at Charlotte Bobcats (9-27) at Boston Celtics (19-17)
Monday, January 14,2013
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #37 Home Game #19
TV: CSN-NE, SSO-CHA, NBA-LP 753(CHA)/754(BOS)
Radio: WEEI, WFNZ
TD Garden Probable Starters PG SG SF PF C
Rajon Rondo.....Avery Bradley ..... Paul Pierce.....Brandon Bass..... Kevin GarnettCeltics Reserves
Chris Wilcox (thumb) day to dayRed Claws
Fab Melo Probable StartersPG
Kemba Walker......Gerald Henderson....Michael Kidd Gilchrist........Tyrus Thomas.......Bismack Biyombo
Byron Mullins (ankle) out Team Connections
DeSagana Diop and Rajon Rondo attended Oak Hill Academy
Brandon Bass and DeSagana Diop were teammates in Dallas from 2007-09
Jeff Green and Byron Mullens were teammates in Oklahoma City from 2009-11
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Rajon Rondo both attended Kentucky
Jared Sullinger and Byron Mullens both attended Ohio State
DeSagana Diop and Jason Terry were teammates in Dallas from 2005-09
Jason Terry and Brendan Haywood were teammates in Dallas from 2009-12
Ben Gordon and Chris Wilcox were teammates in Detroit from 2009-11.
Jason Collins and Hakim Warrick were teammates in Memphis during the 2007-08 season
Fab Melo and Hakim Warrick attended Syracuse.
The Celtics host the Charlotte Bobcats as they look for their longest win streak since December of 2010. The Celtics have won their last 5 games, 4 against teams above .500, by an average of 10.6 points. The Bobcats, on the other hand have lost their last 3 games, and 22 of their last 24, by an average of 11.0 points. The Celtics swept the series last season 3-0.
The Celtics win streak has been keyed by the return of Avery Bradley, and with him, a return of the Celtics lock down defense. With the roles being better defined, the second unit has also played a part with Courtney Lee providing some tough defense and clutch shooting and Jared Sullinger crashing the boards and playing tough inside. Jeff Green has been more aggressive. Jason Terry's shot is still inconsistent but he's a scorer and this could be the game where the shots start to fall again.
The Bobcats are just 2-8 in their last 10 games and have lost 3 in a row. The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games, and, after losing 8 of their previous 10 games, they have won 5 straight. The Celtics are 12-6 at home and need to continue to build a home dominance. The Bobcats are just 4-13 on the road. Hopefully the Celtics don't let down and play down to the Bobcats. If they play the way they have in their last 5 games, KG should get to enjoy Gino Time again. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker returns to New England where he won a lot of fans playing for UConn. Walker is averaging 17.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. Rondo loves big matchups and so should give Walker all he can handle in this one.
Kevin Garnett vs Bismack Biyombo
KG has been playing very well and also has a couple of inches on Biyombo who is averaging 4.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. Biyombo is a good defender and bothers a lot of shots inside, but with KG's size, he should be able to get his shot off over Biyombo.
Avery Bradley vs Gerald Henderson
Gerald Henderson has shot the ball well against the Celtics in the past, scoring 43 points while shooting 19 for 33 (57.8 percent) from the field in the last two meetings. It will be up to Avery to slow him down in this one. Keys to the GameDefense -
The Celtics have been winning with tough defense. They need to continue to make defense their top priority. Defense wins games and it wins championships. Rebound -
Good things happen when the Celtics crash the boards. When they show energy in rebounding, that energy spreads to other areas of the game. They prevent second chance points and fast break baskets by grabbing the rebounds as well. The Celtics need to swarm the basket as a team. Be Aggressive -
When the Celtics are the more aggressive team they usually win. They need to be aggressive going to the basket, grabbing rebounds, and hustling after loose balls and, especially, on defense. This goes for the Celtics as a team and for each player individually. Bench Play
- The Celtics reserves have been playing very well during the win streak and have outscored their opponents' counterparts 67-41 in their last two games. The Celtics need the second unit to continue to bring energy and outplay the opposing reserves to allow the starters to be fresh at the end of the game. X-Factor
This is a game that could very easily become a trap game against a team with a losing record and only 9 wins. The Celtics have 5 wins in a row, 4 of which came against teams above .500. They could easily let down their guard and play down to the competition. Hopefully they come out strong and keep their focus and we have Gino time at the Garden again.