Boston Celtics (22-19) at Golden State Warriors (18-21)
Wednesday, March 14
10:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #42, Road Game #18
TV: CSN-NE, CSN-BA, NBA LP 767/768 (DTV)
Radio: WEEI, KNBR
Oracle Arena Probable Starters
PG Rajon Rondo 13.9 PPG, 4,8 RPG, 10.0 APG, 1.7 SPG
SG Ray Allen 14.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.7 APG, .475 3P%
SF Paul Pierce 18.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 5.2 APG .430 FG%
PF Brandon Bass 11.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.9 BPG
C Kevin Garnett 14.9 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.1 BPG Reserves
Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) out
Chris Wilcox (cardiac) out
Ray Allen (ankle) probable
Greg Stiemsma (foot) probable Probable Starters
PG Nate Robinson 9.8 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.0 SPG
SG Klay Thompson 8.0 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, .464 3P%
SF Dorrell Wright 9.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, .404FG%
PF David Lee 19.1 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.4 BPG
C Andris Biedrins 1.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 0.2 APG, 1.0 BPGReserves
Chris Wright Injuries
Stephen Curry (ankle) day to dayTraded
Ekpe Udoh Incoming
Andrew Bogut (ankle) out
Stephen Jackson (out pending physical) Team Connections
Mickael Pietrus played for the Golden State Warriors from 2003-08
Chris Wilcox and David Lee were teammates in New York during the 2008-09 season
Brendan Rush and Paul Pierce both attended the University of Kansas
Nate Robinson played for the Celtics during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
Warriors Co-Executive Chairman, CEO & Governor Joe Lacob spent five years as a minority owner of the Boston Celtics, serving on the basketball committee and earning an NBA championship ring in 2007-08
Warriors assistant Darren Erman spent the last four seasons as a coaching assistant in Boston, helping the club to and NBA championship in 2008
Warriors television analyst Jim Barnett was selected by Boston with the eighth overall pick in the 1966 NBA Draft and played his rookie season with the Celtics
Jermaine O’Neal and Dorell Wright were teammates on the Miami Heat from 2008-10
This is the first and only time the Celtics will face the Warriors this season. The Celtics are 1-1 so far on their road trip and are hoping to be 2-1 after this game. They face a young and athletic team for the second game in a row. Just before game time last night, the Warriors pulled off a trade that took their team by surprise. But the remaining players rallied and pulled off a 115-89 win over the Kings.
The Celtics com into the game winners of 7 of their last 10 games while the Warriors have won 6 of their last 10. The Celtics are 6-11 on the road while the Warriors are 10-10 at home. The Celtics had Tuesday off while the Warriors played Tuesday night in Sacramento. The Warriors are 6-3 in the second of back to back games.
Both teams will be playing short handed and with the trade deadline hanging over their heads. The Warriors have made one big trade. Will they make another? The Celtics have been hearing rumors of just about every one of them being on the block at one time or another. It's an unsettling time both both teams. It would be a big mistake for the Celtics to expect this to be an easy game because the Warriors just traded their top scorer. They played well and beat Sacramento and are just as capable of beating the Celtics if they should slack off and expect an easy win.
One day away from the trade deadline, I expect the Celtics to play like they want to show that they can still win with the core that they have. To begin this road trip, the Celtics almost won the first game and then won the second in spite of playing a lot of small ball by necessity and playing in the second of back to back games on the road.
With Atlanta's loss last night, the Celtics are just 1.5 games out of the 6th spot and just 2.5 games behind Philly in the Atlantic division. With a little help in the middle, the Celtics could be a dangerous playoff team. The Warriors are 3.5 games back of the 8th spot in the West but judging by the trade just made, they are looking to next year and will be playing for a lottery spot. But, as last night's game shows, the Celtics shouldn't look at them as an easy pushover.
This game will be the classic offense versus defense battle. The Warriors are 9th in scoring putting up 97.8 point per game. The Celtics are all the way down at 26, scoring just 91 points per game. But on the defensive end, the Celtics rank 3rd, allowing just 89.8 ppg on 42% shooting. The Warriors allow 99.6 points per game on 46% shooting. Defense should win out if the Celtics bring their usual defensive intensity as a team.
In spite of being short handed, the Celtics have a good chance of winning this game if they come out focused and play team basketball on both ends of the court. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Nate Robinson
Stephen Curry has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury. He went through shoot around yesterday, and was expected to start against the Kings. With the trade going on, it's possible that the Warriors have decided to give Curry time to heal completely before playing him. Of course, they could also decide to play him tonight but my guess is that they will keep him out. If Nate starts, this should be an interesting match up between two former teammates.
Brandon Bass vs David Lee
Lee is a tough player and isn't above playing rough and dirty. Bass goes from one tough player in Griffin to another in Lee. Lee is leading his team in rebounding and so Bass needs to box him out and deny him position for rebounds and especially tip ins and put backs. Lee plays hard every game and Bass needs to match his intensity. Honorable Mention
Kevin Garnett vs Andris Biedrins
With the trade of Udoh to the Bucks, Biedrins is once again in the starting lineup. He's been playing just 15 minutes per game this season and KG should have the advantage in this matchup. Keys to the Game Defense
- The Warriors can put up points quickly and in bunches. It will be important for the Celtics to bring their defensive intensity into this game, especially to shut down the Warriors' fast breaks since they are among the league leaders in that category. The Celtics must especially guard the perimeter as the Warriors are 3rd in the league in 3 point shooting percentage. Rebound
- The Celtics need to crash the boards to keep the Warriors from igniting their fast breaks. The Celtics also need to rebound to give themselves second chance points and limit the second chance points for the Warriors. Also, the Warriors win 70% of their games in which they win the battle of the boards. Take Care of the Ball
- The Warriors can be very disruptive by getting into the passing lanes. They are 10th in the league in steals and 8th in blocks. The Celtics need to stay focused and not give the Warriors any easy opportunities to steal the ball or to get out on the break. 48 Minutes Effort
- The Celtics need to come out focused and take control of the game from the beginning. The Warriors are undefeated when they lead by double digits at the end of the first quarter. The Celtics can't afford to let themselves get down and then try to climb back in because the Warriors don't give up big leads very easily. X-Factor
TRADE and Effort
With the trade going down late on Tuesday, the Warriors are short even more short handed than the Celtics, if that's possible. I've seen it way too many times that a team missing players due to trade, injury or suspension rallies to play a superhuman game. The Celtics can't come into the game expecting a win without the effort. If they give the effort, they should get the win.