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Game 33: Hornets @ Celtics

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2010-11 NBA Regular Season

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vs

December 31st, 2010
The Garden
2:00 PM CST
TV: CST, NBALP 
Probable starters:
Chris Paul > Rondo? Nate Robinson
Marco Belinelli
< Ray Allen
Trevor Ariza < Paul Pierce
David West
> Kevin Garnett Glen Davis
Emeka Okafor = Shaquille O'Neal

Your Pregame Moment of Zen

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The Celtic Outlook

Fresh off the Lakers, the Hornets get the Celtics. They also get the Wizards on the New Year's back-to-back tomorrow. Yay.

Boston has had a very good November/December to begin the season. Rajon Rondo played the best ball of his career when he was healthy (and may or may not return tonight), Ray Allen's shot has recovered a bit after a down year in 2009-2010, Paul Pierce's efficiencies are trending upward for a second straight year, Kevin Garnett has had a revival on both ends of the floor, and Shaquille O'Neal has produced in a way few envisioned.

This is a deep team with championship experience that will be there till the very end against the Heat and Magic.

Subplots

  • The Celtic defense has held steady with the departure of Tom Thibodeau. Both Chicago and Boston now possess top 5 defenses, and Thibodeau should certainly be credited as the architect of both. 
  • In some ways, the Celtics are the inverse of the Lakers. L.A. came in with one of the league's top two offenses but a barely borderline top-10 defense. Boston comes in with a top two defense but a barely borderline top-10 offense.
  • Defensively, this is as complete a team as we've seen in years. They're #2 in shooting defense, #3 in forcing turnovers, and #3 in defensive rebounding.
  • Happy 2011 (soon).
  • Go Hornets.