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Game 47: Clippers (34-14) @ Celtics (23-23) Open Thread

http://assets.espn.go.com/i/eticket/20090511/photos/billups_080_412.jpgLos Angeles at Boston
1:00 P.M. ET
TD Garden


Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.8 points/100 possessions (24th)
Los Angeles:
106.3 points/100 possessions (5th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.8 points allowed/100 possessions (6th)
Los Angeles:
 99.0 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)

Probable Clippers Starters:
Eric Bledsoe (PG), Willie Green (SG), Caron Butler (SF), Blake Griffin (PF), and DeAndre Jordan (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: ClipperBlog

Thumbnail: What a crazy run it has been for the 2012-13 Celtics, who now stand once again at .500. Recently, they dropped six consecutive games. Then since losing Rajon Rondo for the season, Boston has won three straight. Add in a season-ending back surgery for Jared Sullinger and this team is losing their depth at a rapid rate. However, the Boston’s current three-game winning streak, which is the second longest in the Eastern Conference, has coincided with them returning to TD Garden. At home this season, the Celtics are outscoring opponents by more than four points per game. Although they are slotted as the eighth seed, they have a better home record than both the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.

Now entering Boston: the Chris Paul-less Los Angeles Clippers. While the Celtics may have had a relatively deep roster coming into this season, the Clippers have easily been the deepest team in the league. Even without Chauncey Billups and Paul, they still have a strong 10-man rotation. However, they are only a top team in the NBA with Paul. The Clippers this season are an astounding 11.8 points worse per 100 offensive possessions without him on the court. Their defense does improve with Paul on the bench, but it does not make up for the offense that they lose. In addition, the 2012-13 Clippers are 5-4 without Paul playing while they are 29-10 with him.

If the Celtics want to put themselves in a good position to win, Paul Pierce will have to continue this impressive rebounding stretch. Coming into Sunday afternoon, he has recorded double-digit rebounds in three consecutive games for only the fifth time in his regular season career. Pierce has also tied Kevin Garnett and Rondo for the longest streak of at least 10 rebounds by a Celtic this season. Pierce hopes to make it four consecutive games, which would tie his longest career run of double-digit rebounds when he did it in 2002.

Prediction: The Celtics take advantage of the absence of Chris Paul and move their winning streak to four games.

Celtics 95, Clippers 93

For more Celtics coverage and pertinent statistics, follow Celtics Hub and Stats Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam

  • Swissflix

    Gorgeous picture. Brings back memories of ’97! Even though we did not get Duncan we should have been better with that group. Mercer’s J was so sweet!

    • StatsAdam

      Thank you, glad you like the picture. Agreed on that they had a much higher potential.

      • CelticsBIG3

        Rick Pitino stripped us of any chance of that.

  • Mark

    The C's need to start getting more offensive production from the starting backcourt and today would be a great day for that to begin.

  • Phil725

    Defense optional? The Clippers started with a wide open 3 and four dunks. Good shots for the Cs too, but it just seems like no one looked at a scouting report. Bledsoe's fast, guys, figure you should know.

  • Phil725

    Seems worth noting; Jason Collins just rebounded the ball in the air, then successfully layed it back in… all before hitting the ground!

    Really weird game so far, talk about wide open. Both defenses look completely porous, so now let's set up the Jamal Crawford/Leandro Barbosa matchup to tighten things up? Just a side note, I love watching Jamal Crawford dribble. Shooting on the other hand…

  • Phil725

    Cs offense looks great. This is fun to watch.

  • skeeds

    regardless of how the game is going, you gotta envy that Clippers depth. JCross, Hill, Barnes, Odom, Turiaf, and normally Bledsoe off the bench too? Rooting against this team is getting harder and harder…

  • Phil725

    Remember that porous defense for the Celtics? 6 Clipper points over 9 minutes. This is running a serious risk of being the Cs best half of the year.

  • dslack

    Are we still not allowed to say that the team is clearly better without Rondo than with him?

    • dslack

      No replies, just -3? Apparently we're still not allowed to say it. How many wins in a row before we're allowed to?

  • Phil725

    Jason Collins update: He now has a mid air putback and has completed a four point play today.

    Beautiful rebound by Pierce over Griffin and outlet to Barbosa there as well.

  • Phil725

    Holy hell, 92 points through 3 quarters? I feel like the Clippers are playing well offensively, and they're still down 15.

    Edit: Anyone know the record for fewest points scored in the 4th quarter by a team with 92 after three?

  • Phil725

    It can never be easy, huh?

    Also, this gets my vote for worst officiated game of the year. Tons of bad calls, absolutely no consistency, they called everything in the third and guys are getting mauled on both sides with no whistles now. The game has been choppy and slow because of fouls, yet they've actively tried to lose control of the game. I usually defend refs, but there's no way there's not an adequate replacement for Bill Kennedy in the D-League.

    • hydrofluoric

      I'm dying here.

  • elroz

    Celtics have 7 TURNOVERS in the 4 qt so far… Pierce and Lee doing a number on that count! Horrid.

    • hydrofluoric

      Our offense ALWAYS does this in the 4th! And my god those Clippers can sprint up for those fast break points.

      • Phil725

        At least we know we can't blame Rondo for these fourth quarters!

  • Phil725


  • jonathan

    My heart cringed as i saw Pierce with the stepback, until he made it

    • hydrofluoric

      He did that in Game 5 against Miami and in the double-OT against Miami this year too… "No no no no no no….. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!"

      • Anthony

        Lebron lost many hours of sleep over that shot.

  • Phil725

    Also, how do you not foul down 2 with a 2.5 second difference between game and shot clock? If that shot was anything other than an airball, you lose. Even if he misses it has to bounce in the air, be rebounded and you have to call a timeout. And this is all before you actually try to score on the other side!

    Gotta love VDN*

    *assuming you don't root for the Clippers

    • hydrofluoric

      Based on what I saw out of the Clips this game, Chris Paul is either MVP or Coach of the Year.

    • KillerGymRat

      Vinnie Del Nego IMO is a terrible coach. I live in LA, so as a Celtic fan and life-long Laker hater I wind up watching a lot of Clipper nation. I've watched them when they were terrible and enjoyed watching them become the best team in LA (thankfully). The Clips are winning because of CP3 and the sheer volume of talent on their roster. They are terrible in the half court (which is where a true coach shines) and even their defensive schemes are weak. They're a good defensive team because of the freakish athleticism of their bigs, and Bledsoe.

  • High Rollers

    Party on.

  • KillerGymRat

    So glad to come away with the win…but it's really hard to gauge the performance.

    The first half overall was amazing, and some of the best all-around ball of the season. Especially the stiffling D and holding the high-octane Clips to only 10 points in the 2nd quarter. The ball movement and flow of the offense got everybody involved and we got to see why both Terry and Barbosa are best with a motion offense and lots of touches and how easy we can get baskets against a solid defensive team.

    But can somebody explain to me why everytime this team gets a big lead we stop playing D and start running high pick n' roll and PP isos the rest of the way until the lead is gone? The third quarter was garbage, but mostly due to the refs making ridiculous call after ridiculous call (Green got one for literally just touching Odom) until it was 7 straight minutes of free throws.

    *absolutely agree with you Phil725 – this was the worst officiated game I've maybe ever seen.

    The fourth quarter degraded into pure isos with everyone standing around and PP taking tough shots against the clock. It never worked…until finally it did with the big 3 pointer to close out the game. We got to see proof it isn't Rondo that stalls the offense…it's that terrible offensive set we run that requires the ball to be dribbled while everybody stands around…then it finally goes to Pierce. Or in this case, since he already has the ball, he just keeps it.

    Good win, but I honestly don't understand why we keep going away from what gets us these big leads or why the second half rotations are so different then the first in which lately we've played the best.

  • High Rollers

    Celts better get their zen on for the next 72 hours. Five games in seven days coming up.

  • KillerGymRat

    Anyone else think Wilcox is underused? He played a great 4 minutes on both ends then rode the pine. *scratching head*

    • Anthony

      Probably cuz Collins was beasting and could not be stopped. He outscored the entire Clipper bench minus Crawford.

  • Anthony

    Totally agree that this game was horribly officiated. Tommy said it best when he said he has been "befuddled" by the ref for a long time.

    Good to see Bass come up with a couple of strong rebounds. Hopefully he gets back to the Bass we saw last year. AB, however, still needs to get his offense back. If it wasn't for the final play against Crawford, he was actually looking like a liability out there.

    Not sure why Doc didn't just bring back Barbosa when the Celts got in the scoring drought. Even when he doesn't score, he always draws the defense to him leaving offensive rebound opportunities.

    Nevertheless, a win is a win.

    • Anthony

      One last point about the officiating… How does Blake not get a Tech for staring down the officials after 4-5 straight possessions and then throwing a hard bounce pass to them? Rondo would've got 2 games for that kind of behavior.

      • KillerGymRat

        The same way Turiaf doesn't get a flagrant for pulling a player down by the head…or Barnes a flagrant for throwing an elbow at KG…and the same way KG gets a tech just for standing and staring back at Blake who was straring him down after slapping him, throwing elbows and grabbing his jersey the entire game.

        Not to mention the way Barbosa got called for a backcourt violation after being shoved across the line by Barnes.

        It was befuddling for sure.