March 09, 2010
There is a healthy, healthy chance that this game will end with a 80-72 score.
I know the NBA runs now. I know it doesn't like hand-checking, it tries to call bumping off the ball, and once in a week you'll actually see a moving screen called. Actually, the last one helps the offense. That's right. The NBA loves offense now, it wants to make offenses run smoother, and for that I thank the NBA.
The Celtics and Bucks don't want your offense to run smoother. They want to beat you, defensively, because for all the famous and semi-famous that dot their respective rosters, the Bucks and Celtics can only win if they shut you down. And there's a good chance that both teams shut each other down, there's a good chance (I'm serious) that we could see 45 combined turnovers in this game, and there's a great chance you'll have the time of your life watching this mess.
I mean it. This will be a defensive battle between two smart teams with smart coaches who know that the Bucks are a half game out of playing the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. OK, a half-game up of the Raptors, the Bucks are, in the fifth spot and avoiding the third-seeded Celtics for now. But anything can happen in Toronto. Oh, you know it. And a Celtic win tonight puts the Bucks in a virtual tie with the Raps.
Eight games tonight, some solid marks worth flipping through. Comment away if you see fit.
Boston Celtics: 40-21, 91.6 possessions per game (22nd), 106.9 points scored per 100 possessions (14th), 101.9 points allowed per 100 possessions (first).
Milwaukee Bucks: 33-29, 92.6 possessions per game (16th), 104.5 points scored per 100 possessions (23rd), 102.8 points allowed per 100 possessions (third).
All statistics courtesy basketball-reference.com.