So, is this the part where I announce: “the Celtics are DEFINITELY going to take this game!”
Fact: The Bobcats are a very young team unaccustomed to running half-court offense (or defense for that matter). Playing the Celtics on the road will only make things that much harder for them.
Game time: 15 Jan 2013, 1130hrs AEDT
Watch on: Good old NBA League Pass
1. Wilcox is still out with his thumb injury (sprained ulnar collateral). He will be testing his wrapped thumb out at practice to gauge recovery.
2. Fab Melo is still not cleared for full contact practice after his recent concussion (walked into a doorway).
Transition defense. This is probably the one and only key to the game. The Bobcats like to get it out on the break and make their scoring happen. Let them run, and we are going to have a bunch of problems to deal with, which includes Ramon Sessions, Gerald Henderson and promising rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Stop that, and they sputter into a half-court set that features the creativity of Kemba Walker and occasional highlights from Ben Gordon.
Walker is a one-man kickass machine, and I mean that in the best way – the guy can seriously ball, I’m sure he can and will slice through the C’s defense at will. The trick is to not let him facilitate everyone else into scoring, which can and will definitely ruin our night (day).
I love Ben Gordon too – he of the sharp shooting who killed us plenty in that 08/09 series with the Bulls. Good thing that’s not happening on the Bobcats this time, not with Bradley and Lee around. And of course Rondo, if he’s feeling his defensive oats today.
Nevertheless, cautious optimism. No reason to lose, I would hate for this to end up being a trap game and have the Bobcats obliterate us on home ground, however unlikely it may be. Play hard, play good and extend the streak.