at Minnesota Timberwolves (8-8) at Boston Celtics (9-8) Wednesday, December 5, 2012 7:30 PM ET Regular Season Game #18, Home Game #10 TV: CSN-NE, FSNN-MN, NBA-LP 755(MIN)/756(BOS) Radio: WEEI, WCCO-AM TD Garden Referees: Michael Smith, Courtney Kirkland, Tre Maddox The Celtics welcome former Celtic Greg Stiemsma and the Timberwolves to
the Garden for their only visit to Boston this season. The Wolves are
3-5 on the road and the Celtics are 5-4 at home. The Celtics are 5-5 in
their last 10 games while the Wolves are 3-7 in their last 10. In
their only meeting last season, the Celtics beat the Wolves 100-79 at
the Target Center.
The Celtics should be well rested as they
have been off since Sunday. Doc gave the older players Monday off from
practice as well. Rondo has been off a week, since his ejection vs the
Nets last Wednesday so he may even be a little rusty. The Wolves are
playing in the second of back to back games, beating the Sixers 105-88
in Philly on Tuesday night.
The Celtics have won 10 straight meetings between these two teams while holding them to an average of 91.6 points per game and 42.1 percent shooting. On the other side, the Celtics are averaging 106.8 points per game as they won the last six in a row against the Wolves at home Their last loss at home to the Timberwolves came pre-KG era on March 6, 2005.
The Wolves enter this game coming off their best game of the season, a 105-88 victory on the road over the Philadelphia 76ers. They shot 53.2% from the field in that game, which was their third win in their last 4 games. Kevin Love played just 25 minutes in the blow out win and should be rested up to take on the Celtics. Josh Howard, who joined the Wolves just last month, had a breakout game last night with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Celtics need to come out aggressively and be ready to play hard as this game won't be easy with how well the Wolves have been playing of late.
Probable Starters PGSGSFPFC Rajon Rondo..... Jason Terry ..... Paul Pierce...... Brandon Bass ..... Kevin Garnett
Celtics Reserves Jared Sullinger Jason Collins Courtney Lee Jeff Green Courtney Lee Chris Wilcox
Injuries Avery Bradley (shoulders) out
Red Claws Fab Melo Kris Joseph
Probable Starters PGSGSFPFC Luke Ridnour.....Malcolm Lee..... Josh Howard ..... Kevin Love..... Nikola Pekovic
Injuries Andrei Kirilenko (back) out Ricky Rubio (knee) out Chase Budinger (knee) out Brandon Roy (knee) out
Key Matchups vs Brandon Bass vs Kevin Love Kevin
Love is a very impressive player. He is averaging 21.7 points per game
and 15.3 rebounds per game. He shoots the 3 well enough to win the 3
point contes and can score inside as well. Bass is going to have his
hands full trying to keep Love off his game.
vs Rajon Rondo vs Luke Ridnour Rondo
should have a speed advantage over Ridnour. He should also be well
rested and ready to play. As Rondo goes, so go the Celtics and they need
Rondo to be aggressive and set the pace for the game.
Keys to the Game Defense
- The Celtics must defend. They've been playing defense in spurts and
that just isn't enough. They have struggled to get stops at times and
they need to bring their tough defensive game on a consistent basis.
The offense feeds off of the defense and if the Celtics can't get stops
they struggle on the other end as well.
- The Celtics must get rebounds to prevent second chance points and
fast breaks. Rebounding takes effort and desire and the Celtics have
got to show both and crash the boards as a team. Kevin Love might just
out-rebound the Celtics all by himself if they don't aggressively crash
Be Aggressive - The Celtics have
to be aggressive in going after loose balls and rebounds and in taking
the ball to the basket. They also have to be aggressive on defense.
When they are aggressive in going to the hoop good things happen. They
must be the more aggressive team and they have to stop depending on
jumpers, especially when the jumpers aren't falling.
X-Factors Rust vs Rest vs Fatigue The
Celtics have been off since Sunday and so will be rested. Let's hop
that the rest doesn't cause them to come in rusty. The Celtics should
look to take advantage of the fact that the Wolves could be fatigued
playing in back to back games on the road.