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Sunday, 16 March 2014 16:31

Game Preview: Boston Celtics at New Orleans Pelicans

Written by 

Boston Celtics (22-44, 8-23 away) at New Orleans Pelicans (26-39, 15-16 home)

TD Garden at 6 p.m. on CSNNE
Officials: John Goble, Mark Ayotte, Haywoode Workman
Line: New Orleans -5.5
Get tickets to tonight's game in New Orleans

As crazy as it may sound, the Boston Celtics still haven't beaten a Western Conference team on the road all season long. What's even worse for the green is that New Orleans has won 8-of-10 at home against Eastern Conference teams. The Pelicans, however, enter play having lost two-straight games at home, blowing late leads each night. The first came in a 90-88 loss to Memphis in which New Orleans was outscored by nine points in the fourth, and the second in a 111-103 loss to Portland, where New Orleans led by five points with six minutes left. 

PROBABLE STARTERS

Boston Celtics:
PG - Rajon Rondo
SG - Avery Bradley
SF - Jeff Green
PF - Kris Humphries
C - Brandon Bass

New Orleans Pelicans:
PG - Brian Roberts
SG - Eric Gordon
SF - Al-Farouq Aminu
PF - Anthony Davis
C - Alexis Ajinca

INJURIES

Boston Celtics:
Vitor Faverani - OUT (Knee)
Gerald Wallace - OUT (Knee)

New Orleans Pelicans
Ryan Anderson - OUT (Back)
Jrue Holliday - OUT (Leg)
Jason Smith - OUT (Knee)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • Anthony Davis - Davis is having a great sophomore year in the NBA, averaging 21 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. The only thing more incredible than those stats? His stats of recent: 30.8 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks per-game in his last five. The Celtics are going to have to play physical tonight and try to limit Davis' production if they are going to have a chance to win this game.
  • Throwing the Towel - The Celtics shot only 30.9 percent from the floor (29-94) in Friday night's loss to the Suns. Boston also went 3-21 from 3-point range, and ended up losing a very winnable game. Kris Humphries threw his towel at the end of the game before stalking off the court, in what head coach Brad Stevens simply called a display of emotion.
  • Coming into Form - The good news for C's fans is that Rajon Rondo seems to be getting better as he gets closer to 100 percent healthy. In the six games Rondo has played in during the month of March, he is averaging 12.2 points, 9.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds a night.

NOTES 

  • Anthony Davis scored a career-high 36 points in Friday night's loss.
  • The Celtics tallest player in the starting lineup tonight will likely be Kris Humphries, who is 6-foot-9. Aminu, the Pelicans small forward, is 6-foot-9, as well. Davis is 6-foot-10, and Ajinca is 7-foot-2, giving New Orleans a huge height advantage. 
  • The Pelicans have given up 107.4 points per game over its last five.

PREDICTION

Simply put, New Orleans just has too much height. Couple that with the fact that Boston has struggled on the road all season long, especially against Western Conference foes, and you have a recipe for disaster for the C's. New Orleans takes this one comfortably. 

New Orleans Pelicans 112, Boston Celtics 91.

Nick Solari

Nick is a Celtics Beat Writer for CLNS Radio. He is a sophomore print jourmalism major at Quinnipiac University, and was born and raised in Bennington, Vermont.

You can follow Nick on twitter @ns0lar1 ... Or reach him by email at nick.solari@gmail.com