Charlotte Bobcats (3-4, 1-2 away) at Boston Celtics (4-4, 2-1 home)
TD Garden at 7:30 pm on CSNNE
Officials: Mike Callahan, Courtney Kirkland, Violet Palmer
Line: Boston -5.5 (192)
Left for dead a week ago at 0-4, the Celtics have won four straight to move themselves into a first place tie with the Sixers atop the Atlantic Division, culminating in Monday's impressive 120-105 drubbing of the Magic. The Bobcats fell 103-94 in Atlanta in their most recent outing, also on Monday night.
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Gerald Henderson
SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF: Josh McRoberts
C: Al Jefferson
PG: Jordan Crawford
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kelly Olynyk
Brendan Haywood, OUT (Foot)
Jared Sullinger, QUES (Knee)
Rajon Rondo, OUT (Knee)
WHAT TO WATCH FORKeeping the streak alive: What a difference a week makes. Boston looks to climb over .500 this evening, and the way things are going we've all of a sudden come to expect it. With Philadelphia hosting Dwight Howard, James Harden, and the Houston Rockets tonight, there's a good chance the C's could be all alone in first place come tomorrow morning. Will Kris Humphries get a shot?: Having fallen behind Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, and Vitor Faverani on the big man depth chart, Humphries' minutes (despite being effective when given the chance) have been few and far between. If Sullinger is out or limited with a bone bruise, this could be Humphries opportunity. Can Jordan Crawford keep this up?: Since taking over the starting point guard role Boston is 4-0, and Crawford has averaged 12.8 points, 5.8 assists, and a shockingly low 1.3 turnovers per game. Is it possible he really is that good?
NOTESIt's a little scary to think about, but the Celtics aren't really all that far from being 8-0. They've held a lead in the 4th quarter of every game so far this season. Conversely two of their wins went right down to the wire, so they could also just as easily be 2-6. After averaging only 87.5 PPG over their first four (all losses), the C's scoring average has jumped to 104.8 PPG during the win streak.
When the Celtics where 0-4 I kept telling anyone who would listen that they weren't that bad. Now that they're 4-4, I don't think they are actually that good either. With expectations for tonight suddenly riding high, this feels like a classic "regression to the mean" type of game. As much as I hate to admit it, I've got a feeling the suddenly reinvigorated Garden crowd will be in for a disappointment tonight.
Charlotte Bobcats 97, Boston Celtics 95
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