The Golden State Warriors are surely a team that the Boston Celtics hate playing. In their earlier meeting this year, the Warriors torched the Celtics 101-83 on their home court, in a drubbing which the Celtics looked as if they had given up halfway through the second quarter.
It was that bad of a loss. It was one of “those” games.
When one of the best rebounding teams in the league has to take on one of the worst, it’s never a pretty sight…and that’s exactly what tonight match-up is going to be. For the Celtics, they will have to play against even more size then in their first meeting, all the while having two entirely new big men in the line up tonight in D.J. White and Shavlick Randolph.
Between the two of them, they have played a combined 219 games over nine partial NBA seasons. They are most likely going to be getting valuable minutes in a brand new system tonight, as the size-depleted Celtics will now try to match them up with David Lee and Andrew Bogut, both of whom have dominated the Celtics on numerous occasions.
The Celtics will also have their hands full with a Stephen Curry, who is by far having his most consistent and most successful season. He’s averaging 21.9 points and coming off a historic performance this week, scoring a league-wide season-high of 54 points at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks.
Fortunately for the Celtics, they have just the guy they want to put on a player like Curry: Avery Bradley, who is making a serious case for himself to make the All-Defensive first team by the end of the season. Bradley will do his best to make Curry’s life as tough as possible on the perimeter with the help of Courtney Lee.
It doesn’t stop there for the Celtics, as the Warriors have two other guards averaging a combined 30 points per game in possible Sixth-Man of the Year candidate Jarrett Jack and a knock-down guy in Klay Thompson, who is having an under-the-radar season.
The Celtics will have to revert back to their old ways of simply moving the ball and playing that “mess you up” style of offense. The Warriors defense is surprisingly one of the worst in the league, giving up an average of 101.9 points per game.
However, the Celtics offense remains inconsistent, and has been an anemic mess over the last five games as they are only averaging 99.6 points. It’s higher than their season average of 96.2, but not good enough when playing the high-octane offensive forces from the Western Conference.
Although the Celtics have had three days in a row to rest and have brought in some reinforcements, this is going to be a tough task to pull out a win tonight against a Warriors squad that could surely surprise some higher -seeded teams come the postseason.
The Celtics could really use a big win here at home as a morale boost and confidence-builder. Unfortunately for the Celtics, playing the Warriors is going to be tough, with match-ups that don’t swing in the Celtics favor. Expect to see the Celtics come out with an inspired defensive effort if they want to obtain a big win over the Warriors tonight.
Eric St. Cyr is a NBA Contributor for Rantsports.com Follow Him on Twitter @ericJsaint