at Boston Celtics (34-28) at Charlotte Bobcats (13-50)
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
7:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #63, Road Game #32
TV: CSNNE, SSO-CHA, NBA-LP 751(BOS)/752(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
Shavlik Randolph Injuries
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (back) out
Fab MeloProbable StartersPG
Kemba Walker ......Gerald Henderson....Michael Kidd-Gilchrist........Byron Mullens .......Bismack Biyombo
Reggie Williams Injuries
Ramon Sessions (knee) out 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.Game Notes
The Bobcats may have a losing record, but this team always plays hard as evidenced by the Celtics' 94-91 loss the last time they visited the Bobcats. Granted that the Celtics were playing in back to back games after a triple OT game the night before, but it just proves that if a team shows any weakness, the Bobcats will try to exploit it.
This is the third of 4 games between these two teams. The Celtics won the first meeting 100-89 in Boston and they lost their second meeting in Charlotte 91-94. The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games while the Bobcats are just 0-10 in their last 10. The Celtics are just 12-19 on the road while the Bobcats have been even worse at home at 7-24, but one of those 7 wins is against the Celtics. The Celtics are looking to start a new win streak after having their 5 game win streak snapped in OKC on Sunday. The Bobcats would be happy just winning one after losing their last 10.
The Celtics have moved up to the 6th spot in the East, tied with Atlanta who are in 7th, but get the higher seed because they lead the season series. They are just half a game behind Chicago for the 5th seed and 2.5 games behind Brooklyn for the 4th spot. They are also just 1.5 games in front of the Bucks who are in 8th. 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.
This game is the first game of a back to back set with the Raptors coming into the Garden on Wednesday. After KG's 5-19 shooting against OKC, this might be a good time to give him another night off. We may get to see some DJ White and Shavlik Randolph, who are on their second 10 day contract but haven't seen much playing time. The Celtics need to win this and they should, with or without KG. Key Matchups
Brandon Bass vs Byron Mullens
Brandon Bass is coming off one of his best games of the season and he will need to produce in this game as well. Mullens is averaging 11.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game but in the last meeting between these two teams, Mullens exploded for 25 points and 18 rebounds. The Celtics need to do a better job of guarding him in this one.
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. After facing Russell Westbrook in the last game, Walker should seem like a cakewalk. Honorable Mention
Courtney Lee vs Gerald Henderson
Henderson is having a decent season for the Bobcats, averaging 13.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. In the last meeting between these two teams, he erupted for 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Lee needs to keep him from having another big game. The Celtics also need Lee to get his offensive game back on track. 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. 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. Take Care of the Ball
- They also must focus on taking better care of the basketball. They turned it over 19 times against OKC and it's hard to win when you give the other team that many extra possessions. They have to make smarter passes and keep their focus when handling the ball. X-Factor
This should be an easy game for the Celtics but at times they let down their guard against the teams with the worst records. They also tend to lose focus on the road. And that brings us to their mentality. They need to come out playing like they are playing the Heat at home and if they do, they should get an easy win. It would be nice to see the new guys get some experience on the court in this one.