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Celtics Close out Road Trip in the Big Easy

Boston Celtics (0-2) at New Orleans Hornets (1-0)
Wednesday, December 28
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #3, Road Game #3
Referees: Scott Foster, Tony Brown, Josh Tiven
New Orleans Arena

Game Thread l Chat Room

Celtics are closing out their first road trip in New Orleans. They are also playing in their first back to back of the season. In spite of this being the second of back to back games and the third game on the road after 2 very tough games to start the season, this is a very winnable game.

The Hornets are still reeling from the trade of Chris Paul and the defection of David West and are trying to find their identity with all the new players. But, they did pull off a win in their first game in Phoenix, so the Celtics will still have to play well in order to get a win in this game. They can't take them for granted, especially since this is the Hornet's home opener and they will want to get a win for their fans.

If the Celtics don't want to go 0-3 to start the season they need to come out strong and not let up. Slow starts have doomed them in the first two games. Since this is the second of back to back games, Doc needs to play the younger guys more or the starters won't have anything left at the end of the game. After playing 44 minutes last night, Rondo will be running on fumes if Doc doesn't give him a rest in this game.

PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Sasha Pavlovic
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Jermaine O'Neal

Celtics Reserves

Avery Bradley
Marquis Daniels
Chris Wilcox
Brandon Bass
Keyon Dooling
E'twaun Moore
Greg Stiemsma
JaJuan Johnson

Paul Pierce (heel) day to day
Mickael Pietrus (knee) out
Chris Wilcox (shoulder) questionable

PG: Jarrett Jack
SG: Eric Gorden
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Carl Landry
C: Emeka Okafor

Hornets Reserves

Greivis Vasquez
Al-Farouq Aminu
Gustavo Ayon
Marco Belinelli
Carldell Johnson
Trey Johnson
Chris Kaman
Jason Smith
Lance Thomas

DaJuan Summers (knee) out

Key Matchups
Ray Allen vs Eric Gordon

Kevin Garnett vs Carl Landry

Keys to the Game
Play 48 minutes - The Celtics have gotten off to slow starts two games in a row and have had to fight back from a deep hole in both games only to fall short at the end. They need to start quickly and not let themselves get behind as it takes too much effort to try to dig out of the holes they find themselves in.

Defense - The Celtics have allowed over 60 points in the first half of both games so far and have allowed over 100 points in both losses. They need to clamp down on defense from the beginning.

Be the aggressor - The Celtics have been reacting to their opposition rather than being the aggressor and getting out to a lead and keeping it. They need to run the break, be aggressive on defense and dive for loose balls.

Rebound the ball - The Celtics have to be more aggressive on the boards. One rebound for their starting center just won't cut it. When your point guard is the team's leading rebounder, you know that the bigs on the team have to be more aggressive on the boards.

Limit turnovers - The Celtics turned the ball over way too much against the heat and those turnovers led to fast break points. They have to take better care of the ball and be more careful with their passes.
Official Report
Scott Foster
Foster has officiated over 720+ regular season games and 25+ play-off games. Foster has 2 years officiating experience in the CBA. Prior to becoming an official, Foster modeled for department store mannequin mold makers. He 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 also part of the 2010 Finals game 7 officiating crew that called the final quarter completely one sided for the Lakers and completely different from the way the rest of the game had been called. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games with Foster on the court. The Hornets are 2-8 with Foster in their last 10 games. His home W/L record this season is 1-1
Tony Brown
This is Brown's 9th season in the NBA. He has officiated over 220+ regular season games and is one of only 3 active officials to have worked in all 3 leagues associated with the NBA family. Before starting his career in the NBA he worked for the NBDL, the CBA and the WNBA. He also officiated games at the college level. The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games officiated by Brown. The Hornets are 6-4 in their last 10 with Brown. His home W/L record this season is 1-0.

Josh Tiven
This is Tiven's second full season as an NBA Referee. He was part of a group of NBDL refs who officiated several games in the 2010 season as part of an initiative aimed at preparing top prospects to move up. He also spent time calling games in the WNBA and college before moving to the NBDL. Tiven has only officiated 7 games for the Celtics over the past 2 seasons and they are 4-3 in those games. The Hornets are 1-3 in their last two seasons with Tiven on the court. His home W/L record is 1-1.

X Factors
Fatigue and Officiating
The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games and have been playing short handed. They are also playing in their 3rd road game to start the season. They also had 2 tough matchups in NY and Miami where the starters had to play right up until the end of the game.
The officiating has been pretty bad in the Celtics' first two games with very questionable calls going against the Green team at crucial times. Even the Heat fans and the TNT announcers were questioning some of the calls against the Green team. Hopefully the Celtics will get a fair shake from the officials in this one.

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