Orlando Magic (21-45) at Boston Celtics (27-36)
Friday, March 13, 2015
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #64, Home Game #33
TV: CSNNE, FSFL, NBA-LP 754(DTV), 754(Xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, ESPN 580 AM
Referees: Ken Mauer, Ben Taylor, Leon Wood
For the second time in a week, the Celtics and the Magic face off, this time in Boston. In the last game, the Celtics lacked energy and aggressiveness and, after leading by as many as 20 points in the first half, they lost to the Magic 103-98. Nikola Vucevic, the Magic's best player missed that game with a sore ankle, but he should be back for this one.
Orlando has lost their last 9 games on the road and 8 straight at the TD Garden. The Celtics have won 4 of their last 5, with the loss being to this same Magic team. The Celtics have won 7 or their last 8 games at home. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games and 16-16 at home. The Magic are 4-6 in their last 10 games and 10-24 on the road.
The Celtics must win games like this that are very winnable if they want to continue their push for the playoffs. With 18 games left after this one, the Celtics are 1 game behind Charlotte for 9th place and 1.5 games behind Miami for the 8th and final playoff spot. They are also 2 games behind Indiana, who are in the 7th spot. On the other end, Orlando has the 5th worst record for the lottery and the Celtics have the 11th worst record, 7.5 games behind Orlando.
Probable Starting Matchups
Marcus Smart vs Elfrid Payton
Avery Bradley vs Victor Oladipo
Evan Turner vs Tobias Harris
Brandon Brass vs Dewayne Dedmon
Tyler Zeller vs Nikola Vucevic
Jared Sullinger (foot) out
Isaiah Thomas (back,elbow) questionable
Evan Fournier (hip) out
Willie Green (back) questionable
Devyn Marble (eye) out
Tyler Zeller vs Nikola Vucevic
Vucevic is averaging 19.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. He is an interior defender as well as a force on offense in the paint. He is averaging 18 points per game in two games vs the Celtics this season. Zeller will have his hands full trying to contain him. He missed the last game but should be back for this one and the Celtics need to be ready for him.
Evan Turner vs Tobias Harris
Harris is averaging 17.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.04 steals per game and has been playing very well. He lit the Celtics up for 21 points in their last meeting and so Turner must stay with him on defense and try to limit his touches.
Avery Bradley vs Victor Oladipo
The Celtics were missing Bradley in their last meeting and will need his defense to help slow down Orlando's backcourt. Oladipo is averaging 17.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.64 steals and is very dangerous on the offensive end. In their last game vs the Celtics, Oladipo led the Magic with 22 points. Bradley will need to play tough defense on him to keep him in check.
Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense wins games pure and simple. The Celtics' defense was good against the Grizzlies but was very porous against the Magic the last time. They need to play tough lock down defense on this team if they want to win.
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. Much of rebounding is effort and desire and when the Celtics put out that effort on the boards, it seems to carry over into the other areas of their game as well.
Pace and Space - The Celtics must set the pace and run on every possession. They have to run and keep up the pace the entire game. When they get quickly up the court they can often get easy baskets before the defense sets up. Also they need to move the ball and find the open man. When the ball stops moving and they move away from team ball, they tend to struggle.
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. After starting out aggressive in the last game vs the Magic, they stopped hustling and let the Magic out play them the rest of the way. They have to be aggressive for 48 minutes, with no let up.
Revenge Factor, Missing Isaiah, and Home
The Celtics' loss to the Magic is still very recent in their memories and they will want to avenge that loss. The Celtics will more than likely still be missing Isaiah Thomas in this game but they were able to beat the Grizzlies without him and if they play with that same grind it out mentality in this one, they should win this game as well. The players mentioned after the last game that they wanted to win every home game because of the support they get from the crowds there. They should get a boost from the crowd in this game as well
Ken Mauer has officiated 1,666 regular season, 150 playoff, and 14 Finals games during his 28-season career. He was also a member of the crew that officiated the 1993 Europe Tour in London and the 2005 All-Star Game in Denver. Mauer’s resume includes six years of CBA officiating experience, nine years of collegiate officiating experience and 12 years of high school officiating experience in Minnesota. After spending most of his life in Minnesota, Mauer has settled in Ft. Myers, Fla. where he can still watch his cousin, Joe Mauer, with the Twins in spring training. Mauer was a three sport athlete in college at Minnesota where, in 1977, he recieved All Big 10 baseball honors. Mauer regularly supports the Salvation Army, as well as other organizations. He is often a guest speaker at basketball camps and clinics, church groups and officiating groups.
Mauer is very quick to call technicals and in one game, once ejected Doc Rivers less than 3 minutes into a game, and that was before the new "Respect the Game" rules. In one Timberwolves game he might have set the record by calling 5 technicals in a 10 second span. The Celtics have to be on their best behavior with Mauer calling the game.
Mauer was one of the refs charged with tax evasion and obstructing federal tax laws for receiving substantial taxable income from 1989 through 1994 and failing to declare it. He was one of the refs in the controversial Miami/Dallas Finals where the foul calls were totally lopsided, giving the Heat the title. In a Suns/OKC game two seasons ago, Mauer told Zabian Dowdell not to be a bitch about the calls. Dowdell asked him if he'd say that off the court and Mauer ejected him from the game for it.
The Celtics are 2-1 this season and 5-5 in their last 10 games with Mauer officiating. In the 2012 ECF Game 2 vs the Heat, the Heat shot 47 free throws to 29 for the Celtics. He failed to call a foul on Wade for hitting Rondo in the head on a layup even though he was in position to see it clearly. He also failed to call a foul on Wade for kicking KG who was going up for a layup when he was again the ref in position to do so. He called a questionable clear path foul on Pietrus. Pierce fouled out on a very questionable call, joining Pietrus and Dooling with 6 fouls. LeBron James took 24 free throws himself.
In a win last season vs the Raptors, the Celtics shot 35 free throws to 19 for the Raptors and the calls seemed to favor the Celtics. In 3 other games with Mauer last season, they let them play and the officiating was even. This season, in the win over the Hawks, the officiating down the stretch was terrible. They ignored several fouls by the Hawks and called some ticky tack fouls on the Celtics. It's hard to tell which Mauer will show up, the one that lets them play and is fair or the one that tries to micromanage the game and make it about himself. The Magic are 2-1 this season and 3-7 in the last 10 games with Mauer. He is a veteran official that isn't usually swayed by the home crowd. His home W/L record this season is 23-26.
Ben Taylor is in his second season as an NBA referee. Taylor joins the full-time staff after six seasons as a referee in the NBA D-League, already having offciated 17 regular season NBA games as a non-staff official. He also serves as an FIBA International Basketball Referee.
While at Middle Tennessee State University, where he received a BA in Public Relations, Taylor was a member of the Theta Iota Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity, where he coordinated many events, headlined by the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s "Bike to Jack and Back" as the Philanthropic chair.
This is Taylor's first game with the Celtics this season. They are 1-7 over Taylor's career. The Magic are 2-1 this season and 5-5 over their last 10 games with Taylor as a referee. His home W/L record this season is 19-22.
Leon Wood’s connection with the NBA began as a player when he played professionally with Philadelphia, Washington, New Jersey, San Antonio, Atlanta and Sacramento, averaging 6.4 points, 3.2 assists and 1.2 rebounds as a guard during his six-year NBA career. In addition to his NBA playing career, Wood was a member of the Gold Medal winning 1984 United States Olympic Basketball Team, and he won another Gold Medal in the 1983 Pan-Am Games. During his 18-season NBA officiating career, he has worked 1,113 regular season games and 20 playoff games. Wood has three years of CBA officiating experience and one year of collegiate officiating experience in the Ohio Valley and Trans America Athletic Conferences. He also has one year of high school officiating experience in California.
You would think that being a former player, Wood would try to be fair but he has been a fairly mediocre ref at best. Although he's been pretty good in the Celtics games he has officiated. The Celtics are 2-1 this season and 5-5 over their last 10 games with Wood officiating. The Magic are 0-3 this season and 2-8 in their last 10 games with Wood. His home W/L record this season is 24-18.
As the Celtics continue their push for the post season, they need to avenge last week's loss to the Magic.