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Game Preview: Celtics vs. Timberwolves (10/10)

The Celtics, fresh off a win in their first preseason contest of the 2007-2008 season, will head West from Rome to London, England, to take on a familiar foe in the Minnesota Timberwolves. Why familiar? Well, the T-Wolves’ roster carries seven former Celtics players (Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Mark Blount, Ricky Davis). To add to the hype, the teams will play in the brand-new 02 Arena in London.

This will be one of three meetings between the two teams this season, with this meeting coming overseas and the remaining two being split between Minnesota and Boston. Minnesota is officially listed as the home team for the game tomorrow night.

What They Said
Kevin Garnett:

“We’re going out to win the game. It’s kill or be killed. They’re going to play hard. It’s going to be a competitive game.”

Al Jefferson:

“We’ve got some work to do. The coach is doing a great job of getting us together. When they traded KG, they got five good players, a real good group of players. This is going to be a really good team.”

Key Matchup
Kevin Garnett vs. Al Jefferson

  • This will be the focus of the media and fans alike. Jefferson all offseason insisted that the Celtics did not need any big men, that he and Perkins were more than enough. He seemed hurt when it was highly publicized that the team wanted Greg Oden or Kevin Durant in the draft. He was even more hurt when he was traded along with four of his teammates for 10-time all-star Kevin Garnett. Jefferson could be a future all-star, but in the present he isn’t quite at the level of Garnett. Expect this to be a nice battle down low.

Important Injuries
Boston: Tony Allen (knee) should play. Scot Pollard (ankle) will not play, as he is back in the U.S. after an MRI revealed a bone bruise and soft tissue inflammation.

Minnesota: No notable injuries.

Prediction
The Celtics should have no trouble with the Wolves. Doc Rivers should be very familiar with half the T-Wolves’ roster with a knowledge of certain strengths and weaknesses. Now, I’m not suggesting that Doc’s coaching is vitally important to the team, but I think it could make a difference in this game.
Final Prediction: Celtics by 6.

(editor’s note: The Celtics Four-Point Play column that usually appears on Wednesday will appear on Thursday instead due to preseason game coverage)

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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