Boston Celtics (0-0) at Houston Rockets (0-0)
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
8:30 PM ET
TV: CSN HD
Preseason Game 1
Dodge Arena, Hidalgo, Texas
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Kendrick Perkins Off the Bench:
Big Baby Davis
Tony Allen (ankle) questionable
Bill Walker (knee) questionable
Players to Watch
The most obvious player to watch is Kevin Garnett. Reports and video out of training camp have been very encouraging. But, this will be our first chance to see him in game action. Scott Souza reports that KG was limited in Tuesday's practice by pain in his calf and shin splints but is still expected to start this game. We may not see much of him, but what we see will be closely monitored by Celtics fans everywhere.
Perhaps the most important player on this team other than KG is Rajon Rondo. KG has described him as razor sharp in practice. He has gained 11 lbs of muscle and also has reportedly worked on his jumper all summer. It would be nice to see him hitting his shots early to gain confidence.
Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels, Shelden Williams, Perk and Big Baby
This will be our first opportunity to see how the new players are meshing with the team and how the weight that Perk and Big Baby lost affects their games.
PG: Aaron Brooks
SG: Kyle Lowry
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Luis Scola
C: David Andersen
NOTE: This is a wild guess as to their starters. Rick Adelman has said that he doesn't know who his starters are going to be and it could change from game to game in the preseason. I PM'd a Rockets fan and asked for his best guess as to who would start and went with that. In their opener, Chuck Hayes started at center, Chase Budinger started at small forward and Trevor Ariza was the starting 2 guard. That doesn't mean anything because Rick Adelman has said that he may have a different starting lineup for each preseason game until he settles on a rotation.
Off the Bench
Pops Mensah Bonsu
Shane Battier (hamstring) questionable
Yao Ming (foot) out
Tracy McGrady (knee) out
Players to Watch
Luis Scola was a key player for the Rockets last year and he should pick up where he left off last season. The matchup between KG and Scola will be fun to watch as KG gets his first taste of competition since last February.
Trevor Ariza was the Rockets' key acquisition over the summer. He swapped places with the combustible Ron Artest and should be a better fit for this team all the way around.
Aaron Brooks, Brent Barry, David Andersen
It will be fun to watch the PG matchup between Brooks and Rondo. Anderson is not a lock for the starting center spot and if he gets the start, he will be playing to make an impression that he should be there. Brent Barry has been a key player off the bench and it will be interesting to see if he is slowing down any.
This is the Celtics first preseason game and the second for the Rockets, who opened their preseason last night with a 99-85 win over the Spurs. Word from the Celtics Tuesday practice was that KG had some pain from his shin splints and a sore calf and was limited in practice. It was also mentioned that he was limping as he left the floor to sit out the end of practice. Doc insists that he is not injured and that it is just soreness from not playing for so long. He is expected to start, as are the other regular starters, but how long they will play isn't known.
Celtics basketball is finally back. Buckle up and hang on because it's going to be a fun ride this season!!