BOSTON — The Boston Celtics will see a familiar face or two when they host the Golden State Warriors tonight.
While most surely will remember recently traded Jordan Crawford -- in addition to former Celtic and Comcast SportsNet analyst Brian Scalabrine, who is now an assistant coach -- the Warriors also have ex-Celtic Jermaine O'Neal.
Golden State has played well of late, and the play of O'Neal has been part of that success. And the reason for his improved play more than anything else, has been more opportunities to score.
In his first 22 games with the Warriors, O'Neal averaged 4.9 field-goal attempts per game. Since Feb. 22, he has nearly doubled that to eight shots per game.
To O'Neal's credit, he has earned the right to shoot more by making the most of his increased scoring opportunities.
In his first 22 games, O'Neal shot just 22.2 percent on mid-range shots and 47.2 percent on attempts in the paint. Since Feb. 22, he's up to 66.7 percent on mid-range jumpers, a staple of his when he was a perennial All-Star with the Indiana Pacers, and 70.3 percent inside the paint . . . the fifth-best mark in the NBA in that span.