Season Opener: Celtics @ Cavaliers
Posted by r1zzo23 on October 27, 2009
Here we are folks! We’ve had our time to discuss the Celtics’ roster, off-season moves, contract extensions, injuries and preseason basketball. Forget all that because it is time to focus on meaningful basketball games. I know (as well as the Cavaliers) that the first game doesn’t make or break your season, but this is definitely a game I would circle on the Celtics’ schedule. Other than the Magic, the Celtics and Cavaliers are the on the only true contenders for the NBA title out of the Eastern Conference this season.
Both teams have new faces that they will have to integrate into their respectful rotations and fast. Boston added Rasheed Wallace who has seemingly gelled with the team very well. His skill set fits perfectly as he plays defense and can stretch the field and bang down low. ‘Sheed will be a huge boost to the bench and will certainly be a reason we win a lot of games this season.
Marquis Daniels will be playing point-forward off the bench and has looked very comfortable in that role. Seeing the second unit play in the pre-season, it looked as if the backcourt of Daniels and Eddie House were a great combination and Daniels could be a match-up nightmare for opposing teams that choose to put an undersized guard on him.
With the unfortunate injury to Glen Davis, Shelden Williams will be broken in to the rotation more than we would have expected just a week ago. Nicknamed “The Landlord”, Williams can carve out some space in the paint, rebound effectively and play some very good defense. Shelden is an ideal power forward off the bench for this team and if Clifford Ray could work a little magic on this kid’s offensive game, he could be a steal for the Celtics.
The Cavaliers have just as many new faces to break in. The biggest of them all is Shaquille O’Neal. He is way past his prime, but he did improve his play in Phoenix last season. He looks to be in the best shape since his LA days, but will his game hurt LeBron’s? The Cavaliers also upgraded their wing position. Instead of having to rely on Sasha Pavlovic, they now have Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon. Parker is a good, consistent shooter while Moon is an athletic freak and can play some stringy defense. Both players are upgrades over Sasha, and with rumors that Antonio Daniels could be on the way to Cleveland, this team looks to have a stacked backcourt.
Keys To The Game:
- Keep “The King” In Check: The Celtics cannot allow LeBron James to take over this game on both sides of the floor.
- DEFENSE! : The Celtics pride themselves on the defensive end and need to show that tonight. Limiting their offensive boards will allow us to rebound, outlet and run (Tommy can’t wait to see us fast break!).
- Protect The Rock: The Celtics were plagued with turnover problems last season and need to remedy that if they want to win a title again this season. This team loves to make the extra pass, but may need to get a bit more selfish and take those good looks at the hoop rather than risk a turnover.
Not much more to say now. Time to throw on your favorite Celtics’ garb, grab the beverage of your choice, get the lighting just right and get ready to scream at the TV screen another 82 (hopefully much more) games as this season kicks off. Enjoy the game and let’s hope we start this season off with a bang!