at Boston Celtics (41-26) at Los Angeles Clippers (38-29)
Monday, March 11, 2019
10:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #68, Road Game #34
TV: NBA-TV, NBCSB, FSPT
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub, AM570 LA Sports
Staples CenterProbable Starting Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Marcus Smart vs Patrick BeverleySmall Forward
Jayson Tatum vs Landry Shametl Power Forward
Marcus Morris vs Danilo GallinariCenter
Al Horford vs Ivica ZubacCeltics Reserves
Robert Williams Injuries
Jayson Tatum (shoulder) questionableTwo Way Players
P. J. Dozier
Brad StevensClippers Reserves
Lou Williams Injuries
Wilson Chandler (quad) probable
Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) questionableTwo Way Players
Johnathan Motley Head Coach
Doc Rivers Game Notes
The Celtics close out their 4 game road trip with a game against Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers. This is the second and final game between these two teams this season. The Clippers beat the Celtics 123-112 in Boston on February 9. The Clippers came from 28 down, outscoring the Celtics 83-44 in the final 28 minutes to get the win.
That was the biggest comeback win in Clippers franchise history.
The Clippers were debuting several new players in that game after a flurry of moves at the trade deadline. It was thought at the time that the Clippers were going to tank since trading their high scorer for rookies. But, the opposite has happened. In the games since that game, their starting 5 ranks 4th in offensive efficiency and 5th in defensive efficiency.
The Celtics remain in 5th place in the East, 1 game behind both Philadelphia and Indiana who are tied for 3rd with Philly holding the tie breaker over the Pacers. The Celtics are 17-16 on the road and 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are 13-13 vs Western Conference teams and are looking for their 4th straight win.
The Clippers are 7th in the West, tied with the Jazz, who hold the tie breaker. They are half a game ahead of the Spurs, who are in 8th place. They are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are looking for their 5th straight win. They are 19-12 at home and 13-9 vs Eastern Conference teams.
The Celtics announced Sunday night that Jayson Tatum is questionable for this game with right shoulder soreness. Wilson Chandler had been out with a quad injury and was cleared to play on Friday vs the Thunder but didn't get into the game. He may or may not play in this game and if he does, will likely be limited. Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) has been out since the 4th game of the season and is questionable for this game. Key Matchups
Marcus Morris vs Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari is the second highest scorer on the team. He is averaging 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. He is shooting 42.9% 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 20.2 points, 3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists. He is averaging the 2nd most points of any reserve in the past 25 years, second only to his own 21.9 points last season. He is 2nd only to James Harden in 4th quarter scoring. He is a threat to score on every possession and so the Celtics will need to pay special attention to him on defense. Honorable Mention
Jaylen Brown vs Montrezl Harrell
Two of the Clippers top 3 scorers come off the bench. Harrell is averaging 16.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.3 blocks for the Clippers off the bench. He scored 21 points in their first meeting. Jaylen and the rest of the Celtics reserves will have their hands full and will need to play tough defense to keep them from having a big game. Keys to the Game Defense
- Defense wins games and the Celtics need to play tough team defense if they want to win this game. The Clippers average 114.2 points per game and so the Celtics will need to slow them down and not get into a shoot out with them. The Celtics defense has been good so far on this road trip and they need to continue to make defense a 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 Clippers outwork them in the first game 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 work harder to get a win. Play 48 Minutes
- In the first meeting between these two teams, the Celtics got off to a good start, going up 28 points on the Clippers. But then, they let up and went through a scoring drought and at the same time stopped playing defense, letting the Clippers outscore them 83-44 the rest of the way. The Celtics must play hard on both ends of the court for the whole 48 minutes. No let up. Bench Play
- The Clippers reserves lead the NBA with 52.8 points per game. This is the highest scoring for a reserves unit in over 30 years. Clippers reserves have scored over 80 points 4 times this season. The Celtics reserves must take this group seriously and play well on both ends of the court and especially on defense. X-Factors Road Fatigue
- The Celtics are playing in the final game of a 4 game road trip. It would be easy to let up, feeling that the trip is already a success with 3 victories so far. The final game is usually the hardest as they look forward to getting back home again. Fatigue could also become a factor for the Celtics but hopefully their depth will allow them to have enough in the tank to get the win. Old Habits Die Hard
- The Celtics have played team ball and played the right way for the first 3 games of this road trip. They appear to have turned the corner and have been playing like we expected them to all season. However, old habits die hard and we have thought that they turned the corner before only to see them go back to playing hero ball and playing without energy. Can they keep playing with grit and heart and playing team ball?