Celts aim to keep streak alive in Charlotte

Just one night after the triple overtime slug fest in Beantown between the Celtics and the Denver Nuggets, the  27-23 C's head south to face the 11-39 Charlotte Bobcats at 7 p.m. ET. The Celtics don't necessarily have a successful history when it comes to the tail end of back-to-back games, as they are sitting right at .500 in this category (6-6) for this season.

Sunday's match up against Denver lasted a little over three (real time, not play time) hours, so there is no doubt Boston will have lingering fatigue in their legs tonight in Charlotte. On the other side, the Bobcats are coming into tonight's game with seven straight defeats, including a 27 point beat down on Wednesday at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 'Cats are 6-19 in front of their home crowd and Boston sits at an underachieving 8-14 away from TD Garden.

A few keys for Boston to secure a W:

  • Start Strong, Finish Strong: Sunday evening, the C's started the game with great focus as they jumped to a quick 12-0 lead. Obviously, they're going to be a bit fatigued to start this game off, so we will have to rely on the young guys to help secure a lead, and not let it slip away. Courtney Lee, more than anyone, must step up his play and be the scorer we brought him in to be. The ball must find him early so he can get a good shooting rhythm going for the night. 

  • Defense: The C's will be going up against two recent high draft picks in Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. As we have noticed, Walker has had a slow start to his NBA career, but he is capable of scoring big in any given game. Lee, Pierce, Green and Bradley have their work cut out for them, as do the 'Cats. Also, down low, Kevin Garnett and our front court will be matched up against a mirage of 7 footers; Tyrus Thomas, Bismack Biyombo, DeSagana Diop, Brendan Haywood, and Byron Mullens. (Can we borrow a big?!).

  • Ball Movement: Paul Pierce has been the primary facilitator since the injury to Rajon Rondo, and so far it's been a key ingredient to the C's current winning streak. Ball movement was key down the stretch against the Denver Nuggets as Terry, Green, and Pierce were found for clutch buckets in last nights game.

I don't expect anything more than another grind-it-out effort from these suddenly hot Celtics. After tonight's game, the Chicago Bulls will visit Boston (who will hopefully come in with an eight game W streak) on Wednesday night in what will be the final game before NBA All Star Weekend tips off.