Celtics Look to Bounce Bobcats in Home Opener

Celtics Look to Bounce Bobcats in Home Opener If the Celtics can win at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, they can win anywhere. One night after toppling the mighty Cavaliers 95-89 in the opening game of the 2009-10 regular season, the C’s head home to Boston, where they take the floor Wednesday night for their home opener.

They welcome the Charlotte Bobcats, who have yet to complete a winning season in the franchise’s five-year history. Newcomer Tyson Chandler will look to turn things around for the Bobcats in their opener.


When and Where


7:30 p.m. ET (CSNE), October 28, 2009
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

Records


Celtics (1-0, 1st place in Atlantic Division)
Bobcats (0-0, 4th place in Southeast Division)

Head To Head


The Celtics took two of three from the Bobcats last season, but not without a fight. They won their first meeting, 89-84, in Charlotte on Nov. 29, and their next two both went to overtime. They split the two overtime meetings — the Bobcats stole one at home, 114-106, and the Celtics took the second back at the Garden, 111-109, in two extra sessions.

Skinny

It’s been tough going for the Bobcats franchise, which is still looking for its first winning season under Michael Jordan‘s ownership. There’s hope for these ‘Cats, yet, though — by swapping Emeka Okafor for center Tyson Chandler this summer, they’ve pumped some new blood into a franchise that needs it. Perhaps Chandler’s defensive presence and points in the paint will shake things up. If not, it’ll be another losing season in Charlotte.

Projected Starters


Celtics
Point Guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting Guard: Ray Allen
Small Forward: Paul Pierce
Power Forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins

Bobcats
Point Guard: Raymond Felton
Shooting Guard: Stephen Graham
Small Forward: Gerald Wallace
Power Forward: Boris Diaw
Center: Tyson Chandler


Stat Sheet


Celtics
The Celtics were 35-6 at home last season.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics in their season opener against Cleveland, recording 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Kevin Garnett also had a double-double, chipping in with 13 points and 10 boards.

Rasheed Wallace had 12 points off the bench on 4-of-9 shooting. He made three 3-pointers.

Rajon Rondo had 10 assists and only two turnovers.

Kendrick Perkins has averaged 5.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in his career against the Bobcats.

Ray Allen has averaged 23.6 points against them on 37.9 percent three-point shooting.

Cavaliers
The Bobcats were 12-29 on the road last season.

They scored 7,677 points, fewest in the NBA.

Raymond Felton played 3,086 minutes last season, fifth-most in the NBA.

Tyson Chandler averaged 8.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game last season.

Boris Diaw‘s scoring spiked to 15.1 points per game after he was traded from Phoenix to Charlotte last season. He shot 41.9 percent from three-point range with the Bobcats.

Gerald Wallace has averaged 12.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in his career against the Celtics.

Raja Bell has averaged 8.8 points against them, shooting 47.8 percent from beyond the arc.


Black and Blue


Celtics
Glen Davis injured his right thumb in a private altercation with a friend this week. He has undergone surgery and could miss up to two months.

Bill Walker underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this month. He will be out until at least mid-November.


Brian Scalabrine is day-to-day with a sprained ankle.


Bobcats
Raja Bell is playing hurt. He has a torn ligament in his left wrist, but he hopes to play anyway rather than undergo surgery in midseason.

Tyson Chandler missed 37 games with the New Orleans Hornets last season due to ankle and toe problems. He underwent surgery in the spring and has recovered nicely.

Ronald “Flip” Murray has an injured left shin. His return is in doubt.


This Date in Celtics History


In 2006, beloved Celtics president Red Auerbach suffers a heart attack and dies at the age of 89. Prior to their season opener, the Celtics place his signature on the center of their parquet floor, naming their home court the “Red Auerbach Parquet Floor.”

Overheard


“It was a good Day 1. Psychologically, you want to go into a team’s building and win, especially in a place where we haven’t won in a few years. It’s great to come here and get a win. We know when we come here next time that we can do it again.”
Celtics captain Paul Pierce in Wednesday’s Boston Globe. The C’s beat the Cavs in Cleveland for the first time in 12 tries.

Press Box


Celtics
The Celtics won in Cleveland.

Paul Pierce powered the C’s.

Glen Davis has undergone surgery.

Bobcats
Charlotte’s season gets underway.

Larry Brown is liking this Bobcats team.

Raja Bell is putting off surgery.

NBA

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers past their cross-town rivals.


Gilbert Arenas bested the Mavericks.


Al Jefferson is ready to play.


Outlook

If the Celtics can beat the Cavaliers on the road, their only fear against Charlotte should be overconfidence. Momentum is on their side, but no win can be taken for granted in the NBA. If the Celtics stay focused and don’t overlook their opponent, though, it should be a good home opener. This Bobcats team, to say the least, will be overmatched.
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