at Philadelphia 76ers (2-2) at Boston Celtics (2-2)
Friday, November 9, 2012
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #5, Home Game #3
TV: CSNNE, CSNP, NBA LP 753
Radio: WEEI, WPEN
TD GardenProbable Starters PG:
Rajon Rondo ...................................... SG:
Courtney Lee C:
Kevin Garnett SF:
Paul Pierce ....................................... PF:
Doc RiversCeltics Reserves
Avery Bradley (shoulders) outProbable Starters PG:
Jrue Holiday .................................... SG:
Evan Turner C:
Lavoy Allen SF:
Dorell Wright ...................................... PF:
Thaddeus Young Sixers Reserves
Maalik Wayns Injuries
Kwame Brown (calf) doubtful
Jason Richardson (ankle) questionable
Andrew Bynum (knee) doubtful Key Matchups
Kevin Garnett vs Lavoy Allen
Allen was one of the players who gave the Celtics problems in last year's playoffs. He's young, athletic and strong. Doc may need to bring out Darko to bully him around a bit.
Rajon Rondo vs Jrue Holiday
As has been the case so many times, as Rondo goes, so go the Celtics. When Rondo is aggressive the Celtics seem to click on all cylinders. When he is passive, they struggle to score and seem to lapse into trying to do too much as individuals instead of playing team ball. They will need him to be aggressive and to set the pace for the game. Holiday has been playing very well for the Sixers and so Rondo will need to defend well, along with running the offense effectively.
Paul Pierce vs Evan Turner
Turner is a streaky player. When he is on, he's very tough to guard. Pierce has also been up and down, dominating one game and then struggling the next. Turner is a good defender and so this would be a good time for Jeff Green to have a break out game. Keys to the Game Defense
- As always, defense is key to winning. Period. The Celtics showed some signs of getting back to playing their trademark defense in their last game, but they still have a ways to go. They are ranked 22nd in the league allowing 99.75 points per game on 45% shooting. The Sixers, on the other hand, are ranked 3rd allowing just 86.75 points on 42% shooting. Take Care of the Ball
- The Celtics tend to turn the ball over way too much. The Celtics need to keep their focus and make smart passes and avoid the costly turnovers that almost always lead to a score for the other team. Bench Play
- The Celtics need to get quality minutes from their bench. Jason Terry came alive in the last game and the move of Brandon Bass to the bench also helped. The Celtics need more out Jeff Green and they need consistent contributions from the reserves. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics need to stay aggressive. They have to be more aggressive going to the hoop and not settling for outside shots. The Celtics were outscored in the paint 40-32 by the Wizards. They have to be more aggressive going to the basket. They have to be aggressive on defense, in going after loose balls, and in going after rebounds. They have to be the team that wants it more. Game Notes
The Celtics face their division rival in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference Semifinals. It is the first of 4 meetings they will have this season, which include a back to back home and home set in December.
The Sixers are missing their prize offseason free agent acquisition as Andrew Bynum rehabs his injured knee. Both teams have struggled early as they try to incorporate new players find chemistry between them. Both teams are 2-2 and are looking to climb above .500 for the first time this season.
The Sixers have lost six of their last seven regular-season games in Boston and the Celtics also eliminated them in a tough 7 game series. The Sixers certainly will be looking to avenge those losses and were expected to challenge for the Atlantic division title but have been derailed early by injuries.
The Celtics are trying to improve with each game and would like to establish home court dominance but have struggled to find chemistry among all the new pieces. They will need a better effort against the Sixers than we saw against the Wizards if they hope to get a win in this one.