at Oklahoma City Thunder (9-3) at Boston Celtics (6-6)
Friday, November 23, 2012
7:30 PM ET
Game #13, Home Game #7
TV: NBA-TV, NBAC, FSOK, CSNNE
Radio: WEEI, WWLS
Probable Starters Point Guard
Rajon Rondo 13.2 PPG 13.1 APG 2.1 SPG
Russell Westbrook 20.8 PPG, 8.4 APG, 1.5 SPG
Jason Terry 11.0 PPG 2.0 APG .3853P%
Thabo Sefolosha 6.3 PPG, 1.7 APG, .517 3P%Small Forward
Paul Pierce 19.3 PPG 6.0 RPG 3.0 APG
Kevin Durant 25.4 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 4.7 APGPower Forward
Brandon Bass 9.2 PPG 5.1 RPG 0.9 BPG
Serge Ibaka 14.7 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 3.4 BPGCenter
Kevin Garnett 15.1 PPG 7.4 RPG 0.8 BPG
Kendrick Perkins 4.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.8 BPG
Avery Bradley (shoulders) outRed Claws
Kris JosephThunder Reserves
Nick Collison and Paul Pierce attended the University of Kansas
Kevin Durant and Avery Bradley attended the University of Texas
DeAndre Liggins, Daniel Orton and Rajon Rondo all attended the University of Kentucky
Jeff Green played for the Thunder from 2007-11
Courtney Lee and Hasheem Thabeet were teammates in Houston from 2010-12
Chris Wilcox was teammates with Nick Collison in Seattle and Oklahoma City from 2005-09
Wilcox and Kevin Durant were teammates from 2007-09
Kendrick Perkins played for the Celtics from 2003-11 and was a member of the 2008 NBA Championship team
Kevin Martin and Courtney Lee were teammates in Houston from 2010-12.Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Russell Westbrook
Rondo once again faces one of the top young PG's in the league.. Rondo had vied with Westbrook for a spot on the Olympic team before Rondo withdrew and Westbook went on to win a gold medal. Rondo allowed Tony Parker to score a season high 26 points in his last outing and so hopefully will be looking to be more aggressive defensively in this game.
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 all the way around. We may see Jeff Green taking a turn at guarding his former teammate at times in this game also.
Kevin Garnett 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.
Kendrick Perkins makes his second trip back to the Garden. In his first visit last season, the Thunder came out the winner 119-104. The Thunder have won the last 3 games between these two teams. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Thunder win streak coincides with the Perk for Green trade.
The Thunder lead the Northwest division while the Celtics have dropped to 4th in the Atlantic. The Thunder are 3-1 on the road while the Celtics are 3-3 at home. The Thunder have won 3 in a row while the Celtics have dropped their last 2 games.
The Celtics need to do something quick to find their defensive roots. The Thunder are second in the league in scoring, averaging 103 points a game. They are undefeated when scoring 100 points or more. The only way the Celtics can beat this team is to clamp down on defense, something they haven't done except in spurts this season so far. Keys to the GameDefense
- Defense has got to be the Celtics #1 priority. They have been allowing 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. This is the first and foremost key to winning, period. Rebound the Ball
The Celtics have to crash the boards in order to prevent second chance points and fast break opportunities for the Thunder. Rebounding takes effort and desire and the Celtics haven't shown a lot of either. They have to put out more effort on the boards as a team if they want to win. Bench Play
- The Thunder are a deep team and they get good contributions from their second unit. The Celtics reserves scored only 17 points against the Spurs. The Celtics have the talent on the bench and they simply must start to contribute more on a regular basis.
- The Celtics must be more aggressive. They have to go to the hoop and not settle for jumpers. They were outscored in the paint 58-34 in their last game. That should never be. They need to get to the basket more and be more aggressive on defense to keep their opponents from scoring in the paint. They can't be passive and expect to win the game.
Player to Watch
Simply because I still love Perk! Perk has taken to guarding the opposing point guard from time to time to get himself going and to throw off the opponents' offense. It'll be fun to see if he guards his old friend Rajon Rondo in this game. X-Factor
The Celtics were embarrassed at home in their last game. They need to dig down and find their Celtics Pride and do what they have to do to get it together. We know they have the talent, but they need to put it together.