Back on the road: Boston Celtics @ New Orleans Hornets preview

New Orleans Hornets logo used from 2002–2008
New Orleans Hornets logo used from 2002–2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last game should have been ours. I’m still mad as hell, but I know we’re going to get back at them in April.

I don’t really care if we meet them in the first round, because that just means we get to take revenge sooner. I digress…

We kick off a 3-games road trip facing the Hornets, take a 1 day breather, and a back-to-back against the Mavs and Grizzlies. One game at a time!

Stat check: The Hornets have won 2 of their last 10, and are currently on a 4 game losing streak. Hornets, however, have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.

Game time: 20 March 2013, 1100hrs AEDT

Watch it on: NBA League Pass

Roster changes:

  1. Rajon Rondo (ACL) and Jared Sullinger (back) are out for the season.
  2. Kevin Garnett (thigh/flu) is still questionable for tomorrow’s game . A positive is that he has travelled with the team to New Orleans, which means it is possible that he will suit up.
  3. Eric Gordon (knee) is probable for tomorrow’s game.
  4. Austin Rivers (broken bone in right hand) has undergone surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
  5. Jason Smith (shoulder) has undergone surgery and will miss the rest of the season.

Top enemy performers:

  1. Scoring: Eric Gordon (16.7)
  2. Rebounds:  Anthony Davis (7.9)
  3. Assists:  Greivis Vasquez (9.3)

Keys to the game:

  1. Cleaning the glass! The Celtics are ranked 29 out of 30 in the league for rebounding. It doesn’t sound as bad, because we’re sitting right on top of the Heat. YEAHHHHHHH. Anyway, the fact is that we are horrible suck at rebounding. The last time these 2 teams met, Hornets had a 55-40 advantage on the boards. No wonder why we got creamed. Even if KG is back in the lineup, I’m expecting guys like Bass and Pierce to crash the board all game. If you can’t score, you help the team out in other ways. Not rocket science. Now that White has been signed for the remainder of the season, I expect to see him more on the floor. I like his game, and I’m eager to see more out of him. Randolph too, but it seems like Doc plans to keep him nailed on the bench.
  2. Who is Greivis Vasquez? This is a name you’ll hear more and more often. How good is he? This season, he has clocked 24 double-doubles and 1 triple double. For comparison’s sake, Chris Paul has 24 double-doubles. Vasquez is ranked #3 in the league for assists/ game (9.3). Rondo sits at the #1 spot with 11.1 assists/game. The last meeting, he chalked up 15 points along with 11 rebounds. In short, do not underestimate him.
  3. Keeping the foot on the gas. With 16 games left on the schedule, it’s crucial that we stay focused and put every game in the bag. Unless they shoot themselves in the foot again, it appears that all of the remaining games are easy and winnable games. I like what I’ve seen last game, and I just hope they can keep half of that intensity till the end of the season.

Let the games begin!

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