Celtics look to improve road record against Indiana Pacers
Great assists numbers, but the turnover bug seems to haunt them whether Rajon Rondo is there or not. This made for a much closer game then it had to be, forcing Doc to play KG and Pierce more than he intended to.
The good news was that Avery Bradley found his offensive groove and they won. He finished with a season high 22 points 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
Boston is playing the Indiana Pacers tonight and vets like KG, PP and Jason Terry will need help after last night's gutted out win. This is a game made for Jeff Green to step up, if only because of the presence of emerging all-star Paul George. George has the athleticism and length that will give Paul Pierce trouble. It also doesn't help that PP is suffering from a pinched-nerve that limits his ability to keep up with the Pacer swing-man.
The bulk of the responsibility should be on Green, he has to keep the pressure on George at the offensive end of the floor.
Indiana is the type of team that also gives Boston fits on the glass. They are athletic, have great rebounders and have Roy Hibbert to clog the middle. The Celtics are a jump shooting team and this falls right into the way that Indy loves to play. This is a game where the Celtics must gang-rebound and take care of the ball, because the Pacers will capitalize on their mistakes. They force you to shoot jumpers, hit the glass and run.
David West is another Pacer who will test the defensive will of Brandon Bass. Bass has to do the same thing West wants to do to him. That is to feast on mid-range jumpers and bully his way to the hoop. Let's hope that BB's jumper is falling as this will help offset some of D-Wests' numbers. Somehow Bass must also find his "inner Rodman," by boxing-out and hitting the glass.
If the Celtics remain as a seventh-seed in the Eastern Conference, this may be a prelude of a 2-7 seed match-up. Pierce and company must make a statement and improve their road record which stands at a dismal 11-18. A win tonight can do two things for them:
1. Give them a quality win on the road against a possible first-round playoff opponent.
2. Improved confidence that may propel them to another magical run a la the 2012 season.
Indy is rising and the Celtics are still at a slow boil in spite of their winning record since the rash of injuries hit the team. They are still struggling to close out quarters and until they do so their playoff dreams may be short lived.