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Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« on: February 21, 2012, 02:33:11 PM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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Boston Celtics (15-16) at Oklahoma City Thunder (25-7)
Wednesday, February 22
7:00 PM ET
Game #32 Road Game #13
Radio:  WEEI, WWLS
Chesapeake Energy Arena

Probable Starting Matchups

Point Guard
Avery Bradley 4.1 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.2 APG  0.5 SPG
Russell Westbrook  23.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 5.5 APG 1.9 SPG

Shooting Guard

Ray Allen  14.3 PPG,  3.2 RPG, 2.6 APG
Daequan Cook    5.6 PPG,  2.6 RPG,  0.3 APG

Small Forward
Paul Pierce   17.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 5.3 APG
Kevin Durant  27.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG,  3.3 APG

Power Forward
Kevin Garnett   14.1 PPG,  7.8 RPG, 2.7 APG 1.1 BPG
Serge Ibaka    8.3 PPG,  7.6 RPG,  0.5 APG  3.3 BPG

Greg Stiemsma 1.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.4 APG  1.0 BPG,  
Kendrick Perkins    4.4 PPG,  5.9 RPG,  1.2 BPG

Celtics Reserves

Marquis Daniels
Keyon Dooling
E'Twaun Moore
JaJuan Johnson
Sasha Pavlovic
Mickael Pietrus  

Chris Wilcox (groin) questionable
Brandon Bass (knee) out
Rajon Rondo (temper) out
Jermaine O'Neal (wrist)  questionable  

Thunder Reserves
Reggie Jackson
Nick Collison
James Harden
Nazr Mohammed
Daequan Cook
Cole Aldrich
Royal Ivey
Ryan Reid


Eric Maynor (ACL)  out
Thabo Sefolosha (foot)  out
Lazar Haward  (orbital) out  

Team Connections
Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and Paul Pierce all attended the University of Kansas
Nick Collison and Ray Allen were teammates in Seattle from 2004-07
Kevin Durant, Royal Ivey and Avery Bradley attended the University of Texas
Daequan Cook and Jermaine O’Neal were teammates in Miami during the 2008-10 seasons
Kendrick Perkins played for the Celtics from 2003-11 and was a member of the 2008 Championship team
Nazr Mohammed and Rajon Rondo both attended the University of Kentucky
Lazar Haywood and Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers both attended Marquette University
Chris Wilcox played for the Thunder franchise from 2005-2009 and was a member of the inaugural Oklahoma City Thunder team in 2008-09..
Ray Allen played for the Thunder franchise in Seattle from 2003-07 before they moved to OKC.

Game Notes
What's left of the Celtics continue their road trip in Oklahoma City where they will once again face my very favorite player, Kendrick Perkins.  The Celtics are going to be shorthanded with Rondo missing his second game in a row due to suspension, JO and Chris Wilcox being questionable, and Bass still being out.   If Wilcox and JO can't go in this one, we are down to 2 bigs left, Greg Stiemsma and JaJuan Johnson.

To say that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been clicking on all cylinders would be an understatement.  Over their last 2 games, they have combined for 154 points between them.  The Celtics on the other hand, as a team, have combined for 153 points over their last two games.  

The Thunder lead the West with a 25-7 record while the Celtics have once again slipped below .500 with a 15-16 record.  The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games while the Thunder are 7-3 in their last 10 games.  The Celtics have fallen to 4-8 on the road while the Thunder are an impressive 13-1 at home.  The Celtics have lost 4 in a row and the Thunder have won 3 in a row.  

When Rondo received his suspension, Doc told him he could go back home but he stuck around with the team for this game.  This game happens to be on his 26th birthday and Perk has planned a birthday party for him in OKC.   He may be out of the game, but the party is still on.  

This is the final game before the All Star break for the Celtics.   Unless something very unexpected happens, they will be going into the break on a 5 game skid. Let's hope the second half of the season goes much better than the first half did.  

Key Matchups
Paul Pierce vs Kevin Durant  
Kevin Durant is making a case for being the best player in the NBA and  Pierce will have his hands full trying to guard him.  Durant is also a good defender so this may be a tough game for Pierce who continues to struggle with his game.

Kevin Garnett vs Serge Ibaka
KG is expected back for this game and will have his hands full with Serge Ibaka, who posted the league's very first triple double including blocks a couple of games ago.  Ibaka is very quick, athletic and physical.   He could give KG problems on both ends of the court.  

Honorable Mention
Greg Stiemsma  vs Kendrick Perkins
Perk will always be a Celtic.  But he's also one of the more competitive players in the league.  As much as he loves his former teammates, they will be the enemy while he is on the court and expect him to be his snarly best in this game.  On the other side, the Celtics are running out of bigs.  With Bass still out and JO and Wilcox both going out in the last game and questionable for this one, I'm going to take a wild stab that it will be Stiemsma getting the start by default.  

Keys to the Game
Limit Turnovers - The Celtics haven't appeared to be very focused in recent games and have turned the ball over way too much.  They need to focus on ball handling and on taking care of the ball and thus limit fast break opportunities for the Thunder off of steals.  

Rebound the Ball    The Celtics have to crash the boards in order to prevent second chance points and fast break opportunities for the Thunder.   The Celtics have been out rebounded by a margin of 190-154 in their last 4 games, all losses.  Rebounding takes effort and desire and the Celtics haven't shown a lot of either when it comes to rebounding.  They have to put out more effort on the boards if they want to win.  

Defense -  Defense has got to be the Celtics #1 priority.  They have been playing decent defense in spurts but other times, they allow teams to get to the hoop and to get their shots off way too easily, especially put backs and tip ins.   They must commit to team defense if they want to get back on the winning track.  

Be Aggressive
- The Celtics have got to be more aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers.  If they are aggressive, they will get more calls and thus more points at the line.  They also have to be aggressive in going after loose balls and rebounds.  

NO MORE INJURIES - This is pretty much self explanatory.  

The Celtics are missing some very key players and may have to end up playing VERY small ball for much of the game because they are running out of bigs.   About the only way the Celtics can win this game is if the Thunder underestimate them and don't play their hardest.  With Perk on the team, I don't see that happening though.  
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 01:37:52 PM by FLCeltsFan »

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 03:10:53 PM »

Offline Employee8

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This will be a joke of a game but I'll tune in anyway to see some Perk Power.  I'm sure Rondo's disappointed to miss this one.

I'll go with 21.  (The number of points we're losing by.)

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 03:21:52 PM »

Offline j804

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I have a feeling we might win this game. They are beat up and down as well. Look out for Bradley to have a big defensive game against Russell and Pietrus helping to contain KD.
"7ft PG. Rondo leaves and GUESS WHAT? We got a BIGGER point guard!"-Tommy on Olynyk

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 03:29:22 PM »

Offline satch

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Hmmm.....What happens if Doc is forced to play the young guys. I watched the Dallas game and the young guys play harder and more like a team. Probably won't happen.....if I remember correctly Doc was the coach that had a heck of a time benching Mark Blount.

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 03:55:56 PM »

Offline TA9

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Another day, Another loss.
Jack of all trades, master of none.

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 03:57:31 PM »

Offline TA9

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But im excited to see how Avery is going to defend Russell, should be one heck of a matchup :D!
Jack of all trades, master of none.

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 04:01:12 PM »

Offline Q_FBE

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The beatings will continue until morale improves

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 04:07:33 PM »

Offline WeMadeIt17

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This might get ugly.. I am hoping for a win but I watched this team the other night they are very good. Durant scored 51 westbrook 40 and ibaka had a trip dub with 10 blocks..

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 05:01:54 PM »

Offline thenotoriousjts

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I'm never the kind of person to write the Celtics off for any amount of games, but I think we're going to get trainwrecked by OKC. Durant went Jordan status on Denver the other night.
Feel free to check me out here: or here

Can't we just bring Gerald Green back?

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 08:46:58 AM »

Offline heitingas

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beside durant,westbrick and harden nobody scores on that team..limit one of those guys and we could beat them.

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 08:55:12 AM »

Offline Rondo2287

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Ready for 15-17
CB Draft LA Lakers: Lamarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony,Jrue Holiday, Wes Matthews  6.11, 7.16, 8.14, 8.15, 9.16, 11.5, 11.16

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 09:44:21 AM »

Offline CelticG1

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Look for the guy we've really been missing to have a big game. Our defense will be a lot better, he is well rested, and he always does well in the Ibaka match up.

Im looking at 22 and 10 with a couple blocks

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 10:34:19 AM »

Offline PosImpos

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Certainly going to be tough, but I think there's a solid chance it will be closer than many of us think.  I'd like to think this Celtics team won't let themselves get blown out 3 games in a row.  They have a lot of pride.  

If they're healthy enough to put an actual team on the floor, hopefully they'll fight hard.

At least the Thunder don't score much in the post, so we don't have to worry about that weakness of ours being a big issue.
Never forget the Champs of '08, or the gutsy warriors of '10.

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Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 10:36:49 AM »

Offline apc

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if we get a solid effort from Pierce we going to win this one.
i can feel it.

Re: Celtics (15-16) at Thunder (25-7) 2/22
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 10:40:56 AM »

Offline Q_FBE

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Taking a different tack here - The Celtics always play well in Oklahoma. This is the last game before the All-star break and there are form reversals. Perhaps we can catch OKie Joe sleeping at the switch and getting KG back and go in there and steal this game. The Celtics need something to hang their hat on and leaving for the All-star break on a win to get back to 16 and 16 would be a chance to reset the table.

The rebounding issue must be addressed. Without rebounding, this team will continue to struggle. A second problem area is turnovers - This is from bad habits, lack of focus, and players simply not doing their jobs. I will sound like a broken record until the Celtics fix these two main problem areas.

We are due to pick off a good opponent on their HC and this is a great place to start and the timing right before the All-Star break is perfect. Now I will go walk 3.3 miles and see what happens here.
The beatings will continue until morale improves