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Keys to Defeat Celtics

By Mark Kern
February 6, 2012

Boris Diaw vs. Kevin Garnett

Diaw has played well of late averaging 11.6 points, 4.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds in his last five games, but has a tough task ahead of him against Garnett. Diaw likes to play out on the perimeter and must use that to his advantage and try to pull Garnett out of the lane and make him guard further away from the basket. Garnett does not quite have the athleticism he used to and doesn’t defend on the ball like he did in his prime.

On defense, Diaw will need to be ready to guard Garnett anywhere inside the 3-point line as he can score in many different ways. He is at his best when he is running the pick-and-roll because he has the ability to hit the 18-foot jump shot. Diaw must get a hand up, as Garnett seems to be in a zone after scoring 24 points in the Celtics win over the Grizzlies on Sunday. He’s averaging 13.7 points and 7.3 points for Boston on the season.

The Bobcats may have found something as their starting backcourt combined for 43 points against the Phoenix Suns. Kemba Walker (22) and Reggie Williams (21) were able to attack the Phoenix Suns in different ways and really dominated their backcourt… Walker is really developing as of late and seems to be getting more comfortable with every game… The Bobcats still struggle to score the ball, as they only scored 17 points in the final quarter against Phoenix…. Against a team as good on defense as the Celtics are (2nd in the NBA, holding opponents to 86.7 points), it means points will be hard to come by. If Charlotte is going to be able to pull the upset in Boston, they may have to do it on the defensive end.

Boston seems to be getting back to form as it has won four straight. Getting healthy has been one of the keys to their recent success. Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have all missed at least three games this season. When this team is at full strength, they are still a legitimate contender… The main reason for their success in recent years is their defense, and this year is no different. The Celtics (86.7 points) trail only the Philadelphia 76ers (86.5 points) in opponent’s points per game…. On offense, they can score in many different ways. Rondo can take over a game without scoring a lot of points. He is at his best when he is able to get in the lane because he has the ability to finish at the rim as well as pass out to the open guy… At the end of games though, the ball will be in the hands of Pierce. He has the knack of making big plays in those types of situations.

The Bobcats tipoff at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday night at the TD Garden. Catch all the action on SportSouth, listen to us on WFNZ and join us for the live chat on

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