New Jersey Nets (4-3) at Boston Celtics (6-0) Wednesday, November 14 7:30 PM ET TV: NBA LP ch 755; CSN HD; Yes HD TD Banknorth Garden
Probable Starting Matchups PG: Rajon Rondo vs Jason Kidd SG: Ray Allen vs Antoine Wright SF: Paul Pierce vs Richard Jefferson PF: Kevin Garnett vs Nenad Krstic C: Kendrick Perkins vs Jason Collins
Key Bench Players Celtics: James Posey - Posey's perimeter defense could make the difference Nets: Sean Williams - He has been playing well and NJ plans to use him more.
Injuries Celtics: Eddie House - questionable. He left last night's game with a sprained ankle but said he would play tonight if at all possible. Nets: Marcus Williams - out Vince Carter - out. He didn't even make the trip and says he won't play until he is 100%.
Key Matchups: vs With Carter being out, Kidd should try to take on more of the scoring load and it will be up to Rondo to stop him. Rondo also has to continue to take his shots when he is open to keep Kid from doubling off of him.
vs PIerce vs Jefferson should be the toughest matchup in this game. Pierce has upped his defense and that will be needed on Jefferson as he has had the hottest hand for the Nets. It is also important that Pierce doesn't try to do too much against Jefferson and allow Garnett, Allen and Perk to exploit the easier matchups. Pierce played with a vengeance last night after taking a hard hit from Tinsley and hopefully he still has a bit of that chip on this shoulder for tonight's game.
Keys to the Game: Defense: As with every game, defense is the key to winning, period. We especially need to contain Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson as both can take over a game by themselves. When the Celtics are playing tough defense, everything else falls into place.
Ball movement. When we move the ball, we are a very hard team to defend. It is when the ball slows down and there is too much dribbling and too many iso's that the team tends to falter.
Home Court Advantage: The Celtics will have the crowd behind them and all three of the stars have said that they want teams to fear coming into the Garden again. They need to use the atmosphere and home court to their advantage to intimidate the Nets. With KG, PP and RA playing 40 minutes last night, they may need that extra adrenalin to sustain their energy.
Game Notes: With Vince Carter sidelined with a sprained ankle, Ray Allen should have an easier time matched up with Antoine Wright. Expect the Nets to come out with a strong looking to avenge the loss in New Jersey. Richard Jefferson seemed rather caustic talking about the Celtics in his post game interview and he is going to bring his A-game for certain. The Celtics have an advantage at center and power forward and they need to exploit that. The Nets are division rivals and the Celtics need to take care of business and send them a message every time we play them.