at Boston Celtics (27-23) at Charlotte Bobcats (11-39)
Monday, February 11
7:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #51, Road Game #23
TV: CSNNE, SSO-CHA, NBA-LP 752(BOS)/753(CHA)
Radio: WEEI, WFNZ
Time Warner Cable Arena Probable Starters PG SG SF PF C
Avery Bradley.....Courtney Lee ..... Paul Pierce.....Brandon Bass.......Kevin GarnettCeltics Reserves
Fab Melo Injuries
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (back) out Probable StartersPG
Kemba Walker ......Gerald Henderson....Michael Kidd-Gilchrist........Byron Mullens .......Bismack Biyombo
Reggie Williams Injuries
None 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.Game Notes
The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games and are on the road, both factors should make this game one that they should take seriously, in spite of the Bobcats' 11-39 record. The Bobcats may have a losing record, but this team always plays hard.
This is the second of 4 games between these two teams. The Celtics won the first meeting 100-89 in Boston and they will meet twice more in March. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games while the Bobcats are just 1-9 in their last 10. The Celtics are 8-14 on the road while the Bobcats have been even worse at home at 6-19. The Celtics have won 7 in a row while the Bobcats have lost 7 in a row.
The Celtics are 7th in the East, now 1.5 games ahead of the Bucks, who are in the 8th spot. They are just half a game behind the Hawks for the 6th spot and 1.5 games behind Brooklyn for the 5th spot. The Bobcats have the worst record in the league and now are playing for ping pong balls, but in spite of that, they always play hard and so the Celtics can't take them for granted.
The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games after a tough triple OT win over the Nuggets. Pierce played 54 minutes. KG played 47 minutes. Bradley played 45 minutes. Terry played 42 minutes. Green played 41 minutes. Add the fact that they had to travel after the game and fatigue could very well be a problem in this game. But still, if the reserves can give the Celtics more in this game, they should be able to get the win. Key Matchups
Kevin Garnett vs Bismack Biyombo
KG has been playing very well and also has a couple of inches on Biyombo who is averaging 4.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 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 without having to bang inside with him.
Avery Bradley vs Kemba Walker
Walker is playing very well for the Bobcats, averaging 17 points , 3.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. Bradley should be able to match his speed and stay ahead of him to slow down both Kemba and the Bobcats' offense. Honorable Mention
Paul Pierce vs Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Kidd-Gilchrist is a promising young rookie who is averaging 9.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Since the Celtics are playing in back to back games, I expect to see Green get more minutes on Gilchrist in this game and between the two, they should be able to slow him down. Keys to the GameFocus and Energy
- When the Celtics face teams with losing records, they often come out flat and lack focus and energy and they lose to teams they should easily beat. The Celtics have got to stay focused and play with energy the entire game because the Bobcats always play hard, even though they don't have the most talent in the league, and will take advantage of any lapse from the Celtics. Defense -
The Celtics need to make defense their priority. Games are won on the defensive end. The effort that the Celtics put out on the defensive end carries over to the offensive end as well. The Celtics have been playing some very good defense led by their Pit Bull backcourt and they need to continue to do so. 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. Rebounding is effort and the Celtics must put out the effort to win the battle of the boards. Be Aggressive -
When the Celtics are the more aggressive team they usually win. They need to be aggressive in going to the basket, in grabbing rebounds, and in hustling after loose balls. Unfortunately they often come out passively against the worst teams and so they have to make an effort to be aggressive in this one. Don't Settle for Jumpers
- The Celtics won't have a lot of legs left after playing big minutes in the double OT game the night before. They need to get into the paint and not settle for outside jumpers, especially if their legs aren't there and they aren't going down. X-Factor
Fatigue and Mentality
The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games and are on the road after a triple overtime game the night before. This should be an easy game for them, but fatigue could influence the outcome. And that brings us to their mentality. They tend to play down to the teams with the worst records. They need to come out playing like they are playing the Heat and if they do, they should get an easy win.