at Chicago Bulls (30-21) at Boston Celtics (27-24)
Wednesday, February13, 2013
7:30 PM ET
Game #52, Home Game #29
TV: NBA-TV, NBAC, CSNNE, CSNC
Radio: WEEI, WMVP
TD GardenProbable Starters PG: Avery Bradley..................................................SG Courtney LeeC: Kevin Garnett SF: Paul Pierce ................................. ............PF Brandon BassCeltics Reserves
Jared Sullinger (back) out
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Leandro Barbosa (knee) out Probable Starters PG: Nate Robinson ............................................. SG: Rip Hamilton C: Joakim Noah SF: Luol Deng .................................................. PF: Carlos Boozer Bulls Reserves
Vladmir Radmanovic Injuries
Derrick Rose (knee) out
Kirk Hinrich (elbow) 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 2.02 shots a game. Noah finished with his second career triple double in the second meeting between these teams. 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.
Brandon Bass vs Carlos Boozer
Carlos Boozer has been playing well and had big games against the Celtics so far this season. Boozer totaled 19 points and a season-high 20 rebounds in the last game and he had 4 double-doubles in his last five games against Boston. Bass must slow Boozer down both on the boards and on offense.
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 leads the Bulls in scoring with 16.9 ppg along with grabbing 6.8 rpg. We will probably see some Jeff Green on Deng as well as Pierce.
The Celtics try to get back on track as they host the Chicago Bulls in their last game before the All Star break. This is the 4th and final meeting between these two teams. They split a pair of games in Chicago with the Celtics winning the first 101-95 and the Bulls pulling out the other 100-89. In their last game, the first in Boston, the Bulls won 100-99 in OT when Marco Belinelli hit the game winning shot with 3.1 seconds left in the game.
Although Derrick Rose is rumored to be getting closer to a return to the active roster, he still isn't cleared for full contact. His replacement, Kirk Hinrich has missed the last 6 games with an elbow injury and will be out for this game as well. Former Celtic Nate Robinson will start at PG for the Bulls. The Celtics lost their 3rd player in the past 2 weeks to a season ending injury on Monday when Leandro Barbosa tore his ACL. He joins Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger on the shelf for the rest of the season. Rondo will especially be missed in this one as he loved playing the Bulls and was averaging a team high 25.3 points in the 3 games against them.
The Bulls are a good road team with a 15-9 record while the Celtics have been playing well at home with a 19-9 record. The Celtics have also won a season high 6 straight at the Garden including the triple OT game against the Nuggets on Sunday. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games while the Bulls are 5-5 in their last 10. Both teams are coming off a loss. The Celtics lost a close one to the Bobcats after playing a triple OT classic the night before. The Bulls lost a blow out at home to the Spurs, who were playing without Parker, Duncan and Ginobili.
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 91.94 points per game on 43.0% shooting. The Celtics have improved defensively over the season and are 10th in the league, allowing 96.3 points per game on 44.1% shooting.
The Celtics are looking to begin another win streak after their 7 game win streak was snapped by the Bobcats in their last game. The Bulls would also like to get back on track with a win in this one. The Bulls are 4th in the East, 3 games ahead of the Celtics, who are in 7th. After moving to within 1/2 game of the Hawks in 6th they have now slipped back to 1.5 games behind them. This is the final game for both teams before the All Star Break.
Keys to the Game Rebound
- The Celtics are 29th in the league in rebounding, grabbing just 40.04 rebounds per game while the Bulls are 6th with 43.59 rebounds per game. The Celtics have to box out and keep Noah and Boozer 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 for the most part, 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 keep up that aggressiveness until the final buzzer. Against the Bobcats, the Celtics let up and allowed them to be the more aggressive team and it cost them. 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
Home Court and Focus
The Celtics are at home and need to get a boost from the fans. They have to focus on doing the things that helped them win 7 games in a row. Advance the ball with the pass and move it around to find the open man. They also have to get into the paint and not settle for outside shots all game.