Friday, January 10, 2014
W2W4: C's vs. Warriors (Game 37 of 82)
By Chris Forsberg
The Boston Celtics (13-25, 5-13 away) visit the Golden State Warriors (24-14, 11-4 home) on Friday night at Oracle Arena (10:30 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
- WARRIORS AT A GLANCE: When you think of the Warriors, you probably think of their offense, but the team actually ranks middle of the pack (13th) in the NBA in offensive rating (103.5 points per 100 possessions. That number would be a lot glossier if the Golden State didn't rank 30th in the league in turnover percentage. What's probably more surprising to the casual observer is that the Warriors rank fourth overall in defensive rating (98.5). Opponents shoot just 42.9 percent overall (fourth in NBA) against Golden State and 34.4 percent beyond the 3-point arc (eighth in NBA). The Warriors make it tough on opponents then don't allow a lot of second chances (ranking first in defensive rebound rate and third in total rebound rate).
- TAKING ANOTHER STEP: The Celtics, lifeless at the start of this five-game road trip, showed better energy and effort during Wednesday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Now Boston needs to take the next step and get back in the win column. A tough close to this back-to-back looms Saturday night in Portland, meaning Boston's best remaining chance to avoid a win shutout on this trip is Friday's game. It will be interesting to see if Brad Stevens leaves Kris Humphries with the starting group for an energy infusion, or if he further experiments as Boston tries to find the right combination to get itself back on track.
- WHAT ELSE?: The Celtics have lost nine of 10; the Warriors have won 11 of 12. The Warriors are coming off a seven-game road trip in which they went 6-1 (losing a nail-biter in Brooklyn to close it out). ... Steph Curry's line over that seven-game road trip: 22.7 points, 9 assists, 4.6 rebounds over 39.3 minutes per game. Nearly half of his 18.6 shots per game came behind the 3-point arc. ... David Lee likewise averaged 22.7 points per game on that trip to go along with 10.1 rebounds per contest. ... The Warriors were a staggering 31.9 points better in offensive rating during their trip when Andre Iguodala was on the floor (and the defensive rating was 5 ½ points better as well).
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