Ok, New Englanders, look out your windows, what do you see?
Should be a boatload of snow, right? Courtesy of a nasty Nor’easter blowing through the northeast. So it’s a good night to stay indoors, get your favorite warmed beverage, wrap up in a blanket or two, light the wood burning stove and tune in to watch your Celtics play…
…in warm, comfortable, green California.
I’ve been for a walk on a winters day, I’d be safe and warm if I was in LA.
That’s right, this is your Boston Celtics‘ reward for having to play on Christmas Day in Brooklyn – playing 3 games in four nights in the state with the consistently best weather in the country, and it starts tonight as they visit the “Clip Joint”, the Staples Center in Los Angeles to take on the Clippers.
The weather is the good news. Playing the Clips? Well, that depends on your point of view.
The Clippers currently boast the best record in the NBA. Yes, the Clippers. At 21-6, they own an 8 1/2 game lead on their bunkies and long-time Celtics’ rival Los Angels Lakers. In fact, at a mediocre 14-13, Boston actually has a better record than the Lakers as well.
Had to throw the Lakers’ bottom feeding struggles in there.
To say that the Celtics are staring .500 right in the kisser again is an understatement – but it is also an opportunity to establish some momentum to propel them through the rest of their Cali road trip, plus gain some valuable confidence on the road against the best team in the NBA.
Things don’t get much easier for the Celtics on Friday when they travel to the Bay Area to face the 19-10 Warriors in Oakland, but then a short trip through wine country and things do get considerably easier as they hit Sac-town for a date with the Kings…
Just three days ago, the Celtics were 13-13 and mired in a streak that defines inconsistency. One win against a physical Brooklyn Nets later and the Celtics are singing their own praises.
What has them feeling that they have discovered the cure for their meandering season? According to Kevin Garnett, it’s a return to their fundamental roots.
“We went back to traditional basketball” said Garnett “We played firm. That’s what we’ve got to be,”
The Clippers will challenge that thinking, as they play a brand of small ball that should give the Celtics plenty of challenge, even fits.
Lately the C’s have been going bigger, starting Jason Collins to take some of the load off of Garnett in the middle, but they may want to rethink that, perhaps insert smaller, more athletic players like Jared Sullinger to try and contain a Clippers’ front court that can collectively launch into orbit.
It’s just one game, but it’s as important as an early season game can get – at least as far as confidence going forward goes. If the Celtics can find some manner of consistency and get out of Los Angeles with a win, it could serve as their own launching pad to ignite their season.