Author Topic: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16  (Read 15609 times)

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Offline FLCeltsFan

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Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« on: January 15, 2012, 07:21:25 PM »
 at  
Oklahoma City Thunder (11-2) at Boston Celtics (4-7)
Monday, January 16
8:00 PM ET
Game #12, Home Game #7
TV:  TNT,  NBAC
Radio:  WEEI, WWLS
TD Garden




Probable Starters

Point Guard
 vs  
Rajon Rondo  14.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 10.1 APG
Russell Westbrook  18.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 5.5 APG

Shooting Guard

 vs  
Ray Allen  17.5 PPG,  3.1 RPG, 2.4 APG
Thabo Sefolosha    5.0 PPG,  2.1 RPG,  0.7 APG

Small Forward
 vs  
Paul Pierce   14.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.9 APG
Kevin Durant  25.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG,  3.9 APG

Power Forward
 vs  
Kevin Garnett   13.5 PPG,  7.1 RPG, 2.4 APG
Serge Ibaka    6.8 PPG,  5.8 RPG,  0.7 APG

Center
  vs  
Jermaine O'Neal   5.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG,  1.7 BPG,  
Kendrick Perkins    5.7 PPG,  6.0 RPG,  1.2 BPG





Celtics Reserves

Brandon Bass
Marquis Daniels
Keyon Dooling
Greg Siemsma
E'Twaun Moore
JaJuan Johnson
Sasha Pavlovic
Avery Bradley
Mickael Pietrus  

Injured
Chris Wilcox (groin) out
Keyon Dooling (knee) probable



Thunder Reserves
Reggie Jackson
Nick Collison
James Harden
Nazr Mohammed
Daequan Cook
Cole Aldrich
Royal Ivey
Lazar Hayward

Injured

Eric Maynor (ACL)  out
Ryan Reid  (Nasal Surgery)  out  

Team Connections
Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and Paul Pierce all attended the University of Kansas
Nick Collison and Ray Allen were teammates in Seattle from 2004-07
Kevin Durant, Royal Ivey and Avery Bradley attended the University of Texas
Daequan Cook and Jermaine O’Neal were teammates in Miami during the 2008-10 seasons
Kendrick Perkins played for the Celtics from 2003-11 and was a member of the 2008 Championship team
Nazr Mohammed and Rajon Rondo both attended the University of Kentucky
Lazar Haywood and Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers both attended Marquette University
Chris Wilcox played for the Thunder franchise from 2005-2009 and was a member of the inaugural Oklahoma City Thunder team in 2008-09..
Ray Allen played for the Thunder franchise in Seattle from 2003-07 before they moved to OKC.

Key Matchups
 vs  
Rajon Rondo vs Russell Westbrook
Rondo once again faces one of the top young PG's in the league.  These two PG's were vying for a spot on Team USA before Rondo withdrew and Westbrook went on to win a gold medal with the team.  Rondo always has a little extra motivation playing against the rising PG's in the league.  

 vs  
Paul Pierce vs Kevin Durant  
Kevin Durant is making a case for being the best player in the NBA and  Pierce will have his hands full trying to guard him.  Durant is also a good defender so this may be a tough game for Pierce who continues to struggle with his game.

Honorable Mention
Jermaine O'Neal vs Kendrick Perkins
Perk will always be a Celtic.  But he's also one of the more competitive players in the league.  As much as he loves his former teammates, they will be the enemy while he is on the court and expect him to be his snarly best in this game.

Game Notes

 The Celtics welcome Kendrick Perkins back to the Garden for the first time since that tragic day when he was traded to the Thunder.  The Celtics fortunes have gone down hill considerably since the trade that sent Perk and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green.  In the meantime, the Thunder are on the top of the Western Conference and just 1/2 game behind the Bulls for the best record in the league.

Perk slimmed down and is healthy and playing very well for the Thunder while Krstic is playing in Europe and Jeff Green is out for the season after heart surgery.  Even though Perk was crushed when he learned that he was traded, he couldn't have gone to a better team.  The Thunder is a young team with great chemistry.  

That brings us to this game.  The Celtics have lost 4 in a row while the Thunder have won their last 6 including a blowout win over the NY Knicks in their last game.   The Celtics need a win desperately but to get one in this game they are going to have to bring their A game.  No slow starts, no let ups and no long droughts where they can't score.  

I really hope Celtics fans give Perk the standing ovation he deserves in his return to the Garden.  He loved it in Boston and gave it his all in every game he played for the Celtics and as Doc and KG have said in the past day or so,  Perk is a Celtic for life, no matter what jersey he is wearing.  

Keys to the Game
Limit Turnovers - The Celtics have been doing better in recent games to take care of the ball but then need to continue to concentrate on that area because they tend to get lax at times and the turnovers make games that should be easy much more difficult.  

Rebound the Ball    The Celtics have to crash the boards in order to prevent second chance points and fast break opportunities for the Thunder.   The Celtics have been out rebounded by a margin of 188-150 in their last 4 games, all losses.  Rebounding takes effort and desire and the Celtics haven't show a lot of either.  They have to put out more effort on the boards if they want to win.  

Defense -  Defense has got to be the Celtics #1 priority.  They have been playing decent defense in spurts but other times, they allow teams to get to the hoop and to get their shots off way too easily.  They must recommit to team defense if they want to get back on the winning track.  

Bench Play -  The Thunder are a deep team and the Celtics must match their depth if they expect to win this game.  

X-Factor
Youth vs Age  
The Thunder are a young team from top to bottom.  The Celtics have youth on the bench, but their starters have been showing their age in recent games.  The Celtics have to find the fountain of youth if they expect to stay with the young Thunder.  
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 01:05:36 PM by FLCeltsFan »

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 07:34:26 PM »
Oklahoma have been doing a surprisingly bad job on the boards this season. I expected them to be one of the best rebounding teams in the league but they are only managing to be a middle of the pack rebounding team to date.

In terms of the Celtics, this could be good news for them as hopefully they'll be under less pressure on the boards than they have been in the last two contests against Indiana (very good rebounding team) and Chicago (best in league).

Oklahoma they are capable of a lot more on the boards and should right their ship at some point. Hopefully for Boston, that point will be sometime later in the season.

And in terms of OKC's title ambitions, improving their rebounding and becoming one of the best rebounding teams in the league is an absolute necessity ... and if they feel to do so, they will drop back within the pack in the West instead of being the team to beat that they should be.

Offline green7

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2012, 07:43:43 PM »
perk is going to kill JO in the paint


Offline snively

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2012, 07:48:48 PM »
Harden has really blossomed this year.  Terrified of Ray Allen having to guard him for extended stretches.

Surprised to see them tied with the C's in defensive rating.  Looks like Perk and Ibaka have both disappointed considerably, especially on the defensive boards.  Not that they have much to fear from us in that regard!

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Offline snively

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2012, 07:50:28 PM »
Oklahoma have been doing a surprisingly bad job on the boards this season. I expected them to be one of the best rebounding teams in the league but they are only managing to be a middle of the pack rebounding team to date.

In terms of the Celtics, this could be good news for them as hopefully they'll be under less pressure on the boards than they have been in the last two contests against Indiana (very good rebounding team) and Chicago (best in league).

Oklahoma they are capable of a lot more on the boards and should right their ship at some point. Hopefully for Boston, that point will be sometime later in the season.

And in terms of OKC's title ambitions, improving their rebounding and becoming one of the best rebounding teams in the league is an absolute necessity ... and if they feel to do so, they will drop back within the pack in the West instead of being the team to beat that they should be.

Any long-term concerns with their rebounding?  Haven't caught enough of their games to diagnose the cause.
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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2012, 07:58:29 PM »
Oklahoma have been doing a surprisingly bad job on the boards this season. I expected them to be one of the best rebounding teams in the league but they are only managing to be a middle of the pack rebounding team to date.

In terms of the Celtics, this could be good news for them as hopefully they'll be under less pressure on the boards than they have been in the last two contests against Indiana (very good rebounding team) and Chicago (best in league).

Oklahoma they are capable of a lot more on the boards and should right their ship at some point. Hopefully for Boston, that point will be sometime later in the season.

And in terms of OKC's title ambitions, improving their rebounding and becoming one of the best rebounding teams in the league is an absolute necessity ... and if they feel to do so, they will drop back within the pack in the West instead of being the team to beat that they should be.

Any long-term concerns with their rebounding?  Haven't caught enough of their games to diagnose the cause.
I haven't watched them much either.

In the few bits and bobs I have seen ... It just stood out how little their big men were contributing on the glass and at times defensively. Looked like a team just going through the motion rather than giving their best effort. Not going hard all time. Just doing enough to win the game, going at 85% instead of a 100%. 

Lack of focus/effort. Unusual for them. Their execution has at times struggled under Scotty Brooks (on both ends) but their effort has been at a consistently high level.

They certainly have the players there to be a top rebounding team.

Offline 33_Larry Legend_33

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 11:48:53 AM »
I'm interested to see two matchups:

- Can Pierce even keep up with Durant, as PP's foot speed is clearly a step behind this year, and he's been backing off out of fear of being blown away by a drives to the rim.

- Rondo vs. Westbrook.  Rondo will have something to prove tonight, but Westbrook is clearly the more dominant offensive player.  Which PG will dominate the matchup, and the answer to this question may have a lot to say about the outcome...

Offline Jeff

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 12:03:53 PM »
this game has the following

1. emotional - Perk return
2. prove it to the world potential on TNT against the favored West powerhouse
3. home game
4. not a back-to-back
5. Pierce and KG starting to come out of slumps
6. Rondo matching up against "rival" PG

call me crazy, call me Captain Kool Aid, call me Shirley if you want, but I'm calling this a win

woooooohooooooo!

(wouldn't that be somethin?)
Faith and Sports - an essay by Jeff Clark

"Know what I pray for? The strength to change what I can, the inability to accept what I can't, and the incapacity to tell the difference." - Calvin (Bill Watterson)

Offline GreenFaith1819

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 12:11:12 PM »
TP. FL.

Time to snap out of this funk, C's!!
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Offline snively

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 12:13:14 PM »
this game has the following

1. emotional - Perk return
2. prove it to the world potential on TNT against the favored West powerhouse
3. home game
4. not a back-to-back
5. Pierce and KG starting to come out of slumps
6. Rondo matching up against "rival" PG

call me crazy, call me Captain Kool Aid, call me Shirley if you want, but I'm calling this a win

woooooohooooooo!

(wouldn't that be somethin?)

It certainly will be an important psychological game for the Celtics.  Still early enough for them to reclaim their pride and try to make something out of the season.  By the same token, it's getting late enough that further poundings from playoff teams could deal a mortal blow to morale/confidence.
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Offline Marcus13

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 12:13:51 PM »
this game has the following

1. emotional - Perk return
2. prove it to the world potential on TNT against the favored West powerhouse
3. home game
4. not a back-to-back
5. Pierce and KG starting to come out of slumps
6. Rondo matching up against "rival" PG

call me crazy, call me Captain Kool Aid, call me Shirley if you want, but I'm calling this a win

woooooohooooooo!

(wouldn't that be somethin?)

It'd instantly change the morale around the team.  I agree this is an awesome opportunity for us to redeem ourselves

Offline 33-00-32

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 12:29:49 PM »
this game has the following

1. emotional - Perk return
2. prove it to the world potential on TNT against the favored West powerhouse
3. home game
4. not a back-to-back
5. Pierce and KG starting to come out of slumps
6. Rondo matching up against "rival" PG

call me crazy, call me Captain Kool Aid, call me Shirley if you want, but I'm calling this a win

woooooohooooooo!

(wouldn't that be somethin?)

Clear the path!! I'm jumping on this boat with Shirley ;). Go Celts!
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Offline Jon Niednagel

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 12:34:24 PM »
this game has the following

1. emotional - Perk return
2. prove it to the world potential on TNT against the favored West powerhouse
3. home game
4. not a back-to-back
5. Pierce and KG starting to come out of slumps
6. Rondo matching up against "rival" PG

call me crazy, call me Captain Kool Aid, call me Shirley if you want, but I'm calling this a win

woooooohooooooo!

(wouldn't that be somethin?)

Shirley you can't be serious.
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Offline Q_FBE

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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2012, 12:41:33 PM »
While I agree that a win would do wonders for this team, I just don't see it happening. That said a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while. Oklahoma has a lot of depth. Why couldn't we get Nick Collison for Kendrick Perkins (OK that is my Kansas bias kicking in)? Perhaps we could have been more patient and worked a sign and trade deal in Early December but that is neither here nor there at this point.

I am getting sick of the "were too old to be relevent anymore" rhetoric. There is only one solution to that. Win Games.
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Re: Thunder (11-2) at Celtics (4-7) 11/16
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2012, 12:50:01 PM »
Shirley you can't be serious.

well done
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