at Boston Celtics (7-9) at OrlandoMagic (12-5)
Thursday, January 26
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #17, Road Game #7
TV: TNT, CSNNE, TSN
Radio: WEEI, WDBO, ESPNR, KTAR
Amway Center Probable Starting Matchups Point Guard
Avery Bradley 3.2 PPG, 1.1 APG, 1.7 RPG
Jameer Nelson 8.9 PPG, 5.6 APG, 2.4 RPG Shooting Guard
Sasha Pavlovic 3.3 PPG, 0.3 APG, .308 3P%
Jason Richardson 10.7 PPG, 1.9 APG, .327 3P%
Paul Pierce 14.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.1 APG
Hedo Turkoglu 14.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.9 APG Power Forward
Kevin Garnett 13.2 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 0.8 BPG
Ryan Anderson 17.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 0.2 BPG Center
Jermaine O'Neal 5.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 BPG
Dwight Howard 20.2 PPG, 16.1 RPG, 2.3 BPG Celtics Reserves
Keyon Dooling (knee) game time decision
Chris Wilcox (calf) game time decision
Rajon Rondo (wrist) out
Ray Allen (ankle) out
Mickael Pietrus (shoulder) game time decision
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) questionableMagic Reserves
Doc Rivers coached the Magic from 1999-2004, winning the NBA’s Coach of the Year award in his first season (1999-2000)
Brandon Bass and Glen Davis attended Louisiana State University
Daniel Orton, DeAndre Liggins and Rajon Rondo all attended the University of Kentucky
Quentin Richardson and Jermaine O’Neal were teammates in Miami during the 2009-10 season
Mickael Pietrus played for the Magic from 2008-10
Brandon Bass played for the Magic from 2009-11
Keyon Dooling played for the Magic from 2005-08
Mickael Pietrus and Jason Richardson were teammates in Golden State from 2003-07
Glen Davis played for the Celtics from 2007-11 and was a member of the 2008 Championship team
Von Wafer played for the Celtics during the 2010-11 season
Quentin Richardson and Keyon Dooling were teammates on the LA Clippers from 2000-04
Quentin Richardson and Chris Wilcox were teammates on the LA Clippers from 2002-04
Keyon Dooling played for Stan Van Gundy on the 2004-05 Miami Heat
Ryan Anderson and Keyon Dooling were teammates in New Jersey during the 2008-09 season
Chris Duhon, Quentin Richardson, Larry Hughes and Chris Wilcox were teammates in New York during the 2008-09 season.
Danny Ainge dreams of having Dwight Howard in greenGame Notes
These two teams complete the home and home series that began on Tuesday with the short handed Celtics recording a blow out win of historic proportions. The Celtics were missing 5 players in that game including their starting point guard and shooting guard but they came out playing pestering defense behind full court pressure on Jameer Nelson that had him begging for mercy by the end of the game.
As it has been all season, it's not clear who will be available and who won't. Ray didn't make the trip with the team due to some lingering soreness in his ankle along with a pregnant wife who is due any day. But, the other 4 injured players all made the trip and could possibly play in this one.
Keyon Dooling stated that he was targeting this game to return so it's very possible we will see him. Avery is listed as the starting point guard in the game notes and after his performance in the last game, he has earned it. However, if Rondo is ready to go, expect him to move into the starting lineup once again. Sasha is once again listed as the starting shooting guard.
The Celtics didn't just beat the Magic, they embarassed them, limiting them to the lowest point total in franchise history. They will certainly be looking for a measure of revenge in this game. The Celtics need to be ready if they don't want to be on the receiving end of a blow out this time.
The Celtics have been off since they played the Magic on Monday. The Magic went on to play in Indiana on Tuesday night and will be playing in the 3rd game in 4 nights. Hopefully they took out some of their frustrations in their 102-83 win in Indy. The Celtics are 2-4 on the road while the Magic are 6-2 at home. Key Matchups
Jermaine O'Neal vs Dwight Howard
This is the key matchup between these two teams. Whether it was Jermaine or team defense or just an off night for Howard, he only had 18 points and 14 rebounds, both below his averages, in the first game. The Celtics managed to keep him from receiving the ball in his favorite spots around the basket and need to try to do the same in this game.
Avery Bradley vs Jameer Nelson
In their first meeting, Avery picked up Nelson full court the entire game and harassed him on defense until Nelson was giving the ball to Turkoglu to bring it up. Whether it is Rondo or Bradley at the point, they should stick with what worked in the first game and continue to play tough defense and defend Nelson the full length of the floor. Honorable Mention
Paul Pierce vs Hedo Turkoglu
These two have had some tough battles over the years. Pierce is finally finding his game and it is crucial for the team for him to continue to play well. It's not surprising that the team has been playing better since Pierce started playing better. Turkoglu is one of their key scorers and Pierce needs to defend him well and make him work hard on the defensive end. Keys to the GameDefense
- Defense is the key to winning. Period. They played absolutely amazing defense in the first game and the result was a blow out win over an 11-4 team. If they continue to commit to defense and not let up, they could surprise the Magic once again, this time in their house. Play Smart for 48 Minutes
- The Celtics played hard and well the entire game in their first game against the Magic. They need to come out strong because the Magic are going to be gunning for them to avenge the beat down they got in Boston. If the Celtics let up, the Magic will take advantage. Rebound
- Dwight Howard can take over a game on rebounds and put backs alone if the Celtics don't box him out and crash the boards as a team. The Celtics out-rebounded the Magic 46-44 in their first meeting. They need to have that same commitment to crashing the boards as a team that thy had in their first meeting. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics have to be aggressive from start to finish. They have to take the ball to the hoop and not settle for jumpers, especially if the jumpers aren't falling as they haven't been so far this season. They also have to be aggressive in going after loose balls and rebounds as well. And most important, they have to be aggressive on defense. If they play timidly in the least or show any weakness, the Magic will take advantage of it. Their aggressiveness in the first game caused 23 turnovers by the Magic and they need to remember that and do the same thing in this game. Limit Turnovers
- It seems that the Celtics will go on a run and then turn the ball over several times right after to allow the other team right back in it. They seem to let up at times and lose focus. They did a good job in this category in their first meeting with the Magic turning the ball over just 15 times. X-Factors
Injuries and Revenge
It's tough to plan when you don't know which players will be available and which players won't. They surprised everyone by beating the Magic with key players out and we don't know which players will return for this game. Will those returning players be as effective as the ones who filled in? Will the Magic have revenge on their minds and come out gunning and play just as physically as the Celtics? I guess we shall find out.