at Los Angeles Clippers (30-26) at Boston Celtics (35-20)
Saturday, February 9, 2019
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #56, Home Game #30
TV: NBCSB, FSPT, NBA-TV 758 DTV, 755 xfinity
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 570 LA Sports
TD GardenProbable Starting Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Marcus Smart vs Patrick BeverleySmall Forward
Jayson Tatum vs Sindarius Thornwell Power Forward
Marcus Morris vs Danilo GallinariCenter
Al Horford vs Montrezl HarrellCeltics Reserves
Robert Williams Injuries
Aron Baynes (foot) out
Daniel Theis (knee) questionable Two Way Players
P. J. Dozier
Brad StevensClippers Reserves
Wilson Chandler (quad) out
Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) out
Michael Beasley (new)
JaMychal Green (new)
Landry Shamet (new)
Garrett Temple (new) Two Way Players
Johnathan Motley Head Coach
Doc Rivers Game Notes
Former Celtics coach Doc Rivers comes to town for his only visit with the Los Angeles Clippers. These two teams split the series last season 1-1 with each team winning on the road. The Clippers are on the 5th game of a 6 game 12 day road trip with the Timberwolves yet to go. They will meet in Los Angeles on March 11.
The Celtics and Clippers went in opposite directions at the trade deadline. The Celtics stood pat while the Clippers traded away two of their starters. Leading scorer Tobias Harris went to the Sixers while Avery Bradley was sent to Memphis. In return they received Wilson Chandler, Garrett Temple, JaMychal Green, Landry Shamet, Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley.
The Clippers waived starting center Marcin Gortat to make way for Zubac. Wilson Chandler is out with a quad injury. They are expected to waive Michael Beasley. Garrett Temple, JaMychal Green, Landry Shamet and Ivica Zubac joined the team in Boston and were able to practice with the team on Friday. They are available to play in this game.
The Clippers are holding down the 8th spot in the west, 1.5 games behind the 7th place Spurs and 1 game in front of the Kings, who are 9th. The Clippers are 5-5 in their last 10 and are 2-2 so far on their road trip. They are 15-14 on the road and 11-9 vs Eastern conference teams.
The Celtics have dropped into 4th place, 1 game behind the Pacers who moved up to 3rd and tied with the Sixers, who are in 5th place via a tie breaker. They are 6 games behind first place Milwaukee. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games and 22-7 at home. They are 10-10 vs Western conference teams.
The Clippers roster is a bit difficult because of all the players who moved at the trade deadline. Wilson Chandler is out with a quad injury and Luc Mbah a Moute is out with a knee injury. Michael Beasley is on the roster but is expected to be waived. Temple, Green, Zubac, and Shamet are with the team and expected to be available to play.
Montrezl Harrell, who usually comes off the bench, started their last game after starting center Marcin Gortat was waived. Zubac, who had been starting for the Lakers, is expected to take over the starting roll but since he has had just one practice, I'm guessing that Harrell will start this one to give Zubac a chance to get used to the Clippers system before tossing him into the starting lineup.
Daniel Theis, who is coming off a big game against the Lakers, is listed as questionable with a knee soreness. Because he had surgery on that knee last season, they will probably be cautious. As of now, Robert Williams, who has been out with a sore back is not on the injured list and it would be good if he can play with Theis being questionable. Aron Baynes is still out with the foot injury. Key Matchups
Marcus Morris vs Danilo Gallinari
With Harris Gone, Gallinari is the second highest scorer on the team. He is averaing 18.8 points, 5,9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. He is shooting 45% from beyond the arc and so Marcus will need to stick with him closely both inside and out. It definitely isn't a good idea to leave him open behind the arc.
Terry Rozier vs Lou Williams
Williams has made a career of being the best sixth man in the league. He is the Clippers leading scorer, averaging 19.3 points, 3 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. He is shooting 37% from beyond the arc and is a threat to score on every possession.Honorable Mention
Al Horford vs Montrezl Harrell
Harrell started the Clippers last game and may or may not start this game. He is averaging 15.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 blocks. The Clippers may expect Zubac to start for them as he did for the Lakers but may want to give him a few games to get acclimated to the system before moving him into the starting lineup.
Celtics Bench vs Clippers Bench
The Clippers reserves lead the NBA with 51.5 points per game. This is the highest scoring for a reserves unit in over 30 years. With some of the reserves moving into starting positions and others just joining the group from other teams, there is bound to be a drop off. But, the Celtics reserves still must take this group seriously and play well. Keys to the Game Defense
- Defense wins games and the Celtics need to play tough team defense. The Clippers average 113.6 points per game and so the Celtics will need to slow them down and not get into a shoot out with them. The Celtics have let their defense slip against the Lakers and if they want to win this game, they have to get back to making defense their priority. Rebound
- The Celtics can't score if they don't have the ball. Much of rebounding is effort and desire and so the Celtics must put out the extra effort on the boards to give themselves extra possessions as well as to limit the Clippers fast break opportunities and second chance points. The Celtics have got to put out the extra effort to win the rebounding battle and if they do, that effort will likely translate to the rest of their game. Energy and Effort
- The Celtics have to come out with energy and have to play harder than the Clippers. 100% effort from every Celtic will be needed to get a win in this one. They have to be the more aggressive team and be the team that wants it more. The Celtics let the Lakers outwork them and they can't afford to do that again in this game. Many of their losses are due to a lack of energy and effort. They always seem to get their opponents best efforts and they simply must be the team that works harder. Play 48 Minutes
- The Celtics seem to play very well at times, sometimes starting off strong and sometimes finishing strong. But then at other times, they seem to fade away after a fast start or they start out sluggish and have to spend the rest of the game playing catch up. They have to make an effort to play hard and keep their focus from the starting tip until the final buzzer. X-Factors Focus
- The Celtics are playing against the Celtics former coach. They are also playing against a team that shook up their roster at the trade deadline. Hopefully the Celtics will stay focused on this game and not look ahead to the Sixers game. They have to focus on every play and every possession. The new players on the Clippers will want to show off for their new team and if the Celtics lose focus, expecting them to play poorly, they may be in for another loss. Home Game
- The Celtics are coming off a tough home loss to the Lakers. The Celtics need to come out and play hard and the home crowd needs to get behind them and give them the boost they need to play even harder.