Welcome to the Garden

Welcome to the Garden, where the Boston Celtics (20-49) will take on the Toronto Raptors (38-31) at 7:30 p.m.

The results of Boston’s 13 remaining games aren’t going to mean much for a team that will soon be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but tonight’s opponent offers a good case study for Celtics fans.

Toronto has gone from a team that started last season 1-15 to a team that has a 6 ½ game lead in the Atlantic Division as of tonight. They’ve got a young big (Chris Bosh) man who is a superstar in the making. They’ve got a speedy point guard (T.J. Ford) who is getting used to running the show. Sound familiar Celtics fans?


What Toronto does have that Boston lacks, however, is plenty of experience, as Peter may pointed out in a terrific story Sunday.

Jorge Garbajosa, Anthony Parker, Jose Calderon, and Rasho Nesterovic are veteran European players who have shined next to Toronto’s young stars. Injuries to Paul Pierce, Wally Szczerbiak, and Theo Ratliff have left the Celtics bereft of veterans to lean on when the young guns need some guidance.

  • Gerald Green is out on the court by himself right now taking jump shots for the Celtics. Green really does have one of the more effortless shooting motions in the league. Celtics assistants are running Green off of several screens before passing him the ball for one of his silky jumpers.
  • If you stuck to your East Coast bias last week you may have missed one of the more amazing streaks in recent NBA memory. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant averaged 51 points per game last week and became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to score 50 points or more in four consecutive games. Bryant had his streak snapped last night when he was “held” to 43 points against Golden State.
  • Wednesday is the last game of a four-game homestand for the Celtics. The Orlando Magic are in town, as is “seventeen-year-old chart topper Paula DeAnda” for a postgame concert.

    We’ll have updates and comments from the players when the locker rooms open in a few minutes.

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