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Celtics look for second straight win as they host the Orlando Magic

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Celtics are looking to build on Sunday's win as they host the Orlando Magic.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
at
Orlando Magic (29-40) at Boston Celtics (40-30)
Monday, March 21, 2016
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #71, Home Game #36
TV: CSNNE, FSFL, NBA-LP 754(DTV), 753(Xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, ESPN 580 AM
TD Garden

Referees: Danny Crawford, Lauren Holtcamp, Gary Zielinski

The Celtics return home from breaking their 4-game skid with a win over the Sixers to host the Orlando Magic. This is the 4th and final meeting between these two teams this season. The Magic lead the series 2-1, with each team winning on their home court. These two teams finished last season tied 2-2.

Both teams are playing on the second night of back-to-back games. The Celtics are coming off a win over the Sixers in Philadelphia while the Magic are coming off a loss to the Raptors in Toronto. The Celtics are 10-6 on the second night of back to backs and 5-2 when the games are road/home. The Magic are 4-11 on the second night of back to backs.

The Celtics may have won their last game, but a win against the lowly Sixers doesn't prove much. The Magic may have a losing record and have lost 3 straight and 7 of their last 10, but they are far from a pushover. They came within 5 points of beating the Toronto Raptors, who blew out the Celtics. The Celtics played fairly well against the Sixers, but they are going to have to play even better to beat the Magic.

The Magic's starting center, Nikola Vucevic, has been out since March 7 and is listed as questionable with a groin injury. Elfrid Payton returned from an elbow injury to play against the Raptors and played just 16 minutes but should be available for this game. Jonas Jerebko is expected to return for the Celtics. Unfortunately, Jae Crowder is still out with the sprained ankle.

The Celtics remain in the 5th spot in the East, half a game behind Miami (4) and 1 game behind Atlanta (3). The Celtics are half a game ahead of Charlotte (6) and 3.5 games ahead of Indiana (7). Orlando is 12th in the east, 6.5 games out of the playoffs and 20.5 games ahead of the last place Sixers. Other games to keep an eye on are Spurs at Hornets, Philadelphia at Indiana, and Washington at Atlanta.

Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard

vs
Isaiah Thomas vs Brandon Jennings
Shooting Guard
vs
Avery Bradley vs Victor Oladipo

Small Forward
vs
Evan Turner vs Evan Fournier

Power Forward

vs
Amir Johnson vs Aaron Gordon

Center
vs
Jared Sullinger vs Dewayne Dedmon

Reserves
RJ Hunter
Jonas Jerebko
Coty Clarke
Terry Rozier
James Young
Kelly Olynyk
Marcus Smart
Tyler Zeller
Jordan Mickey

Head Coach

Brad Stevens

Injuries
Jae Crowder (ankle) out
Jonas Jerebko (ankle/Achilles) probable

Reserves
Mario Hezonja
Devyn Marble
Shabazz Napier
Andrew Nicholson
Ersan Ilyasova
Elfrid Payton
Jason Smith
CJ Watson

Injuries
Nikola Vucevic (groin) questionable

Head Coach
Scott Skiles

Key Matchups
vs
Evan Turner vs Evan Fournier
Fournier has been a problem for the Celtics in their meetings so far. He scored 24 points in their last meeting, including 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. He finished with 21 against the Raptors on Sunday. He is averaging 14.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Turner is going to have to stay with Fournier to keep him from having another big game.

vs
Avery Bradley vs Victor Oladipo
Oladipo is averaging 15.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals a game. In the Magic's November win over the Celtics Oladipo led the Magic with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Avery's defense will be needed in this game to slow him down and keep him from having another big game. The Celtics also need Avery's offense to be on track in this game.

Honorable Mention
Amir Johnson vs Aaron Gordon
Gordon is averaging 8.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. He has been playing very well since the All-Star break. In the last meeting between these two teams, he finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Amir had one of his best games as a Celtic on Sunday and hopefully he plays with the same intensity and effort in this game.

Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense wins games pure and simple. The Celtics' made it their priority to play tough team defense and at one time had a top 5 defense. They have let their defense slip on recent games and they must get back to playing that tough team defense. The Magic are averaging 100.9 points per game, but they have players who, if allowed to get hot, can put up a lot of points quickly. Orlando is 5-22 when scoring less than 100 points and that illustrates how important defense is in this game.

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. The Magic out-rebounded the Celtics 54-34 and 50-41 in their two wins. The Celtics have to put out extra effort on the boards to prevent that from happening again.

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. They have to play like they want it more.

Move the Ball Carefully
- The Celtics have to move the ball and find the open man. But in moving the ball, they have to make careful passes and not get sloppy. The Magic average 17.6 points off of turnovers, so they will make the Celtics pay if they don't take care of the ball. Also, the Celtics are 2-12 when they have fewer than 20 assists. They have to play as a team and keep the ball moving to be at their best.

Play 48 Minutes - The Celtics have to get off to a good start and build a lead and then not let up until the final buzzer. They have to be ready for every Magic run and meet it with defense and then make their own runs. They have to play from opening tip 'til final buzzer with no let up.

Focus on Offense - The Celtics seemed to get their offense back on track against the Sixers, shooting 48.9% from the field and 41.7% from beyond the arc. The Celtics need to stay focused, move the ball and take the best shots. In their loss to the Magic on 1/31, the Celtics shot 46 three-pointers and made just 16 of them. The 46 three pointers tied for the 3rd most in NBA history. The Celtics have the 3rd-worst 3-point percentage in the league, yet they take the 9th-most 3-pointers. On the other hand, the Celtics are 7th in the league in points in the paint. If the 3-pointers aren't falling, the Celtics need to take the ball into the paint.

X-Factors
Home Game - The Magic have traditionally played poorly at the Garden, having lost their last 10 games there. The Celtics have to draw on the energy of the home crowd and come out strong and play harder than the Magic to get the win.

Officiating - Officiating will be an X-Factor for every game. Every crew has their own way of calling the games and they have their own agendas. Will they call it fairly or in favor of one team or the other? Will they let them play or call every little contact? The way the game is called always has an effect on the players.

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. In the loss this season at home to the Spurs, he allowed the Spurs to get away with a lot of pushing, grabbing, and hacking while they called the same things on the Celtics. At the half, the fouls were 14-3 in the Spurs favor. In spite of the Celtics being aggressive in going to the basket (Celtics 52 points in the paint to 38 for the Spurs), the Spurs shot 25 free throws for the game to 14 for the Celtics. In the game against Charlotte this season the officiating was excellent and they allowed both teams to play. Both teams shot only 10 free throws and the officiating was even. So, who knows what we will get in this game. The Celtics are 1-3 this season and 4-6 in their last 10 games with Crawford on the court while the Magic are 5-0 this season and 6-4 in their last 10 with Crawford. His home win/loss record this season is 31-19.

Lauren Holtcamp
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 1-2 this season and 2-4 over Holtcamp's career while the Magic are 1-2 this season and 3-7 over their last 10 games with Holtcamp. 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. Her home W/L record this season is 28-19.

Gary Zielinski

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 1-0 this season and 8-2 in their last 10 games with the Zielinski. The Magic are 1-2 this season and 2-8 in their last 10. His home W/L record is 32-18 this season