What a treat.
Kevin Durant vs. Paul Pierce. Russell Westbrook vs. Rajon Rondo. These are the games a true fan lives for, when anything is possible, when you drop whatever’s on your schedule and just watch the damn game. No matter what. No questions asked.
“You’re going to fire me for skipping work tonight? I’m still skipping. The Celtics are playing OKC.”
“Professor, we have a movie showing tonight, even though it’s Sunday? Don’t expect me there.”
“Oh honey, we’re supposed to get married tonight? Sorry, the Celtics are playing KD.”
But I’m not watching. Not live, at least. Don’t laugh, I’m serious. I’m going to a concert.
You see, my parents bought me tickets to a concert long before the season schedule came out. I knew it was risky to accept the tickets because the concert was in basketball season. There could be a Celtics conflict. But I couldn’t turn them down because the Celtics might have a game, ya know? That would have hurt my parents’ feelings. They wanted to give me a nice gift, and if I’d turned it down just because the Celtics might have had a game tonight it would have crushed them.
So I accepted the tickets. Now I’m going to a concert while the Boston Celtics play Kevin Durant. That turned out perfectly, huh? Okay, not at all. Still, I’ll be DVR’ing the game tonight. My two-and-a-half season string of watching games live is over, but I’ll obviously be watching later.
Without further ado (or tears) here are some keys for tonight’s game:
1. Crash – When the Celtics played Chicago Friday night, the Celtics ran into the best frontcourt they’d seen so far. And the C’s were outrebounded 43-31. Not good, not good at all. The Thunder (who rebound 50.9% of misses) are also an above-average rebounding team. Boston needs to hit the glass. Hard. Especially you, Jermaine O’Neal. Don’t think we forget your doughnut from the other night.
2. Kevin Garnett, I’m looking at you – Jeff Green is a lot of things. There’s also at least one thing he isn’t — long enough to defend Garnett. If KG stays aggressive, he should be able to shoot over the top of Green all night long.
3. Limit runs – The Thunder thrive at putting together long runs. Especially at home, where a raucous crowd ignites their youthful exuberance, the Thunder can slap 12-0 runs on opponents before you can say, “Wow, they’re mighty athletic.” The Celtics need to keep turnovers to a minimum (more easily said than done) so the Thunder can’t get on the fast break and excite the crowd.