at Sacramento Kings (16-29) at Boston Celtics (21-23)
Wednesday, January 30, 2012
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #45, Home Game #24
TV: CSNNE, NBA-LP
TD Garden Probable Starters PGSGSFPFC
Avery Bradley.... Courtney Lee.... Paul Pierce.....Jared Sullinger.... Kevin GarnettCeltics Reserves
Rajon Rondo (torn ACL) indefinite
Fab MeloProbable Starters PG SG SF PF C
Isaiah Thomas. Marcus Thornton ..John Salmons ..Jason Thompson. DeMarcus Cousins Reserves
Thomas RobinsonInjuries Team Connections
DeMarcus Cousins, Chuck Hayes and Rajon Rondo all attended the University of Kentucky
Marcus Thornton and Brandon Bass attended Louisiana State University
Kings Assistant Coach Bobby Jackson and Brandon Bass were teammates in New Orleans during the 2006-07 season…
Jimmer Fredette and Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge both attended Brigham Young University.Game Notes
The Celtics are going to try to follow up a very big 2OT win last Sunday with a win against Sacramento. They will be getting over with the fact that Rondo is out for the season with a torn ACL. Sacramento has been losing a ton because of the fact that their franchise is getting relocated soon. With three days of rest, the Celtics should come out strong and win.
The Celtics are playing with three days of rest at home, which will make this game easy to win. But unlike their 6-game losing streak, they will have to not underestimate a weak opponent in the Kings. The Celtics are 14-9 at home while the Kings are playing terribly on the road with a horrendous 4-17 record on the road. The Kings are coming off a game with the 76ers.
The Celtics faced the Kings earlier this season and lost 118-96 at Power Balance Arena. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games while the Kings are a slightly worse 3-7 in their last 10. Key Matchups
Leandro Barbosa vs Isaiah Thomas
With Rondo out for the season, Barbosa will need to step up big time. After sitting on the bench for an extended period and playing bigger minutes with Rondo out, he will need to play well to keep his spot in the starting lineup. He will have to run, run, and run, and take advantage of his height advantage over Isaiah Thomas who has been slumping.
Kevin Garnett vs DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins is a tough and physical player but he's also a young player and a volatile player. Kevin Garnett is also a tough and physical player, and this will be a very important matchup. Kevin will have to find a way to keep Cousins off the boards and provide defensive intensity. Cousins has already served three suspensions this season. Keys to the Game Defense
- Defense is a key to every game and it will be the key to winning the championship. After playing tough defense against the Heat and keeping their offense to under 100 points despite 2 overtimes, their defense is back. However, last game they let the Kings bomb away from three point land, resulting in the lopsided score They also must defend the paint to keep them away from the basket. Crash the boards
- The Celtics need to rebound the basketball. They let Miami, the worst rebounding team in the league, get 9 offensive boards in the first quarter, and cannot let that happen again. It takes effort and desire to out rebound the opposing team and when they show the effort and desire on the boards, it usually transfers to the rest of their game as well. The Celtics must rebound to prevent easy fast break points and tip ins.
Do not play down to the opponent
- The Celtics have consistently followed up big wins with disastrous losses against teams in the lower echelon of the NBA. They will need to come out strong and play hard despite the Kings' record, or they will lose again. The players will also all have to play hard, or it's very possible they will get traded. Doc has already threatened 1-way tickets out of town and with Rondo out, unless there is a win streak, a trade will happen.X-Factors - Playing down to the opponent
With the effort the Celtics displayed against Miami, this game should be a very easy blowout. However, if they continue to play down to the opponent, they could get blown out themselves. With Rondo out for the season and two games under .500, they need to string together more wins. This should be an easy game, as long as they play with half the intensity they had against Miami.