at Utah Jazz (4-4) at Boston Celtics (4-3)
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #8, Home Game #4
TV: CSN-NE, ROOT, NBA-LP 753
Radio: WEEI, KZNS
TD Garden Probable Starters Probable Starters
PG: Rajon Rondo 15.4 PPG 12.9 APG 2.3 SPG
SG: Jason Terry 11.9 PPG 1.9 APG .375 3P%
SF: Paul Pierce 19.3 PPG 6.7 RPG 3.6 APG
PF: Brandon Bass 10.4 PPG 6.1 RPG 0.9 BPG
C: Kevin Garnett 15.9 PPG 8.1 RPG 1.0 BPG
Avery Bradley (shoulders) out Probable Starters
PG Mo Williams 16.9 PPG 7.4 APG 1.3 SPG
SG: Gordon Hayward 13.9 PPG 2.0 APG .280 3P%
SF Marvin Williams 10.8 PPG 4.3 RPG 0.9 APG
PF Paul Millsap 15.6 PPG 9.4 RPG 1.5 BPG
C Al Jefferson 15.3 PPG 11.5 RPG 0.9 BPG Jazz Reserves
Kevin Murphy Injuries
Raja Bell not with team
Earl Watson (knee) out Team Connections
Al Jefferson was originally drafted by the Celtics with the 15th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and played for the Celtics from 2004-07
Jason Collins was teammates with Al Jefferson and Randy Foye in Minnesota during the 2008-09 season
Collins and Marvin Williams were teammates in Atlanta from 2009-12
Kevin Garnett and Randy Foye were teammates in Minnesota during the 2006-07 season
Courtney Lee and Jeremy Evans both attended Western Kentucky
Lee and DeMarre Carroll were teammates in Houston during the 2010-11 season
Chris Wilcox and Earl Watson were teammates in Seattle and Oklahoma City from 2005-09
Darko Milicic and Al Jefferson were teammates in Minnesota during the 2009-10 season.Game Notes
The Celtics are seeking their first 3 game win streak of the season as they host former Celtic Al Jefferson and the Utah Jazz. The Jazz have lost 3 their last 3 games against the Celtics and have a 4 game losing streak in the Garden. The Jazz are just 1-4 on the road this season.
These teams played just one game in the lock out shortened season last year, a 94-82 Celtics win at the Garden. The Jazz are playing in the second of a 4 game road trip. They are coming off a 140-133 triple OT win over the Toronto Raptors. Up until that win, the Jazz were winless on the road, going 0-4 away from home to start the season.
The Celtics have been more effective on the road than at home so far. They are 3-1 on the road but just 1-2 at home. It's important to establish dominance at home and a win here to give them a .500 record at home will be a good start. The Celtics will be on the road Thursday to take on the Brooklyn Nets in a back to back set.
Old friend, Al Jefferson, who played his first three seasons with the Celtics before being sent to Minnesota in the Kevin Garnett trade, has never beaten his former team in nine tries despite averaging 20.9 points over his last 7 games against his old team. The Celtics will hope to keep that streak alive in this game. They also would like to get their first 3 game win streak of the season as well.
Doc has started the same lineup the past 2 games and since they won both of them, we might expect him to start the same lineup of Rondo, Terry, Pierce, Bass and KG once again. But then again, Doc has said he will change the starters according to the matchups so he may shake it up again. But I'm expecting the same lineup since they are riding a 2 game win streak with it. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Mo Williams
As with every game, as Rondo goes, so go the Celtics. He has been playing very well and in this game faces another veteran PG who has also been playing very well. This should be a good matchup and the Celtics will need an aggressive Rondo to get the win.
Kevin Garnett vs Al Jefferson
KG will be matched up against former Celtic Big Al Jefferson, who was a key member of the trade that brought KG to Boston. Big Al has been playing well and is a handful around the basket KG will need to go inside to defend Al around the basket. Al's defense has always been his weak link and so KG should have a good game offensively. Honorable Mention
Brandon Bass vs Paul Millsap
Millsap is a tough matchup and has been playing well. Bass will need to up his defense to keep Millsap's scoring down and he will also need to box out as Millsap is a danger around the hoop and a good rebounder. Keys to the Game Defense
As always, the Celtics will need to make defense a priority in this game as the Jazz have some very good scorers and the Celtics will have trouble winning a shoot out between them. The Jazz scored 140 points in their last game. We saw some signs in the last game that the Celtics defense is coming around. They need to show up defensively once again in this game. Rebound
The Celtics need to be aggressive in crashing the boards as a team. Utah is a good rebounding team, ranked 6th, pulling down 44.9 rebounds per game. The Celtics are once again ranked last with only 37.3 rebounds per game. They need to put out extra effort on the boards to limit second chance points and fast breaks for the Jazz. Bench
The Celtics second unit is still finding its way and building chemistry. The Celtics need to get contributions from their reserves. With Terry in the starting unit, others need to step up and contribute to the scoring when the starters get a rest. Be Aggressive
The Celtics need to continue where they left off in their win over the Bulls by being the more aggressive team. Sometimes the Celtics play passive and when they do, they always struggle and always seem to pick up a lot more fouls. The Celtics must be aggressive and go strong to the basket, go after loose balls and crash the boards.
The Celtics are 1-2 at home and they need to establish themselves at home so that teams fear coming into the Garden. Home court is only an advantage when the team plays better at home. They need to feed off of the crowd to motivate them to the win.