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LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

(21-38)

ĖvsĖ


BOSTON CELTICS

(41-15)

Game #60
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 7:30 PM (PST)
TV:PRIME TICKET RADIO: KFWB News Talk 980




NEXT GAME LOOKING AHEAD
Monday, February 28 @ Sacramento Kings
Location: Arco Arena, Sacramento, CA
Time: 7:00 PM

Wednesday, March 2 vs. Houston
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 7:30 PM

CLIPPERS VS CELTICS PREVIEW -D.J. Foster

The Clippers finally return home after a rough road trip to play host to the Boston Celtics. Letís take a look at the keys to this one.

Key Theme

Loading Up

The Boston Celtics are 41-15 for a reason Ė they get after it defensively. Boston gives up the least amount of points per game at 91.1 a contest, are tops in defensive efficiency, and are the fifth best team in the league defending the 3. Bostonís defensive gameplan is to load up on the strong side of the court, defend screens very aggressively, and put multiple defenders in front of ballhandlers. By forcing teams to swing the ball and scramble for looks late in the shotclock, the Celtics deny almost all penetration.

But itís not just the rim Boston protects Ė the Celtics have had less 3-pointers shot against them than any team in the league. By protecting the rim better than every team in the league except Miami (59.9 field goal percentage at rim) and chasing shooters off the line, the Celtics force teams to beat them in the most inefficient areas to score from on the floor. While Boston is now a little shakier up front without Kendrick Perkins, they still have one of the best defensive big guys in the league in Kevin Garnett controlling the back line. To score against the leagueís best defense, the Clippers will have to find ways to hit 3ís, score at the rim, or do both. If they canít get consistent penetration against Bostonís strong-side defense, it could be a long night.

Key Matchup

Blake Griffin vs Kevin Garnett

Blake Griffin -- meet Kevin Garnett. As far as work ethic and competitive drive goes, there arenít many guys that are on the level of Garnett. Griffin is renowned for his non-stop motor, and that will be tested tonight against the king of those types of things. Remembering Garnett as a rookie and seeing the finished product now can only make you wonder what Griffin will be capable of in due time. Garnettís defensive play and attention to detail on that end, his impeccable footwork, his bag of tricks in the post and every other polished aspect of his game is the product of time. Early in his career, Garnett was an athletic freak with the skills of a guard that overwhelmed defenders with his natural ability. Sound familiar? Griffin is still working on a lot of the big items in his game, but once he has time to go and add little wrinkles here and there, heíll be a well-rounded force, just like Garnett was and still is. The comparisons to Stoudemire and players of that ilk are probably more accurate, but youíd love to see Griffin emulate a guy like Garnett.

Quick Clips

Are some potential debuts on the horizon? Mo Williams and Jamario Moon are most likely going to suit up Monday against Sacramento, but they may be available against Boston. The Celtics should welcome Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic to their rotation for the first time as well.

Whether itís the long flight or the fact itís a big game, the Clippers have had the Celticsí number at Staples Center as of late. The Clippers have won two straight against Boston when they come to Los Angeles, both nailbiters.

We talked about Bostonís top ranked defense, but donít discount their offense Ė the Celtics are tops in the league in effective field goal percentage. They run their stuff and get good shots, every single game. The Clippers will be tested on both ends in this one.


Submit your question to Isaac Lowenkron and he'll answer the best ones live on air!

Also remember to chat with us LIVE on Clippers.com during the game!

PROBABLE STARTERS


Bledsoe

Foye

Gomes

Griffin

Jordan
PG SG SF PF C


Rondo

Allen

Pierce

Garnett

Davis
PG SG SF PF C

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERSPosInjuryStatus
Eric GordonGRight wristDay-to-day

Boston CelticsPosInjuryStatus
Shaquille O'NealCAchilles'Out

PREVIOUSLY:
Postgame Report: Clippers 95, Lakers 108


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