Inside the Scope: Boston Celtics (14-14) x Golden State Warriors (20-10)
- Tip Of: 7:30 p.m.
- Television: NBA TV,CSN-BA
Boston Celtics Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 100.8 (17th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 101.2 (12th in NBA)
- Points: Paul Pierce, 20.2 PPG
- Rebounds: Kevin Garnett, 7.0 RPG
- Assists: Rajon Rondo, 11.7 APG
- Steals: Rajon Rondo, 2.0 SPG
- Blocks: Kevin Garnett, 0.8 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Kevin Garnett, 51.8% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Jason Terry, 38.5% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: Celtics Hub.
Preview: There is no such thing as an NBA playoff game in December.
And yet, tonight’s contest against the Boston Celtics will serve the up and coming Golden State Warriors as a playoff type lesson. Just so we’re clear, although Doc Rivers and company were rocked by the Clippers on Thursday night, one shouldn’t expect anything resembling a playoff type intensity from Boston, but we should at least expect their fiery resolve to be on full display.
The Celtics will chirp, set hard screens, commit hard fouls, get away with some clutching and grabbing and will try to gain a psychological edge over some of the Warriors’ players.
Expect Paul Pierce to get into the ear of rookie Harrison Barnes and tell him that UNC sucks; that he hasn’t done a thing in the league and that it won’t start against him tonight.
Kevin Garnett will probably try to push David Lee to the brink with a few elbows, hard box outs and a few baskets and then will scream obscenities directed at him without looking at him.
And then there’s Rondo.
Whether it’s getting into the lane and making defenders look silly, taking a hard foul or just trash talking, he will undoubtedly be heard from by night’s end.
Of course, this is par for the course in the NBA, but the Boston Celtics might just be the best at playing mind games with opponents.
Thus, the Celtics might have a .500 record, but don’t make the mistake of assuming it makes them a bad or mediocre team. Instead, it’s better to state that their play has been uneven at times, which has translated to their current record.
But a matchup like tonight is what they would love to feast on: a fairly young team with a good record.
The trio of Rondo, Pierce and Garnett has been successful together and thus understands how to fight for each other and assault opponents emotionally.
The Warriors will have to be ready for the Celtics on this front.
Between playing at home and throwing out quality talent on the floor, the Dubs might have the edge on paper against Boston tonight, but the boys in green tend to find ways to make up for whatever disadvantage that comes along.
Again, there are no playoff games that occur in the month of December, but tonight’s contest will certainly help prepare the Golden State Warriors for what they might potentially encounter should they earn themselves a spot in the tournament at the end of the season.
Tonight will be a huge learning lesson because the Dubs are slowly turning themselves into the hunted; and they have to start playing like it.
But being the hunted means one thing: your team is winning games.
Let’s see if that continues tonight.