at Boston Celtics (41-15) at Los Angeles Clippers (21-38)
Saturday, February 26
10:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #57, Road Game #27
TV: NBA-TV, NBAC, PRIME, CSN-NE
Radio: WEEI, KFWB
Staples Center Probable Starting MatchupsPoint Guard
Rajon Rondo vs Eric Bledsoe Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Randy Foye Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Ryan Gomes Power Forward
Kevin Garnett vs Blake Griffin Center
Nenad Krstic vs DeAndre Jordan Reserves
Delonte West Injuries
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) out
Shaquille O'Neal (Achilles) out Reserves
Mo Williams Injuries
Eric Gordon (wrist) questionable Team Connections
Eric Bledsoe and Rajon Rondo both attended the University of Kentucky
Ryan Gomes played for the Celtics from 2005‐07
Rasual Butler and Shaquille O’Neal were teammates in Miami during the 2004‐05 season
Brian Cook and Shaquille O’Neal were teammates on the Lakers during the 2003‐04 season
Von Wafer played for the Clippers during the 2006‐07 season
Von Wafer and Brian Cook were teammates in Houston during the 2008‐09 season
Ray Allen and Clippers Head Coach were teammates in Milwaukee from 1998‐2000
Kevin Garnett, Craig Smith and Randy Foye were teammates in Minnesota during the 2006‐07 season
Clippers Assistant Coach Robert Pack and Kevin Garnett were teammates in Minnesota during the 2001‐02 season.Game Notes
This is the first meeting this season with the Clippers and they are the only team left that the Celtics have not yet played. The Celtics should have their new players in uniform for this game but without any practice, it isn't certain how effective they can be. At least they are bodies to absorb a few minutes and perhaps fouls until Danny's grand plan becomes clearer.
The Clippers are going through some changes themselves as Baron Davis was sent to Cleveland for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon and they will need to work them into the rotation along with getting past missing their former teammate.
Last season, the Celtics split the season series 1‐1. Paul Pierce netted 22 points in his only game against the Clippers last season and Rajon Rondo averaged 18.0 points, 9.0 assists and 3.0 steals in the two contests…Perk recorded 9.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in his two games but thanks to Danny, the Celtics won't have his strength in the middle this game. The Clippers were
led by Baron Davis and his 20.0 points and 10.0 assists per game.
The Celtics have had a day off while the Clippers had an "away" game vs the Lakers on Friday night. The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games while the Clippers have been struggling and have won just 2 of their last 10 games. The Celtics are now 16-10 on the road while the Clippers are 16-14 at home. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Eric Bledsoe
Rondo had an off night vs the Nuggets and part of that could be losing his best friend on the same day. Hopefully he can bounce back and set the pace in this game. He should be able to get the best of Bledsoe if he puts out the effort.
Kevin Garnett vs Blake Griffin
This should be a fun matchup to watch. Blake Griffin is the league's new wonder kid and KG should take this matchup personally and teach the new kid a few tricks from an old vet. KG talked about how hard it was to play after learning that Perk was traded and hopefully he will be able to keep his mind on the game in this one. Keys to the GameDefense
- The Celtics must continue to make defense their number 1 priority. They struggled to stop Denver on Thursday allowing them to go on a 16-0 run at the end of the game. In spite of losing the heart of their defense, they have to find a way to get back to playing the team defense that has been their calling card in the past. Rebound
- The Celtics need to make an effort to crash the boards, especially on the offensive end. The Clippers are capable of running on the break if the Celtics don't prevent it by keeping them from getting the rebounds. Griffin is also very dangerous around the basket getting tip ins and second chance baskets. Focus
- The Celtics seemed to lose focus or maybe they just lost their heart down the stretch against Denver. They have to come out focused and try to put losing their teammates behind them. With Miami winning on Friday, the Celtics have to stay focused and pull out a win to keep pace with them. X-FactorFocus and Chemistry
The Celtics admitted that it was hard to play basketball after learning that their teammates had been traded. They have to try to put that behind them and focus on the game. Also, Pierce mentioned concerns about chemistry. With the new players expected to play, the chemistry issues become real and they have to find a way to fit their new teammates into the system and to make up for the teammates they lost.