Celtics Hope Home Dominance Begins with Bobcats

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( 28-30)  at   (37-21)
Charlotte Bobcats (28-30) at Boston Celtics (37-21) 
Wednesday, March 3
7:30 PM ET
Game #59,  Home Game #28
TV CSN HD, FSCR, LP 752, 753
TD Garden
Dick Bavetta, Mark Ayotte, Olandis Poole 

Game Thread    l    Chat

The Bobcats are one of those young and athletic teams that always seem to give the Celtics problems. This is the 3rd and final meeting between these two teams.   In their first meeting this season, the Celtics home opener,  the Celtics beat the Bobcats 92-59.  But, that was when the Celtics weren't bored and were playing wire to wire defense. We haven't seen that type of effort from this team in a long time.   In their second game, the Celtics won in Charlotte 108-92. 

The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 and are coming off a win in Detroit.  They have struggled at home, though where they are just 16-11.  The Bobcats are 4-6 in their last 10 and are 8-22 on the road. 

The Celtics are in the 4th spot in the East, 1/2 game behind the Hawks, which isn't a good spot to be in.  They need to at least move up to 3rd and preferably 2nd.  But to do that they need to start playing better, especially at home.  Charlotte on the other hand is 1/2 game out of the 8th spot in the East and are trying to pick up wins to move into that 8th spot. 

Perk missed the Detroit game with the flu and is questionable for this one but Doc said that he expects him to play in this one. The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games and fatigue could be a problem, especially against a running team like the Bobcats.

Coach: Doc Rivers
Average Age: 27.8
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 224

Probable Starters

PG:  Rajon Rondo   
SG:  Ray Allen   
SF:   Paul Pierce   
PF:   Kevin Garnett 
C:    Kendrick Perkins  

Coach: Larry Brown
Average Age: 26.2
Average Height: 6-7
Average Weight: 223

Probable Starters

PG: Raymond Felton   
SG:  Stephen Jackson   
SF:   Gerald Wallace   
PF:   Boris Diaw   
C:   Theo Ratliff   

Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Raymond Felton
 Rondo should be able to beat Felton off the dribble and if he is aggressive should be able to either get a shot inside or kick out to the open man.  Rondo's level of aggressiveness in setting the pace for the Celtics will be key to this game. 

Paul Pierce vs Gerald Wallace
Gerald Wallace always plays well against the Celtics.  Pierce will be playing in just his second game back from the thumb injury and his defense is going to be needed in this game every bit as much as his offense as Wallace can be a handful. 

Ray Allen vs Stephen Jackson
Stephen Jackson has been a good addition for the Bobcats and he has been playing well for them.   Ray Allen will have his hands full in this game trying to guard Jackson and also trying to get his shot off against him. 

Keys to the Game
1.  Defense, defense, defense
2.  Start strong and play 48 minutes
3.  Run the Offense - Make the extra pass and don't settle for quick shots
4.  Rebound - Limit Bobcat 2nd chances and fast breaks


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