Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
The Celtics face the very new look Magic for the first time in the post Dwight Howard era.
Boston Celtics (7-6) at OrlandoMagic (5-7)
Sunday, November 25, 2012
6:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #14, Road Game #7
TV: CSNNE, FSFL, NBA-LP 756(BOS)/757(ORL)
Radio: WEEI, WDBO
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Michael Smith, Josh Tiven
Game Thread l Chat
Boston Celtics Tickets
The Celtics face the very new look Magic for the first time in the post Dwight Howard era. Big Baby is now the leader of this team and will look to be aggressive and get a win against his former team. The Celtics have to be aggressive and have to play team ball. They can't look at the Magic's record and play down to them because they are still very capable of getting a win if the Celtics come out passively.
The Magic are a good home team with 4 wins and 2 losses at the Amway Center. The Celtics started off strong on the road but are now just 3-3 away from the Garden. The Celtics are looking for their second straight win while the Magic are looking to win their 3rd straight game. The Celtics swept the series 3-0 last season.
Both teams are struggling to integrate several new players and fill in for others that have left the team. The Celtics are 4th in the Atlantic division while the Magic are 4th in the Southwest division. This is the first of 3 games between these two teams with one game in Boston and another on the road in Orlando.
The Celtics need to continue with the same mindset that they had against the Thunder. They have to be aggressive. They have to set the pace. And they have to play defense. The second unit also must contribute as they did in the last game. If they do all of those things, I like their chances for a win.
If Rondo garners 10 or more assists in this game, he will tie John Stockton for 2nd all time with 37 straight games with double digits in assists. Watch for him to pass early and often.
Probable Starting Matchups
Rajon Rondo 13.3 PPG, 13.5 APG, 1.9 SPG
Jameer Nelson 11.7 PPG, 6.7 APG, 1.5 SPG
Jason Terry 11.5 PPG, 1.7 APG, ..426 3P%
Arron Afflalo 15.3 PPG, 2.2 APG, .390 3P%
Paul Pierce 19.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.8 APG
Maurice Harkless 4.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.7 APG
Brandon Bass 9.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 0.9 BPG
Glen Davis 14.9 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 0.3 BPG
Kevin Garnett 15.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 0.9 BPG
Nikola Vucevic 10.2 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 1.1 BPG
Avery Bradley (shoulders) out
Hedo Turkoglu (hand) out
Al Harrington (knee) out
Brandon Bass vs Glen Davis
These two players were traded for each other and have each switched roles on their respective teams. Bass was a reserve in Orlando and became a starter for the Celtics. Big Baby was a reserve for the Celtics and now is a starter for the Magic. Going head to head, I'm sure they will each be looking to get the better of the matchup.
Rajon Rondo vs Jameer Nelson
Rondo has been facing some tough competition in recent games. From Tony Parker to Russell Westbrook and now to Jameer Nelson. Rondo has been playing very well and the Celtics need him to be aggressive and set the pace every time out if they expect to win. Rondo can tie John Stockton for 2nd place if he tallies double figures in assists in this game.
Paul Pierce vs Moe Harkless
This could be the Celtics best matchup as Harkless doesn't look to score a lot and so Pierce won't be worn down on the defensive end and may be more efficient on the offensive end because of it. Pierce catches a break as his old nemesis, Hedo Turkoglu is out with an injury.
Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense is the key to winning. Period. The Celtics showed signs of their defense coming together vs the Thunder after two games where they played no defense whatsoever. Orlando has been playing good defense and are ranked 7th allowing 93.5 points on 44% shooting. The Celtics are ranked 19th, allowing 99.3 points on 46% shooting. The Celtics need to commit to playing defense and make that their priority in each and every game.
Rebound - The Celtics did better on the boards against the Thunder, being out-rebounded by just 4 by a very good rebounding team. The Magic are 18th with 41.46 rebounds per game while the Celtics are still last with 35.85 rebounds per game. The Celtics have to do better as a team aggressively going after rebounds. Much of rebounding is effort and when the Celtics put out the effort on the boards, that effort translates to the rest of their game as well.
Be Aggressive - The Celtics have to be aggressive from start to finish. They have to take the ball to the hoop and not settle for jumpers, especially if the jumpers aren't falling. They also have to be aggressive in going after loose balls and rebounds as well. And most important, they have to be aggressive on defense. If they play timidly in the least or show any weakness, the Magic will take advantage of it.
Bench Play - One of the reasons that the Celtics were able to beat the Thunder was the play of their bench. The Celtics need Green, Lee, Sully, Wilcox, and Barbosa to once again contribute on both ends of the court. Green especially must step up once again.
Aggressiveness and Defense
If the Celtics are aggressive and set the pace and play aggressive defense as they did against the Thunder, they should come out of this with a win. Hopefully they won't regress to the passive team we saw against the Spurs.
Entering the 2012-13 NBA eason, Bavetta has officiated 2,546 consecutive regular season games and 259 playoff games, including 27 Finals games, never having missed an assigned game throughout his entire career. He was a member of the officiating crew that worked the 1989, 1995 and 2006 NBA All-Star Games, 1997 McDonald’s Championship in Paris, 1993 Mexico Challenge, 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and 1990 Japan Games in Tokyo. Prior to joining the NBA, Bavetta was an official with the Eastern League (CBA) for nine years, and he has also officiated in the Rucker League, FIBA, Jersey Shore Basketball League, as well as both the Public and Catholic High School leagues in New York City. Bavetta attended St. Francis College in Brooklyn. He is a member of the New York City Catholic High School Hall of Fame. He added to his personal honors when he received the National Pro-Am Lifetime Achievement Award and also was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.
There is no shortage of controversy surrounding Bavetta. He was singled out in Tim Donaghy's book for being a "company man" and carrying out league agendas in games. Bavetta also likes to keep games close and will often make a lot of calls against a team that pulls out to a lead to keep the game more exciting. After watching a game where Bavetta has officiated, it's very easy to believe Donaghy's claims.
He was left off the playoff roster the last two seasons and there were rumors of a forced retirement but here he is back again for another season. In his off time, Bavetta doubles as the Crypt Keeper. The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games with Bavetta on the court. The Magic are 1-0 this season and 5-5 in their last 10 games with Bavetta. His home W/L record is 7-2.
A winner of the Vanguard Club Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the field of sports, NBA veteran official Michael Smith has officiated 1,131 regular season and 31 playoff games, as well as the 1997 Schick Rookie Game, the 2000 Mexico Challenge and the 2003 NBA Europe Games. In addition to his 19 seasons of NBA officiating experience, Smith has five years of CBA officiating experience and eight years of collegiate officiating experience in the Big Ten, SEC and Conference USA. Smith also has 10 years of high school officiating experience and was a member of the crew that officiated the 1990 McDonald’s High School All-America Game. Smith’s athletic experience includes playing basketball and baseball at South Side High School in Memphis,Tenn.
The Celtics are 6-4 over their last 10 games with Smith. Smith called game 2 vs the Sixers in last year's playoffs and the officiating was terrible. They called it fairly evenly through the first 3 quarters, letting a lot of contact go. Then in the 4th quarter they started calling everything on the Celtics. The Celtics ended with 9 free throws to 21 for the Sixers. They called an offensive foul on KG with 10 seconds left that was a terrible call and gave the game to the Sixers. The Magic are 0-1 this season and 6-4 over their last 10 games with Smith. Smith was one of the referees Mark Cuban received a $75,000 fine for criticizing in an OKC/Mavs game last season. His home W/L record is 9-2.
Joshua Tiven is entering his third NBA season having officiated 109 NBA games. Tiven has seven years of NCAA officiating experience, as well as two years of WNBA officiating experience and two seasons of WNBA Playoff experience. He also has worked three NBA D-League Finals, as well as the 2007-08 NBA D-League All-Star Game.
The Celtics are 0-1 this season and 5-5 over their last 10 games with Tiven. One loss last season was in Houston where Tiven and crew were so bad that they actually caused Tommy to swear on the air over their falling for flops. The loss this season was New York in OT in the preseason in which the Knicks shot 38 free throws to 33 for the Celtics. The Magic are 3-5 in their only games with Tiven over the past 2 seasons. Tiven lives in Connecticut and he has a twin brother who is a big Celtics fan and was shown in the crowd at the Garden in a game he officiated there. His home W/L record this season is 7-1.