Cream of the Crop Who'll Rise to the Top—Celtics and Spurs

Louis PisanoAnalyst IDecember 3, 2009

BOSTON - FEBRUARY 08:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics celebrates a shot against the San Antonio Spurs on February 8, 2009 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Spurs defeated the Celtics 105-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Louis “King of Roncesvalles” Pisano

Two of the best teams in the NBA collide tonight in San Antonio in a virtual Clash of Titans.

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, Richard Jefferson, Kevin Garnett, Paul Peirce, Rasheed Wallace, Rajon Rondo: just look up down both rosters, it’s pretty much an all-star game.

Every matchup on the floor, down low and on the perimeter, is a premier battle to be won by the one of stronger will and determination.

The duel down low between Duncan and KG will be a physically crafty veteran game of chess, and every inch of court won will be earned.

The speed and ability to find people in traffic along with his elusiveness and scoring ability makes Tony Parker a tough one to guard, and Rajon Rondo will have his hands full. The other end of the floor should be an equally excellent to watch as Rondo has a skills to match but still may lack some experience.

Keith Bogans, only averaging 4.5 points per game, will have to be more careful of the deep three and his scoring prowess while guarding Ray Allen than Allen will be of him. Allen is much more of a threat averaging 15.9 points per game. This matchup may prove to be one of deciding factors in the game.

Richard Jefferson and Paul Pierce should be going off on each other, and these two will may be the main contributors for their respective teams. Both can hit from beyond the arc, though Peirce takes almost twice as many and hits for a higher percentage 33 of 74 for .446, compared to 14 of 41 for .34, and scores just over five points more per game on average.

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In the paint Antonio McDyess and Kendrick Perkins will tough it out fighting for rebounds and setting screens for the other scorers, though Perkins score an average of four more points per game.

For Boston, Rasheed Wallace and Eddie House will provide the majority of bench scoring as will George Hill and Manu Ginobili (now healthy) for the Spurs. Roger Mason can be dangerous and is nursing a sore hamstring but is expected to play.

Both these teams are no doubt stacked with talent.

San Antonio has the home court and this is the third game on the road for Boston of a four game trip which is usually an advantage for the home side but the Celtics are 7-1 on the road this year.

A few of factors in this game may favor the home side, like offensive and defensive rebounding along with a 3-point edge and points for, though only slightly I think the Celtic Pride will prevail in a close one.