The Boston Celtics are currently riding a seven game win streak after defeating the Denver Nuggets in triple overtime last night. Coming into the game, Denver had a nine game winning streak. Tonight, the Celtics will be competing against the Charlotte Bobcats who have lost seven straight and are currently 1-9 in their last 10 games. There is no doubt that these are the perfect ingredients for a trap game. Boston is coming in tired and will have to rely on the bench to save the day.
As I’ve pointed out before, the Celtics must play the up-tempo offense to be successful. It cannot be stressed enough that beating the opponents on both ends of the court by using quickness and stamina is the best way to win games, especially for this team. Now, Boston did play in a triple overtime game just about 24 hours ago, but Jason Collins, Leandro Barbosa, Courtney Lee, and Chris Wilcox all played under 25 minutes in last night’s game, so it’s possible that any one of those four players could be the x-factor tonight.
The Celtics defense has turned it up a notch in the last seven games and will be the anchor in Boston’s game plan. With tired legs, Boston might not have as many fast break opportunities as they’d like, but playing strong defense could get them some easy points in transition.
The Bobcats are a young, inexperienced team which makes them dangerous. Charlotte will have fresh legs after having last night off and will look to end Boston’s wining streak. Gerald Henderson has always given the Celtics trouble ever since he entered the league, and he’s someone to watch out for tonight. Just like the Bobcats, the Celtics must prepare for Charlotte to run an up-tempo offense of their own. Knowing that Boston has some tired legs coming into the game, Charlotte will look to capitalize on the fast break and try running the ball as much as possible.
The keys to victory tonight for the Celtics is to boxout on rebounds, and try getting easy shots in the paint. Second chance opportunities can easily get the Celtics in trouble tonight, and there is nothing worse for a tired team than to give up second chance points. Points in the paint for Boston is a must. Last night against the Denver Nuggets, the Celtics took too many outside jump shots, and if it wasn’t for Paul Pierce and Jeff Green, Boston could have lost that game due to abysmal perimeter shooting in the overtime periods.
After last night, I believe the Celtics can overcome any obstacle. Boston should come away with a victory tonight, but it won’t be easy. If they play their game, and the bench contributes points, the Celtics will come out victorious.