|NBA: Boston Celtics at Charlotte Bobcats Preview & Picks|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Saturday, 24 November 2007 01:18|
Building Momentum Again
Behind the new "Big Three," the Boston Celtics are putting up impressive offensive numbers.
Their defense isn't doing too badly either.
After back-to-back home wins, the Celtics (10-1) try to carry that momentum on the road as they visit the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday.
Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Boston -7.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 186 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 50% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston -7.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
Boston has won twice since suffering its only loss of the season - a two-point defeat - at Orlando last Sunday. Following a 105-82 win over Golden State on Wednesday, the Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-94 on Friday.
The Celtics shot 50.6 percent from the field and had three players score at least 20 points with Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins each scoring 21 and Paul Pierce adding 20, nine assists, six rebounds, and three steals.
Ray Allen scored 18 points to help Boston take a 22-point lead in the third quarter, and the Celtics led by at least nine thereafter.
"I could see it on the people's faces in the building," Allen said. "They were very rabid about this game and the history that follows these two franchises. It was great for me to be a part of."
It was the eighth time the Celtics have scored more than 100 points. They are among the top 10 teams in the league in scoring, averaging 103.3 points and shooting an NBA-best 50.2 percent from the field. Their defense has been equally impressive, holding opponents to 89.2 points on 40.3 percent shooting - both league bests.
The Celtics limited the Lakers to just 35 points in the first half. After this game, the Celtics visit the Cleveland Cavaliers before returning home Thursday to face New York.
The Bobcats (6-6) have lost consecutive games after winning three of the previous four. After falling in overtime to Washington on Wednesday, the Bobcats lost 105-92 to the Magic on Friday.
Gerald Wallace, the Bobcats leading scorer at 18.7 points per game, had a season-low four in just 12 minutes before leaving with a strained calf. Wallace, who hopes to play Saturday, had scored 25 or more points in his previous four contests.
"I will take an MRI (on Saturday), and if everything looks good and nothing is torn or anything, then I will play," he said.
Without Wallace, the Bobcats stood little chance against Orlando. Reserve Walter Herrmann led Charlotte with a season-high 16 points and six rebounds, while Emeka Okafor added 12 points and 18 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double and 10th of the season.
Charlotte shot 41.1 percent from the field and trailed by as many as 22 points in its lowest-scoring effort in five games. The Bobcats had scored at least 100 points in the previous four games, but their starters combined for just 42 points on Friday.
"We got good shots, we just didn't make them," coach Sam Vincent said of his starters. "Our guys off the bench were a little more patient. They moved the ball from side to side and did a great job."
But a bigger problem for Charlotte in this game may be its interior defense. After Magic forward Dwight Howard had 34 points and 17 rebounds, the Bobcats may have similar struggles trying to contain Garnett - averaging 20.7 points and 12.8 rebounds - moreso without Wallace.
Boston and Charlotte split four meetings last season, each winning once on the road.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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