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Celtics Looking to Close Out Road Trip With a Win

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(7-2) at (4-5)
Boston Celtics (7-2) at Grizzlies (4-5)
Saturday, November 13
8:00 PM ET
Game #10, Road Game #6
TV: CSNNE, SSO-MEM, NBA-LP 759/760
Radio: WEEI, WRBO
Fed Ex Forum
Refs: Bill Spooner, Eric Lewis, James Williams


The Celtics are finally at the end of their first extended road trip of the season. They are 2-1 on the trip so far and are looking to close the trip out on a high note with a win in this game. This could easily become a trap game as the Celtics are coming off of an emotional win over the Heat and could tend to let down against the Grizzlies, but that would be a big mistake. They are under .500, but their 5 losses are against teams with a combined win percentage of .718. The Celtics can't afford to take this team lightly.


The Grizzlies are fielding the same starting 5 as they had last season. The Celtics have 4 of the same starters with the Center position now filled by Shaquille O'Neal and hopefully Shaq will be good to go as Jermaine has returned to Boston for tests on his injured knee. The Grizzlies are the second youngest team in the league, but like the Celtics, they have a mix of veterans and young players and have been together long enough to build some chemistry. .


The Grizzlies can be a tough opponent for a team that is prone to turnovers, as the Celtics tend to be at times. The Grizzlies lead the league in steals (11.6) and in forcing turnovers (20.7) as well as in points off turnovers (22.7). If the Celtics get sloppy, the Grizzlies will make them pay for it.

It will be interesting to see how Tony Allen does in this game. He left the Celtics because he felt overshadowed by the Celtics stars and thought he would get more playing time in Memphis. So far it hasn't worked out as he had planned since he is averaging 4 fewer minutes a game this season than he did last season.


It would be great for the Celtics to close out the trip with a win. After this game, they have 3 days off before their next game on Wednesday vs the Wizards, and the debut of Delonte West.


Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard
vs
Rajon Rondo 10.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 14.9 APG, 3.0 SPG
Mike Conley 14.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 7.7 APG, 3.1 SPG

Shooting Guard
vs
Ray Allen 19.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, .446 3P%
OJ Mayo 16.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.6 APG, .435 3P%

Small Forward
vs
Paul Pierce 20.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, .485 FG%
Rudy Gay 25.6 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, .511 FG%

Power Forward
vs
Kevin Garnett 15.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.6 BPG
Zach Randolph 16/4 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, 0.0 BPG

Center
vs
Shaquille O'Neal 7.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 2.3 BPG
Marc Gasol 11.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 BPG



Boston Bench Mob
Marquis Daniels
Glen Davis
Luke Harangody
Nate Robinson
Von Wafer
Semih Erden

Injured

Kendrick Perkins (knee) out
Avery Bradley (ankle) out
Delonte West Suspended
Shaquille O'Neal (knee) Probable
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) out


Grizzlies Bench Players
Xavier Henry
Hasheem Thabeet
Acie Law
Darrell Arthur
Tony Allen
Sam Young
Greivis Vasquez
Hamed Haddadi
DeMarre Carroll

Injuries
None


Key Matchups

vs
Ray Allen is coming off an incredible shooting night against the Heat and hopefully he will continue his hot hand in this game. OJ Mayo is capable of a big game himself and so Ray's defense will be needed in this game also.

vs
Paul Pierce 20.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, .485 FG%
Rudy Gay 25.6 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, .511 FG%
Rudy Gay is leading the Grizzlies in scoring and so for the second game in a row Pierce will have a tough defensive assignment. Limiting Rudy's scoring will be key for the Celtics to get a win.

Keys to the Game
Take Care of the Ball- The Celtics have to concentrate on taking care of the ball as they tend to turn the ball over too much. The Grizzlies lead the league in steals (11.6) and in forcing turnovers (20.7) as well as in points off turnovers (22.7). If the Celtics get sloppy, the Grizzlies will make them pay for it.

Rebound - Rebounding is very important in limiting fast break points and second chance points for the Grizz. The Grizzlies are 2-0 when out- rebounding their opponents. The Celtics must be aggressive in crashing the boards.

Don't Settle for Jumpers - The Celtics have to take the ball into the paint and not settle for outside jumpers. Good things happen when they take the ball to the basket.

Defense - The team that works hardest on defense will be the team that wins. The Grizzlies are 4-0 when holding teams under 100 points but 0-5 when allowing teams to reach the 100 point mark. The Grizzlies are also limiting opponent to 92.3 PPG in their wins, but allowing 117.4 PPG in their losses. The Celtics must be the more aggressive team on defense.

Odd Fact
The nickname Grizzlies was chosen when the team was in Vancouver. They originally chose the name Mounties but that was abandoned following objections by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Grizzlies name was kept upon moving to Memphis.

X-Factor
Let Down Game
The Celtics are coming off an emotional win over the Heat and may tend to take the Grizzlies for granted. As with the Cavs after the first win over the Heat, taking the Grizzlies for granted would be a big mistake. They are under .500, but their 5 losses are against teams with a combined win percentage of .718. The Celtics can't afford to take this team lightly.