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Boston Celtics (26-10) at New Jersey Nets (3-34)
Wednesday, January 13
7:30 PM ET
Game #37 Road Game #21
TV: CSN-NE, YES HD, NBA-LP 755, 756
Izod Center

Today's Referees:    Bill Kennedy,  Curtis Blair,  Rodney Mott 

The Nets have won only 3 games so far this season but they shouldn't be taken for granted because they have some players who are capable of big games. We remember Courtney Lee going off on the Celtics when he played for Orlando in last year's playoffs. Yi and Brook Lopez have been playing well. Devin Harris is an all star. They also have Chris Quinn who can get hot from beyond the arc.

The Nets are 1 -9 in their last 10 games while the Celtics are 5-5, as they battle through a series of injuries and illnesses. The Celtics are 15-5 on the road and the Nets are just 2-15 at home. The Nets have been resting since losing to the Spurs on Sunday while the Celtics are playing in their 3rd game in 4 nights.

While posting the Nets' roster, I kept thinking: "He's still in the league?" They have a nice starting lineup, but their bench is mostly expiring contracts waiting for the big 2010 free agent class. But, in spite of all this, the Celtics can't overlook this team. The Celtics have a game on Thurs vs the Bulls and it would be nice to put the Nets away early and get the starters some rest. 

Hopefully everyone will keep their cool in this game because we have Bill Kennedy on the officiating crew again.   The last time he called a Celtics game he followed Rasheed to the huddle in order to listen to what he was saying in the huddle and then tossed him because of it.    He has had it in for Doc and the Celtics since Doc's complaints caused him to be fined for unprofessional conduct.   I really don't want to be frustrated though another game where there is a biased ref making bad calls throughout the game. 

ProbableStarting Matchups
Point Guard
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Rajon Rondo vs Devin Harris

Shooting Guard
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Ray Allen vs Courtney Lee

Small Forward
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Paul Pierce vs Chris Douglas Roberts

Power Forward
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Brian Scalabrine vs Yi Jianlian

Center
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Kendrick Perkins vs Brook Lopez


Key Matchups
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Rajon Rondo vs Devin Harris
The first time these two teams met this season, Harris was out with an injury. Last season, Harris beat out Rondo for a spot on the All Star team and hopefully Rondo will remember that and be motivated for a big game instead of taking this team for granted because of their poor record. Harris missed the Nets' game vs the Spurs with a sore wrist but with 3 days rest since their last game, he is expected to play in this one.

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Kendrick Perkins vs Brook Lopez
Lopez has been one of the bright spots for the Nets in an otherwise dismal season. Lopez is ranked 3rd among centers in scoring at 18.6 points per game and has 15 (20point, 10rebound) double doubles this season which is first among all centers.

Honorable Mention
Brian Scalabrine vs Yi Jianlian
Assuming that Doc goes with Scal for the start again, he will be matched up against Yi Jianlian who has been playing very well lately. Over the last 9 games, Yi has been averaging 18.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He plays mostly on the perimeter rather than banging inside and so it would seem that Scal would be the best available big man to guard him.


Keys to the Game
Limit Turnovers The Celtics must take better care of the basketball. They have been turning the ball over at an alarming rate and must make better passes and keep their focus so as to limit these turnovers.

Rebound Rebounding shows the amount of effort and desire a team has. The Celtics must bring both effort and desire and crash the boards on both ends.

Defense No explanation needed. Defense is the key to winning. Period.

Play 48 Minutes The Celtics seem to either be hot at the beginning and then let up at the end of games or they come out sluggish and have to play catch up the entire game. They must come out focused and stay focused for the full 48 minutes.

X-Factor
Fatigue
The Celtics starters have been playing big minutes recently. Key players have been out and Doc refuses to play the young guys and so Ray especially is logging 40+ minutes per game. They are playing in the 3rd game in 4 nights along with travel after each game and so fatigue could come into play in this one.

[Discuss this topic on the Celtics Green Forums!]

FLCeltsFan 1/13/2010 09:57:00 AM Edit
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2 Responses so far.

  1. JR says:

    Hey FL, did you spell the Nets with an "NY" on purpose? If not, it still works. We need Perk not to get into early foul trouble against Lopez. Hopefully we play the Nets better than we did the last time in Jersey.

  2. tb727 says:

    I think for the rest of the season whoever the Nets play, should be allowed to bring a legend out of retirement to play against them. So like tonight the Celtics could suit up McHale. Or the Hawks could use Dominique Wilkins.

    You do realize everyone would watch every single Nets game for the rest of this year to be able to watch this.

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