After a 105-100 victory of the Chicago Bulls in which 8 different Celtics reached double figures, the sky is the limit for Boston. They're playing like a team on both sides of the ball and one player who's really impressed me is Jared Sullinger. Sully followed up an 11 point, 20 rebound performance vs. New Orleans with a 10 point, 16 rebound effort against the Bulls. We continue to complain about his weight, but if he is using his extra girth wisely, I can live with it.
Tonight, however, will be the biggest test of the season for Boston. The C's (13-9) take on the defending champs, the Golden State Warriors (23-0) in the Garden and are the only team in the NBA that the Warriors have less than a 75% chance of beating.
Yes that includes the Cavaliers.
And here's why. The Celtics have one of the most agitating defenses in all of basketball, also, they're top 5 in the NBA in bench scoring and are leading the league in margin of victory with one over 16 points.
Who should start?
Avery Bradley G
Evan Turner G
Jae Crowder F
Jared Sullinger F
Amir Johnson C
Isaiah Thomas as the 6th man, not starting. We still don't know the status of Klay Thompson (sprained ankle) and, if he doesn't play, Andre Iguodala will most certainly play in his spot. We already know Bradley will be guarding Curry, so Thomas would be on Thompson or Iggy, both can shoot over him because of a massive height advantage. So Evan Turner should start in his place and guard either Thompson or Iggy. Crowder on Barnes, Sully on Green, and Johnson on Bogut.
And trust me, if the one matchup that is iffy is Sullinger on Draymond Green, you're in pretty good shape.
But there isn't a scorer in the lineup!
Those of you who say that aren't watching the games because Avery Bradley has been capable of scoring 25+ points on top of shutting down his opponent on defense. Also, Crowder has shown the ability to score, same with Sully and Turner. So offense isn't a problem. Not to mention that Thomas is going to get his points off the bench, you just need him to be in a position to focus mostly on offense.
I expect to see more of a role from David Lee and Jonas Jerebko tonight as well because Lee played for Golden State and was traded, so he's probably been preparing for this for a while. Also, Jerebko is a grinder who can rebound a ton offensively and he's not too shabby of a 3 point shooter.
Final Score Prediction: Celtics 115- Warriors 100
By Jordan Leandre