Game On: Hornets @ Celtics

Published: January 16, 2013

The Celtics are on a winning streak and the Hornets have finally started putting it all together. Which trend wins?

The answer probably comes down to whether Eric Gordon plays tonight or not. (Update: Gordon will not play)  The Hornets haven’t said whether Gordon will play in his first back-to-back.  Despite the near blow-out in Philly last night, Gordon did have to return to the court and played 32 minutes.   We’ll see if that keeps him off the court tonight.

If it does, the Hornets will be in trouble as Bradley and Rondo will team up to give ball-handling fits to Vasquez, Mason, and Austin Rivers.  The Celtics defense really has returned to full force now that Bradley has returned, pushing Terry and Courtney Lee to the bench as supporting scorers.  Since Bradley’s returned, the celtics are a different team, posting an offensive rating of 104.6 and a defensive rating of 93.6.  For the season, the Celtics were averaging 101.1 and 100.5 respectively.

Perimeter defense matters – as the Hornets have seen with the return of Eric Gordon.

So how do the new, improved Hornets beat the new, improved Celtics?

Keys to the Game

  • Attack in the paint.  Since Bradley’s return the Celtics are forcing turnovers and bad shots at a much higher rate.  However, they have also fouled excessively and completely failed to control the defensive glass.  If the Hornets go to their big men and get some penetration to the hoop, they could see a lot of easy points via free throws and offensive putbacks.
  • Stay home on the shooters.  With Bradley, Terry, Lee, Pierce, and Jeff Green, the Celtics have a lot of capable shooters for Rondo and Pierce to create for.  If the Hornets let them get room, they will pay dearly.
  • Don’t foul.  Other than Paul Pierce, no Celtic is interesting in getting contact.  Rondo, for one, avoids free throws like the plague.  The others just want to shoot jumpers, Drive them from the three-point line, cut them off without close contact, and then let them shoot.

Enjoy the game!


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