Boston Celtics (17-4) at Washington Wizards (7-12)
Thursday, December 10
8:00 PM ET
Game #22, Road Game #11
TV: TNT, CSN HD, The Source
Radio: WEEI,. WJFK
Referees: Dan Crawford, Courtney Kirkland, Eric Lewis
The Wizards are a dangerous team because they are easy to take for granted because of their 7-12 record. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games and have lost their last 2 games. But, they are a talented team and are capable of beating any team on any night when things click for them.
The Celtics last played on Tuesday at home and are beginning a 3 game road trip. The Wizards have been off since Friday and so they will be well rested. However, sometimes a long rest will work against a team in that they come out rusty to begin the game.
ProbableStarters PG Rajon Rondo 11 PPG 9.2 APG 2.7 SPG
Rajon Rondo vs Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert Arenas always gets up for the Celtics because he still holds a grudge against them for not drafting him in the first round. Gilbert is a tough PG and Rondo is going to need to bring his A game on both ends of the court for this one.
Kevin Garnett vs Antawn Jamison
KG has been playing at very close to 100% recently. Jamison has also been playing very well for Washington and so this should be a good matchup.
Kendrick Perkins vs Brendan Haywood
This should be a good battle between a couple of defensive minded centers. Haywood is a good rebounder and shot blocker and Perk will need to use his strength to keep the taller Haywood away from the basket.
Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense is the key to winning every game. Over the Celtics last 5 games, they have rediscovered their defensive identity and hopefully this will continue in this game.
Rebound - The Celtics have struggled in this area recently and need to make an effort to improve their rebounding. Much of rebounding is effort and desire and the Celtics need to increase both in order to win the battle of the boards. The Bucks game was much closer than it should have been because the Celtics were allowing way too many second chance points.
Play Hard for 48 Minutes - The Wizards may be a bit sluggish to begin the game because of their layoff and the Celtics need to take advantage of this to build an early lead. They also can't let up or a team like the Wizards will make them pay.
Bench Play - With Marquis Daniels out, others on the Celtics bench must step up. Hopefully Doc won't be forced to over use the starters because the bench isn't producing. Eddie, Scal, and TA especially need to up their games to make up for the absence of Daniels. Giving Hudson some minutes at the point may pay dividends later.