The Celtics try to get back on track as they host the Chicago Bulls in their last game before the All Star break.
Chicago Bulls (30-21) at Boston Celtics (27-24)
Wednesday, February13, 2013
7:30 PM ET
Game #52, Home Game #29
TV: NBA-TV, NBAC, CSNNE, CSNC
Radio: WEEI, WMVP
Referees: James Capers, Tony Brown, Karl Lane
The Celtics try to get back on track as they host the Chicago Bulls in their last game before the All Star break. This is the 4th and final meeting between these two teams. They split a pair of games in Chicago with the Celtics winning the first 101-95 and the Bulls pulling out the other 100-89. In their last game, the first in Boston, the Bulls won 100-99 in OT when Marco Belinelli hit the game winning shot with 3.1 seconds left in the game.
Although Derrick Rose is rumored to be getting closer to a return to the active roster, he still isn't cleared for full contact. His replacement, Kirk Hinrich has missed the last 6 games with an elbow injury and will be out for this game as well. Former Celtic Nate Robinson will start at PG for the Bulls. The Celtics lost their 3rd player in the past 2 weeks to a season ending injury on Monday when Leandro Barbosa tore his ACL. He joins Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger on the shelf for the rest of the season. Rondo will especially be missed in this one as he loved playing the Bulls and was averaging a team high 25.3 points in the 3 games against them.
The Bulls are a good road team with a 15-9 record while the Celtics have been playing well at home with a 19-9 record. The Celtics have also won a season high 6 straight at the Garden including the triple OT game against the Nuggets on Sunday. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games while the Bulls are 5-5 in their last 10. Both teams are coming off a loss. The Celtics lost a close one to the Bobcats after playing a triple OT classic the night before. The Bulls lost a blow out at home to the Spurs, who were playing without Parker, Duncan and Ginobili.
The Bulls are coached by former Celtics assistant and defensive guru, Tom Thibodeau. It follows that they hang their hat on their defense. They are 3rd in the league in points allowed, giving up just 91.94 points per game on 43.0% shooting. The Celtics have improved defensively over the season and are 10th in the league, allowing 96.3 points per game on 44.1% shooting.
The Celtics are looking to begin another win streak after their 7 game win streak was snapped by the Bobcats in their last game. The Bulls would also like to get back on track with a win in this one. The Bulls are 4th in the East, 3 games ahead of the Celtics, who are in 7th. After moving to within 1/2 game of the Hawks in 6th they have now slipped back to 1.5 games behind them. This is the final game for both teams before the All Star Break.
PG: Avery Bradley..................................................SG Courtney Lee
Jared Sullinger (back) out
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Leandro Barbosa (knee) out
PG: Nate Robinson ............................................. SG: Rip Hamilton
C: Joakim Noah
Derrick Rose (knee) out
Kirk Hinrich (elbow) out
Kevin Garnett vs Joakim Noah
Noah brings a lot of energy to the Bulls and he is a presence in the paint. KG has to match his energy. In the past, Noah has been able to get to the basket at will for rebounds and tip ins. He is also blocking 2.02 shots a game. Noah finished with his second career triple double in the second meeting between these teams. KG has got to box him out and defend the paint. This might be a good game for Doc to give Collins some run if Noah starts to go wild inside.
Brandon Bass vs Carlos Boozer
Carlos Boozer has been playing well and had big games against the Celtics so far this season. Boozer totaled 19 points and a season-high 20 rebounds in the last game and he had 4 double-doubles in his last five games against Boston. Bass must slow Boozer down both on the boards and on offense.
Paul Pierce vs Luol Deng
Pierce and Deng are always a fun matchup to watch. Deng is long and a very good defender and has been able to bother Pierce in the past. He will make Pierce work for his points. Deng has also been shooting well and leads the Bulls in scoring with 16.9 ppg along with grabbing 6.8 rpg. We will probably see some Jeff Green on Deng as well as Pierce.
Keys to the Game
Rebound - The Celtics are 29th in the league in rebounding, grabbing just 40.04 rebounds per game while the Bulls are 6th with 43.59 rebounds per game. The Celtics have to box out and keep Noah and Boozer from getting easy tip ins and to keep the Bulls from piling up the second chance baskets. The Celtics have got to crash the boards as a team. Rebounding takes effort and every player has to put out that effort.
Defense - Defense has been the Celtics strength in recent years. It has also been a strength for the Bulls. The Celtics defense finally showed up with the return of Avery Bradley and for the most part, has been solid since his return. The Celtics need to match the defensive intensity of the Bulls and even exceed it if they want to come out of this game with a win.
Be Aggressive - It's no secret that the more aggressive team gets the calls and usually the win. The Celtics must start out being aggressive and keep up that aggressiveness until the final buzzer. Against the Bobcats, the Celtics let up and allowed them to be the more aggressive team and it cost them. They have to be aggressive on the boards, in defending, in going after loose balls, and especially in getting inside to the basket instead of settling for outside jumpers.
Home Court and Focus
The Celtics are at home and need to get a boost from the fans. They have to focus on doing the things that helped them win 7 games in a row. Advance the ball with the pass and move it around to find the open man. They also have to get into the paint and not settle for outside shots all game.
The son of former NBA official James Capers Sr., James Capers has officiated 1,015 regular season games and 54 playoff games during his 17-season NBA career. Capers made his first NBA Finals appearance during the 2011-12 season. In addition to his NBA experience, Capers has six years of CBA officiating experience, including three CBA Finals and two CBA All-Star Games. The community-conscious 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. At least he has that in his favor. the last game Capers called last season was game 2 of the ECF and the officiating was terrible in that game. The Heat shot 47 free throws to 29 for the Celtics. Pierce, Dooling and Pietrus all fouled out. There were bad calls and missed calls throughout the game. Lebron James took 24 free throws himself, only 4 less than the entire Celtics team. The Celtics are 6-4 over their last 10 games with Capers and 1-1 this season. The loss this season was the Nets game that resulted in a brawl. Capers gave Doc a T for yelling to Rondo. They let the Nets get away with pushing and shoving and hard fouls the entire first half. The Nets shot 17 free throws to 5 for the Celtics in the first half and 3 of those free throws were on technicals. They did better in the second half after the brawl, but the refs' failure to call the game evenly in the first half led to the fight. The win was over the Pacers. The refs let them play in the first half and then started calling more on the Celtics in the second half. The Pacers shot 28 free throws to 18 for the Celtics. Capers also called a flagrant 2 on KG, which resulted in his ejection. The league downgraded the flagrant 2 upon review. The Bulls are 2-2 this season and 8-2 over their last 10 games. His home W/L record this season is 33-10.
Tony Brown has officiated 586 regular season games and two playoff games in his first 10 seasons as an NBA official. 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 NBA D-League Finals, the 2002 WNBA All-Star Game and the 2001 CBA Finals. Brown attended Florida A&M prior to transferring to Clark Atlanta University, where he received his degree in Finance. As a member of the basketball team, Brown earned All-State honors at Amos P. Godby High School in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Celtics are 1-2 with Brown this season and 5-5 in their last 10 games with Brown. In the loss to the Spurs, they shot 20 free throws to 8 for the Celtics and the officiating was one sided in their favor for much of the game. In the win over the Rockets, they shot 29 free throws to 18 for the Celtics, but the officiating was okay. In an OT loss to Atlanta, the Hawks shot 36 free throws to 20 for the Celtics and the officiating was terrible and pretty much one sided in their favor. The Bulls are 2-2 this season and 7-3 in their last 10. His home W/L record is 30-11.
Karl Lane enters his second year having officiated 44 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.
This is his 6th game officiating for the Celtics. The Celtics are 4-2 in those games. In the last game last season 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 2 game this 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. This is his seventh game for the Bulls and they are 3-4 in those games. They are 0-1 with Lane this season. His home W/L record this season is 21-9.