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Game 33/66: Celtics (15-17) @ Cavs (13-18)

 

These days feel so long ago

Boston at Cleveland
7:00 PM
Quicken Loans Arena
CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency
Boston: 100.1 points/100 possessions (26th)
Cleveland: 101.4 points/100 possessions (22nd)

Defensive Efficiency
Boston: 99.1 points allowed/100 possessions (4th)
Cleveland: 105.3 points allowed/100 possessions (22nd)

Probable Cleveland Starters: Kyrie Irving (PG), Anthony Parker (SG), Omri Casspi (SF), Antwan Jamison (PF), Semih Erden (C)

View from the Opposing Bench: Cavs the Blog

Injury Report
Boston:  Jermaine O’Neal is out.
Cleveland: Anderson Varejao is out.

The road back to .500 starts tonight, as the C’s have the young Cavaliers nipping at their heels for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston will almost be back to full strength with the returns of Brandon Bass, Chris Wilcox and Rajon Rondo from injuries and suspension respectively. The Cavs will still be without the offensive rebounding machine in Varejao, making tonight’s contest an incredibly winnable one if Kyrie Irving can be held at bay. I wouldn’t put past Semih gobbling up 5+ offensive rebounds tonight either.

Per usual, I caught up with the guys at ESPNBoston for a quick 3-on-3 action and here were our thoughts on tonight’s festivities as well as the Cavs’ as a potential playoff contender. You can check out the full piece at ESPN Boston:

3. These Varejao-less Cavaliers, contenders or pretenders? Who wins tonight?

Payne: The Celtics win on Tuesday. The Cavs have a strong, young nucleus, but Varejao is capable of wreaking havoc on the Celtics more so than anyone else on Cleveland’s roster. Without his rebounding and overall feistiness, Cleveland won’t have its biggest advantage and the C’s prevail.

Robb: Pretenders. Rookie Kyrie Irving is having a tremendous year, and clearly a lot of the younger pieces of this roster have progressed considerably since last season, but let’s not kid ourselves. Talent-wise this isn’t a playoff team with or without Varejao in the improved Eastern Conference and the C’s will take the first step in ensuring that tonight with a hard-fought win on the road on Tuesday.

Forsberg: With a healthy Varejao, I actually think this is a somewhat scary team (maybe not a playoff team, but one that’s going to be enough of a pest to knock off better teams as the Celtics found out during that 11-point rally at the Garden earlier this season). And they have some quality wins lately, topping the Mavericks, Clippers, and Pacers this month. Losing Varejao really hurt their chances to muscle into the playoffs, but they’ll hang around if the rest of the East’s lower seeds don’t get their act together. As for Tuesday night, it’s unfathomable that the Celtics don’t come out inspired and try to get this ship sailing in the right direction. If this team has a desire to make waves this season — and not risk being torn apart at the deadline — it has to start winning games like this immediately.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Please start turning the ship around… PLLLEEEAAASSSEEE.

  • ripsonics

    I second that CB3 – this needs to be a m-effing blow out. in our favor.

    really tho – a blow out in their favor would mean something would happen to our team, but I'd rather us blow them out.

    Go C's

    DW2012

  • I_Love_Green

    Its win or get traded right now!

    Lets go Celtics!!

  • CelticsBIG3

    What a relief to see Brandon Bass suited up. Offense is considerably crisper looking with another scorer on the floor.

  • yeah

    Antawn

    • CelticsBIG3

      What about him?

  • CelticsBIG3

    This ball movement is just great. Love when they play like this.

  • IBleedGreen

    I had enough of Rondo throwing away the ball…Jeremy Lin-like 5 TO already?

  • I_Love_Green

    38 turnovers at halftime.

  • Frankie

    12 To's, 0-5 offensive rebounds: same sh*t, different game.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Pierce looks like sh!t. He looks overmatched by every defensive opponent he sees.

  • Frankie

    I want Semih back

    • CelticsBIG3

      Thank god we traded him away to acquire Troy Murphy

  • I_Love_Green

    Once again, trade everybody for someone who can rebound.

    My god.

  • IBleedGreen

    Irving is dominating Rondo

  • Frankie

    Bradley developed a nice jump shot.

  • I_Love_Green

    What's wrong with Pierce lately?

    • IBleedGreen

      WTF!!!! THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!!

  • Justanotherfan

    Irving just outplaying Rondo at the moment.

  • someguyinsac

    Keep playing this way and I'll be wondering who the new people will be when they blow into town here in Sac.

  • IBleedGreen

    How about Rondo for Irving?

  • I_Love_Green

    Bad decision to foul…we can't grab a rebound.

    • I_Love_Green

      Okay nevermind

  • IBleedGreen

    That was exciting…

  • CelticsBIG3

    Thank god. I have like no finger nails left. That was horrible

  • ripsonics

    Gotta LOVE Ray Ray BABY

    DW2012

  • Batman

    Rondo didn’t do so hot, not bad enough to call today a Rojan Rando performance
    Glad we got the win, but it was ugly
    Rondo and Pierce look like zombies out there

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