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Celtics host Bulls in matinee game

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Celtics host road weary Bulls who will be looking for payback.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

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Chicago Bulls (9-6) at Boston Celtics (4-8)
Friday, November 28, 2014
1:00 PM ET
Game #13, Road Game #8
TV: CSNNE, WGN, NBA-LP 751(DTV)/751(Xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, ESPN 1000AM
TD Garden

Referees: Ken Mauer, Mitchell Ervin, Leroy Richardson


This is the second of 4 games between these two teams this season. They will meet two more times in January. In their last meeting, the Celtics surprised the Bulls on their home court 108-101. The Celtics had 7 players in double figures in that game and at one time led by as many as 19. They split the season series 2-2 last season with each team winning on the other's home court.



The Bulls are in the middle of a 7 game road trip. They are 2-3 on the trip so far. This is their 6th straight road game and they will complete the trip in Brooklyn on Sunday. The Celtics have lost 5 of their last 6, winning only against the winless Sixers. They have lost their last 4 at home and very much could use a win.

In their first meeting, the anticipated point guard matchup didn't materialize with both Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose sitting out. Rondo will be playing in this one barring any unforeseen circumstances but Derrick Rose is once again day to day with a hamstring injury. He did practice on Thursday but it's uncertain if he will play in this one.



Along with Rose, Noah and Gibson both missed the last game. Noah participated fully in practice and is probable for this game but Gibson is listed as questionable. The Celtics were hoping to get Marcus Smart back for this game but he was unable to complete practice on Thursday and has been ruled out for this game along with Vitor Favarani.

This is the Celtics first afternoon game and so we don't know how they will respond to the change in routine. They do have the benefit of being at home and so they need to let the crowd give them a boost. Both teams will be fresh coming into this game with the Bulls last playing on Tuesday and the Celtics last playing on Sunday.


Probable Starters

PG: Rajon Rondo................................................SG Avery Bradley

C: Kelly Olynyk

SF: Jeff Green ................................. ............PF Jared Sullinger

Celtics Reserves
Phil Pressey
Evan Turner
Marcus Thornton
Brandon Bass
Dwight Powell
Tyler Zeller
James Young
Gerald Wallace

Injuries
Vitor Faverani (knee) out
Marcus Smart (ankle) out


Probable Starters

PG: Derrick Rose ............................................. SG: Jimmy Butler

C: Joakim Noah

SF: Mike Dunleavy ............................................. PF: Paul Gasol

Bulls Reserves
Taj Gibson
Kirk Hinrich
Nikola Mirotic
Doug McDermott
Tony Snell
Cameron Bairstow
E'Twaun Moore
Aaron Brooks

Injuries
Derrick Rose (hamstring) day to day

Key Matchups
vs
Jared Sullinger & Kelly Olynyk vs Pau Gasol & Joakim Noah
The Bulls have one of the tougher front courts to match up with. Gasol and Noah are both long and very talented. Sullinger and Olynyk will have their hands full trying to contain the Bulls big men and will have a tough time getting open shots with Gasol and Noah draped all over them. Gasol is rejuvenated on the Bulls and averaging 19 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.45 blocks. Noah has struggled somewhat but is still averaging 7.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.25 blocks per game.

Honorable Mention
Rajon Rondo vs Derrick Rose
If Rose can play, this is one of the more fun point guard matchups in the league. Rondo always gets up to play the top PG's and so expect a big game from him. If Rose can't go, Rondo will face Kirk Hinrich and there is no love lost between these two players so it could be a very physical matchup. In their last matchup, both Rose and Rondo ended up missing the game. Rose now has a hamstring injury and practiced on Thursday but is still listed as day to day.

Keys to the Game
Defense - The Bulls are a high scoring team, averaging 100.5 points per game. The Celtics defense has left much to be desired, allowing a whopping 107.2 points per game. On the other hand, as you would expect from a Tom Thibodeau coached team, the Bulls are allowing only 99.0 points per game. The Celtics have got to match the Bulls defensive intensity if they expect to win this one.

Rebound - The Celtics can't score if they don't have the ball. Rebounding will be tough against Chicago's big front line, but much of rebounding is effort and desire and so the Celtics must put out the extra effort on the boards to give themselves extra possessions as well as to limit the Bulls fast break opportunities and second chance points.

Play 48 Minutes
- The Celtics seem to play very well at times, sometimes starting off strong and then fading away and sometimes digging a hole in the first quarter and then finishing strong. They have to make an effort to play hard and keep their focus from the starting tip until the final buzzer.

X-Factor
Payback
The Bulls still have to be smarting from losing to the Celtics in their first meeting on their home court. They will be looking for payback in this one and the Celtics must be ready to match the Bulls intensity in this one