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Game 55: Celtics (28-26) @ Suns (18-37) Open Thread

 

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2012/0318/nba_g_oneal_gb1_600.jpgBoston at Phoenix
9:00 P.M. ET
US Airways Center

CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 100.1 points/100 possessions (23rd)
Phoenix:
99.0 points/100 possessions (27th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.7 points allowed/100 possessions (6th)
Phoenix:
 105.2 points allowed/100 possessions (24th)

Probable Suns Starters:
Goran Dragic (PG), P.J. Trucker (SG), Jared Dudley (SF), Luis Scola (PF), and Marcin Gortat (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Valley of the Suns

Thumbnail: The last time the Suns faced the Celtics, Jermaine O’Neal returned to TD Garden just to be posterized by Jeff Green. In addition, Boston held Phoenix to 79 points, tied for the Suns’ fourth-fewest points scored in a game this season. Green led the Celtics’ group effort that night with a team-high 14 points. Jared Sullinger accounted for 38 percent of Boston’s rebounds that night while Rajon Rondo had 35 percent of the team’s assists.

Unfortunately, now more than a month after that victory in early January, the Celtics look like a much different team due to injury. Speaking of looking different, Jordan Crawford is coming to Boston as a fill-in for Leandro Barbosa. Crawford will most likely be able to provide what Barbosa was able to before the ACL injury, but Crawford’s impressive per minute statistics could mean even more production from the Celtics bench. Crawford is one of seven players this season to average at least 18 points, four rebounds and five assists per 36 minutes, via ESPN Stats & Info. Those who are extremely high on the 24-year-old should remember he is a high-volume, low-efficiency scorer, so do not set your expectations too high on Crawford, who is expected to play on Friday.

However, Celtics fans hope that this trade with the Wizards as well as some free agent big men signings will turn around Boston’s road woes this season. Western Conference teams have especially magnified the Celtics’ terrible performance away from TD Garden. The Celtics are 0-7 on the road against the opposing conference in 2012-13, which is the second-worst record in the league. Moreover, Boston is the only current playoff team with fewer than 10 road victories. Luckily for the Celtics, they had a day off and play the Suns, who are on pace to finish below .500 at home for the first time since 2003-04.

Prediction: The Suns fair better against the Celtics this time around, but do not score more than 90 points. Phoenix’s record when scoring 90 or fewer points moves to 1-15 this season.

Celtics 96, Suns 90

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

  • Marcel

    Without KG tonight, I have the bad feeling that this is going to be an ugly game

    • High Rollers

      It was ugly. Just for the opponent. *rimshot*

  • frenchlick

    I'm predicting Melo owns this game 15/25

  • Phil725

    KG's finally getting a rest day?! I'm happy because it's sorely needed, but man the team is almost comically small now. This is your chance Wilcox, buddy!

    You realize that Brandon Bass is likely going to play over 20 minutes of center tonight, right? How's that for scary?

    I'm looking forward to a lot of weird, experimental lineups, hopefully Phoenix is bad enough to let the Cs get the win either way.

  • Anthony

    I'm hoping Fab and Bass doesn't get confused when Phoenix bring out the twin line-up of Marcus and Markieff. I suspect at least one of them will. Lol

    • Anthony

      Oh boy, JGreen at center…. anyone want the over/ under on how many rebounds he gets? double digits?

  • Portceltic

    And starting at center tonight: Jordan Crawford

  • Phil725

    Great start for the Cs. Looks like the Suns came out a little flat with no KG, and the mismatches are all paying off on offense for the Cs, while not biting them defensively. The Cs are just driving right past slower defenders, while the Suns are getting caught out of their offense trying to attack smaller guys.

  • Phil725

    The Cs are running like crazy right now. Four guys are taking off and sprinting as soon as the break starts. Fun to watch.

  • Phil725

    Crawford/Terry/Williams/Green/Wilcox? Gonna be interesting to watch at least.

    • Phil725

      How soon is it before we can say Terrence Williams is awesome without it being small sample theater? Is three offensive possessions and two defensive rebounds too soon?

  • james patrick

    What a waste of time with JO. so happy he's not in green anymore!

    • asdf

      fuck JO, plays good for losing teams

  • I_Love_Green

    Wow I'm lovin Greenie right now.

  • The Cardinal

    Guys moving the ball, running and using your athleticism – this is how you continue to be a dangerous team.

  • elroz

    KG has had 4 days of rest during the all-star break…. and now they are resting him? Sh*t – he must have been dead tired after the back-to-back Denver-Charlotte and then the Bulls game…still resting. Good to have Green contribute however. Fresh young legs.

    • hydrofluoric

      Doc probably noticed Dwight Howard's 7 offensive rebounds, many of which came at KG's expense…

  • The Cardinal

    Bradley has got to start finishing at the rim or his playing time is gonna be seriously cut.

    • The Cardinal

      It's a long season and you just can't predict at what point fatigue and the bumps and bruises finally catch up with a high mileage, high intensity guy like KG. Add in all the trade deadline stuff and I can understand him being mentally exhausted as well. I mean having to answer the same questions over and over again while being required to be available to the media would wear anyone out.

  • hydrofluoric

    Terrenceanity!!!!

  • hydrofluoric

    Can we play the Suns every game??? Everyone looks like a million times better.

    "Tommy, is Phoenix the worst team you've seen all year?"

    "… The Sun has set on them."

    LOL!!!

  • Phil725

    Green certainly came to play today. He's playing like everyone wants him to; blowing by bigger guys on offense and getting to the rim and line at will. He's a great weapon when he plays like this. Lee also looked really good throughout the first half, and Wilcox and Terrence Williams both looked good in limited minutes.

    I really like the way the team is playing overall though. The Suns being terrible has certainly helped, but you've got guys fighting for rebounds, crashing the offensive boards, running out in transition. This is what Pop and the Spurs figured out a while ago; when you sit your stars and put the game on everyone else, they play harder, it's human nature.

  • Anthony

    As fun as this small ball is, I can't imagine it against any other team besides Phoenix.

    Let's see more T-Will.

  • Bill

    Green is lighting it UP right now, awesome…

  • HansGruber

    When KG gets back it wouldn't hurt to start Green at SF and put Paul on the bench. Just as an experiment even seeing how good Green is doing as a starter.

  • Anthony

    OMG, how many pick and roll is Bass going to miss defending? SMH

    Wilcox sub please. Man, AB can sky!

    • Phil725

      I'm glad someone else is noticing it. I keep hearing all this talk (mostly from Doc,) about how Wilcox needs to sure up his D to get more minutes… well who exactly are you giving those minutes to that's gonna play better D? At least Wilcox gives you that relentless rim attacking presence on offense. Man I love seeing that.

  • KillerGymRat

    Anyone else noticing that – every — single — time – Bass is involved in the pick n roll it leads to a wide open dunk…?

  • KillerGymRat

    Green is playing great but you have to suspect its that Pheonix refuses to play D more then he suddenly got this good.

  • KillerGymRat

    So far I like TWill. Definitely solid for an end of the bench player.

    • The Cardinal

      Both he and Crawford are talented, so if they keep their heads together, we will be really deep.

  • KillerGymRat

    Biggest question of the night: if AB can throw down a two-footed 2-handed jam off a hop…why is he always getting blocked at the rim by tossing up soft layups where he exposes the ball *scratching head*

    Dunk it AB…just dunk it.

  • The Cardinal

    Thank goodness we signed Williams and got Crawford because as much a s I love Jet, he is not a play maker. He's sorta like Bass – make it clear you're giving him the ball to score.

  • KillerGymRat

    If only we could play Pheonix every game. They are making this team look incredible.

  • tbunny

    Jeff Green's agent is probably faxing over the renegotiated max contract to Ainge right now. He's got Ainge thinking there are other offers.

  • OKCeltic

    I know PHX is bad, but I'm liking the D tonight. Giving up only 88 points with two new players and other bench players seeing a ton of action all with KG taking the night off! Liking was TWill and JC showed tonight.

  • Anthony

    I know Phoenix is really bad on both ends of the floor but I like to be optimistic about T-Will and JC.

    "Jordan Crawford is one of seven players averaging an 18-4-5 per 36 minutes, joining LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Harden, Westbrook, and Manu." – Bill Simmons.

    T-Will seems to play will a nice pace. Goes fast when he needs, doesn't force anything, had a nice looking 3, can finish at the rim.

    This is totally irrelevant but I had a nice chuckle.

    "The Bucks are shooting 34.8 percent from deep, 21st in the league, and [Monta] Ellis is shooting 22.8 percent on a totally irresponsible 3.5 attempts per game. That is borderline sabotage. Here is the total list of players in league history to attempt more than three 3-pointers per game in a season while hitting fewer than 25 percent of them." – Zach Lowe

    The list consist of just Monta btw. Lol

    • Anthony

      My fave stat of the nite… JGreen with 5 Blocks!

      (prediction.. he will finish the season leading the team in blocks.)

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