Celtics go for 5th straight win as they visit the Toronto Raptors

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The Celtics take on Rudy Gay and the Raptors as they seek their 5th straight victory.

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Boston Celtics (24-23) at Toronto Raptors (17-31)
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
7:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #48 – Road Game #22
TV: CSNNE, RSN, NBA-LP 749
Radio: WEEI, CJCL
Air Canada Centre
Referees: Bennie Adams, Brent Barnaky, Pat Fraher


Game Thread l Chat

Boston Celtics Tickets


The Celtics head to Toronto for the 2nd of 4 meetings with the Raptors. Their first meeting in November resulted in a 107-89 home win for the Celtics. The Celtics are 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 7.5 games behind the Knicks. The Raptors are last in the division, 7.5 games behind the Celtics.

Both teams have been off since Sunday and should be well rested. Boston has won their last 4 games while the Raptors are coming off a loss to the Heat. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games, having lost 6 games in a row before their recent 4 game win streak. The Raptors are 3-7 in their last 10. The Raptors are a decent team at home with a 12-12 record at the Air Canada Centre. The Celtics have struggled a bit on the road with just a 7-14 record away from the Garden.

This marks Leandro Barbosa's firs game back to the Air Canada Center since he was traded by the Raptors in March. He played in 100 games over 2 seasons for Toronto. The Celtics tend to let up against the bottom teams but the the Raptors are much improved since the trade that brought in Rudy Gay and they won't be a pushover. The Celtics need to play hard and stay focused if they want to continue their win streak.

Probable Starters

PGSGSFPFC

PG: Avery Bradley

SG: Courtney Lee

SF: Paul Pierce

PF: Brandon Bass

C: Kevin Garnett

Celtics Reserves

Jason Terry

Jason Collins

Chris Wilcox

Jeff Green

Leandro Barbosa

Fab Melo

Injuries

Rajon Rondo (knee) out

Jared Sullinger (back) out

Probable Starters

PGSG SF PFC

PG: Kyle Lowry

SG: DeMar DeRozan

SF: Rudy Gay

PF: Amir Johnson

C: Aaron Gray

Raptors Bench

Alan Anderson

Terrence Ross

John Lucas III

Jonas Valenciunas

Quincy Acy

Mickael Pietrus

Hamed Haddadi

Injuries

Landry Fields (back) day to day

Andrea Bargnani (elbow, wrist) day to day

Linas Kleiza (knee) out

Key Matchups

vs

Paul Pierce vs Rudy Gay

Rudy Gay has settled in with the Raptors quickly, shooting 50% for 20 points against the Clippers on Friday, and following that up with 48% shooting for 29 points against the Heat on Sunday. Paul Pierce will have the chore of trying to slow him down in this one while he continues to give the Celtics assists, rebounds and points as they need them.

vs

Courtney Lee vs DeMar DeRozan

DeRozan is the Raptors leading scorer (other than Gay) with 17.6 points per game. He might not find scoring quite as easy against the Celtics' pit bulls in the back court.

Keys to the Game

Rebound - The Celtics have got to crash the boards to prevent second chance points. Rebounding takes effort and when they aren't winning the battle of the boards, they aren't putting the effort out in other areas either. The Celtics may be ranked next to last in rebounding but they have proved that when they really want them, the Celtics can grab rebounds.

Defense - The Celtics must make defense their first priority in each and every game. They have once again found their defensive identity and their recent surge is the result of that. They need to play tough defense and lock down the Raptors. A nice blow out win would be nice since this is the first of back to back to back games and defense is what will give the starters some rest for the next game which happens to be against the hated Lakers.

Run and Pass - The Celtics need to continue to advance the ball with the pass instead of walking it up the court. They also have to continue to run and move the ball to get easy shots before the defenses can get set up.

Be Aggressive and Stay Focused - The Celtics must be the more aggressive team in going after loose balls and rebounds and in going to the basket. They also have to stay focused. They have been letting up and allowing teams to get back into games. They have to keep their focus and their aggressiveness for 48 minutes and not let up.

X-Factors

Focus on the Road

The Celtics have struggled on the road this season. They need to come out focused and stick to the game plan that has gotten them 4 wins in a row. For veteran players, playing on the road should not cause them to lose focus.

Official Report

Bennie Adams

A former math instructor at Southern University, Bennie Adams joined the NBA officiating staff 18 seasons ago, and since then has officiated 956 regular season and seven playoff games. In addition, he has been a USA Basketball official since 1995. Adams has also officiated the 2008 NBA Europe Live Tour and the 2002 NBA All Star Rookie Challenge. Adams officiated in the CBA for three years, and worked the 1996 CBA Finals. He also has three years of collegiate officiating experience in the Southeastern, Ohio Valley, Trans America Athletic and Southwestern Athletic Conferences. Adams also has 10 years of high school officiating experience in Louisiana. Adams has both a Masters and Bachelors degree in mathematics from Southern University.

Adams tends to be inconsistent especially on charge/block calls. He is on Tommy Heinsohn's naughty list (along with a lot of others). In one game, Tommy went ballistic yelling at the top of his lungs "GO BACK TO YOUR MOMMA BENNIE ADAMS!!!" This is Adam's fourth game with the Celtics this season and they are 2-1 in the 3 so far and 5-5 in their last 10 with Adams on the court. In spite of Tommy's dislike of Adams, the 4 games he officiated for the Celtics last season were all called fairly even. All 3 games this season were also well officiated. The Raptors are 1-2 this season and 5-5 in their last 10 games with Adams. His home team W/L record this season is 23-14.

Brent Barnaky

Brent Barnaky enters his third NBA season having officiated 101 NBA games. Barnaky came to the NBA with 10 years of collegiate officiating experience in the Southeastern Conference, Big East, Conference USA and other college conferences as well. He completed three years of postseason officiating in the N.I.T. (2008-2010). He officiated the 2008, 2009 and 2010 NBA D-League Playoffs, and the 2009 and 2010 NBA D-League Finals. In the off season, Barnaky gives back to the game, by training and developing other officials at referee camps/clinics. He entered the NBA last season as one of five refs chosen from the D-League to officiate a handful of games the previous season. Prior to his being hired onto the NBA officiating staff, Barnaky was a civil trial lawyer. He continues to remain actively involved with pro bono work to public at large clients in need of legal services.

The Celtics are 0-2 this season and 4-6 in their last 10 games with Barnaky on the court. In a loss to the Pistons last season that Tommy Heinsohn called the worst officiated game all season, Rondo was ejected and the Pistons shot 46 free throws to 15 for the Celtics. One loss was in the preseason to NY. The other loss this season was to the Bucks where the officiating was terrible. Milwaukee shot 36 free throws to 20 for the Celtics. He allowed the Bucks to mug the Celtics all game and called ticky tack fouls on the Celtics but when they tried to commit an intentional foul to stop the clock, they wouldn't call it. This is his first game this season for the Raptors and they are 3-7 over their last 10 with Barnaky. He is one of the rare refs that has a home W/L record with more wins for the road team than the home team. His home W/L record this season is 12-17.

Pat Fraher

Pat Fraher has officiated 667 regular season NBA games and 11 Playoff games entering his 12th season. Prior to joining the NBA, Fraher officiated for seven years in the CBA, where he worked the CBA Finals and All-Star game. In addition, Fraher spent four years with the WNBA, where he officiated playoff games in both the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Finals. Fraher also has two years of collegiate officiating experience with the NSIC and 10 years of experience as a high school official in his home state of Minnesota. He attended the University of Minnesota where he was awarded the Evans Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. While at Hastings High School, Fraher was a member of the football, basketball and golf teams.

The Celtics are 2-0 this season and 6-4 over their last 10 games with Fraher. He officiated the win over the Bucks where the Celtics took 34 free throws to 26 for the Bucks and the officiating was good and he called the win over the Blazers where they took 37 free throws to 20 for the Celtics and the officiating was slightly one sided in their favor. The Raptors are 2-0 this season and 3-7 over their last 10 games officiated by Fraher. His home W/L record this season is 25-15.

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