at Boston Celtics (36-31) at Dallas Mavericks (32-36)
Friday, March 22, 2013
8:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #68 – Road Game #34
TV: CSN-NE, FSSW-DAL, NBA-LP 764(BOS)/765(DAL)
Radio: WEEI, 103.5 FM, ESPNR
American Airlines Center Probable Starting Matchups Point Guard
Avery Bradley vs Mike James
Courtney Lee vs OJ Mayo
Paul Pierce vs Jae CrowderPower Forward
Brandon Bass vs Dirk Nowitski
Kevin Garnett vs Chris Kaman Celtics Reserves
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (back) out D-League
Fab MeloDallas Reserves
Roddy Beaubois (hand) out
Shawn Marion (calf) probableTeam Connections
Team Connections: Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle played for the Celtics from 1984-87 and was a member of the 1985-86 championship team
Mavs assistant coach Jim O’Brien was the Celtics head coach from 2001-04
Brandon Bass played for the Mavericks from 2007-09
Bass and Vince Carter were teammates in Orlando during the 2009-10 season
Chris Wilcox and Elton Brand were teammates on the Clippers from 2002-06
Chris Wilcox and Chris Kaman were teammates on the Clippers from 2003-06
Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers and Jae Crowder both attended Marquette
Jason Terry played for the Mavericks from 2004-12 and was a member of their 2011 NBA Championship teamGame Notes
Jason Terry makes his first visit to the American Airlines Center where he played for 8 years. Hopefully the crowd will give him a nice welcome for all he did for that team. This is the second game between these two teams as the Celtics beat the Mavericks 117-115 in Boston earlier this season. The Mavericks were without Dirk in that game as he was recovering from a knee injury.
The Mavs have a 2 game win streak against the Celtics in Dallas and have won 6 of the last 8 between the teams. The win in Boston on December 12 snapped the Celtics' 4 game losing streak against the Mavericks. The Mavs are in the midst of a 6 game homestand while the Celtics are in the middle of a 3 game Western road trip.
The Mavs are in the 10th spot in the West, but just 3.5 games behind the Lakers, who are in 8th, so they aren't out of it yet. They will be playing hard to try to make up ground in case the Lakers stumble again. The Celtics have dropped back to the 7th spot in the East, just half a game behind Chicago in 6th and 1.5 games behind Atlanta in 5th. They are also just 4.5 games behind the Knicks for the 3rd spot and the Atlantic division lead. They are also just 2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the 8th spot and a first round matchup with the Heat.
Both teams are 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Celtics have lost 2 in a row and are looking to get back in the win column. The Mavs are looking to avoid losing their second straight. The Mavs are a decent 18-14 at home while the Celtics are a pitiful 12-21 on the road. Shawn Marion has missed the last 8 games with a calf injury but says he plans to play in this one.
The Celtics have proved that they can play with just about any team, building leads and staying with teams, but then falter in the second half. They need to develop better focus and effort, especially on the road, and close out games. Let's hope they come into this game mad at themselves for blowing the last game and win easily so that they can get some rest for the next night's game in Memphis. Key Matchups
Courtney Lee vs OJ Mayo
Mayo is a scoring threat for Dallas and it will be up to Courtney Lee to to guard him and keep him from having a big game. It would also be nice if Lee would get his own offense going as well.
Brandon Bass vs Dirk Nowitski
Although Bass and Nowitski will be playing the power forward position, KG matches up better with Dirk, who is a bigger threat to score than Kaman. I expect to see more of KG matched with Dirk and Bass on Kaman. Containing Dirk will be a key to getting a win. Keys to the GameRebound
- Rebounding is so crucial to getting a win. When the Celtics put out the effort to grab rebounds, more often than not, that effort extends to other areas of their game. . Rebounding is all in who wants it more and the Celtics have to be the team that wants it more. They were out-rebounded by the Hornets 45-28, which is unacceptable. If the Celtics expect to win games they simply have to put out more effort on the boards. Defense
- Defense is always crucial to getting a win. Defense wins games is not just a cliche, it is the truth. The Celtics must play tough team defense in this and every game. We have seen them play that type of defense and build leads and then let up and allow teams to score at will. The Celtics must play tough defense on a consistent basis and not just in spurts. Bench Play
- The Celtics play again on Saturday in Memphis and so Doc will need to consider the minutes played by the starters. Against the Hornets, who have a fairly weak bench, the Celtics reserves were out-scored 39-17. Of course, Doc only went 8 deep. Doc needs to use his bench more to keep the starters fresh down the stretch. Dallas' bench averages 52.2 points and so the Celtics 2nd unit needs to play hard on both ends of the court. They have to match the energy from Dallas' reserves. Be Aggressive
- When the Celtics are aggressive they are tough to beat. They have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers. They have to be aggressive on defense and in diving for loose balls. They have to be the team to set the pace and the team to play harder. In the second half of Wednesday's game, the Celtics shot jumper after jumper rather than taking the ball inside. They have to be more aggressive in going to the hoop and not settle for jumpers, especially when they aren't falling. X-Factor
On the Road And JET's Team
The Celtics have played terribly on the road this season. They are not a young team that would be intimidated by a hostile crowd so there is no excuse, other than lack of focus and effort for the losses on the road. They have to stay focused and play hard from start to finish. Jason Terry would love to get the win over his old team and so his teammates need to back him up and play harder to give him one.