Referees: Scott Foster, Courtney Kirkland, Leon Wood
Game Thread l Chat
The Celtics have had 3 days of rest and practice coming into this game. They are on a 2 game losing streak. They are facing a depleted Warriors team who played in Cleveland last night. The Warriors starting center is Mikki Moore. Their starting power forward has played in exactly one game for them. They have just 7 players available. The Warriors are playing in the second of back to back games. The Celtics should dominate this game from start to finish. The starters should be able to take the second half off and Gino should make his appearance around the start of the 4th quarter. That is what should happen in this game, but this undermanned, undersized Warriors team is very feisty and took the Cavs right down to the wire in their game last night., finally falling 114-108. The Celtics should not take the Warriors lightly or they could get burned by them.
Paul Pierce, who was limited in the Celtics loss to the Pacers and who sat out of practice for 2 days, practiced on Tuesday and is expected to start in this game. The last time the Celtics played on 3 days of rest, they blew out a very good Jazz team 105-86. The Celtics have been saying all the right things about their poor performances in their last 2 games, but Perk called the team out for playing sloppy in practice. We should see a renewed commitment to defense and a Celtics team with a renewed sense of purpose, but it seems as through they are having problems getting focused recently and so we don't know which Celtics team will show up.
The Warriors play very small out of necessity with the majority of their bigs on the injured list. They sometimes are even forced to use 6'6" Corey Maggette at center. They aren't much interested in playing defense as a team. In fact, Monta Ellis has come out and said that he is the only player on the team who can play any defense. The team is in upheaval, having traded their best player just days ago and with their current best player unhappy on the team. Former Celtic, Don Nelson is poised to move up in the record books this season if he can keep his job long enough to do so. What the Warriors do, however, is run. The Celtics will need to find their earlier levels of defense to keep the Warriors from running them ragged.
PPG 10.3 RPG 3.5 APG 8.7
PPG 15.2 RPG 2.7 APG 3.4
SF Paul Pierce PPG 18.4 RPG 4.8 APG 4.1
PPG 13.6 RPG 7.5 APG 2.4
PPG 10.1 RPG 7.1 BPG 2.0
Off the Bench
Big Baby Davis (thumb) out
Paul Pierce (knee) questionable
PG Stephen Curry PPG 8.3 RPG 2.2 APG 4.4
SG Monta Ellis PPG 19.3 RPG 5.1 APG 5.0
SF Anthony Morrow PPG 11.2 RPG 3.6 APG 0.9
PF Vladimir Radmanovic PPG 4.9 RPG 3.6 BPG 0.1
C Mikki Moore PPG 3.5 RPG 2.8 BPG 0.5
Andris Biedrins (groin) questionable
Ronny Turiaf (knee) questionable
Brandon Wright (shoulder) out
Kelenna Azubuike (leg) out
CJ Watson (swine flu) out
Assists Rajon Rondo 8.7
Blocks Kendrick Perkins 2.0
Assists Monta Ellis 2.0
Blocks Ronny Turiaf 2.0
Kendrick Perkins vs Mikki Moore
As we saw from his time in Boston, Mikki isn't a great interior defender and so Perk (and anyone who drives to the basket) won't get much of a challenge from Mikki. Perk should have a very good game.
Ray Allen vs Monta Ellis
This would be the matchup where Golden State has the advantage. Ellis is very quick and it will be difficult for Ray to keep up with him. I can see Ray covering Morrow and Rondo on Ellis on the defensive end.
• Celtics split the season series 1-1 against Golden State in 2008-09
• Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 21.0 points per game last season
• In his one appearance against the C’s, Corey Maggette netted 38 points for the Warriors
• The Celtics are 4-6 against Golden State since the 2004-05 season
• The Celtics are leading the all-time series 194-127 with the Celtics 108-34 at home
Keys to the Game
Defense - The Celtics have said that they want to be the best defensive team in league history and yet they have allowed teams to shoot over 50% in their last 2 games. They need to get back to the team defense that we saw in the first 5 games and that will take a commitment from every player on the team.
Effort It seems as though the team has come into the past 2 games expecting to win without putting out the effort. They have been sluggish from start to end and just haven't had that killer instinct we saw early.
Rebound Hand in hand with effort goes rebounding. They did a good job on the boards against the Pacers but were badly out rebounded by the Hawks. Since much of rebounding is effort, the Celtics need to put out the effort on the boards in every game. Allowing the other team too many rebounds leads to too many second chance baskets.
Move the Ball When the ball is moving and the Celtics are racking up assists on baskets, the offense is working like a well oiled machine. When they try to do too much individually, then the offense becomes disjointed and they struggle to score.
Don't Over Rely on the 3 When the 3's are falling, the Celtics offense is devastating but that can lead them to over rely on the outside shot because when the shots aren't falling, they keep taking them and the offense suffers. They can take the 3 when it is open and a good shot, but their first option should be to go to the basket and either draw the foul or get the hoop.