Charlotte Bobcats (0-0 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS), 7:30 p.m. EST, Wednesday, October 28, 2009, TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
by Ryno of Predictem.com
The Celtics opened their season well with a 95-89 win in Cleveland over LeBron James and the Cavaliers, despite 38 points and eight assists from LeBron. Paul Pierce led the way for the Celtics with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Kevin Garnett contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo had eight points, 10 assists and six rebounds.
The Celtics started Kendrick Perkins, who had nine points and one rebound in 26 minutes, and brought Rasheed Wallace, who had 12 points and three rebounds, off the bench. Ray Allen added 16 points. The Celtics played just nine players, including Marquis Daniels, Eddie House and Shelden Williams. Glen Davis broke his thumb while getting in a fight with a friend and will miss about six weeks.
The Bobcats changed their center in the offseason by trading Emeka Okafor to the Hornets for Tyson Chandler. The new center will give the Bobcats more height (7-foot-1) and more offense. In the NBA Draft, Charlotte added Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown, both terrific athletes.
Along with Chandler, Raymond Felton, Gerald Wallace and Boris Diaw are the key players for the Bobcats. Felton is a solid point guard who will control the tempo for Charlotte. Wallace is a long, athletic wing with the ability to play inside or outside. Diaw is also very versatile. He is very strong around the rim, but he can also knock down 18-foot jumpers with ease.
The Celtics won two of three meetings with the Bobcats last season. The two wins for Boston were by five points and two points, and the win for Charlotte was by eight points.
The Bobcats have a very athletic team all around. They have the athleticism advantage at almost every position. Chandler should be able to hold his own against Perkins and Rasheed Wallace. Garnett should have his way with Diaw because of the length advantage, not to mention the skill advantage for the future Hall of Famer. Gerald Wallace has a length advantage over Pierce, but Pierce has the ball-handling and shooting advantage. With Raja Bell injured, it will be interesting to see who the Bobcats have starting at shooting guard. They could use Flip Murray, Henderson or Stephen Graham. The Bobcats could even start Felton alongside fellow point guard D.J. Augustin. No matter whom it is, Allen will have a large advantage. At point guard, Rondo and Felton match up well but Rondo has been playing out of his mind since last season’s playoffs.
The Bobcats were 35-47 overall last season and 47-35 ATS. They were 23-18 ATS on the road and 32-23 ATS as an underdog.
Ryno’s Pick: The Celtics might be the best team in the NBA this season, so it’s difficult to bet against them when they will pretty much always be the better team. They proved right away with the win at Cleveland that they will be a special team this season. The Celtics will be playing their first home game of the season, which will give them some extra motivation with the crowd. If the Bobcats are able to run, they should be able to score some points. They have a good point guard in Felton who can lead fast breaks, and they have plenty of athletes who can finish, including their frontcourt – Chandler, Diaw and Gerald Wallace. It is only the second day of the season, but it’s always tough to play back-to-back games on consecutive days, especially in two different cities. Given that, there could be a slight letdown by the Celtics. The Bobcats never lost by double digits to the Celtics in three meetings last season. Therefore, the Bobcats are a good bet. But the over may be a better play. The Celtics faced the Cavs on Tuesday and almost hit the over, despite two of the top defensive teams in the league facing each other. With a similar total for this game, the Celtics are playing a weaker defensive team and the Bobcats will run and score some points in transition. Take the over of 184.5.