Celtics look for 2nd straight win on the road as they visit the Blazers

Elsa

The Celtics make their only trip to the Rose Garden this season for the 4th game of their 5 game road trip.

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Boston Celtics (29-26) at Portland Trailblazers (25-30)
Sunday, February 24, 2013
9:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #56, Road Game #27
TV: CSNNE, KGW, NBA-LP 760
Radio: WEEI, KXTG
Rose Garden
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Tony Brown, Eric Dalen

Game Thread l Chat

Boston Celtics Tickets

The Celtics make their only trip to the Rose Garden this season for the 4th game of their 5 game road trip. This is the first of back to back games with the second in Utah on Monday. The Celtics won the first game in the series at TD Garden 96-78. The Celtics won the only meeting between these two teams last year, 104-86 at TD Garden.

The Celtics make their only trip to the Rose Garden this season for the 4th game of their 5 game road trip.

The Celtics have won 6 in a row and 13 of the last 14 games from the Blazers. The 6 game win streak is the longest active losing streak against any opponent for the Blazers. The Celtics are the only team in the league to have a winning record in the Rose Garden (27-24). Portland is a pretty good home team with a 17-9 record. The Celtics have struggled on the road with a 9-17 record and won their first road game against the Western Conference on Friday against the Suns.

The Blazers are 2-8 in their last 10 games and the Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10. The Celtics are looking for their second straight win on this road trip while the Blazers are stuck in a 7 game losing streak that they would love to break out of. The Celtics should get a win in this game if they play aggressively and stay focused. They also will need another solid effort from the new guys.


Probable Starters

Point Guard

vs

Avery Bradley vs Damian Lillard


Shooting Guard

vs

Courtney Lee vs Wes Matthews

Small Forward

vs

Paul Pierce vs Nicolas Batum

Power Forward

vs

Brandon Bass vs LaMarcus Aldridge

Center

vs

Kevin Garnett vs JJ Hickson

Celtics Reserves

Chris Wilcox

Jeff Green

Jason Terry

Terrence Williams

Jordan Crawford

Fab Melo

Injuries

Jared Sullinger (back) out

Rajon Rondo (knee) out

Trailblazers Bench

Sasha Pavlovic

Meyers Leonard

Nolan Smith

Will Barton

Victor Claver

Luke Babbitt

Joel Freeland

Jared Jeffries

Eric Maynor

Injuries

Elliot Williams (Achilles) out

Key Matchups

vs

Avery Bradley vs Damian Lillard

Lillard has been playing very well and is averaging 18.4 points, 6.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. It will be up to Avery to slow him down.

vs

Brandon Bass vs LaMarcus Aldridge

The Blazers are playing the 6'11" Aldridge at the 4 and the 6'9" Hickson at the 5. I expect Doc to put KG on the bigger Aldridge, who is averaging 20.8 points and 8.7 rebounds a game. Stopping Aldridge will be key.

Keys to the Game

Defense - The biggest key to every game is defense. This is even more important on the road where the opponents get a boost from their fans and the Celtics will need to clamp down even tighter on defense. The Celtics must make defense their number 1 priority

Rebound - The Celtics are shorthanded in the middle, even with KG back. They have to make an extra effort to rebound as a team. When the Celtics put out the effort to out-rebound their opponents it usually results in a win. When they don't make the effort to rebound, it affects the effort in the other areas as well.

Be Aggressive - The Celtics need to be the more aggressive team. They were aggressive in going to the hoop against the Suns and they need to continue that in this game. They also have to be more aggressive on the boards, going for loose balls and on defense.


X-Factors

Effort and Focus

The Celtics are on the road and in order to win they need to be focused and put forth a solid effort from the opening tap to the final buzzer. On the road they can't afford to coast or put out less than 100% effort.

Official Report

Monty McCutchen

Monty McCutchen has officiated 1,138 regular season, 94 playoff, and six Finals games. He worked the 2007 NBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas and was a member of the crews that officiated the 1996 and 1997 Mexico Challenges, as well as the 1998 Schick Rookie Game. Prior to joining the NBA, McCutchen spent four seasons in the CBA, where he worked the All Star game his second year and the playoffs all four years. He also officiated the CBA Finals the last three years he was with the league. McCutchen missed the 1998-99 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

He is a former elementary and middle school teacher and is fondly remembered by his students as a really nice guy. In searching for information on him, I found a Cavs' blog that blamed a loss to the Celtics on the officiating of Monty McCutchen. That was the game where Mike Brown was ejected and the Cavs made a furious comeback but fell short. In game 2 of the WCF, McCutchen flipped out on someone and yelled "I'm running this game not you!" as Serge Ibaka went to the line for free throws. Other than that, there's not a lot of controversy about him.

The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games and 2-3 this season with McCutchen on the court. He officiated the Heat game to open the season. Needless to say, he allowed Wade and Battier to grab and shove off and foul all game, which led to Rondo's flagrant on Wade out of frustration. He also called a preseason loss to the Knicks and a win over the Wizards where the Celtics took 34 free throws to 7 by the Wizards. He called the 103-88 loss to the Pistons where the Celtics took 25 free throws to 31 for the Pistons, but the officiating wasn't particularly bad. He also called the win over the Lakers at home and the officiating wasn't bad. The Blazers are 1-0 this season and 6-4 in their last 10 games with McCutchen. His home W/L record this season is 31-12.

Tony Brown

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 3-3 with Brown this season and 6-4 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. In a win over the Bulls, the Celtics shot 12 free throws to 17 for the Bulls and the refs pretty much let them play. The Blazers are 2-0 this season and 9-1 in their last 10. His home W/L record is 32-12.

Eric Dalen

Eric Dalen officiated 223 regular season games in his first four NBA seasons. Prior to the NBA, Dalen worked for five seasons in the NBA Development League and officiated the 2008 D-League All Star Game and the Finals. He also officiated for three years in the Southeastern Conference. Dalen was a two-year letter winner at the University of Minnesota where he played tight end for the football team. I couldn't find much on the guy other than an article where Andrew Bynum was complaining about Dalen calling all 6 fouls on him in a game in 2008.

He called 4 games for the Celtics last season. The first 3 were well officiated. But in the fourth, a loss to Chicago, the Bulls shot 28 free throws to 14 for the Celtics and the officiating was terrible. The Bulls shot 9 free throws before the Celtics shot 1 in spite of a lot of contact and no calls on behalf of the Bulls. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games with Dalen and 1-1 this season. The last game was the OT loss to the Hawks where Atlanta took 36 free throws to 20 for the Celtics and the officiating was pretty much in their favor all game. The Blazer are 0-2 this season and 2-8 in their last 10 games with Dalen officiating. His home W/L record this season is 24-15.

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