Tip: 7:30pm Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSN Hear it: WEEI
The Celtics beat the Grizzlies 116-110 in OT back on November 13. Paul Pierce (28 points) and Rajon Rondo (17 assists) led the box score, but Shaq got everyone's attention with his 18 points and 6 rebounds.
Get it to: Paul Pierce
Who will the Grizzlies use to defend Paul Pierce? Noted Grizzlies fan Matt Moore (HPbasketball on Twitter) says Memphis will probably "put Sam Young on him to start, switch to Shane Battier when Pierce kills him." And there's always a chance TA gets the assignment. Can you say pump-fake?
Gotta stop: Zach Randolph
Randolph is putting up some of the best statistics of his career. He'll be a tough matchup for anyone in the Celtics frontcourt.
The Wild Card: Rondo's effectiveness
Will Rondo maintain his aggressiveness? We can only hope. Moore says "Mike Conley has trouble stopping perimeter penetration and the bigs are slow to rotate." Keep an eye on the second units, too. The Grizzlies can bring some punch off the bench (Darrell Arthur, Shane Battier and OJ Mayo). The Celtics second unit scored just 16 points vs the Knicks.
How we see it goin' down
The Celtics are coming off one of their more emotional wins of the season – the 96-86 beatdown of the Knicks. While the Celtics starters didn't play an alarming number minutes, they did expend a ton of energy during their 2nd half comeback. I'm concerned they may come out flat. Meanwhile the Grizzlies are fighting for their playoff lives. Logic points to a Celtics letdown, but I'll take the Cs in a squeaker: 97-94.