a year…they should offer that to KG and hope he tales the hometown discount at the end of his career.

    I enjoy seeing Bradly get better and better….perhaps this season is the only way to get Doc to use him more.

    Would love to see Wilocox play next season with Boston as well, along with Bass if they can afford them. If not, then give me KG and Wilcox for next year.

    • Anthony

      Agreed…KG still has something left in the tank. Though it's tough to see him laboring at times cuz he playing more minutes than he should. He has 4 double doubles in the last 5 games and averaging 16.8pts 9.4reb in 30.4mins in February.

      Would love to have Pierce, KG, Wilcox, Bass, and Jeff Green play our forward positions. Pietrus also if they go small.

  • ElRoz

    Forget Doling…use Bradley next year…he is getting better each week now.

  • red

    Bradley is improving and Rondo is really good. The truth is Paul Pierce has struggled against other marque SF's 5-18 or whatever he was is not going to get it done.

    • smalltownID

      This is true. Pierce has played so pathetic the last 3 games. Very frustrating to watch

  • I_Love_Green

    Whelp.

  • CelticsBIG3

    I pressed page down thru all these comments only to make a fresh one having watched the game and not commented at all during it. Very proud of this team to fight the way they did. We almost pulled an Orlando on them with basically a six man rotation. Nontheless, our first half performance (outside of the first several minutes) was dismal. Just glad I left this game not feeling the way I did at half time (Like od'ing on whiskey). Good to see this team still has fight and heart in them. KG was awesome tonight by the way.

    • High Rollers

      You said it, CB3.

      • CelticsBIG3

        Rock n' Roll baby. Keep on keeping on green team. I was so juiced during the fourth quarter run that I almost forgot we shat the bed in the first half

    • tbunny

      This team may look awful sometimes but they don't quit. I know that' s a low bar but I respect that.

  • Tos

    Lets be real here, the refs were awful tonight. But for once, they were awful for the other guys, practically allowing the Celts back into the game. I know we aren’t used to this, and frankly I felt guilty having it happen like this, the game was a blowout, our “run” was more due to the refs helping Pierce than anything else.

    That aside, KG played well. I can’t believe some of you still want to get rid of Rondo. Haha, wow

  • High Rollers

    And indignities happen. One of the coolest things I ever saw was a regular season game between MJ's '97 Bulls and the Lakers (in person, nosebleed, it was awesome). Those Bulls who would be champs for the third time in a row completing their second three-peat fell behind big-time in that game, spotting the Lake Show 72 by half-time. They were still down twenty or so points to start the fourth, and thirteen with six minutes remaining. That team hung its hat on defense, too, and pulled out the victory in stunning fashion. That team, too, was considered beyond old and beyond contention, even with MJ. I wonder if that game came to their minds at all when they were battling through the playoffs that year. Maybe it didn't need to, because it was a mindset and not a memory.

    Tonight the Celtics nearly went two for two in games coming back from a 27 point deficit.

  • James Patrick

    Well, to sum it up. sad for us, happy for Perk.

  • skeeds

    No one expected this game to go our way, OKC might be the worst matchup for the C's, what with all of them being 14 years old, tireless and fast as f*&ck. Considering that, I'm cool with this loss.
    Except for Westrbook going off for 30 points. I hate that cocky bastard. Such a mediocre playmaker, selfish, aaargh why couldn't Rondo play and school his ass tonight?That block from Bradley was the best thing that happened the whole game.

    • CG12

      Seriously – I frigging hate Westbrook. What a dick. AB did some serious work against him on D (Durant, too).

    • OKCeltic

      skeeds/CG12 – I respect your opinions, but I think you're wrong about Westbrook. He may seem cocky on the floor, but outside the arena, he's actually a pretty cool dude. He and several of the Thunder live a little north of OKC in the same town our family does. You see them at the grocery stores, pizza shops, dry cleaners, high school bball game, etc, and to a man, they are always very polite, gracious, and vary accommodating to the public. In 3+ years, not one of them has gotten into any sort of trouble. Hard for any team to say that.

  • OKCeltic

    I understand the bias part. I think he's one of those guys that people hate unless he's on your team. Personally, I would love to see him in green.

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