After some well deserved rest and a practice session, the Celtics look to extend their 7-game home streak against Stephen Curry and the Warriors.
Stat check: Ranked 2nd in the Pacific Division, The Warriors have won the last 3 of the 10 games, with 6 of those losses being away games.
Game time: 02 March 2013, 1130hrs AEDT
Watch it on: NBA League Pass
- Rajon Rondo (ACL) and Jared Sullinger (back) are out for the season.
- DJ White has cleared his paperwork and may make his debut.
- Brandon Rush is out for the season with a knee injury.
- David Lee will be playing after serving a 1-game suspension yesterday for the altercation with Roy Hibbert in Indiana.
Top enemy performers:
- Scoring: Stephen Curry (21.9)
- Rebounds: David Lee (11.1)
- Assists: Stephen Curry (6.5)
Keys to the game:
- Don’t let him shoot! Be prepared to see Bradley hounding Curry all night long, because the whole world now knows that Curry can score in a variety of ways and only needs 0.5 seconds to get a shot off. The number one priority would be running him off the 3 point line, and stopping his dribble penetration. In case you haven’t heard, Curry went off in MSG last night for 54 points with a very efficient 18-28 from the field. It’s unlikely he will repeat his 50 points performance, but shooters can get hot any time.
- Containing the Celtics killer for the night: It’s no secret that for most Celtics games, there will be a designated Celtics killer from the opponent team who will suddenly rise to the occasion and put up an explosive performance. It could be the enemy superstar, or just an unsuspecting role player. The Warriors have a number of players who could step up — David Lee (19.0 points and 11.1 rebounds), Klay Thompson (16.1 points), Jarrett Jack (13.7 points and 5.9 assists), Carl Landry (11.6 points and 6.5 rebounds), and Harrison Barnes (8.9 points and 4 rebounds). Predictions? I’d say David Lee.
- Home court? Always welcome: The Celtics have always played badly at the Oracle Arena for some reason. Fortunately, this game will be held at the Garden. With a 20-9 home record this season for the Celtics and the Warriors having a bad road record, it’s not hard to think that we could put this game away easily. After all, the Celtics managed to beat several strong playoff contenders at home. However, it will not be an easy win. The Celtics will have to be the aggressor and control the pace of the Warriors. Close the 1st and 4th quarter strong, especially when the Warriors are loaded with clutch shooters.
- Getting more out of the new guys: We’ve seen glimpses of what Crawford and Williams can bring to the table, and we want more. Doc wants Crawford to be an aggressive scorer, even though he appreciates Crawford trying to be a ball-mover. Now that DJ White is on the team, it would be exciting to see if he can use his rebounding skills to fill Sully’s gap in the roster. The more I look at our new guys, the harder it is to contain my excitement for them. I’m waiting for either one of them to have a breakout game and blow the competition away.
Winning this game will be important, because the next 2 games will be on the road again. With 25 games left for the season, every win is essential for the sake of seeding.