at Portland Trailblazers (6-9) at Boson Celtics (8-7)
Friday, November 30, 2012
7:30 PM ET
Game #16, Home Game #9
TV: CSNNE, CSN-POR, NBA-LP 755(POR)/756(BOS)
Radio: WEEI, KXTG
Probable Starters Point Guard
Leandro Barbosa vs Damian Lillard
Jason Terry vs Wesley Matthews Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Nicolas Batum Power Forward
Brandon Bass vs JJ Hickson Center
Kevin Garnett vs LaMarcus Aldridge Celtics Reserves
Avery Bradley (shoulders) out
Jeff Green (knee) questionable
Chris Wilcox (illness) questionable Suspended
Fab Melo *
Kris Joseph *
*May be called up if Green and Wilcox can't playTrailblazers Reserves
Elliot Williams (Achilles) out Key Matchups
Leandro Barbosa vs Damian Lillard
Rondo vs Lillard would have been a great matchup, but with Rondo suspended Doc will probably start Barbosa again. Lillard is leading all rookies in scoring (19.1), assists (6.1) and steals (1.4) and will be a tough matchup for Barbosa, who needs to stick close to him on defense.
Paul Pierce vs Nicolas Batum
Pierce has been struggling of late and looking his age. Batum is a very good athletic player who is averaging 17.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He is also 3rd in the league in made 3's. Paul Pierce will have his hands full with Batum and will need to stay with him on defense, especially on the perimeter. Honorable Mention
Kevin Garnett vs LaMarcus Aldridge
Aldridge is leading the Blazers in scoring with 20.4 ppg along with 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He is young, athletic and will be a difficult cover for KG. He is also a good defender who could make things difficult for KG on the offensive end. Game Notes
The Portland Trailblazers make their only visit to Boston as the Celtics look to bounce back from their meltdown against the Nets. The Celtics won the only meeting between these two teams last year, 104-86 at TD Garden. The Celtics have won 5 in a row and 12 of the last 13 games from the Blazers.
The Celtics are the only team in the league to have a winning record in the Rose Garden. Portland is 2-6 on the road while the Celtics are a pedestrian 4-4 at home. The Blazers are 4-6 in their last 10 games and the Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10.
Both teams played on Wednesday and both are coming off a loss. Portland gave the Wizards their very first win on the season while the Celtics lost the game and their cool to the Nets. After the game, the Celtics were called soft by their coach and I expect them to come out motivated to be aggressive and to get the win.
The Blazers are a young and athletic team and won't be a pushover by any means. The Celtics are going to be short handed and stinging from the criticism of their coach. They need to earn this win with strong and smart play on both ends of the court.
In a bit of trivia, in the 1985-86 season, the Portland Trailblazers were the only team to beat the Celtics in the Garden all season. Keys to the Game Defense -
The biggest key to every game will be defense. The Celtics must make defense their number 1 priority. They especially have to defend the basket better and keep players from getting tip ins, layups and second chance baskets along with stopping the pick and roll. The Celtics have been very weak on defense so far this season and they need to make an effort to get better on that end. Rebound -
When the Celtics put out the effort to out-rebound their opponents it usually results in a win. But this year, that hasn't been all that often. When they don't make the effort to rebound, it affects the effort in the other areas as well. Neither team is a great rebounding team as the Blazers come in at 29th while the Celtics are 30th. The Celtics have got to make more of an effort to grab rebounds as a team. Bench -
The Celtics' bench must give them quality minutes in order to keep the starters from being worn out by the end of the game. It may be difficult in this game if Wilcox and Green are out and Barbosa moves into the starting lineup. With the roster being thinned out due to injury and suspension, the remaining players off the bench must contribute. Be Aggressive
The Celtics must be the more aggressive team. This doesn't mean aggression like fighting but they have to be the team diving for loose balls, grabbing rebounds, hustling on the court, and driving to the basket. They can't let the other team out hustle them and they can't settle for jumpers. Move the Ball
- With Rondo out, the Celtics have to work harder to move the ball and find the open man. They have to pass the ball but at the same time they need to be careful with those passes and avoid turnovers. They have to make the extra pass and find the open man and not let the ball stick and get stagnant. Hero ball doesn't win many games. X-Factor
Home Court and Celtics Pride
Once again, the Celtics will be at home and need to establish themselves as a strong home team. They are coming off an embarrassing loss at home to the Nets as they not only lost the game but also lost their cool. This would be a good time for them to find their Celtics Pride and bounce back.