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Celtics look to end 5 game skid as they visit the Clippers

The Celtics face Doc Rivers and his Clippers for the second and final time this season.

Boston Celtics (13-22) at Los Angeles Clippers (24-13)
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
10:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #36, Road Game #17
TV: CSNNE, Prime Ticket, NBA-TV Canada, NBA-LP 762(DTV)752(Xfinity)
Radio: WBZ, KFWB
Staples Center
Referees: Zach Zarba, Courtney Kirkland, JT Orr

Game Thread l Chat

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The Celtics face Doc Rivers and his Clippers for the second and final time this season. The Clippers won the first meeting in Boston 96-88.

With the Clippers All Star point guard, Chris Paul, sitting out with an injured shoulder, the Celtics may have caught a break in this game. JJ Redick is also questionable for this game. However, the Clippers are still very strong even without those two players.

The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games and in their 3rd game in 4 nights on the road and so fatigue may be a problem for them in this game.

The Clippers are 15-3 at home and 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Celtics are 5-11 on the road and just 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Celtics are on a 5 game losing streak while the Clippers are looking for their second straight win.

Don't forget to visit the chat room during the game for some fun Celtics talk with other Celtics fans. Also, don't miss the CLNS Radio Post Game Show right after the game. Your broadcast crew is Ty Ray and Calvin Chamberlain. Brian Langford will also be stationed in the chatroom at CelticsBlog and manning the CLNS Radio social media outlets. As always, they will be taking your calls throughout the entire broadcast.

Probable Starting Lineups
Point Guard
Jordan Crawford vs Darren Collison

Shooting Guard
Avery Bradley vs Jamal Crawford

Small Forward
Jeff Green vs Jared Dudley

Power Forward
Brandon Bass vs Blake Griffin


Jared Sullinger vs DeAndre Jordan

Celtics Reserves
Jerryd Bayless
Kris Humphries
Vitor Faverani
Phil Pressey
Gerald Wallace
Keith Bogans

Rajon Rondo (ACL) out

Red Claws
MarShon Brooks (expected to rejoin the team for Friday's game)

Clippers Reserves
Willie Green
Ryan Hollins
Antawn Jamison
Byron Mullins
Steven Jackson
Matt Barnes

Reggie Bullock (ankle)out
JJ Redick (wrist) questionable
Chris Paul (shoulder) out

Key Matchups
Brandon Bass vs Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin is going to be a tough matchup for Brandon Bass. He is athletic and has a knack for getting those guarding him in foul trouble. Griffin is averaging 20.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and is the only player in the league that is averaging 20+ points, 10+ rebounds, 3+ assists and shooting 50% from the field. Brandon Bass will need every trick he has learned on defense to slow him down.

Jared Sullinger vs DeAndre Jordan
While DeAndre Jordan isn't a huge threat on offense, he is very tough on defense and on the boards. He is averaging 9.3 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks a game. Jared has been struggling with his hand injury and may struggle even more trying to get his shot off over Jordan. Hopefully Sully's 5 flagrant fouls won't stop him from being aggressive on the defensive end.

Honorable Mention

Brad Stevens vs Doc Rivers
The new guy vs the former coach. Doc got the best of Brad in their first meeting. Can the Celtics new coach turn the tables in this one?

Keys to the Game
- The Celtics must make team defense a priority. The Clippers are the highest scoring team in the NBA on their home floor averaging 109.7 points per game at home, and stopping them from scoring is a must if the Celtics expect to win this game. The Celtics have not played much defense in their last two losses on the road. They have to get back to defense first and let the offense feed off of that.

Move!! - This goes for both the players and the ball. The Celtics need to run on every possession to try to get an easy shot before the defenses are set. They also need to move the ball. They can't get caught up in one on one play and over-dribbling.

Rebound - The Celtics need to crash the boards as a team. Each player, especially the guards, need to make an extra effort to grab every rebound.

Team Play - The Celtics need to play as a team and cover each other on defense as well as sharing the ball and playing offense as a team. Without a superstar, they have to stress playing for each other. Hopefully the trade and the losing streak hasn't affected their chemistry. They need to pull together and play for each other and not turn on each other.

Be Aggressive - The Celtics need to be aggressive on defense, in going after loose balls and rebounds. They need to win the 50/50 balls and play hard from start to finish. From start to finish is the key there. They can't continue to stop playing hard in the middle of every game and expect to win. Brad Stevens called the team out for lack of effort after their loss to the Nuggets, as did Gerald Wallace. Other than Sully, no one else played like they wanted to win.


Fatigue and Focus
As stated above, the Celtics are playing in the 3rd game in 4 nights on the road and fatigue could be a problem for them in this game. Also, with the trade going down and a hostile crowd hopefully they can keep their focus.

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