The Celtics and Jazz have one similarity. Both pulled off trades at the deadline that not only shocked their teams, but the entire league. Boston, unable to get Perkins to agree to a deal earlier in the season, sent him along with Nate Robison to Oklahoma City for Krstic and Jeff Green. Perkins was a fan favorite and a core part of the Celtics' front line. All of the veterans were upset as his departure. While Perkins wasn't the franchise player that Deron Williams was, he was a large part of their success.
That moves thins them out up front as both O'Neals are out indefinitely. The move also seems to have affected the team's psyche a bit. After taking it to the Warriors on the first game of their four-game road trip west, they lost to the Nuggets revamped team the day the Perkins trade was announced. They then had to stage a comeback two nights ago to pull out a win against the Clippers. We'll see if they've recovered from that tonight.
The Jazz are going up against the best defense in the league. They allow just below 100 points per possession. They're also near the top in defensive field goal percentage and forcing turnovers. The only place they're below average is sending the opponent to the line. The Jazz haven't had problems with the offense lately so this will be a good test.
On defense though is where the Jazz have struggled mightily. The Denver Nuggets are the only team with a worse defensive rating that is in the playoffs right now. The Jazz are still getting killed on pick and rolls. Boston will run those a lot so we could be in for a long night. The Celtics pounded the Jazz last month in Boston.
Al had a horrible game against the Celtics, going 1-11 from the field. He's been on fire as of late though. Let's hope he can continue that against Krstic. AK was the only current Jazz man to have a decent game against the offensively. Everyone else put up okay number but those came in garbage time.
What's the over/under for threes that Allen buries against Raja?
The ESA should be rockin' as it looks like it's a near sell-out. I went to the Boston game last year and that was a great atmosphere and a great win. Things have changed a lot since then for the Jazz but perhaps they can pull another out tonight.