Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Girls talk sports: looking ahead to Celtics-Cavs.

Man. It's crazy how fast things can change.

Last year, Cleveland finished with the best record in the NBA and was considered a contender. Now? They're owners of the worst record in the NBA and they can't catch a break. First Lebron took his talents to South Beach. Then Mo Williams found himself sidelined indefinitely with a groin injury. And now, they'll have to go without Anderson Varejao for the rest of the season, after he tore a tendon in his right foot (and it happened during practice!! Doesn't that make it so much more depressing?). And just to make things worse, sharpshooter Anthony Parker has been sidelined with a lower back strain, so he probably won't go tonight.

The Cavs projected starting five is Antawn Jamison, Christian Eyenga, JJ Hickson, Daniel Gibson and Ramon Sessions. Sessions is questionable, with a strained abdominal muscle.

As is usual with Shaq sidelined, the Celtics projected starting five will be Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Semih Erden. The Celtics will also be playing shorthanded (no Kendrick Perkins, Delonte West, Jermaine O'Neal, or Shaq. Marquis Daniels is questionable).

Cleveland is on a 17 game losing streak, having not won a game since November.  So how do the Celtics keep the Cavs skid going?

Well. They don't score too much- they average around 93 points a game. Their main offensive threats are Jamison and Hickson. KG has always matched up well with Jamison, but Hickson is a little bit trickier. He's only averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds, but he's very capable of having a big game. He has started at center the past four games and has averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds. At 6'9" and 240, he's a pretty big body, but he's also surprisingly agile and can play away from the basket. The Celtics will want to keep Hickson out of the paint and force him to shoot jump shots. Glen Davis may be the best match up against him. With a thin front court, it's also a possibility that Luke Harangody could see some time guarding him.

More after the jump

With no Williams and an ailing Sessions, this is a good opportunity for Rondo to have a big game. Rondo has combined for 41 points in the last two match ups against Cleveland. After watching a 15 point lead waste away against Washington, Doc Rivers expressed anger that the Celtics became complacent and stopped taking the ball to the basket. Cleveland allows an average of 104 points per game, so scoring shouldn't be a problem for the Celtics. It will be important to get everyone involved early by keeping the ball moving, and to play physical basketball in the paint tonight.

I won't lie. I feel a little bit sad for the Cavs. That being said- these are the kinds of games the Celtics come out and lose. This season, the Green have beat the best and lost to the worst. Let's not forget that the Celtics lost to Cleveland this year, in the second game of the season. Four of the Celtics ten losses have come against some of the worst teams in the league (Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, Washington). So while I feel sad for the Cavs rough times, I certainly hope the Celtics come out and take care of business tonight.

Does anyone know why Jamario Moon has been posting DNP's?

No comments:

Post a Comment