at Utah Jazz (27-15) at Boston Celtics (32-9)
Friday, January 21
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #42, Home Game #24
TV: CSN-NE, FSR-UT, NBA-LP 756/757
Radio: WEEI, KFNZ
TD Garden Probable Starters Probable Starters
PG: Rajon Rondo 13.2 PPG 13.2 APG 2.4 SPG
SG: Ray Allen 17.5 PPG 3.1 APG .468 3P%
SF: Paul Pierce 19.1 PPG 5.2 RPG 3.4 APG
PF: Kevin Garnett 15.0 PPG 9.3 RPG 0.7 BPG
C: Shaquille O'Neal 10.2 PPG 5.1 RPG 1.2 BPG
Boston Bench Mob
Kendrick Perkins (knee) out
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) out
Delonte West (wrist) out
Marquis Daniels (ankle) probable
Avery Bradley Probable Starters
PG Deron Williams 22.1 PPG 9.5 APG 1.2 SPG
SG: Raja Bell 8.4 PPG 1.6 APG .397 3P%
SF Andrei Kirilenko 11.3 PPG 5.2 RPG 3.4 APG
PF Paul Millsap 17.2 PPG 7.9 RPG 0.9 BPG
C Al Jefferson 16.9 PPG 8.8 RPG 1.9 BPG Jazz Reserves
Jeremy Evans Team Connections
Al Jefferson was originally drafted by the Celtics with the 15th overall pick in the 2004 Draft and played for the Celtics from 2004‐07
Mehmet Okur and Semih Erden are both from Turkey
Shaquille O’Neal and Raja Bell were teammates in Phoenix during the 2008‐09 season.Game Notes
Last season, the Celtics split the season series 1‐1, each winning on their home court. Ray Allen led the Celtics with an average of 15.0 points per game. Rajon Rondo averaged 10.0 points, 8.5 assists and 2.5 steals in the two contests. Deron Williams averaged 17.5 points and 7.5 assists in the two contests. C.J. Miles netted 23 points in his only game against the Celtics last season. Mehmet Okur averaged 11.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in the two games.
The Jazz have a strong starting 5 along with a very good bench and they are well coached. The Celtics will have their hands full with each matchup. Also, several of their reserves were their starters last season so the Celtics bench players must step up their game for this one.
The Celtics welcome Al Jefferson back to the Garden in this game vs the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are in the 5th spot in the West and in spite of recent struggles, have played very well this season. They come into this game losers of their last 2 games and 5-5 in their last 10. But, they are still a tough team and the Celtics must take them seriously. The Jazz have played well on the road in spite of their last two losses and are 12-8 away from home. The Celtics are 20-3 at home, but a few of those wins have been close ones over teams they should have blown out.
The Celtics are looking for their 5th straight win while the Jazz are looking to break a 2 game losing streak. This will be a good test of the Celtics vs a very good team from the West. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Deron Williams
Rondo has yet another tough matchup with one of the top young PG's in the league. Williams is strong and quick and Rondo will need to be aggressive on both ends of the court.
Kevin Garnett vs Paul Millsap
KG came back strong from his calf injury but struggled slightly against the Pistons. Millsap has been playing very well for the Jazz and the Celtics will need a strong game out of KG to counter him. Honorable Mention
Shaquille O'Neal vs Al Jefferson
This should be a fun matchup to watch with two very good centers going at each other. Big Al has a quickness advantage, but Shaq has a size advantage. Hopefully Shaq didn't wear himself out diving after all those loose balls against the Pistons.
Paul Pierce vs Andrei Kirilenko
You have to consider Paul Pierce key in just about every game as he has been giving the Celtics just what they need in every game. We also can't forget that he made Kirilenko cry a couple of years ago. Keys to the Game Defense
With KG back, the Celtics defense is ramping back up. They will need to make defense a priority in this game as the Jazz have some very good scorers and the Celtics will have trouble winning a shoot out between them. Rebound
The Celtics out-rebounded the Pistons 47-34. They need to continue this effort on the boards to limit second chance points and fast breaks for the Jazz. Bench
The Jazz has a very strong bench and the Celtics bench mob will need to play well in this game in order for the game not to get out of control while the starters rest. The bench will be the difference between a close game and a blowout and possibly between a win and a loss. Be Aggressive
Sometimes the Celtics get passive and when they do, they always struggle and always seem to pick up a lot more fouls. The Celtics must be aggressive and go strong to the basket, go after loose balls and crash the boards.
Play 48 Minutes
The type of effort we saw in the first 3 quarters of the Pistons game won't cut it in this one. The Celtics need to come out strong and play hard until the final buzzer. Jerry Sloan always has his teams playing hard and the Celtics need to match that effort.
Home Court and Focus
Once again, the Celtics will be at home and the crowd support should give them a boost. Also they can't lose focus against the Jazz. If they come out focused and keep their focus throughout the game, they should get the win.