Celtics look to get back on track as they begin a 4 game home stand

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics begin a 4 game home stand looking for their first win this season over the Detroit Pistons.

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Detroit Pistons (25-50) at Boston Celtics (38-36)
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #75, Road Game #37
TV: CSNNE, FSD, LP 755(DET)/756(BOS)
Radio: WEEI, 97.1 FM The Ticket
TD Garden
Referees: Marc Davis, Brent Barnaky, Kane Fitzgerald

Game Thread l Chat

Boston Celtics Tickets

The Celtics face former Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank and his Pistons for the 3rd and final time this season. Before getting excited that this will be an easy game against the 25 win Pistons, remember that they have already beaten the Celtics twice this season. The Pistons won the first game between them 103-83 and the second game 103-88 and so the Celtics should be looking to avenge those losses along with trying to get on track and find their rhythm going into the playoffs.

The Celtics have played pretty well at home this season with a 25-11 record at the Garden. The Pistons are just 10-27 on the road. Both teams have been struggling with the Pistons going 2-8 in their last 10 games and the Celtics going 3-7 in their last 10. The Celtics have lost 2 in a row while the Pistons are looking to win their second straight after beating the Raptors on Monday. Detroit has won their last 4 games against the Celtics.

The Celtics are still in the 7th spot in the East but they have dropped to just 1.5 games in front of the Bucks, who own the tie breaker should the two teams end up tied. The Celtics are 3 games behind Chicago in the 6th spot and 3.5 games behind Atlanta in the 5th spot. So, pretty much the Celtics are playing to stay in the 7th spot and not drop back into 8th. The Pistons are playing for ping pong balls, but as with every team, it seems that they would rather beat the Celtics than get a better draft spot.

It will seem strange not seeing Paul Pierce against Tayshaun Prince, who was traded at the deadline to the Grizzlies after 11 seasons in Detroit. Doc said on Monday that Paul Pierce would definitely be playing in this game but Pierce didn't participate in the shoot around this morning and is considered a game time decision. Personal reasons are still given as the reason for his absence but no details have been given. Kevin Garnett also was not at shoot around and is considered out for this game.

The Pistons are one of the teams that the Celtics should beat but they are also a team that they shouldn't take for granted as can be seen by their blow out losses in the first two games between these two teams.

Probable Celtics Starters

PGSGSFPFC

Avery Bradley.... Paul Pierce.... Jeff Green.....Brandon Bass.... Chris Wilcox

Celtics Reserves

Jordan Crawford

Terrence Williams

DJ White

Shavlik Randolph

Courtney Lee

Jason Terry

Injured

Rajon Rondo (knee) out

Jared Sullinger (back) out

Kevin Garnett (foot/ankle) out

Paul Pierce (personal) game time decision


Red Claws

Fab Melo

Probable Pistons Starters

PG SGSF PF C

Jose Calderon...... Brandon Knight...Kyle Singler....Greg Monroe ..... Andre Drummond

Pistons Bench

Rodney Stuckey

Corey Maggette

Jonas Jerebko

Khris Middleton

Charlie Villanueva

Kim English

Viacheslav Kravtsov


Injuries

Jason Maxiell (eye) out

Will Bynum (hand) day to day

Key Matchups

vs

Brandon Bass vs Greg Monroe

Greg Monroe is averaging 15.9 points and 9.6 rebounds this season, but in the two games vs the Celtics, he has averaged 17.5 points and 12 rebounds. Just think of what Pekovic did to the Celtics in their last game and you'll realize why it will be important for Bass to keep Monroe out of the paint.

vs

Chris Wilcox vs Andre Drummond

Drummond is averaging 7.4 points and 7.5 rebounds this season and has been playing well. But as with Monroe, he seemed to play even better against the Celtics and scored 16 points in his last game against the C's.


Honorable Mention

Jose Calderon vs Avery Bradley

This is the first time the Celtics will face Calderon on the Pistons. He is averaging 11.4 points and 7.1 assists for the year. Hopefully Avery has busted his slump and will be able to hit his shots as well as slowing down Calderon from getting the Pistons into their sets quickly.

Keys to the Game

Defense - It all begins with defense. When they play lock down defense they are very hard to beat. When they get lax on defense, they struggle all the way around. Without KG, the Celtics have struggled on defense and they have to find a way to get back to playing Celtics defense again.

Rebound - The Celtics need to be aggressive on the boards. Rebounding is effort and if the Celtics are putting the effort out to grab rebounds then that effort will translate to the other areas of their game. Every Celtic needs to crash the boards. It has to be a team effort.


Focus and Aggressiveness
- It could be easy for the Celtics to let down their guard in this one. But they need to keep their focus and be aggressive. They have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers. They have to be aggressive on defense and going for loose balls. They have to focus on every player playing his role in the team game.

X-Factors

Home Again and Final Stretch

The Celtics are back home again where they have played well this season. They have to let the crowd pump them up to get a win against a team they haven't been able to beat yet this season. They also have to get very serious about finding their rhythm and identity as a team during this final stretch going into the playoffs.

Official Report

Marc Davis

Marc Davis has been an NBA official for the past 15 seasons, working 851 regular season games and 43 playoff games, and the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. Davis officiated his first two Finals games during the 2010- 11 season. In addition to his NBA experience, Davis has three years of CBA officiating experience and three years of collegiate basketball officiating experience in the OVC and TAAC Junior Colleges. In 2000, Davis was the recipient of the Honorary Nate Humphries Award, an honor given by the Chicago Public League Coaches Association in recognition of enshrinement of an official into the Chicago Public League Hall of Fame.

Davis was investigated for threatening to whoop Allen Iverson's a** when AI complained about a call in a game in 2005, but was not suspended for it. In 2009, Davis was seen after a Celtics/Bulls game with his family all decked out in Bulls gear. Can a Bulls fan honestly call a Celtics game without any bias, especially one against the Bulls? One loss last season was a 1 point loss to the Cavs in which Davis and friends ignored a very obvious foul committed against Paul Pierce in the final seconds of the game and in which the Cavs shot 20 free throws to 14 for the Celtics. In a win against the Hawks last season with Davis the officiating was terrible. The Hawks shot 23 free throws to 13 for the Celtics. KG fouled out in that game on a terrible call. They were holding his jersey and had an elbow in his back and they called the foul on KG. Stiemsma fouled out shortly after on two more terrible calls. In the 4th quarter, 12 fouls were called on the Celtics and only 4 on the Hawks. In OT, 4 fouls were called on the Celtics while none were called on the Hawks, even through there were several very obvious fouls committed. Donny Marshall usually doesn't comment on the officiating but said that the Celtics needed to send the tape of this game to the league because Davis made it all about him. Davis also called Game 1 of the Hawks series last season. There were missed and bad calls the entire game. At one point, the ref at half court called an obvious foul on the Hawks when Davis, right next to the play, failed to call it. The frustration over the lack of calls boiled over and resulted in Rondo bumping Davis and being ejected.

The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games and 1-3 this season including a win over the Knicks in the preseason and a loss at Milwaukee where the officiating was good and a loss at the Clippers where LA shot 24 free throws to 15 for the Celtics and they missed calls both ways. The last loss was vs the Bulls and the officiating was terrible. With 12 seconds left, Pierce was trapped and fouled, including a busted lip, right in front of Davis with no call. Rondo was signalling for a time out right in Davis' face but they called a jump ball instead of calling the foul or the time out. Even Hubie Brown was talking about how bad the calls were the entire game. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games with Davis on the court.The Pistons are 2-2 this season and 4-6 in their last 10 games with Davis on the court. His home W/L record is 37-23.

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 1-3 this season and 3-7 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. The win was over the Raptors where the Celtics shot 30 free throws to 26 for the Raptors and the officiating was good. The Pistons are 2-3 this season and they are 4-6 over their last 10 with Barnaky. His home W/L record this season is 23-22.

Kane Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald has officiated 175 games in his three seasons as an NBA official. Fitzgerald started refereeing at the age of 18 at the high school level in New Jersey. Prior to the NBA, he had professional experience in the NBA D-League for four years (2005-2009) and the WNBA for two years (2008 and 2009). He also refereed NCAA Division I basketball in the Ohio Valley, Atlantic Sun and Big South Conferences for two years (2004 - 2006).

You may remember Fitzgerald from two seasons ago when he gave KG a very quick pair of technicals (from about 30 feet away) and tossed him in the 2nd quarter of the Celtics 104-101 win over the Knicks (in which Amare scored 30). In another outing that season with the Celtics, the loss to the Bobcats in Charlotte, he tossed Stephen Jackson after 2 quick questionable T's. His quickness in giving technicals dates back to his days in the D-league where he was close to the top in calling technical fouls there as well.

Fitzgerald called the Celtics first game of the season against the Heat where the refs let the Heat get away with shoving and grabbing all night long which resulted in the frustration flagrant on Wade at the end. The other game he called this season was the Nets game that resulted in a brawl. The refs gave Doc a T for yelling to Rondo. They let the Nets get away with pushing and shoving and hard fouls the entire first half. The Nets shot 17 free throws to 5 for the Celtics in the first half and 3 of those free throws were on technicals. They did better in the second half after the brawl, but the refs' failure to call the game evenly in the first half led to frustrations and the fight. The Celtics are 0-2 this season and 5-5 in their last 10 games with Fitzgerald and the Pistons are 0-4 this season and 3-7 in their last 10 games with Fitzgerald. His home W/L record this season is 42-19.

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