Boston Celtics (9-8) at Miami Heat (10-5)
Monday, November 30, 2015
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #18, Road Game #8
TV: CSNNE, FS Sun, NBA-LP 752(DTV), 754(xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 790 The Ticket
American Airlines Arena
Referees: James Capers, Steve Anderson, James Williams
The Celtics continue to the second game of their 5 game road trip with a stop in Miami. The Celtics face the Heat for the 1st of 3 games this season. The Heat won the series 3-1 last season. The Celtics are 3-4 on the road while the Heat are 8-2 at home.
The Celtics are coming off a very disappointing loss to the Magic. They allowed the Magic to out rebound them by 20 and they didn't play their customary team defense, allowing the Magic to shoot 48% from the floor. It's amazing how good the Celtics can look against the Wizards and then how bad they can look against the Magic.
It's safe to say that the Celtics are missing Marcus Smart, especially on the defensive end. Smart will once again be out for the Celtics. They've proved that they can play tough defense without him, but for some reason they tend to slack off from time to time. The Celtics are playing in back to back games. They have won their last 2 back to back games and hopefully they continue with point of pride in winning these games.
For the Heat, Luol Deng has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and Amare Stoudemire has been ruled out with an illness. Gerald Green will probably get the start for Deng. Green started the last game and scored 25, along with playing good defense on Carmelo Anthony. The illness has also hit Chris Bosh who missed the shoot around and is listed as a game time decision.
Probable Starting Matchups
Isaiah Thomas vs Goran Dragic
Avery Bradley vs Dwyane Wade
Jae Crowder vs Gerald Green
Amir Johnson vs Chris Bosh
Jared Sullinger vs Hassan Whiteside
Marcus Smart (leg) out
Luol Deng (hamstring) out
Amare Stoudemire (illness) out
Chris Bosh (illness) game time decision
Amir Johnson vs Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh has been playing very well this season after returning from missing part of last season with blood clots in his lungs. He is leading the Heat with 17.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He missed the Heat's shoot around on Monday with an illness and is a game time decision. If he can't play, I'm not sure who would start in his place.
Jared Sullinger vs Hassan Whiteside
Whiteside has played very well since coming to the Heat, especially on defense. He is averaging 14.0 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.8 blocks per game. The Celtics will have a tough time scoring inside with Whiteside patrolling the paint.
Avery Bradley vs Dwyane Wade
Wade isn't the player he once was, but he is still dangerous when he gets going. He is averaging 17.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. Bradley has always played him well and hopefully he can contain him in this game.
Players to Watch
Gerald Green was the Celtics first round pick in the 2005 draft. He's been around the league and seems to have matured a bit from the high school player who came into the league. He is averaging 10.4 points but has had some big games for the Heat. He will be looking to impress his former team and so look for him to shoot often. He is coming off a 25 point game in his last start vs the Knicks and he played very good defense on Carmelo Anthony.
Rumors at draft time had Danny Ainge offering all 4 of the Celtics draft picks and then some to move up for the opportunity to take Winslow. He is averaging 7.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists.
Keys to the Game
Defense wins games. The Heat are allowing just 91.7 points per game while the Celtics are allowing 96.9 points per game. The team that is able to lock down on defense will be the team to get the win.
The Heat are averaging 45.2 rebounds per game while the Celtics are averaging 44.8 rebounds per game. Crashing the boards will give the Celtics extra possessions as well as keeping the Heat from getting fast breaks and second chance points. However, Hassan Whiteside has been cleaning up on the glass for the Heat and the Celtics will need to work hard to win the rebounding battle. The Celtics were out rebounded 54-34 by the Magic and the Celtics will need to work harder on the boards in this game if they want to get a win.
The Celtics have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers, especially if the jumpers aren't falling. They have to dive for loose balls and be aggressive in crashing the boards. They can't afford to slack off or to allow the Heat to play harder than them. They have to be the team that wants it more.
Play Hard for 48 Minutes
The starters need to come out and play aggressively from the beginning and the second unit needs to come in and pick up where they leave off. They have to attack the basket and be aggressive on defense for the whole 48 minutes. No letting up.
Run and Take it to the Hoop
The Celtics need to run on every possession. They have the legs to keep it up and not let up and to tire the older Heat out. The Celtics also have to go to the basket and not settle for jumpers. Almost every game they have offensive droughts when their shots just won't go. When that happens, they have to go inside and not continue to hoist up jumpers. Against the Magic they shot just 18.5% from beyond the arc and were outscored in the paint 52-38. They can't do that and expect to win.
Bounce Back - The Celtics have had poor games like against the Magic and then bounced back to have a much better game and a win the next game. Will they see what they did wrong against the Magic and come back to correct it for this game? The Celtics are also playing back to back and in the past, the Celtics have made it a point of pride to win on the second night of back to backs. Will that give them extra motivation?
Officiating - Officiating can always be an x-factor. In a lot of games the officiating isn't a factor. But there are some where the officiating completely tilts the game in one direction or the other. Which will the Celtics get in this game?
The son of former NBA official James Capers Sr., James Capers has officiated 1,172 regular season games, 78 Playoff games and five NBA Finals games during his 20-season NBA career. In addition to his NBA experience, Capers has six years of CBA officiating experience, including three CBA Finals and two CBA All-Star Games. I've seen several posts from Lakers fans who swear he hates the Lakers. At least he has that in his favor. In 2012, Capers called game 2 of the ECF and the officiating was terrible in that game. The Heat shot 47 free throws to 29 for the Celtics. Pierce, Dooling and Pietrus all fouled out. There were bad calls and missed calls throughout the game. Lebron James took 24 free throws himself, only 4 less than the entire Celtics team.
He was lead official in the Nets game that resulted in a brawl two seasons before last. Capers 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 the fight. Last season, he called the Golden State game and made a terrible call to end the first half on a last second heave. Even the Warriors fans thought it was a terrible call. The calls all went the Warriors way down the stretch and Warriors fans couldn't believe how they were getting the benefit of all the questionable calls. He called the game at Brooklyn this season and he made several terrible calls. One of the worst was an offensive foul call on Jae Crowder that should have been a 4 point play. This was with 1:29 to go when the Celtics were making a come back. The Celtics are 0-1 this season and 2-8 in their last 10 games with Capers. The Heat are 7-3 in their last 10 with Capers. He is a homer ref with a home W/L record this season of 9-3.
Steve Anderson enters his third NBA season having officiated 99 regular season games. He joined the full-time staff in 2013-14 after six seasons as a referee in the NBA D-League and already having officiated 18 regular season NBA games as a non-staff official. Anderson officiated the FIBA U19 World Championships in the Czech Republic in 2013. This season in a game vs the Nets, the officiating was one sided toward the Nets and Brooklyn took 30 free throws to 14 for the Celtics and that was after they tried to even it up down the stretch. He also called a game vs the Pacers last season in which there were quite a few head scratching calls that prompted a "That's terrible!" from Tommy several times. The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games with Anderson while the Heat are and 2-8 in their last 10 His home W/L record is 8-2.
James Williams enters his sixth NBA season having officiated 278 regular season games and 3 playoff games. Williams owns 10 years of experience in the collegiate ranks, having officiated for the NCAA from 2001-2010. He also officiated two seasons in the WNBA, and has worked two NBA D-League Finals as well as the 2010 NBA D-League All-Star Game. There hasn't been a lot of controversy with James Williams as a referee. None of his games stand out as terribly bad as with some refs. The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games with Williams while the Heat are 2-0 this season and 6-4 in their last 10. His home W/L record this season is 6-6.
The Celtics continue to the second game of their 5 game road trip with a stop in Miami.