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Celtics close out homestand with a visit from the Spurs

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The Spurs make their only visit to the Garden with both teams looking for their 2nd win of the season.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

at
San Antonio Spurs (1-1) at Boston Celtics (1-1)
Sunday, November 1, 2015
3:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #3 Home Game #3
TV: CSN-NE, FSSW, NBA-LP 753(DTV)/752,754(Xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, WOAI 1200 AM
TD Garden
Referees: Danny Crawford, Gediminas Petraitis, Josh Tiven
The Spurs make their only visit to the Garden with both teams looking for their 2nd win of the season. The Spurs lost their opener to the OKC Thunder on the road and then did the Celtics a favor by beating the Nets at home.

The Spurs won the season series last season 2-0 and lead the all time series 47-38. With their victory over the Nets, the trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili tied the Celtics trio of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish for wins by a trio of teammates with 540 wins together.

This is the Celtics 3rd straight home game to start the season. The Spurs have played one on the road, one at home and now are on the road once again for the first of a 3 game road trip that will also take them to New York for back to back games and then to Washington for the 3rd game in 4 nights. The Celtics will play their first road game on Wednesday in Indiana.



Probable Starters
PG SG SF PF C
PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: David Lee
C: Tyler Zeller

Celtics Reserves

Evan Turner
RJ Hunter
Jonas Jerebko
Jared Sullinger
Jordan Mickey
Terry Rozier
Isaiah Thomas
James Young
Amir Johnson
Kelly Olynyk
RJ Hunter

Head Coach
Brad Stevens

Injuries
None



Probable Starters
PG SG SF PF C
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Tim Duncan

Spurs Reserves

Patty Mills
Matt Bonner
Manu Ginobili
Boris Diaw
Kyle Anderson
David West
Rasual Butler
Ray McCallum
Boban Marjanovic
Jonathon Simmons

Head Coach

Gregg Popovich

Injuries
None

Key Matchups
vs
Jae Crowder vs Kawhi Leonard
Leonard had become a star for the Spurs. He leads the team in both points (24ppg) and rebounds (9rpg). Jae's defense will be tested as he tries to slow down the Spurs top player.

vs
David Lee vs LaMarcus Aldridge
If Stevens sticks with the same starters, David Lee will have his hands more than full trying to slow Aldridge down. Aldridge is averaging 10.5 points, 8 rebounds and 2.5 assists. We may see an early entrance for Sully or Olynyk if Aldridge is feasting on Lee's defense.

Honorable Mention
Isaiah Thomas vs Manu Ginobili
In these two, we have a battle of the super subs. Neither is known for their lockdown defense but Isaiah gives up a few inches to Ginobili, who has lost a step or two since his prime but is still averaging 11.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists.

Keys to the Game
Rebound - The Celtics were out-rebounded 53-38 in their last game. They can't score if they don't have the ball, and they will struggle when constantly giving up second and third chance points. The Celtics are averaging 41 rebounds per game while the Spurs are averaging 46 rebounds per game.

Take Care of the Ball
- The Celtics turned the ball over 17 times vs the Raptors and they have to take better care of the ball if they hope to have a chance against the Spurs. The Celtics are averaging 17 turnovers while the Spurs are averaging 15.5 turnovers per game. The Celtics have to be more careful with their passes and take better care of the ball.

Defense - The Celtics have said they are making defense their priority this season and that is a good thing since defense wins championships. They especially need to tighten up their their perimeter defense as they allowed the Raptors to shoot better than 42% from beyond the arc. The Spurs have some scorers on their team and so the Celtics must lock down on defense if they want to get a win.

Make some Baskets - The Celtics couldn't buy a basket at times during their loss to the Raptors. As a team, they shot just 37.6% from the field, 26.9% from beyond the arc and a paltry 78% from the line. They need to keep their focus and hit their shots. The Spurs are a good defensive team and so the Celtics must be smart in moving the ball and in running on offense to get good shots off before the defense gets set.

X-Factors
Pride - The Celtics did not play very well against the Raptors and their Celtic Pride should kick in and help them to give this game a better effort.

Home Game - The Celtics are once again at home where they should get a boost from the home crowd and from the familiarity of their home court.

Coaching
- Gregg Popovich is considered by many to be the best coach in the league. Brad Stevens is considered to be the best young coach in the league and the heir apparent to Popovich's crown. Matchups and coaching strategy will come into play in this game.

Official Report
Danny Crawford
Entering his 31st NBA season, Dan Crawford has officiated 1,926 regular season and 265 Playoff games, including 30 NBA Finals games. During his NBA tenure, Crawford has officiated the 1994 and 2001 NBA All-Star Games, and the 1992 Japan Games in Yokohama. Prior to joining the NBA, Crawford spent four years officiating in the CBA. He has eight years of collegiate officiating experience in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conferences, and he officiated the 1983 and 1984 National Junior College Nationals.
After one of the Celtics playoff games in Chicago in round 1 in 2008, there was some controversy when he was seen leaving the arena with his family all decked out in Chicago Bulls gear. He was in the news last season because he was accused of having a bias against Marc Cuban because the Mavs were 2-16 in games officiated by Crawford and Cuban was very vocal about it. In the last regular season game that he called for the Celtics last season, the Celtics shot 34 free throws to 10 for the Pistons and most of the questionable calls went the Celtics way. So, who knows what we will get in this game. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games with Crawford on the court while the Spurs are 5-5 in their last 10 with Crawford. His home win/loss record this season is 1-1.

Gediminas Petraitis
For the second game in a row, the Celtics have referee new to the NBA this season. Petraitis He called the Celtics win at the Nets in the preseason as well as 2 games for the Spurs in the preseason, both losses. Sometimes new referees will be intimidated by the home crowd and sometimes they go the opposite way just to prove they aren't intimidated. Once again, we shall see how he does in this game. His home W/L record this season is 0-1.

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. Both teams are 8-2 in their last 10 games with Tiven. His home W/L record this season is 0-1.