Postseason Kicks Off In Boston

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Saturday, April 18, 2009
12:30 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

Do you smell that? Can you taste it? Can you feel it? Playoff basketball is finally back after a year’s hiatus, and the energy is back in Boston as the men in green are set to begin a consecutive postseason run.

Everybody has heard the news about Kevin Garnett, but we’re not going to dwell on that. As Ray Allen said to the media at yesterday’s practice, “nobody feels sorry for us.” If anything, it allows the opposition to truly feel that they have a chance to take out the defending champs.

The loss of KG is unfortunate. Sure, it sucks, but the sky is not falling and we certainly still have a lot of basketball to play. In addition, we’ve got obstacles to overcome and naysayers to silence. It all starts this afternoon in Boston, for a Game 1 matinee against the seventh-seeded Chicago Bulls to kick off the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

To the fans attending the game (including myself): in honor of KG, let’s make sure we give our team as much of a boost as possible and “keep this mutha rockin.”

Let’s go Celtics!

Regular Season Record: 62-20
Eastern Conference Seed: 2

Projected Starters

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.5)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.2)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)

Primary Focus: Protect the Paint
The Chicago Bulls are not an overwhelmingly fearsome perimeter shooting team. In fact, Doc Rivers mentioned that very notion at yesterday’s practice. The Ben Gordons, Kirk Hinrichs, and Tim Thomas’ of the world can stroke it from deep, but Del Negro’s group as a whole is mightily inconsistent outside of that 15-foot mark. If the Celtic defense can deny penetration, keep Chicago’s creators out of the paint, and limit Chicago’s second-chance opportunities, the defending champs will be in good shape on the defensive end of the floor.

Regular Season Record: 41-41
Eastern Conference Seed: 7

Projected Starters

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Ben Gordon (20.7)
RPG: Joakim Noah (7.6)
APG: Derrick Rose (6.3)
SPG: Kirk Hinrich (1.3)
BPG: Tyrus Thomas (1.9)

Primary Focus: Own the Glass
Even without Kevin Garnett, it remains clear that the Celtics are Chicago’s superior. However, Chicago can make things interesting by putting extra pressure on Boston by crashing the boards and racking up second-chance opportunities. The more rebounds you secure, the more possessions you take away from the opposition, and ultimately, the better chance you have of dictating the pace of the game.

Injury Report
Luol Deng (anterior right tibial stress fracture – out)
John Salmons (strained groin – will play)
Jerome James (ruptured achilles tendon – out)
Kevin Garnett (right knee – out)
Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion syndrome – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Close Off Penetration
  • Control the Defensive Glass
  • Selflessness
  • Attack, Attack, Attack

One Response

  1. Been @ Sullys since they opened. I can feel it! Let’s go C’s!!!!

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