at Chicago Bulls (22-15) at Boston Celtics (20-18)
Friday, January 18, 2013
7:00 PM ET
Game #39, Home Game #21
TV: ESPN, NBAC, CSNNE, WCIU
Radio: WEEI, WMVP
TD GardenProbable Starters PG: Rajon Rondo..................................................SG Avery BradleyC: Kevin Garnett SF: Paul Pierce ................................. ............PF Brandon BassCeltics Reserves
Avery Bradley (ribs) day to day
Chris Wilcox (thumb) day to dayD-League
Fab MeloProbable Starters PG: Kirk Hinrich ............................................. SG: Rip Hamilton C: Joakim Noah SF: Luol Deng .................................................. PF: Carlos Boozer Bulls Reserves
Vladmir Radmanovic Injuries
Derrick Rose (knee) out Team Connections
Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau was a member of the Celtics coaching staff from 2007-10 and was a member of the 2008 NBA Championship coaching staff
Bulls Assistant Coaches Ed Pinckney (1988-94) and Adrian Griffin (1999-2001) played for the Celtics
Jason Collins and Kirk Hinrich were teammates in Atlanta from 2010-12
Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox and Bulls Assistant Coach Adrian Griffin were teammates in Seattle during the 2007-08 season
Green and Nazr Mohammed were teammates in Oklahoma City during the 2010-11 season
Paul Pierce and Kirk Hinrich both attended Kansas
Rajon Rondo, Nazr Mohammed and Marquis Teague all attended Kentucky
Jason Terry and Nazr Mohammed were teammates in Atlanta from 2000-04
Terry and Bulls Assistant Coach Adrian Griffin were teammates in Dallas during the 2005-06 season
Chris Wilcox and Nate Robinson were teammates in New York during the 2008-09 season
Wilcox and Rip Hamilton were teammates in Detroit from 2009-11
Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers and Jimmy Butler both attended Marquette
Nate Robinson played for the Celtics during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasonsKey Matchups
Kevin Garnett vs Joakim Noah
Noah brings a lot of energy to the Bulls and he is a presence in the paint. KG has to match his energy. In the past, Noah has been able to get to the basket at will for rebounds and tip ins. He is also blocking 2.03 shots a game. In the last meeting between these two teams, Noah finished with his second career triple double. KG has got to box him out and defend the paint. This might be a good game for Doc to give Collins some run if Noah starts to go wild inside.
Rajon Rondo vs Kirk Hinrich
Rondo and Hinrich have history together going back to the 2009 playoffs when Rondo shoved Hinrich into the scorer's table and the 2 got into a skirmish. Rondo has a speed advantage on Hinrich but Hinrich is a good shooter and so Rondo will need to stay with him on defense.
Paul Pierce vs Luol Deng
Pierce and Deng are always a fun matchup to watch. Deng is long and a very good defender and has been able to bother Pierce in the past. He will make Pierce work for his points. Deng has also been shooting well and is scoring 17.8 ppg and in the past has put up some big games against the Celtics.
The Celtics try to get back on track as they host the Chicago Bulls. This is the third of 4 meetings between these two teams. They split a pair of games in Chicago with the Celtics winning on 101-95 and the Bulls pulling out the other 100-89. They will meet one more time in Boston on February 13.
Although Derrick Rose is rumored to be getting closer to a return to the active roster, he still isn't cleared for full contact. Avery Bradley injured his ribs against the Hornets and didn't practice on Thursday. His status for this game will probably be a game time decision. The Bulls are a good road team with an 11-5 record while the Celtics have been playing well at home with a 13-7 record, in spite of pitiful effort they brought against the Hornets in their last game there.
The Bulls are coached by former Celtics assistant and defensive guru, Tom Thibodeau. It follows that they hang their hat on their defense. They are 3rd in the league in points allowed, giving up just 91.73 points per game on 43.0% shooting. The Celtics recent improved defense has moved them up to 7th, allowing 95.71 points per game on 44.6% shooting.
The Celtics are looking to begin another win streak after their 6 game win streak was snapped by the Hornets in their last game. The Bulls have won 2 in a row and are looking for their 3rd straight. The Celtics need to play a lot better than they did against the Hornets if they expect to get a win in this one.
Keys to the Game Rebound
- The Celtics are once again last in rebounding, grabbing just 38.71 per game while the Bulls are 7th with 43.68 rebounds per game. The Celtics have to box out and keep Noah from getting easy tip ins and to keep the Bulls from piling up the second chance baskets. The Celtics have got to crash the boards as a team. rebounding takes effort and every player has to put out that effort.
- Defense has been the Celtics strength in recent years. It has also been a strength for the Bulls. The Celtics defense finally showed up with the return of Avery Bradley and other than the Hornets game has been solid since his return. The Celtics need to match the defensive intensity of the Bulls and even exceed it if they want to come out of this game with a win. Be Aggressive
- It's no secret that the more aggressive team gets the calls and usually the win. The Celtics must start out being aggressive and that starts with Rondo. They have to be aggressive on the boards, in defending, in going after loose balls, and especially in getting inside to the basket instead of settling for outside jumpers. X-Factors
The Celtics obviously weren't focused in their last game against the Hornets. They shot 37% from the line and the only explanation for that has to be a lack of focus. They also didn't move the ball or play Celtics defense. They have to come into this game more focused, or they may be facing a 2 game losing streak.