Tonight marks the return of Avery Bradley. Fortunately, his debut will be made alongside starting point guard, Rajon Rondo.
However, the Celtics real test will be in the frontcourt, where they must defend the athletic Rudy Gay and the deadly tandem of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
The first key for tonight’s game is making life difficult for Gasol and Randolph, who the Grizzlies run their offense through. The two are effective in the post as well as from the elbows; they are also very skilled passers. Boston’s undersized big men must play physical and pester the duo, making sure to take away passing lanes.
The second key is efficiency. Memphis ranks first in points allowed, surrendering just 90 per game. They will make the Celtics earn every point tonight.
Boston should look to quickly move the ball around and use the full 24-second shot clock, making the Grizzlies work. Hopefully, the fatigue will impact Randolph and Gasol at the offensive end.
The final key is the bench. The second-unit is a staple of “Keys to the Game,” and if the Celtics are utilizing a team offense tonight, this group will have to come through. Tonight, Jason Terry and Courtney Lee will get the largest glimpse of their defined roles that they’ve had all season. This should help to increase their production.