Preview: Celtics @ Kings | 10:00pm EST

Preview: Celtics @ Kings | 10:00pm EST

As more trade rumors build around Ray Allen the Boston Celtics will be taking on the young guns at Sacramento in maybe a showcase for the players on the block, specifically Ray and Kevin Martin.  Who knows, maybe Jesus Shuttlesworth unpacks in his hotel room and stays there for 43 games.  As long as it isn’t Scal and TA for Kirk Heinrich I’d be cool with that.  Scal can GTFO but TA is the energy off a sluggish bench.

Ahh, but yes, there is still a game to be played among all the drama.  Let’s take a peek at the match-ups.

Tyreke Evans (possibly the only mortal lock for rookie of the year ever) is averaging a crazy 20.3 PPG and just over 5 APG running the point for Sac Town.  Having Rondo match-up with him will definitely make it the pair to watch throughout the night (or morning on the East coast).  Rajon is fresh of his bewildering three point prowess during the HORSE game in Dallas.  Seriously, where was he finding that range from?  Then again, he did get jobbed at the end when it was a purely three point game and he was up against the Durantula but that is for another day.

Kevin Martin is who fans in green want to keep an eye on to see what could be or that which never was.  Martin is averaging 20.8 PPG and shooting about 36 percent from down town.  Since it is sort of a showcase game I expect for Ray Allen to get a healthy dose of screens that he can come off and pop some jumpers.  I really don’t see Ray playing much D for this game and the Celtics really must start off this West coast trip with a W after the drubbing they took the last swing out there.

Donte Greene is another one of the Kings starters with less than 3 years in the league.  Of the starting five, only Martin has five years experience.  Donte is sort of a non factor at the 3 and is only contributing 9 PPG and a few rebounds.  A healthy Paul Pierce riding high off of his three point shootout win will probably be eager to display his deep ball early against the taller Greene.

Jason Thompson’s natural position is at center with his 6’ 11” frame but with the 7’ 1” Spencer Hawes patrolling the paint he is relegated to the power forward position.  He’s running at a 13 PPG, 8.7 RPG clip and is a good looking prospect out of Rider.  Kevin Garnett is on a bit of a cold stretch as of late but if he can elevate he will have no problem shooting the turnaround over Thompson.

As mentioned, Spencer Hawes is the center and though he is about four inches taller than Perkins, Perk has almost forty pounds of weight on ol’ Spence.  Hawes isn’t exactly lighting things up in the middle but as I wrote about earlier, neither is Perkins.  I would hope the Kendrick would get over on the young kid but I’m not comfortable with his play.

Ultimately I think this is going to be a close game in the high 90’s.  With the long break you would think that the starters would be rested but Rondo, Pierce and Garnett participated in the All Star game.  Let’s hope that contributes more to lack of rust rather than lack of legs.

Lee Herman covers the NBA and Boston Celtics for North Station Sports.
Find more of his great work here.

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