C’s Look to Bounce Back In Jersey

47-14 @ 27-33
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
7:30 pm ET
IZOD Center (East Rutherford, NJ)

Coming off of a split two-game home stand, the Celtics will take the show back on the road tonight at the IZOD Center, where they’ll be hosted by division rival New Jersey Nets. The C’s are coming off of a tough Sunday afternoon loss to Detroit, but did, however, receive back-to-back “off” days prior to tonight’s contest. Doc Rivers’ club is one of the best teams in the league on two days of rest, where they’ve won 12 of 13 games in that situation this season.

New Jersey, on the other hand, will not be coming off of multiple days of rest. Just last night, they were seen stealing a big road win in Milwaukee, the East’s current eight-seed. That victory brings New Jersey within 0.5 games of the Bucks, and ultimately the playoff picture.

A victory against the world champs may not be the only thing Nets fans (as quiet as they are, yes, they exist) are looking forward to tonight, however. Both Celtic newcomers happen to have ties to the New Jersey area. Recent frontcourt addition Mikki Moore spent his 2006-2007 breakout campaign with the Jason Kidd-led Nets, as he appeared in 79 games and held averages of 9.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Moore’s efficiency (60.9% FG) and constant energy earned heavy respect from the fan base before signing a three-year, $18 million contract with Sacramento in the summer of ’07.

Stephon Marbury may not get as much positive attention from the crowd. He’ll get a few, as the Brooklyn native created hope for many young kids in the New York/New Jersey area, but expect the booers and hecklers to overpower the supporters. If you have to ask for reasons why the crowd’s reaction could be so negative, Marbury’s drama-filled Knicks tenure speaks for itself.

Regardless, you’ve got to expect that Steph will be juiced up to take the floor in his home area for the first time since January 11, 2007.

Projected Starters

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.1)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.8)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.5)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (1.8)

Projected Starters

Team Leaders
PPG: Devin Harris (22.2)
RPG: Brook Lopez (8.2)
APG: Devin Harris (6.8)
SPG: Devin Harris (1.7)
BPG: Brook Lopez (1.9)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Kevin Garnett (posterior muscle strain – out)
Tony Allen (recovering from thumb surgery – out)
Brian Scalabrine (concussions/strained neck – out)
Eduardo Najera (lower abdominal strain – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Limit Turnovers
  • Own the Glass
  • Control the Paint

21 Responses

  1. Lets get steph more involved.
    N.J. has good play by play guys last game they really dished out a lot of love for brian and rondo see what they have to say about mike and stephon tonight.
    Go celtics bad news B. Salvatore is one of the refs B. Forte L. Grillo

  2. At least no Olandis Poole. Early sighting of “Perk”. Let’s hope he stays around all game. Nice job as always on the preview Balla…

  3. Ok Baby just took out 3 rows of chairs..LMAO..

  4. Balla with another killer write-up. Nice work, my friend.

    Perk: Worst hands in the NBA


  6. Just thinking the same thing GL-Doc heard us griping all week.

  7. B. Salvatore will be throwing doc out before this games over.

  8. Another great officiating performance by Benny Salvatore.

  9. Now that was nice doc drew up a good play and it worked.
    Thats stephs 5th assist i bealive since hes been here.

  10. Perk looks great..

  11. The answer to the Legal Seafoods trivia: Shaq…

  12. ITs the Big2 show today Rondo & Perk!

  13. Way to go doc bring in the starters and they blow they double digit lead.The bench was dong just fine.

  14. Id hate to blame 2 losses on big baby but his out of control playing costs us the piston game and it looks like this one too.

  15. Ladies and Gentleman…Paul Pierce.

  16. I still think the bench could have pulled away and won it.

  17. Pierce just loves that building. 12 of 14 shooting? Goddam

  18. Sorry Rodger – I didn’t see Big Baby’s play as a major negative in this one.

  19. Just the foul to give the nets 3 free throws was the only problem i had with him.

  20. How old is that photo you have of Rondo in the “key matchup” section? Not only is he dribbling the old “new” ball from a couple years ago, but you can see Stephon actually playing for the Knicks which hasn’t happened in a while. It also looks like Rondo may be wearing his headband right side up, which he never does nowadays. No complaint really, just thought it was worth mentioning at nine in the morning.

  21. Ha, the Rondo picture is from I believe preseason 2006. For the “Key Matchup” section, I just use the pictures from each players’ NBA.com profile.

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