Utah Jazz (4-4) at Boston Celtics (4-3)
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #8, Home Game #4
TV: CSN-NE, ROOT, NBA-LP 753
Radio: WEEI, KZNS
Referees: Mike Callahan, Eric Dalen, Brian Forte
The Celtics are seeking their first 3 game win streak of the season as they host former Celtic Al Jefferson and the Utah Jazz. The Jazz have lost 3 their last 3 games against the Celtics and have a 4 game losing streak in the Garden. The Jazz are just 1-4 on the road this season.
These teams played just one game in the lock out shortened season last year, a 94-82 Celtics win at the Garden. The Jazz are playing in the second of a 4 game road trip. They are coming off a 140-133 triple OT win over the Toronto Raptors. Up until that win, the Jazz were winless on the road, going 0-4 away from home to start the season.
The Celtics have been more effective on the road than at home so far. They are 3-1 on the road but just 1-2 at home. It's important to establish dominance at home and a win here to give them a .500 record at home will be a good start. The Celtics will be on the road Thursday to take on the Brooklyn Nets in a back to back set.
Old friend, Al Jefferson, who played his first three seasons with the Celtics before being sent to Minnesota in the Kevin Garnett trade, has never beaten his former team in nine tries despite averaging 20.9 points over his last 7 games against his old team. The Celtics will hope to keep that streak alive in this game. They also would like to get their first 3 game win streak of the season as well.
Doc has started the same lineup the past 2 games and since they won both of them, we might expect him to start the same lineup of Rondo, Terry, Pierce, Bass and KG once again. But then again, Doc has said he will change the starters according to the matchups so he may shake it up again. But I'm expecting the same lineup since they are riding a 2 game win streak with it.
PG: Rajon Rondo 15.4 PPG 12.9 APG 2.3 SPG
SG: Jason Terry 11.9 PPG 1.9 APG .375 3P%
SF: Paul Pierce 19.3 PPG 6.7 RPG 3.6 APG
PF: Brandon Bass 10.4 PPG 6.1 RPG 0.9 BPG
C: Kevin Garnett 15.9 PPG 8.1 RPG 1.0 BPG
Avery Bradley (shoulders) out
PG Mo Williams 16.9 PPG 7.4 APG 1.3 SPG
SG: Gordon Hayward 13.9 PPG 2.0 APG .280 3P%
SF Marvin Williams 10.8 PPG 4.3 RPG 0.9 APG
PF Paul Millsap 15.6 PPG 9.4 RPG 1.5 BPG
C Al Jefferson 15.3 PPG 11.5 RPG 0.9 BPG
Raja Bell not with team
Earl Watson (knee) out
Rajon Rondo vs Mo Williams
As with every game, as Rondo goes, so go the Celtics. He has been playing very well and in this game faces another veteran PG who has also been playing very well. This should be a good matchup and the Celtics will need an aggressive Rondo to get the win.
Kevin Garnett vs Al Jefferson
KG will be matched up against former Celtic Big Al Jefferson, who was a key member of the trade that brought KG to Boston. Big Al has been playing well and is a handful around the basket KG will need to go inside to defend Al around the basket. Al's defense has always been his weak link and so KG should have a good game offensively.
Brandon Bass vs Paul Millsap
Millsap is a tough matchup and has been playing well. Bass will need to up his defense to keep Millsap's scoring down and he will also need to box out as Millsap is a danger around the hoop and a good rebounder.
Keys to the Game
Defense As always, the Celtics will need to make defense a priority in this game as the Jazz have some very good scorers and the Celtics will have trouble winning a shoot out between them. The Jazz scored 140 points in their last game. We saw some signs in the last game that the Celtics defense is coming around. They need to show up defensively once again in this game.
Rebound The Celtics need to be aggressive in crashing the boards as a team. Utah is a good rebounding team, ranked 6th, pulling down 44.9 rebounds per game. The Celtics are once again ranked last with only 37.3 rebounds per game. They need to put out extra effort on the boards to limit second chance points and fast breaks for the Jazz.
Bench The Celtics second unit is still finding its way and building chemistry. The Celtics need to get contributions from their reserves. With Terry in the starting unit, others need to step up and contribute to the scoring when the starters get a rest.
Be Aggressive The Celtics need to continue where they left off in their win over the Bulls by being the more aggressive team. Sometimes the Celtics play passive and when they do, they always struggle and always seem to pick up a lot more fouls. The Celtics must be aggressive and go strong to the basket, go after loose balls and crash the boards.
The Celtics are 1-2 at home and they need to establish themselves at home so that teams fear coming into the Garden. Home court is only an advantage when the team plays better at home. They need to feed off of the crowd to motivate them to the win.
A veteran of 22 NBA seasons, Mike Callahan has officiated 1,315 regular season, 122 playoff and 12 NBA Finals games. He was a member of the crews that officiated the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, 1994 Mexico Challenge and the 1996 Schick Rookie Game. Prior to joining the NBA, Callahan spent three years officiating in the CBA, including the 1989 and 1990 CBA Finals. A member of the Cardinal O’Hara High School basketball team for four years, Callahan also coached the freshman basketball team after graduating. Callahan has run a clinic for referees called "Hoops4Heros" that benefits local fire departments and maintains strong ties to the Philadelphia community through his volunteer work with the Don Guanella School for developmentally disabled boys. Callahan is one of 4 refs to come out of Cardinal O'Hara High School in Pennsylvania. The other 3 are Joey Crawford, Ed Malloy and Tim Donaghy. Callahan was one of the referees mentioned in an incident in Tim Donaghy's book. He and other refs would regularly wager with their fellow refs over things like who would call the first foul, who could give out the first tech, etc. Makes you wonder what game they might be playing tonight. The Celtics are 7-3 over their last 10 games with Callahan officiating. He was one of the refs who officiated Game 7 of the ECF last season. He also called an 88-79 loss to Philly in the preseason. The Jazz are 1-9 over their last 10 with Callahan on the court. He usually lets the teams play and isn't a tyrant with the whistle. He isn't easily influenced by the home crowd with a home W/L record this season of 1-5.
Eric Dalen officiated 223 regular season games in his first four NBA seasons. Prior to the NBA, Dalen worked for five seasons in the NBA Development League and officiated the 2008 D-League All Star Game and the Finals. He also officiated for three years in the Southeastern Conference. Dalen was a two-year letter winner at the University of Minnesota where he played tight end for the football team. I couldn't find much on the guy other than an article where Andrew Bynum was complaining about Dalen calling all 6 fouls on him in a game in 2008. He called 4 games for the Celtics last season. The first 3 were well officiated. But in the fourth, a loss to Chicago, the Bulls shot 28 free throws to 14 for the Celtics and the officiating was terrible. The Bulls shot 9 free throws before the Celtics shot 1 in spite of a lot of contact and no calls on behalf of the Bulls. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games with Dalen. The Jazz are also 7-3 in their last 10 games with Dalen officiating. His home W/L record this season is 3-3.
Brian Forte, who is the son of retired NBA referee Joe Forte, has officiated 275 regular season games in five NBA seasons. He also officiated the 2011 NBA All-Star Rookie/Sophmore game and was selected as an alternate for last seasons playoffs. He worked for six seasons in the NBA Development League, officiating 126 games. During that time he worked two NBA Development League Finals. He also officiated in several college conferences, including the Southern Conference, where he officiated the 2007 conference tournament final, and the Southeastern Conference, where he was selected to officiate the 2007 conference tournament. Forte also was selected to officiate the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Forte was the object of Tommy's wrath in the classic rant that follows (the T was later rescinded). The officiating in that game was bad both ways.
Forte was one of the refs along with Eddie F Rush that officiated a Celtics win in Indiana last season. The officiating in that game was horrible and very one sided toward the Pacers. One of the comments from the Pacers' forum said that they wouldn't blame Celtics fans if they punched out the refs. Tommy also had this to say, "I hope this group of officials doesn't officiate the playoffs. Holy cow! They are terrible." The Celtics are 8-2 over their last 10 games with Forte as a ref. The Jazz are 4-6 over their last 10 games with Forte. His home W/L record this season is 4-2.