Celtics looking to finish road trip in Utah on a positive note

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics visit the Utah Jazz hoping to end their 4 game road trip on a positive note.

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Boston Celtics (19-38) at Utah Jazz (19-36)
Monday, February 24
9:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #58 Road Game #30
TV: CSN-NE, ROOT, NBA-LP 757(DTV), 756(Xfinity)
Radio: WBZ, KZNS
Energy Solutions Arena
Referees: Tom Washington, Nick Buchert, Sean Corbin

Game Thread l Chat


The Celtics visit the Utah Jazz hoping to end their 4 game road trip on a positive note. The Celtics have lost 17 consecutive road games versus Western Conference opponents since they beat the Jazz on Feb. 25 last season. The Jazz have won six of 10 home games against the East this season.

The Celtics remain in the 12th spot in the East 2 games ahead of Orlando and 2.5 games behind the Knicks. They are now 8 games behind the Nets for the final playoff spot in the East. The Celtics now have the 4th worst record in the league for lottery purposes.

The Celtics have won 6 in a row against the Jazz and hope to continue that streak in this game. They have lost 4 in a row and the first 3 on the current road trip. The Celtics beat the Jazz in the Garden back in November, 97-87.

Rondo should be back in the starting lineup for this game but Jared Sullinger is expected to miss this game as is Avery Bradley and Vitor Faverani. Sully was diagnosed with a mild concussion and will need to go through the league's series of tests before being cleared to play again. Expect Kris Humphries to get the start at center once again.

Derrick Favors has been out for the Jazz and they have lost all 9 games they have played without him this season. He is a game time decision for this game. Enes Kanter has averaged 22.7 points and 9.0 boards in his last three starts in place of Favors, but the Jazz have lost 24 of 25 when he's been in the starting five this season.


Probable Starters

PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Gerald Wallace
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kris Humphries

Celtics Reserves
Kelly Olynyk
Jerryd Bayless
Joel Anthony
Chris Johnson

Injuries
Keith Bogans (personal) out
Vitor Faverani (knee) out
Avery Bradley (ankle) out
Jared Sullinger (head) questionable



Probable Starters

PG: Trey Burke
SG: Gordon Hayward
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Marvin Williams
C: Enes Kanter

Jazz Reserves
Rudy Gobert
John Lucas III
Alec Burks
Ian Clark
Andris Biedrins
Jeremy Evans
Brandon Rush
Diante Garrett
Malcolm Thomas

Injuries
Derrick Favors (hip) game time decision

Key Matchups
vs
Gerald Wallace vs Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward has been linked to the Celtics in rumors as a player that the Celtics are targeting. He is one of Brad Stevens' former Butler players and is averaging 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists for the Jazz this season. Slowing him down will be key to this game.

vs
Kris Humphries vs Enes Kanter
Kanter is averaging 12.2 points and 6.4 rebounds this season. He is also averaging 22.7 points and 9.0 boards in his last start. Humphries is coming off a big game against the Kings and hopefully will continue his strong play in this one.

Keys to the Game
Rebound - Much of rebounding is effort and when the Celtics put out that effort on the boards, we see it in the other areas of the game. They need to put out the effort to crash the boards in order to limit the Jazz' second chance points and also to give themselves extra possessions.

Take Care of the Ball
- The Celtics are still turning the ball over too much. They have to take better care of the ball, make smart passes, and limit their turnovers.

Play 48 Minutes - The Celtics play very well for 3 quarters and then somehow fall apart and turn the ball over and are unable to hit a shot for the other quarter. They need to somehow fix this problem and focus for all 48 minutes.

Defense
- The Celtics have been slipping on defense and need to tighten it up. They need to get back to swarming team defense, especially in transition. Defense wins games and it has to come from every player.

X-Factors
Final Game on Trip and Fatigue

It's the final game on the trip and the Celtics will be tired. Can they overcome the fatigue to end the trip on a positive note?


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