- Tip Off: 4:30 p.m. (PT)
- Television: CSN-BA
Boston Celtics Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 100.5 (21st in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 99.8 (7th in NBA)
- Points: Paul Pierce, 18.5 PPG
- Rebounds: Kevin Garnett, 7.7 RPG
- Assists: Paul Pierce, 4.5 APG
- Steals: Avery Bradley, 1.4 SPG
- Blocks: Kevin Garnett, 1.0 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Chris Wilcox, 69.8% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Jason Terry, 36.8% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: Celtics Hub.
Preview: The Golden State Warriors’ (33-25) five-game road trip will continue tonight when the Dubs make their fourth stop in six nights in a different city.
Golden State has now lost back-to-back games against the Indiana Pacers (36-22) and New York Knicks (34-20) but found ways to make both contests incredibly interesting.
The game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse produced a brief scuffle that resulted in a David Lee suspension while the game at Madison Square Garden led to an electric and historic night courtesy of Stephen Curry’s 54-point explosion.
Mark Jackson’s team will try to rebound tonight when they take on the Boston Celtics (30-27) at TD Garden.
There is a notion out there making waves around the league that the Celtics are better without Rajon Rondo, who has been lost for the season due to a torn ACL.
The Kentucky product is one of the five best point guards in the league, thus such a claim is utterly ridiculous right?
Umm well it’s debatable.
With Rondo on board, Boston had a losing record (20-23) and struggled to score the ball as evidenced by their 99.8 points scored per 100 possessions according to NBA.com’s advanced stats tool. That figure today would put the Celtics in the bottom five offenses in the league.
Take the star guard out of the equation though and it feels like a different team altogether. The offense has flowed more and players have shared the rock and set each other up for open shots.
This isn’t to suggest that the Celtics were a selfish team with Rondo at the helm, but the ball did have the propensity to stick into the hands of the mercurial point guard every now and then.
Since losing their lead guard for the season, Boston has produced a winning record (10-4) and seen the offense get a considerable boost. Indeed, with Rondo in street clothes since late January, the Celtics have scored 102.6 points per 100 possessions according to NBA.com’s advanced stats tool.
The scoring number isn’t great, but it’s above average and now compliments a defense that has statistically been the third best in the Association during this recent stretch.
One might be inclined to think that Boston’s play since losing their star player coincides with the schedule getting a little softer, but allow me to refute that claim. Have a look at some of their victories since shutting down Rondo:
- January 27th: overtime victory versus Miami Heat
- February 3rd: victory versus Los Angeles Clippers
- February 6th: victory at Toronto Raptors (team has played much better since acquiring Rudy Gay as evidenced by 7-5 record with Gay in lineup)
- February 7th: victory versus Los Angeles Lakers (rout)
- February 10th: overtime victory versus Denver Nuggets
- February 13th: victory versus Chicago Bulls
- February 25th: overtime victory at Utah Jazz
Boston has not only had big wins, but more importantly they have all for the most part come at home. In the seven games played at TD Garden since news broke of Rondo’s absence for the rest of the year, the Cs are unblemished.
This doesn’t bode well for the Golden State Warriors.
But then again, not only will they be welcoming back David Lee, but also they have Stephen Curry.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.
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