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Celtics and Grizzlies meet for round 2 at the Garden

The Celtics host the Memphis Grizzlies for a rematch of the Celtics OT win from a week ago.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Grizzlies (20-12) at Boston Celtics (18-13)
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #32, Home Game #13
TV: CSNNE, FSSE, NBA-LP 751 (DTV),751 (Xfinity)
Radio: 100.7 WZLX, 92.9 FM ESPN
TD Garden
Referees: Eric Lewis, Brent Barnaky, Haywoode Workman

The Celtics host the Memphis Grizzlies for their only trip to TD Garden this season. These two teams met just one week ago in Memphis with the Celtics going up 1-0 on the series this season. The Celtics came from 17 down to win 112-109 in overtime behind Isaiah Thomas' career high 44 points.

The Grizzlies will be looking to avenge that loss in this game behind their league best defensive rating of 99.7. Chandler Parsons returned to the Grizzlies line up after they played the Celtics and is expected to start at small forward. Memphis is hoping that Parsons' return along with the return from injury of James Ennis will boost their offense, which is averaging just 97.5 points per game.

The Grizzlies are playing in the second of back to back games after losing to the Orlando Magic 112-102 on Monday night. The Grizzlies are 8-0 on the second night of back to back games, however. The Celtics are coming off a big win over the Knicks on Christmas day.

Both teams are 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Celtics are 6-6 at home while the Grizzlies are 8-5 on the road. The Celtics are pretty much at full strength with no injuries listed. Deyonta Davis (foot) and Brandon Wright (ankle) are out for the Grizzlies. Wade Baldwin is on assignment with their D-League affiliate.

Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard
Isaiah Thomas vs Mike Conley

Shooting Guard

Avery Bradley vs Tony Allen

Small Forward
Jae Crowder vs Chandler Parsons

Power Forward
Al Horford vs JaMychal Green

Amir Johnson vs Marc Gasol

Jaylen Brown
Gerald Green
Terry Rozier
James Young
Jonas Jerebko
Tyler Zeller
Kelly Olynyk
Demetrius Jackson
Jordan Mickey
Marcus Smart


Head Coach

Brad Stevens

Vince Carter
Andrew Harrison
Zach Randolph
Troy Williams
James Ennis
Jarell Martin

Wade Baldwin (d-league assignment) out
Deyonta Davis (foot) out
Brandon Wright (ankle) out

Head Coach
David Fizdale

Key Matchups
Isaiah Thomas vs Mike Conley
Mike Conley is having a career year for the Grizzlies and will be a tough matchup for Isaiah Thomas. Avery Bradley or Marcus Smart should be on him defensively and we may see a shoot out between the two high scoring point guards. Isaiah won the first matchup with a career high 44 points while Conley had 19. Conley is averaging 18.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists.

Amir Johnson vs Marc Gasol
Gasol is averaging 20.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. The 7'1" Gasol has a height advantage and he also has been having a career year. He is very capable of having a big game if the Celtics don't defend him well. He had 24 points and 7 rebounds in the first meeting.

Honorable Mention

Jae Crowder vs Chandler Parsons
Last season, Parsons averaged 18.3 points and 5.8 rebounds, while shooting 52% from the field and 47.5% from beyond the arc, before a knee surgery ended his season. He hasn't reached that level yet this season, averaging just 6.5 points and 2.9 rebounds. However, he is a threat to return to previous form if not guarded closely.

Zach Randolph vs Jonas Jerebko (or Kelly Olynyk)
Zach Randolph has been coming off the bench and is settling into the 6th man role quite well. He is averaging 12.9 points and 7.8 rebounds. The Celtics' big men off the bench have to be ready to bang inside against him as he is very tough once he gets into the paint.

Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense is always key to getting a win. The Celtics must defend especially in the paint where the Grizzlies can be very dangerous. The Celtics must make defense a priority against the Grizzlies, who have the league's best defensive rating at 99.7. It will be tough for the Celtics to score against the Grizzlies and so they must make it equally difficult for the Grizzlies to score against them.

Set the Pace - The Grizzlies pride themselves on playing with grit and grinding out wins. The Celtics play best when they run and open up the floor for their shooters. The Celtics need to push the pace and run on every possession to get easy scores before the Grizzlies' defense gets set up and to keep the Grizzlies from getting easy scores.

Rebound - Crashing the boards won't be all that easy with Randolph and Gasol crowding the paint. In the first meeting the Grizzlies had 52 rebounds to 41 for the Celtics. The Celtics must put out extra effort to grab as many rebounds as they can because they have to get the ball in order to score and they must keep the Grizzlies from scoring easy second chance points.

Be Aggressive - The Celtics need to play hard and be the more aggressive team. They have to go after rebounds, loose balls, and 50/50 balls. They have to be aggressive in defense and in getting to the basket. They have to be the team that works harder and wants it more. The Grizzlies are a grind it out team and pride themselves on playing with grit. The Celtics must match their grit and be willing to grind it out themselves.

Home Court

After a road heavy schedule for most of December, the Celtics are back at home and will play 8 of their next 11 games at home. The problem is that the Celtics haven't played their best at home so far. They need to use the energy of the crowd to give them a boost to establish home court dominance.


Officiating is always an x-factor. At times they call the game even and let them play. Other times they call the game one sided or call every little touch foul and that takes all of the flow out of the game. Every crew has it's own identity and that can change the flow and outcome of the game. The Celtics play best when the refs allow them to play and call the game fairly. They have to adjust to the way the game is being called.

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