KG and Pierce Expected to play as Celtics take on Magic

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics visit the Magic for their 3rd and final meeting of the season and looking for a sweep of the season series.

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Boston Celtics (40-39) at OrlandoMagic (20-59)
Saturday, April 13, 2013
7:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #80, Road Game #40
TV: CSNNE, FSFL, NBA-LP 753(BOS)/754(ORL)
Radio: WEEI, WDBO
Amway Center
Referees: Bennett Salvatore, Kevin Scott, Zach Zarba

Game Thread l Chat

Boston Celtics Tickets

The Celtics visit the Magic for their 3rd and final meeting of the season and looking for a sweep of the season series. The Celtics won both previous meetings, one at home and one in Orlando.

The Celtics have lost 2 in a row while the Magic are looking for their second straight win. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games while the Magic are just 2-8 in their last 10. The Magic have a 12-27 record at home while the Celtics have a not much better 13-26 record on the road.

I have no idea who will or won't be playing in this game. Doc may choose to sit Jeff Green after falling on his arm in the Miami game. There have been rumors that KG and Pierce will play in this game but then again, if they are still having ankle problems, Doc may sit them one more game. At this point, I'm not sure it matters. The starters may end up being completely different, but as of now, this is my best guess.

The Celtics need just one more win or one more Milwaukee loss to clinch the 7th spot. They won't move up and hopefully will stay in the 7th spot. It's also pretty certain that they will be playing the Knicks in the first round. No matter who plays in this one, it would be nice to get a win on the road. They are going to have to win on the road in the playoffs, and so far they haven't proved that they can.



Probable Starting Matchups

Point Guard

vs

Avery Bradley vs Beno Udrih

Shooting Guard

vs

Paul Pierce vs E'Twaun Moore


Small Forward

vs

Jeff Green vs Maurice Harkless

Power Forward

vs

Brandon Bass vs Tobias Harris

Center

vs

Kevin Garnett vs Nikola Vucevic

Celtics Reserves

Terrence Williams

Jason Terry

Courtney Lee

Shavlik Randolph

DJ White

Chris Wilcox

Jordan Crawford


Injured

Rajon Rondo (knee) out

Jared Sullinger (back) out

Paul Pierce (ankle) probable

Kevin Garnett (ankle) probable

Jeff Green (arm) probable


Red Claws

Fab Melo

Magic Reserves

Hedo Turkoglu

Andrew Nicholson

DeQuan Jones

Kyle O'Quinn

Al Harrington

Doron Lamb

Injuries

Arron Afflalo (hamstring) out

Glen Davis (foot) out

Jameer Nelson (ankle) day to day

Key Matchups

vs

Paul Pierce vs E'Twaun Moore

Assuming that Pierce plays, he will be matched up with former Celtic E'Twaun Moore. Former Celtics always seem to have career nights against the Celtics.

vs

Kevin Garnett vs Nikola Vucevic

Vucevic has been the bright spot for the Magic in this first post-Dwight season. He is averaging 12.9 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. KG may or may not play in this one but whoever plays him needs to keep him away from the basket.

Keys to the Game

Defense - Defense is the key to winning. Period. T The Celtics need to commit to playing defense and make that their priority in each and every game from now on because it becomes even more important in the playoffs.

Rebound - Rebounding continues to be a weakness for the Celtics and they have to do better as a team aggressively going after rebounds. Much of rebounding is effort and when the Celtics put out the effort on the boards, that effort translates to the rest of their game as well.

Be Aggressive - The Celtics have to be aggressive from start to finish. They have to take the ball to the hoop and not settle for jumpers, especially if the jumpers aren't falling. They also have to be aggressive in going after loose balls and rebounds as well. And most important, they have to be aggressive on defense.

X-Factors

Road Game and Injuries

The Celtics have not played well on the road this entire season. They must find a way to improve their focus and get some wins on the road. They will need to win on the road in the playoffs and they have 2 more road games in the regular season to figure it out.

Official Report

Bennett Salvatore

Bennett Salvatore has been an official in the NBA for the past 30 seasons, and has worked 1,684 regular season and 203 playoff games including 25 NBA Finals games. The veteran official has also worked the 1993 and 2002 NBA All-Star Games, the 1993 McDonald’s Championship in Munich, Germany, and the 1997 Mexico Challenge. Prior to joining the NBA, Salvatore spent two years officiating in the CBA, and also has 10 years officiating high school. Salvatore missed the entire 2011-12 season with an injury.

Salvatore may just be the worst ref in the league, and that is saying a lot. Almost always one team or the other gets an advantage when he is officiating and I'll give you a hint, it usually isn't the Celtics.

Salvatore made one of the most controversial calls in NBA finals history in game 5 of the 2006 finals. The call basically gave the Heat their championship. Here is Bill Simmons' take on the call.

Salvatore called the foul on Wade's final drive in overtime (remember, the call where ABC couldn't find a replay to show that anyone touched him?) even though he was standing at midcourt a full 35-40 feet from the play, and even though two other refs were closer to the play. Not only was that NOT his call, he butchered it.

Another of Salvatore's "butchered" calls was in the 2008 conference finals when he waved off a contested 3-pointer that Paul Pierce had hoisted over Richard Hamilton, inducing Hamilton to leave his feet with a ball fake and land on Pierce's back. Pierce, however, was charged with an offensive foul for creating the contact with Hamilton. It was a terrible call. The thing with Salvatore is you never know what you will get. He can be good but he can also be very, very bad.

The Celtics are 3-0 this season and 8-2 in their last 10 games with Salvatore. The first win this season was over Portland at home in which the Blazers shot 37 free throws to just 20 for the Celtics. The second win was over the Kings where they shot 26 free throws to 20 for the Celtics. The third win was over the Bobcats where Charlotte shot 21 free throws to 20 for the Celtics. Despite the free throw disparities, the officiating wasn't all that bad in the 3 games. The Magic are also 3-0 this season and 6-4 in their last 10 games with Salvatore. His home W/L record is 37-23.


Kevin Scott

Kevin Scott enters his second NBA season having officiated 28 regular season games. Scott’s experience includes four seasons and 138 games officiated in the NBA DLeague where he officiated the playoffs in 2009, 2010, 2011 and was selected to work the NBA DLeague Finals in 2011. Scott’s collegiate experience includes four years in the Southeastern Conference, 10 years in the Atlantic Sun Conference, six years in the Southern Conference, and seven years in the Big South Conference. He was also one of the replacement officials during the referee lockout in 2009. He may be remembered for ejecting Bobcats'coach Larry Brown from an exhibition game that season and then calling security to escort him from the court when he didn't leave quickly enough for Scott. Brown was fined $60,000 for verbally abusing Scott.

This will be Scott's seventh career game for the Celtics and the Celtics are 4-2 with Scott in his career. The first was a win over NJ where the Nets shot 28 free throws to 17 for the Celtics. The second was against the Bobcats where the Celtics shot 45 free throws to 35 for Charlotte and every play seemed to result in a foul. The third was vs the Wizards where the Celtics shot 34 free throws to 7 for the Wizards and the Celtics seemed to get the benefit of a lot of close calls. Another game was at Cleveland where both teams took 22 free throws and the officiating was good for the most part. He also called the OT win over Utah where the Celtics took 20 free throws to 24 for the Jazz and the officiating was good. The last game he called was the 1 point loss at New Orleans where the Hornets took 26 free throws to 17 for the Celtics and the officials missed a couple of key calls down the stretch. The Magic are 3-2 with Scott over his career. His home W/L record this season is 35-14.

Zach Zarba

Zach Zarba has officiated 559 regular season NBA games and 17 Playoff games during his nine-year career. Prior to joining the NBA, Zarba officiated in the NBA Development League for two years, where he was part of the crew that officiated the 2003 D-League Finals. He also spent one year officiating in the CBA and two years officiating in the IBL. Zarba has three years of collegiate officiating experience in the ACC, SEC, Colonial, ASUN, OVC and NEC Conferences. In addition, he has three years of high school officiating experience in New York. While at New Paltz, Zarba was a member of the basketball team and was named captain his senior season.

The Celtics are 4-1 this season and 7-3 in their last 10 games with him. In the win over Cleveland, Zarba made 3 terrible calls down the stretch which prompted Tommy to say "Zach Zarba, every time we have this guy he makes things up." In the win over Brooklyn on Christmas Day, the Nets shot 29 free throws to 13 for the Celtics and again there were some very bad calls against the Celtics. In the win over the Clippers, the Celtics shot 27 free throws to 21 for the Clippers and the officiating was fairly good. In the loss to the Grizzlies, the Celtics shot 28 free throws to 24 for the Grizzlies and the officiating was bad all the way around with bad calls going both ways. The Magic are 1-2 this season, and 4-6 in their last 10 games with Zarba as an official. His home W/L record this season is 34-31.

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