Boston Celtics (24-55) at Cleveland Cavaliers (32-48)
Saturday, April 12, 2014
7:30 PM ET
Game #80, Road Game #40
TV: CSNNE, FSO, NBA-LP 757(DTV)/752(Xfinity)
Radio: WBZ, WTAM
Quicken Loans Arena
Game Thread l Chat
With their 9 game losing streak finally over, the Celtics visit the Cleveland Cavaliers looking for a 2 game win streak. Both teams are playing in the second of back to back games and both teams had to travel with the Cavs playing in Milwaukee the night before.
Both of these teams are lottery teams with the Cavs 10th in the East, 3.5 games out of the playoffs. With a Celtics win over the Bobcats and the Orlando loss, the Celtics are tied with the Jazz for the 4th spot for the Lottery, one game behind the Magic, who are now in 3rd.
The Celtics are 8-31 on the road while the Cavs are 18-21 at home. This is the 3rd and final meeting between these two teams this season. The Celtics have won both of their previous meetings and will be going for a sweep of the series.
Rajon Rondo will miss his second straight game after being a late scratch before Friday's win over the Charlotte Bobcats. I would expect Pressey to start once again in his place. Both Jared Sullinger and Jerryd Bayless suffered injuries in Friday's game. Sully returned in the fourth quarter, but his ankle was swollen after the game. Bayless remained in Boston for an MRI and did not accompany the team to Cleveland.
Kris Humphries will be a game time decision. If Humphries can't go, the Celtics will have just 8 healthy bodies for this one. Humphries returned after a 2 game absence for the Bobcats game and played well but may not be ready for back to back games. If Hump can't play, either Kelly Olynyk or Joel Anthony will more than likely be moved to the starting lineup.
Phil Pressey....Avery Bradley....Jeff Green....Brandon Bass....Kris Humphries
Keith Bogans (personal) out
Vitor Faverani (knee) out
Gerald Wallace (knee) out
Rajon Rondo (shin) out
Jerryd Bayless (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (ankle) out
Kris Humphries (knee) game time decision
Kyrie Irving....Dion Waiters....Luol Deng....Tristan Thompson.... Spencer Hawes
Carrick Felix (knee) out
Anthony Bennett (knee) out
CJ Miles (ankle) out
Phil Pressey vs Kyrie Irving
Irving has been a thorn in the Celtics side since he came into the league. He is averaging 21.1 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.7 rebounds. If Pressey can play as well as he did against the Bobcats, he could give the Celtics a chance in this one.
Jeff Green vs Luol Deng
The Celtics are used to seeing Deng on the Bulls and this will be the first time the Celtics face him on the Cavs. Deng is long and will give Green problems on both ends of the court. Deng is averaging 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game.
Keys to the game
Move the Ball and Run - The Celtics play best when they play uptempo and move the ball. They need to beat the defense down the court before it gets set up. When they slow the ball down and when they over dribble, they struggle to score. Phil Pressey did a great job of this against the Bobcats and hopefully, if Rondo plays in this one he was paying attention and does the same.
Play 48 Minutes - The Celtics finally put together a whole game against the Bobcats. They did let the Bobcats come back from a 13 point hole, but they didn't fall apart and were able to get the win. They have to put together a full game in this one also.
Defense - The Cavs have several players capable of putting up big offensive games. The Celtics must play tough team defense to keep the Cavs from getting to the basket and from having big games beyond the arc.
Rebound - The Celtics need to rebound as a team. It takes effort and desire to grab rebounds and the Celtics need to show more of both. In their first meeting, the Celtics allowed the Cavs to grab 13 offensive rebounds which led to a 16-7 edge in second chance points for the Cavs.
Be Aggressive - The Celtics have to be the more aggressive team on both ends of the court. They have to be aggressive in going after loose balls and rebounds and in getting to the basket. They have to be more aggressive on defense and out-hustle the Cavs from start to finish.
Focus on the Road and Pride
The Celtics have struggled on the road this season. Can they keep their focus throughout the game and get a win on the road? They played for pride against the Bobcats. Can that be enough motivation for two wins in a row?