Celtics host the Spurs with All Star break up next

David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

The Spurs visit the Celtics for their second and final meeting this season and their final game before the All Star break.

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San Antonio Spurs (37-15) at Boston Celtics (19-34)
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #54 Home Game #28
TV: CSN-NE, FSSW, NBA-LP 755(DTV)/756(Xfinity)
Radio: WBZ, WOAI
TD Garden
Referees: Mike Callahan, Marat Kogut, Scott Wall

Game Thread l Chat


The Spurs visit the Celtics for their second and final meeting this season and their final game before the All Star break. The Spurs won their first meeting 104-93 in Boston and the Celtics will be looking for some payback in this one.

The Spurs have won 5 straight against the Celtics. Both teams are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Celtics are 11-16 at home while the Spurs are 19-7 on the road.

The Spurs are coming off a loss to the Pistons and have won 4 of their last 6 games. The Celtics, after winning just 3 out of 19 games, have won 4 of their last 5 games. They are coming off a win over the Bucks.

The Spurs have been battling injury problems and come into this game short handed with 3 players out and 2 more questionable. The Celtics may be a little short handed themselves with Bass and Bradley both day to day Rondo is expected back in the lineup after missing the last game for precautionary reasons because the games were back to back.

It appears that Parker will sit this one out and looking at their depth chart, I'm going to guess that they will start DeColo and Bellinelli in the back court. But who knows what they will do, or even who will play?



PGSGSFPFC
Probable Starters
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Gerald Wallace
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Jared Sullinger

Celtics Reserves

Kelly Olynyk
Jerryd Bayless
Joel Anthony
Chris Johnson
Kris Humphries

Injuries
Keith Bogans (personal) out
Vitor Faverani (knee) day to day
Avery Bradley (ankle) day to day
Brandon Bass (eye) day to day



Probable Starters
PGSGSFPFC
PG: Nando DeColo
SG: Marco Belinelli
SF: Danny Green
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Boris Diaw

Spurs Reserves
Matt Bonner
Jeff Ayres
Cory Joseph
Aron Baynes

Injuries
Tiago Splitter (shin) out
Manu Ginobili (hamstring) out
Kawhi Leonard (hand) out
Tony Parker (back) out
Patrick Mills (ankle) questionable

Key Matchups
vs
Brandon Bass vs Tim Duncan
If Brandon Bass can play in this game, he will have his hands full in this matchup. Duncan still brings a lot to the table, especially defensively. Duncan is averaging 15.4 points 10.0 rebounds and 2.08 blocks per game. He is great at getting position for rebounds and tip ins and Bass and the other Celtics bigs need to concentrate on keeping him away from the basket.

vs
Jared Sullinger vs Boris Diaw
With so many out for the Spurs, it's hard to tell who will be starting where. Regardless of who starts for the Spurs, though, Jared Sullinger is going to be key for the Celtics no matter who he is matched up with.

Keys to the Game
Play 48 Minutes - The Celtics tend to have periods in the game where they can't make snots, let up on defense and turn the ball over. They have to find a way to be more consistent and play strong for all 48 minutes.

Rebound - Much of rebounding is effort and desire. The Celtics need to do both if they hope to beat a tough Spurs team and they will need to crash the boards to prevent second chance and fast break points from the Spurs.

Be Aggressive - The Celtics must be aggressive in going after loose balls, taking the ball to the hoop and playing in your face defense. When they get lazy and allow teams to beat them to loose balls and rebounds and when they settle for jumpers and don't go to the basket, they are very beatable. They have to be the more aggressive team from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

Run, Run, Run - The Celtics are not a great half court team. They have to run in order to get easy opportunities before the defenses set up, especially against a good defensive team like the Spurs. They need to run on every possession and take advantage of the Spurs age and injuries.

X-Factors
Injuries and Looking Ahead
Once again, injuries and who is not on the court could affect the outcome of this game. Also, with the All Star break after this game, they may get caught looking ahead and not concentrating on this game.

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