Celtics/Bucks: Preview

Celtics (61-15, 28-9 road, 1st East) @ Bucks (26-50, 19-19 home, 13th East)

Gametime: 7:00 PM CT
TV: FSN Wisconsin/League Pass/NBA LP Broadband
Radio
: 620 WTMJ/Stream Free @ NBA.com

Bucks Stats: Offense 21st (102.3 pts/100 poss), Defense 29th (109.3), Rebounding 12th (.506 rr), Pace 17th (93.7)
Celtics Stats: Offense 9th (107.8 pts/100 poss), Defense 1st (95.8), Rebounding 3rd(.520 rr), Pace 19th (93.3)

Bucks Lineup: Ramon Sessions / Michael Redd / Desmond Mason / Charlie Villanueva / Andrew Bogut
Celtics Lineup: Rajon Rondo / Ray Allen / James Posey / Kevin Garnett / Kendrick Perkins
UPDATE: CelticsBlog reports Pierce will not play tonight. They also report Garnett could be held out of the game, as well as Rajon Rondo.

Bucks Injuries: Mo Williams missed the team's game on Sunday with an abdominal strain. Yi Jianlian is out for the season with a sprained MCL. Charlie Bell is out with a right knee sprain. Jake Voskuhl is day-to-day with a sore ankle.
Celtics Injuries: None.

07/08 Series: 2-0 Celtics. The Celtics beat the Bucks 104-82 in Boston on Dec. 14. The Celtics won again by a score of 99-77 at the Bradley Center on March 16.

Key Points:

  • The Celtics are coming off a 101-78 victory over the Bobcats on Saturday. They won handily despite playing without Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, or Ray Allen. Pierce sat out after his daughter was born on Friday while Garnett and Allen were rested. Even without their trio, the Celtics maintained their trademark defensive dominance, outscoring the Bobcats 19-9 in the fourth quarter. Leon Powe started and led the Celts with 22 points and nine rebounds.
  • After missing the team's first matchup at the Bradley Center this year, Allen might play tonight against the Bucks according to JS Online's Charles Gardner. The Celtics are preparing for the playoffs at this point though, so it's unknown how much the stars will come out to play.

    But Allen and the other stars in Boston's Big Three - Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce - will have their playing time monitored and in some cases restricted by Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

  • Powe is averaging 14.0 points and 8.0 rebounds on 52.4 % shooting in three games this month. The second year forward from California has also made 20-21 free throws in that span.
  • The last time these teams met the Celtics easily got the better of the Bucks in a 99-77 loss that only fueled the bag revolutionaries' cause. Since that game, both teams continued playing the way were before and during the meeting. The Bucks have gone 3-7 and were long ago eliminated from playoff contention while the Celtics have gone 9-2, locking up the number one seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
  • A year ago on this date, the Bucks stood 26-50, three games better than the 23-53 Celtics, a team seemingly stuck in hopeless disarray. What a difference a year makes, at least for the Celtics, who already have set the record for biggest turnaround in a season based on wins. So while the Celtics have already gained 36 wins, as we noted yesterday, the Bucks must go 2-4 in order to match last season's record. Unfortunately that's far from a sure thing.
  • Since arriving in Boston, former Buck point guard Sam Cassell is averaing 5.3 points and 1.7 assists in 15.4 minutes. He's shooting 32.5 % from the field in a Celtics uni after hitting 45.5 % of his shots with the Clippers earlier this season.
  • At 28-9, the Celtics are the best road team in the NBA. They've lost once away from home in the last 45 days. Seriously. And that one loss was against the Hornets, who just happen to be on top of a particularly steep Western mountain right now.
  • Green Bandwagon has more on tonight's opponent. Also check out Celtics Blog, Loy's Place, Red's Army, the Boston Globe, and the Boston Herald.
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