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Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics game preview

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The Rockets take on the Celtics in front of a national audience on ESPN.

Jared Wickerham

I'll make this quick: I hate the Celtics, I hate Bill Simmons talking about the Celtics (even indirectly), and I think Paul Pierce is a slightly bigger Kevin Martin who has a whiny-looking face and isn't a real star but who gets credit for being one when he really isn't. Oh, and his "I'm dead" shtick in game 1 against the Lakers where he had to get carried off the court while crying, then came back like nothing had happened still pisses me off.

I hate that the Celtics have Jason Terry.

I also have strong feelings about the rest of the Celtics, but before Boston fans come and murder me in my sleep, I will say that the Celtics are a good team, and a great team when they want to be.

Tip off is at 7pm CST on ESPN.


Point Guard: Jeremy Lin vs. Rajon Rondo

Rondo is a punk. I think he developed with two of the toughest guys in the league behind him in Garnett and Kendrick Perkins. I think he decided that he had to be a tough guy. I think he thought no one would mess with him since he had those guys behind him.

He's been in the league for six years but he still hasn't figured out how to shoot. That's incredible. Almost every great player in the league uses the offseason to hone a specific part of their game. LeBron has worked on his jump shot and post games in the offseason. Kobe's done it for years. Durant is picking it up. Melo and Chris Paul are other examples.

Rondo is a fantastic passer. Of that there's no denying. He runs the offense so well. But imagine if he had Dragic's shooting! He'd be a top 5 player in the league. Seriously. He already keeps the Celtics relevant single-handedly. Think about how good they would be if he shored up the one glaring weakness in his game. As it is, he's wasting talent and it's depressing.

Advantage: Celtics

Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. PLAYER NOT FOUND

The Celtics are playing with only four players tonight. Weird.

Advantage: Rockets

Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. Paul Pierce

About once a year Simmons writes something like, "We got to watch Paul Pierce grow up. Rah rah Boston!" and it makes me want to vomit.

Is Paul Pierce good? Sure he is.

Do I enjoy watching this video? Heck yes.

And this one? Also yes.

Still, he gets the advantage here.

Advantage: Celtics

Power Forward: Patrick Patterson vs. Kevin Garnett

I realize that it isn't an act, but I'm getting tired of Kevin Garnett's act. Banging his head into the basket support, the yelling, the pounding of the chest.

He used to be one of my favorite players. Really. He worked his butt off every night. In a weird sense, I felt like he sold out when he got traded to the Celtics.

Even though we lament the situations that stars are sometimes in when they don't have talent surrounding them, there's also more of an appreciation for what they do in those places. For years Kevin Garnett made T-Wolves games fun to watch by himself. When they won, you knew it was because he lifted the team to greater heights than they reasonable could have achieved.

Obviously, it's not his fault he left. Every player wants a championship, and every player deserves to have a shot at one, especially when they grind it out every night like KG.

I don't know, but he lost his mystique with me though.

For a more present evaluation, he's been playing well this season and it seems he's finally recovered from that knee injury from a couple of years ago.

Advantage: Cetlics

Center: Omer Asik vs. Brandon Bass

Garnett really plays center, but he's more power forward than anything else. That's why I had to put him earlier. Now that leaves us with a "Bass out of water."

Yeah, sorry.

But Asik should be a monster in this game. If he doesn't grab at least 15 boards, it could be big trouble for the Rockets tonight.

Advantage: Rockets


Rockets: Toney Douglas, Carlos Delfino, Marcus Morris, Greg Smith, Cole Aldric

Celtics: Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Chris Wilcox, Leandro Barbosa

Advantage: Celtics

Prediction: Boston humiliate Houston for the second time in six days, Celtics win 106-82

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