at Boston Celtics (42-11) at New Orleans Hornets (30-18) 2/11
Wednesday, February 11
8:00 PM ET
Game #54, Road Game # 26
TV: CST, CSN HD, LP 758
New Orleans Arena Located in the Big Easy, the New Orleans Hornets returned to the New Orleans Arena permanently this season for the first time since the 2004-05 season. In the mid 1990s, the city decided to build a new arena adjacent to the New Orleans Superdome. Constructed at a cost of $84 million, the octagonal shaped building was completed in 1999. The first game played at the New Orleans Arena was a hockey game on October 29, 1999. NBA basketball returned to the city permanently when the Hornets moved to New Orleans and played their first game at the New Orleans Arena October 30, 2002. Although the building was less than five years old, the city spent $10 million upgrading the New Orleans Arena for the Hornets. Locker rooms were upgrade, additional luxury suites were added, and a courtside restaurant and team store were built. Because of the devastating events of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the Hornets moved their basketball operations to Oklahoma City and the Ford Center where they played the majority of their games for the next two seasons. Several games were held in New Orleans during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons to show the team’s commitment to playing in the city. The New Orleans Arena suffered little structural damage after the hurricane because of its arched reinforced steel and concrete roof. The Hornets returned to New Orleans permanently for the 2007-08 season and the city hosted the 2008 NBA All-Star Game. ProbableStarters PG
Rajon Rondo PPG 11.2 RPG 5.10 APG 8.3 SG
Ray Allen PPG 18.2 RPG 3.30 APG 2.9 SF
Paul Pierce PPG 19.5 RPG 5.80 APG 3.8 PF
Kevin Garnett PPG 16.5 RPG 9.00 APG 2.7 C
Kendrick Perkins PPG 8.2 RPG 7.90 APG 1.1 Reserves
Bill Walker Injuries:
Brian Scalabrine (concussion) out
Tony Allen (thumb) out D-League
JR GiddensProbable Starters
Chris Paul PPG 21.5 RPG 5.40 APG 10.9
Rasual Butler 7PPG 9.8 RPG 2.90 APG 0.9
Peja Stojakovic PPG 14.3 RPG 4.10 APG 1.4
Ryan Bowen PPG 3.4 RPG 1.50 APG 0.5
David West PPG 19.6 RPG 7.50 APG 2.0 Reserves
Julian Wright Injuries
Tyson Chandler (ankle) questionable
Morris Peterson (foot) questionable
Chris Paul (groin) questionable Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Chris Paul
This match up may or may not come to pass. Chris Paul is listed on the game notes as being the starting pg but they have since said that he may not play because of the groin injury. The Celtics have said they are preparing as if CP will be playing. It should be a game time decision.
Kendrick Perkins vs David West Honorable Mention
Tony Allen vs James Posey Team Connections
Hilton Armstrong and Ray Allen are former UConn Huskies
Julian Wright and Paul Pierce are former Kansas Jayhawks
Sean Marks and Leon Powe are former Cal Golden Bears
Mike James played for the Celtics in the '03-'04 season
Hornets asst. Paul Pressey was an asst. for the Celtics from '04-'06
Scal was coached by Byron Scott in New Jersey
Melvin Ely and Eddie House were teammates on the Clippers
Peja Stojakovic and Eddie House were teammates in Sacramento
James Posey was instrumental in helping the Celtics win the championship last season.
The Celtics lead the series 1-0, having won 94-82 in a December game in Boston. The Hornets are 18-8 at home while the Celtics are 18-7 on the road. The Celtics are 8-2 in their last 10 games while the Hornets are 5-5. The Hornets are 11-7 against Eastern Conference teams. These two teams split the series 1-1 last season with each team winning on their home floor.
• In their first match-up of the season, Chris Paul (20 points and 14 assists) and David West (23 points and 14 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles for New Orleans.
• Paul Pierce recorded 28 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Kevin Garnett recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
• New Orleans scored 19 fast break points while holding Boston to six.
• Boston committed 17 turnovers leading to 25 Hornet points.
• Byron Scott is 7-14 (.333) all-time versus the Celtics…Doc Rivers is 13-12 (.520) all-time against the Hornets. Keys to the GameDefense
The Celtics have to guard both the perimeter and the interior. The Hornets have very good 3 point shooters as well as players who can take the ball to the basket. The Hornets are 19-2 when scoring 100 points so it is important to defend them well. Ball movement
Against the Lakers and the Spurs, too often the ball stopped moving and there were a lot of quick shots rather than moving the ball to find the open man. The Celtics must maintain their focus on team play and also on defense. Pedal to the Metal
The Celtics have to come out strong and not let up until the end of the game. They can't let a team like the Hornets get a big lead and they also can't let them hang around and keep it close. The Celtics have to play all out the entire 48 minutes. Bench Play
The Celtics bench has to keep up the level of play when they come into the game. They have been improving but need to show more consistency from game to game. X-Factor
Too many times this season, the Celtics have not brought their focus with them on the road and have allowed the home team to out-play them on both ends of the court. Regaining their defensive focus is especially important.