Boston at Charlotte
Time Warner Cable Arena
Boston: 100.7 points/100 possessions (28th)
Charlotte: 96.1 points/100 possessions (dead last)
Boston: 98.2 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Charlotte: 110.8 points allowed/100 possessions (30th)
Probable Charlotte starters: Darryl Gerard Augustin (PG), Jerome McKinley Henderson, Jr. (SG) Derrick Brown (SF), D.J. White (PF), Bismack Biyombo Sumba (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Queen City Hoops
Thumbnail: The end of the back-to-back-to-back onslaught ends tonight against what could be the worst opponent in NBA history. Understandably, the word is according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Paul Pierce will get the night of after jamming his toe in the fourth quarter of last night’s win. Kevin Garnett is also reportedly due to get the night off, because he’s KG and has been playing too much during this unforgiving schedule stretch as is. Simply put, playing three nights in a row, wouldn’t be worth the risk given what is on the line here in Charlotte.
So what exactly is on the line here? A lot less than you might think. Celtics are entering a somewhat defined spot in their playoff positioning as we enter the final two weeks of play here. Indiana is comfortably three games ahead of Boston in the three spot in the East with just seven games to play and a pretty favorable schedule remaining (Philly twice, Milwaukee once are toughest opponents). Although Boston holds the tiebreaker, catching them will be very difficult even if Boston was healthy, since C’s still have tough games remaining against Atlanta, Orlando, New York, Miami, Milwaukee.
On the other side of the coin, after the Knicks loss this afternoon, the C’s should feel pretty good about their Atlantic Division lead, which is 3 1/2 games over Philly and now four games over New York with six games to play. The Sixers are the only real threat in this equation since they own the tiebreaker, but they play six of their final seven on the road, so barring a total collapse by Boston, the Atlantic “should’ be comfortably wrapped up for the hometown team.
So what does all of this mean? Well, the only “real” thing Boston is fighting for right now is home court advantage against Atlanta in the first round. And at this juncture, it’s safe to say the health and stamina of the C’s Big Three far outweighs going full steam ahead for home court. With that in mind, look for plenty of rest for the banged up starters over the last couple weeks. For now though, let’s take a fun look at what the rotation will look like tonight.
Bench: Dooling, Pavlovic, Hollins, Daniels/Moore (I really hope E’Twaun gets a shot here, strictly since this lineup will need offense.
Will these boys have enough in them to beat the Bobcats (losers of 14 straight). I have confidence if Rajon comes to play hard, but remember Bobcats played C’s tight last month as Pierce rescued the troops with a 30-plus-point performance. With that said, this team is playing a lot better than it was back then.
Celtics 89, Bobcats 81