Celtics get back to work as they host Cavs

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics look to get back on track and end their 3 game losing streak as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Cleveland Cavaliers (10-18) at Boston Celtics (12-17)
Saturday, December 28, 2013
1:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #30, Home Game #16
TV: CSN-NE, FSOhio, NBA-LP 751(DTV)/751,752(xfinity)
Radio: WBZ, WTAM
TD Garden
Referees: Sean Corbin, David Guthrie, Karl Lane

Game Thread l Chat


CLNS Radio Post Game Show

Call into show: 347-215-7771



After a 5 day break, the Celtics host the Cavaliers in the 2nd of 3 meetings this season. The Celtics won the first meeting 103-86, which was also played in Boston. The 3rd and final meeting between these two teams will be on April 12 in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers would be out of the playoffs if they started today. The Celtics have dropped to 8th place, half a game behind the Raptors, who have moved up to 4th by virtue of leading the Atlantic division.

The Cavaliers are mostly healthy as are the Celtics. There are a couple of concerns for the Celtics, though. Jared Sullinger wore a glove in practice on Thursday and admitted to having a deep bone bruise in his hand that has been slow to heal. Avery Bradley and Gerald Wallace bumped knees in practice and sat out the final portion. All 3 are expected to play, however.

The Cavs last played on Thursday, losing a tough double overtime game to the Hawks by 2 points. The Celtics last played almost a week ago on Sunday, losing in a blowout to the Indiana Pacers.

Both teams have lost their last 3 games and will be looking to get off of the slide. The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are 7-8 at home. The Cavs are 4-6 in their last 10 games and a woeful 2-12 at home.

UPDATE
This just in! Andrew Bynum has been suspended from the team indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. He will not play in today's game. I would expect Anderson Varejao to start but I haven't seen anything definite on who will replace Bynum in the starting lineup.

Be sure to check out the Chat during the game and don't miss the CLNS Radio Post Game Show right after the game. Your broadcast crew is Nick Gelso and Matthew Fahey. Matt Rury will also be stationed in the chatroom at CelticsBlog and manning the CLNS Radio social media outlets. As always, they will be taking your calls throughout the entire broadcast.



Probable Starters

Jordan Crawford...Avery Bradley...Jeff Green...Brandon Bass...Jared Sullinger

Celtics Reserves
MarShon Brooks
Kris Humphries
Vitor Faverani
Courtney Lee
Phil Pressey
Gerald Wallace
Keith Bogans
Kelly Olynyk

Injuries
Rajon Rondo (ACL)out
Jared Sullinger (hand) probable
Avery Bradley (knee) probable
Gerald Wallace (knee) probable




Probable Starters

Kyrie Irving...CJ Miles...Alonzo Gee...Tristan Thompson... Andrew Bynum

Cavaliers Reserves

Jarrett Jack
Anderson Varejao
Dion Waiters
Earl Clark
Sergey Karasev
Anthony Bennett
Carrick Felix
Tyler Zeller
Henry Sims
Matthew Dellavedova

Injuries
Carrick Felix (hernia) out

Key Matchups
vs
Jordan Crawford vs Kyrie Irving
Irving has been a thorn in the Celtics side since he came into the league. He is averaging 22.1 points, 6.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 3.0 rebounds. Expect to see Avery guarding Irving while Crawford picks up CJ Miles. Jordan Crawford's triple double (11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) was a big reason for the Celtics win in their first meeting. The Celtics will need another strong performance from him in this game.

vs
Jared Sullinger vs Andrew Bynum
Bynum missed all of last year with various and sundry injuries, including one that he suffered while bowling. He is averaging 8.4 points, 1.2 blocks, and 5.3 rebounds this season and isn't the dominant player that he was before the injuries. He does have a height advantage on Sully that may give him an advantage. Anderson Varejao is playing more minutes at center than Bynum even though he comes off the bench and may be an even tougher matchup for the Celtics at this position.

Honorable Mention
Celtics Bench vs Cavaliers Bench
The Cavs have the highest scoring bench in the Eastern Conference at 40.0 points per game (4th-best in the NBA) and has outscored the opponent’s reserves in 21 of 27 contests. In the first meeting between these two teams, the Celtics bench was outscored 56-16. The Celtics will need a strong game from their reserves if they want to get a win in this game.


Keys to the game
Take Care of the Ball - The Celtics have been getting off to a fast start and then seem to get careless and have a series of turnovers and allow the opponent to get back into the game. They need to take care of the ball and try to limit those turnovers if they want to get a win.

Move the Ball and Run - The Celtics play best when they play uptempo and move the ball. They need to beat the defense down the court before it gets set up. When they slow the ball down and when they over dribble, they struggle to score. They also need to trust each other and move the ball and not try to do too much individually.

Start Strong and Finish Stronger - The Celtics have been coming out strong in the first quarters and establishing a lead. However, they have also been slowing down, mostly in the 3rd quarter and then fall behind. They also need to play hard until the final buzzer.

Go to the Hoop - The Celtics get very comfortable taking outside shots, especially when they are falling for them early and then stop trying to get to the basket. They need to get inside and either draw the foul, get an easy score, or kick out to the open man. Good things happen when they go to the hoop.

Rebound - The Celtics need to rebound as a team. It takes effort and desire to grab rebounds and the Celtics need to show more of both. In their first meeting, the Celtics allowed the Cavs to grab 13 offensive rebounds which led to a 16-7 edge in second chance points for the Cavs.

X-Factors
Rust vs Rest and Home Game

The Celtics have been off 5 days while there is just one day since the Cavs played a tough double OT game. The Celtics were able to get plenty of rest and go home for Christmas and also have had 2 days of practice leading up to this game. Will the rest have them energized and ready to play or will they come out rusty.

The Cavs have been pretty bad on the road so far, winning just 2 games away from home, beating only Orlando and Washington. Hopefully, the Celtics can continue that trend and keep them struggling on the road in this game in front of one of the best crowds in the league.

Official Report
Sean Corbin
The 18-year NBA referee has officiated 1,057 regular season NBA games and 49 Playoff games, along with the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, 1999 Japan Games in Tokyo and the 1996 Schick Rookie Game. Corbin spent the summer of 2004 officiating basketball at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Corbin’s resume includes four years officiating in the CBA and nine years of collegiate officiating experience in the Big East, Southern, Southeastern, Mid-Eastern Athletic and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conferences. He also has four years of high school basketball officiating experience.

Corbin, a Baltimore native, has been involved in charitable efforts in the city, including working for healthcare for the homeless. His athletic accomplishments still remain notable in the Baltimore community, where he played baseball and basketball at Coppin State College and Towson Catholic High School.

The Celtics are 3-1 this season including a win over the Nets in preseason, wins over Orland and the Knicks and a loss to Detroit. The officiating in all of those games was good without any outstanding bad calls. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games with Corbin. He's one of the referees that you don't really notice on the court because he doesn't make a lot of questionable calls either way. The Cavaliers are 7-3 in their last 10 games with Corbin. His home W/L record is 18-6.

David Guthrie

David Guthrie enters his ninth season after officiating 447 regular season games and six playoff games. Prior to joining the NBA, Guthrie was an official in the CBA, NBA Development League and the New York City Pro Am. He participated in the D-League playoffs in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and the DLeague championship games in 2004 and 2005. He officiated at the collegiate level in the ACC, SEC, Colonial, Southern, OVC, ASUN, Big South and SWAC conferences and participated in the 2003 and 2004 NCAA tournaments.

Outside of his life in basketball, Guthrie was a member of the Cincinnati Reds organization playing professionally with the team in Princeton, W. Va., Billings, Mont., Charleston, W.Va. and Chattanooga, Tenn. He attended both Southern Union Community College in Wadley, Ala. and North Carolina State University on baseball scholarships. He played in the Cape Cod Wooden Bat College Summer League for the Falmouth Commodores in 1994 and played baseball and basketball at W.Va. Berry High School in Birmingham, Ala.

The Celtics are 1-1 this season and 6-4 in their last 10 games with Guthrie. The loss was to the Spurs and the win was over the Knicks in the preseason. The officiating was ok in both. The Cavs are 1-2 this season and 3-7 in their last 10. He called just one game for the Celtics two seasons ago, a 94-82 win over the Bobcats in which the Bobcats took 20 free throws and the Celtics 17. The refs did a good job of staying out of the way, which is what you want from an official.

One win last season was vs the Wizards in which they took 17 free throws to 13 for the Celtics and again, the refs let them play. The second win last season was the home win over the Suns. The Celtics shot 12 free throws to 18 for the Suns and again, the refs let them play. And the 3rd win was at Phoenix where both teams shot 23 free throws and the officiating was good. One loss was at Charlotte and the Bobcats shot 30 free throws to 25 for the Celtics but the referees weren't a factor in the loss. The other loss last season was a 105-103 loss to the Heat and amazingly the officiating in that game was fairly even. His home W/L record this season is 14-9.

Karl Lane

Karl Lane enters his third year having officiated 104 regular season games. Lane’s experience includes four seasons and 167 games officiated in the D-League. He also has four seasons of NBA preseason game experience and has worked in NBA summer camps for six years. In addition to his professional experience, Lane officiated collegiate games for nine years in the SWAC and Gulf South Conference and has nine years of high school officiating experience. Lane worked for the Pulaski County Special School District in Little Rock, AR as an In‐School Suspension Teacher for 2 years before beginning his career as a referee.

The Celtics are 0-1 this season and 6-4 in his last 10 games with the Celtics. In the last game two seasons ago vs the Cavaliers, Lane got under Tommy's skin a bit and after 3 bad calls in a row, Tommy said "This guy doesn't have a clue. His name's Lane. They should show him the highway." Lane called 5 games last season, a loss to Brooklyn in the preseason and a loss to the Pistons where they shot 31 free throws to 25 for the Celtics and there were several blown calls both ways. The 3rd game last season was a win over Chicago. The officiating was terrible and Lane once again got under Tommy's skin after 3 terrible calls in a row. Then to top it off, with 6.2 seconds left, he made a terrible call that fouled Avery out. The next to last game last season was an OT win over Atlanta and the officiating was decent. The last game last season was a loss to Cleveland where the officiating was terrible prompting Tommy to yell" I don't recall a game when there was such a plethora of terrible calls throughout."

Lane called the loss to the Pacers this season where the Pacers shot 22 free throws to 13 for the Celtics. There were a few bad calls but overall the officiating was even. The Cavs are 0-1 this season and 1-9 in their last 10 with Lane. His home W/L record this season is 8-10.
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