at Boston Celtics (4-10) at Atlanta Hawks (8-5)
Saturday, November 23, 2013
7:30 PM ET
Game #15 Road Game #9
TV: CSNNE, SPSO, NBA-LP 757(DTV), 753/754(Xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, WQXI, WBZ
Philips ArenaProbable Starting Lineups Point Guard
Jordan Crawford vs Jeff Teague
Avery Bradley vs Kyle Korver Small Forward
Jeff Green vs Demarre Carroll Power Forward
Brandon Bass vs Paul Millsap
Vitor Faverani vs Al Horford Celtics Reserves
Rajon Rondo (ACL)out
Keith Bogans (illness) questionable
Kelly Olynyk (ankle) questionable
Jared Sullinger (under the weather) questionable Hawks Reserves
Louis Williams Injuries
None Key Matchups
Brandon Bass vs Paul Millsap
It will be strange to see the Hawks without Josh Smith but Paul Millsap is playing very well for them, averaging 16.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. With Kelly Olynyk rolling his ankle and Jared Sullinger under the weather, it's not certain who the Celtics will start in the front court. Either Brandon Bass or Jared Sullinger will have to contain Millsap and also have to make him work on defense.
Vitor Faverani vs Al Horford
Once again, the Celtics front court may be Sullinger/Olynyk or Bass/Faverani, or maybe even another pairing. Horford is a force inside and is averaging 17.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and whoever starts at center will have his hands full.
After just one game at home, the Celtics are back on the road to take on the Hawks in Atlanta. This is the first of 4 games between these two teams. The Celtics would love to hand the Hawks a loss for more reasons than one.
First and foremost, the Celtics have lost 6 in a row and they very much need a win. Second, the Celtics will more than likely get the Hawks pick in the 2014 draft from the Nets trade and handing them another loss may just move them up a spot.
The Celtics are 2-6 on the road, while the Hawks have been playing well at home with a 4-1 record at Philips Arena. Both teams are playing in the second of back to back games and both teams had to travel to get to this game. The Celtics are in the midst of playing 5 games in 5 cities in 7 nights, which is brutal for a young team just trying to find their way.
The starting front court is up in the air for this one. Brad Stevens liked the Sullinger/Olynyk combination and went with them two games in a row. But, Olynyk rolled his ankle in the Pacers game and didn't return for the second half. Kyle Draper described Sully as "under the weather" and said that he is also questionable for this game. Keys to the GameTake Care of the Ball
- The Celtics turned the ball over 21 times vs the Pacers and the turnovers was one of the reasons that the Celtics couldn't hold their lead in the second half. They must focus on their passes and not give extra possessions to their opponents. Rebound the Ball
- The Celtics were out rebounded by 10 vs the Pacers. They must crash the boards to keep the Hawks from getting second chance points and also fast break points. Much of rebounding is effort and desire and the Celtics must have more of both against the Hawks if they want to win this. Move the Ball
The Celtics had just 11 assists in the loss to the Pacers. They did great in the first half moving the ball and they went into half time with a lead. But in the second half, the ball seemed to stick and they stopped moving the ball, and they lost the lead. They have to move the ball and find the open man. Run!
- The Celtics have to run on made baskets, on missed baskets, every time up the court. They are not a very good half court team but when they run, they get easy baskets and are able to get into the paint. They have to run and move the ball up the court quickly. Again, they ran in the first half and built a lead. In the second half, they slowed it down and started to walk the ball up the court and over-dribble. X-Factors
Fatigue and Focus
Both teams are playing in back to back games, but the Celtics are in the midst of 5 games in 5 different cities in 7 nights, which is a brutal stretch for any team. Fatigue may be starting to set in. Also, they seem to lose focus as the game goes on. Can they keep their focus for 48 minutes and get the win? [/center}