Boston: 102.6 points/100 possessions (22nd)
Houston: 108.4 points/100 possessions (7th)
Boston: 103.8 points allowed/100 possessions (10th)
Houston: 105.5 points allowed/100 possessions (15th)
Probable Houston starters: Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Chandler Parsons Patrick Patterson, Omer Asik
View From The Opposing Bench: Red94
Thumbnail: After a demolition in Houston a few weeks back, Boston gets another chance against the surging Rockets tonight. Winners of 10 of their last 13 overall, the mission tonight will be to slow down their pace (1st in league), defend the 3-point line against a plethora of shooters, featuring Carlos Delfino first and foremost. Perhaps most importantly though, James Harden needs to be stopped. The guy is averaging 28.7 ppg in his last 10 contests and has scored 25+ points in 14 consecutive games overall.
Luckily, the Celtics have a little trick they were missing out last time around in the form of Avery Bradley. The third-year guard will be unleashed on Harden, who with a little luck, should slow down Houston’s most valuable weapon from making the paint his second home. Rajon Rondo will need to show up tonight as well to keep Jeremy Lin out of the paint as well, or the rollers like Greg Smith will continue to have a field day.
The wildcard? Turnovers. It’s Houston’s biggest weakness (1st in league) and the C’s newfound tenacity on the defensive end would work wonders in slowing the Houston attack. Boston also needs to find their offense too, as the starters won’t be able to skate by with the duds they had against Phoenix Wednesday night.
Prediction: Celtics 95, Rockets 91