Fatigue on the road: Boston Celtics @ Charlotte Bobcats preview

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Everyone should still be riding the high after the triple-OT victory from the Nuggets at home, but let’s be clear about this: the next game will be much tougher. It’s on the road, the team will be exhausted off a back-to-back and our two leaders KG and Pierce both logged extremely heavy minutes (47 and 54 respectively) just the day before.

“Yeah, I’m tired after every game,” he said. Pressed on if he was more tired than usual, Pierce added, “Well, my adrenaline is still coming down. I’m sure I’ll feel it later.”

Garnett playfully joked about his whopping minute total, even after catching a brief breather at the start of the second overtime.

“I told Doc I wasn’t built for this shit and I don’t know what the hell he thought,” Garnett quipped. “But I probably won’t even play [Monday] night. I’m lying. I’m out here grinding. It’s what it is. Heart of a champion. What can I say?” – via ESPN Boston, Eyes on the Clock

Say what you will about the Bobcats, but winning is still no walk in the park.

Fact: The Bobcats are currently on a 7 game losing streak, their second longest such streak this season.

Game time: 12 Feb 2013, 1100hrs AEDT

Watch on: NBA League Pass

Roster changes:

1. Rajon Rondo is out for the season with a torn ACL.

2. Jared Sullinger is out for the season after his back operation.

3. Jason Collins experienced a tightened back in the Nuggets game, but will be ready to play against the Bobcats.

Defense

The key to winning the Bobcats comes off one key mantra: no careless mistakes. Charlotte is primarily a team that scores off turnovers and transition points. Turning the ball over and letting them run is akin to shooting ourselves in the foot – painful and crippling.

Manage the game pace the way we did for the Nuggets, slow it down, and don’t let them have an excuse to gun their way to the scoreboard. Tighten down on the half-court offense, and we will be set.

Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee against the Denver Nuggets
Perimeter shooting: Don’t forget about Mullen’s pick-and-pop game, the guy’s really gunning his way through the season with the three balls. Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions are the other potential killers out on the perimeter, but the Pit Bulls have got us covered – in Lee and Bradley we trust. I’m hoping Bradley doesn’t experience jelly legs after 46 minutes on the court today.

Another thought: will KG and Pierce be logging their usual game minutes? I’m half-expecting the two of them to be on very short minutes for this game, which would allow us to see the rest of the bench play for extended stretches without our two leaders anchoring the game. This will be a good chance to see how Lee steps up and take charge of the game alongside JET and Green.

That is all.

Offense

Pass the ball, find the open guy. The Celtics have been doing this so well, I’m starting to run out of things to gripe about.

Joke aside, the bench guys need to prove their mettle in closing games out, and this will be a good test. The team has been riding so hard on Pierce and KG these days, it makes me feel insecure. I would really like to see more of Green’s maturation as an offensive player who can take charge, or JET/Lee taking over the reins and making good decisions in situations when KG or Pierce are not on the floor.  Bradley has shown some good instincts in today’s game, and I would also like to see more of him displaying more of that decision-making at the 1 spot tomorrow.


This game will turn out to be tougher than expected because of the circumstances, but I am reasonably confident we can get continue with the streak so long as a team effort is seen. That being said, I still wouldn’t be surprised if we lose this one.

Nothing else, here’s me signing off. Go C’s!

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