Monday, January 10, 2011

Looking back: an icky outing v The Bulls. Game 36 and looking forward to Celtics-Rockets tonight

After a brief, 24 hour, recess... I have returned!!

The Bottom Line: Ew. I'm glad it's over. It was the Celtics 5th game in 7 nights... And you could see that everyone was feeling tired. That's pretty much all you need to know. No real notable performances. RayRay showed some signs of life, but the Celtics weren't able to get it going and settle in to any kind of groove. Derrick Rose scored 36 points. 15 of them came from the free throw line. It's kind of crazy, because not only is that the difference in the game (The Celtics lost by 11), but D Rose went 15 of 19 from the line... And the Celtics as a team had 22 total free throws. The Celtics were probably due for a clunker. They shot 54 percent over the course of their 4 previous games, and shot only 37 percent against the Bulls. All of the stats that usually glow in Celtics games were down- for the game, they had 12 assists. Hopefully everyone's gotten a couple of good nights sleep in since then.

 He might be back tonight!

Moving on.... Celtics-Rockets, tonight at 7:30: Will KG be back? Maybe! Hopefully! Updates to come later. The Celtics are surely glad to return home, where they boast an Eastern Conference best record of 16-2, to square off with the Rockets, who have posted a record of 6-14 on the road this season.

How do the Celtics beat the Rockets? 

-I am a HUGE fan of overlooked, under-hyped talent... Lebron James? He's good but everyone already knows that. Danny Granger? That's more like it. And the Rockets have one of my favorite under-hyped talents in the NBA, in Shane Battier. He is an extremely intelligent and thoughtful, all around player. He can do a little bit of everything, he's graceful, and he absolutely makes every single person on his team better while he's on the floor. The Celtics will have to limit his impact, because he can control the flow of the game from the power forward position. It will be a good battle between him and Paul.

-The Celtics will have to play much better defense than they did in Chicago. The Rockets have a bunch of guys capable of putting the ball in the basket: Battier, Luis Scola, Aaron Brooks (questionable for tonight's game) and Kevin Martin (over the course of the Rockets last 4 games, he has averaged 30 points while shooting 56 percent from the floor). They average 104 points a game, good for 5th in the league. They're also not selfish with the ball. They average 23 assists a game, good for 2nd in the league (2nd to the Celtics!).

-With Yao Ming out, the Rockets are small in the middle. They start a lineup with 3 forwards (Battier, Scola and Jordan Hill). The Celtics should use their size to their advantage. That means getting Shaq involved often and early.

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