The Boston Celtics (34-28) will visit the Time Warner Cable Arena this evening to take on the 13-50 Charlotte Bobcats. The Celtics, coming off a loss against the Thunder will be looking for a double-serving of revenge, as the taste of their most recent loss will be combined with the loss they took at the hands of the Bobcats a month ago.
Winners of four of their past five games, the Celtics are looking to gain home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Currently sitting at the sixth seed, they're just half a game behind the slumping Chicago Bulls and two games back of the fourth-seeded Nets. Charlotte, on the other hand, holds the NBA's largest current losing streak at ten games, while fans are hoping to catch the No. 1 pick in the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft. Let's just put it this way: one of these teams could use a win, and the other could use a loss, but neither is desperate for either.
The Bobcats may be "due" for a win, but it's not likely that it happens tonight. First of all, it'd be surprising if the Celtics were caught off-guard after taking a loss to the Cats just 29 days ago. More importantly, the dominating factors in the February 11th victory are likely to be non-factors tonight. Well, one of them will be a non-factor for sure. Ramon Sessions scored 19 points off the bench on 6-11 shooting in the last meeting. Unfortunately, he's out with a sprained MCL. Byron Mullens, on the other hand, dialed in his best performance of the season with 25 points and 18 rebounds. Lately, he has been hindered by soreness in his knee, combining for 11 points in 38 total minutes in his past four games.
Kemba Walker, who scored 18 points in the Bobcats' victory against the Celtics, will look to further shake his slump. He scored 29 points -- albeit, off of 25 shots, including nine three point attempts -- and registered six dimes in Saturday's loss to the Wizards. It was the first time he cracked 20 points since February 23rd. Unfortunately for him, he'll have to feel the wrath of Avery Bradley. Bradley is averaging 12 points and four assists this month to supplement his feisty defense.
I'm not one to make predictions, or be overly pessimistic, but I think it's safe to chalk this one up as a loss.
For a scouting report, check out CelticsBlog, but make sure you're prepared before you step into the dark side.