Toronto Raptors (16-22) at Boston Celtics (30-9)
Monday January 12
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #40, Road Game #21
TV: NBA-TV, CSN HD
TD Banknorth Garden
Raptors' Blogs Raptors HQ l HoopsAddict
For the second game in a row, the Celtics are facing the Toronto Raptors. In Sunday's afternoon game, the Celtics came away with a win and showed some signs of coming out of their slump but, they also allowed the Raptors to cut a 20 point lead to 5 before escaping with a win.
I expect the Raptors will take a look at what worked in the 4th quarter and try to come out with that to begin the game. There has been bad blood between these two teams since Gerald Green slammed in a breakaway dunk to put an exclamation point on a blow out win. The games between these two division rivals are always chippy and I expect that to continue in this game.
It would be nice to see the Celtics give a strong effort for two games in a row and start a new win streak with back to back wins against this division rival.
Coach: Doc Rivers
Average Age: 26.7
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 222
Rondo/ R Allen/ Pierce/ Garnett/ Perkins
Tony Allen (ankle) day to day
Kendrick Perkins (shoulder) probable
Kevin Garnett (leg) probable
Paul Pierce (knee) probable
Rajon Rondo (leg, shoulder) probable
Coach: Jay Triano
Average Age: 26.7
Average Height: 6-7
Average Weight: 226[\b]
Solomon/ Parker/ Moon/ Bosh/ Bargnani
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) out
Jose Calderon (hamstring) out
Rajon Rondo PPG 10.7 RPG 4.70 APG 7.6 EFF + 17.61
Will Solomon PPG 4.9 RPG 1.1 APG 3.3
Kevin Garnett PPG 16.2 RPG 9.00 APG 2.6 EFF + 21.73
Chris Bosh PPG 23.8 RPG 9.80 APG 2.6 EFF + 25.65
Ray Allen PPG 17.5 RPG 3.50 APG 2.7 EFF + 16.08
Anthony Parker PPG 9.6 RPG 3.10 APG 2.4 EFF + 10.26
Ray Allen was hot in the game in Toronto, hitting 8 of 10 from beyond the arc. Hopefully he will stay hot as they continue the rivalry at home.
Perk missed the first game of this home and home series but was hoping he would be ready to play in the second game between these two. . Scal did a good job of filling in for Perk in his absence but it would be nice to have Perk back.
Keys to the Game
Defense The Celtics got back to their defensive identity for 3 quarters in Sunday's game but let up in the 4th quarter. They need to get back to defending for 4 quarters. The Raptors are a good perimeter shooting team and so the Celtics must guard the 3 point line along with defending the interior.
Rebound The Raptors out-rebounded the Celtics by one in their first meeting and the Celtics need to be more aggressive to keep the Raptors off the boards.
Take Care of the Ball The Celtics have been turning the ball over too much and the Raptors will make them pay by converting them on the other end. They have to take cut doen on their turnovers. They had just 12 in Sunday's game and they need to keep them down in this game as well.
Play 48 Minutes The Celtics have gotten in the habit of playing hard for periods and then letting up. The Celtics must get back to constant effort because other teams are playing 4 quarters against them and they can't afford to take any quarters off.
Both teams had to travel and both are playing in the second of back to back games. Both teams have some momentum considering the Celtics won the game, but the Raptors came back from 20 points down to cut the lead to 5 down the stretch. The Celtics are at home and that could be the difference in this game.