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Welcome to the Garden ...

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  April 1, 2009 05:05 PM

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Welcome to the Garden, where the Boston Celtics (56-19) will take on the Charlotte Bobcats (34-40) at 7:30 p.m.

Paul Pierce has taken a break from tweeting to get a little basketball in -- he's currently shooting with Celtics assistant Clifford Ray on the parquet. Pierce was going to give away tickets to some of his Twitter followers before tonight's game, but the superstar said he abandoned that plan due to high demand.

"Just want to make sure everybody stays safe," Pierce tweeted.

Celtics fans in Pierce jerseys were outside the players' parking lot at 4:45 p.m. anyways, but the captain was already inside by that point getting his shots up.

The big on-the-court news today concerns the man currently on the opposite end of the parquet from Pierce. Tony Allen is out warming up now, his left hand heavily wrapped in tape. TA's a righty, but you can see how much he uses that left hand both for dribbling and shooting just by watching him for a couple of minutes.

Charlotte is one of those teams that you don't really want to face. One of the Bobcats beat writers said in the press room, "They're one of the top eight teams in the East regardless of record". He could be right (the Bobcats are a game out of that No. 8 spot right now) . Not saying the Bobcats are at all favored in this game, especially since it's in Boston, but it could be a more interesting matchup than it appears at first glance.

With that shameless plug out of the way, I suggest you log on to our live chat during the game. You could be doing worse things. It's a Wednesday, after all.

Stay tuned for pregame notes from the locker rooms, and stop by later for the chat.

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