W2W4: Celtics vs. Bobcats (Game 51 of 82)

February, 11, 2013
Sam Sharpe/US PresswireCeltics captain Paul Pierce at work versus the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Boston Celtics (27-23, 8-14 away) and their season-best seven-game win streak visit the Charlotte Bobcats (11-39, 6-19 home) on Monday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. Here's what to watch for:

* PUNCHING THE CLOCK: Celtics coach Doc Rivers has some interesting lineup decisions to make after running Paul Pierce (54 minutes) and Kevin Garnett (47 minutes) hard in Sunday's triple-overtime win over the Nuggets. Rivers was noncommittal about his plan after topping Denver, but even with just 11 healthy bodies, it's likely Boston will do everything possible to limit the wear-and-tear on its veterans. Expect younger legs like Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, and Courtney Lee to get the lion's share of minutes against the struggling 'Cats.

* SYNERGY SNAPSHOT: The Bobcats rank 23rd overall in offense, averaging 0.892 points per play, according to Synergy Sports data. Despite much of their struggles, Charlotte is actually the top-ranked team in scoring via pick-and-roll ball-handler (0.885 points per play). Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon can still hurt opponents off the dribble. Defensively, the Bobcats are dead last allowing 0.967 points per play. About the only thing that Charlotte ranks in the top half of the league in is post defense (14th).

* KEYS FOR THE 'CATS: The Bobcats rank near the bottom of the league in most of the key advanced metrics (29th in offensive rating; 30th in defensive rating), so what do they actually do well? Charlotte takes decent care of the ball (sixth in team turnover percentage), thrives in the open court (fourth in fastbreak points per 48 minutes), and gets the free-throw line will some regularity (third in free-throw rate). Alas, the defensive woes negate just about everything good the 'Cats do.

* BACK-TO-BACK: The Celtics are 6-6 on the second night of back-to-backs this season, but a mere 3-6 when that second game occurs on the road. Monday's game won't be quite as easy to get up for as, say, against the Lakers last Thursday. This is the sort of night Boston really needs their young legs to carry them and give the veterans a blow. The Celtics have only one other game before the All-Star break -- a visit from Chicago on Wednesday, but surely they'd like to be as rested as possible for that showdown with a top East foe.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Tom Verducci, MLB

MLB Network's Tom Verducci offers his insight on the futures of Jon Lester and John Lackey, hitters on the market and whether the Dodgers could trade Matt Kemp.

Baseball Tonight - Lester Dealt

Buster Olney reacts to the deal that sent Jon Lester to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes, talks to Keith Law about whether David Price will be dealt and more.

Adnan Virk, MLB

Baseball Tonight's Adnan Virk talks about the Athletics' acquisition of Jon Lester, the trade that sent John Lackey to the Cardinals, the Red Sox's future and more.

Tedy Bruschi, NFL

ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi weighs in on the responsibility Tom Brady shoulders for the Patriots, Rob Gronkowski's physicality and how New England will use Darrelle Revis.


Jeff Green
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9