Archive for the ‘Author: CelticBalla32’ Category

Cs Eye Game 2 Redemption
April 20, 2009

1 @ 0
Monday, April 20, 2009
7:00 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

The Celtics didn’t begin the 2009 NBA Playoffs as well as they would’ve liked. Granted, Game 1 was extremely intense and showcased a marvelous head-to-head battle from point guards Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo, but you never want to allow the road team to steal Game 1 from you in your building. Especially in overtime, as the defending champions, at the expense of an unstoppable (at least on that day) rookie.

Boston wasn’t the only higher-seeded club to blow a Game 1, however. Portland got romped by Houston on Saturday night, while Dallas played tough in San Antonio and Philadelphia pulled off a late 18-point comeback to steal one from Orlando.

Regardless, what’s in the past stays in the past, and there is still plenty of basketball to be played. As Tyson Chandler said last night after New Orleans’ 113-84 Game 1 loss to Denver, you’ll take yourself out of a series quickly if you dwell on previous outings. If you lose a game, you lose a game. From there, you’ve got to move on and try to get the next one.

Tonight, the Celtics will look to redeem themselves back at the TD BankNorth Garden in Game 2. Should Chicago manage to somehow pull off back-to-back victories, the defending champs would be knee-deep in trouble. On the same note, this team is more than capable of taking care of business tonight and taking homecourt advantage back in either Game 3 or 4.

Get your popcorn ready.


Regular Season Record: 62-20
Eastern Conference Seed: 2

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Series Leaders
PPG: Rajon Rondo (29.0)
RPG: Rajon Rondo (9.0)
APG: Rajon Rondo (7.0)
SPG: Ray Allen (3.0)
BPG: Glen Davis/Kendrick Perkins (2.0)

Primary Focus: Play Celtics Basketball
Simply saying “play Celtics basketball” is very vague. There are two things we should look for our beloved Celtics to do tonight. First and foremost, they need to close off penetration and refuse to allow Derrick Rose to dominate the paint like he did in Game 1. One of the keys in doing this is Rajon Rondo making the mental decision to move his feet and stay in front of him (easier said than done), as opposed to gambling and hoping that he can poke the ball free from behind. Take away as many lanes as possible, and make the Bulls shoot as many jumpers as possible. Even Tyrus Thomas. Trust me, he will not go 8/12 every night.

On the other side of the floor, the Celtics need to do what they have done since 2008 training camp: play as a team. Move the basketball. In Game 1, Doc Rivers and the Celtics fan base were very disappointed with all of the one-on-one play and lack of ball reversals, swings, and draw-and-kicks. As Doc noted, it seemed as though everybody was trying to be “the man.” If the Celtics want to win games and advance in these playoffs, they’re going to have to move the ball and work for better shots.


Regular Season Record: 41-41
Eastern Conference Seed: 7

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Series Leaders
PPG: Derrick Rose (36.0)
RPG: Joakim Noah (17.0)
APG: Derrick Rose (11.0)
SPG: 5 Tied (1.0)
BPG: Joakim Noah/Tyrus Thomas (3.0)

Primary Focus: Own the Glass
Prior to Game 1, I noted that it was important for Chicago to make their presence felt on the glass. They did just that, as they held a 54-45 rebounding advantage and even got 17 out of Joakim Noah by his lonesome. If Chicago can continue to hit the boards like they did in Game 1, they’ll continue to give Boston problems.

Injury Report
Luol Deng (anterior right tibial stress fracture – out)
John Salmons (strained groin – will play)
Jerome James (ruptured achilles tendon – out)
Kevin Garnett (right knee – out)
Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion syndrome – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Close Off Penetration, Protect the Paint
  • Ball Movement
  • Control the Defensive Glass
  • Get Something Out of Ray Allen

Postseason Kicks Off In Boston
April 18, 2009

0 @ 0
Saturday, April 18, 2009
12:30 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

Do you smell that? Can you taste it? Can you feel it? Playoff basketball is finally back after a year’s hiatus, and the energy is back in Boston as the men in green are set to begin a consecutive postseason run.

Everybody has heard the news about Kevin Garnett, but we’re not going to dwell on that. As Ray Allen said to the media at yesterday’s practice, “nobody feels sorry for us.” If anything, it allows the opposition to truly feel that they have a chance to take out the defending champs.

The loss of KG is unfortunate. Sure, it sucks, but the sky is not falling and we certainly still have a lot of basketball to play. In addition, we’ve got obstacles to overcome and naysayers to silence. It all starts this afternoon in Boston, for a Game 1 matinee against the seventh-seeded Chicago Bulls to kick off the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

To the fans attending the game (including myself): in honor of KG, let’s make sure we give our team as much of a boost as possible and “keep this mutha rockin.”

Let’s go Celtics!


Regular Season Record: 62-20
Eastern Conference Seed: 2

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.5)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.2)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)

Primary Focus: Protect the Paint
The Chicago Bulls are not an overwhelmingly fearsome perimeter shooting team. In fact, Doc Rivers mentioned that very notion at yesterday’s practice. The Ben Gordons, Kirk Hinrichs, and Tim Thomas’ of the world can stroke it from deep, but Del Negro’s group as a whole is mightily inconsistent outside of that 15-foot mark. If the Celtic defense can deny penetration, keep Chicago’s creators out of the paint, and limit Chicago’s second-chance opportunities, the defending champs will be in good shape on the defensive end of the floor.


Regular Season Record: 41-41
Eastern Conference Seed: 7

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Ben Gordon (20.7)
RPG: Joakim Noah (7.6)
APG: Derrick Rose (6.3)
SPG: Kirk Hinrich (1.3)
BPG: Tyrus Thomas (1.9)

Primary Focus: Own the Glass
Even without Kevin Garnett, it remains clear that the Celtics are Chicago’s superior. However, Chicago can make things interesting by putting extra pressure on Boston by crashing the boards and racking up second-chance opportunities. The more rebounds you secure, the more possessions you take away from the opposition, and ultimately, the better chance you have of dictating the pace of the game.

Injury Report
Luol Deng (anterior right tibial stress fracture – out)
John Salmons (strained groin – will play)
Jerome James (ruptured achilles tendon – out)
Kevin Garnett (right knee – out)
Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion syndrome – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Close Off Penetration
  • Control the Defensive Glass
  • Selflessness
  • Attack, Attack, Attack

Celtics-Bulls Series Preview
April 17, 2009

2 vs. 7

Series Schedule
Game 1: Sat, April 18 – CHI @ BOS – 12:30 pm ET
Game 2: Mon, April 20 – CHI @ BOS – 7:00 pm ET
Game 3: Thu, April 23 – BOS @ CHI – 7:00 pm ET
Game 4: Sun, April 26 – BOS @ CHI – 12:00 pm ET
Game 5: Tue, April 28 – CHI @ BOS – TBD (if necessary)
Game 6: Thu, April 30 – BOS @ CHI – TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: Sat, May 2 – CHI @ BOS – TBD (if necessary)


Regular Season Record: 62-20
Eastern Conference Seed: 2

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.5)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.2)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)


Regular Season Record: 41-41
Eastern Conference Seed: 7

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Ben Gordon (20.7)
RPG: Joakim Noah (7.6)
APG: Derrick Rose (6.3)
SPG: Kirk Hinrich (1.3)
BPG: Tyrus Thomas (1.9)

Celtics Keys

Close Off Penetration: The staple of the Boston Celtics a year ago was their dedication to team defense. They talked, they sacrificed, they made remarkably crisp defensive rotations, and they let the basketball world know that you are not going to win an NBA championship if you don’t commit to both ends of the floor.

Oh yeah, and last year’s club had Kevin Garnett at full strength. This year’s Boston Celtics do not, at least for the time being, as the team recently announced that Garnett’s knee has failed to respond to the healing process as smoothly as they would’ve liked. In fact, he may even miss the remainder of the season, no matter how far the Celtics go. The loss hurts in more ways than one, but the part Boston will miss the most is his defensive presence. Now, there is no defensive quarterback directing traffic and providing the most active roamer and second-line defender in the league. Kendrick Perkins is no slouch, but he can’t do it alone. That is why the perimeter defense becomes that much more important in this series.

(more…)

Wizards Visit For Regular Season Finale
April 15, 2009

19-62 @ 61-20
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
8:00 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

Eighty-one games down, one to go. The final night of the 2008-09 regular season is finally upon us. I think I speak for Celtic Nation, and perhaps a large portion of NBA fans around the world, when I say “it’s about time.”

The green will cap off their schedule tonight at the Garden against the Washington Wizards, otherwise known as the worst team in the Eastern Conference this season (19-62); as far as the standings are concerned, anyway. Boston has already clinched the East’s second seed while Washington clinched the conference’s worst record a while ago.

Neither club is necessarily playing for a W in this one. The Cs will be focusing on resting the big guns (Garnett, Pierce, perhaps others) and the Wizards fan base is actually pulling for a loss. Don’t laugh, we all had those same thoughts in 2006-07. Ed Tapscott’s group is currently tied with the L.A. Clippers for the league’s second-worst overall record, and “the other L.A. team” will host the Oklahoma City Thunder for a very winnable finale.

More losses means more lottery balls. Been there, done that. Should both Washington and L.A. lose tonight, the rights to the second-best lottery chances would be decided via coin flip, which could obviously go either way. Again, been there, done that (see: 2006, Minnesota).

Win or lose, let’s get some of the young guys on the floor (cough cough, Billy Walker) and stay injury-free for just 48 more minutes.

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Antawn Jamison (22.2)
RPG: Antawn Jamison (8.9)
APG: Gilbert Arenas (10.0)
SPG: Caron Butler (1.6)
BPG: Brendan Haywood (2.5)

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.5)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.3)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Gilbert Arenas (sore knee – out)
Antawn Jamison (sprained ankle – out)
DeShawn Stevenson (lower back issues – out)
Andray Blatche (sore left knee – questionable)
Mike James (broken right pinky – out)
Etan Thomas (torn left knee ligaments – out)
Kevin Garnett (sore knee/rest – out)
Paul Pierce (rest – out)
Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion syndrome – out)

Potential Playoff Preview In Philly
April 14, 2009

60-20 @ 40-40
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
8:00 pm ET
Wachovia Center (Philadelphia, PA)

If the playoffs were to begin today, Boston’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup would be tonight’s opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers. However, it is not set in stone. Chicago holds just a half-game advantage over the Sixers, and Philly has two games remaining on their regular season schedule (including tonight) while Chicago has just one. Therefore, there is a chance that Philly could win out and gain control of the sixth seed, which will square off with Orlando in the first round.

Now, when I say that there is a chance, I’m only speaking mathematically. The likeliness of Philly beating the Celtics tonight and handing Cleveland their second home loss of the season tomorrow is… well… it’s just not going to happen. To top that off, Chicago’s regular season finale is a more than winnable home game against the underwhelming 32-49 Toronto Raptors, who at this point are playing for nothing more or less than lottery odds.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Should Philly split their last two games while Chicago takes care of business in their finale, the Sixers and Bulls would tie for overall record (41-41), record against Eastern Conference teams (25-27), and wins against one another (2). If all of that transpires, the deciding factor would come down to winning percentage within each team’s respective division. Should that be the case, Chicago would control the rights to the sixth Eastern Conference seed, as they are currently 9-7 against Central Division teams while Philadelphia is just 6-9 against Atlantic Division clubs.

Or, we can forget everything above and just end the confusion tonight by racking up our sixty-first W of the season.

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.3)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.4)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Andre Iguodala (18.7)
RPG: Elton Brand (8.8)
APG: Andre Miller (6.5)
SPG: Andre Iguodala (1.6)
BPG: Samuel Dalembert (1.8)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Kevin Garnett (sore knee – out)
Glen Davis (stomach bug – gametime decision)
Leon Powe (bruised right knee – probable)
Brian Scalabrine (concussions/strained neck – out)
Elton Brand (dislocated right shoulder – out)
Thaddeus Young (sprained right ankle – out)
Jason Smith (torn left ACL – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Limit Turnovers
  • Ball Movement
  • Transition Defense
  • Control the Glass

Celts Eye Nets Sweep
April 8, 2009

32-45 @ 58-19
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
7:30 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

It is not playoff time just yet, but we’ve got only five regular season games to go before the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals are the primary focus of this basketball team. Boston’s first round matchup remains uncertain, but the chances of the Celtics and Nets facing off against one another is extremely slim.

In fact, a loss tonight would mathematically take New Jersey out of the playoff equation. Lawrence Frank’s group currently sits five games behind Detroit for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff seed. In order for New Jersey to have the “luxury” of meeting Cleveland in the first round of this year’s postseason, the Nets would have to win out the remaining five games of their schedule, while Detroit loses all five. In addition to that, they’d have to pray that neither Charlotte or Indiana, who each hold minor advantages over Jersey in the standings, reach or exceed that magic number of 37 victories.

In other words, Nets fans better start studying up on draft lottery odds and prospects for the third straight year.

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Devin Harris (21.8)
RPG: Brook Lopez (7.9)
APG: Devin Harris (7.0)
SPG: Devin Harris (1.7)
BPG: Brook Lopez (1.8)

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.5)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.4)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Eduardo Najera (recovering from hernia surgery – out)
Kevin Garnett (sore right knee – out)
Rajon Rondo (sprained ankle – probable)
Leon Powe (bruised right knee – out)
Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion syndrome – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Limit Turnovers
  • Perimeter Defense: Close Off Penetration
  • Ball Movement

Cs Open Up Home Stretch Against Charlotte
April 1, 2009

34-40 @ 56-19
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
7:30 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

With just seven games to go before playoff time, the Celtics kick off the final month of the regular season at home against one of the scrappiest young teams in the league. The Charlotte Bobcats typically give the men in green a tough battle, win or lose, and have won two of the last five matchups against the 2008 champs.

Charlotte heads into tonight’s game with extra incentive to pull out a victory, as well. As it currently stands, Larry Brown’s club is one game behind Chicago for the final Eastern Conference playoff seed. The ‘Cats have won six of their last eight and come into tonight on a three-game winning streak, but the Bulls have countered those efforts by winning seven of their last 10 games.

Kevin Garnett, as you may have already heard, will be “shut down” for the time being, and could even be out for the remainder of the regular season. Leon Powe is in the same boat, and Brian Scalabrine may not suit up at all until 2009-10 preseason. Tony Allen, however, is expected to give it a go tonight after missing the last 22 games with torn ligaments in his left thumb. “TA” typically takes a while to get back into the swing of things when he returns from a time-consuming healing process, but it is somewhat comforting to have another body nonetheless.

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Gerald Wallace (16.9)
RPG: Emeka Okafor (10.1)
APG: Raymond Felton (6.8)
SPG: Gerald Wallace (1.7)
BPG: Emeka Okafor (1.7)

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.3)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.5)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (1.9)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Kevin Garnett (Knee – out)
Leon Powe (bruised right knee – out)
Tony Allen (recovering from thumb surgery – probable)
Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion syndrome – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Limit Turnovers
  • Avoid Foul Trouble
  • Bench Play
  • Outwork the Opposition

C’s Look to Bounce Back In A-Town
March 27, 2009

54-19 @ 42-30
Friday, March 27, 2009
7:30 pm ET
Phillips Arena (Atlanta, GA)

Coming off of a tough loss in Orlando, which handed away the rights to the Eastern Conference’s second slot, the hobbled Celtics will look to bounce back against last season’s first round playoff opponent, the Atlanta Hawks.

Atlanta has had a solid year all around, and as of late, Mike Woodson’s club has been surging. The Hawks have won eight of their last 10 games, with all but one of those contests being played at their comfortable home of Phillips Arena. Perhaps one of the largest components to Atlanta’s recent hot streak is the play of Al Horford, who has been racking up double-doubles like a mad-man once again. Since the All-Star break, the former Florida Gator has put up 13.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. More importantly, he has become more aggressive on the offensive end, creating more inside-out opportunities for the Atlanta’s attack.

Neither team will be at full strength for tonight’s battle, however. Atlanta’s starting three-man Marvin Williams is expected to miss his 10th straight game due to lower back soreness, while Acie Law could be sidelined with a similar ailment. As for our beloved men in green, Rajon Rondo says that he expects to suit up, despite the re-sprained left ankle, but Doc Rivers recently noted that both he and Kevin Garnett are game time decisions. Garnett did not move as well as the coaching staff would’ve liked in Wednesday night’s loss to Orlando, and “The Big Ticket” reportedly failed to get through the full shootaround this morning.

Healthy or not, here we come.

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.2)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.5)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (1.9)

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Joe Johnson (21.7)
RPG: Al Horford (9.2)
APG: Joe Johnson (5.9)
SPG: Josh Smith (1.4)
BPG: Josh Smith (1.6)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Kevin Garnett (precaution/extra rest – game time decision)
Rajon Rondo (sprained left ankle – game time decision)
Leon Powe (bruised right knee – out)
Tony Allen (recovering from thumb surgery – out)
Brian Scalabrine (concussions/strained neck – out)
Marvin Williams (sore lower back – out)
Acie Law (sore lower back – questionable)
Speedy Claxton (hamstring – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Limit Turnovers
  • Ball Movement
  • Transition Defense
  • Sense of Urgency

Magic Host C’s In Probable Playoff Preview
March 25, 2009

54-18 @ 52-18
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
8:00 pm ET
Amway Arena (Orlando, FL)

With 10 games remaining on the 2008-09 regular season schedule, the Celtics are finally rounding into shape health-wise. While catching Cleveland for tops in the Eastern Conference may be out of the question, the men in green still have something to play for over the course of the next three weeks. Orlando is currently one game behind Boston for the rights to the second seed in the conference, and with homecourt advantage at stake for a potential second-round matchup, each club’s goal for the remainder of the regular season is identical – finish second in the East.

Tonight, Orlando will host the defending champs at Amway Arena, where a Magic victory would result in Orlando owning a better winning percentage by the end of the night. Should the Celtics pull out the victory, however, it would give the green a bigger cushion in the win-loss column as well as a 3-1 advantage over the Magic this season. That doesn’t get the team a ring or even a medal, but does give the Celtics the upper-hand in case the two Eastern Conference contenders end the season with equal records.

It is more than expected that these two will meet in the second round of this year’s playoffs. Neither Boston or Orlando wants to head into postseason play without homecourt advantage against the other. This is a big game that should produce plenty of emotion, aggression, and competitive spirit, especially after Orlando stole one in Boston earlier this month. In other words, this could be a “chippy” one.

Chippiness isn’t always the route Doc wants to go, but I think it’s safe to say that those types of battles provide the highest level of entertainment. Get your popcorn ready.

Projected Starters
G G F F C

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

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Dwight Howard (21.0)
RPG: Dwight Howard (13.9)
APG: Jameer Nelson (5.4)
SPG: Rafer Alston (2.1)
BPG: Dwight Howard (3.0)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Leon Powe (bruised right knee – out)
Tony Allen (recovering from thumb surgery – out)
Brian Scalabrine (concussions/strained neck – out)
Jameer Nelson (torn right labrum – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Control the Paint
  • Timely Closeouts
  • Ball Control
  • Play With A Sense of Urgency

Big Three Finally Intact?
March 20, 2009

51-18 @ 45-22
Friday, March 20, 2009
8:30 pm ET
AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)

There is a lot going on in the basketball world right now, highlighted by “March Madness,” the NCAA’s 2009 tournament. The buzz around your place of business and/or amongst your group of friends is centered around bracket selections, upsets, sleepers, pool standings, etc. It’s a great time.

All bracket busters aside, the Celtics still have 13 regular season games to play before shifting their focus towards playoff basketball. Tonight, the men in green will be hosted by the San Antonio Spurs, who hold the NBA’s fourth-best record at 45-22. This is a tough game against a tough team, in a tough building to win it.

However, the Celtics may be getting a much-needed boost for tonight’s showdown, as Kevin Garnett may give it a go for the first time since February 19 due to a knee strain. Throughout that stint, the struggling C’s settled for an underwhelming 7-6 record. Ray Allen, who sat out of Wednesday night’s overtime victory vs. Miami with a hyperextended right elbow, is also listed as a gametime decision.

San Antonio’s “big three” has fought the injury bug of late, as well. Manu Ginobili remains sidelined with a stress reaction in his right ankle, while Gregg Popovich is sitting Tim Duncan on the second night of some back-to-backs as he battles knee soreness. Even Tony Parker missed nine consecutive games in November.

Hobbled or not, these clubs are two of the scariest that the league has to offer, and are both hungry for late-season victories in order to secure the two-seed in their respective conferences.

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.6)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.8)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.5)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (1.8)

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Tony Parker (21.4)
RPG: Tim Duncan (10.7)
APG: Tony Parker (6.7)
SPG: Manu Ginobili (1.5)
BPG: Tim Duncan (1.8)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Kevin Garnett (posterior muscle strain – probable)
Ray Allen (hyperextended right elbow – probable)
Leon Powe (bruised right knee – questionable)
Tony Allen (recovering from thumb surgery – out)
Brian Scalabrine (concussions/strained neck – out)
Tim Duncan (sore knees – will play)
Manu Ginobili (stress reaction in right ankle – out)
Ian Mahinmi (recovering from right ankle surgery – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Ball Control
  • Perkins’ Interior Help D
  • Cut Off Parker’s Penetration
  • Bench Play