How the Celtics come out to start this game will have no effect on the outcome, period. Boston can come out gang-busters cracking skulls and throwing it down with bad intentions but unless they can sustain that energy it won’t mean a damn thing.
Something needs to be done to shake things up and not necessarily on the court. These guys need to get whatever garbage there is floating around in their domes straightened out. I’m not talking about going on a camping trip to find themselves or anything but maybe get a C’s legend to give a speech or show that comeback against the Lakers in the ’07-08 playoffs where they didn’t give up.
At any rate, the Pacers have had Boston’s number in recent years for whatever reason. Maybe it’s the ghost of Jim O’Brien. Maybe there is some left over karma from Reggie clowning the C’s all those years. Whatever it may be, I hope Boston has it in them to crush Indiana.
Danny Granger will be returning from his one game suspension from his tet-a-tet with Channing Frye so he’ll be rested and ready to do his usual damage of about 23 PPG. Brandon Rush got loose during Granger’s sit out with 24 PTS against the 76ers so he could pose a problem for the second unit that doesn’t really play one-on-one D well outside of Tony Allen who hasn’t been used much as of late. Marquise plays alright defense but he isn’t as distracting/effective as a crazy legged TA.
What really concerns me is that Boston is not going inside nearly enough. The only person who should take the majority of his shots from more than 15 feet is Ray. Paul has been making some diving runs down the lane but isn’t finishing strong like he used to do. Perkins needs to do one of two things; be more effective on the defensive end or fix his line-drive baby hook on the offensive side. He is quickly turning into an Erick Dampier type center and that is not good for anyone.
If Gang Green can recover from their pummeling, take the standing eight and wipe off the gloves it will be not only a “W” in the record books but on the mental aspect of the game, too. I don’t know how many more losses to non-playoff teams I can take.
Lee Herman covers the NBA and Boston Celtics for North Station Sports.
Find more of his great work here.