at Boston Celtics (14-13) at Los Angeles Clippers (22-6)
Thursday, December 17, 2012
10:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #28, Road Game #14
TV: TNT, TSN2
Radio: WEEI, KFWB
Staples Center Probable Starting MatchupsPoint Guard
Rajon Rondo vs Chris Paul Shooting Guard
Jason Terry vs Willie Green Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Caron Butler Power Forward
Kevin Garnett vs Blake Griffin Center
Jason Collins vs DeAndre Jordan
Avery Bradley (shoulders) out
Chris Wilcox (thumb) out
Leandro Barbosa (personal) day to dayRed Claws
Chauncey Billups (foot) out
Grant Hill (knee) out
Trey Thompkins (knee) out Game Notes
The Celtics continue their road trip as they take on that other LA team and try to end the Clippers' 14 game win streak. These 2 teams met just once last season with the Celtics winning 94-85 at the Staples Center.
This will be a matchup of two all star point guards. Rondo and Paul are the NBA's top two assist leaders, with Rondo averaging 11.9 and Paul dishing out 9.5 per contest. Paul averages a few more points at 16.1 ppg compared to 13.7 ppg for Rondo. Both teams depend on their point guards to set the pace and keep the team on the right track.
The Celtics are just 5-8 on the road and they need to start playing more consistently away from home. The Clippers are a tough team to play whether at home or on the road and they have an impressive 13-3 record at home.
The Celtics need to come out focused and to play for 48 minutes. They have to get contributions from the bench. They also need to keep the defensive intensity that they brought to the Nets game. It would be an incredible boost if they could get this win and stop the Clippers 14 game win streak. On the other hand, it would be yet another step back to .500 if they come up short. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Chris Paul
This is a matchup of 2 All Star point guards. Rondo always get up to play against the top point guards in the league. He also loves playing on national TV. Once again he's got both in this game. The Celtics need Rondo to be aggressive and to work on the defensive end because CP3 is very good.
Kevin Garnett vs Blake Griffin
Griffin is a tough matchup for anyone. He loves putting players on posters and I have a feeling that KG won't take too kindly to being posterized. It's going to take team defense to keep Griffin from getting to the hoop. Keys to the GameDefense
- The Celtics must make defense a priority. They played great defense against the Nets and they need to show that same tenacity on team defense in this game. The win over the Nets was because of the Celtics' defense and they need to bring this same defense against the Clippers. Rebound
- The Celtics need to make an effort to crash the boards. The Clippers are capable of running on the break if the Celtics don't prevent it by keeping them from getting the rebounds. Griffin is also very dangerous around the basket getting tip ins and second chance baskets. The Celtics need to show the same tenacity on the boards that they did against the Nets. Ball Movement
- The Celtics have to move the ball and look for the open man. They have to play team ball. Doc mentioned several times that ball movement was one of the things that helped to beat the Nets. Bench Play
- Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green stepped up in their last game against the Nets. The Celtics need that on a consistent basis and especially on the road. It would be nice to get some production from Courtney Lee as well and others as well.
- The Celtics must be the more aggressive team. They can't play passively against a team like the Clippers. They have to be aggressive on defense, in chasing down loose balls, and in going to the hoop, especially if their jumpers aren't falling. X-FactorOn the Road
The Celtics began this road trip on a high note with a convincing win over the Nets. They went 0-3 on their last road trip and are just 5-8 on the road. The Celtics must find a way to play consistently whether at home or on the road.