Charlotte Bobcats at Boston Celtics game preview -- Game 71

Today's Tunes:

A Tribe Called Quest - Stressed Out

Game Overview: I hope you're used to blowouts, like I am, by now. Head coach Paul Silas says he doesn't expect Jackson to return any time soon. And he's probably going to sit Tyrus, too, according to Rick Bonnell's article. So we're looking at where we were a week or two ago. I expect the starting lineups to be Augustin/Henderson/Cunningham/Diaw/Brown and Rondo/Allen/Pierce/Garnett/Krstic. Yeah, um, ouch. No worries, I'm sure our advantage of Kwame over Krstic will win the day.

As for the Celtics, their frontcourt has been decimated by injury. Shaq is out until the beginning of April and Jermaine O'Neal is injured as well. ESPN tells me it's some kind of knee injury, but I still think it could be a bad case of the Zombie Basketball Plague (see: Carter, Vince). Anyhoo, the trade deadline moves Boston made changed up the team a good bit. Not so much on the starting side, but the bench has changed a lot. Jeff Green and Troy Murphy join Big Baby (Glen Davis) in the frontcourt and Delonte West is back to get minutes at the point off the bench. Woo? Sure, woo. Regardless, the Celtics are still a formidable, elite opponent. I don't like their squad as much as I did before the trade, but it's not like Rondo can't get players involved and keep them happy with his passing.

So what do the Bobcats do if they want to win? Jeez. Just try to get players open any way possible. Pick 'n Roll offense? Not going to work. Running the PnR with Augustin and Boris against Rondo and Kevin Garnett is not going to be efficient. Those are two of the best defenders today. And the PnR with DJ and Kwame? Well, if Kwame can find his hands (hint: they're at the end of your arms, big fella!) this could work occasionally. The best bet would be running guys off screens for open jumpers or finding teammates cutting through the lane. Look to Livingston and D.J. White to bring scoring and rebounding off the bench. Defensively, I pray. Augustin and Diaw are bad defenders of the PnR. Henderson can bother Ray Allen. But Cunningham may have fits with Paul Pierce. The dude is just so crafty. Boris is an above-average defender in the post so Kevin Garnett may take a while to get going from there but I in no way expect Garnett to have much of an off night, if at all.

Guh.

Key Matchup: Me vs. Legal Drinking Age - just kidding! It's actually My Forehead vs. My Desk

NBA Artwork: a piece I did for a friend - former Celtic Semih Erden!

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