Boston Celtics (19-4) at Memphis Grizzlies (10-13)
Monday, December 14
Game #24, Road Game #13
TV: CSN HD, SSO-MEM, NBA-LP 754, 755
Fed Ex Forum
The Grizzlies are a dangerous team with some very talented young players. They have added veteran leadership from Zach Randolph who has been a beast on the boards lately, setting several team records recently. Rudy Gay exploded for 41 against Miami in his last game and OJ Mayo is always capable of putting up big numbers.
In spite of all the talent on this team they are just 10-13. They have a winning record at home of 6-4 at home, however. The Celtics are a league best 11-1 on the road and are riding a 10 game win streak coming into this game.
The Grizzlies are playing in the second of back to back games and are coming off a 118-90 blow out win over Miami on the road. The Celtics are coming into this game with a day's rest but are playing in the final game of a 3 game road trip and 7 of their last 8 wins have come on the road.
The Celtics need to take this game very seriously because the Grizzlies aren't a pushover team any longer. Any given night they can be very dangerous. They also have a lot of young and athletic players who can give the Celtics problems.
Coach: Doc Rivers
Average Age: 27.9
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 224
Rajon Rondo/Ray Allen/Paul Pierce Pierce/Kevin Garnett/Kendrick Perkins
Coach: Lionel Hollins
Average Age: 24.7
Average Height: 6-8
Average Weight: 228
Mike Conley/OJ Mayo/ Rudy Gay/Zach Randolph / Marc Gasol
Paul Pierce vs Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay will be a very tough matchup for Paul Pierce. He is averaging over 20 points and 6 rebounds a game. He went off for 41 vs Miami on Sunday and Pierce will need to play very well on both ends of the court to get the best of this matchup.
Ray Allen vs OJ Mayo
Mayo has been on the national radar since high school and is a very promising young player and very athletic. Ray needs to use his veteran wiles if he hopes to keep May from going off.
Kendrick Perkins vs Marc Gasol
Gasol has been playing well and Perk needs to be physical inside to keep him from getting easy baskets. Gasol has a height advantage, but Perk has a strength advantage.
Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense is the key to every game. They especially need to bring their defense against this young and talented Grizzlies team.
Focus - The Celtics need to come in focused and get off to a good start. They also have to be careful not to lose focus and finish strong as well. The Grizzlies will take advantage of any lapses on the Celtics part.
Rebound - The Celtics need to make an effort to crash the boards to prevent the Grizzlies from getting second chance points off of offensive rebounds and fast break opportunities on the defensive end.
Rondo As goes Rondo, so go the Celtics. He is the engine that makes the team run. He has been aggressive in pushing the ball and also on defense and that sets the tone for the rest of the team. He needs to continue to be aggressive on both ends of the court.
Bench The Celtics should have an advantage on the second unit if they play up to their capabilities. Sheed needs to go inside as he did against the Bulls. Eddie needs to hit his shots. Shelden needs to crash the boards. And most of all, Tony needs to engage his brain.