Wednesday, November 13, 2013
W2W4: C's vs. Bobcats (Game 9 of 82)
By Chris Forsberg
The Boston Celtics (4-4, 2-1 home) host the Charlotte Bobcats (3-4, 1-2 away) on Wednesday night at TD Garden (7:30 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
- GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS: If Jared Sullinger can't go because of a bone bruise on his right knee (he's listed as day-to-day), it could be Hump Day. Kris Humphries has been excellent in short bursts this season as he's plus-27 in plus/minus over 46 minutes (only Sullinger is better overall at plus-30). What's more, Humphries has been the team's best rebounder (17.7 total rebound percentage; 25 defensive rebound percentage). After filling in while Sullinger was suspended on opening night in Toronto, Humphries could get another opportunity due to Sullinger's injury (or any limitation because of the bone bruise).
- EYES ON C'S DEFENSE: Masked by some excellent offensive efforts the past two games has been the fact that Boston's defense hasn't been quite as crisp. Fortunately for the Celtics, the Bobcats are one of the worst offenses in the league (28th in rating; 29th in effective field goal percentage). It's on Boston's perimeter defenders to keep the guards in front of them and prevent dribble penetration where Charlotte can create some havoc.
- WHERE DO CELTS GO FROM HERE? The Celtics have won four straight to pull back to .500. Can this team keep that momentum going against Charlotte? Said Gerald Wallace, "The one thing about it is it's 82 games, so you know you have time to get yourself together if you continue to work hard, continue to improve everything. It's early in the season. The first month is usually the warm-up period, so teams are still trying to figure out their identity and figure out what they want to do as a team and what their expectations are." The more Boston wins, the more its own expectations might shift this season.
- WHAT ELSE? Jordan Crawford has been the toast of the town coming off his double-double against the Magic. How will he respond to all the increased attention for his steadiness at the point guard position? Stevens has implored him to stay focused at the task at hand. ... What has floated more under the radar is the jolt that Phil Pressey is giving the second-unit offense. ... The Celtics need to keep Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out of transition. He's been a terrible spot-up shooter, but thrives attacking in transition. ... Boston has limited its turnovers with Crawford at point guard and that will help them again considering this is a Bobcats team that has taken good care of the ball this season.
(Read full game preview)