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Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« on: December 04, 2009, 12:12:30 AM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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Boston Celtics (15-4) at Oklahoma City Thunder (10-8)
Friday, December 4
8:00 PM ET
Game #20, Road Game #10
TV:  FS OK, CSN HD, NBA-LP 761,762 
Radio:  WEEI, WWLS



Probable Starters

Rajon Rondo/Ray Allen/Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett/Kendrick Perkins 

Reserves
Marquis Daniels
Rasheed Wallace
Eddie House
Shelden Williams
JR Giddens
Brian Scalabrine
Lester Hudson

Injuries
Glen Davis (thumb) out
Tony Allen (ankle) out

D-League

Bill Walker




Probable Starters

Russell Westbrook/Thabo Sefolosha/Kevin Durant/Jeff Green/Etan Thomas

Reserves
James Harden
Serge Ibaka
Byron Mullins
DJ White
Mike Wilks 
Nick Collision

Injuries
Nenad Krstic (Achilles)  questionable
Shaun Livingston (knee) questionable
Kevin Ollie  (knee)  out
Kyle Weaver (shoulder)  out 

Team Connections
 Nick Collison and Paul Pierce are former Kansas Jayhawks
Jeff Green was originally drafted by the Celtics with the 5th overall
pick in the 2007 Draft
Nick Collison and Ray Allen were teammates in Seattle from 2004-07
Kevin Ollie and Ray Allen are former UConn Huskies
James Harden and Eddie House are former Arizona State Sun Devils
Kevin Ollie and Shelden Williams were teammates in Minnesota
during the 2008-09 season.

 Another connection has been Robert Swift.  There have been countless stories and rumors about Danny's infatuation with Swift.   It was said that Danny very much wanted Swift but had to settle for Big Al when Seattle grabbed Swift ahead of him.   Big Al was a key to bringing KG to Boston and is one of the most promising young big men in the league.  Meanwhile, Swift has been plagued with injuries and was eventually cut by Seattle.  The talk of Danny infatuation with Swift continued this summer when Swift was invited to play on the Celtics summer league team. However, most talk ended when Swift appeared out of shape and wasn't invited to camp. 

Key Matchups
  vs 
When we play against Durant there will always be thoughts of what might have been if the Celtics had landed the 1st or 2nd pick in that draft instead of the 5th.  Durant is blossoming in to a very good player and both Pierce and Durant have been playing well. This should be a good matchup. 

  vs 
Kevin Garnett vs Jeff Green
This is another of those what might have been matchups.  The Celtics picked Jeff Green with the 5th pick in the draft and then traded him to Seattle in return for Ray Allen and this was the trade that set the table for KG to Boston.   The way KG has been playing, this should be a mismatch in the Celtics favor.  KG has height and experience advantages.  Green has youth and possibly quickness, but I'll put my money on the intense  veteran in this one. 

Game Notes
• Celtics won the season series 2-0 against the Thunder in 2008-09
• Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 23.5 points per game last season
• Kevin Durant led the Thunder with an average of 19.0 points per game against the Celtics last season
• The Celtics are 7-3 against the Thunder since the 2004-05 season
• The Celtics are leading the all-time series 65-50 with the Celtics 34-19 at home

The Thunder aren't a gimme game any more.  They are playing very good basketball and are over .500 for the season.  They have beaten some very good teams including Orlando, San Antonio, and Utah. 

Oklahoma has become a very defensive team, especially in the paint.  They are holding teams to the third lowest field goal percentage at the rim in the league.   They don't have a shot blocker as such, but their collective length allows them to contest just about every shot.  Perk will have his work cut out for him in this game.

The Celtics are playing in the second of back to backs after facing the Spurs the night before.  The Thunder are coming in with a days rest.  Also, the Thunder is another of those young and athletic teams that tend to give the Celtics problems.   

The Celtics need to take this one very seriously or the Thunder could surprise them.

Keys to the Game
Defense   The team that plays the best defense is going to come out on top in this one.  Both teams can put up the points and the team that stops the other team will have the advantage.

Rebound  Rebounding is especially important when playing teams like the Thunder who will run on misses on the defensive end and who are athletic enough to get put backs on the offensive end.  Also, the team that wins the rebounding battle is usually the team putting out the most effort. 

Be Smart   Typically, in the second of back to back games, the outside shots stop falling because of tired legs.  If they aren't falling, the Celtics need to realize this and take the ball inside instead of continuing to shoot blanks.   

X-Factor
Fatigue
The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games and in the 4th game of a road trip.  They got a hard fought win in San Antonio, but it may have taken a lot out of them.  The young and athletic Thunder may be too much for the Celtics if their legs are tired and their focus is wavering at the end of this trip.

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2009, 03:31:46 AM »

Offline Bahku

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C's are on a roll and regaining some of the momentum they'd lost in November ... I hope we can make a minimum the trade threads, at least for a while. This should be a good one ... Durant is on fire, but I look for The Truth to reawaken in this one and put up some big numbers. I think Sefolosha may have a good game, but only because we shut them down on the interior, and they're left with outside offense only. Go Celts ... and thanks, Fl! (TP)
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Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2009, 03:54:42 AM »

Online Atzar

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This'll be a tough one.  Back end of a back-to-back against a young, athletic team that can put up a lot of points against a lazy, tired defense.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2009, 04:32:38 AM by Atzar »

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2009, 08:09:17 AM »

Online slamtheking

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I'm anticipating bounce-back games from PP and Perk tonight after their lackluster games in SA.  Sheed could do some more damage in the post against this team as well.

Should be interesting test for Daniels-->see how he does when assigned to Durant.  Should provide a preview of how he could do against Lebron and Kobe come playoff time.

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2009, 08:22:57 AM »

Offline xmuscularghandix

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I think the mentality should be to pound the ball down low for the first quarter to really get some guys in foul trouble. Krstic and Green can't compete down low against any of out bigs, but Green can cause trouble for us because of his speed at the position. So lets just get them in foul trouble and sit them right down.

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2009, 01:30:51 PM »

Offline Drucci

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I think the mentality should be to pound the ball down low for the first quarter to really get some guys in foul trouble. Krstic and Green can't compete down low against any of out bigs, but Green can cause trouble for us because of his speed at the position. So lets just get them in foul trouble and sit them right down.

Sounds like a good plan for me. :)

This game is going to be a hard one since Durant & cie are athletic, young and like to run. Not to mention that we are on a back to back and at the end of a road trip.

Hopefully we will finish it undefeated and rising the streak to 7 wins. :)

Won't be there live but I will catch the replay tomorrow morning. TP FL and let's go C's!

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2009, 01:55:30 PM »

Online Donoghus

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My favorite young team.  Thunder are playing quite well this season.  Winning record.  Playing teams tough. Slowly growing up.

Should be an enjoyable game to watch.  Lot of young talent on OKC that are fun to watch.


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Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2009, 02:18:56 PM »

Online celticsclay

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My favorite young team.  Thunder are playing quite well this season.  Winning record.  Playing teams tough. Slowly growing up.

Should be an enjoyable game to watch.  Lot of young talent on OKC that are fun to watch.

I agree with you and think that the Thunder will actually make the playoffs this year. I am also pleasantly surprised with how good Harden has been for them.

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2009, 02:55:12 PM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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Thanks for post FLCeltsFan and TP to you.

Thunder's a dangerous young team. They have had a few off games, though..games I thought they would win.

We should still win this one going away..during our streak we have beaten young, athletic teams, playoff-bound teams, and IMO a Top-Four team in the NBA in S.A...IN San Antonio.

I remember the Celtics 1st game against the Thunder when they were still in Seattle back in 2007-2008. Pierce went off against Durant and the (then) Sonics for like 37 points..Pierce was so hot at one time that he was licking his fingers, lol...

Pierce is due to come out of his mini-slump..and this will make Durant have to work on defense.

Even in a back-to-back game like this, our bench will sustain us. And I agree with xmuscularghandix--let's pound the ball into Perk and KG to start off and not let Durant get into a groove.



Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2009, 04:02:53 PM »

Offline USG

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Always like it when I get to watch one with you folks here. I think Rondo is gonna have a big game on both ends and expose Westbrook some. Durant and Pierce has potential to be a shootout. But what should really do it for us is the big men inside.

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2009, 04:49:54 PM »

Offline Cman

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TP4UFLCF.

I don't think the Thunder are a dangerous opponent, per se, but I think it is a dangerous game -- the Cs are coming off games against some good teams, and at some point are likely to "take the night off" and get an L.  Thunder are a team I could see that happened with.

That said, my solemn pledge to you is that, if a loss occurs, I will not post on here tomorrow in the inevitable "the sky is falling" thread.
Celtics fan for life.

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2009, 05:22:02 PM »

Offline celticinorlando

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boston doesnt need to play around with these guys...come  out and finish this roadie undefeated
“The rim is looking bigger and bigger every game.”

 Paul Pierce

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2009, 05:38:16 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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I love my Celtics and never ever cheer against them. But, if I were forced at gunpoint to have to bet money on picking the winner of this game, I would probably have to lay it on Oklahoma.

This is a young, running athletic team playing much better,and are just the type of team that has given the Celtics fits thus far. The Celtics are playing the second game of a road back to back and this is the last game of a week long road trip. The Celtics are coming off an emotional high playing and beating on of the better teams in the league on their home court the night before.

All not things that inspire confidence in me for tonight's game. I'll be cheering like crazy for my team, but I have a bad feeling about this one.

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2009, 05:50:38 PM »

Offline Jon Niednagel

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Give it to PP early and often. Make Durant play a lot of defense.
“Being a Celtic is, every decision you make is about the team. Every cut you make is about the team. Every pass you make is about the team. You take yourself out of it. It’s not for everyone. If you don’t want to win, don’t want to play team basketball, and it’s more about you then you’re probably not a Celtic." Doc 2010

Re: Celtics (15-4) at Thunder (10-8) 12/4
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2009, 06:08:04 PM »

Offline ManUp

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This is going to be a good one. I know Durant is going to try an light up PP because of his trash talking. Hopefully Pierce can still get in KD's head. Rondo also has to school Westbrook if we're going to win this one.

If we somehow do lose my guess is that the boards had a lot to do with it.