Boston: 100.8 points/100 possessions (18th)
Charlotte: 99.1 points/100 possessions (27th)
Boston: 100.7 points allowed/100 possessions (9th)
Charlotte: 108.3 points allowed/100 possessions (29th)
Probable Bobcats Starters:
Kemba Walker (PG), Gerald Henderson (SG), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SF), Hakim Warrick (PF), and Bismack Biyombo (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Queen City Hoops
***The following post was written by Adam Lowenstein
Since we turned the page to the 2013 calendar year, the Celtics have been arguably the league’s best team. They have been playing their best basketball of the 2012-13 season and are riding a five-game winning streak, tied for the second-longest current streak in the NBA. On Monday, the Celtics will look for their first six-game winning streak in over two years.
Since Doc Rivers put Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass together into the starting lineup on Friday, January 4th, the Celtics have had a perfect record. They even beat the Eastern Conference’s second-place New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Monday, January 7th without Rajon Rondo. Recently, it has been a full team effort by this Celtics team. The bench his risen to new heights and is only improving.
Jared Sullinger has been a huge part of the Celtics’ success this season and could be the first player since Al Jefferson and Leon Powe in 2006-07 to play a full season in Boston and finish in the top 20 in rebounding rate. The Celtics also have Courtney Lee, who has turned around his season in his last nine games. Over that span, he is averaging 8.7 points per game and shooting 50% from three-point after having just 6.3 points per game and 28% three-point shooting in his first 27 games. In addition, Chris Wilcox’s return will only bolster the bench. He practiced on Sunday and is expected to begin playing within the next week.
While the Celtics have been firing on all cylinders in 2013, this could be the ultimate trap game for this experienced team. Boston is flying high after having a better field goal percentage than their opponent in five consecutive games, which is tied for the team’s longest streak this season. The Celtics have a 16-3 record this season when they have a better field goal percentage in 2012-13 and are facing one of the NBA’s worst shooting teams on Monday in the Charlotte Bobcats.
After matching their 2011-12 season win total in their first 12 games of this season, the ‘Cats have played like the league’s worst team since. They are 2-22 in their last 24 games and are double-digit underdogs in their first visit to Boston in 2012-13. The only bright spot for Charlotte is that the team is 4-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 90 points this season. While they are 5-27 otherwise, the Bobcats have a chance if the Celtics have a very cold night shooting. That is really the only shot for this struggling team.
Charlotte puts up a fight, but Boston secures their first victory of 2012-13 on two-day rest (0-5 coming into Monday’s contest).
Celtics 98, Bobcats 85