at Boston Celtics (23-4) at Orlando Magic (17-12) Saturday, December 25 - Merry Christmas!!! 2:30 PM ET Regular Season Game #28 Road Game #14 TV: ABC, CHCH TV Radio: WEEI, WDBO Amway Center
This is the first meeting between these two teams this season. Last season, the Magic won the series 3-1 with the win coming on Christmas Day in Orlando. The Magic won both games at TD Garden. Ray Allen led the Celtics with an average of 16.8 points while Rajon Rondo
added 12.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game. The Magic were led by Vince Carter and his 19.8 points per game while Dwight Howard averaged a double‐double with 12.3 points, 14.5 rebounds and 3.25 blocks per game.
The Magic have been struggling of late, even before the trade that shipped out Mickael Pietrus, Rashard Lewis, and Vince Carter, all of whom started for the Magic in last year's Christmas Game. They have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games and had lost 4 in a row before soundly beating San Antonio on Thursday, ending the Spurs 10 game win streak. They brought in a familiar face in Hedo Turkoglu and he is joined on the team by Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas. On paper, they are a better team after the trade. But they have been struggling to find chemistry with their new players.
This is the second year that the Celtics are playing in Orlando on Christmas Day. Last season they were 22-5 going into their Christmas day show down, which the Celtics won 86-77. The Celtics are 10-3 on the road while the Magic are 10-5 at home.
The Celtics are always up to beat the Magic and there is no shortage of motivation for either side. Gilbert Arenas always gets up to play the Celtics as he felt he was given a first round promise by the Celtics on draft day and they went back on it as Arenas slipped into the second round. Quenton Richardson and Paul Pierce have had bad blood throughout their careers. And the Magic eliminated the Celtics two years ago in the playoffs with the Celtics returning the favor last season.
The Celtics are still undermanned with both Perk and Delonte out for sure. Jermaine O'Neal was scheduled to make his return against Philly but was felled by the flu. Doc expects him to be available for this game but it remains to be seen how effective he will be in his first game back. Doc has said that Rondo will be out for this one, but I wouldn't be surprised if he somehow talks his way back into the starting lineup for this one.
Both teams should be motivated for this game in the spotlight on the national stage. The Celtics have a 14 game win streak on the line while the Magic are struggling to regain some respect as a contender.
I find it totally amazing how any Sixer fans could have the nerve to complain about anything in the officiating in this game. Especially the guy who said that in spite of the free throws in their favor that the game was officiated for the Celtics. Unreal. I think most of the Sixer fans realized that the refs gift wrapped the game for them but they didn't take it. It also still always amazes me when a fan will wish serious injury on a player. I loved the comment where they keep waiting for the Celtics to get old but they keep beating them! Some good stuff today.... Enjoy!
Hmmmm...not too sure about this one. Probably another loss, someone leaves Ray Allen wide open for a 3 with 50 seconds remaining in the game to put the Cs ahead.
My gut tells me the only way we can win is if Pierce and Allen play horrendously. I think we can afford a 25-10 game from Garnett, but if the other two are getting in grooves on offense, we're done. Rondo's out, but that doesn't mean we can treat Nate Robinson like some back-up scrub because he can hurt us. And please can we not let Big Baby have a big game? Last game he had 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks. We can't afford good games from their bench players because their starting line-up is enough to cringe about. They are deep so we need to keep everyone in check.
This team is too deep and well balanced for us. I know Shaq is old and slow, but he's still gonna push Hawes around.
All I want for Christmas is a win against Boston though, can you do that for me sixers?
Ugh, I got the Boston feed. I hate there color commentator.
Not the dreaded Heinsohn special tonight. Good grief.
Hmmn, Pierce has 22 assists over the past two games. Iguodala needs to be all over him.
Philadelphia 76ers (11-17) at Boston Celtics (22-4)
Wednesday, December 22
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #27 – Home Game #14
TV: CSN-NE, CSN-P, NBA-LP 754
Radio: WEEI, WIP
Referees: Scott Foster, Tony Brothers, Scott Wall
The Celtics host divison rival Philadelphia 76ers. Although there hasn't been much of a rivalry in recent years, at one time, this was a very fierce rivalry. The Celtics come into this game riding a 13 game win streak in spite of battling various injuries throughout. They are getting healthier though, with the return of Shaq in the last game and the imminent return of Jermaine, very possibly in this game. The Celtics must resist the temptation to let up as they get healthy and as players return. They have to still have that play all out attitude that has gotten them through the win streak so far.
The Celtics said at the beginning of the season that they wanted to establish a home court dominance this season and they have done just that with a 12-1 home record thus far. The Sixers have not been a great road team with just a 3-11 record away from home. The Sixers are 6-4 in their last ten games and are coming off a 121-76 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.
The Celtics are well rested having last played on Sunday while the Sixers are playing in the second of back to back games on the road, having played on Tuesday night in Chicago. The Sixers are at full strength while the Celtics are still nursing several injuries including their starting point guard still nursing his sprained ankle.
In the first meeting between these two teams, the Celtics needed an alley oop from Rondo to KG at the buzzer to pull out a 102-101 victory. Hopefully they will get to have some Gino time in this one.
at Indiana Pacers (12-13) at Boston Celtics (21-4)
Sunday, December 19
1:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game # 26, Home Game #13
TV: CSNNE, NBA-LP 751
Radio: WEEI, WFNI
Referees: Monty McCutchen, David Guthrie, Olandis Poole
The Celtics are looking to extend their win streak to 13 as they host the Indiana Pacers today in an early game. The Celtics have played well in afternoon games so far this season, but the visions of lethargic efforts can't help but linger from last season's team. The Celtics have been plagued with injuries throughout the streak and we can add another one to the list for today's game.
Semih Erden has been playing very well in the absence of Shaq, JO, and Perk in spite of playing with an injured shoulder himself. But, Semih missed practice with a groin pull and is questionable for today's game. Shaq and Jermaine both practiced on Saturday but JO will not play and Shaq is a game time decision. Rondo is still likely out as well. So, Nate will once again have to step up his game in another start in his place.
After losing 3 straight, the Pacers came up with a win over Cleveland on Friday night. The Pacers have been off since Friday and the Celtics have been off since Thursday, so both teams will be rested. The Pacers are at full strength while the Celtics are depleted by injuries. The Celtics are 11-1 at home and hopefully will continue their home dominance in this game as well. The Pacers are 5-7 on the road.