Pre-game notes: Boston Celtics vs. Houston Rockets

Pre-game notes: Boston Celtics vs. Houston Rockets

By A. Sherrod Blakely

WALTHAM With or without Kevin Garnett back in the lineup, tonight's game will be a tough for the Celtics if you put any stock into recent history between these two teams.

In their last five meetings, the road team has emerged victorious. Dig a little deeper, and you'll find that the visiting team has walked away the victor in 12 of their last 15 matchups.

Weird, I know.

So is the fact that Houston comes in having lost its last four games, despite leading by at least nine points in every one of them. The last team to lose that many games leading by that many points or more, was the Minnesota Timberwolves who dropped seven straight in March of 2006, having led by at least nine points in each game.

We've talked about how well and efficient Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have been shooting the ball this season.

The duo has been especially lethal from 3-point range since the calendar flipped a few days ago.

For players who have taken at least 15 3-pointers since January 1st, no one is shooting better than Allen who has connected on 65 percent (15-of-23) of his 3s. Pierce isn't too far behind. He has nailed 56 percent (10-for-18) of his 3s.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls


Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls

Tonight’s pregame number is 133. That’s the total number of made 3-point field goals made last season by the players starting for the Bulls tonight. Whatever the Bulls reasons for signing Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade were this offseason, floor spacing was not one of them.

Wade’s career mark of 28.4 percent from distance is the third-worst percentage among active players with 600+ career attempts, while Rondo’s 28.9 career 3-pt FG% is seventh worst. And, for what it’s worth, the new-look Bulls shot 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (21st in the NBA) this preseason, while hitting 7.7 3-pointers per game. 

Despite allowing 15 3’s last night vs the Nets, perimeter defense should once again be a strength for the Celtics. Last season, the Celtics were fourth in the NBA with an opponent 3-pt FG% of 33.6. They were 38-15 when holding opponents to eight or fewer 3’s. 

With the NBA continuing to trend towards more 3-point shooting, it will be interesting to see how Fred Hoiberg’s offense looks this season, and especially tonight vs the Celtics.