Celtics Set for Showdown With Surprising Suns at Garden

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November 6, 2009

Celtics Set for Showdown With Surprising Suns at Garden The Celtics are now one of just two undefeated squads left in the NBA, and they're now set for a duel with a team that just fell out of that position.

The Phoenix Suns, who started their season 4-0 before suffering an ugly 122-100 loss in Orlando, now continue their difficult road trip with a visit to Boston. It's one of the best teams in the Western Conference against a squad that looks like the East's very best. This is sure to be a good one.

When and Where

Friday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m. ET (CSNE)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

Records

Celtics (6-0, First place in Atlantic Division)
Suns (4-1, First place in Pacific Division)

Head To Head

The Celtics have won three straight meetings with the Suns. Their last loss came on Feb. 22, 2008, in Phoenix. The Celtics scored just 30 points in the entire first half of that game, and the Suns won 85-77 behind a 28-point effort from Amare Stoudemire.

Skinny

The Suns are no longer undefeated, but they're still one of the elite teams in the Western Conference. With Steve Nash still going strong at 35 and Amare Stoudemire still looking like a wizard on the offensive end, Phoenix is in business. Expect this team to hang tough with the Lakers for the Pacific Division title this season.

Projected Starters

Celtics
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins

Suns

Point guard: Steve Nash
Shooting guard: Jason Richardson
Small forward: Grant Hill
Power forward: Amare Stoudemire
Center: Channing Frye

Stat Sheet

Celtics
The Celtics have allowed 81.5 points per game, by far the lowest in the NBA. Charlotte is second with 87.5.

They have 235 total rebounds, third-most in the league.

Rajon Rondo leads the NBA with 58 assists and 17 steals.

Kendrick Perkins is tied for the lead in the NBA with 14 blocks.

Ray Allen is tied for second in the NBA with 208 minutes played.

Rasheed Wallace
has made 17 3-pointers, second-most in the NBA.

Paul Pierce is averaging 26.4 points per game against the Suns in his career.

Kevin Garnett averages 20.2 points and 11.8 rebounds against them.

Suns
The Suns have scored 111.2 points per game, second-most in the NBA.

They are fourth in the NBA with a team 3-point shooting percentage of .454.

Steve Nash is second in the NBA with 54 assists.

Channing Frye has made 15 3-pointers, fourth-most in the NBA.

Amare Stoudemire is averaging 19.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game this season.

Jason Richardson is averaging 20.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in his career against the Celtics.

Grant Hill is averaging 18.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists against them.

Black and Blue

Celtics
Tony Allen
is day-to-day with an ankle injury.

Bill Walker underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He is likely out until early December.

Glen Davis is out for two months with a broken thumb.

Suns
Leandro Barbosa missed Wednesday's game against Orlando with a sore right wrist.

Robin Lopez underwent surgery in October on his left foot. He is likely out until early December.

This Date in Celtics History

In 2004, Doc Rivers records his first victory as the Celtics' head coach. The C's beat the Knicks 107-73 at Madison Square Garden, as Paul Pierce pours in 28 points for the victors and Ricky Davis adds 20.

Overheard

"I?m just taking advantage of the opportunity that?s been given me. I?m doing the same things that I?ve done since I came into the league, but I?m getting the regular minutes now. I never got consistent minutes before I came here."
–Shelden Williams, in the Boston Herald, on his increase in playing time since the injury to Glen Davis

Press Box

Celtics
The C's held off the Timberwolves.

Shelden Williams has answered the call.

Rajon Rondo thinks outside the box.

Suns
The Magic blew out the Suns.

The Suns fear no one — not even the best.

Leandro Barbosa nears a return.

NBA
Carlos Boozer carried the Jazz.

More trouble for Donald Sterling.

Does LeBron James need the Big Apple?

Outlook

This road trip is quite the gut check for the once-undefeated Suns. All was going well for them at home, but this road swing takes them on a tour of four solid Eastern Conference teams — Orlando, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia — that will surely test them. The Celtics should consider themselves lucky. They're taking on a Phoenix team that's sure to be weakened after enduring a rigorous travel schedule. The C's are playing in the comfort of their own home, and they should be the favorites on Friday night.

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