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Game 41: Celtics (20-20) @ Cavaliers (10-32) Open Thread

 

http://a.espncdn.com/media/motion/2012/1219/dm_121219_nba_cavs_celtics/dm_121219_nba_cavs_celtics.jpgBoston at Cleveland
7:00 P.M. ET
Quicken Loans Arena
CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 100.2 points/100 possessions (20th)
Cleveland:
98.9 points/100 possessions (27th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 100.5 points allowed/100 possessions (8th)
Cleveland:
 106.8 points allowed/100 possessions (28th)

Probable Cavaliers Starters:
Kyrie Irving (PG), Alonzo Gee (SG), C.J. Miles (SF), Tristan Thompson (PF), and Tyler Zeller (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Cavs: The Blog

Thumbnail: Well, that was quick. Since the Celtics won six consecutive games for the first time in two years, they all of a sudden have dropped three straight, including two to teams that each have a winning percentage below .400. Boston’s losing streak is the longest current one for any Eastern Conference team. Fortunately for the Celtics, they play in Cleveland on Tuesday. The Cavaliers have the second-worst winning percentage in the league.

In addition, the Cavaliers are without Anderson Varejao (blood clot) for the rest of the 2012-13 season. He is one of the NBA’s best rebounders on both the offensive and defensive ends. Without Varejao, the Cavaliers are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. This should benefit the Celtics, who have been outrebounded in each of last three losses. They are 10-3 this season when either outrebounding their opponent or having the same number of rebounds. However, the Celtics are 10-17 when having fewer rebounds.

Boston has been struggling recently for many reasons, so a win on Tuesday will not cure all the ills. While this Celtics team can win games as currently constructed, they may need a trade before the deadline to make a long 2013 postseason run. For Boston to be victorious, Paul Pierce needs to carry a part of the scoring load. As he as aged, he has predictably become more inconsistent. However, he can still put up great shooting nights.

During the Celtics’ recent six-game winning streak, Pierce shot 46% from the field, 37% from three-point and scored 19 points per game. On the contrary, during the team’s current three-game losing streak, he has only averaged 12 points per game with some terrible shooting percentages. He only needs four points to pass Ray Allen for 21st on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, but Pierce will have to put up more than just a few buckets for the Celtics to be successful even against one of the league’s worst teams.

Prediction: Pierce finds his stroke and the Celtics stop their three-game losing streak by winning their fourth consecutive meeting with the Cavaliers.

Celtics 96, Cavaliers 87

  • Phil725

    If the Celtics don't win tonight, they may just end up passing out tickets to other NBA cities to the players instead of Boston. Given Doc's comments and the team's recent play, I'd expect them to take a weak opponent as a good chance to momentarily get the heat off of themselves. If they've consistently performed in one situation, it's when their backs are against the wall. I expect Rondo to show up since he's going against the new person he's in a debate with now that CP3 and Westbrook have jumped (I really hate that I need a reason why the best player on the team will show up, but whatever.) I'm kind of feeling one of those days where shots are just going in for everyone, and I don't see enough offense on the Cavs to match.

    One thing to watch though, last time the Cs went up against the Cavs they put Collins in at center. They then won because Cleveland sans Varejao is possibly the worst team in the league, but that somehow became 'Collins won us the game!' which led to a couple weeks of horrible performance with him in the starting lineup. Let's hope for no correlation/causation mishaps tonight that will derail this team for a couple of weeks.

    • StatsAdam

      Very interesting point with regards to that Collins situation. I hope we see the normal rotation tonight for the Celtics…and a victory.

      • CelticsBIG3

        So much for that. Rajon played half a game tonight. Great offensively but let Irving eat him alive….

  • new year 2013

    Go ,Irving

    • Phil725

      Irving sure came out firing. I don't have anything critical to say of the defense on him, he's just good. Cleveland has a legitimate star to build around at least.

  • Phil725

    Magical lineup alert!

    The KG/Bench lineup has been destroying teams all year, and Doc has been using it consistently at the start of second quarters. They came in with a 4 point deficit tonight, and the Cavs just called timeout after going down 2. The lineup usually gets good looks all over the place, but the Cavs tried ratcheting up the pressure with no true PG on the court. That led to quick run outs and pull up jumpers (that led to a solid amount of points.) I love seeing this lineup play, and now they're doing it different ways.

    Also, Sully is still a monster.

  • jonathan

    Irving came out red hot today!

  • IBleedGreen

    Love the way the offense is operating – Rondo is really pushing the ball in transition, everyone is making extra passes and hitting open shots. Just need to play better defense and contain Irving in the 2nd half.

  • Switcharoo

    Sully!
    That kids got talent.
    8 rebounds a block and 10points going into the second half. Gotta love this guy.

  • tbunny

    AVERY BRADLEY

  • hydrofluoric

    Monster sequence there for the unaware… blocked a Kyrie transition dunk and then drained back-to-back 3s. INSANE!

  • Phil725

    KG looks a little off today. He just got beat off the dribble for a dunk by Tristan Thompson with 3 seconds left on the shot clock. He's stepped out too far and gotten beaten a couple times earlier too. It's like the fact that Thompson can dribble isn't on the scouting report.

    It's also hard to tell who's at fault for some of the easy baskets he's gotten in the PnR, but I have to assume KG had something to do with it.

  • IBleedGreen

    These two Cavaliers commentators are awesome, I can listen to them all day. Tommy sucks.

    • Phil725

      It's Mike and Scal on the broadcast today. I actually think Scal's having a pretty good day. He's offered some really good insight on some of the 'rookie' whistles that Sully's getting, like how he needs to shuffle out one step less on hedges, or show help a split second earlier to avoid the whistles. It's a lot better than Tommy just saying that he's being screwed.

      I'm really starting to enjoy Scal the broadcaster. He was a little shaky early, but he's getting better as he gets reps.

    • CelticsBIG3

      I've never not liked anything you said before man, but Heinsohn is a Boston legend. I'm virtually washing your mouth out with soap

      • IBleedGreen

        I am sorry but he's the worst commentator in all of sports

  • IBleedGreen

    Pierce is shooting us out of the ball game…

    • Phil725

      You mean you're not supposed to watch your shot hit front rim as a guy leaks out in transition for an open dunk?

  • IBleedGreen

    WTF Rondo!!??? Really!!!???

  • I_Love_Green

    Pierce is miserable tonight….wow.

    • I_Love_Green

      and miserable is a nice way of putting it

  • IBleedGreen

    whoever says Rondo is better than Irving is kidding themselves or don't know anything about basketball

    • Phil725

      Irving's most impressive stat is date of birth; he's only 20 years old! I think he's the first point guard taken in a leaguewide fantasy draft. He still needs to work on some facets of his game (and you can build a case for Rondo over him right now,) but again, he's 20! He was damn impressive tonight.

  • Phil725

    So… it's generally smart to lay off overly sensational statements right after a game, but I can't help but feel like this loss means a lot more than normal given recent comments. At what point does Ainge just say 'a couple wins later in the month aren't going to be enough to convince me anymore.'? This has to be close to the final straw.

    Also fitting that Pierce just finished the game with an airball. Blech.

  • Switcharoo

    Unbelievable. Awful, horrible,terrible. This is the Cavs for god sakes! The Celtics should have run them out of their own court. I just don’t know what to think anymore.

    • Vincent

      Feel free to think this team stinks. They've earned it.

  • Danny

    Well that was the final straw for me. To come out that flat and let the damn cavs do what they want against you. Another sub 40% shooting night. This team is garbage. It’s like the Red Sox all over again. Bunch of overpaid overhyped losers who don’t care.

  • IBleedGreen

    I am looking forward to first round unset over Miami. Let's go baby!!!!

    • IBleedGreen

      *upset

  • Marcelo

    This Celtics team is A SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • new year 2013

    Irving MVP

  • Danny

    I don’t know what pierces problem is if he’s hurt or of Father Time has just finally got up but he is terrible. His bricked jumpers are one thing but when you combine it with the awful passing, traveling, half ass d, hell even his free throw shooting has sucked lately. He’s gotta sit. You could pull someone from the crowd and have them give u more at this point.

  • http://www.priceperhead.com/ NoahMiller

    Cavaliers have great stars… Go!

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