Boston Celtics (0-1) at New York Knicks (1-0)
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
8:00 PM ET
Playoff Game #2 Road Game #2
TV: TNT, TSN2, CSNNE, MSG
Radio: WEEI, ESPN NY
Madison Square Garden
Referees: Derrick Stafford, David Jones, Rodney Mott
Game Thread l Chat
The Celtics will try to regroup and fix their problems from game 1 while the Knicks get Prigioni back and expect to be even stronger in game 2 because of it. The Celtics certainly can play better than they did in game 1 but it remains to be seen if they will.
KG took just 5 shots in the second half of game 1 and Doc has said that he will be looking to keep KG more involved in the offense in this game. Doc went just 8 players deep in the first game and the 3 reserves he put on the floor didn't produce so they need to get more from their bench, whether limited players produce or Doc goes deeper into the bench. Doc also said that he hopes to see better ball movement and execution as well.
The Celtics have struggled to win on the road throughout the season and they must find a way to win on the road in this series. That will take focus and execution and effort for 48 minutes. They had a 7 point lead with under a minute left in the 3rd quarter and then seemed to run out of gas. They stopped being aggressive and allowed the Knicks to set the tempo. They have to play 48 minutes and must be more aggressive for 48 minutes.
The Celtics should take some inspiration from the Bulls, who were blown out in game 1 by the Nets but came back and won game 2. The Bulls and Celtics have been staying in the same hotel so maybe they can share the same game 2 fortunes as well.
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (back) out
Marcus Camby (foot) questionable
Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) out
Pablo Prigioni (ankle) probable
Brandon Bass vs Carmelo Anthony
The Knicks expect Pablo Prigioni back for this game and so they will be shifting their starting lineup a bit. Melo will be at the power forward spot and it will fall to Brandon Bass to defend him. Bass played well in the first game and hopefully will bring it this game as well.
Jeff Green vs Iman Shumpert
Prigioni's return will allow the Knicks to shift their defensive specialist Iman Shumpert to small forward. The Celtics need Green to play big for them and hopefully he will be able to figure out Shumpert's defense.
Kevin Garnett vs Tyson Chandler
Neither of these two players played well in game 1, which may have been due to both coming back from missing the last stretch of games with injuries, or it could be due to a lingering injury that neither will admit to. Doc has said that he is going to try to get KG more involved in this game and that would a good thing for the Celtics.
to the Game
Bench Play - The Celtics bench players didn't show up in game 1. Knicks reserves scored 33 points to just 4 for the Celtics. Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford didn't score and Courtney Lee scored the 4 points on free throws along with an assist to Kenyon Martin for a dunk. Doc went just 8 deep and I can't help but think that he needs to give TWill, Wilcox, and Randolph a chance especially if the players he puts out there at first aren't producing.
Limit Turnovers - The Celtics turned the ball over 21 times in game 1 and the Knicks scored 20 points off those turnovers. Many of the turnovers were the result of careless passes and ball handling. The Celtics have to take better care of the ball and make crisp passes along with keeping their focus when handling the ball. But, at the same time the Celtics must move the ball and not settle into hero ball.
Rebound - Rebounding is always key. The Celtics were able to stay even with the Knicks in game 1 and they need to continue to put out the effort to crash the boards and grab rebounds in order to limit the Knicks fast breaks and second chance baskets and to give themselves extra possessions.
Be Aggressive - The Celtics must be the more aggressive team. They have to be the team that dives for loose balls, crashes the boards, hustles for the 50-50 balls and drives to the basket to draw the foul. They also must be aggressive on the defensive end, denying passes and preventing easy baskets.
Defense - Last, but certainly not least, the Celtics must make defense a priority. It's still true that defense wins championships and the Celtics must prevent the Knicks from getting easy baskets and open looks. They especially have to stay on their shooters on the 3 point line as the Knicks are very good 3 point shooters. But they also have to guard the basket because the Knicks are also very good at getting to the hoop for easy baskets.
Bench Production and Focus on the Road
The Celtics need to get more from their bench if they hope to win this game. Doc went just 8 deep in game 1 and the 3 players he put in didn't produce. They must give the Celtics a boost in this game whether the players Doc put on the floor produce or he goes deeper into the bench.
Can the Celtics find a way to focus on the road and to keep that focus for 48 minutes.
Over his 24 NBA seasons, Derrick Stafford has worked 1,453 regular season, 112 playoff, and six Finals games. He was a member of the crews that officiated the1992 Legends All-Star Game in Orlando, the 1997 McDonald’s Championship in Paris and the 2002 NBA All-Star Game. The 24-year NBA officiating veteran has also served twice on the Executive Board of the National Basketball Referee Association. Stafford has six years of CBA officiating experience, and he officiated Pro-Am basketball for six years. He also has seven years of collegiate officiating and 10 years of high school officiating experience in Georgia where he worked the state finals. While at Morehouse College he played football for two years and baseball for four. Stafford made All Conference three years in baseball and led the confereence in hitting in 1978. He was also co-most valuable player in baseball with NFL referee Jerome Boger in 1976. Stafford is the founder and president of his own foundation, "Don’t Foul Out, Inc.".
Stafford is known to be quick to call technical fouls. Pat Riley and Stafford have a bit of bad blood between them. Back in 2003 when Riley was coaching, he accused Stafford of shouting "It's not about you." at Riley when Riley complained excessively about the calls. Stafford was suspended for 2 games as a result. Stafford was also fined as a result of a complaint that Lawrence Frank made when he was coach of the Nets. I found 4 other articles detailing complaints about Stafford for his actions or comments. It seems that Mr Stafford is a hot head who loves to lash out at players and coaches who question him. Hopefully he has mellowed a bit or the way Doc rides the officials may get under his skin.
The Celtics are 3-0 this season and 7-3 over the last 10 games with Stafford on the court. One win was over the Thunder where the free throws were even at 24. The second win was over the Magic where the Celtics took 14 free throws to 9 for the Magic. The third win was at Philadelphia where the Sixers took 18 free throws to 16 for the Celtics. The officiating in all three games was good and the refs pretty much let them play. He called a loss to the Lakers last season where the officiating was terrible and the Celtics shot just 5 (yes, that's FIVE) free throws to 20 for the Lakers so he can be good and he can be bad depending on the game. The Knicks are 4-4 this season and 4-6 over their last 10 games with Stafford. His home W/L record this season is 43-28.
Jones has officiated 1,387 regular season games and 45 playoff games throughout his 23 seasons as an NBA official. In addition, Jones officiated both the men’s and women’s 2000 Olympic Bronze Medal Games. Jones has eight years of collegiate officiating experience in the Southeastern, Trans-American Athletic, Metro and Sunshine State Conferences.
He was one of the refs who helped to train Tim Donaghy and was very outspoken in condemning Donaghy's actions and felt that Donaghy's actions took the "ethics and integrity of the profession and threw them out the window." I guess he hasn't looked very hard at the current crop of refs that lack ethics and integrity. The Celtics are 0-5 this season and 3-7 in their last 10 games with Jones while the Knicks are 5-3 this season and 6-4 in their last 10 with Jones. Although the opponents took more free throws than the Celtics in all 5 games, none were particularly terribly officiated. Jones' home W/L record this season is 47-17.
Rodney Mott has officiated 923 regular season games and 14 playoff games during his 15-season NBA career. Prior to joining the NBA officiating staff, Mott spent four years officiating in the CBA, eight years officiating in the Los Angeles Pro Am basketball league, three years officiating at the junior college level, and four years officiating high school in San Diego. In 2007, Mott was suspended without pay for 3 games for making an obscene gesture and inappropriate comment toward a fan. Mott challenged the charges and said that they used him as a scapegoat to take attention away from other issues, but the suspension stood.
The Celtics are 2-3 this season and 5-5 over their last 10 games with Mott. One loss this season was to the Sixers and the officiating was good. The second loss was to the Spurs and the officiating was one sided with the Celtics shooting just 8 free throws to 20 for the Spurs. It was Rodney Mott that Rondo was joking with and accidentally bumped in the game vs the Hawks. Even though Mott didn't show any reaction at the time and backed up Rondo's story that he was indeed joking with him at the time, Rondo was suspended for the incident. The 3rd loss was to Charlotte where the Celtics shot 26 free throws to 30 for the Bobcats and there were several questionable calls down the stretch. The second win was over the Pacers and the officiating was terrible in the first half where they called the Celtics for 12 fouls and the Pacers for 5. They did a better job in the second half though. The Knicks are 3-0 this season and 7-3 with Mott in their last 10. His home W/L record this season is 45-25.
Alternate Official: Josh Tiven
Celtics are hoping that 2nd times' a charm as they look to even the series with a win in game 2.