Update: Globe reports that Mikki Moore will play tonight - Jeff
Boston Celtics (46-12) at Los Angeles Clippers (14-43)
Wednesday, February 25
10:30 PM ET
Game #59, Road Game #31
TV: FSN Prime Ticket, CSN HD, NBA LP 760
Celtics make their second trip to the Staples center this season but this time they will face the Clippers. This is the first meeting between these two teams this season. The Celtics have had a very successful road trip so far with the only loss coming in Utah. They are hoping to close out the trip with a win but it may not be as easy as it may appear at a glance at the teams' records.
The Celtics were already thin up front with KG being out but now Scal has joined him back in Boston with a neck injury and "concussion like symptoms." The Celtics may get a boost from new Celtic Mikki Moore but it isn't certain that he will play and if he does, he certainly won't know the plays and defensive sets yet. Others on the team will have to step up to take up the slack left by the injuries.
The Celtics swept the series last season. The Clippers are 7-21 at home while the Celtics are 21-8 on the road. The Clippers are 4-6 in their last ten games and are 5-15 vs the East. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are 16-8 vs the West.
The last game of a road trip against a sub .500 team is always a chance for a let down. Hopefully the Celtics will continue their inspired play of late and Rondo will continue to be aggressive and the Celtics will close out the trip with another win.
Probable Starting Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Baron Davis
Ray Allen vs Eric Gordon
Paul Pierce vs Ricky Davis
Leon Powe vs Steve Novak
Tony Allen (thumb) out
Kevin Garnett (knee) out
Brian Scalabrine (neck) out
Ray Allen (tail bone) will play
Al Thornton (foot) questionable
Chris Kaman (arch) out
Brian Skinner (Achilles) out
Rajon Rondo PPG 11.7 RPG 5.30 APG 8.4 EFF + 19.31
Baron Davis PPG 15,5 RPG 3,50 APG 8,0 EFF + 15,65
Once again Rondo faces a tough opponent in Baron Davis. So far he has met every challenge and then some. Hopefully Rajon will continue his strong aggressive play in this game and make Baron look old just as he did Kidd, Nash and Billups.
Kendrick Perkins PPG 7.9 RPG 7.90 APG 1.2 EFF + 13.63
Zach Randolph PPG 21.6 RPG 10.40 APG 2.0 EFF + 22.15
This will be some physical play inside between these two very big men. Perk will need to do his thing on defense to keep Randolph from getting to the hoop especially without KG to help on defense. Randoph returned from a 2 game suspension for throwing a punch to score 27 points and 11 rebounds in their win over Golden State.
Paul Pierce PPG 20.1 RPG 5.80 APG 3.8 EFF + 19.38
Ricky Davis PPG 6.6 RPG 1.70 APG 2.3 EFF + 5.31
This should be a good matchup between two former teammates. Pierce should keep in mind Ricky celebrating after beating the Celtics when he was with the Wolves and make sure he doesn't get to celebrate in this one.
Baron Davis and Paul Pierce co-host a charity event each summer
Eddie House played for the Clippers in 03-04
Doc Rivers played for the Clippers 91-92
Marcus Camby played for Tom Thibodeau in New York from 98-02
Jason Hart and Eddie House were teammates in Charlotte 03-04
Ricky Davis played for the Celtics 03-06
Celtics assistant coach Armond Hill played for the Clippers 81-82
Brian Scalabrine, Gabe Pruitt and Paul Pierce are all from the LA area
Marcus Camby is from Hartford and played at UMass
This is the final stop on the Celtics 6 game road trip. After facing 5 teams all over .500, it would be easy to take the Clippers for granted. The Celtics need to keep their focus and play as if the Clippers were contenders. They can't afford to let down vs the sub .500 teams as we have found out that these teams often play their best games of the season vs the Celtics and we need to be ready for that. It would be nice to close out this trip with a win.