Sunday Showdown: Hornets @ Celtics
Posted by r1zzo23 on November 1, 2009
With the first week of the NBA season just about over, the Boston Celtics look to continue their dominance against one of the West’s elite teams in the New Orleans Hornets. This team seems to have taken a step or two back since their breakout season two years ago, but when you have the league’s best point guard in Chris Paul on your team, you’re a threat to win any game.
The Celtics flaunt the best defense (by far, I may add) in the league, allowing a measly 79.33 points per game. Although they are only 14th in the league in offensive points per game at 101.66 per, their +22.33 point differential is far and away the best in the Association. The Hornets average 96.5 points per game while giving up 102.5, good for a -6.00 differential (24th in the league). Are the Celtics that good? Yeah, probably. Are the Hornets that bad? Maybe, but most likely no.
Keys to the Game:
- Stop CP3: To kill the snake, you’ve got to cut off the head, or at least that’s what they say. Chris Paul is the engine that makes this Hornets team go. If you can contain him (because you just can’t stop him), you can pave the way for an easy win.
- Close Out Shooters: Morris Peterson, Peja Stojakovic, James Posey and Darius Songaila all can shoot the three. The Celtics have allowed their opponents to hit only 19% of their 3-point attempts so far this season. If they keep that up, that will eliminate the threat of huge runs in the Hornets’ favor.
- Celtics’ Bigs: Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Kendrick Perkins and, to a lesser extend, Shelden Williams, should be able to have their way with the Hornets. Perkins and Okafor will be a good battle, but Garnett and ‘Sheed against either Julian Wright, Songaila or Hilton Armstrong will be a no-contest.
The Celtics pride themselves on stopping the other team from scoring. Chris Paul thrives on getting himself and his teammates easy buckets. Something’s got to give! To be honest, with the Celtics clicking on all cylinders both offensively and defensively and playing in front of the home crowd, I see this one being a Boston win.
Today’s Line: Celtics (-11.5)