12/28/2011 9:43:00 AM
After a tough loss on the road in Miami last night; the
Celtics stay in the south, and travel to New Orleans to face off against a
woeful Hornets team.
While the Hornets got a win in their first game; the Boston Celtics
are 0-2 and looking to take out some of their early season frustrations.
For a city so rich in sports history and success, the
Celtics might not live up to expectations this year. It obviously is much too
early to write them off as of now; considering they have played their first two
games without their captain, Paul Pierce. However, they lost Jeff Green for the
season and now are looking at possibly three to four younger, deeper and better
teams in the East. Danny Ainge is a phenomenal general manager. He has swung
trades in the past. I think he and everyone else knows that more players will
have to be brought in to get the Celtics back to the Finals.
Barring any miracles, Pierce will miss tonights game as
well. That means a back to back without their leading scorer. Boston did get 28
points from Ray Allen, to go along with 22 from Rajon Rondo and 18 from Keyon
Dooling last night. However, without Pierce, the Celtics will need this kind of
production every night. Plus, Kevin Garnett needs to be more assertive at the
offensive end. Garnett only had 12 points last night, and was out rebounded by
Rondo. I expect this to change in tonight's game, despite the back-to-back.
The Hornets won their first game in dramatic fashion Monday
night, beating the Phoenix Suns by one point in Phoenix. New Orleans got double digit
scoring from six players; even without their starting point guard Jarrett Jack;
who was suspended. Despite the win; the loss of a player like Chris Paul is
going to hurt this team in the long run. No matter if they got some solid
talent in return. The superstar quality of the players they got is slim and
none. Eric Gordon has the potential; but he is a somewhat one dimensional
player; even though he nailed a last second shot to seal the victory over
Tonight against the Celtics; the Hornets will once again
have to call on Gordon to do all the heavy scoring. Despite the Celtics
defensive lapses over their first two games; they will bounce back. After
Gordon; their isn't an established number two scoring option behind Gordon in
the Big Easy. Carl Landry will help; but will be guarded by Garnett; a tough
The NBA odds opened with Boston 2 point favorites but the spread has risen half a point and the total is currently at 175.5.
The Sharp Pick
Despite Boston's tough start; a date with a team with more
drama then a 13-year old girl like the Hornets is exactly what they need.
Boston is a team that will be helped by the lockout. They have covered against
the Knicks on Christmas and the Heat last night. I see them coming back nicely
and improving their ATS and SU records by double digits tonight.
My Pick: Celtics -2 ½