The Celtics will try to climb back to .500 once again as they visit the Bucks. The Celtics lost to the Bucks in their home opener and now will seek to avenge that loss. The Bucks have been surprising this season, getting off to a strong 3-1 start, including a win on the road against the Celtics to open the season.
Both teams are playing in the second of back to back games and both teams will be traveling. The Celtics are coming off a 6 point loss to the Sixers at home. The Bucks are coming off a 10 point win vs the Wizards in Washington. Fatigue could be a factor for the Celtics veteran players.
The Celtics defense is once again coming under fire as they allowed the Philly, who were the worst scoring team coming in, to score 106 points. The Bucks are averaging 98 points a game and so the Celtics need to clamp down on defense if they hope to get past the Bucks in this game.
The Celtics have the pieces to be very good but they just can't seem to put it together. A win in this game would go a long way toward calming the fears and anxiety of Celtics fans. A loss on the other hand could lead to panic among the masses.
Probable Starting Matchups
Avery Bradley (shoulders) out
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (knee) out
Beno Udrih (quad) probable
Rajon Rondo vs Brandon Jennings
Jennings won the matchup in the first meeting between these two teams. He scored 21 points on 9-17 shooting to go with 13 assists while Rondo finished with 14 points and 11 assists. Jennings seemed to get whatever he wanted in that game as the Celtics simply could not stop the pick and roll. Rondo needs to step up a bit more in this game, especially on the defensive end.
Courtney Lee vs Monta Ellis
Ellis is capable of putting a lot of points on the board and CLee needs to clamp down defensively to try to contain him. Lee defended Ellis well in their first meeting, holding him to 14 points. Lee has been struggling on the offensive end, however and hopefully can find his stroke soon along with continuing to play tough defense on Ellis.
Kevin Garnett vs Samuel Dalembert
Dalembert scored just 2 points in the first game between these two teams while KG scored 15. Hopefully that pattern continues in this game.
Keys to the Game
DEFENSE! - The Celtics must tighten up their defense, especially on the pick and roll. They allowed way too many easy points against the Bucks in the home opener. Hopefully we will see the tough defense that we have come to expect from them. The Bucks can put up a lot of points and they also defend well so the Celtics must play tough defense if they want to get this win.
Rebound - The Celtics must crash the boards to prevent the Bucks from getting second chance points. Rebounding is all about effort and when the Celtics put out the effort on the boards that effort seems to carry over into all the other areas of their game. Failure to rebound will result in a failure to win. The Celtics were outrebounded 46 to 36 in their first meeting.
Limit Turnovers- The Celtics turn the ball over way too much. They make careless passes. They lose track of their defender and lose the ball to them. They dribble into traffic and lose the handle. All of this could be fixed with more focus on the part of each player. The Celtics need to turn it over fewer than the 18 times they did in the home opener against this team.
Bench Play - The Celtics have a deep bench and they have some good players on the bench however, they are a work in progress as the try to develop chemistry. Players have been up and down but we have seen some nice things from Jet and Chris Wilcox and Bass in the past couple of games. Hopefully they have a strong outing in this one.
Defense and Bench Play
The Celtics need to get back to their defensive priorities that they have become known for since KG joined the team. They need to especially be more consistent on pick and roll defense. Also, the second unit has to find their chemistry and be more consistent.
A veteran official of 18 NBA seasons, Scott Foster has worked 1,124 regular season and 94 playoff games, including eight Finals games during his career. He was a member of the crew that officiated the 1996 Europe Tour in Berlin, Germany and Seville, Spain. In addition to his NBA experience, Foster has two years of CBA officiating experience, two years of collegiate officiating experience in the Southern and Big South conferences and six years of high school officiating experience in Maryland. Foster came into the public eye as the best friend of former referee Tim Donaghy. In his book, Donaghy describes Foster as a very honest and good guy who knew nothing of his gambling. However, recently Donaghy described Foster as a company man who will do what is asked of him to keep his seniority among refs. Foster was part of the 2010 Finals game 7 officiating crew that called the final quarter completely different than the first 3 quarters and very one sided for the Lakers with 21 free throws for the Lakers and 6 for the Celtics in the final 12 minutes. The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games with Foster on the court. Foster called a 107-75 loss to Philly in the preseason this year. The Bucks are 4-6 with Foster in their last 10 games. His home W/L record this season is 3-2. Foster as a lead ref can be very good but he can also be very bad.
Pat Fraher has officiated 667 regular season NBA games and 11 Playoff games entering his 12th season. Prior to joining the NBA, Fraher officiated for seven years in the CBA, where he worked the CBA Finals and All-Star game. In addition, Fraher spent four years with the WNBA, where he officiated playoff games in both the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Finals. Fraher also has two years of collegiate officiating experience with the NSIC and 10 years of experience as a high school official in his home state of Minnesota. He attended the University of Minnesota where he was awarded the Evans Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. While at Hastings High School, Fraher was a member of the football, basketball and golf teams.The Celtics are 5-5 over their last 10 games with Fraher. The Bucks are 7-3 over their last 10 games officiated by Fraher. He is a known as a homer ref with a W/L record this season of 3-1.
Eli Roe has officiated 390 regular season games during his first seven NBA seasons. Prior to joining the NBA staff, Roe officiated in the CBA, NBA Development League and WNBA. He officiated in the NBA D-League Finals for two years, the D-League playoffs for four years and the WNBA Playoffs for two years. At the collegiate level, Roe refereed in the SEC, ASUN and OVC conferences and numerous Division II and III, NAIA and Juco league games. He also worked in four Division I postseason conference tournaments. Roe tends to be inconsistent in his calls and can make the calls favor a team on any given night. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games with Roe. The Bucks are 5-5 in their last 10 games with Roe. His home W/L record this season is 1-1.