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Celtics look to pull a win out of the hat as the Magic visit the Garden

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The Celtics look to win their second straight game as they host the Orlando Magic.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Magic (10-17) at Boston Celtics (8-14)
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #23, Home Game #14
TV: CSNNE, FSFL, NBA-LP 754(DTV), 754(Xfinity)
Radio: WZLX 100.7 FM, ESPN 580 AM
TD Garden

Referees: Marc Davis, Nick Buchert, Josh Tiven

The Orlando Magic visit the Celtics for the first of 4 meetings between these two teams. They will meet again on December 23 in Orlando and then on March 8 in Orlando and on March 13 in Boston. Both teams are 4-6 in their last 10 games. The Celtics are 5-8 at home while the Magic are 7-11 on the road.

The Celtics have won 12 of the last 13 meetings between these two teams and they have won the last 7 games in Boston. Boston comes into this game off of a 105-87 win over the Sixers while the Magic come into the game off of a 95-82 loss to the Raptors.

The Magic average only 92.3 points per game on the road while the Celtics allow 105.2 points per game at home. This should be an interesting game to see which of these trends, if any, will hold in this game.

Other than rookie Aaron Gordon, the Magic are mostly healthy. The Celtics, on the other hand have been struggling with injuries. Marcus Thornton, James Young, and Vitor Faverani are out. They hoped to get Marcus Smart back for this one, but he was unable to complete practice on Tuesday and is doubtful for this one.

Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard

Rajon Rondo vs Victor Oladipo

Shooting Guard
Avery Bradley vs Evan Fournier

Small Forward
Jeff Green vs Tobias Harris

Power Forward

Jared Sullinger vs Channing Frye

Tyler Zeller vs Nikola Vucevic

Celtics Reserves
Phil Pressey
Evan Turner
Brandon Bass
Dwight Powell
Tyler Zeller
Gerald Wallace

Vitor Faverani (knee) out
Marcus Thornton (calf) out
Marcus Smart (Achilles) -doubtful
James Young (shoulder) out

Magic Reserves
Ben Gordon
Elfrid Payton
Maurice Harkless
Kyle O'Quinn
Dewayne Dedmon
Willie Green
Andrew Nicholson
Luke Ridnour
Devyn Marble

Aaron Gordon (foot) out

Key Matchups
Tyler Zeller vs Nikola Vucevic
Vucevic is averaging 18 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He is an interior defender as well as a force on offense in the paint. Zeller will have his hands full trying to contain him. The Celtics won't have it easy when getting into the paint unless Zeller can move him away from the basket.

Jeff Green vs Tobias Harris
Harris is averaging 18.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game and has been playing very well. Jeff Green will need to be active on both ends of the court to counter Harris' effectiveness.

Honorable Mention
Rajon Rondo vs Victor Oladipo
Last year's rookie of the year runner up has been playing very well this season averaging 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 steals a game. Coach Stevens has been calling for Rondo to be more aggressive, and this would be a good time for him to break out a more aggressive game.

Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense wins games pure and simple. Unfortunately this has been where the Celtics have struggled the most, allowing teams to score 106.5 points, which is 3rd worst in the league. They have to somehow figure out a way to get stops, especially late in games.

Rebound - The Celtics have to crash the boards in order to give themselves extra possessions as well as to prevent the Magic from getting second chance points and fast breaks.

Play 48 Minutes - The Celtics have had lapses in each of their losses. They have either fallen behind and then had to catch up or got off to a big lead and then let up and lost it. They have to focus and play hard from the opening tip until the final buzzer with no let up!

Pace and Space - The Celtics must set the pace and run on every possession. It seems that they run to start most games and build a lead or hang with teams but then they slow it down and walk the ball up the court and no longer keep up the pace or the lead.

Be Aggressive - The Celtics need to be the more aggressive team. They must be the first to loose balls and rebounds, and they have to be aggressive in driving to the basket and not always settling for jumpers. They must be aggressive on defense and set the tone for the game. Kelly Olynyk showed what aggressiveness can do in the last game vs the Sixers and the other Celtics need to take their cue from that and be aggressive on both ends of the court in this one.


At Home and Effort
The Celtics should get a boost from playing at home. The Magic have not been awful on the road and so the Celtics have to take them seriously and play with effort. If they put out the effort on both ends of the court, they should be able to get a win in this one.

Official Report

Marc Davis

Marc Davis has been an NBA official for the past 16 seasons, working 977 regular season games, 55 Playoff games, and the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. Davis has officiated four Finals games during his career. 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. He grew up in Chicago and is still active in the Chicago area.

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. The Celtics history with Davis goes way back also. 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?

In a win against the Hawks three seasons ago 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. Greg 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 that game to the league because Davis made it all about him. Davis also called Game 1 of the Hawks playoff series three seasons ago. 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 and suspended.

In a game two seasons ago against the Bulls, 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 and Hubie doesn't usually comment on the officiating. Last season, in a game against the Kings, Davis even got to the mild mannered Brad Stevens. Davis ignored obvious pushing and shoving by DeMarcus Cousins all night. At one point, Gerald Wallace pointed out an obvious fould by Cousins and was tossed to which Stevens pointed out that he could have thrown out Cousins all game and was tossed.

The Celtics are 2-0 this season, including a win over the Knicks in preseason, and 3-7 in their last 10 games with Davis while the Magic are 1-9 in their last 10 with Davis. His home W/L record this season is 10-11.

Nick Buchert
Nick Buchert enters his fifth NBA season having officiated 219 games. Buchert owns nine years of collegiate officiating experience. Additionally, he has officiated the 2010 NBA D-League Finals and 2010 NBA D-League All-Star Game. There's not much controversy about Buchert and he has been decent in his games with the Celtics. The Celtics are 1-0 this season and 6-4 in their last 10 games with Buchert while the Magic are 2-8 in their last 10. His home W/L record is 7-13.

Josh Tiven
Joshua Tiven is entering his fifth NBA season having officiated 227 NBA games and one playoff game.
Tiven has seven years of NCAA officiating experience, as well as two years of WNBA officiating experience and two seasons of WNBA Playoff experience. He also has worked three NBA D-League Finals, as well as the 2007-08 NBA D-League All-Star Game. Tiven lives in Connecticut and he has a twin brother who is a big Celtics fan and who has been shown in the crowd at the Garden when Tiven was officiating. Tiven also has little controversy in his time in the league and has been fairly good in the games he has called for the Celtics. The Celtics are 2-0 this season and 6-4 in their last 10 games with Tiven while the Magic are 1-9 in their last 10 games with Tiven on the court. His home W/L record this season is 10-8.