Three storylines to watch as the Spurs invade TD Garden Wednesday night. (7:30, CSN).
Spurs? Who are they?
Nobody is talking about the Spurs. They aren't -- for lack of a better word -- sexy. They aren't exciting, they'll rarely take your breath away or fill up the highlight reel, and they don't get talked about by the masses or garner much national attention. But they do one thing well, and have been doing it well since drafting Tim Duncan way back when -- they win. This season has been no exception. The Spurs are 36-14 this season, second in the Western Conference behind the Thunder. They're the hottest team in the NBA currently, winners of seven in a row and 10 of their last 11. The Celtics have had two days to prepare for San Antonio, and are winners of five in a row themselves.
Allen or Bradley?
Perhaps the most talked about Celtics topic as of late is whether or not Ray Allen should get his starting job back when he presumably returns tonight. Consider the issue overrated. Regardless of who starts, both players have earned the right to play 30-plus minutes per game, and unless coach Doc Rivers goes heavily in one direction, the starter won't matter as much as the finisher. Both Allen and Avery Bradley have opposite strengths, which is great for the Celtics late in games. You want Allen in the game for free throw purposes late, but you also want Bradley in for his defense. If the C's are down, you'll see Allen in there, if they're up, there's a better chance of seeing Bradley.
Just as the Celtics success relies on Rajon Rondo, the Spurs ride heavily on Tony Parker. Parker has remained a top-tier point guard in the NBA, playing 34.0 minutes per game this season. Kevin Garnett will go toe-to-toe with Tim Duncan at center in a matchup between future Hall of Famers.