Celtics face chemistry test vs a physical Nets team

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics host chippy division rival Brooklyn Nets to close out their 4 game home stand.

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Brooklyn Nets (45-32) at Boston Celtics (40-37)
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #78, Home Game #40
TV: ESPN, CSNNE, WWOR, NBAC
Radio: WEEI, WFAN
TD Garden
Referees: Scott Foster, Sean Corbin, Josh Tiven


Game Thread l Chat

Boston Celtics Tickets

This is the 4th and final regular season meeting between these two division rivals. The Nets came out ahead in the first game 102-97 at the new Barclays Center, ending the Celtics 3 game win streak. The Nets also won the first meeting in Boston 95-83. The Celtics got a 93-76win in Brooklyn on Christmas Day in their third meeting. These two teams split a pair of preseason games with the Nets winning 97-96 at the Garden and the Celtics winning 115-85 in their very first ever trip to the Barclays Center.

The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games but struggled with injuries with KG and Pierce both missing games. The Nets are 6-4 in their last 10. The Nets are 21-17 on the road and have struggled to beat the better teams on the road. However, their 21 road wins sets a new franchise record. Their previous high was 20 in 2005-06. They have won their last 2 games. The Celtics are 27-12 at home and are looking for their second straight win.

The Nets are playing in the second of back to back games. They played at home on Tuesday night, beating Philly by 21 points. The Nets have a 6-5 record in the second game of home and road back to back games this season.

The playoff picture still isn't set in the East. The Nets are in the 4th spot 3 games in front of Chicago (5th) and 3.5 games behind the Pacers (2nd). They will more than likely stay in 4th but their opponent is still up in the air with Chicago just half a game in front of Atlanta and 2 games in front of Boston. The Celtics are still in 7th, 1.5 games behind Atlanta for 6th and 2 games behind Chicago for 5th. They have opened up a 3 game lead on Milwaukee, who are in 8th.

This will be a test for the Celtics newly revamped starting lineup. Doc will also get a chance to further solidify his playoff rotation in this one. There is no love lost between these two teams, as the brawl in their last game in Boston proved. Hopefully they can get through this one without any hard fouls or injuries and, of course, hopefully the Celtics can get the win and even up the series.

Probable Starters

PG SG SF PF C

PG: Avery Bradley

SG: Paul Pierce

SF: Jeff Green

PF: Brandon Bass

C: Kevin Garnett


Celtics Reserves

Jason Terry

Courtney Lee

Jordan Crawford

Chris Wilcox

Shavlik Randolph

DJ White

Terrence Williams


Injuries

Rajon Rondo (knee) out

Jared Sullinger (back) out


Red Claws

Fab Melo

Probable Starters

PG SG SF PF C

PG: Deron Williams

SG: Joe Johnson

SF: Gerald Wallace

PF: Reggie Evans

C: Brook Lopez

Nets Reserves

CJ Watson

Mirza Teletovic

Kris Humphries

Jerry Stackhouse

Tyshaun Taylor

MarShon Brooks

Andray Blatche

Keith Bogans

Tornike Shengelia

Kris Joseph

Injuries

None

Key Matchups

vs

Avery Bradley vs Deron Williams

Williams is averaging 18.7 points, 7,7 assists and 3.1 rebounds this season and is always an offensive threat. Avery's defense will definitely be needed in this game to try to contain Williams and to keep their offense from getting into their sets quickly

vs

Paul Pierce vs Joe Johnson

In the first meeting between these two teams, Johnson was 6-17 from the field for 19 points and he hit two huge shots down the stretch to give the Nets the win. He is averaging 16.3 points per game but always seems to hit big shots against the Celtics and Paul will need to work on defense to keep him from having a big game.

Honorable Mention

Kevin Garnett vs Brook Lopez

Lopez has been playing very well, averaging 19.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game. He is dangerous if allowed to play close to the basket as he gets offensive rebounds and second chance points. KG and Shavlik have to keep him out of the paint and away from the basket as much as possible.


Keys to the Game

Defense - The Celtics need to continue to tighten up their defense, especially in transition and on the pick and roll. he Nets have been tough on defense, holding teams to 95.0 points per game (5th in the league) The Celtics are 11th, allowing 96.4 points per game. The Celtics have to tighten up their defense as it is their defense that is going to set them apart from the rest of the league in the playoffs.

Bench Play - The Celtics need their reserves to continue to find their chemistry and to produce. The reserves have been playing well, but the Nets second unit has been outscoring their counterparts by 10.1 points per game. The Celtics reserves must contribute on both ends of the court if they want to win this game.

Rebound - The Celtics need to crash the boards in order to limit New Jersey's fast break points and second chance baskets. Both Reggie Evans and Brook Lopez have been big on the boards this season. The Celtics are still 29th in the league in rebounding while the Nets are 10th. We need to see a strong effort from every player on the team. When they put out the effort to win the battle of the boards, that often translates to the rest of their game.

Be Aggressive - The Celtics must be the more aggressive team. They have be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers. They have to be aggressive on defense and in going after rebounds and loose balls. The Nets have been very aggressive this season and the Celtics need to match that.

X-Factors

Home Court and Nets Back to Back

Although home court hasn't meant all that much in this series with each team winning on the opponent's court, the Garden is still a tough place for opponents to win. The Nets are playing in the second of back to back games and fatigue could be a problem for them down the stretch.

Official Report

Scott Foster

A veteran official of 18 NBA seasons, Scott Foster has worked 1,124 regular season and 94 playoff games, including eight Finals games during his career. He was a member of the crew that officiated the 1996 Europe Tour in Berlin, Germany and Seville, Spain. In addition to his NBA experience, Foster has two years of CBA officiating experience, two years of collegiate officiating experience in the Southern and Big South conferences and six years of high school officiating experience in Maryland.

Foster came into the public eye as the best friend of former referee Tim Donaghy. In his book, Donaghy describes Foster as a very honest and good guy who knew nothing of his gambling. However, recently Donaghy described Foster as a company man who will do what is asked of him to keep his seniority among refs. Foster was part of the 2010 Finals game 7 officiating crew that called the final quarter completely different than the first 3 quarters and very one sided for the Lakers with 21 free throws for the Lakers and 6 for the Celtics in the final 12 minutes.

The Celtics are 1-4 this season and 4-6 in their last 10 games with Foster on the court. Foster called a 107-75 loss to Philly in the preseason this year, a loss at Detroit and a win vs the Bucks. None of the 3 games was remarkable, one way or the other. He also called the loss at the Lakers where they shot 31 free throws to 20 for the Celtics and they got the benefit of a lot of questionable calls. He also called a loss to the Heat where the Celtics shot 24 free throws to 21 for the Heat. The Nets are 2-3 this season and 3-7 with Foster in their last 10 games. His home W/L record this season is 36-29. Foster as a lead ref can be very good but he can also be very bad.

Sean Corbin

The 17-year NBA officiating veteran returns for the 2012-13 NBA Season having worked 954 regular season NBA games and 44 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 1-3 this year with one loss to the Nets in the preseason and a loss to the Bulls where the officiating was terrible (although most of the bad calls were by Marc Davis rather than Corbin). Even Hubie Brown was complaining about how bad many of the calls in that game were. Corbin also called a win over Golden State where the Celtics shot 28 free throws to 22 for the Warriors and if anything, the officiating seemed to favor the Celtics. He also called a one point loss to the Hornets where the Hornets shot 26 free throws to 17 for the Celtics and the calls seemed to favor New Orleans. Corbin didn't call any games last season so the his previous games with the Celtics were all in 2009-10. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games with Corbin. The Nets are 1-1 this season and 4-6 in their last 10. His home W/L record is 32-23.

Josh Tiven

Joshua Tiven is entering his third NBA season having officiated 109 NBA games. Tiven has seven years of NCAA officiating experience, as well as two years of WNBA officiating experience and two seasons of WNBA Playoff experience. He also has worked three NBA D-League Finals, as well as the 2007-08 NBA D-League All-Star Game.

The Celtics are 3-2 this season and 6-4 over their last 10 games with Tiven. One loss this season was New York in OT in the preseason in which the Knicks shot 38 free throws to 33 for the Celtics. The second loss was also to the Knicks where the Knicks shot 18 free throws to 22 for the Celtics. One win was the Orlando game, also an OT game . The other wins were against the Sixers and the Suns. All of the games were fairly well officiated. The Nets are 2-1 this season and 3-7 over their last 10 games. Tiven lives in Connecticut and he has a twin brother who is a big Celtics fan and who was shown in the crowd at the Garden in a game he officiated there. His home W/L record this season is 31-19.

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