Game 5: Celtics vs. Bucks

November, 3, 2010
11/03/10
10:00
AM ET
(3-1)   -- vs. --   (1-3)
at TD Garden, 8 p.m. | ESPN, WEEI (850 AM)

GAME PREVIEW (via Stats Inc.)
Rajon Rondo elects to set up his teammates for scoring chances instead of himself. It's providing the Boston Celtics with another strong start.

The All-Star point guard seeks an encore for a near-flawless performance when the Celtics host the sputtering Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

Through four games, Rondo is averaging 16.8 assists and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of better than 4 to 1.

"He just knows the game, knows the spots and knows how to get guys the ball and where to get them," Paul Pierce told the Celtics' official website. "He is just being a great floor general out there."

Rondo was superb in a 109-86 win over Detroit on Tuesday, finishing with 17 assists and no turnovers while scoring nine points with four steals. That effort came after he put up a triple-double with a career-high 24 assists, 10 points and 10 rebounds in a 105-101 win over New York on Friday.

"He's unbelievable. He played the perfect floor game," Pierce said after scoring 21 points Tuesday night. "He had 17 assists and no turnovers. You can't get any better than that."

Pierce and Rondo have the Celtics (3-1) off to another hot start. They're 45-9 during the first two months of the four seasons.

Rondo could be in for another big night against the Bucks (1-3). He averaged 16.8 points and 11.0 assists as the teams split four meetings last season.

Read the full preview HERE.

FORSBERG'S THREE THINGS TO WATCH
  • Young Bucks: The Celtics played their starters longer minutes than they might have liked Tuesday in Detroit, but Boston catches a slight break as the Bucks will also be coming off a back-to-back after losing to visiting Portland Tuesday. What's more, Milwaukee has come out of the gates slow, averaging a mere 87.5 points per game and Boston can lean on its defense should it find its legs weary. Yet again, the bench will be crucial in Boston's success and must not only eat minutes, but help stretch the game open when on the floor.
  • Pierce & the 20,000-point plateau: Pierce is seeking to become the 36th player in NBA history (40th if you sprinkle in the ABA numbers) to reach 20,000 points. He needs 23 points to reach the mark and would, ironically, become merely the fourth player on this Celtics' roster to reach the milestone as Shaquille O'Neal (5th all-time; 28,281 points), Kevin Garnett (22nd; 22,332), and Ray Allen (28th; 21,025) are already there. Larry Bird (25th; 21,791), Gary Payton (24th; 21,813), Robert Parish (19th; 23,334), John Havlicek (11th; 26,395), and Dominique Wilkins (10th, 26,668) are among former Celtics to reach the plateau.
  • Can J.O'Neal keep it going?: Limited by injuries and with the potential for the Celtics to again be without Shaquille O'Neal (day-to-day; right knee bruise), Jermaine O'Neal will once again be leaned on to sturdy that center position. He started to find his rhythm in Detroit, but how will his body -- deprived of full conditioning by missing parts of training camp and the regular season due to injuries -- handle the grind of back-to-back nights?
Coverage plan: Joined by colleague Peter May, we'll be live at the Garden, providing updates throughout the night.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jared Sullinger
PTS AST STL MIN
14.3 2.2 0.7 28.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsE. Turner 4.4
StealsM. Smart 1.1
BlocksK. Olynyk 0.7