Celtics: Milwaukee-Boston Home Opener Game Preview

David O'Connor@@DavidSOConnorContributor IINovember 2, 2012

Rajon Rondo
Rajon RondoJared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics home opener takes place on Friday night when the Milwaukee Bucks become the first team to visit the TD Garden this season.

While the rivalry between the Bucks and Celtics isn't exactly historic, emotions will be running high.

Boston comes into the game with a loss on its record, having lost its season opener to the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

Following the Heat's 120-107 win, the Celtics made it clear they weren't overly enthusiastic about their game.

“There’s no way we should give up (120) points no matter what type of defensive scheme we run. We might as well sit on the sideline and watch them run up and down the court if we’re going to give up 120 points," said Boston captain Paul Pierce.

It will be Milwaukee's first regular-season game tonight, meaning it won't just be the Celtics who are all pumped up and ready to go.

Odds are in favor of the Celtics taking home a victory tonight. In order for the Bucks to come out with the win, they'd need to keep their emotions in check. But of course, they'll want to come out strong early to hush the packed arena.

Milwaukee will get quite a challenge in its first game of the season. However, it will be a terrific test for the Bucks going up against a team like the Celtics, a squad that always seems to be in the mix for a championship.

"Look, they're one of the handful of teams that has a chance to win this (NBA) title, and to go in there opening night, no question it's a big challenge," Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


Players to Watch

  • Rajon Rondo: The Celtics point guard will be looking to establish himself as one of the league's elite this season. Rondo started the season against Miami with 20 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds. All signs point to a monster year.


  • Brandon Jennings: Coming into this season, reports have suggested Jennings could be on his way out in the near future. In the Bucks' first game, he'll be looking to prove his value.


  • Brandon Bass: He's a big man, and everybody can see it. What everyone cannot see is his value. Since being acquired from the Orlando Magic, Bass has shown he's not just a backup. In fact, Bass is blooming into one of the league's better forwards.


  • Ersan Ilyasova: American Thanksgiving is approaching, meaning it's time for the native of Turkey to get hot. Ilyasova's one of the more underrated forwards around. Expect big things from him this season.


"Nobody wants to start the season 0-2. We're going to have to play very, very well, there's no doubt about that," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said when asked about tonight's game.

Having lost Ray Allen to the Heat over the summer, the Celtics lost a core member of their "Big Three." However, it's now Rondo's time to shine.

“He’s in a different category from the rest of us,’’ former Celtic Nate Archibald said after witnessing Rondo’s breakout performance last season. “He’s amazing.’’

Milwaukee is generally viewed as the inferior team, but don't be surprised if the Bucks come out flying tonight. They have two very capable scorers in Monta Ellis and Jennings, as well as a handful of established veterans. Among them is recently named co-captain Dunleavy.

The TD Garden will be loud and proud tonight. Bring your game face, Celtics fans. There's going to be an intense matchup of both defense and offense in Boston this evening.

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