New Orleans Hornets (1-1) at Boston Celtics (3-0)
Sunday, November 1
6:00 PM ET
Game #4 Home Game #3
TV: NBA TV, CSN HD, CST
ProbableStarters Coach: Doc Rivers
Average Age: 27.8
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 224 PG Rajon Rondo 6.7 PPG 12.3 APG 2.3 SPG
SG Ray Allen 18 PPG 2.3 APG .471 3P%
SF Paul Pierce 20 PPG 7.3 RPG 3 APG
PF Kevin Garnett 13 PPG 7 RPG 2BPG
C Kendrick Perkins 9 PPG 4 RPG 2.7 BPG
Tony Allen (ankle) out
Bill Walker (knee) out
Brian Scalabrine (ankle) day to day
Big Baby Davis (thumb) out
Coach: Byron Scott
Average Age: 27.4
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 219
PG Chris Paul 28.5 PPG 6.5 APG 0 SPG
SG Morris Peterson 7 PPG 0 APG .286 3P%
SF Julian Wright 9.5 PPG 5.5 RPG 1.5 APG
PF David West 15.5 PPG 8.5 RPG 1.5 BPG
C Emeka Okafor 14.5 PPG 11.5 RPG 2 BPG
Ike Diogu (knee) questionable
Rajon Rondo 6.7 PPG 12.3 APG 2.3 SPG
Chris Paul 28.5 PPG 6.5 APG 0 SPG
Chris Paul is one of the top PG's in the league and is a challenge for any team. Rondo has always played well against Paul and hopefully will continue that trend in this game.
Kevin Garnett 13 PPG 7 RPG 2BPG
David West 15.5 PPG 8.5 RPG 1.5 BPG
West is often the focal point of the Hornets offense and KG's defense will be needed in this game to try to keep him from going off on the Celtics.
Marquis Daniels 5.3 PPG 3.3 APG .333 3P%
James Posey 2.5 PPG 1.5 RPG 1 APG
Last season, without a replacement for James Posey, the Celtics bench struggled on both ends of the floor. Now, with Marquis Daniels, the Celtics bench is hitting on all cylinders. It will be interesting to see who wins this head to head matchup.
• Celtics swept the season series 2-0 against New Orleans in 2008-09
• Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 29.0 points per game last season
• David West led the Hornets with 19.0 points per game against the Celtics last season
• The Celtics are 7-3 against the Hornets since the 2004-05 season
• The Celtics are leading the all-time series 40-31 with the Celtics 19-16 at home
Not many Bulls fans were expecting a win but most were expecting a competitive game. It always amazes me how fans end up trashing their own team instead of realizing that the Celtics defense just makes players look bad. Here are today's comments from the other side... Enjoy!
This should be another interesting game. It would be funny if there were overtimes.
No more Ben Gordon to save the Bulls....Celtics win big
Agreed ,The Bulls will lose big time because they do not have Ben Gordon to light it up when they need points .Nice to see people seeing the game the same way and result.
I'm not gonna lie, I'm scared...
I believe in our team. But I also think that just a few teams will celebrate in Boston this year.
This does seem like it has all the makings of a blowout loss.
I think the Celtics will be very "up" for this game, and the Bulls simply aren't good enough to beat an "up" Celtics team on the road unless they play absolutely lights out.
The Bulls proved last night they can beat the elite teams in the league. The Celtics aren't any better than the Spurs and we smoked them. Bulls win by 8 and get their revenge.
Loss. But I do think it will be a well-played game, and I'm hoping that Hinrich gets a justifiable chance to knock Rondo on his tranny, waxed ass.
Is it wrong for me to say that, even in a loss, I will be satisfied if Rondo and KG both receive hard fouls?
KG sat on Raymond felton's head the other night. he's got sumt'n coming to him in the form of a brad miller clothesline
I hope that we give KG a hard foul for all that yapping off the bench in that playoff series.
The Celtics look revived and ready for another title run. They have a deep bench with the additions of Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels. They however will not have Glen Davis...
We care that they don't have fat-ass? I don't know if the Bulls will beat the Celtics but I sure as hell wont blame it on the C's not having Davis.
Someone undercut Rondo on a layup so he cracks his skull and is out for... The rest of his alien life existence.
I think it will be a great game but Celtics look tough. They are my pick to win the title this year. Sheed looks awesome.
I hope someone hit's Rondo hard in his mouth tonight. Hinrich maybe. Just kill the bastard. And KG too.
I hope he leaves the arena on a stretcher.
I really do think their bench will have to play at our's bench level, not the other way around.
I am a little worried that the Bulls will be intimidated by Kevin Garnett
The C's are an old team. I like the match up of Salmons vs. Ray Allen a lot. Plus Deng usually does well on Pierce. Rose v. Rondo...how can you not feel good about that? Rose against anyone is fine with me. That's why he was chosen #1 overall.
I have a feeling that we're going to beat them by at least 8 points.
Celtics by 20. That playoff was a fluke without KG.If Pierce could hit a free-throw it only goes 5. Celtics are elite, Bulls are just another team.
I know Big Baby was just a product of the other players, but I can't believe that fool was making all of those shots against us
Time to make another contender look old: run them off the 3pt line, erase some shots at the rim, jump-kick Garnett's knee, and sprint up the floor for dunks and open 3s.
I never like it when sports devolves into outright brawling. But were KG to do something untoward, and were James Johnson to kick him in his cartoon chin, I would get over it. Quickly
I wouldn't mind seeing JJ karate kick rasheed either...man the Celtics really have some unlikable players
I don't think the Celts like athletic teams. They have had trouble with Atlanta in the past because of their athleticism. Basically, their core are 3 old guys and another old guy coming off the bench. We squeeze them on defense and run them out of the gym.
Pierce silky smooth.
Celtics defense is on point. Forcing Bulls into bad shots. I don't have a lot of complaints about the Bulls defense on the Celtics so far.
Boston's defense is pretty much epic. It's thinking about 2 moves ahead of our offense.
If Tim D's book was correct, the officials have a bet on who can call the most fouls tonight I guess.
Are they aware that this isn't a Celtics scrimmage, and that the Bulls are playing too?
Between Rondo, Garnett, and Marquis Daniels the Celtics sure do have a lot of players that look like aliens...
Luck shot from Rasheed..
Wow does sheed look out of shape
Miller getting some shots in on these Celts. He got Rando earlier and he just gave Pierce a nice forearm.
Is Salmons playing for the Celtics? AT this rate, he won't opt out after this year.
This is what I expected....Celtics defense is too good and we don't have any playmakers/scorers to keep the points coming. Blowout city.
The C's defense isn't harming Salmons, he just can't make a shot.
That is crap....Daniels wipes out DEng, no call and Allen gets the SAME thing and theres the whistle.
If only we could shoot better than 28%.
Wallace looks like a taller Eddie House. With the same fatness.
If you're going to get a T for the slap, at least manage to slap the ball out of his hand Jo. That's just embarrassing!
Truly, though, I'd want to hit Perkins every time I played him. The Celtics are so positively unlikable.
Ray Allen is murdering Salmons
I want to murder John Salmons right now
Ok these refs are killing this game...
I can honestly say that, after his displays last year in the playoffs, I now despise Kevin Garnett. Used to be a big fan. I've never changed my opinion so fast about someone, and he never even played a game.
The new motivation for this game should be to score 70 points tonight
So we're going to lose horribly.. Not too unexpected. Celtics are looking seriously tough this year
I am going to see blocks on layups and strips and steals in my sleep tonight.
Our goal for the 2nd half should be- make 2 free throws in a row.
The Celtics are denying everything in the paint probably 2/3 of our TOs are from there...why do we keep trying?
The average margin of victory against Chicago for Boston at home since they acquired KG has been 20 ppg. Bulls NEVER had a shot in this game.
The Bulls are beating themselves
What is it that makes Ray Allen hit every single shot against us? Then he'll go 0-7 from 3 in a game against somebody else...
I dislike Boston.
Rondo has the life as a PG for the Celtics I could get 5 assist a game with Ray, KG and The Truth.
I really dislike playing Boston, It's like playing an allstar team
Let's just face it, the Celtics are really really good. We are not in their class and won't be this year. They've beaten us every single time we've played them with Garnett in the lineup, and all except maybe 1-2 have been blowouts.
This is just a sad, very depressing reality check.
Man those Celtics are lucky we don't have Aaron Gray for this one
Try to get the lead under 20 to avoid further humiliation.
Anyone notice Doc Rivers is working the refs while Vinnie just sits back watching. This is a problem for a team with no on court leader.
Last night's game against the Bulls was amazing to watch. The Celtics just methodically dismantled the Bulls on both ends of the court. Here are a few numbers from last night's game.
The Celtics had 5 players in double figures, 3 of which were 20 or above, and 2 of which were reserves. Eddie House tied Paul Pierce for leading scorer with 22. With Quisy to bring the ball up and Sheed to spread the floor, Eddie is going to get quite a few open looks. Nice!
Shelden Williams is fitting in very well with the second unit. He had a double double last night with 10 points and 10 assists along with 2 assists and 2 blocks. The injury to Big Baby has given Shelden a chance and he is making the most of it. By the time Big Baby is able to play again, he is going to have to seriously fight for his minutes. Shelden is proving much more willing to fight inside for rebounds than Big Baby has been and Shelden is showing that he is capbable of hitting the 12-15 foot shot as well. One play that he made shows what I love about him. It was in the Bobcats game. He had fought hard inside for a rebound and came up with it. He was then given a shove and falling out of bounds, he threw the ball off of Chandler to keep possession. He is also getting to the line more than any other Celtic this season. And he is making them. He was 6-6 last night. I love what I am seeing from him.
KG played just 24 minutes. Ray Allen played just 23 minutes, making up for his 39 the other night. Perk played just 19 minutes. Pierce played the most minutes at 31, which isn't bad for him. Hopefully they will continue to get blow outs against teams that they should get blow outs against and that will keep them fresh for the teams that they will need to play more minutes against. But, with the second unit that this team has, We may see Doc resting the starters just because the bench is playing better.
The Celtics got 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 9 assists from their bench. That bench is going to be the x factor in a lot of games. I don't know of a team that has a bench that is as deep or as talented as the Celtics. I don't cringe anymore when the reserves come in. Even when Doc goes to his 3rd string, we have players who can hold their own against any bench in the league.
The Celtics had 33 assists on 43 baskets. That is simply amazing, unselfish basketball. We saw numbers like these often in the 08 season but not so much last year. They are back again and exciting to watch.
After watching the Bulls out-rebound the Spurs, the Celtics took care of business in that category also. They out rebounded the Bulls 42-36. Having Shelden relentlessly chasing down 10 rebounds off the bench helps as does having the best rebounding guard in the league in Rajon Rondo. On one possession, Rondo got 2 offensive rebounds to give us 2 extra possessions and finally a score.
And, as if watching the Celtics dismantle the upstart Bulls wasn't sweet enough. I got to watch the Mavs do the same thing to the Lakers. Mavericks 94 - Lakers 80. How sweet it is!
Here are Rondos's 16 assists from last night's game courtesy of Red's Army.
Doc described Rajon Rondo as the most dominant player on the court last night and it was an accurate statement. I doubt we will see many high scoring nights for Rajon this season because he has so many weapons on this team and he loves getting them the ball where they can score. As long as his teammates keep making shots, Rondo will keep racking up nights like this where he gets double digits in assists.
On Sports Tonight they said that Rondo and the Celtics are about 2 million a year apart on a contract. Point guard is a very crucial position to fill. After many years of searching and a few misses (see Telfair, Banks, etc), the Celtics have a kid with the tools to be a top PG in this league. Danny needs to just give him the money and get it done.
at Chicago Bulls (0-0) at Boston Celtics (2-0)
Friday, October 30
8:00 PM ET
Game 3, Home Game 2
TV: ESPN, CSN HD, WGN
TD Banknorth Garden
Referees: Tom Washington, Eric Lewis, Zach Zarba
Probable Starting Matchups Point Guard
Rajon Rondo vs Derrick Rose
Ray Allen vs John Salmons
Paul Pierce vs Luol Deng
Kevin Garnett vs Tyrus Thomas
Kendrick Perkins vs Joakim Noah
When last these two teams met, it was in a grueling 7 game series in the opening round of last year's playoffs. It could be considered one of the best all around series ever with every game close and every game physical. I am sure the Bulls thought they should have won that series and comments from them indicate that at least Rose and Noah are coming into this game looking to avenge their loss in that series. Noah said that he bulked up in the offseason because of this series in particular and has had this game circled since the schedule came out. I can imagine that Brad Miller is ready for this game with thoughts of Rondo raking his face in the front of his mind.
The Bulls are facing a reloaded and focused Celtics squad that is much different from the one they played last season. The Celtics now have KG back along with Rasheed Wallace in place of Mikki Moore, and Marquis Daniels in place of Tony Allen. The Bulls no longer have Ben Gordon and have Luol Deng back.
The Bulls are playing in the second of back to back games. They faced the Spurs at home on Thursday and beat them 92-85. Some are expecting the Spurs to challenge the Lakers in the West, but they didn't look all that special against the Bulls. On the other hand, the Bulls looked pretty good. The Bulls are a young team and so fatigue shouldn't be too much of a factor.
The Bulls have a very good point guard off the bench in Kirk Hinrich. Last season, when Rondo sat down, Hinrich was able to hurt the Celtics but this season, with Quisy there to defend, the Celtics may have an answer. Also, Brad Miller won't have it near as easy with Sheed as he did with Mikki Moore. Of course, Paul Pierce will have it tougher with Deng than he did with Salmons.
Should be a good game and the refs need to stay on top of it because it also should be a physical game that could get out of hand. There is no love lost between these two teams and both will be looking to make a statement in this game. The Celtics will want to prove that the Bulls were just lucky they didn't have KG and the Bulls will try to show that they are the better team and the Celtics playoff win was just lucky. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Derrick Rose
This will be a matchup of 2 young and exciting point guards. When last these two met, it was game 7 of the opening round of the playoffs. In that series, as the point guard went, so went the games. The more aggressive point guard won the games in that series and that will probably hold true in this one as well.
Paul Pierce vs Luol Deng
Luol Deng guards Paul Pierce as well as almost anyone in the league. His length seems to bother Pierce and he has struggled against him in the past. Unlike in the past, when Deng bothers him on defense, Pierce can just pass off to one of his waiting teammates.
Kendrick Perkins vs Joakim Noah
These two got into it a couple of times in the playoffs. Noah has to be one of the most irritating players in the league and he tends to get under his defenders' skin. With Perk's weight loss over the summer, he should be better able to stay with Noah.
Celtics won the season series 2-1 against Chicago in 2008-09
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 22.3 points per game last season
In his one appearance for the Bulls against the C’s, John Salmons netted 38 points
It marked the second straight season that the C’s had won the season series and the first time since the 85-86 and 86-87 seasons that they had
The Celtics are leading the all-time series 107-84 with the Celtics 60-31 at home
Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense is the key to every game this season. It is one thing locking down the Bobcats and another thing entirely to lock down the Bulls. Hopefully, the Celtics defense will once again prove to be the difference maker in the game.
Home Court - The Celtics home court should give them an advantage in this one.
Rebound - The Bulls outrebounded the Spurs 52-44. The offensive rebounding edge was 15-8. The Celtics need to be sure to crash the boards and keep the Bulls from getting second chance points.
Keep Cool - The Bulls have a way of getting under players skins. This could be a physical game and we have some very combustible players. They need to keep their cool and not let the Bulls goad them into technical fouls.
ESPN Boston has an article that has Boston athletes talking about their favorite Halloween costumes. Sheed's answer has to be the quote of the day.
Rasheed Wallace, Celtics forward: "I never dressed up. Nah, we used to snatch bags from kids that did dress up."
You know, somehow I don't doubt that. He probably still does it.
Here are a couple of other Celtics' answers.
Marquis Daniels, Celtics guard: "I was dressed up like Lester Hudson one time. Have you ever seen him? [Laughs, as he's talking about his teammate sitting nearby.] No, actually, I was a pirate with an eye patch and a little fake hook and all that stuff, fake earring, fake gold tooth."
I love the camaraderie on this team. Chemistry off the court leads to great chemistry on the court.
Shelden Williams, Celtics forward: "I'm trying to think of the last time on Halloween that I got dressed up. I was a monster I think. I made my own mask and everything. That was probably my best one because I actually made it."
Bill Walker, Celtics forward: "I was always a ghost, like Casper. I'd always cut up the sheet and do the Casper thing."
Kendrick Perkins, Celtics center: "The first Superman thing, yeah, the original Superman."
I like this ad campaign. The Celtics have reloaded. They have the same dominant starting five, but what they have reloaded is the bench and boy is it ever loaded. Even with 4 players out of the rotation with injuries, they are still dominating.
And the sound that goes with it kind of reminds me of war drums. This team goes to war every night. And that look on KG's face kind of says it all. Take no prisoners.
In case you didn't know it, I love Perk. I really do. On the court, I love his willingness to do the dirty work - to play defense and be the enforcer and to play his role to perfection. He had 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks in last night's game and a very nifty assist to Rondo as he cut to the basket. His presence in the game does so much more than the box score shows though. He is the ultimate team player. When talking about his playing time possibly going down because of Sheed being on the floor in crunch time, this is what he had to say:
“It’s part of sacrifice,” he said. “You want to win, that’s what’s gotta happen. Can’t have no hidden agendas and everybody’s just got to go out there and play team ball and the rest will take care of itself.”
Absolutely no hidden agendas for Perk. Do what he is asked to do, stay within his role, and be a good teammate. And it isn't just on the court. Off the court, he still has his teammates' backs. Here is what he had to say about Big Baby's situation and suspension:
“I don’t like that,” Perkins said. “It’s done with. You don’t have to go there. I know it wasn’t the smartest thing, but at the same time we can’t keep pounding on him about it. We’ve got to be in his corner. I’m sure Baby feels bad enough without them suspending him and taking his money. I don’t think we should cry over spilled milk. It’s happened; it’s done with. What we’ve got to do is be with Baby.
“Things happen in life. He’s going to get a lot of pressure about this. I just think his teammates and the organization needs to be more behind him.”
And speaking of Big Baby, I don't think a long suspension is good for him. Maybe fine him if they want to get money back, but if he is suspended, he can't work out with the team at all and can't use the team's facilities to stay in shape. And if there is any player in this league who needs to have the team's guidance to stay in shape through an injury, it's Big Baby. Let's hope he doesn't let his weight and conditioning go back up while his thumb is recuperating
Our friends at Red's Army supplied this video and if this doesn't give you goose bumps, especially when KG lets out that primal scream, I don't know what will.
With Big Baby's absence, Shelden Williams is making the most of the opportunity. I really like what I have seen from him in these first two games. He has improved from game to game and last night posted an impressive 12 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. in 22 minutes. In 6-8 weeks when Big Baby is ready to return, he is going to have to fight for minutes because Shelden is definitely earning them.
Last night was a good chance to give the starters a nice rest and yet Ray Allen played 38 minutes. I'm not sure if Doc has a good reason for keeping him out there that long but in blowouts like this, starters minutes should be way under 30 minutes. Doc did fine with the others but it is just puzzling that Ray was out there long after the game was decided. It was nice to see Lester and JR getting some minutes last night. I think both have potential and it is nice to see them getting some minutes early in the season.
Once again, the Celtics looked for the long ball early and often. They were 11-29. I'd much rather see them make an effort to get to the hoop. The 3's are falling but there will come a time when legs are tired and they won't fall and I don't like depending on them. But then again, we have the players who can go to the hoop when they aren't falling and they are smart enough to abandon one and go to the other when it isn't working.
Next up is the Bulls on Friday and I'm sure both teams will have last year's brutal playoff series. Should be a good one, and another win for the Celtics.