at Philadelphia 76ers (11-8) at Boston Celtics (10-9)
Saturday, December 8, 2012
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #20, Home Game #11
TV: CSNNE, CSNP, NBA LP 757
Radio: WEEI, WPEN
TD GardenProbable Starters PG:
Rajon Rondo ...................................... SG:
Kevin Garnett SF:
Paul Pierce ....................................... PF:
Brandon Bass Celtics Reserves
Avery Bradley (shoulders) outD-League
Fab MeloProbable Starters PG:
Jrue Holiday .................................... SG:
Lavoy Allen SF:
Evan Turner ...................................... PF:
Thaddeus Young Sixers Reserves
Andrew Bynum (knee) out
Royal Ivey (groin) doubtful
Nick Young (toe) questionableKey Matchups
Paul Pierce vs Evan Turner
Turner is becoming the Sixers go-to guy. He scored 26 points (10-26) and grabbed 10 rebounds in the last game including the game winner. Paul Pierce had an almost identical shooting night with 27 points on 9-24 shooting to go with 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Pierce also played almost 45 minutes and that could be a factor in this game. If his legs aren't there he needs to pass more and shoot less.
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. Rondo had a triple double in the last game, but missed the last shot in both regulation and in OT. The Celtics need him to continue to be aggressive in this game also. Keys to the Game Defense
- As always, defense is key to winning. Period. The Celtics did a good job of holding the Sixers to 37% shooting in the first game but some of that was the Sixers missing open shots. The Celtics need to ramp up the defense even more. The Sixers scored 40 points in the paint and the Celtics need to do better at defending the basket. 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. They turned the ball over 18 times for 21 Sixers points. That was the difference in the game. They must take better care of the ball. Rebound
- When the Celtics put out the effort to win the battle of the boards, they usually win.. Rebounding is mostly effort and will and when the Celtics put the effort on the glass it usually shows up in other areas also. They did a good job of staying with the Sixers in the rebounding category and they need to continue to do that again in this game. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics need to stay aggressive. They have to be more aggressive going to the hoop and not settling for outside shots. 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 take on the Sixers for the second night in a row as they complete the home and home series. The Celtics are coming off of a heartbreaking loss in over time in the first game. And playing the extra minutes in overtime may result in less energy for this game.
This game will be at home and hopefully the crowd can give them a boost and help them to dig down and find some extra energy. The Sixers also played the extra minutes the night before, but they are younger and it probably won't affect them as much.
The Celtics need to drive the ball more and depend less on jumpers and 3 pointers since their legs may not be there in the second of back to back games. Rondo is coming off of a triple double and pretty much had his way with Jrue Holiday, who might be looking to regain the edge. Rondo needs to continue to play aggressively on both ends of the court.
The Sixers have now won 2 preseason games and 2 regular season games. The Celtics need to make a stand here as this game may come back to haunt them at the end of the season when they are vying for playoff seeding. The Celtics need to dig down and win this one.
Back to Back and Home Court
The Celtics seem to be affected more when they play back to back games. Hopefully they don't run out of gas before the end. The home crowd should give them a bit of added energy.