at Boston Celtics (32-18) at Sacramento Kings (18-34)
Tuesday, February 16
9:00 PM ET
Game #51, Road Game #27
TV: CSN-CA, CSN-NE, NBA LP 763, 764
Arco ArenaProbable Starters PG SG SF PF C
Rajon Rondo/ Ray Allen/ Paul Pierce/ Kevin Garnett/ Kendrick Perkins Reserves
Bill Walker Injuries
JR Giddens (knee) out
Ray Allen (back) probable Probable Starters PG SG SF PF C
Tyreke Evans/ Kevin Martin/ Omri Casspi/ Donte Green/ Spencer HawesReserves
Beno Udrih Injuries
Francisco Garcia (arm) out Team Connections
Eddie House played for Sacramento during the 2004-05 season
Kenny Thomas and J.R. Giddens are former New Mexico Lobos
Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal played for the Celtics from 1972-75 and was a member of the 1973-74 Championship team
Sean May and Rasheed Wallace both attended the University of North Carolina
Shelden Williams played for the Kings during the 2007-08 and 2008-09
Rajon Rondo 14.3 PPG 4.4 RPG 9.7 APG 52.9 FG%
Tyreke Evans 20.3 PPG 4.8 RPG 5.1 APG 46.0 FG%
Fresh off his first All Star appearance, Rondo faces a tough task in Tyreke Evans. Evans has a 6" advantage over Rondo and is every bit as quick. The Celtics need Rondo to be aggressive on both ends of the court if they want to get a win in this game.
Ray Allen 16.0 PPG 3.4 RPG 2.7 APG 45.0 FG%
Kevin Martin 20.8 PPG 4.4 RPG 2.7 APG 40.0 FG%
This is a very interesting matchup considering all the rumors being floated about a trade that would swap these two players. The Celtics need Ray to snap out of his recent slump and to contribute some consistent offense in order to get back to their winning ways. If Kevin Martin has his sights on Boston this would be a good time to impress Danny. Game Notes
Celtics swept the season series 2-0 against Sacramento in 2008-09
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 21.0 points per game last season
Kevin Martin led the Kings with an average of 18.0 points per game against the Celtics last season
The Celtics are 5-5 against Sacramento since the start of the 2004-05 season; They have won four straight against Sacramento, the first time the
Cís have done that since the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons.
The Celtics are leading the all-time series 171-111 with the Celtics 92-32 at home
If the Celtics are going to make a run at the championship this would be a good time to begin. They are coming off a semi rest time when they had no games. Pierce, Rondo and KG were involved in the All Star festivities and game, but should be rested in spite of all the activities in Dallas. The rest of the team are coming in after having time with family and should be well rested. Hopefully they have done some soul searching and will come back focused and ready to play Celtic basketball.
Both of these teams have been slumping of late with the Celtics going 5-5 in their last 10 games and the Kings finishing 3-7 in their last 10 games. However, the Celtics have lost their last 2 games while the Kings have won their last 2. The Celtics are 15-9 on the road while the Kings are 13-12 at home.
Going down the stretch, the Celtics can't afford to take any teams for granted and must give their total effort to win each and every game. This is the second game in a 5 game road trip that began in New Orleans before the All Star break. The Celtics have the Lakers coming up on Thursday, but they can't afford to look past the Kings to that game.
The Celtics are as healthy as they have been all season with their top 10 rotation players finally available to play. Hopefully the 6 day lay off solved any problems with Ray's back and that Pierce's foot is 100% and that KG will continue to regain his pre-injury form. Marquis Daniels has looked great since his return and that is a big plus for the Celtics. Hopefully the players won't let trade talks provide yet another distraction and will start their win streak here. Keys to the Game
Defense from start to finish
Focus on playing team ball
Crash the boards