Boston Celtics (15-16, 4-8 road) at Oklahoma City Thunder (25-7, 13-1 Home)
Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 6:00 p.m.
TV: ESPN (206 Directv, 28 Cox, 602 AT&T U-Verse, 140 Dish)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the Enemy: Here.
Last time: Oklahoma City beat the Celtics in Boston 97-88.
Well, the Celtics come into tonight’s game short handed. Rajon Rondo is sitting out the second of a two game suspension. Kevin Garnett sat out against the Mavericks, but he’s expected to join Boston in Oklahoma City.
The Celtics are coming off a 89-73 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Celtics struggled to score the entire game. Didn’t help that was the first game of Rondo’s two game suspension.
Oklahoma City had to fight off a pesky Hornets squad that battled back from 24 points down. Oklahoma City eventually came away with the 101-93 victory.
Remember tonight’s game is at 6 p.m. Plan accordingly. With people leaving work and heading down town, parking could be a huge pain.
Keys to the Game
Boston is old and slow. With Rondo out, they’ll be even older and slower. They’re one of the slowest paces in the NBA (29th of 30th – 91.0) Paces are the number of possessions per game if you’re not familiar with it. Oklahoma City is the fourth fastest pace at 96.2. The Thunder need to push the ball and really force the Celtics to rush shots.
Like the Thunder, Boston has struggled on the defensive glass this season. Boston ranks 29th overall in rebounds per game. Controlling the glass will be of great importance tonight, as the Celtics will likely focus on that aspect of the game. Serge Ibaka is averaging 9.3 rebounds in the month of Februrary. He’s nearly averaging a double-double this month.
Boston ranks seventh in field goal percentage. Oklahoma City ranks fifth in defensive field goal percentage. With Rondo out, it could be tougher for Boston to create shots. However, Avery Bradley is an efficient point guard, do not under-estimate him. If Oklahoma City can create some defensive pressure, should be no trouble for OKC.