Utah Jazz (23-35) at Boston Celtics (23-34)
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #58 Home Game #31
TV: CSN-NE, ROOT, NBA-LP 755(DTV), 755(Xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, KZNS
Referees: Tony Brothers, Matt Boland, Scott Wall
The Celtics return home after losing big to the Cavs in Cleveland to host the Utah Jazz. The Celtics beat the Jazz on the road 99-90 on their first western road trip in January. Gordon Hayward led the Jazz in that game with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Tayshaun Prince led the Celtics with 19 points. The Celtics are a much different team since that game. The Jazz aren't all that different other than losing Enes Kanter at the trade deadline.
Both teams are playing in back to back games and both teams had to travel. The Celtics game ended earlier than the Jazz game but fatigue could be a factor for both teams. The Celtics are 14-16 at home while the Jazz are 10-19 on the road. The Celtics have played well in the 2nd night of back to backs. They are 2-0 in the 2nd game of road/home back to to backs and they are 6-5 overall in the second game of back to backs.
The Jazz have won their last 3 games and 2 straight on the road. They have also won 5 of their last 6 games in spite of being out of the playoff picture. Part of that is the play of Rudy Gobert who moved into the starting lineup when Enes Kanter was traded. In his last game, he scored 15 points and pulled down 24 rebounds.
PG SG SF PF C
Marcus Smart.....Avery Bradley....Evan Turner....Brandon Bass...Tyler Zeller
Kelly Olynyk (ankle) day to day
Jared Sullinger (foot) out
PG SG SF PF C
Dante Exum...... Joe Ingles..... Gordon Hayward.....Derrick Favors.....Rudy Gobert
Alec Burke (shoulder) out
Evan Turner vs Gordon Hayward
Hayward is averaging 19.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season. In the first meeting with the Celtics he Gordon Hayward led the Jazz in that game with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. the Jazz with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. The Celtics need to try to slow him down if they want to get a win.
Favors is playing very well with 10 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Bass will need to make him work at both ends of the court.
Tyler Zeller vs Rudy Gobert
Gobert has been a monster in the paint for the Jazz, especially since moving into the starting lineup. He pulled down 24 rebounds in his last game and is a threat to block or alter just about every shot at the rim. Zeller will have to somehow keep him away from the basket and keep him from getting put backs and second chance points on offensive rebounds.
Keys to the Game
Rebound - Much of rebounding is effort and when the Celtics put out that effort on the boards, we see it in the other areas of the game. They didn't show much effort in any part of the game vs the Cavs and with a front line of Hayward, Favors and Gobert, The Jazz are second in the league in second chance points and so the Celtics have to beat them to the rebounds. The Celtics will need to put out extra effort to win the battle of the boards in this one.
Move the Ball - The Celtics need to move the ball and make the extra pass. The ball seemed to stick too much against the Cavs and as a result the offense was stagnant. They also have to take better care of the ball, make smart passes, and limit their turnovers. The Jazz lead the league in 3 point defense over their last 6 games and so the Celtics shouldn't depend three pointers if they aren't getting open looks and if they aren't falling.
Play 48 Minutes - The Celtics can't afford to dig a hole at the beginning of the game and they can't let up at the end and lose focus and miss shots and allow the Jazz to score. They also can't afford those periods in the game where they turn the ball over and lose their focus. They have to play hard from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
Defense - Defense is the key to winning each and every game. The Celtics must play swarming team defense, especially in transition. Defense wins games and it has to come from every player. Over their last 6 games, the Jazz are leading the league in points allowed at 82.7%. The Celtics must increase their efforts on defense because with stifling defense like that on the other side, chances are they won't outscore the Jazz without some tough defense of their own.
Effort and Aggressiveness - The Celtics need to be the more aggressive team. They have to play hard and be the team that wants it more. They certainly didn't do that against the Cavs and the result was very ugly. They need to be aggressive in this one and they have to put forth their best effort on both ends of the court.
Fatigue and Focus
The Celtics are playing in the second of back to back games after a tough loss on the road the night before. The Jazz are also playing in back to back games and are on the road. The team that can overcome fatigue and play hard down the stretch will get the win. The Celtics seemed to lose focus against the Cavs and they have to regain their focus and play the right way in this game if they want to get a win.
Tony Brothers is entering his 21st season as an NBA official and has officiated 1,206 regular season games, 72 Playoff games and four NBA Finals games during his career. He was a member of the crew that officiated the 1996 Mexico Challenge, 1998 Schick Rookie Game, 1999 McDonald’s Championship in Milan, Italy and the 2008 China Games. Prior to joining the NBA, Brothers spent four years officiating in the CBA, including three CBA Finals and a CBA All-Star Game. He has one year of collegiate officiating experience at the Junior College level. Brothers also has seven years of high school officiating experience in Virginia, including three state tournaments.
The Celtics are 0-2 this season and 4-6 in their last 10 games with Brothers while the Jazz are 3-0 this season and 7-3 in their last 10. Two seasons ago, in a game vs the Knicks, twice Brothers made the correct call from across the court after Dick Bavetta, who was standing right on top of it, missed the call. All in all, Brothers is one of the better refs in the league. But, inexplicably in the last game he called for the Celtics, which was against the Lakers, he was terrible. He was the referee who ejected Isaiah Thomas on a bogus technical call, which has since been rescinded. He also missed a clear travel and double dribble by Lin right in front of him at a very crucial time. There wre bad calls and bogus calls all game. The Lakers shot 38 free throws to 27 for the Celtics. Even the Lakers fans were complaining about the officiating going their way all game. Here is a comment from the Lakers boards that says it all, "The Refs are screwing our tank." His home win/loss record this season is 25-22.
Entering his 13th season as an NBA official, Matt Boland has worked 653 regular season games. Prior to joining the NBA, he spent seven years officiating in the CBA, including the 1999, 2000 and 2001 CBA Finals. He also
officiated for five years in the WNBA and worked the 2002 and 2003 WNBA Finals, as well as two years in the NBA D-League, working the 2003 Finals. Boland also has five years of USBL officiating experience, including the 1997 USBL Finals. Boland officiated at the collegiate level for four years, working in the MAAC, Ivy, Northeast, TAAC and OVC Conferences. He also has high school officiating experience in his home state of Connecticut and worked two State Finals games in 1997 and 1998.
Boland, along with Scott Foster, was questioned by the FBI in regard to the Tim Donaghy case after it was found that Donaghy often phoned Boland on game days. The FBI cleared both Boland and Foster of involvement in that betting scandal, but that doesn't mean much. In this season's game vs the Bulls, the officiating was totally one sided with the Celtics taking 11 free throws to 40 for the Bulls. Tommy said this about it: "This was an abomination. It wasn't even close to a decently officiated game." In the recent game against the Warriors, he made a terrible foul call to end the half on a last second heave. It was egregious enough that even the Warriors fans thought it terrible. Down the stretch, all the calls went the Warriors way, which even Warriors fans commented on. The Celtics are 2-4 this season and 5-5 over their last 10 games with Boland while The Jazz are 1-0 this season and 5-5 in their last 10. Boland's home W/L record this season is 24-17.
The son of former USA Basketball Director Bill Wall, Scott Wall has officiated 1,039 regular season games and nine playoff games over his 19 NBA seasons. In addition to his NBA experience, Wall has four years of officiating experience for USA Basketball, four years of collegiate officiating experience in the Atlantic Coast, Ohio Valley, and Trans America Athletic Conferences, and five years of high school officiating experience in Kansas and Alabama.
Wall was the ref that called the clothesline on Barbosa by Bogans in the Nets game 2 seasons ago just a regular foul. Wall also officiated the Cavs game this season where they called it evenly through 3 quarters and then they gave the game to the Cavs in the 4th quarter. Wall also officiated the last Warriors game along with Matt Boland where all the calls down the stretch went the Warriors way. The Celtics are 1-3 this season and 1-9 in their last 10 games with Wall while the Jazz are 2-1 this season 4-6 in their last 10. His home W/L record is 22-20.