at Boston Celtics (4-6) at Minnesota Timberwolves (6-4)
Saturday, November 16, 2013
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #11, Road Game #6
TV: CSN-NE, FS North, NBA-LP 762(DTV)/755(Xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, WCCO-AM, WBZ
Target CenterProbable Starters
Jordan Crawford...Avery Bradley...Jeff Green...Brandon Bass...Kelly Olynyk Celtics Reserves
Rajon Rondo (ACL)outProbable Starters
Ricky Rubio...Kevin Martin...Corey Brewer...Kevin Love...Nikola PekovicTimberwolves Reserves
Derrick Williams Injuries
Shabazz Muhammad (ankle) questionable
Chase Budinger (knee) out
Ronny Turiaf (head) out Game Notes
The Celtics begin a tough stretch of games with a stop in Minnesota. These two teams faced each other in the preseason, ending with a 104-89 loss for the Celtics.
Both teams are playing in the second half of back to back games and both had to travel overnight, so there is no advantage for either team in that sense. The Wolves lost in Denver while the Celtics lost to the Blazers at home.
The Celtics are 29-17 all time vs the Wolves and are 14-9 in Minnesota. A victory in April of last year stopped an 11 game Celtics win streak against the Wolves. The Celtics are 2-3 on the road while the Wolves are 4-1 at home. Key Matchups
Kevin Love is a tough cover for anyone and is a 20-20 threat on any given night. Brandon Bass has been praised for his defense this season and he will have a challenge in this one to defend Love.
Pekovic is a strong and athletic big man and Kelly is going to need to defend as well as to make him work on the defensive end. Faverani might be the better match up here. Honorable Mention
Jordan Crawford vs Ricky Rubio
Rubio is a very good point guard and Jordan will need to stick with him on defense. Rubio has also been known to slack off on defense and so Crawford may be able to get his shot a bit easier against him.
Keys to the GameDefense
- The Celtics must defend. The offense feeds off of the defense and if the Celtics can't get stops they struggle on the other end as well. In their last two losses, they have allowed way too many easy baskets. They have to make defense their priority. Rebound
- The Celtics must get rebounds to prevent second chance points and fast breaks. Rebounding takes effort and desire and the Celtics have got to show both and crash the boards as a team. Pekovic is a beast around the basket and the Celtics must box him out.Be Aggressive
- The Celtics have to be aggressive in going after loose balls and rebounds and in taking the ball to the basket. They also have to be aggressive on defense. When they are aggressive in going to the hoop good things happen. They must be the more aggressive team and they have to stop depending on jumpers, especially when the jumpers aren't falling. The Celtics have to play like they want it more. Set the Pace
- The Celtics must run from the beginning of the game until the final buzzer. Running will allow them to get easy baskets as they get down the court before the defenses set up. X-FactorsRoad Game and Back to Back
Once again the Celtics are on the road and playing back to back games. Since Minnesota is also playing in back to back games, whichever team is better conditioned and can keep the pressure on till the end will get the win. Also, the Celtics have to keep their focus playing in front of a hostile crowd.