Los Angeles at Boston
1:00 P.M. ET
Boston: 99.8 points/100 possessions (24th)
Los Angeles: 106.3 points/100 possessions (5th)
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