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Game 38 Preview: Houston Rockets at Boston Celtics

The January Blues continue with a trip to Beantown. I've mentioned a few times here how I don't like Bill Simmons as much as everyone else seems to, and that's one of the reasons why I dislike the Celtics. I've been a Red Sox fan since the 90s when they were really bad. I'm cool with the New England Patriots (bunch of white guys dominating the New York Jets? Sign me up). Boston Bruins? Sure, I guess.

Granted, not many people will be watching this game due to the National Championship game. I'll be watching the football game on tape delay, so I might be able to watch this game on mute.

The Rockets have won the last two meetings in Boston. Two years ago, it sprung a Rockets drive to the playoffs. Last year, it was just a nice moment for a team that had been eliminated from the playoffs right before the game and were only suiting up 9 players. This would be a good time to point out how good of a coach Rick Adelman is. How many coaches in the league can go into Boston with a starting lineup of Scola, Budinger, Jermaine Taylor, Aaron Brooks, and Chuck Hayes and win? And don't think the bench was great, either. It featured Lowry, Mike Harris, Jordan Hill, and Hilton Armstrong. Yeah, he's an awful coach Fire him right now.

For a real rant directed at all the Adelman haters, go to ressaliance_00's fanpost, which totally hammers the point home with great insight.

The Celtics also lost of Saturday night, snapping a four game win streak. The Rockets game for them is the first during a 6-game home streak that includes big games against the Magic and Jazz. And look out for Von Wafer tonight. Over or under 3 times he looks at Adelman with a look of "You could have had this!"?

Let's check out the matchups:

Point Guard

Kyle Lowry vs. Rajon Rondo

He's a Jedi. What more can I say? He's averaging a ridiculous 11/14 for the team on 52% shooting. Now, it's time to do something I've always wanted to do: rub stuff in people's faces!

Last year, I declared Rondo either the Most Valuable or best member of the Boston Celtics. The backlash was severe. Well, guess who's laughing now? There's no denying that Rondo is a top 6 point guard in the NBA (CP3, D-Will, Steve Nash, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook are the others just so we're clear).

Umm, what happened to Kyle Lowry? He took some open shots against Utah, but like the rest of the team was unable to hit. In his last three games, he's 3-23 and 1-11 from three. On the plus side, he's only committed three turnovers in that span. That's not enough. Lowry has to keep taking the ball to the basket until his shooting slump goes away. Or wait until the last second and heave a three pointer.

Edge: Celtics

Shooting Guard

Kevin Martin vs. Ray Allen

Jesus Shuttlesworth (gotta get in the obligatory He Got Game reference) takes on K-Mart, who outside of the Portland game just hasn't been himself. He's missing free throws, traveling around like he's trying to get frequent flier miles, and pretending that defense is unnecessary.

I know he's efficient. I get it. I like K-Mart a ton, but come on man. Let's see a little bit of intensity. A little bit of "want to". Please.

Edge: Even

Small Forward

Shane Battier vs. Paul Pierce

I really don't like Paul Pierce. Doesn't he seem like a Jazz player to you? Milks injuries (2008 Finals), gets tons of calls, and gets dunked on spectacularly? Sounds like a Jazz player to me. And I have to post this:

Joakim Noah's Steal and Spectacular Slam Over Pierce (4.30.09) (via nbafinalsmvp)

And, just for kicks:

offensive foul by pierce (via GoldnPurple8)

I love where Ron Artest ends up.

Shane's gonna have his hands full.

Edge: Celtics

Power Forward

Luis Scola vs. Kevin Garnett

All right Scola, I see you. Nice game against Utah, but I wish you were a better one-on-one defender.

I love when someone else writes about Rocket players, because I can just link to their stuff. Case in point, here's Tom's piece about Scola's All-Star potential.

Finally, KG is averaging 15/10 on 54% shooting in a revival year for the forward. He's missed about two weeks and is officially listed as questionable. However, Doc Rivers said he expects that Garnett will play tonight. Otherwise, Glen Davis will start.

KG plays offense and defense, and for that, he would get the advantage, but I'm not sure how healthy he is. So...

Edge: Even


Jordan Hill vs. Shaquille O'Neal

I guess Dave will be coming here to lay down a "FatAss" comment here. Welcome back, man.

As for Shaq, it's 10/5 on 67% in 22 minutes. That's pretty efficient, I think. I think he's pissed about Kobe having one more ring than him. He'll do well in the playoffs, especially when Kendrick Perkins comes back.

Hill played really well last time in Boston. Tonight, I expect him to get in foul trouble. Early.

Edge: Celtics


Celtics: Nate Robinson, Von Wafer, Marquis Daniels, Glen Davis, Luke Harangody, Semih Erden

Rockets: Brooks (maybe), Ish Smith, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Terrence Williams, Brad Miller

Edge: Rockets


Celtics: Delonte West out, Kendrick Perkins out

Rockets: Yao Ming out, Chuck Hayes out

Prognosis: 98% Fatal

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