Celtics Visit Warriors - Short Handed vs Short Handeder

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Boston Celtics (22-19) at Golden State Warriors (18-21)
Wednesday, March 14
10:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #42, Road Game #18
TV: CSN-NE, CSN-BA, NBA LP 767/768 (DTV)
Radio: WEEI, KNBR
Oracle Arena
Referees: James Capers, Tony Brown, Haywoode Workman


Game Thread
l Chat


This is the first and only time the Celtics will face the Warriors this season. The Celtics are 1-1 so far on their road trip and are hoping to be 2-1 after this game. They face a young and athletic team for the second game in a row. Just before game time last night, the Warriors pulled off a trade that took their team by surprise. But the remaining players rallied and pulled off a 115-89 win over the Kings.

The Celtics com into the game winners of 7 of their last 10 games while the Warriors have won 6 of their last 10. The Celtics are 6-11 on the road while the Warriors are 10-10 at home. The Celtics had Tuesday off while the Warriors played Tuesday night in Sacramento. The Warriors are 6-3 in the second of back to back games. The Celtics are looking for their second straight win while the Warriors have won their last 3 games.

Both teams will be playing short handed and with the trade deadline hanging over their heads. The Warriors have made one big trade. Will they make another? The Celtics have been hearing rumors of just about every one of them being on the block at one time or another. It's an unsettling time both both teams. It would be a big mistake for the Celtics to expect this to be an easy game because the Warriors just traded their top scorer. They played well and beat Sacramento and are just as capable of beating the Celtics if they should slack off and expect an easy win.

One day away from the trade deadline, I expect the Celtics to play like they want to show that they can still win with the core that they have. To begin this road trip, the Celtics almost won the first game and then won the second in spite of playing a lot of small ball by necessity and playing in the second of back to back games on the road.

With Atlanta's loss last night, the Celtics are just 1.5 games out of the 6th spot and just 2.5 games behind Philly in the Atlantic division. With a little help in the middle, the Celtics could be a dangerous playoff team. The Warriors are 3.5 games back of the 8th spot in the West but judging by the trade just made, they are looking to next year and will be playing for a lottery spot. But, as last night's game shows, the Celtics shouldn't look at them as an easy pushover.

This game will be the classic offense versus defense battle. The Warriors are 9th in scoring putting up 97.8 point per game. The Celtics are all the way down at 26, scoring just 91 points per game. But on the defensive end, the Celtics rank 3rd, allowing just 89.8 ppg on 42% shooting. The Warriors allow 99.6 points per game on 46% shooting. Defense should win out if the Celtics bring their usual defensive intensity as a team.

In spite of being short handed, the Celtics have a good chance of winning this game if they come out focused and play team basketball on both ends of the court. But who knows, by the time these teams make the court tonight they could have been traded for each other and this entire preview will be obsolete. I hate the trade deadline.

Probable Starters

PG Rajon Rondo 13.9 PPG, 4,8 RPG, 10.0 APG, 1.7 SPG

SG Ray Allen 14.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.7 APG, .475 3P%

SF Paul Pierce 18.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 5.2 APG .430 FG%

PF Brandon Bass 11.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.9 BPG

C Kevin Garnett 14.9 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.1 BPG

Reserves

Greg Stiemsma

Marquis Daniels

Sasha Pavlovic

Mickael Pietrus

Avery Bradley

JaJuan Johnson

E'Twaun Moore

Keyon Dooling


Injuries

Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) out

Chris Wilcox (cardiac) out

Ray Allen (ankle) probable

Greg Stiemsma (foot) probable

Probable Starters

PG Nate Robinson 9.8 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.0 SPG

SG Klay Thompson 8.0 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, .464 3P%

SF Dorrell Wright 9.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, .404FG%

PF David Lee 19.1 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.4 BPG

C Andris Biedrins 1.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 0.2 APG, 1.0 BPG

Reserves

Dominic McGuire

Brandon Rush

Nate Robinson

Charles Jenkins

Jeremy Tyler

Chris Wright

Injuries

Stephen Curry (ankle) day to day

Traded

Kwame Brown

Monta Ellis

Ekpe Udoh

Incoming

Andrew Bogut (ankle) out

Stephen Jackson (out pending physical)

Key Matchups

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Rajon Rondo vs Nate Robinson

Stephen Curry has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury. He went through shoot around yesterday, and was expected to start against the Kings. With the trade going on, it's possible that the Warriors have decided to give Curry time to heal completely before playing him. Of course, they could also decide to play him tonight but my guess is that they will keep him out. If Nate starts, this should be an interesting match up between two former teammates.

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Brandon Bass vs David Lee

Lee is a tough player and isn't above playing rough and dirty. Bass goes from one tough player in Griffin to another in Lee. Lee is leading his team in rebounding and so Bass needs to box him out and deny him position for rebounds and especially tip ins and put backs. Lee plays hard every game and Bass needs to match his intensity.

Honorable Mention

Kevin Garnett vs Andris Biedrins

With the trade of Udoh to the Bucks, Biedrins is once again in the starting lineup. He's been playing just 15 minutes per game this season and KG should have the advantage in this matchup.

Keys to the Game

Defense - The Warriors can put up points quickly and in bunches. It will be important for the Celtics to bring their defensive intensity into this game, especially to shut down the Warriors' fast breaks since they are among the league leaders in that category. The Celtics must especially guard the perimeter as the Warriors are 3rd in the league in 3 point shooting percentage.

Rebound - The Celtics need to crash the boards to keep the Warriors from igniting their fast breaks. The Celtics also need to rebound to give themselves second chance points and limit the second chance points for the Warriors. Also, the Warriors win 70% of their games in which they win the battle of the boards.

Take Care of the Ball - The Warriors can be very disruptive by getting into the passing lanes. They are 10th in the league in steals and 8th in blocks. The Celtics need to stay focused and not give the Warriors any easy opportunities to steal the ball or to get out on the break.

48 Minutes Effort - The Celtics need to come out focused and take control of the game from the beginning. The Warriors are undefeated when they lead by double digits at the end of the first quarter. The Celtics can't afford to let themselves get down and then try to climb back in because the Warriors don't give up big leads very easily.

Official Report

James Capers

The son of former NBA official James Capers Sr., who was a ref for 22 years, James Capers has officiated 969 regular season games and 44 playoff games during his 16-season NBA career. In addition to his NBA experience, Capers

has six years of CBA officiating experience, including three CBA Finals and two CBA All-Star Games. Capers was the recipient of the 1998 Monarch Award as Chicago Sportsman of the Year for his career and community achievements. Capers also conducts NBA Read to Achieve programs at two Chicago Public schools. He has also volunteered to train referees for the Philippines basketball association. I've seen several posts from Lakers fans who swear he hates the Lakers. I kind of like this guy. The Celtics are 1-0 with Capers this season after a 100-64 win over the Raptors. The Celtics shot 12 free throws to 18 for the Raptors, but the game was well officiated. They are 6-4 over their last 10 games with Capers. The Warriors are 0-3 this season and 2-8 over their last 10 games. His home W/L record this season is 17-13.

Tony Brown

C's going for 5th straight win, Pierce going for history

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Charlotte Bobcats (3-21) at Boston Celtics (13-10)

Tuesday, February 7

7:30 PM ET

Regular Season Game #24 Home Game #16

TV: CSN-NE, SSO-CHA, NBA-LP 753/754

Radio: WEEI, WPNZ

TD Garden Buy Tickets

Referees: Jason Phillips, Tony Brown, Haywoode Workman

This is the first meeting between these two teams. The Bobcats have lost 11 games in a row and with just 3 wins on the season, to say they are struggling is an understatement. The Celtics have won their last 4 and 8 of their last 9 and are finally looking like a contender once again.

There will be some drama in this game as Paul Pierce needs just 10 points to move past Larry Bird as the Celtics 2nd all time scorer. I'm sure that the fans, and maybe even Pierce himself, will be counting the points until he reaches that milestone. Hopefully it won't derail the team's focus on getting the win.

Defense has been the key for the Celtics, who have the second-best scoring defense in the league at 86.7 points per game. Since the Bobcats are only averaging 83 points per game, the Celtics should have no problem holding them to their average. The key for the Celtics is to play their game and not play down to the competition.

Last season, the Bobcats beat the Celtics in their last two meetings, holding them under 90 point in both games. The three teams that the Bobcats beat this season are the Warriors, Knicks and Bucks (with Bogut). They are capable of beating any team that takes them for granted and expects to win without putting out the effort. The Celtics must play their game and play them tough regardless of their record.

Probable Starters

PG SG SF PF C

Rajon Rondo.....Ray Allen ..... Paul Pierce.....Kevin Garnett..... Jermaine O'Neal

Celtics Reserves

Chris Wilcox

Mickael Pietrus

JaJuan Johnson

E'Twaun Moore

Sasha Pavlovic

Greg Stiemsma

Avery Bradley

Brandon Bass

Injured

Keyoon Dooling (hip) day to day

Marquis Daniels (ankle) day to day

Probable Starters

PG......SG.....SF.....PF ..... C

Kemba Walker......Reggie Williams....Tyrus Thomas........Boris Diaw.......Bismack Biyombo

Bobcats Bench

Cory Higgins

Derrick Brown

DJ White

Matt Carroll

BJ Mullens

Eduardo Najera

Injuries

DeSagana Diop (knee) questionable

Gerald Henderson (hamstring) out

DJ Augustin (toe) questionable

Corey Maggette (hamstring) out

Key Matchups

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Rajon Rondo vs Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker returns to New England where he won a lot of fans playing for UConn. Rondo appears to be getting back to form after returning from his wrist injury and should give Walker all he can handle in this matchup.

vs

Kevin Garnett vs Boris Diaw

KG has been playing very well and also has a couple of inches on Diaw, who hasn't always been in the best of shape in recent years. KG should have a big game and be able to get past (or over) Diaw at will.

Honorable Mention

Paul Pierce vs Tyrus Thomas

Pierce gives up a couple inches to Thomas, but the Celtics' wily veteran should be able to find a way to get past him. This could be a tough matchup for the Celtics.

Keys to the Game

Defense - The Celtics have been winning with tough defense. They need to continue to make defense their top priority and they will continue to win. Defense wins games and it wins championships.

Rebound - Good things happen when the Celtics crash the boards. When they show energy in rebounding, that energy spreads to other areas of the game. They prevent second chance points and fast break baskets by grabbing the rebounds as well. The Celtics need to swarm the basket as a team to try to grab every rebound.

Be Aggressive - When the Celtics are the more aggressive team they usually win. They need to be aggressive in going to the basket, in grabbing rebounds, and in hustling after loose balls. This goes for the Celtics as a team and for each player individually.

Take Care of the Ball - The Celtics still tend to get sloppy and turn the ball over way too much. They need to take care of the ball and limit turnovers. It seems as though they make a run and get a big lead and then they turn the ball over several times and let the other team right back in it. They have to be careful with their passes and be aware of where the defenders are to avoid allowing them to get steals.

Official Report

Jason Phillips

Phillips has officiated 716 regular season games and 19 playoff games since joining the NBA officiating staff 12 seasons ago. He officiated his first two Finals games during the 2010-11 season. In addition, Phillips has six seasons of experience officiating in the CBA, working the 1999 CBA Finals. He also officiated three seasons in the WNBA, working the 1999 WNBA Finals. Phillips spent five years officiating at the high school level in his home state of Texas. The Celtics are 0-1 this season and they are 4-6 over their last 10 games with Phillips as a ref. The loss this season was to Chicago where the Celtics shot 13 free throws to 21 for the Bulls. It was Phillips and crew that got Tommy to swear on the air last season about the refs falling for all the blank blank flops. Charlotte is 5-5 with Phillips over their last 10. His home W/L record this season is 10-6.

Tony Brown

Brown has officiated 536 regular season games in his first nine seasons as an NBA official. Brown officiated his first playoff game during the 2010-11 season. Prior to joining the NBA, he officiated for four seasons in the NBA Development League and CBA and three in the WNBA. During that time he worked the 2002 D-League Finals, the 2002 WNBA All-Star Game and the 2001 CBA Finals for the NBDL, the CBA and the WNBA. This is the the 3rd Celtics game for Brown this season. The first game was the loss to the Hornets where the Celtics shot 18 free throws to 25 for the Hornets. The second was a win vs Charlotte where the Bobcats shot 20 free throws to 8 for the Celtics. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games with Brown. The Warriors are 0-2 this season and 3-7 in their last 10. His home W/L record is 17-14.

Haywoode Workman

Workman is a former NBA player who crossed over to the dark side to become an NBA referee. Haywoode Workman has officiated 166 regular season games in his first three NBA seasons. A second round draft pick by the Atlanta Hawks in 1989, he played professionally for eight seasons in the NBA and overseas betweeen 1989

to 2000. He spent four seasons officiating in the NBA Development League and also officiated in the CBA before joining the NBA. Workman joins Bernie Fryer and Leon Wood on the short list of NBA players who have made the transition to officiating after their playing careers. He was inducted into the Oral Roberts University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003. The Celtics are 2-0 this season and 5-5 over the last 10 games with Workman. The wins were vs Charlotte and Houston in which the Celtics shot a combined 37 free throws to 51 for their opponents. The Warriors are 0-2 this season and 2-8 in their last 10 with Workman. His home W/L record is 17-11 this season.

X-Factor

TRADE and Effort

With the trade going down late on Tuesday, the Warriors are short even more short handed than the Celtics, if that's possible. I've seen it way too many times that a team missing players due to trade, injury or suspension rallies to play a superhuman game. The Celtics can't come into the game expecting a win without the effort. If Danny doesn't rip their hearts out with a trade, and they give the effort, they should get the win.

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