at Boston Celtics (41-39) at Toronto Raptors (32-48)
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #81 Ė Road Game #41
TV: CSNNE, SNET1, NBA-LP
Radio: WEEI, CJCL
Air Canada CentreProbable Starters PGSGSFPFC
PG: Avery Bradley
SG: Paul Pierce
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kevin Garnett Celtics Reserves
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (back) outProbable StartersPGSG SF PFC
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: DeMar DeRozan
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Jonas ValanciunasRaptors Bench
John Lucas III
Linas Kleiza Injuries
Andrea Bargnani (elbow, wrist) outKey Matchups
Jeff Green vs Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay has settled in with the Raptors and has made them a much better team. He is a dangerous scorer and Green will get a chance to display his defense in trying to slow down Gay, who is averaging 18.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Paul Pierce vs DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan is another dangerous scorer who can go off for big numbers on any night. He is averaging 17.9 points per game for the year, but has stepped up his game as the year comes to a close, averaging 22 points over his last 5 games. Keys to the Game Rebound
- The Celtics have got to crash the boards to prevent second chance points. Rebounding takes effort and when they aren't winning the battle of the boards, they aren't putting the effort out in other areas either. The Celtics may be ranked next to last in rebounding but they have proved that when they really want them, the Celtics can grab rebounds. Defense
- The Celtics must make defense their first priority in each and every game of the playoffs and this would be a good time to gear it up. They need to play tough defense and lock down the Raptors. A nice blow out win would be a great way for the Celtics to close out the season. Run and Pass
- The Celtics need to continue to advance the ball with the pass instead of walking it up the court. They also have to continue to run and move the ball to get easy shots before the defenses can get set up. But they also have to stay focused and make smart passes so that they don't turn the ball over. Be Aggressive and Stay Focused
- The Celtics must be the more aggressive team in going after loose balls and rebounds and in going to the basket. They have to keep their focus and their aggressiveness for 48 minutes and not let up. Game Notes
This is the 4th and final game between these two Atlantic Division rivals. The Celtics lead the series 3-0 and are looking to close out the series with a sweep.
The Raptors are playing in back to back games and had to travel from Atlanta overnight for this game. Because the Celtics game was canceled on Tuesday, they were able to travel on Tuesday and should be fresh and ready for this game.
I'm going to guess that Doc will play the regular starters and try to test out his playoff rotation in this game since it is the final game of the season. I don't expect the starters to play big minutes, however. But I do think they will play.
The Raptors are coming off an impressive win over the Hawks and have won 4 in a row. The Celtics are looking for their second straight win and would like to go into the playoffs with some positive momentum. X-Factors
Focus on the Road
The Celtics have struggled on the road this season. They need to come out focused and play their game and establish their rhythm going into the playoffs. The Celtics are veterans and playing on the road shouldn't be a problem for vets. They have to win on the road if they expect to get out of the first round of the playoffs.