at Boston Celtics (4-8) at San Antonio Spurs (9-1)
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
8:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #13 Road Game #8
TV: CSN-NE, FSSW, League Pass 764(DTV), 759(xfinity)
Radio: WOAI, WBZ, 98.5 The Sports Hub
PG: Jordan Crawford
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Vitor Faverani
Rajon Rondo (ACL)out
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Tiago Splitter Spurs Reserves
Nando DeColo Injuries
Matt Bonner (calf) questionable Game Notes
The Celtics won't have much time to think about last night's loss to the Houston Rockets as they have to move right back into the fight with a game against the West leading Spurs.
The Spurs 9-1 record may be a bit misleading in that all 9 victories were against teams with sub .500 records. They should be well rested for this game as they have had off since Friday, while the Celtics are playing in back to back games and the 3rd game on a tough road trip.
The Spurs are seeking an eighth straight win while the Celtics are looking to end a 4 game losing streak. The Spurs are 4-0 at home and the Celtics are 2-3 on the road. The Spurs swept the series last season and have won 3 straight against the Celtics.
I went with the same starting lineup as the Houston game, but after the poor start that the Celtics had against the Rockets, I wouldn't be surprised to see a shake up in the starting lineup, even if just at center.
Jordan Crawford vs Tony Parker
Tony Parker is a scoring point guard who is going to give Jordan Crawford a tough time. I expect to see Avery Bradley guarding Parker if he gets hot in this game. At the same time, Parker's defense will make things difficult for Crawford.
Brandon Bass vs Tim Duncan
Brandon will have his hands full in this matchup. Duncan may have lost a step, but he still brings a lot to the table, especially defensively. He is great at getting position for rebounds and tip ins and Bass and the other Celtics bigs need to concentrate on keeping him away from the basket.Keys to the GameGet the Offense on Track
- The Celtics shot a season worst 32.3 percent against the Rockets. They missed many open shots and quite a few around the basket. Now they face a Spurs team that ranks third in the league in defense, giving up just 89.3 points a game. The Celtics have got to find a way to make their shots. Start Strong and Play 48 Minutes
- The Celtics stayed with the Rockets in the final 3 quarters, but unfortunately, the damage was already done by a sluggish start and they were never able to recover. They have to find some consistency where they can start strong and play well for 4 quarters. Rebound
- Much of rebounding is effort and desire. The Celtics need to do both if they hope to beat a tough Spurs team and they will need to crash the boards to prevent second chance and fast break points from the Spurs. Be Aggressive
- During the 4 game win streak, the Celtics were aggressive in going after loose balls, taking the ball to the hoop and playing in your face defense. When they get lazy and allow teams to beat them to loose balls and rebounds and when they settle for jumpers and don't go to the basket, they are very beatable. They have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settling for jumpers. They must be aggressive from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
Run, Run, Run
- The Celtics are not a half court team and they look terrible when they try to play that way. They have to run in order to get easy opportunities before the defenses set up. Too often in this losing streak they have settled for walking the ball up the court and playing a half court game. They need to run on every possession.
X-FactorsFatigue and Mental Focus
The Celtics have had a very tough stretch this month and have to be tired. Can they shake off the fatigue and continue to play hard? Can they keep their mental focus and not let the losing streak get in their heads?