at Boston Celtics (13-13) at Brooklyn Nets (14-12)
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
12:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #27, Road Game #13
TV: ESPN, CSNNE, TSN, YES
Radio: WEEI, WFAN
Barclays Center Probable Starters
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Jason Terry
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Jason Collins
Jeff Green (cheek) probable
Avery Bradley (shoulders) day to day
Chris Wilcox (thumb) out
Leandro Barbosa (personal) out
Kris JosephProbable Starters
PG: Deron Williams
SG: Joe Johnson
SF: Gerald Wallace
PF: Kris Humphries
C: Brook Lopez Nets Reserves
The Celtics take on divisional rival Brooklyn Nets. Both teams have a new look since the Celtics swept the series last season. The Nets have already beaten the Celtics twice this season both at home and on the road. These two teams will meet once more in April.
The Nets are in 2nd place in the division, one game ahead of the Celtics and 5.5 games behind the Knicks who are in first place. The Nets are 8-6 at home while the Celtics are just 4-8 on the road. The Nets are just 3-7 in their last 10 games and are looking for their second straight win. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games and are hoping to avoid a 2 game losing streak.
The last game set the stage for this one as it ended with a brawl, technicals, ejections and fines. Kevin Garnett drove to the basket and was fouled hard by Kris Humphries. Kris gave a little extra shove at the end of the play that didn't sit well with Rondo who quickly rushed to KG's defense. Rondo gave Humphries a shove which resulted in Humphries shoving back and a brawl of sorts broke out along the baseline spilling into the crowd. Rondo somehow lost his jersey along with his double figure assist streak as he was ejected from the game along with Humphries and Gerald Wallace.
These two teams split a pair of preseason games with the Nets winning 97-96 at the Garden and the Celtics winning 115-85 in their very first ever trip to the Barclays Center. The Nets also won twice in the regular season, 102-97 in Boston and 95-83 in Brooklyn.
This is the first game of a 4 game road trip that will take the Celtics through California facing the Clippers, Kings and Warriors after this game vs the Nets. The Celtics are hoping to get Avery Bradley back at some time on the trip, which would give the team a much needed boost.
There is plenty of bad blood between these two teams and it may very well get chippy in this game as well. Hopefully the Celtics use that last game as motivation to come out strong and play their best game. The best revenge would be a Celtics win.Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Deron Williams
Rondo loves playing against the other top PG's in the league. He also loves national TV games. Expect a big game from him as this game has both and he'll be at his best.
Jason Terry vs Joe Johnson
Jason Terry has been praised by Doc for his defense this season and he's going to have to play defense as he faces Joe Johnson, who is capable of putting points on the board in a hurry. On the other side, Johnson hasn't been a lock down defender and hopefully Jet will snap out of the slump he was in last game and should be able to get his points. (But, I'm hoping to see Avery at this spot today.) Honorable Mention
Jason Collins vs Brook Lopez
Lopez is playing very well this season averaging 17.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, and 2.4 bpg. In his last game, he scored 16 points with a team-high 10 rebounds. Collins defense will be much needed in this game.
Keys to the Game Defense
- The Celtics need to tighten up their defense, especially in transition and on the pick and roll. It is their defense that is going to set them apart from the rest of the league and so far this season, it has been very lax. Bench Play
- The Celtics need their reserves to find their chemistry and to produce. The Celtics starters can't carry the team every night and still be fresh at the end of the game. With Chris Wilcox, and Leandro Barbosa out, the bench will be thin, but players like Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, and especially Courtney Lee and Jeff Green must produce. Rebound
- The Celtics need to crash the boards in order to limit New Jersey's fast break points and second chance points. When they put out the effort to win the battle of the boards, that often translates to the rest of their game. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics have got to be the more aggressive team. They have to drive to the basket and not settle for jumpers, especially when the jumpers aren't falling. They must be aggressive on the boards and in going after loose balls. Too often we see the opposing team hustling for loose balls and rebounds while the Celtics look rooted to the floor. They can't be passive and expect to win the game. X-Factor
On the Road and Avery
The Celtics are once again on the road and the last road trip didn't go very well. We can only hope that this one goes a bit better and that they can start it with a win. Also, getting Avery Bradley back for this game would be a huge boost to the team. But we won't know until game time if he will be able to play or not.