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Game 35: Suns (12-24) @ Celtics (17-17) Open Thread

 

Phoenix at Boston
7:30 P.M. ET
TDGarden
CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 100.6 points/100 possessions (T-19th)
Phoenix: 100.6 points/100 possessions (T-19th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 101.2 points allowed/100 possessions (11th)
Phoenix: 105.5 points allowed/100 possessions (26th)

Probable Suns Starters:
Goran Dragic (PG), P.J. Tucker (SG), Jared Dudley (SF), Luis Scola (C), and Marcin Gortat (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Valley of the Suns

THUMBNAIL

The Celtics return to TDGarden tonight in hopes of extending their current three game winning streak.  It appears they have a head start in this endeavor as they welcome the 12-24 Suns to Boston.  By no means is this game a given however.   Last week, I all but called the game in Sacramento for the C’s and we all know what happened then.  Unlike the game against the Kings, the Celtics are playing well, they’re at home, and Isaiah Thomas has not been traded to the Suns.  Things are already looking up for the C’s.  To make the situation even rosier, Rajon Rondo will be back tonight after serving his one game suspension.  Let’s get this game started already!

Wait, not so fast.  There’s still a little matter to address.  In case you missed BRobb’s post earlier or the picture accompanying this post, Celtic legend Jermaine O’Neal makes his triumphant return to the friendly confines of TDGarden.   I can only speculate what the Celtics might include in his tribute video but my educated guesses include: a charge taken, a block made, some labored running, a still of his empty locker after he was bounced out of town, and a clip from an interview where he explained how he wasn’t happy with his role in Boston.  There won’t be a dry eye in the 300s.

Another reason to be confident in this game: the Suns are on the second night of a back-to-back and JO had 4 points and 5 boards and was an overall -13.  There’s no way he can duplicate that effort (maybe the -13).

In all seriousness, Celtics will get another chance to watch Marcin Gortat play; a player who is constantly being brought up in trade rumors.  Enjoy the Polish hammer and I welcome your evaluation in the comments section.

  • Phil

    The way I see it, this is the first expected blowout since the Mavs game. The Mavs were on the second end of a cross country road back to back while the Celtics were coming off days off, just like tonight. Ironically, that game was the start of the Celtics' plummet to their season low point. They won, but an overtime win at home against that team in that situation was a bad one.

    The article mentions the Kings, but the Cs were playing poorly and on the second night of a road back to back. The team is playing better now than they have all year, and this is a game a good Phoenix team would be excused to lose… and Phoenix isn't very good.

    I'm hoping for a score like 75-50 at some point in the third quarter and extended garbage time. If this team is truly taking the regular season seriously now, these are the kind of games you win easily. Phoenix will fold early if you give them a reason.

  • Phil

    Wow, that might be the first time I've ever seen KG get outhustled on both sides of the ball consecutively. KG watched Gortat beat him for what would've been an easy defensive rebound, then Bradley zoomed in front of him (and a Suns player) on the other side for an offensive board/layup.

  • Phil

    Guess I should never be surprised when this team starts totally flat, huh?

  • I_Love_Green

    I feel like we haven't beaten the Suns at home for a few years now.

  • Phil

    JEFF GREEN JUST DESTROYED THE SUN(s)!

  • CelticsBIG3

    HOLY JEFF GREEN!!!!!! I know I've been a hater but the dude had heart surgery on this day last year. And he threw it down on that piece of sh!t JO. And then again on the oop as I write this.

  • Phil

    Talk about an explosion of offense and energy!

    Great stretch for Green, and also some evidence of how Bradley helps the offense through his defense (though get your toe off the line, Avery!)

  • CelticsBIG3

    Got some resentment against Boston Jared Dudley? Sorry we didn't pick you up from BC.

    • Phil

      I don't know what's up with that, isn't Dudley one of those guys that's jolly and liked around the league? Channing Frye is the Sun KG punched in the groin!

  • Phil

    Sullinger just checked out of the game a game best +15… No one is surprised.

    We may have ourselves a Nick Collison +/- master here, guys!

    • CelticsBIG3

      Sullinger is the Celtics leading +/- player this year. Garnett is second.

  • Phil

    Yuck, Phoenix closes it to 5 in 3 minutes. what is wrong with the starting 5 today?

  • CelticsBIG3

    LOL at that Jason Collins dunk attempt. Why is he playing?

  • Phil

    KG running the point?!

    Sully's up to +28 by the way…

    • CelticsBIG3

      Sully has to be getting rookie of the year consideration soon, right? I mean this is unreal. He HAS to have the highest /- of any rookie. Jeff Green is 23 my plus symbols aren't showing up? What is that about

      • Phil

        Not quite there yet; Lillard's still way in front with his 18-7 for a bad Portland team. Sullinger's still at 5-5, and +/- is hardly the ultimate stat.

        The ironic thing is he's probably playing well enough now that no Celtic fan will want to trade him, right as he starts to look valuable enough for someone like the Suns to bite on a package around him.

        I'm just happy with the impact he's had on this team. What's the score right now without him playing? Because the starters mailed this one in completely. I wasn't sure about him coming out of the draft, but I'm loving him more and more every week.

        • CelticsBIG3

          Obviously plus minus isn't that big of a deal, but everytime this kid is on the floor we are making runs and he is bashing the brains in of opposing rebounders. Try to think of another rookie Doc has played consistently (besides Rondo)?

          • Phil

            Oh absolutely, and given where he was drafted, he's been awesome. You don't expect the 21st pick in the draft to step in and be a big time part of the rotation in the first half of his rookie year. That's the definition of a steal right there.

  • Phil

    Sullinger and Green were the stars, but how about some love for Terry? He had his best game in a long time, and it wasn't just shooting (though that was a nice improvement.) It would be nice for that three man combination to gain some chemistry, because it's extremely easy to fit in any two players around those guys. With the starting 5 from last year back (ignoring the last 3 hours,) maybe this group is the key to a bench that can carry the team from time to time?

    • Anthony

      What about some love for CLee? I thought he played better than his stats. I feel very confident every time he drives to the basket too. Also, the bench outscored the starters 47-40!! Freaking awesome!! Anyone know if that's happened before in the KG era or ever?

      Just been ecstatic about the team over the past week. Just enjoy watching Celts games again.

      • Phil

        Lee was definitely part of the solution rather than the problem- and there was a clear split today. I like the Terry/Lee backcourt a lot. The numbers don't back it up yet, but I really dislike the Rondo/Terry grouping, they seem to counter some of each others strengths. Playing with Lee allows Terry to be the primary ballhandler and create the looks for himself that he's more used to, and he's perfectly capable of getting the ball to Lee where he wants it. It's sort of a Bradley/Rondo situation as well where Lee's defensive strengths cover up for Terry's deficiencies.

        • Anthony

          That's a great point. JET's defense seem to pick up some too when playing with CLee, same way Rondo does playing with AB.

  • CelticsBIG3

    My next player-specific Celtic shirt or jersey is definitely going to be Jared Sullinger

  • Josh_5

    I'm with Big3 here. I'm really falling in love with Sully. Don't worry though Phil, Avery is right there too.

    • Phil

      I totally understand. There can only be one savior, but Sully's very close to becoming an archangel or a prophet at least.

      How great are those two to root for though? If there's any type of player that's easy to love, it's guys that play their asses off whose contributions go beyond the stat sheet. I'd say both of them fit that mold pretty well. The old guys still get all the attention (probably rightfully so,) but I don't think you can overstate the effect Sully and Bradley have had on this team's regular season attitude. The old guard seemed find with just sleepwalking to an 8th seed before they put their mark on the yeam.

  • CelticsBIG3

    I already have Avery's jersey lol

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