Wednesday, December 8
7:00 PM ET
Game #21, Home Game #11
TV: ESPN, CSNNE, ASE
Radio: WEEI, KCKK
Rajon Rondo 11.4 PPG, 14.1 APG, 2.3 SPG
Chauncey Billups 14.8 PPG, 5.2 APG, 1.1 SPG
Ray Allen 15.9 PPG, 3.1 APG, .421 3P%
Arron Afflalo 12.3 PPG, 2.5 APG, .426 3P%
Paul Pierce 19.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.7 APG
Carmelo Anthony 23.3 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 3.4 APG
Kevin Garnett 15.7 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 0.6 BPG
Shelden Williams 5.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 0.7 BPG
Shaquille O'Neal 11.9 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 0.6 BPG
Nene Hilario 13.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.00 BPG
Boston Bench Mob
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) out
Kendrick Perkins (knee) out
Delonte West (wrist) out
Rajon Rondo (hamstring, feet) game time decision
Nate Robinson (foot, death in family) probable
Shaquille O'Neal (knee) game time decision
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Kenyon Martin (knee) out
Chris Andersen (back) day to day
Paul Pierce vs Carmelo Anthony
This is another matchup between two great players. Both are tough and both do whatever their teams need. Pierce puts Melo in a select group of players that leave him bruised and achy after a game. This will be a fun matchup to watch.
Rajon Rondo vs Chauncey Billups
This will be a tough matchup for Rondo if he isn't 100%. Billups is a cagey veteran player and has burned the Celtics in the past. If Rondo can't go, it will be even tougher for Nate. It may help that Chauncey is playing in back to back games but still will be a tough matchup for the Celtics.
Kevin Garnett vs Shelden Williams
Shelden Williams has moved into the starting lineup for Denver and Celtics fans have to be happy for him as he was a fan favorite in Boston. But, don't expect KG to take it easy on him. When the game starts, he is fair game for KG.
Keys to the Game
Defense - I may sound like a broken record, but Defense is the key to every game this season. If they come into every game with the mindset to make defense a priority, they stand a good chance of winning every one. When they slack off on defense, it affects every part of their game.
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Rebound - Since much of rebounding is effort and desire, the effort put out on the boards usually indicates how much the team really wants the game. The team that wins the battle of the boards usually comes out on top because the effort needed to out rebound the other team carries across all other areas of the game.
Go to the Hoop- In their 7 game win streak, the Celtics have outscored their opponents by large numbers in the paint. The Celtics must continue to take the ball to the basket and not settle for outside jumpers.
Play 48 Minutes- The Celtics have had a tendency to either start out slow and then play catch up or to let up once they get a lead. That can work against some of the weaker teams but against a tough team like the Nuggets, the Celtics must come out strong and maintain that for 48 minutes.
Move the Ball- When the Celtics move the ball and find the open man, they are very tough to beat. They have so many weapons that they always get a good shot. When the ball movement slows and players try to do too much, it usually ends in a loss.
Nuggets Coach, George Karl, is looking to get his 1000th win in this game.
Home Court and Injuries
The Celtics are 9-1 at home and have said that they want to protect their home court this season, something they didn't do last year. They need to continue to make home court an advantage and make the Garden a place to be feared again. However, the home court advantage may be nullified by the number of injuries that left the team with just 9 players available for practice yesterday.