It's finally here! The first game for the new look Celtics. This has been the most anticipated game in as long as I can remember. Here are a few game day notes.
The team won't be at full strength because James Posey will be suspended for this game. The rest of the bench is going to have to pick it up to make up for his absence on both ends of the floor. Scal has a toe injury and may or may not play tonight.
The Celtics are picked as 7 point favorites for tonight's game. It sure feels good to be favorites again.
Gilbert Arenas is back at it in his blog again. I am sure his guarantee has done more to fire up this team than anything else. Here is his latest on the Celtics and tonight's game as reported in this morning's Herald:
Wizards hyperactive star Gilbert Arenas, after guaranteeing victory against the Celtics earlier in the week, decided to explain himself via his blog on NBA.com Tuesday.
“I don’t think I wanted to say, ‘Hey, we’re coming to Boston and we’re going to lose!’ ” the guard wrote. “I know all you Boston fans are going to want to go see Kevin Garnett, but ya’ll are going to see him for 41 games. You’re only going to see me twice. Me and my handsome self.
“I mean, when you look at the Celtics’ team, you’re in trouble. You can’t guard that team - on paper. You still have to play the games. Once these guys get their niche, they’re going to be a good team. But Nov. 2 for them, that’s going to be truh-bull. Trouble.”
Arenas has had it in for Boston ever since they promised to take him with one of their first round picks in the draft and didn't do so, allowing him to slip to the second round. He is always up for playing the Celtics and more than once has buried the dagger to put the Celtics away. He won't have it near as easy this time.
Pollard is expected to play tonight. In his words:
“I haven’t had official word but I’m good,” he said. “I’m rusty, like a ’57 Chevy that’s been sitting in the barn for a few years, but I feel good.”
Between Big Baby and Pollard, they are going to keep the locker room loose this season.
KG, Pierce and Ray Allen played with such passion in the preseason that you wonder what more they can do in the regular season. I expect them to come out with purpose and take over this game from the start.
Key Matchup: vs Rondo is starting the season with a very tough matchup. Arenas wants to win this game and is going to take it to Rondo at every opportunity. Rondo's defense is going to be as important in this game as will be his ability to run the team.
Keys to the Game: 1. Control the tempo of the game - energy and hustle 2. Defense, Defense, Defense 3. Control the boards 4. Ubuntu - All for one. Move the ball and find the open man. Play unselfishly and play as a team.