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DIME PREVIEW: Celtics vs. Rockets

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foxsports admin

 
   
 
The Deal

Somehow the vs. Yao match-up doesn¿t quite have the same ring as Yao vs. Shaq. It will have to do, though. On paper, it isn¿t a superb night of hoop, but it is usually those could-be sub-par nights that turn out all the thrillers. Tonight the Eastern Conference tries yet again to go into Texas and beat a Western Conference team. With Yao hobbling after a knee sprain and the entire squad hobbling after a tough loss to the last night, this game should be a hard-fought war.

The Weapons

He is getting there. He really is. No, we aren¿t talking about Yao. We are talking about Houston¿s other young big man, . There are very few who can do what he can do -- shoot, run, block shots. There are even fewer who stand 6¿11¿ and can do all that. What is wrong with Griffin? Some have questioned Griffin¿s attitude. He has been seen walking back on D, sometimes strolling through picks, or not cutting hard. Some have said it just an age factor and at 22 the only place Griffin can go is up. We haven¿t figured it out and we don¿t think Eddie has either. We do know this, in the last three games Griffin is averaging 14 points, 12 boards, and over 3 blocks per game. Sound too good to be true? If Griffin can put the entire package together those are the numbers you can expect. At this point though, that ¿if¿ is a huge ¿if.¿

So let¿s talk about . Any big body taken in the lottery has lofty expectations and let¿s face it, Battie definitely has not lived up to expectations. But we here at Dime give credit where credit is due and the 6¿11 center has turned himself into a more than serviceable center. Battie¿s hustle earns him the now infamous ¿Tommy Points¿ every night, his shot blocking timing and ability is extremely underrated, and he is more athletic than the average center (see: the Canadian T-Mac, , any center who plays for the , , , , etc. etc.). Is Battie a bust? Maybe three years ago he was, but today Batman (as he unfortunately likes to call himself) is a more than adequate role player who helps his team.

The Drama

Sure everything is bigger in Texas. The centers, the ladies, even the teams¿ winning streaks. There are few places though that have both the pride and mystique that Boston has. If you don¿t think that C¿s coach Jim O¿Brien has made the aware of how badly they need this win, you are nuts. The will give this game all they have and a little bit more. Look for the to upset the and add a victory to the Eastern Conference¿s pitiful Texas record.

Forecast

, 91-87

Tagged: Celtics, Rockets, Heat, Spurs, Tony Battie, Eddie Griffin

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