at Charlotte Bobcats (14-50) at Boston Celtics (35-29)
Saturday, March 16, 2013
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #65 Home Game #33
TV: CSN-NE, SSO-CHA, NBA-LP 753(CHA)/754(BOS)
Radio: WEEI, WFNZ
TD Garden 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
Red Claws Probable StartersPG
Kemba Walker ......Gerald Henderson....Michael Kidd-Gilchrist........Josh McRoberts .......Bismack Biyombo
Ramon Sessions (knee) out
The Celtics host the Bobcats for the 4th and final game between these two teams. The Bobcats have always seemed to give the Celtics problems and this season, in spite of having just 14 wins, they have beaten the Celtics twice. The Celtics should have easily beaten them in their last meeting but gave no effort and were blown out instead.
Every game is important for playoff seeding. After the Heat, the standings could change with each game. The Celtics are currently in the 6th spot but they have the same record as Atlanta in 7th and Chicago in 5th and a win could move them into 5th while a loss could drop them back to 7th. They are just 2.5 games behind Brooklyn in 4th.
The Celtics are 3.5 games behind New York for the 3rd seed and for the Atlantic Division lead. New York has been struggling with Amare likely out for the season and both Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony struggling with knee injuries. They are also in the midst of a tough western road trip, so catching them isn't out of the question if the Celtics play well.
The Celtics had a rare practice on Friday to try to catch some slippage in their defense and spacing. The Bobcats are playing in back to back games while the Celtics have had 2 days off and should be ready to avenge the previous 2 losses to the Bobcats. There should be no way the Celtics take the Bobcats for granted in this one.
The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games while the Bobcats are 1-9 in their last 10. And that one win was against the Celtics. The Celtics are 23-9 at home and have won 10 in a row at TD Garden The Bobcats are just 6-26 on the road. If the Celtics have any pride at all, this game will give KG some Gino time before it's over. Key Matchups
Brandon Bass vs Josh McRoberts
Brandon Bass has been playing well and the Celtics need him to continue to crash the boards and be aggressive on offense. They need more from him. McRoberts had 13 points and 10 rebounds in their last meeting. Bass needs to out-play him in this game.
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 35 points and in their previous meeting, he posted 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. He loves playing the Celtics. Lee (and Bradley) need to keep him from having another big game. The Celtics also need some offense from Lee.
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. He may also need to help guard Henderson if he is scoring like he did in their last meeting. Keys to the GameVengeance
- The Bobcats have just 14 wins on the year. Two of those wins came at the expense of the Celtics. Just Tuesday night, the Bobcats embarrassed the Celtics with a 26 point blow out. The Celtics have a way of not taking the bottom feeding teams seriously and tend to give less than 100% against them. Since the Bobcats have beaten the Celtics two times in a row, the Celtics need to come into this game with revenge on their minds and get this win. 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 as well. The Celtics need to swarm the basket as a team. 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. The Celtics let up on defense and allowed way too many easy baskets for the Bobcats in their last meeting. They have to do a better job in this one. Be Aggressive -
When the Celtics are the more aggressive team they usually win. They need to be aggressive going to the basket, grabbing rebounds, and hustling after loose balls and, especially, on defense. This goes for the Celtics as a team and for each player individually. The Celtics allowed the Bobcats to be the more aggressive team in their last meeting and they can't allow that in this game if they want to win. Run the Offense
- The Celtics offense looks incredible some nights and then should be on a milk carton the next night. They have to move the ball and find the open man. Each player has to move without the ball to get open. They can't play hero ball. If their jumpers stop falling they must go to the basket. X-Factor
Home Court and Focus
The Celtics lost both times they played the Bobcats in Charlotte, but they won their first meeting at the Garden. The Celtics have also have a 10 game win streak going at the Garden. They can't possibly take this team for granted after losing to them in their last two meetings. They need to get a boost from the home crowd and come out focused on getting the win.