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Game 62: Celtics (34-27) @ Thunder (46-16) Open Thread

 

http://celticshub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/jeff-green-kendrick-perkins.jpgBoston at Oklahoma City
1:00 P.M. ET
Chesapeake Energy Arena

ABC

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 100.5 points/100 possessions (21st)
Oklahoma City:
110.9 points/100 possessions (1st)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.3 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)
Oklahoma City:
 99.7 points allowed/100 possessions (7th)

Probable Thunder Starters:
Russell Westbrook (PG), Thabo Sefolosha (SG), Kevin Durant (SF), Serge Ibaka (PF), and Kendrick Perkins (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Daily Thunder

Thumbnail: Just over two years ago, the Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, cash and a draft pick. Then, on November 23, 2012, Green faced his former team for the first time and scored 17 points, his season-high at that point in the season. While Green as well as Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry did the bulk of the scoring that night, Rajon Rondo as always was the floor general as he dished out 16 assists and grabbed eight rebounds. It was an impressive performance by Rondo because only twice in 2012-13 was he able to reach those plateaus.

More than three months later, Jeff Green returns to Oklahoma City with the revamped Celtics, who enter Sunday on a five-game winning streak. Boston and Oklahoma City have two of the five longest current winning streaks in the NBA. In addition, they are both 9-1 in their last 10 home games and 5-5 in their last 10 road games. Unfortunately for Boston, this game is in Oklahoma City, where the third-best home team in the league resides. However, the Celtics have seemed to find their stroke recently away from TD Garden. They have won four of their last five away games, the team’s best road stretch in almost a year. A win at Chesapeake Energy Arena would push the Celtics road winning streak to four games, their one longest since 2010.

In order for the Celtics to continue their streak, Pierce will have to keep up his fantastic play. On Friday against the Hawks, he went for 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. It was the fourth time in the last three months that Pierce reached those plateaus. Moreover, that became the first time that he has had four such games within three months since 2003-04. The Truth will have to lead a strong scoring performance for the Celtics on Sunday because the Thunder are 20-0 this season when holding opponents to fewer than 100 points at home.

Prediction: Boston fights hard, but Oklahoma City is victorious in a close game. The Celtics are unable to accomplish their first season series sweep against the Thunder since 2008-09.

Thunder 104, Celtics 99

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

  • CelticsBIG3

    Man its stupid plays like the dropped pass by Bass in the post that make me wonder why Shavlik Randolph and DJ White aren't getting a chance to contribute.

    • OKCeltic

      Compared to his recent play, BB didnt play too badly in the 1st half. 7 boards and Ibaka has been pretty silent.

      • CelticsBIG3

        Yup he's channeling his inner-Rondo and having a "I'm on National TV" type game.

        • CelticsBIG3

          Thumbs down? lol

  • Clay

    21 Oklahoma Free Throws to 7 for Boston at halftime? Can someone explain that for those of us who can't watch the game?

    • OKCeltic

      They're more aggressive to the basket, plain and simple. We're drawing fouls just not a lot of shooting fouls

    • KillerGymRat

      It's a combination of OKC being more agressive and IMO some bad whistles (the Fisher and 1 – when nobody touched him) and a few no calls on the other end (Pierce got hammered for what should have been an "and 1").

      But it's mostly that OKC keeps attacking the rim while the C's are putting up only outside shots.

  • The Cardinal

    We win this game if: 1) we cut down on the turnovers; 2) Jeff Green can calm down from what looks to me to be a case of showing OKC the error of their ways/anxiety/over stimulation/nerves upon his return to OKC; and 3) remind Jet that he's really not a play-maker and when the ball is in his hand, we need him to look for his shot first and be a passer second.

    But for the excessive turnovers, this would be a tie game at half time.

  • Anthony

    A lot of mistakes but only down 5. I'm optimistic we can pull out a victory.

  • KillerGymRat

    Is it me or ever since the article about how greatly improved this team is with taking care of the ball…have they been turning it over at a crazy rate — 13 TOs at the half!!!

  • Phil725

    Really bad day for the bench to no-show. Hopefully someone steps up in the fourth, because the defense has been good enough.

    • Phil725

      Fourth quarter update: Instead of anyone stepping up, everyone else shut down as well. This is really frustrating. KG is the step beyond ice cold.

      • OKCeltic

        I agree 100%. Frustrating because the defense was pretty solid all day. They had quality looks at the basket just couldn't find anyone to hit them consistently.

  • OKCeltic

    Another highlight dunk for JG. Hopefully that flipped the switch for the fouth qtr.

  • Anthony

    For all the anti-Bass sentiments all year, he's playing pretty well this game.

    Only down 3 now. Let's go Celts!!

    • CelticsBIG3

      Means nothing in a loss. Interestingly, we are out rebounding them and losing. Apparently we need to be out rebounded to win.

      • Anthony

        But you have to at least like the energy he brought today. If he can continue that going forward, it puts less pressure on everyone else. Unless you prefer DJ White or Shavlik Randolph instead.

      • OKCeltic

        With all due respect, that's a BS comment. Just because they're losing doesnt negate one of BB's better games in recent memory. Give credit where credit is due.

  • eastern scout

    you still suck

  • Phil725

    In the end, it's just an off day in a game that was going to be very hard to win regardless, but it's still annoying. The defense was good enough to win, but no one was able to step up on the other side of the floor. You're not gonna win a lot of games scoring in the 70s.

    Best to just move on, but the Celtics are going to face defenses a lot better than that in the playoffs, so they need to figure something out. This has to be the aberration, not the norm.

  • KillerGymRat

    Ironically Bass has arguably his best game of the season and the rest of the team no-shows on the offensive end. BB was big on the boards and that's the best on ball D I've seen him play. He had energy and a big offensive rebound and put back and definitely brought his A game.

    I have to disagree with you Phil on calling this just an off day and that it's best to just move on. I think some problems were exposed that really need to be addressed for this team to advance come playoff time.

    The D played pretty well (aside from fouling too much) and we did a great job on the boards. But what we got to see is this team doesn't have the ability to get to the line and draw fouls, and relies totally on jumpers. When they fall…we win. When they aren't falling…we lose.

    We really took OKC out of what they wanted to do offensively, but they were able to control the game by constantly getting to the line at will.

    The other area was turnovers. And the majority were not forced. There were lots of garbage passes and way too much sloppy/forced attacks to the basket (Green most notably) or bad decisions with the ball (Bradley took a few off the dribble jumpers and got blocked repeatedly).

    This team even in the previous wins, has struggled offensively, so they have to be efficient and find good shots and most of all take care of the ball. They've been incredibly poor at doing both those things since the Indiana game. It's easy to ignore in wins so hopefully this loss has everyone focus in on taking better care of the ball and returning to quick ball movement to get easy shots.

    It's fair to say we won't shoot this bad as a squad all that often. But we were shooting over 50% at the half and still down 5. We can't afford to turn the ball over that many times and need to find a way to consistently get to the rim and get easy looks.

    • Phil725

      Just to clarify, I meant us as fans move on and not get too worked up about this loss. You can play a great game and lose to OKC on the road. I didn't look at the spread, but I imagine it was up near double digits. If you play that poorly on even one side of the ball, it's game over already. There are way more frustrating ways to lose than having an off game at possibly the best team in the league.

      My second paragraph was there to point out that the team absolutely needs to learn from this. When everyone talked about missing Rondo come playoff time, this was exactly the type of game they were referring to. You think Rondo would've been there to step up and give the team a huge spark in a game like this? Cause I know he would've. Defenses are going to get more intense, and points will be harder to come by. Today was a step back on that front.

  • KillerGymRat

    I agree with you as I'm totally Team Rondo, so you never need to remind me of his potential impact or what we miss in his absence. This was a winnable game without him. But with Rondo, I really think the C's take it easily. OKC never really not in rthythm thanks to us taking away the transition and controlling the boards. And with Rondo's ability to get in the paint or find guys off the break we would have gotten a bunch more free throws.

    Nobody talks about it (I guess because it doesn't support the – we're better without Rondo argument) but I'm pretty sure our free throw attempts have taken a big hit post Rondo.

    But I agree if you were going to pencil us in for a potential loss, this would be a game I'd circle so it's nothing to get worked up about and just something to improve upon.

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