The tough road ahead: Boston Celtics @ Utah Jazz preview

'''Script Logo, "New Look" (2010-pre...
”’Script Logo, “New Look” (2010-present)”’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1-3 on the road trip, one more game to go. We’re already below .500 this time, but securing a win off a back-to-back would be a good rallying point. Hustle!

Stat check: The Jazz have won 6 of their last 10 games. Barring the road victory over Minnesota, their recent wins have all come at home in EnergySolutions Arena.

Game time: 26 Feb 2013, 1300hrs AEDT

Watch it on: NBA League Pass

Roster changes:

  1. Rajon Rondo is out for the season with a torn ACL on his right knee.
  2. Jared Sullinger is out for the season after his back operation.
  3. Leandro Barbosa is out for the season with a torn ACL on his left knee.
  4. DJ White to play? – unconfirmed rumour for now.

Top enemy performers:

  1. Scoring: Al Jefferson (17.6 PPG)
  2. Rebounds: Al Jefferson (9.3 RPG)
  3. Assists: Mo Williams (6.7 APG)

Keys to the game:

  1. Paint ball: The Jazz are a bruising team with very capable interior attackers (Jefferson, Millsap, Favors). Against the extremely depleted front court of the Celtics, will we be able to deal with them defensively?
  2. Cleaning the glass: Second chance points will kill us. Energy will be a low on this game, but I’m looking forward to Bass and Wilcox putting up more effort on the glass the way they did today, in addition to Pierce and KG. Contain the shot, get the rebound and that’s one stop. One at a time folks, one at a time.
  3. Making your shot count: Too many jumpers taken in the Blazers game, too many missed jumpers. Take the jumper if you’re open, but the priority should not be on firing a jump shot every single possession. I’d like to see more drive-and-dish plays, more dribble handoffs and off ball movement, but that’s a hope more than anything else.
  4. Need for Green: Uncle Jeff Green is fast becoming an indispensable source of scoring in the team. If we are to take this game, we need his points, especially the ones that matter – layups and free throws. There are enough players throwing up jump shots without him adding to the mix. Spot up threes and drives, let’s hope we see more of this.

Always a tough game over at Utah, it’s gonna be tougher on a back-to-back. Not optimistic, let us stay positive nonetheless. Grind hard and let’s get the road trip at 2-3 at least.

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