Boston Celtics (41-39) at Toronto Raptors (32-48)
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #81 – Road Game #41
TV: CSNNE, SNET1, NBA-LP
Radio: WEEI, CJCL
Air Canada Centre
Referees: Ed Malloy, Tony Brown, Scott Twardoski
This is the 4th and final game between these two Atlantic Division rivals. The Celtics lead the series 3-0 and are looking to close out the series with a sweep. Since their first meeting this season, the Raptors are a much improved team.
The Raptors are playing in back to back games and had to travel from Atlanta overnight for this game. Because the Celtics game was canceled on Tuesday, they were able to travel on Tuesday and should be fresh and ready for this game.
I'm going to guess that Doc will play the regular starters and try to test out his playoff rotation in this game since it is the final game of the season. I'm listing the starters as given in the game notes, but who knows if they will start or sit. I don't expect the starters to play big minutes if they do play, however.
The Raptors are coming off an impressive win over the Hawks and have won 4 in a row. Looking at the Matchup Edge, it's surprising that the Raptors lead in all but 2 categories. The Celtics are looking for their second straight win and would like to go into the playoffs with some positive momentum.
Celtics travel to Toronto looking to sweep the season series with the much improved Raptors.
PG: Avery Bradley
SG: Paul Pierce
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (back) out
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: DeMar DeRozan
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Amir Johnson
Andrea Bargnani (elbow, wrist) out
Jeff Green vs Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay has settled in with the Raptors and has made them a much better team. He is a dangerous scorer and Green will get a chance to display his defense in trying to slow down Gay, who is averaging 18.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Paul Pierce vs DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan is another dangerous scorer who can go off for big numbers on any night. He is averaging 17.9 points per game for the year, but has stepped up his game as the year comes to a close, averaging 22 points over his last 5 games.
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 of the playoffs and this would be a good time to gear it up. They need to play tough defense and lock down the Raptors. A nice blow out win would be a great way for the Celtics to close out the season.
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. But they also have to stay focused and make smart passes so that they don't turn the ball over.
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 have to keep their focus and their aggressiveness for 48 minutes and not let up.
Focus on the Road
The Celtics have struggled on the road this season. They need to come out focused and play their game and establish their rhythm going into the playoffs. The Celtics are veterans and playing on the road shouldn't be a problem for vets. They have to win on the road if they expect to get out of the first round of the playoffs.
Malloy has officiated 629 regular season NBA games and 32 playoff games, including three Finals games, over the past 10 seasons. Prior to joining the NBA, Malloy officiated for one season in the NBA D-League, three seasons in the CBA and three seasons in the WNBA. He worked the 2002 NBA D-League Finals and the 2001 CBA Finals. Malloy attended St. Joseph’s University before transferring to Philadelphia University, where he was a member of the basketball team and named the ECAC Player of the Year in 1993 and went on to earn a degree in Marketing. While in high school at Cardinal O’Hara, he was named the 1989 Most Outstanding Player in Philadelphia for his achievements on the basketball court. Ed Malloy joins Tim Donaghy, Duke Callahan and Joe Crawford as referees who graduated from Cardinal O'hara HS in Philly.
In 2003, when Doc was with Orlando, Malloy called a technical foul on Andrew DeClercq for staring. Doc called it one of the worst calls he ever saw (boy has he seen a lot worse since then!)and he said that he felt that Malloy had been intimidated all night. Fast forward to the Celtics game in Utah two seasons ago when Malloy, no longer intimidated, called 2 quick technicals on Doc and ejected him. Here is Doc's version of those calls.
"I just told Ed [Malloy], please keep officiating the game," said Rivers. "That’s all I said. I thought the play before [the technical] was a clear travel in front of him. So I just said, ‘Hey Ed, it’d be nice if you’d keep officiating throughout.’ He gave me a tech. Then I said, ‘That’s the best call you’ve made all night.’ Usually, it’s nice to earn them, but [Monday's technicals were] another bad call."
Malloy was also on the crew that officiated game 1 of the Miami series in the 2010 playoffs where 5 technicals were called and Kevin Garnett was ejected. He also officiated game 1 of the Heat series in 2011. In that game, after ignoring a flagrant foul by James Jones and then a second flagrant foul by Dwyane Wade, Malloy ejected Pierce for technicals when he objected to both flagrants against him in less than a minute. Last season he called game 2 vs the Hawks in the playoffs. The Celtics shot 31 free throws in that game vs 20 for the Hawks and got the benefit of most close calls. He also called game 5 in the Philly series in which the Celtics shot 33 free throws to 16 for the Sixers and again the Celtics got the benefit of close calls.
The Celtics are 1-3 this season and 4-6 in their last 10 games with Malloy as an official. The first regular season game, after a loss to Brooklyn in the preseason, was the win over the Lakers at home where the Celtics shot 25 free throws to 30 for the Lakers and the officiating wasn't all that bad. The second game was the loss on the road to the Bobcats where the Celtics took 25 free throws to 30 for the Bobcats and the officiating was ok. The last game was the loss at Dallas where the Mavericks took 28 free throws to 27 for the Celtics and the officiating was okay. He can be good and he can be very very bad on any given night. The Raptors are 2-1 this season and 2-8 over their last 10 games with Malloy. He isn't necessarily influenced by the home crowd. His home W/L record is 37-30.
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 3-4 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. 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 last game was a loss at Portland where the Blazers took 19 free throws to 15 for the Celtics and again, the refs let them play. The Raptors are 3-1 this season and 4-6 in their last 10. His home W/L record is 45-22.
Scott Twardowski officiated 42 regular season games in his first year on the staff. Twardowski’s experience includes six seasons and 206 games officiated in the D-League. He also has four seasons of NBA preseason game experience and worked in NBA summer camps for eight years. He also has seven seasons of WNBA experience, working both the All-Star game and Finals. In addition to his professional experience, Twardoski officiated collegiate games for 12 years in the Pac 10, Big 12, Big Sky and West Coast Conferences and has 10 years of high school officiating experience. Twardoski worked as a teacher for five years in the 16th School District, Covington, AZ.
He has called only 5 games for Boston over his career: a win in Cleveland, a win vs Orlando in which Orlando took 30 free throws to 19 for the Celtics, and a loss at Sacramento in which the officiating was uneven, all last season. This season, his only games with the Celtics were a win in Charlotte in which the officiating wasn't bad and a win over the Wizards in which the Celtics took 21 free throws to 12 for the Wizards and the calls somewhat favored the Celtics. The Raptors are 1-1 this season and 3-5 over Twardoski's career. His home W/L record for this season is 33-19.