|Posted by shawn cassidy on December 27, 2012 at 1:10 AM|
The Clippers are riding high right now. They've won a franchise best 14 games in a row. Thursday night the Celtics will go into LA to play the best in the league. No it's not the Kobe, and Howard Lakers, but it's the Blake, and Paul Clippers. What's right in Clipper land? Well they have a point differential of 10 per contest. They allow 91 points a game, and they put up 101 points. That 91 is usually what the Celtics allow , but the Clippers are doing it on both sides of the ball.
The Clippers are still without Billups, and their summer free agent signing Grant Hill. Grant has yet to play for the Clippers. Hill had an injury prone career after signing in Orlando, and he finally had a rebirth in Phoenix. He remained in the land of the sun in 2009 when he became a free agent. He wanted to be with the medical staff that helped rebuild his career. After joining the Clippers Hill hasn't played.
The Clippers are ten deep, and maybe even 12 deep if Hill, and Billups come back to help full time this season. The Celtics are soul searching, and all of us fans think they learn, but they seem to lose a few in a row after winning a couple in a row. It's been an awful cycle this season. The Celtics will be tested against one of the best in the league Thursday night. The defense will be tested because the Clippers can put up points. They have seven players above 9 points a game. That's a telling story for any team. That's a total team effort right there. The Clippers are ranked 2nd in the league in assists. Just .2 better than the Celtics.
The Clippers will test the Celtics in many areas, and the Celtics should have their pen, and paper ready to take notes. I think will learn a lot tomorrow about this years team. If the Celtics don't get up, and fight Thursday than I'm worried. Even if the Celtics lose. What I care about is how they lose. Will they fight no matter what? I have a feeling the refs will give the Celtics a hard time. I haven't spoken much about the refs this season. But I get a bad feeling about the Clipper game.
The big match-up is Rondo and Paul. Rondo will have to play 1st team defense. Paul is perhaps the best defensive point guard in terms of stats. He's the leader in steals, and Rondo is ranked 4th. In most NBA circles Paul is the best point guard. In some Rondo is the guy, but I'll say 75% of the media, and maybe even more pick Paul as the best point guard in the NBA. These are the type of games that Rondo needs to show who's boss. He doesn't need to do everything, but he needs to use his basketball I.Q to win.
I think the Celtics beat the Clippers. Just because it's time for the Clippers to lose a game. Winning 14 games in a row is hard, and I think the Celtics will bring it. I think this road trip could awake the beast that sleeps within the Celtics.