Boston Shouldn’t Need Any Magic Against Washington

ImageAfter beating the Washington Wizards 89-86 last Saturday, the Boston Celtics will play the Wiz again tonight in the TD Garden at 7:30pm. The C’s will be looking to win their first home game of the regular season after dropping their home opener to the Milwaukee Bucks 99-88.

Player Previews: Right now the obvious trio of Pierce, Rondo, and Garnett have and will be there all season long for the C’s. However, look for rookie Jared Sullinger to make some more noise as he is being mixed Imageinto the starting lineup and playing well (4PPG and 5 RPG).

Normally for the Wizards I would say to keep your eyes locked on star point guard John Wall and the rest will fall into place for Washington. However, the Wiz will have to rely on others to step up in his absence. Look for their big men to shine in this one. Second year power forward Trevor Booker (7.5 PPG with 5.5 RPG) and veteran center Emeka Okafor (6.5 PPG with 7 RPG) will have to control the boards and the paint if they want to win at the Garden.

When 2 Watch: Again, tonight’ contest between the C’s and Wizards will tip off at 7:30pm in the Garden. If your attending the game remember to enjoy yourself, have fun, and be sure to check back here for a game recap.

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Celtics Look To Pass the Buck In Their Home Opener

ImageHome Sweet Home: Tonight the Boston Celtics will look to bounce back from a season opening loss to the reigning NBA Champs, the Miami Heat, as they host the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden at 7:30pm. Paul Pierce and company will go up against the run and gun Bucks lead by point guard Brandon Jennings. Boston should have the upper hand in this match-up as the Celtics swept the season series last year winning all three contests against Milwaukee.

Likely Lineups: Let’s take a look at the toe-to-toe roster rundown for this one:

Celtics                                                                               Bucks

PG  Rajon Rondo                                                         PG  Brandon Jennings

SG  Courtney Lee                                                        SG     Monta Ellis

SF    Paul Pierce                                                         SF    Mike Dunleavy

PF   Brandon Bass                                                       PF     Drew Gooden

C    Kevin Garnett                                                         C   Samuel Dalembert

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Player Previews: No surprise the usual suspects for Boston will come up big in this one as Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Kevin Garnett will all do their part. But look for potential six man of the year award winner Jason Terry (8 points against Miami, 4 of 4 from the free throw line) to spark for a few scores and also keep an eye on another new guy in Leandro Barbosa (16 points against the Heat) who could become a solid swing man for the C’s.

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For the Bucks the dynamic scoring duo of guards Brandon Jennings (19.1 PPG last year) and Monta Ellis (20.4 last year) is always a deadly combo. Those two can simply light up the scoreboard when they’re both clicking. Another player to watch, if he gets the minutes, is backup forward Ersan Ilyasova. Ilyasova averaged 13 PPG with 8 RPG last season. He could see more minutes if his numbers continue to have a steady uptick.

When 2 Watch: As mentioned earlier the C’s home opener will begin tonight at 7:30pm. If your going to the game be sure to cheer loudly, drink responsibly and as always enjoy the game.

Celtics-Bucks Preview

The Celtics (16-17) are looking to start another winning streak as they take on the Milwaukee Bucks (14-20). The Celtics are now tied for seventh place in the eastern conference with the Knicks and are 2.5 games ahead of the Bucks in the race for the 8th spot. The Celtics are coming off of a 86-83 win against the pesky Cleveland Cavaliers where the Bucks are coming off the a 119-118 win over the Washington Wizards.

Brandon Bass came back from his injury and hit his first five shots for the Celtics last night. It was pretty promising as both he and Wilcox looked healthy. Wilcox grabbed 11 rebounds. The Celtics were led by Ray Allen who looked fresh after having the All-Star break off as he went for 22 points. Pietrus also had his biggest dunk of the season with that surgically repaired knee starting to look real good. Finally my man Avery Bradley played well again going 3-5 from the floor with 3 assists and no turnovers.

The Bucks are being led by Brandon Jennings as he is averaging 18.2 points per game and 5.3 assists per game. Last night Mike Dunleavy came off the bench to score 28 points. The Celtics have to be careful with the ball tonight because the Bucks scored 26 points off of 15 turnovers. The Celtics also have to watch out for Ersan Ilyasova who has been a beast on the boards this season. He has 4 double-doubles in his last five games including a 29-25 game against the New Jersey Nets 10 days ago.

Keys to the Game

Turnovers

As it has been all season the Celtics have to keep the turnovers down to a minimum. Pierce and Rondo had 11 turnovers. As the Bucks turn a lot of turnovers into points, the Celtics are going to need to take care of the ball if they’re going to want to get the winning streak to 2.

Rebounding

As I mentioned earlier Ilyasova is a beast. He has been killing teams on the boards this year. And the Celtics have been getting killed by everyone on the boards. They need to box out and go after rebounds defensively and offensively. It’s not a you-take-it kinda deal. I want to see them fight for rebounds and stop giving up easy second chance points.

Tip-Off is at 7:30 tonight.