Boston Celtics (4-6) at Indiana Pacers (8-2)
Saturday, January 14
7:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #11, Road Game #5
TV: CSNNE, FSI, NBA-LP 755/756
Radio: WEEI, WJBC
Conseco Field HouseProbable Starting Matchups PointGuard
Rajon Rondo vs Darren Collison Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Paul George Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Danny Granger Power Forward
Kevin Garnett vs David WestCenter
Jermaine O'Neal vs Roy Hibbert Celtics Reserves
Mickael Pietrus Injured
Keyon Dooling (knee) out Pacers Reserves
Lance Stephenson Injured
George Hill (back) day to dayTeam Connections
A.J. Price and Ray Allen both attended the University of Connecticut
Jermaine O’Neal played for the Pacersfrom 2000‐08
Frank Vogel was an assistant coach under Jim O’Brien with the Celtics from 2001‐04
Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird won three championships with the Celtics and had his #33 retired on 2/4/93
Pacers Associate Head Coach Brian Shaw was drafted by the Celtics with the 24th overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft and he appeared in 178 games for the Celtics averaging 11.1 points
David West and Brandon Bass were teammates in New Orleans from 2005‐2007.Game Notes
This is the second meeting between these two teams this season. In their first meeting, the Celtics were embarrassed by the Pacers 87-74. The Celtics started out slowly and never seemed to get going in that game.
It was an ugly game from start to finish. Neither team played well on offense. The Celtics scored only 25 points in the first half and trailed by 8 points going into the 3rd quarter. The Celtics were out-rebounded 47-36 and were outscored in the paint 43-28.
Both teams are playing in the second of back to back games. The Pacers are coming off a win in Toronto while the Celtics are coming off a loss to the Bulls. It was the Celtics 3rd straight loss.
Doc tried to shake it up a bit in the last game by starting KG at center and Brandon Bass at the 4 but that didn't seem to work out very well and I expect him to abandon that lineup. But then again he may give it one more try or even shake it up with other changes. Right now, nothing seems to be working, so why not try some changes. Maybe Doc should sit all the starters and see if the second unit can get off to a better start. Key Matchups
Paul Pierce vs Danny Granger
Danny Granger is a tough player who can hit from outside as well as take the ball to the basket. He always seems to play extra hard against the Celtics. Paul Pierce has been struggling and is averaging 13.8 points on 38% shooting. He has to snap out of it for the Celtics to snap out of their skid.
Rajon Rondo vs Darren Collison
As Rondo goes, so go the Celtics. When Rondo is aggressive, he makes the Celtics very tough to beat. Rondo should have a height and experience advantage over Collison and hopefully that will translate into a big game for him. He has virtually been carrying the team of late but he can't do it by himself.
Kevin Garnett vs David West
There has been a lot of talk about how KG has lost a step and just can't cut it on defense any more. This would be a good time for a vintage KG game as West is a tough player and the Celtics will need KG to play well to get a win in this one. Keys to the GameDefense
- The Celtics defense has been up and down and they have clamped down in spurts. The Celtics need to work harder on team defense. When they won the title, defense was their identity. They need to get back to that. Rebound
- Winning the rebounding battle prevents second chance points and tip ins for the Pacers as well as limits fast break opportunities. When the Celtics put out the effort on the boards, it often translates to other areas of the game as well. Much of rebounding is desire and hard work and the Celtics just haven't had it. They were out- rebounded by double figures in their last two games and that has to change for them to start winning. Offense
- There have been times when the Celtics' ball movement is a joy to behold and others when they make sloppy passes and just can't seem to get anything going. They have to continue to move the ball and find the open man. They also have to hit their shots. Scoring 25 points in a half just won't win games.
- The Celtics have been coming out flat and end up in a huge hole at the half. They always seem to make a run in the 3rd quarter but it seems to take a lot out of them and they run out of steam and fall just short at the end. They have to come out and play with energy from the beginning. Averaging 15 points in the first quarter is inexcusable. X-Factors
Revenge and Back to Back
The Celtics need to be looking to avenge their embarrassing loss earlier this season. Both teams are playing in back to back games but the Pacers are a younger team and it could affect them less than it does the Celtics. The Celtics looked tired playing after 4 days rest. Back to back games might make for some more ugly basketball.