Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Tip-Off: 8:00 P.M.
Boston: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal
Dallas: Delonte West, Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Brendan Haywood
Keys to the Game:
- Doc Rivers made it a point to work on conditioning during the Celtics’ time off the past four days. The Mavericks are also one of the older teams in the NBA, so the Celtics needs to make sure they look the youngest in this match-up. Boston should take the tough practices as motivation to continue working and going hard the entire game.
- Many of the Celtics bench players vowed to work on their game and provide bigger roles during games. Tonight would be a good game to start. Dallas has many weapons in its starting lineups and on the bench, especially with the additions of West and Lamar Odom. Boston will need the entire roster to contribute.
- Will Pierce show up? He has been slow out of the gate after missing the first three games of the season with a heel injury. If he can put up solid scoring numbers tonight, that would obviously be a boost.
- Mickael Pietrus is expected to make his Celtics debut.
Mavericks 95, Celtics 89. Despite the tough practices and efforts to by Rivers to get his team in shape, Dallas will prove to be too much for Boston to handle. The defense will have trouble against the Mavericks’ scorers, and the Celtics still do not have all of its scorers up to par.