Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
After a disappointing loss to the Heat to open the season the Celtics are looking to improve defense and communication on the way to a win in their home opener.
Milwaukee Bucks (0-0) at Boston Celtics (0-1)
Regular Season Game #2 – Home Game #1
Friday, November 2, 2012
7:30 PM ET
TV: CSN-NE, FSN-WI, NBA-LP 755(MIL)/756(BOS)
Radio: WEEI, WTMJ
Referees: Bill Spooner, David Jones, Violet Palmer
Game Thread l Chat
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After a disappointing loss to the Heat to open the season the Celtics return home looking to establish dominance at home and get their first win of the season. Defense will be a priority for the Celtics as will getting better play from the second unit.
Milwaukee has held Boston below 90 points in three of the past five meetings but has only scored an average of just 80.0 points per game over those 5 games. But that was against the Celtics team that was ranked at the top of the league for the past two seasons, not the team that allowed 120 points to the Heat in the opener. Hopefully, the Celtics will soon get back to being that defensive team again soon.
The Bucks' losing streak in the series between these two teams reached 6 games when the Celtics beat the Bucks on April 26, in a game where Rajon Rondo went scoreless but had 15 assists and the Celtics won 87-74 in a defensive struggle.
Former Celtic Marquis Daniels will return to the Garden with his new team and deserves a big hand from the fans. Opening their season on the road is nothing new for the Bucks as this is the 28th consecutive season that they have opened on the road. In this instance Milwaukee will also begin the season at the same location its previous season ended with a 74-87 loss at the Garden on April 26.
With a couple of days off to study film and try to correct the mistakes of the previous game, hopefully the Celtics will come out with a defensive mindset and play a bit more cohesively.
Probable Starting Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Brandon Jennings
Avery Bradley (shoulders) out
John Hanson (knee) questionable
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (knee) out
Joel Przybilla (ankle) probable
Rajon Rondo vs Brandon Jennings
Jennings is a good young PG who is working to make a name for himself in the league. Jennings has talked trash in every game against the Celtics. You might even remember him shouting trash at KG as he was heading to the locker room after a game in his rookie year. Rondo should look to make a statement here and win this match up in a big way.
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. He played Wade very well in the first game but was hampered by some quick and questionable foul calls by the refs. On the other end, Ellis can be a lazy defender at times and it might open up the court for Lee to get some easy shots.
Kevin Garnett vs Samuel Dalembert
KG should be able to get past Dalembert to get his shot off. I also expect KG to be fired up after the Celtics' poor showing in their first game. We may also get to see Darko in this game as he would match up well against the Bucks' centers.
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 Heat. 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.
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 and discipline on the part of each player.
Bench Play - The Celtics have a deep bench and they have some good players on the bench. Jeff Green and Jason Terry need to shake off whatever was ailing them in the last game and lead the second unit as they are capable of doing.
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 improve on pick and roll defense. Also, the second unit have to play up to expectations. Jeff Green and Jason Terry, especially have to play better than they did in the first game.
Over the past 23 seasons, veteran official Bill Spooner has worked 1,281 regular season games and 87 NBA playoff games. He officiated his first two Finals games during the 2010-11 season. In addition to his NBA experience, Spooner has seven years of collegiate officiating experience. He also has eight years of high school officiating experience in his home state of California. Spooner is the ref who failed to call Kobe's elbow to the throat of Ron Artest a couple years back, even though he was the ref in position to call it. Artest's complaints resulted in his ejection but nothing was called on Kobe in the game. The league later admitted their error and assessed Kobe a flagrant 1 for the elbow. But that didn't help Houston who had to play without Artest the rest of the game. Spooner is also the ref that was caught by a reporter telling Kurt Rambis that he would make up for a bad call he made on the other end. Spooner's home W/L record this season is 0-1. The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games with Spooner while the Bucks are 3-7 in their last 10.
Jones has officiated 1,387 regular season games and 45 playoff games throughout his 23 seasons as an NBA official. In addition, Jones officiated both the men’s and women’s 2000 Olympic Bronze Medal Games. Jones has eight years of collegiate officiating experience in the Southeastern, Trans-American Athletic, Metro and Sunshine State Conferences. He was one of the refs who helped to train Tim Donaghy and was very outspoken in condemning Donaghy's actions and felt that Donaghy's actions took the "ethics and integrity of the profession and threw them out the window." I guess he hasn't looked very hard at the current crop of refs that also lacks ethics and integrity. Jones' home W/L record this season is 1-0. The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games with Jones while the Bucks are 7-10 in their last 10 with Jones.
Violet Palmer, one of the first two female officials in the NBA, has officiated 798 regular season games and has appeared in nine playoff games over the past 15 seasons. Before joining the NBA, Palmer officiated in the WNBA during the league’s inaugural season, including the 1997 WNBA Championship. She has two years of CBA officiating experience and nine years of collegiate officiating experience, including women’s games in the Pac-10, Western Athletic, West Coast, Big Sky, and Big West Conferences, as well as five NCAA Final Fours and two NCAA Championship games. Before becoming an official, Palmer was a successful basketball player both at the collegiate and high school levels. She was a four-year letter winner at Cal. Poly Pomona, where her team won the NCAA Division II Finals in 1985 and 1986. In addition, she was on the basketball team at Compton High School. Off the court, Palmer is a CCA Manual Mechanics committee member. She also is involved with the City of Los Angeles Youth Referee Clinic in her hometown of Los Angeles. Palmer also acts as a coordinator for both the West Coast Conference and the Pac-10 Conference. At one time Violet was the worst ref in the league. In one game Cedric Maxwell was moved to urge her to go back into the kitchen because her calls were so bad. She has had Tommy close to exploding many times as well. She's improved a lot over the years and is no longer the worst ref in the league (that honor goes to Bennett Salvatore) but she's still not a great ref. Although, after getting a hug from Pierce after he ran into her in a win over the Pacers last season, the Celtics took 20 more free throws than the Pacers. The Celtics are 7-3 over their last 10 games with Violet on the court. The Bucks are 5-5 over their last 10 with Violet. Her home W/L record this season is 1-0.