at Houston Rockets (24-14) at Boston Celtics (13-25)
Monday, January 13, 2014
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #39, Home Game #19
TV: CSN-NE, CSN-H, NBA-LP 753(DTV)/752,753(Xfinity)
Radio: WEEI, KBME
Probable Starting Matchups
Jordan Crawford vs Jeremy Lin Shooting Guard
Avery Bradley vs James Harden
Jeff Green vs Chandler Parsons Power Forward
Brandon Bass vs Terrence Jones
Kris Humphries vs Dwight Howard Reserves
Rajon Rondo (ACL)any day nowReserves
Patrick Beverly (hand) out
Omer Asik (knee) out
Chandler Parsons (knee) game time decision
It doesn't get any easier for the Celtics as they return home from their tough road trip to face the Houston Rockets. The Celtics lost 85-109 to the Rockets on the road back in November.
The Rockets are 9-9 on the road and 6-4 in their last 10 games while the Celtics are 8-10 at home and 1-9 in their last 10. The Celtics have lost their last 8 games and desperately need a win in this game to end the skid. The Rockets are looking for their second straight win.
The Celtics kept the games close against both the Blazers and the Warriors and had a chance to win both games. They have to find a way to solve their offensive droughts if they want to win this one. Key Matchups
Harden is always a threat to score and so Avery will need to be at his defensive best to keep him from going off. He also needs to stay out of foul trouble as Harden has a penchant for flopping.
Howard is very tough if allowed to get into his comfort zones. Humphries has been playing good defense, but Howard will be a challenge. We may see some Vitor if Humphries can't slow Howard down. Keys to the GameDefense
- The Rockets have the #3 ranked offense in the league, scoring 105.3 points per game. The Celtics defense was weak against the Blazers, allowing them to score 112 points. It's important for them to play tough defense as it will be very difficult to outscore the Rockets high powered offense if they don't.Rebound
- The Rockets are 7th in the league in rebounding with 45.2 per game. Much of rebounding is effort and energy and the Celtics must show both and crash the boards to keep the Rockets from getting easy points off rebounds.Effort and Energy
- The Celtics simply don't have the talent to beat teams on talent alone. They must win with energy and effort and grit. They have to be the team that wants it more and that works harder for the win.Be Aggressive
- Going along with the effort and energy, the Celtics have to be the more aggressive team. The have to be more aggressive in going after rebounds and loose balls. They have to be aggressive on defense and in going to the basket. And they have to keep up that aggressiveness the entire game. X-Factors
Home and Fatigue
The Celtics are back home again and should get a boost from finally playing in front of the home crowd again. They are going to have to overcome the fatigue of playing in 5 games in 7 nights on the road.