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Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« on: January 08, 2009, 11:47:55 AM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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Boston Celtics (29-8) at Cleveland Cavaliers (28-6)
Friday, January 8
8:00 PM ET
Game #37, Road Game #18
TV:  ESPN, FS Ohio HD, CSN HD
Quicken Loans Arena 

Throughout the NBA there are several basketball arenas that have nicknames, none that may be as good as “the Q.” For more than 35 years the Cavaliers have been playing basketball in Cleveland, first playing at Cleveland Arena, then the Richfield Coliseum and now at Quicken Loans Arena.   The Cleveland Cavaliers played their first game at Gund Arena on October 17, 1994. Gund Arena was one of the premier basketball arenas when it opened in 1994 and remains one of the best facilities more than a decade later. Today the Cavaliers home is known as Quicken Loans Arena or by its nickname, “the Q,” after Dan Gillbert, owner of Quicken Loans, bought the team in 2005.



Coach: Doc Rivers
Average Age: 26.6
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 222


Probable Starters
   PG: Rajon Rondo PPG 10.9 RPG 4.70 APG 7.5
   SG:  Ray Allen  PPG 17.7 RPG 3.50 APG 2.8 
   SF:  Paul Pierce PPG 19.5 RPG 5.60 APG 3.7 
   PF: Kevin Garnett  PPG 16.1 RPG 8.90 APG 2.6 
   C:  Kendrick Perkins  PPG 8.7 RPG 8.30  BPG 1.8

Reserves

Tony Allen
Glen Davis
Eddie House
Leon Powe
Gabe Pruitt
Brian Scalabrine
Patrick O'Bryant
Sam Cassell 
 
Injuries:
Tony Allen (ankle) out
Kevin Garnett (leg)  will play

D-League
Bill Walker
J.R. Giddens




Coach: Mike Brown
Average Age: 27.0
Average Height: 6-7
Average Weight: 227


Probable Starters
  PG:  Mo Williams  PPG 15.7 RPG 3.30 APG 4.1 
  SG: Delonte West  PPG 12.2 RPG 3.00 APG 3.6 
  SF: LeBron James  PPG 27.4 RPG 6.60 APG 6.6 
  PF: Ben Wallace  PPG 3.3 RPG 7.10 APG 0.7 
  C: Anderson Varejao PPG 9.4 RPG 7.20 BPG .7

Reserves
Daniel Gibson
Tarence Kinsey
JJ Hickson
Darnell Jackson
Jawad Williams
Lorenzen Wright
Sasha Pavlovic
Wally Szczerbiak 
Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Injured
Eric Snow (knee) out
Zydrunas Ilgauskas (ankle) out

Matchups to Watch
  vs 
The matchup between Paul Pierce and LeBron James is always an entertaining one and is one of the best matchups in the league.  Pierce is one of the few Celtics who has continued to play at a high level during the Celtics' recent slump.  You know that LeBron is going to be hyped for this game and hopefully Pierce will be as well.   

  vs 
Rondo has been struggling lately and that could be part of the reason for the team's struggles.  Rondo outplayed Williams in their first matchup on opening night but Williams has had a couple of months to get more familiar with the Cavs' system and I am sure he is hoping to turn the tables and get the better of Rondo in this game. 

Honorable Mention:
Kevin Garnett  vs Ben Wallace
Wallace is typically not an offensive and so KG won't have to work quite as hard on the defensive end.   KG has been starting off great in games but seems to fade by the end.  Hopefully he can put in a good game from start to finish in this one.   

Game Notes
These two teams last met on opening night when the Cavs visited the Garden and came away with a 90-85 loss.   Both teams started off strong and the Cavs continue to play very well while the Celtics have been slumping. 

The Cavs are 18-0 at home and the Celtics are 11-6 on the road.  The Cavs have taken half a game lead in the East and would love to win this game to put some space between them and the Celtics while the Celtics would love nothing more than to get back on track and re-gain the lead and a mental advantage over the Cavs with a win on their home court.

The Cavs have taken a page out of the Celtics' Championship book and have been beating teams with defense.  They are holding opponents to NBA lows of 89.2 points and 41.5% shooting on their home court.  They rank number 1 over all in points allowed at 89.4,  so they are playing well both at home and on the road.  The Celtics struggles on the road have been well documented and they must get their defensive swagger and their team play and aggressiveness back if they hope to win this game.  If not, it could be a very ugly loss for the green. 

Keys to the Game
Defense, Defense, Defense - The Celtics have abandoned the defense that made them so successful last season and during their win streak this season.  That defense has been missing during their current slump.  The Cavs are averaging 105.5 points at home and so the Celtics must find their defensive intensity once more.  They can't allow the Cavs to get to the basket at will and they must also defend the perimeter as the Cavs are a good 3 point shooting team.  Defense is going to make the difference in this game.  The Cavs will be playing it and it is up to the Celtics to get back to playing it as well.

Limit Turnovers   The Cavs are second in the league in converting points off turnovers at 19.4 per game.  (the Lakers are #1).  The Celtics are dead last in committing turnovers per game and if they continue to turn the ball over at their league leading pace, teams like the Cavs will make them pay. 

Rebound  The Celtics were out rebounded by the Rockets and that shows a lack of effort on their part in battling inside and boxing out and getting position.  Rebounding numbers indicate effort and desire and for the Celtics it hasn't been there.  They must limit the Cavs second chance efforts and at the same time they have to get offensive rebounds to give themselves more opportunities to score. 

Focus  It seems that the Celtics have lost focus especially in the 4th quarter of recent games.  When teams press them,  when their shots stop falling, they seem to lose their focus and start tossing up jumpers instead of looking for the extra pass or taking the ball inside.  They need to focus on team ball and not allow teams to take them out of their game. 

X-Factor
Fatigue vs Desire
The Celtics are tired.  The Cavs really, really want this game.  Will the Cavs desire for the win and to cement their position in first place be greater than the Celtics' fatigue?   Will the Celtics desire to beat their closest rival be greater than their aches, pains, and tiredness?  We are about to find out.   

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 11:50:35 AM »

Offline Redz

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Please, oh please, oh please dig down deep for a W!
Yup

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 12:15:52 PM »

Offline ManUp

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A win here could easily shake the Celtics out of this slump.

This is an opportunity to beat a tough quality opponent, and get some swagger back.

It will be tough, but it's about time we end this bad stretch.

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 01:00:39 PM »

Offline Rondo_is_better

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I'd love to see a win here, but I don't see it happening, unfortunately. We need a few home games against bad teams that we can win easily. That's the only way we'll get back on track.

Nonetheless, I will be watching the game and living and dying with every possession.

GO C's!
Grab a few boards, keep the TO's under 14, close out on shooters and we'll win.

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 07:32:40 PM »

Offline dark_lord

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PLEASE!!!!!!!


Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 08:37:26 PM »

Offline albas89

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I give us like 5% chances of winning this game cause I really can't find a reason why I should be more confident! However, IF we win this one, we will definitely get out of the slump! So, what I'm expecting from the players is at least play with their hearts and do the best they can at the moment(in other days doing their best would be translated as A DEFINITE WIN, but not at the moment)!!
"Life has so many hurdles. Some of them I've hopped over, some of them I've tripped over. The key is to get back up and finish the race."- Paul Pierce

And he did finish...

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 09:39:41 PM »

Offline BigAlTheFuture

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I have a good feeling 'bout this game. I don't see this team losing 4 in a row.
PHX Suns: Russell Westbrook, Chris Bosh, Tristan Thompson, Trevor Ariza, Tony Allen, Trey Lyles, Corey Brewer, Larry Nance Jr., Trey Burke, Troy Daniels, Joffrey Lauvergne, Justin Holiday, Mike Muscala, 14.6

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 09:47:12 PM »

Offline Redz

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All right, I'm pulling out the old tricks for this one:

EYE OF THE FISHER [dang it]!



Sadly, I have school this weekend and won't be able to catch most of the game.  School killed me with the Portland game last month too (one I really wanted to see).
Such is the price of getting me an edumication!
Yup

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 12:17:15 AM »

Offline Toine43

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What have the Celtics been lacking of late? A sense of urgency, effort, energy, intensity, teamwork. It's all in their heads I tell ya! So that's why I see this game as a lead pipe lock for the hometown team. Nothing will better grab the Celtics' attention than Lebron and the Cavs. I'm confident KG will shake off his fatigue and have his best game in weeks, and the rest of his team will follow suit. Celtics win by 8.


Eddie House - for THREEEEEEE!

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 12:28:10 AM »

Offline ACF

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I don't know why but I keep
thinking about a Dead Kennedys
song. It's called "Let's Lynch The
Landlord"...

The Crab Queen = The Landlord   ;)

A W at the Q and a TP for FL!

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2009, 12:32:00 AM »

Offline cordobes

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Without Big Z, the Cavs aren't such a strong team. They're still good, but not as good as the C's. I'm expecting a win.

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2009, 02:35:13 AM »

Offline Scribbles

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Without Big Z, the Cavs aren't such a strong team. They're still good, but not as good as the C's. I'm expecting a win.

I agree Big Z is one of the most important parts to that Cav team and with him out I like our chances of winning this game. 

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2009, 05:19:42 AM »

Offline greenwise

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After the Lakers game, maybe the spirits of this team went down. Now if we win this game against probably the strongest team in the league right now the team will be able to get out of the slump they are in.

I believe

C's will win

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2009, 08:19:55 AM »

Offline celticinorlando

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just a view froming living in Ohio:

1. huge winter storm coming through..northern ohio might see a foot of snow tonight...could hamper the crowd

2. Cav fans I work with are VERY confident that they will not only win but beat Boston by 15-20 points tonight. They say it won't even be close

3. I think the biggest thing for the c's is they MUST not let the Cavs get comfortable making threes tonight. I have had to suffer through most Cav games and mo williams, West and gibson all will fall in love with the 3...esp if they start making them. If those fall...boston is in trouble...if they don't...then boston is in good shape

4. REBOUNDING!!! the Cavs get a lot of second shots with LBJ and Co. scrapping for scond shots

5. Make LBJ a jump shooter. he will be sky high and confident tonight..make him shoot the jump shot

6. The most important is PLAY CELTIC DEFENSE. I don't know what they have been playing for the last couple of weeks but play C's D.

I wish I could say I am super confident Boston wins. I do think Cleveland is due for a home loss but Boston struggles in Cleveland...even last year regular season/playoffs. In addition, I really think we will see the trend of the Refs hurting Boston. I think James will get a lot of calls to go his way.
“The rim is looking bigger and bigger every game.”

 Paul Pierce

Re: Celtics (29-8) at Cavs (28-6) 1/9
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2009, 09:01:40 AM »

Online nickagneta

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I am expecting a tight game with one team pulling away in the last five minutes. I'll let you guess who I think that team will be but a hint is that the losing team will have a player with two capital letters in his first name.