It's a 7 p.m. start for the Dallas Mavericks at the AAC tonight, with the Boston Celtics also coming off a back-to-back game, Dallas having lost in New York and the Celtics having lost to Detroit.
The Starting Lineups
|CELTICS 15-15||MAVS 20-12|
|F- Paul Pierce||F- Shawn Marion|
|F- Kevin Garnett||F- Dirk Nowitzki|
|C- Jermaine O'Neal||C- Brendan Haywood|
|G- Ray Allen||G- Vince Carter|
|G- Rajon Rondo||G- Jason Kidd|
The Celtics Offense
• Allen and Pierce still the focal points in the halfcourt offense with Garnett and O'Neal used for screeners and the occasional pick/pop. Brandon Bass, the ex-Mav, is off to a great start off the bench averaging 12.9 ppg and 6.3 rpg. As Dallas fans know, he's a midrange threat but also a power player.
• A set they really like is starting Allen and Pierce on the block. Allen comes curls off a screen at the elbow to receive ball on wing. If not open, Pierce gets a cross screen for cut to ball side block.
• A top Allen set has him coming off double-single screens to get him open for baseline 3-pointer (his favorite spot) or curling hard to basket if defender trails screens.
• As a team they do not get out and run that much, but Rajon Rondo always a threat to go coast-to-coast. Bass runs floor well for big man.
• Hi pick/pop or roll with Rondo and Garnett. Garnett likes elbow jumper.
• With the floor spread, Boston will post up O'Neal. Rondo always a threat to take you off the dribble on penetration.
• They run the side pick/roll with Pierce and Rondo.
The Celtics Defense
• Post will play behind the offensive post and try to block shots. The ability to ball-fake and get them up in the air can lead to FT-line trips
• Not a great defensive transition team. The can be ran on. Rondo is quick put will take chances that get him out of position at times.
• They are an average defensive rebounding team and sometimes do not do a great job of blocking out on perimeter. Offensive wings can sneak in and get a board, but do not leave Rondo alone to leak out.
• They show hard and help on pick/rolls.
• Mavericks won 90-85 in Boston last month.
• Jason Kidd had 2,514 steals, ans with one tonight he'll pass Michael Jordan for second place on the all-time list.
• Nowitzki needs one block to reach 1,000 for his career and become the third player with 1,000 blocks and 1,000 3-pointers, joining Rasheed Wallace and Clifford Robinson.
• Celtics are 2nd in Pts. Allowed Per Game at 87.5
• Celtics are 26th in Scoring at 89.6
• Celtics are tied for 1st (Dallas) in Def. FG% at 41.6% and 1st in Def. 3pt. FG% at 29.6%
• Celtics are 30th in Team Rebounding at 38.8 rpg
• Celtics are 4th in Blocks Per Game at 5.7 bpg
• Rondo is 2nd in Assist at 9.5 apg. But will they have him? As we write this, he's coming off an ejection from Sunday night's game. ...
How to Beat the Celtics
• Have a plan to control Allen and Pierce. Both do a great job of working to get open and will pinball you off screens. Pierce is physical with ball and will bully his way to basket.
• Push ball but be smart. They are a seasoned team so what they lack in youth they make up for in guile. Be under control but attack.
• Get some offensive rebounds leading to second-chance points. Dallas will need to find some spring in its legs from Dirk Nowitzki and others.
• Keep Rondo under wraps. The Marion-led traps of PGs has been an overall sound strategy.