Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Tip-Off: 7:00 P.M.
Rajon Rondo (wrist) is out for the Celtics. Jermaine O’Neal (knee) will play.
Boston (9-10): Avery Bradley, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass
Cleveland (8-11): Kyrie Irving, Anthony Parker, Omri Casspi, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varejao
Keys to the Game:
- Paul Pierce was upset with his playing time in the fourth quarter in Boston’s loss to Cleveland Sunday night, so he needs to let go of those frustrations. He stepped up his role as team leader while the Celtics played without Rondo, Allen, and O’Neal, and he must continue to play the way he did during the Celtics five-game winning streak and set the tone offensively.
- Can the Celtics play a full 48 minutes of basketball? They had an eleven-point lead late in the fourth quarter Sunday, but ended up losing the game with a late basket by Irving. Boston must keep their composure the entire way and play hard until the final buzzer. When they work together and put in every effort to winning, they are very hard to beat.
- Rondo is out again for the Celtics. Avery Bradley’s must play well defensively in order to contain Irving. E’Twan Moore has also contributed in Rondo’s absence, and he needs to keep playing well to take the pressure off his teammates. O’Neal returns tonight, but it is unknown how well he will play. Bass has played well as of late, and he and Garnett have to factors on both ends of the floor.
Celtics 90, Cavaliers 87. Boston was definitely upset and frustrated after their loss on Sunday, so tonight they will come out with a vengeance to beat Cleveland. If they can give it 100% and work together, they will take this game and get back to winning.