Game 66: Pelicans vs. Celtics

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Happy early Saint Patrick's Day!

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The last time the Pelicans faced the Celtics New Orleans came out on top 95-92 to push themselves within just one game of .500 and four games out of the playoffs. The real image of that game, instead, is of Ryan Anderson lying on the court and eventually being carted off on a stretcher. That injury has sidelined Anderson (and Pelican post season aspirations) for the season. Jrue Holiday also played on January 3rd and has been sidelined.

For Boston, they have traded Jordan Crawford and lost Gerald Wallace to injury. However, they have gained back Rajon Rondo. In 20 games in the lineup Boston has gone 5-15.

This is your game preview and game thread.

2013/2014 NBA Season

vs

26-39


22-44
March 16, 2014, 5:00 PM CDT
New Orleans, LA
FSNO, CSNW
Projected Starters
Brian Roberts
Rajon Rondo
Eric Gordon
Jerryd Bayless
Tyreke Evans Jeff Green
Anthony Davis
Brandon Bass
Alexis Ajinca Kris Humphries
Advanced Stats (2013/14)
92.1 (23) Pace 93.3 (17)
107.1 (12) ORtg 101.8 (28)
109.8 (27) DRtg 106.1 (14)

GAME NOTES

-Boston currently sits fourth in the draft lottery, tied with the Lakers and Jazz. Utah will be playing in San Antonio tonight, a loss for the Celtics is critical to keep up with the tanking.

-The Celtics will not play a center tonight at all. Kelly Olynyk (7'0) is the only player who will see the floor for coach Brad Stevens taller than 6'9". Despite this lack of height, Boston makes a living crashing the offensive glass, especially with Olynyk (11.9% OREB%) and Fish favorite Jared Sullinger (13.6% OREB%). Keeping those two and Kris Humphries off the glass is critical.

-Tagging along with the above point, playing Ajinca or Stiemsma long minutes serves no true end. Ajinca collects rebounds but rarely boxes out, Stiemsma often fails on both points. Withey and Babbitt are under contract next year and need to see minutes tonight. Serves the double motivation of development and attempting to win.

-Push the pace. When the Pelicans elect to walk the ball up after a defensive rebound the ball goes to Roberts and we wait 8-10 seconds while he dribbles, directs traffic, and attempts to solve cold fusion. When the defensive rebound is passed to Tyreke Evans a fast break occurs more often than not. As coach Popovich always yells, "Pace! Pace! Pace!"

-Even if Tyreke Evans does not start (he should), Monty needs to get him in quickly. Evans has been on a tear lately and the long minutes have done him (and the Pelicans) well.

-Go to CelticsBlog for a Boston perspective.

-Geaux Pelicans and Happy Saint Patrick's Day tomorrow!

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