Game Thread: The Brad Stevens Era Begins Tonight

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Brad Stevens era begins on the road tonight as the Celtics take on the Toronto Raptors.

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Boston Celtics (0-0) at Toronto Raptors (0-0)
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Regular Season Game #1, Road Game #1
TV: CSNNE, WBZ, CJCL, TSN2, NBA-LP[ 752(DTV), 511 & 751(Xfinity)]
Radio: WZLX (100.7 FM)
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, Ontario
Referees: Tony Brothers, Steve Anderson, Leroy Richardson

Game Thread l Chat

CLNS Radio Pre Game Show

The Celtics open their season on the road as they take on their divisional foe, the Toronto Raptors. These two teams have already faced each other twice in the preseason. The Celtics lost the first game of the preseason to the Reptors 97-89 and they lost their second meeting by just 2 points, 99-97.

The Raptors return their starting lineup from the end of last season as well as their coach. The Celtics, on the other hand have a majority of new players and a new coaching staff along with a new system to get used to. So, it's no surprise that the Raptors had the advantage in the preseason. Now, the games are for real and the Celtics know a little more what to expect from the Raptors.

As far as the starting lineups, Brad Stevens isn't tipping his hand and, even at this morning's shoot around, he couldn't say who would be starting. The lineup listed below is the one given in the Game Notes. Here is my preferred starters:

Avery Bradley

Gerald Wallace

Jeff Green

Brandon Bass

Vitor Faverani.

With Valanciunas starting at center for the Raptors, the Celtics need to counter with size and strength inside, and that is what Faverani brings. Anyway, Stevens has promised to release his starting lineup just before tip off. In the meantime, we are left guessing. Be sure to check out Master Po's awesome preview from earlier today.


Be sure to tune in to the CLNS Radio Pre Game show beginning at 6:00 PM ET tonight. Due to the Boston Red Sox World Series, game 6, the CLNS/CelticsBlog game coverage will once again be a PRE Game show tonight. As the Brad Stevens' era officially starts tonight, the CLNS/CelticsBlog crew will have all of your game coverage handled. Your broadcast crew is Matt Rury and Nick Gelso. Sean Bakke will be joining in the chat-room at CelticsBlog. Be there to share in all the fun!!!

Possible Starters ???

PG: Avery Bradley

SG: Courtney Lee

SF: Jeff Green

PF: Gerald Wallace

C: Brandon Bass


Celtics Reserves

MarShon Brooks

Jordan Crawford

Vitor Faverani

Kris Humphries

Kelly Olynyk

Phil Pressey

Gerald Wallace


Injuries

Rajon Rondo (ACL)out

Jared Sullinger (suspension) out

Players to Watch

Gerald Wallace was the best player in the preseason for the Celtics. He held his teammates accountable and brought energy to the lineups. Look for him to continue to do both in the regular season.

Vitor Faverani earned more playing time with his performance in the preseason. His defense inside and his ability to get to the hoop will be key in this game.


Honorable Mention

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly is playing before his home crowd, having grown up in Toronto.

Probable Starters

PG: Kyle Lowry

SG: DeMar DeRozan

SF: Rudy Gay

PF: Amir Johnson

C: Jonas Valanciunas

Raptors Reserves

Quincy Acy

DJ Augustin

Dwight Buycks

Austin Daye

Landry Fields

Aaron Gray

Tyler Hansbrough

Steve Novak

Terrence Ross

Julyan Stone

Players to Watch

DeMar DeRozan is capable of putting up points in a hurry and the Celtics need to find a way to contain him.

Jonas Valanciunas is poised to have a break out season. If the Celtics go small, he could have a big night.

Honorable Mention

Rudy Gay

Gay is the Raptors' star and is very capable of having a huge game. But he's also capable of coming out flat and shooting them out of the game as well. Which Rudy Gay will show up for this one?

Keys to the Game

Effort- The Celtics must win by being the team that plays harder. They can't afford to take a night off.

Rebound - The Celtics must crash the boards to prevent the Raptors from getting extra chances and to give themselves extra possessions.


Go Inside
- The Celtics can't depend on their jumpers alone. They have to take the ball to the hoop and win the war in the paint.

Defense - The Raptors are a good shooting team and so the Celtics must play team defense to keep them from having a high scoring game.

Teamwork - Even though the Celtics are mostly new to each other, they have to develop teamwork and play together, covering for each other on defense and making the extra pass on offense.

Official Report

Tony Brothers

Tony Brothers is entering his 21st season as an NBA official and has officiated 1,144 regular season games, 61 Playoff games and three NBA Finals games during his career. 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.

The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games with Brothers while the Raptors are 2-8 in their last 10. Last season in a game vs the Knicks, twice Brothers made the correct call from across the court after Dick Bavetta missed the call, standing right on top of it. All in all, Brothers is a decent ref.

Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson is one of two new officials for the 2013-14 season. Anderson joins the full-time staff after six seasons as a referee in the NBA D-League already having officiated 18 regular season NBA games as a non-staff official.

This past summer, Anderson officiated the FIBA U19 World Championships in the Czech Republic. Anderson received his BA degree in 2005 and Masters degree in 2007 from the University of Central Florida. While at UCF, he worked in the Intramural Sports program where he was selected to officiate at regional and national tournaments.

When not officiating he enjoys traveling to different Major League Baseball Stadiums throughout the USA, recently picking up Oakland as his 25th ballpark.

This is Anderson's first Celtics game as a referee. He officiated 2 games last season for the Raptors, both of which were losses. A new referee sometimes is intimidated by the home crowd and sometimes they are quick with the whistle to show that they are on top of things.

Leroy Richardson

Leroy Richardson served his country for 12 years in the United States Navy (May 1982 – January 1994), and was the 1991 and 1992 Tactragrulant sailor of the year in Dam Neck, Va. He was also awarded the Navy Achievement Medal and two Good Conduct Medals. Richardson was an enlisted surface warfare specialist and underwater sea surveillance specialist, was deployed to the Mediterranean from August 1988 through February 1989 and was stationed in Keflavik, Iceland from April 1986 through May 1987.

After leaving the Navy, Richardson decided to pursue officiating full time. Since joining the NBA staff, he has officiated 1,041 regular season games and three playoff games over the past 18 seasons, and was a member of the crews that officiated the 2000 Schick Rookie Game, 2000 NBA All-Star Saturday and the 2003 Japan Games.

Richardson has three years of CBA officiating experience as well as 10 years of Pro-Am officiating experience, including the 1992 Pro Am Nationals. He also has three years of collegiate officiating experience in the Big East, Southeastern and Ohio Valley Conferences. Richardson spent eight years officiating in Virginia high schools, where he worked the VHSL State Tournament.

The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games with Richardson on the court. The Raptors are 2-8 in their last 10 games officiated by Richardson.

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