11/27/2009 01:08:00 PM
Toronto Raptors (7-9) at Boston Celtics (11-4)
Friday, November 27
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #16, Home Game #10
TV: CSN HD, TSN, LP 754
Radio WEEI, CJCL
TD Banknorth Garden
Referees: Derrick Stafford, Tony Brown, Ed Malloy
The Celtics are undefeated in division play but they have struggled in their last two games against division foes as it took overtime to get past the Knicks and then a 3 point win over the Sixers in which Paul Pierce played 43 minutes.
The Celtics have been struggling on both ends of the floor but then, so have the Raptors. The Raptors have lost four straight on the road after a 116-81 loss at Charlotte on Wednesday. Toronto shot a season-low 34.5 percent and scored 35 second-half points in that contest. They have allowed seven straight opponent to score more than 100 points and are giving up 108.6 points per game, which is the worst in the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors are a 3 point shooting team and although they have been struggling, if the past few games are any indication, they will find their shooting touch in time to torch the Celtics in this game. The Sixers aren't known as a perimeter shooting team and yet were hitting from everywhere on the court in their last game.
After this game, 7 of the Celtics next 8 games are on the road. A win in this game would give them confidence and momentum going into the next tough stretch of games.
Coach: Doc Rivers
Average Age: 27.9
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 224
Rondo/ R Allen/ Pierce/ Garnett/ Perkins
Coach: Jay Triano
Average Age: 26.7
Average Height: 6-7
Average Weight: 226
Calderon/ DeRozan/ Turkoglu/Bosh/ Bargnani
Rajon Rondo vs Jose Calderon
It doesn't get easier for Rondo as he faces yet another tough matchup. Calderon is a quick PG who will give Rondo problems if he doesn't bring his A game.
Kevin Garnett vs Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh is one of the top young power forwards in the game today but he always seems intimidated by KG and rarely plays well against the Celtics. He averaged 16.5 points on 42.9 percent shooting vs the Celtics last season, well below his season averages. Bosh is leading the Raptors in points (25.4), Rebounds (11.9), and Blocks (1.2) and so it is important to slow down Bosh Let's hope that KG continues to intimidate him in this game.
Paul Pierce vs Hedo Turkoglu
Turkoglu plays Pierce very well and he always seems to have a good game vs the Celtics. More than once, he pulled out a win for his team when he was with the Magic. Pierce's defense will be needed as much as his offense in this game.
Keys to The Game
Defense, Defense, Defense The Celtics must find their defense again. They have been allowing way too many open shots and easy baskets recently. They need to get back to what has made them such a tough team. Against the Raptors, they especially need to tighten up their perimeter defense as they are a very good 3 point shooting team.
Rebound The Celtics have to crash the boards on both ends. Defensive rebounds prevent second chance opportunities for the Raptors and Offensive rebounds given them extra shots along with preventing the fast break for the Raptors. Rebounding is mostly effort and desire and the Celtics need to be showing both of those things.
Take it To the Hoop The Celtics need to take the ball into the paint and either get the score or draw the foul. Quick 3's are not good offense, especially the way they haven't been falling for them recently. They need to run the offense and move the ball and make the extra pass.
Play 48 Minutes Recently the Celtics have been playing in spurts like they think they can just turn it on and off. They need to come out strong and build a lead in the first quarter instead of digging a hole that they have to work harder to get out of. They also need to keep their effort up and not allow the Raptors to get back in the game if they get up. They've been able to win the last two games with up and down play, but just barely.
11/27/2009 01:08:00 PM