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Kings Look to End Celtics Home Win Streak




Sacramento Kings (8-12) at Boston Celtics (17-2)
Wednesday, December 12
7:30 PM ET
Game #20   Home Game #11
TV:   NBA LP ch 754,  CSNHD, News 10
TD Banknorth Garden
Chat    l   Game Thread  

Kings Coverage:    Sactown Royalty     

Game Notes
Ron Artest was suspended for the first 7 games and has been averaging 21 points, 6.5 rebounds. 4.3 assists, and 2.4 steals in his last 11 games.  The Kings won both games against the Celtics last season.  And are 12-2 against the Celtics in the last 7 seasons.   The Kings were 0-8 on the road before beating the Bucks 96-93 on Monday night.   The Celtics are coming into this game well rested.  They last played on Saturday and had two days off of practice before practicing again on Tuesday in preparation for this game. 
Perk injured his toe on his bed and Pollard woke up with a stiff back and both are questionable for tonight's game.  It is hard to tell what will happen with the lineup if Perk is out.  Doc has said he would move KG over to center and start Big Baby, Scalabrine or Posey at power forward but wasn't committal as to what he would do. 
My preference would be to start Big Baby and then bring Powe in behind him at PF and use Posey behind Pierce at SF to match up with Artest. 
The Kings are not a big three point threat so the Celtics will need to concentrate the defense more inside as Artest, Moore and Miller will look to try to get the ball in the paint.  Perk has been giving us a great defensive presence inside and with him out, the rest of the Celtics will need to work harder in that area to keep the Kings from getting easy baskets inside.  On the other end, the Kings are not a big shot blocking team so the Celtics should be able to get inside and should look to go to the hoop more. 

More After the Jump

Probable Starting Matchups
PG:   Rajon Rondo  vs  Beno Udrich
SG:   Ray Allen vs  John Salmons 
SF:    Paul Pierce vs Ron Artest 
PF:    Big Baby Davis vs Mikki Moore
C:      Kevin Garnett vs  Brad Miller 
Key Matchup
Paul Pierce    PPG 20.2 | RPG 5.4 | APG 5.4
Ron Artest      PPG 20.3 | RPG 6.5 | APG 4.3
Ron Artest guards Paul Pierce as well as anyone in the league.  In the past, shutting down Pierce was a way to shut down the Celtics but now, Artest can shut down Pierce and the Celtics still have plenty of weapons.     With Pierce's new found love of defense, he should be able to slow down Artest as well.   There is also the now infamous play where Ron Artest pulled down Pierce's shorts in a game only to have Pierce drain a 3 while still trying to get his shorts back in place.  In case you forgot, you can see it, along with a singing apology from Artest,  here.  
Key off the Bench:
James Posey's defensive game matches that of Ron Artest and he will be crucial in taking Artest out of the game. 
Keys to the Game
1.  Maintain intensity and feed off the home crowd.
2.  Play 48 minutes.  Come out of the blocks hard and don't let up until the end.
3.  Limit turnovers.    The Celtics are still too careless with the ball and need to tighten up in this area. 
4.  Contain Artest.  Artest is the Kings' leading scorer and if the Celtics can contain him, it would go a long way toward winning the game.
5.  Defense.   The Celtics have been winning with defense and they need to continue with that defensive intensity. 
Interesting Stats
Celtics are 10-0 at home
Average margin of victory at home is 21.1
Points allowed  87.73, best in the NBA
Celtics are out rebounding teams by 5.21 rpg
Celtics are averaging 2.57 more steals per game than opponents
Celtics are averaging 16.10 turnovers per game
Kings are 1-8 on the road
Kings are averaging 99.8 points per game
Kings are allowing 102.9 points per game
Kings are being out-rebounded by opponents by 2.9
Deja Vu 
There have been several comparisons between this team and  the 1985-86 Championship team.  Both teams could claim a 17-2 record after their first 19 games.   The 1985-86 team was undefeated at home going into their 20th game against the Portland Trailblazers, who weren't expected to put up much resistance against the Celtics juggernaut.   This Celtics team is also undefeated at home going into their 20th game and facing another Western conference team who isn't expected to put up much resistance against the Celtics juggernaut.  Will history repeat itself? 

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