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Something's got to give in tonight's matchup between Boston and Memphis; both the Celtics and Grizzlies are playing terrific basketball. The C's have won 10 straight, while the Grizz have merely defeated four of their last five opponents.
Here are three things to look for:
- Boston wings vs. Memphis wings - O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce. That's a whole lot of talent flanking the wings tonight. What should be the difference-maker: Boston's perimeter players are not only talented and efficient, but also dedicated on the defensive end. Mayo and Gay are both young, and both supremely skilled, but often bring nothing more than a lackadaisical effort on the defensive end.
- Rebounding battle - Zach Randolph is a beast to keep off the glass, and has been rebounding the ball at close to 15 boards a game in the Grizzlies recent streak. But it isn't just him; the Grizz also have Marc Gasol pounding the boards, and are outrebounding opponents by a league-best 4.95 boards per game (including a 49-26 dismantling of Miami in last night's win). The C's, meanwhile, have struggled to rebound the basketball. They'll have to have a full team effort on the glass tonight, if they intend to win the battle on the boards.
- Boston bigs - The Boston big men should have their hands full with the rebounding and scoring of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. On the other end, though, it should be open season for Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett: The Grizzlies have a porous defense, and -- on most nights -- their interior "D" might as well be two matador defenders waving red flags and screaming, "Ole."