Wednesday, November 21
7:30 PM ET
TD BankNorth Garden
The Celtics are no longer perfect, folks. After winning their first eight games of the season, most by convincing margins, the Orlando Magic ruined the fun this past Sunday with a 104-102 victory over the C’s. The Celtics weren’t up to snuff defensively, continued to turn the ball over almost double what they should, and made many consecutive questionable decisions in crunch time. The team knew they wouldn’t go undefeated, but the first loss still hurts knowing that it was a winnable game. Expect the men in green to come out with a lot of fire tonight at home.
Boston will have their work cut out for them, though. After losing their first six games of the season, the Warriors have been on a tear as of late with three straight victories, including a 26-point victory in New York last night. Captain Stephen Jackson (yes, you read that correctly – Stephen Jackson is a team captain) served a suspension for the first seven games of the season for pleading guilty to felony charges, and both his talent and presence were missed on the court by the club. In his first two games back, he has returned as his old self, posting averages of 20 points, 4.5 rebounds, and six assists per game.
In need of a redemption, the Celtics better make sure they come out with a lot of energy against this team. They’re quick, they’re scrappy, they’re energetic, and they can put as many points on the board as you’d like in a short amount of time. It will be interesting to see if the Celtics can keep up with Golden State, on the second night of a back-to-back or not. This won’t be an easy win.
C Andris Biedrins / Kendrick Perkins
PF Al Harrington / Kevin Garnett
SF Stephen Jackson / Paul Pierce
SG Kelenna Azubuike / Ray Allen
PG Baron Davis / Rajon Rondo
Key Matchup: Baron Davis vs. Rajon Rondo
This matchup is the most intriguing to me, but it’s also the scariest. Baron Davis is a bulldog. He’s one of the strongest/bulkiest guards in the league, he’s extremely fast, and his talent level is obviously off the charts. This will be Rajon Rondo’s biggest test this season. Can he keep up with Baron Davis? Can he slow him down? Can he disrupt him? Or will Baron Davis have his way with him? I can’t wait to find out.
Celtics X-Factor: Rajon Rondo
See reasons above in the "Key Matchup" section.
Celtics Keys to the Game
- Control the Tempo
- Perimeter Defense
- Ball Movement
- Own the Glass