at Los Angeles Clippers (34-14) at Boston Celtics (23-23)
Sunday, February 3, 2013
1:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #47, Home Game #26
TV: NBA-TV, CSNNE, PRIME
Radio: WEEI, KFWB
TD Garden Probable Starting MatchupsPoint Guard
Avery Bradley vs Eric BledsoeShooting Guard
Courtney Lee vs Willie Green Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Caron Butler Power Forward
Brandon Bass vs Blake Griffin Center
Kevin Garnett vs DeAndre Jordan
Fab Melo Injuries
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (back) out Reserves
Grant Hill Injuries
Chauncey Billups (foot) out
Chris Paul (knee) out
Trey Thompkins (knee) out Game Notes
The Celtics look to win a fourth straight game since Rondo's season-ending injury when they host the Clippers, who will be without Chris Paul for the 7th straight game. The last time these two teams met, the Clippers handed the Celtics one of their worst losses of the season, a 106-77 blowout loss at the Staples Center. The Celtics will be looking for some revenge in this one.
The Celtics had lost their last 6 before Rondo's injury but they rallied as a team and have won their last 3 in a row since Rondo went out. The Clippers have struggled since Paul injured his knee, losing four of the last six after falling 98-73 at Toronto on Friday - which was their worst loss of the season. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games while the Clippers are a slightly better 5-5 in their last 10. The Celtics are 16-9 at home, but the Clippers are a good road team with a 14-9 record away from the Staples Center. They have, however, lost 4 of their last 5 on the road.
The Celtics are home and have had a day off, unlike their first meeting when the Celtics were on the road and adjusting to West Coast time. This time, the Clippers are playing the third game of an eight-game road trip. If the Celtics continue to play as they have in their last 3 games, they have a very good chance to win their fourth straight game. Key Matchups
Avery Bradley vs Eric Bledsoe
This is a battle of replacement point guards. With Chris Paul out of the game the young and talented Bledsoe will fill in and it will be up to Avery Bradley to stop him from having a big game. The back court of Bradley and Lee have been dubbed "Pit Bulls" and they love making it tough on opposing guards.
Brandon Bass vs Blake Griffin
Griffin is a tough matchup for anyone. Bass won't be able to handle Griffin alone so it's going to take team defense to keep Griffin from getting to the hoop at will. Keys to the GameDefense
- The Celtics must make defense a priority. They have been playing great defense over their last 4 games and they need that to continue. The defensive mindset has begun with the "pit bull" backcourt of Lee and Bradley and it has spread to the rest of the team. 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. With their best rebounder out, every Celtic must step up and give extra effort to crash the boards. Ball Movement
- The Celtics have to move the ball and look for the open man. They have to play team ball. With Rondo out, they have been advancing the ball with the pass and depending less on walking the ball up the court and that has given them some easy baskets as they beat the defenses up the court.
- 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-Factors Team Play and Focus
The Celtics have been winning with team play. They have been getting great contributions from every player. They need to continue playing as a team and moving the ball. Against the Magic the Celtics went through a slump in the game where they let Orlando get back into the game. They have to keep their focus all game against the Clippers or they could find themselves in trouble.