The Boston Celtics are looking to continue their winning ways as they gear up for a rematch with the Charlotte Bobcats in the Time
Warner cable Arena tonight.
(Time Warner Cable Arena – really? Whatever happened to having arena names that you could actually say with a straight face?)
Each team is coming off a victory, and each team would like to begin a nice little winning streak, so, as I like to say, something’s gotta give!
Working in the Celtics’ favor is the fact that the Bobcats have struggled at home so far this season. While Charlotte has played stout defense in winning four of its first five road games, limiting opponents to right around 84 points a game and 38.4 percent shooting, they have reverted to employing Swiss Cheese defense back home. In five home games this season, Charlotte has allowed their opponents to score 98 points per contest and shoot nearly 48 percent from the floor. Yep – that would explain why the Bobcats are just 1-4 at home so far.
I bet the Bobcats play better on the road because they hate playing in Time Warner Cable Arena!
Boston is coming off a game in which all five starters scored in double digits, and better yet, the Cs rallied from a double-digit fourth quarter deficit to steal a road win from the Atlanta Hawks. That’s good news for a team that enjoyed second-half leads against both the San Antonio Spurs and the Indiana Pacers, only to wind up losing both games. You can never underestimate just how important confidence is when it comes to battling night in and night out, so now that the Celtics have put their six-game losing streak behind them, let’s see if they can come out ready to avenge this season’s earlier loss to the Bobcats.
Key to tonight’s game: Stop Al Jefferson
The last time these two teams met, the Bobcats left the TD Garden with an 89-83 win, thanks in large part to Al Jefferson’s dominance in the paint. The big man destroyed the Celtics with 22 points, 11 boards, and two blocked shots. Charlotte was +10 with Jefferson on the court, so if the Cs want to avenge that loss they need to limit the damage that Jefferson does. Getting him in foul trouble would help, so I would hope that Boston takes it hard to the rim in the hopes that they can get some early fouls on him and force him to sit for long stretches tonight. Having Jared Sullinger in the line-up should help Boston, as well, since he sat out the previous game against Charlotte.
Coverage of tonight’s game will begin at 7 p.m. Make sure you check us out on Twitter @HoudiniCeltics for our insightful and moderately amusing thoughts on the action, then come back here to get our “expert” analysis of what went down!