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Game 61/66: Celtics (35-25) @ Bobcats (7-51) Open Thread

 

It's his show tonight

Boston at Charlotte
6:00 P.M.
Time Warner Cable Arena
CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:

Boston: 100.7 points/100 possessions (28th)
Charlotte: 96.1 points/100 possessions (dead last)

Defensive Efficiency:

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.

PG: Rondo
SG: Bradley
SF: Pietrus
PF: Bass
C: Steimer

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.

Prediction:
Celtics 89, Bobcats 81

  • Anthony

    1 step closer to clinching division with Knicks' loss. Celts shouldn't have a problem against the Bobcats even without Pierce and KG.

    Favorite plays of last night's game:
    - Rondo to Stiemsma alley-oop
    - AB's 3 straight 3 pointers… the 1 he missed looked good too
    - With the 2nd unit unable to handle the Net's full court press, Doc brings back AB to handle the ball and run the offense. AB was the best player on the court!! And with confidence, a couple of crossovers later banks in a 15 footer. It just would've been a complete mess if it was early season AB. Just happy about his progression in to a legit NBA player.

    • Anthony

      LOL… and Stiemsma actually got away with a couple of fouls. Though Hollins picked up his slack by getting 4 fouls in 4 mins. Can't the ref give Hollins' a break? SMH

    • dslack

      After seeing Bradley's can't-dribble-hunchback routine from last season, isn't it amazing that Bradley would be the guy Doc would bring in when he needs a trusted ball handler?

  • tomrod

    What about tripple J. I wanna see him play extended minutes.

  • skeeds

    Hell yeah! It's great to see Doc has it in him to let guys rest at all!
    It'll come in handy. If I'm the C's, I don't play the big 3 for the last game against the Heat either. Don't give them a chance to figure us out before the playoffs, or make up for those 2 horrible losses they had against us already!!!

  • ElRoz

    What about J Johnson? Will he see any minutes?

  • ElRoz

    Having the 4th seed w/o home court advantage is basically no better than having the 6th seed: you play Atlanta or you play Indiana in the 1st round w/o home court…so rest is on tap from now on. I'd even rest Bass and Stiemsma a bit more and play J Johnson and Hollins more minutes.

    • red

      Why as a non-fan of the celtics are you always on this board making idiotic comments @EIRoz. At least say something constructive no matter if it is criticism or praise.

      • IBleedGreen

        Umad?

  • IBleedGreen

    Celtics should do whatever to hold on to the 4th seed and hope Orlando and Atlanta lose a couple games so we can get home court in the first round.

    • Lantrell Walker

      D12 is pretty much done for the rest of the season(and maybe the playoffs as well), so Orlando visiting us on Wednesday & Atlanta getting mugged by the Raptors at home tonight couldn't have come at a better time because now we have a 1/2 game lead in the race for home-court. Even if the C's end up tied, winning the Atlantic & the season series vs. Atlanta/Orlando will be more than enough to push the C's to the 4th seed.

  • CelticsBIG3

    God… I almost feel bad for Charlotte. Almost…

    • tbunny

      comatose crowd in charlotte tonight.

      • someguyinsac

        What crowd, besides C's fans?

  • I_Love_Green

    Glad KG, Pierce, and Ray all got the day off and we could still get a double digit win.

    God Charlotte is terrible.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Michael Jordan sure knows how to build a team, eh? What a bunch of total hacks aside from Gerald Henderson. Honestly, I wouldn't mind adding him to our roster and get him out of that dredgehole known as the Charlotte Bobcats, you know, follow in daddy's footsteps.

      BTW, Kemba is too young still to be considered a hack, but Tyrus Thomas? God what a worthless player.

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