Boston Celtics (40-14) at Golden State Warriors (26-29)
Tuesday, February 22
10:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #55, Road Game #25
TV: CSN-NE, CSN-BA, NBA LP 764/765
Radio: WEEI, KNBR
Oracle Arena Probable Starters
PG Rajon Rondo 10.9 PPG, 12.2 APG, 2.3 SPG
SG Ray Allen 17.3 PPG, 2.9 APG, .457 3P%
SF Paul Pierce 18.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.2 APG
PF Kevin Garnett 14.9 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 0.8 BPG
C Kendrick Perkins 7.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 0.8 BPG Reserves
Big Baby Davis
Marquis Daniels (Spine) out
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) out
Shaquille O'Neal (Achilles) questionable
Delonte West (wrist) day to day
Semih Erden (abductor) day to day Probable Starters
PG Stephen Curry 18.4 PPG, 6.0 APG, 1.74 SPG
SG Monta Ellis 25.3 PPG, 5.5 APG, .364 3P%
SF Dorrell Wright 16.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.2 APG
PF David Lee 15.9 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 0.4 BPG
C Andris Biedrins 5.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 0.9 BPGReserves
Lou Admunson (back) doubtful
Acie Law (wrist) doubtful
Dan Gadzuric (back) questionable Team Connections
Louis Amundson and Shaquille O’Neal played on the Phoenix Suns during the 2008‐09 season
Shaquille O’Nealand Dorrell Wright were teammates in Miami from 2004‐08
Dorrell Wright and Jermaine O’Neal were teammates in Miami at the
end of the 2008‐09 season and all of the 2009‐10 season.
Vladimir Radmanovic and Ray Allen were teammates in Seattle from
Nate Robinson and David Lee were teammates in New York from 2005‐10
Dan Gadzuric and Ray Allen were teammates in Milwaukee during the 2002‐03 season
Warriors Assistant Coach Jerry Sichting played for the Celtics from 1985‐88 and was a member of the 1986 NBA Championship team.
After taking some time off for NBA All-Star Weekend, the unofficial second half of the season starts on Tuesday for the Boston Celtics as they travel to Oakland to play the Golden State Warriors. Many of the Celtics were able to rest up and heal some nagging injuries but 4 of the Celtics starters were in LA partying and playing in the All Star festivities, although they played limited minutes in the All Star Game. They should be ready to get a win in this game as they didn't have much success over the weekend.
On the other side, the Warriors sent Stephen Curry and Dorrell Wright to the All Star festivities. Wright narrowly missed reaching the finals in the 3 point shooting contest and Curry won the Skills Challenge. Both teams entered the break on a win streak with the Warriors winning their last 3 games and the Celtics their last 2 games and both will be looking to pick up where they left off.
The Celtics have been very successful over the past 3 seasons but the Warriors have had their number at the Oracle Arena. They have won each of their last six home games against the Celtics and if the Warriors play like they did in the games leading up to All-Star Weekend, they are certainly capable of extending that streak. The Celtics can't come in and expect to win just by showing up.
The Celtics have been staggered by injuries but are hoping to get some of their wounded back for the stretch run. Delonte was hoping to return just before the break but suffered a setback in practice. West's ability to come back from his injury and play will be huge for the Celtics postseason hopes. The Celtics are also hoping to get Semih Erden back in this game or shortly afterward.
The Warriors can be a dangerous team. They rank second in the league in steals, fast break points and forcing turnovers. If the Celtics get sloppy, the Warriors will certainly make them pay. It will be important to get this road trip off to a good start and so the Celtics need to come into this game focused and ready to play 48 minutes of Celtics basketball. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry is a good young point guard and has been impressive so far in his career. He proved by winning the Skills Challenge that he is quick and talented. He sometimes will have defensive lapses and when he does, Rondo needs to be ready to take advantage.
Ray Allen vs Monta Ellis
Ellis is averaging over 25 points per game and could be a tough matchup for Ray on defense. Ellis is quick and can get his shot off if given a little space. Ray needs to wear him out playing defense and chasing him through screens and Ray should be able to get his shot off as well. Hopefully Ray is ready to prove that the loss in the 3 point contest was a fluke and that he is still the best shooter in the NBA. Honorable Mention
Kevin Garnett vs David Lee
Lee is a very good power forward and he plays very hard every game. He does have lapses on defense however and KG could have a big game if he takes advantage of them. Keys to the Game Defense
- The Warriors can put points on the board quickly and in bunches. It will be important for the Celtics to bring their defensive intensity into this game, especially to shut down the Warriors' fast breaks since they average 18.5 fast break points per game. Rebound
- The Celtics need to crash the boards to keep the Warriors from igniting their fast breaks. The Celtics also need to rebound to give themselves second chance points and limit the second chance points for the Warriors. Take Care of the Ball
- The Warriors can be very disruptive by getting into the passing lanes. They average 9 steals a game and are second in the league at forcing turnovers with 16.3 per game. The Celtics need to stay focused and not give the Warriors any easy opportunities to steal the ball or to get out on the break. Focus and Effort
- The Celtics need to come out focused and take control of the game from the beginning. They have had a rest for the most part over the break and they need to come out and be aggressive and play focused for 48 minutes and begin this trip with a win. X-Factor
Returns from Injuries
The Celtics may get Delonte West and Semih Erden back in this game. That would be a huge boost to the Celtics bench and begin the process of developing a bench rotation down the stretch. Delonte's return especially will be crucial as he gives the second unit a playmaker who can create his own shot, drive to the hoop, or find the open man. Semih or Shaq would also give the Celtics much needed depth at the center position. Any of these returns would give the team a boost and would also give the starters a bit more rest while not having to worry so much about losing ground with the bench in the game.