Celtics visit Division rival Nets

David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

The Celtics are looking for their 4th straight win as they visit the new Barclays Center.

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Boston Celtics (5-3) at Brooklyn Nets (4-2)
Thursday, November 15. 2012
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #9, Road Game #5
TV: TNT, NBAC
Radio: WEEI, WFAN
Barclays Center
Referees: Tony Brothers, John Goble, Scott Wall


Game Thread l Chat


Boston Celtics Tickets




The Celtics take on divisional rival Brooklyn Nets. Both teams have a new look since the Celtics swept the series last season. Both teams are 1.5 games behind the undefeated Knicks in the Atlantic Division. The Celtics are percentage points behind the Nets and in 3rd place. The Celtics have played 2 more games but the Nets have lost one fewer.

The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games, having beaten at home against the Jazz on Wednesday night. This is also the 2nd of 4 games in 5 nights. The Nets have been off since Tuesday night. The second unit came through for the Celtics vs the Jazz, allowing Doc to limit the starter's minutes.

However, Rondo rolled his ankle in the 3rd quarter and is listed as day to day. I'm leaving him in the starting lineup because I don't know what lineup Doc will start if Rondo can't go. It's hard to tell what lineup he'll start anyway, let alone if Rondo can't go. So, I'm leaving the same starters as we had in the past 3 wins. That is the starting lineup listed in the game notes, so I'll go with it.

These two teams split a pair of preseason games with the Nets winning 97-96 at the Garden and the Celtics winning 115-85 in their very first ever trip to the Barclays Center. The Nets are 3-1 at home while the Celtics are 3-1 on the road. Both teams have won 3 in a row and at the end of the night, one team will have a 4 game win streak. Hopefully it will be the Celtics.

Probable Starters

PG SG SF PF C

PG: Rajon Rondo

SG: Jason Terry

SF: Paul Pierce

PF: Brandon Bass

C: Kevin Garnett


Celtics Reserves

Jared Sullinger

Jason Collins

Jeff Green

Courtney Lee

Leandro Barbosa

Chris Wilcox

Darko Milicic


Injuries

Avery Bradley (shoulders) out

Rajon Rondo (ankle) day to day


Red Claws

Fab Melo

Kris Joseph

Probable Starters

PG SG SF PF C

PG: Deron Williams

SG: Joe Johnson

SF: Keith Bogans

PF: Kris Humphries

C: Brook Lopez

Nets Reserves

CJ Watson

Josh Childress

Mirza Teletovic

Reggie Evans

Tomike Shengelia

Jerry Stackhouse

Tyshaun Taylor

Injuries

MarShon Brooks (foot) probable

Gerald Wallace (ankle) day to day

Andray Blatche (head) questionable


Key Matchups

vs

Rajon Rondo vs Deron Williams

Rondo loves playing against the other top PG's in the league. He also loves national TV games. Expect a big game from him as this game has both and he'll be at his best.

vs

Jason Terry vs Joe Johnson

Jason Terry has been praised by Doc for his defense this season and he's going to have to play defense as he faces Joe Johnson, who is capable of putting points on the board in a hurry. On the other side, Johnson hasn't been a lock down defender and Jet should be able to get his points.

Honorable Mention

Kevin Garnett vs Brook Lopez

Lopez has been playing very well, averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. This might be a good game for the Celtics to give some minutes to Darko or Jason Collins to defend and wear down Lopez a bit.


Keys to the Game

Defense - The Celtics need to continue to tighten up their defense, especially in transition and on the pick and roll. It is their defense that is going to set them apart from the rest of the league.

Bench Play - The Celtics need their reserves to continue to find their chemistry and to produce. The Celtics starters can't carry the team and still be fresh at the end of the game.

Rebound - The Celtics need to crash the boards in order to limit New Jersey's fast break points and second chance points. When they put out the effort to win the battle of the boards, that often translates to the rest of their game.

X-Factors

Back to Back + Rondo's Status

The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games on the road. So far they are 2-0 in that situation, but in the past, they have struggled in the second of back to back games, especially on the road. Hopefully they can continue this season's success in this game. Another factor will be Rondo's status. Obviously, the Celtics' chances are better if Rondo plays.

Official Report

Tony Brothers

Tony Brothers is entering his 19th season as an NBA official and has officiated 1,093 regular season games and 61 playoff games during his career. Brothers made his first NBA Finals appearance during the 2011-12 season. He was a member of the crew that officiated the 1996 Mexico Challenge, 1998 Schick Rookie Game, 1999 McDonald’s Championship in Milan, Italy and the 2008 China Games. Prior to joining the NBA, Brothers spent four years officiating in the CBA, including three CBA Finals and a CBA All-Star Game. He has one year of collegiate officiating experience at the Junior College level. Brothers also has seven years of high school officiating experience in Virginia, including three state tournaments. As a way of honoring his late mother and to give back to his community, Brothers operates Sassy Properties, an organization dedicated to providing quality and affordable housing for disadvantaged families. He is also a board member of BillBro, an organization that provides scholarships for women and minorities. In 1994 he started a mentor program in the Tidewater, Va. schools. There are several articles about what a terrible ref Brothers is and detailing his misdeeds. He has angered a lot of fans of just about every team because of bad calls, no calls, and one sided officiating. The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games with Brothers on the court, including the 115-85 over the Nets in the preseason. The Nets are 1-9 with Brothers in their last 10. His home W/L record this season is 4-2.

John Goble

John Goble enters his fifth season having officiated 314 regular season games and 13 playoff games. He also officiated the 2010 NBA All- Star Rookie/Sophmore game. Prior to working in the NBA, Goble officiated 104 games over four seasons in the NBA Development League and was selected to officiate the 2007 NBA D-League Finals. He also officiated in several college conferences, including the Southeastern Conference, where he was a tournament official in 2006 and 2007, and the Sunshine State Conference. Goble received a Bachelors degree in Physical Education from Florida International University, and worked as an account executive and a teacher before joining the NBA. Seems odd that Goble already has worked the playoffs with just 4 years of experience and others have been in the league 12 years or more and haven't cracked the playoff rotation yet. The Celtics are 7-3 over their last 10 games that Goble has officiated. The officiating was fairly even in all 3 games he called last season. The Nets are 2-8 in their last 10 games with Goble. His home W/L record this season is 4-2.

Scott Wall

The son of former USA Basketball Director Bill Wall, Scott Wall has officiated 950 regular season games and seven playoff games over his 17 NBA seasons. In addition to his NBA experience, Wall has four years of officiating experience for USA Basketball, four years of collegiate officiating experience in the Atlantic Coast, Ohio Valley, and Trans America Athletic Conferences, and five years of high school officiating experience in Kansas and Alabama. The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games with Wall. The Nets 2-8 in their last 10 games with Wall on the court. His home W/L record this season is 3-2

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