Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics — 7:30 PM eastern
The Celtics are struggling, and the Thunder are surging in the Western Conference. Coming off an absolute shellacking at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs (who went on to then lose to the New Jersey Nets), Boston looks to bounce back and maintain at least a share of the third-place seed in the Eastern Conference. They’ll have to beat a superbly talented Oklahoma City squad to do so, though.
The West’s young guns beat the Lakers last week and have one of the best scorers in the game in Kevin Durant. Complementing him are standout point guard Russell Westbrook, powerful forward Jeff Green, and rookie James Harden.
The Celtics boast a loaded roster of their own, with the big three and co. I’m excited to see the point-guard matchup in this game, as Westbrook and Rajon Rondo are two indications of the league’s bright, bright future at the 1. I expect Rondo will be able to keep Westbrook in check on the offensive end, but that doesn’t mean he won’t distribute the ball well.
In the end, I give this game to the Thunder. The Celtics are definitely lacking something, and they don’t have the same mystique on the parquet floor of the TD Garden as they have in the past. Kevin Durant should put on a show, and I expect Sefolosha to keep Ray Allen’s offensive production to a minimum. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if Kevin Garnett outplays Jeff Green, given his advantages in both height and experience.