Phoenix Suns (4-1) at Boston Celtics (6-0)
Friday, November 6
7:30 PM ET
Game #7 Home Game #4
TV: CSN HD, My45 HD, LP 757
Referees: Bill Spooner, James Capers, Scott Wall
Both teams are coming in with one day rest. The Celtics are coming off a sub-par game and 2 point win over the Timberwolves. The Suns are coming in off of their first loss, a 22 point blowout loss to the Magic.
The Suns are a high scoring team, averaging 111 points per game. However, like another high scoring team that the Celtics recently faced, they aren't known for their defense, allowing 108 points per game.
Both teams get 2/3 of their points from their starters, however, the Celtics starters are doing it in approximately 130 minutes per game while the Suns Starters are averaging approximately 160 minutes per game.
First Game Played November 2, 1946
Probable Starting Lineup
PG: Rajon Rondo PPG 9.2 RPG 4.3 APG 9.7
SG: Ray Allen PPG 15.0 RPG 1.8 APG 2.7
C: Kendrick Perkins PPG 9.2 RPG 5.5 BPG 2.3
SF: Paul Pierce PPG 19.7 RPG 6.0 APG 3.3
PF: Kevin Garnett PPG 11.3 RPG 7.5 BPG 1.7
Tony Allen (ankle) out
Bill Walker (knee) out
Big Baby Davis (thumb) out
First Game Played October 18, 1968
Probable Starting Lineup
PG: Steve Nash PPG 19.6 RPG 3.0 APG 10.8
SG: Jason Richardson PPG 12.3 RPG 3.0 APG 2.0
C: Channing Frye PPG 14.6 RPG 8.6 BPG 0.6
SF: Grant Hill PPG 14.0 RPG 8.8 APG 1.6
PF: Amare Stoudamire PPG 19.2 RPG 8.6 BPG 1.4
Robin Lopez (foot) out
Leandro Barbosa (hand) day to day
Rajon Rondo vs Steve Nash
Rondo gets a chance to show what he can do against one of the premier PG's in the league and a 2 time MVP. He should have a speed advantage over Nash, but he will have to work on the defensive end as Nash can burn you from anywhere on the floor if you give him a step.
Kevin Garnett vs Amare Stoudamire
This is a battle of two of the league's best power forwards. Hopefully KG will bounce back after a sub par defensive outing against Oleksiy Pecherov as he will need to come up big on the defensive end to keep Stoudamire from having a big game.
Celtics Bench vs Suns Bench
The Suns have a very good starting five and the two starting units match up fairly well. But, the talent falls off when the Suns' starters go to the bench. The Celtics should have an advantage when the second units are on the court.
• Celtics won the season series 2-0 against the Suns in 2008-09
• Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 27.5 points per game last season
• Steve Nash averaged 15.5 points per game in the two match-ups
• It marked the first time since the 2000-01 season that the Celtics had swept the season series.
• The Celtics are leading the all-time series 61-47 with the Celtics 35-17 at home
Keys to the Game
Defense - This is the key to every win this season and to a championship as well. The Celtics lock down defense was nowhere to be found against the Wolves. They won't beat the Suns unless they get back to their trademark defense.
Ball Movement - At times during the Wolves game, the ball stopped moving. Paul Pierce, in particular, tried driving into triple teams several times instead of playing team ball. The Celtics need to move the ball and find the open man in order to stretch the Suns weak defenses.
Crash the Boards - The Celtics were out-rebounded by the Wolves and that shows a lack of effort and desire on the Celtics part. Rebounding is mostly desire and effort and the team that wants it most will win the rebounding battle.
Quick Start - The Celtics starters have started the game slowly in most of their games, getting into a hole and then having to play their way back. They need to set the tone early and get off to a quick start so that the bench comes in with a lead instead of a deficit and can build from there.
The Celtics should have an advantage when the second units are in and this could be the difference in this game if the Celtics reserves play up to their capabilities.