at Cleveland Cavaliers (22-52) at Boston Celtics (39-36)
Friday, April 5, 2013
Regular Season Game #76, Home Game #38
TV: CSN-NE, FSO, NBA-LP 753(CLE)/754(BOS)
Radio: WEEI, WTAM
TD Garden Probable Starters Avery Bradley.......Paul Pierce.......Jeff Green......Brandon Bass ........Chris Wilcox
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (back) out
Kevin Garnett (foot) out
Paul Pierce (ankle) probable
Terrence Williams (finger) probable
Fab MeloProbable StartersKyrie Irving.....Wayne Ellington....Alonzo Gee....Tristan Thompson.....Tyler ZellerCleveland Bench
Anderson Varejao (knee) out
Dion Waiters (knee) outKey Matchups
Avery Bradley vs Kyrie Irving
The last time these two met, in a loss in Cleveland, Irving scored 40 points and Avery vowed that he would never do that again. I expect Avery to take this one personally and give a little extra on defense to try to shut Irving, who is averaging 31 points in two games against the Celtics, down.
Chris Wilcox vs Tyler Zeller
Zeller is averaging 12.3 points, 7.3 points, and 1.3 blocks in 3 games against the Celtics this season. Chris needs to keep Zeller off the glass and out of the paint.
The Celtics continue their 4 game home stand as they try to win the season series with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics currently leads the series 2-1, winning once in Boston, and once in Cleveland, without Kyrie Irving.
The Celtics won the series last season 3-0. All 3 wins were close games with the Celtics winning by 3 points, 3 points and 1 point. This is the last of 4 meetings between these two teams this season and the games in Cleveland were again close with the Cavs winning by 5 and the Celtics winning by 1. In the only game that wasn't close, the Celtics won in Boston 103-91.
The Celtics are 3-7 in their last 10 games while the Cavs are just 0-10 in their last 10. The Celtics are playing well at home with a 26-11 record at the Garden. The Cavs are just 9-28 on the road. The Celtics are looking for their second straight win while the Cavs are hoping to avoid an 11 game losing streak.
The Celtics are still entrenched in the 7th spot in the East. They are 2.5 games ahead of the Bucks, who are in 8th and 2 behind Chicago in 6th and 2.5 behind Atlanta in 5th. The Cavs are playing for pingpong balls but would love nothing better than to play spoiler for the Celtics and get a win in this game. Keys to the Game Rebound
- Rebounding is mostly desire and effort. When the Celtics put out the effort to out-rebound their opponents, the effort tends to spread to every area of the game and they usually get the win. In their last meeting, the Cavs out rebounded the Celtics 46-37, including 9-2 on the offensive end. The Cavs are second in the league in second chance points and the Celtics must crash the boards as a team to keep them from racking up second chance points in this game. Defense
- Defense is the key to every game. The Celtics won banner 17 with defense and if they want to win banner 18 they must once again do it with defense. They have struggled with defense without KG, but every player must put out maximum effort on the defensive end with the playoffs coming up, as defense becomes even more important in the playoffs. They must find their defensive identity and make it a priority in every game. Stay Focused and Take Care of the Ball
- How many times have we seen the Celtics get a lead and then lose their focus and start to turn the ball over and miss jumpers. The Celtics must stay focused. They have to hit their free throws, take care of the basketball and limit turnovers, and focus on playing team basketball. Be Aggressive
- The team that is more aggressive and plays like they want it more will get more calls and will usually get the win.
The Celtics must be more aggressive in going to the basket, in grabbing rebounds, in playing defense, and in going after loose balls. They can't play tentatively. They have to be the more aggressive team. X-Factors
Home Court and Injuries
The Celtics are playing at home and hopefully that will give them a boost in this game. They are still missing KG, but hopefully Pierce's ankle will be better and he will be able to play. Also, hopefully TWill's finger won't hold him back as he is just finding his role on the team.