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Celtics Look to Rebound Against the Bulls


Chicago Bulls (9-14) at Boston Celtics (20-3)
Friday, December 21
7:00 PM
Regular season game #24, Home Game #14
TV:   ESPN,  CSN HD, CSN Chicago
Sirius Radio:   125
TD Banknorth Garden

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Keys to the Game:
1.  Rebound.  The Bulls are a very good rebounding team.  The Celtics need to concentrate on boxing out and beating the Bulls to the boards.   Limit their second chance points.  The Celtics allowed way too many second chance points in the Pistons game and those add up. 

2.  Energy for 48 Minutes.   The Celtics seem to either come out slow and then pick it up, or start quickly and then lose their focus.  They need to play consistently for 48 minutes.  The bench needs to pick up the energy when the starters go out and the starters need to come out with with energy and not let up. 

3.  Defense.  The Bulls can hurt you both inside and out.   The Celtics will  need to defend on the perimeter as the Bulls have several weapons from the outside.  They also have to cut off the lane to avoid easy shots in the paint.  The Celtics have been winning with their defense and have to continue to play tough defense every game.  With every team gunning for them, they can't afford to take a game, or even a quarter off. 

4. Ball movement.  The Celtics must keep the ball moving.   In the Pistons game they let the ball stop and were taking bad shots and not trying to find the open man.  They let the Pistons defense get to them.  They have to handle defense better and be able to sustain their ball movement even when the other team presses. 

Game notes:  Celtics are coming off their first home loss of the season and will want to get back on track and start a new winning streak.  They won't want to lose two in a row.  The Celtics won 92-81 on Dec. 8 in Chicago in the teams' first meeting this season, ending an 8 game skid to the Bulls.  The Bulls have won the last 4 games in Boston.  The Bulls are 6-4 in their last 10 games and won their last game.  Rondo is coming off one of his best games of the season and needs to continue to build on that.   Ben Wallace missed their last game with soreness in his foot and is a game time decision for this game.    The Celtics will be looking to bounce back from their first home loss of the season and should come out ready to redeem themselves.  


Probable Starting Matchups
PG:  Rajon Rondo vs Kirk Hinrich
SG:  Ray Allen vs Ben Gordon
SF:  Paul Pierce vs Andres Nociani
PF:   Kevin Garnett vs Luol Deng 
C:   Kendrick Perkins vs Joe Smith
Key Matchups  
Rajon Rondo    PPG 9.0 RPG 3.90 APG 5.2 EFF + 13.86 
Kirk Hinrich  PPG 11.1 RPG 3.50 APG 6.0 EFF + 12.09
Rondo has been playing more aggressively and had his best half of basketball in the first half vs Detroit.  Look for him to continue to improve and play well. 
Kevin Garnett    PPG 18.8 RPG 10.40 APG 3.7 EFF + 26.91
Luol Deng   PPG 18.5 RPG 6.80 APG 1.8 EFF + 17.16
Luol Deng is a very talented player on both ends of the court. This should be a good matchup. 

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