Chicago Bulls (24-17) at Boston Celtics (22-21)
Friday, January 22, 2016
7:30 PM ET
Game #44, Road Game #22
TV: CSNNE, WPWR.NBA-LP753(DTV)/752(xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, ESPN 1000AM WRTO
Referees: John Goble, Lauren Holtcamp, Gary Zielinski
The Celtics return home from their 1-2 road trip to host the Chicago Bulls. This is the 3rd and final meeting this season between these two teams. The series is tied 1-1 with each winning on their home court. The Bulls won the series last season 2-1 and the Celtics haven't won the season series with the Bulls since the 2008-09 season. The Bulls are 14-11 vs the Celtics since the 08-09 season.
The Bulls are playing in the front end of a back to back set.. The Celtics were supposed to play in Philadelphia on Saturday but that game has been postponed due to the snowstorm that expected in the Philly area on Friday night . Saturday night's game has been postponed until Sunday night at 7:00 PM ET. The Bulls have a road/road set and will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night. The Bulls are 2-1 in the first game when it is on the road and 3-3 overall in the first game of back to back sets.
The Celtics are 11-10 at home while the Bulls are 8-9 on the road. The Celtics still have no injuries listed. The Celtics 3 rookies will probably be with the Red Claws unless Mickey's ankle keeps him on the injured list for both teams. The Red Claws will be playing at home at 7:00 PM ET. The Bulls will be without Mike Dunleavy (back), Joakim Noah (shoulder), and Kirk Hinrich (quad), who are all listed as out for this game. Jimmy Butler is listed as probable with an illness and will be a game time decision.
PG:Isaiah Thomas ...............................................SG Avery Bradley
C: Jared Sullinger
SF: Jae Crowder ................................. ............PF Amir Johnson
PG: Derrick Rose ............................................. SG: Jimmy Butler
C: Paul Gasol
SF: Tony Snell ............................................. PF: Taj Gibson
Mike Dunleavy (back) out
Kirk Hinrich (quad) out
Joakim Noah (shoulder) out
Avery Bradley vs Jimmy Butler
Butler has surpassed Rose as the star of this team. He is averaging 20-2.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.76 steals. Butler is dangerous as both a scorer and a distributor. In Chicago's loss in Boston, he scored 36 points but had no assists. In their win in Chicago, he scored 19 points but had 10 assists. Avery's defense will be put to the test in this game.
Jared Sullinger vs Pau Gasol
Gasol is having a good season and has had some big games. He is averaging 16.3 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.23 blocks. Gasol has averaged 19.4 points and 15 boards in his last 5 games vs the Celtics. He had 17 points and 18 boards in the Bulls win over the Celtics in the beginning of January. Sully needs to play tough defense and he also needs to keep him off the boards.
Isaiah Thomas vs Derrick Rose
Rose isn't exactly the player he was before the knee injuries interrupted his career, but he is still a very good player and very dangerous if you don't defend him well. He is also getting better as the season goes on. He is averaging 15.4 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game.
Keys to the Game
Defense - The Celtics and Bulls both began the season as tough defensive teams. The Celtics have lost 8 of their last 12 games while looking nothing like the tough defensive club they were in the season's first few months. Before December 30th, the Celtics allowed only 97.4 points per 100 possessions. In January, they have allowed 104.3 per 100. The Bulls have also been slipping on defense recently. The Celtics are 19-3 when holding opponents under 100 while the Bulls are 18-2 when keeping teams under 100. It's obvious that defense wins games.
Rebound - The Celtics can't score if they don't have the ball. Rebounding will be tough against Chicago's big front line, but much of rebounding is effort and desire and so the Celtics must put out the extra effort on the boards to give themselves extra possessions as well as to limit the Bulls fast break opportunities and second chance points. The Bulls are a good rebounding team, pulling down 48.8 per game while the Celtics are averaging 44.8 rebounds per game.
Run and Move the Ball - The Celtics play best when they run on every possession and run back on defense to get set before the Bulls can get into their offense. They also need to move the ball because when the ball sticks too much with one player then the offense gets stagnant. The Celtics need to move the ball to find the best shot. No hero ball.
Be Aggressive - The Celtics must be aggressive on both ends of the court. They have to be the more aggressive team going for loose balls, on defense, on the boards, and in going to the hoop. In their wins, the Celtics have been aggressive but in their losses they mostly seem sluggish. They have to play like they want it more.
Home Game - The Celtics are back at home after a 3 game road trip. At one time, the Celtics were playing better on the road than at home. They need to come in with the mindset that they are going to protect home court and let the crowd give them a boost.
Officiating - Officiating can always be an x-factor. At times they call the game even and let them play. Other times they call the game one sided or call every little touch foul and that takes all of the flow out of the game. Every crew has it's own identity and that can change the flow and outcome of the game.
John Goble enters his ninth season having officiated 514 regular season games and 28 playoff games. He also officiated the 2010 NBA All-Star Rookie/Sophmore game. Prior to working in the NBA, Goble officiated 104 games over four seasons in the NBA D-League and was selected to officiate the 2007 Finals. He also officiated in several college conferences, including the Southeastern Conference, where he was a tournament official in 2006 and 2007, and the Sunshine State Conference.
In the past, Goble has been good in some games and terrible in others. He was the referee who called the clothesline on Barbosa in a Nets game 3 seasons ago a regular foul. He also called a foul at the end of that game on an obvious clean steal that could have changed the outcome of the game. In a Clippers game two seasons ago, he ignored fouls by the Clippers and called phantom fouls on the Celtics all game. Tommy made the comment that the Celtics had no shot to win after the officiating took over. Last season, against the Timberwolves, the officiating was terrible and the Wolves shot 32 free throws to 9 for the Celtics.
In the last game he called for the Celtics last season against the Pacers, there were quite a few head scratching calls prompting Tommy to yell "That's terrible" several times. This season at Detroit, the officiating was pretty good and they let them play with 25 free throws for the Pistons and 23 for the Celtics. The Celtics are 1-0 this season and 4-6 in their last 10 games with Goble and the Bulls are 1-0 this season and 8-2 in their last 10. His home W/L record this season is 17-18.
Lauren Holtkamp is entering her second season having officiated 50 regular season games during her first year as a full-time staff official. Holtkamp has six seasons of NBA D-League experience and worked the 2013 and 2014 NBA D-League Finals. She also officiated four seasons in the WNBA and worked the 2014 conference finals. Additionally, Holtkamp officiated in numerous college conferences, including the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, American, Big East, and the Colonial Athletic Conference.
She also officiated various FIBA competitions, including the 2010 World University Games, and the 2012 and 2013 FIBA Americas Championships. Holtkamp graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in 2003 and a Master
of Arts in Communication in 2004 from Drury University where she was a member of the 2003 Women’s basketball team that competed for the 2003 Division II National Championship. She went on to earn her master of divinity from Emory University in 2010.
The Celtics are 1-0 this season and 1-3 over Holtcamp's career while the Pistons are 4-2 over her career in the NBA. In a game against Milwaukee last season, that she called the officiating was particularly terrible. There were missed calls on both sides all night. Even the Bucks fans were mentioning how they were getting all the calls and they couldn't believe it. Tommy was livid through the entire game and at one point said, "These refs shouldn't be calling a high school game. Tell girlie to get on home." He later apologized for calling her girlie, but wouldn't back down about how bad the refs were in that game.
She called the game this season vs OKC and the officiating was pretty good overall with a few bad calls going both ways. They pretty much let them play. She called a game at Detroit in which the Celtics shot just 24 free throws to 45 for the Pistons and the officiating was pretty much one sided. The Celtics are 1-1 this season and 1-4 over her career. The Bulls are 1-0 this season and 4-0 over her career. Her home W/L record this season is 18-10.
Gary Zielinski has officiated 787 regular season games and 11 playoff games. In addition to his 14 seasons in the NBA, Zielinski officiated for seven seasons in the CBA and four in the WNBA. Zielinski worked the CBA Finals from 1997-2000, the CBA All-Star Game in 1995 and the WNBA Finals from 1998-2001. In an incident two seasons ago, Zielinski was accused of cursing at DeMarcus Cousins when giving him a T but nothing ever came of it as far as was reported. Other than that, there isn't a lot of controversy surrounding Zielinski. None of his recent games with the Celtics stand out as good or bad. The Celtics 6-4 in their last 10 games with the Zielinski. This is their first game with him this season. The Bulls are 0-1 this season and 6-4 in their last 10. His home W/L record is 17-12 this season.