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Game 64: Raptors (25-39) @ Celtics (34-29) Open Thread

 

http://espn.go.com/photo/2006/1013/nba_g_telfair1_268.jpgToronto at Boston
7:30 P.M. ET
TD Garden

CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 100.0 points/100 possessions (23rd)
Toronto:
103.3 points/100 possessions (12th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.5 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)
Toronto:
104.4 points allowed/100 possessions (21st)

Probable Raptors Starters:
Kyle Lowry (PG), DeMar DeRozan (SG), Rudy Gay (SF), Amir Johnson (PF), and Jonas Valanciunas (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Raptors Republic

Thumbnail: After suffering arguably their worst loss of 2012-13, the Celtics will have to quickly pick up the pieces. In this situation, it could be fortunate that Boston is flying home to complete a back-to-back. The Celtics are 8-8 this season on no rest, a respectable record for a team that is led by aged veterans. However, the more important record is 16-0. According to Celtics play-by-play radio broadcaster Sean Grande, the men in green have won 16 straight games at home on the second day of a back-to-back.

As evidenced by the Celtics’ loss to the Bobcats on Tuesday, Paul Pierce is the team’s most important player, especially since Rajon Rondo was lost for the season. The Truth has been forced to take on the role of rebounder and facilitator as well as scorer. Coming into Wednesday, Pierce has spent more than twice as much time on the floor as he has on the bench this season. In those 2,109 minutes played by the captain this season, the Celtics are six points better per 100 possessions than they are with him off the court.

Pierce’s one-game absence seemed to specifically hurt Kevin Garnett’s offense. Garnett had a season-low five points on Tuesday, which marked just the second time in Garnett’s career that he scored five or fewer points on at least 10 field goal attempts. With Pierce’s returns to the lineup, Garnett and the Celtics will most likely play much better than they did in Charlotte. There are also some milestones in reach for Pierce and Garnett. Pierce is seven free throws made away from tying Allen Iverson for the 10th-most free throws made in NBA history. In addition, Garnett is four points away from passing Jerry West for the 15th-most points scored, and Pierce is 10 points away from moving into sole possession of 20th on that same list.

Prediction: Pierce and Garnett move up the leaderboards as the Truth’s return ignites the Celtics’ 17th consecutive home victory on the second day of a back-to-back.

Celtics 100, Raptors 92

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

  • elroz

    Well, since Doc made a half-move last night – resting Pierce but not KG (why not both?), KG could be tired, again, tonight. Let's see f the Celtics can actually handle Toronto. I hoped that these three games would mean 3 wins – two against Bobcats, one against Raptors. Now I am HOPING for 2 wins!
    Sad.
    They waste these opportunities and then Celticshub talks about how the team might move up to the 5th or even 4th spot! Fantastic.

  • Phil725

    I feel a lot better facing the Raptors than I do the Bobcats. For all the stupid random struggling the team does against Charlotte, it's the opposite for Toronto.

    On another note, is there anyone in the league more overrated than Gay? Al Jefferson is close, but it's hard to really quantify his solid offense against his atrocious defense, even if it's neutral at best. Gay is just bad at basketball, yet no one seems to notice.

    • Anthony

      The two names that comes to mind are Bogut and Faried. There are so much said and written about how underrated Faried is, he has become overrated. As far as Bogut goes, all I hear about is that he's the best passing center. I've never seen him make a great pass before, possibly attributed to the fact that I don't watch Milwaukee games.

      Just as I was about to say how I hate JET's non-veteran passing, he goes and throws an alley to KG. KG passes Jerry West.. Nice!

      • Phil725

        Bogut's weird, because he's been hurt for so long. He was pretty good before all the injuries, but it's possible that he's just a different player now. That whole situation in Golden State has been a mess of late.

        • Anthony

          He was a decent player in his prime but I don't ever recall seeing him being the best passing center.

          On the opposite end of the spectrum, Pierce has to be one most underrated stars. If Carmelo and Rudy Gay had his basketball IQ, they would be as good or maybe better than Lebron.

  • Jonathan

    Can it be? A brandom bass sighting?

  • CelticsBIG3

    Who is the dope in the truck tonight? Dude is playing commercials over the game and screwing up all the on screen graphics.

  • Kafel

    When I hear that Terry is veteran and proven player and I see him making ROOKIE mistakes like in 1 quarter my mind is exploding. And he is ice cold lately..

  • KillerGymRat

    So I guess this shows Pierce can basically NEVER ever take rest again. The offense is completely lost without him and I'd say Toronto is playing better on the defensive end than Charlotte did.

  • hydrofluoric

    I don't think it's a cliche to say that Pierce makes everyone around him play better. His stats haven't been outstanding but his fingerprints have been everywhere on this game. NBA.com credits Pierce with 4 defensive rebounds, but the C's also have 9 team rebounds – an I think Pierce had a lot to do with that.

  • The Cardinal

    Wow…Milwaukee laid an egg against Washington, Atlanta is struggling to hold on against the Lakers, and hopefully Denver will destroy the Knicks. I don't expect it, but if the Kings can upset the Bulls, I'll be a happy camper tonight.

  • KillerGymRat

    Man AB really got into the heads of Lowry and Telfair….both of whom don't seem to understand the difference between an elite defender who can pressure you by beating you to the spot and staying up on you versus being overly aggressive and bumping and pressing a guy without moving your feet.

    AB's rip and run out streak continues.

    • Anthony

      Another possible streak is JCrawford's pass being deflected. His game is truly maddening to break down.

      Nice win tho. KG surpassing JWest and Pierce surpassing Barkley. =)

  • CelticsBIG3

    Did they ever show Pierce getting recognized to the crowd? If they did I missed it.

  • KillerGymRat

    KG…Gino time!

  • james patrick

    Which way does the Jeff Green wind blow today. He most be the most inconsistent player in the league.

    • CelticsBIG3

      The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, and the answer is blowing in the wind.

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