Alright, so we worried going into Miami because at any moment, Dwayne Wade could go off for 40+. He didn’t and we won. For the game in Charlotte the fear was how the Bobcats had the number 1 defense, were coming off 4 straight victories, and the Celtics have struggled there the past few years. Clearly all of this was over hyped as the Celtics ran away with a win. Then in last nights game against the Spurs, everyone knew San Antonio was a veteran club that could methodically get the job done. Again, another preassumed “fact” that went to the side as the Celtics proved to be way too much for the Spurs to handle. What about the Thunder? What can we think up for this game?
Well I would have to say this game poses many new challenges for the C’s to step up to. First things first, the Thunder are a young group who had a day off at home to prepare for the incoming squad. Therefore, you can put your last dollar on the fact that they will not be tired, and will be able to run at ease. Quite the opposite is the case for the Celtics. In last nights game, the starters had to play more minutes than usual. KG averages around 30 mpg, and had to put in 35. Pierce averages a little under 36, and had to put in a little over 37 etc. etc. etc. I am sure Doc was hoping, as was I, for the bench to be able to come in against the Spurs and gain on the lead, for the starters to get some rest coming into tonight. Crap happens, and we have to win the game we are currently in, so the starters were forced to play excessive minutes. Advantage… Thunder.
Secondly, that OKC crowd is very energetic. The young team feeds off that, and if the fans get into it from the start, it could pose problems for the Celtics. “Hostile” environment is one thing in Charlotte (haha), it is quite another for a team with such little support, yet those who do support, do it with great dedication. The C’s will have to play composed, and not get caught up in everything else going on around them. Even the most veteran club can get out of sorts given certain situations; so the team in green is not immune to such occurances.
Lastly it is the final game of the road trip. This can be somewhat of a let down game as the team may be looking more forward to getting back home, instead of taking on the game at hand, then moving ahead afterward. I hope this assumption is not true, and the Celtics prove their mental toughness in finishing out the tough road games on a high note with a 4-0 record.
KG Photo via NBAYahooSports