at Boston Celtics (29-26) at Portland Trailblazers (25-30) Sunday, February 24, 2013 9:00 PM ET Regular Season Game #56, Road Game #27 TV: CSNNE, KGW, NBA-LP 760 Radio: WEEI, KXTG Rose Garden Referees: Monty McCutchen, Tony Brown, Eric Dalen
The Celtics make their only trip to the Rose Garden this season for the
4th game of their 5 game road trip. This is the first of back to back
games with the second in Utah on Monday. The Celtics won the first
game in the series at TD Garden 96-78. The Celtics won the only
meeting between these two teams last year, 104-86 at TD Garden.
Celtics have won 6 in a row and 13 of the last 14 games from the
Blazers. The 6 game win streak is the longest active losing streak
against any opponent for the Blazers. The Celtics are the only team in
the league to have a winning record in the Rose Garden (27-24).
Portland is a pretty good home team with a 17-9 record. The Celtics
have struggled on the road with a 9-17 record and won their first road
game against the Western Conference on Friday against the Suns.
Blazers are 2-8 in their last 10 games and the Celtics are 7-3 in their
last 10. The Celtics are looking for their second straight win on this
road trip while the Blazers are stuck in a 7 game losing streak that
they would love to break out of. The Celtics should get a win in this
game if they play aggressively and stay focused. They also will need
another solid effort from the new guys.
Probable Starters Point Guard
Avery Bradley vs Damian Lillard Shooting Guard
Courtney Lee vs Wes Matthews
Paul Pierce vs Nicolas Batum
Brandon Bass vs LaMarcus Aldridge
Kevin Garnett vs JJ Hickson
Jared Sullinger (back) out
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Elliot Williams (Achilles) out
Avery Bradley vs Damian Lillard
has been playing very well and is averaging 18.4 points, 6.5 assists
and 3.2 rebounds per game. It will be up to Avery to slow him down.
Brandon Bass vs LaMarcus Aldridge
Blazers are playing the 6'11" Aldridge at the 4 and the 6'9" Hickson at
the 5. I expect Doc to put KG on the bigger Aldridge, who is averaging
20.8 points and 8.7 rebounds a game. Stopping Aldridge will be key.
Keys to the Game Defense -
The biggest key to every game is defense. This is even more important
on the road where the opponents get a boost from their fans and the
Celtics will need to clamp down even tighter on defense. The Celtics
must make defense their number 1 priority
The Celtics are shorthanded in the middle, even with KG back. They
have to make an extra effort to rebound as a team. When the Celtics put
out the effort to out-rebound their opponents it usually results in a
win. When they don't make the effort to rebound, it affects the effort
in the other areas as well.
Be Aggressive - The
Celtics need to be the more aggressive team. They were aggressive in
going to the hoop against the Suns and they need to continue that in
this game. They also have to be more aggressive on the boards, going
for loose balls and on defense. X-Factors
Effort and Focus
Celtics are on the road and in order to win they need to be focused and
put forth a solid effort from the opening tap to the final buzzer. On
the road they can't afford to coast or put out less than 100% effort.
Monty McCutchen has officiated 1,138 regular season, 94 playoff, and six Finals games. He worked the 2007 NBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas and was a member of the crews that officiated the 1996 and 1997 Mexico Challenges, as well as the 1998 Schick Rookie Game. Prior to joining the NBA, McCutchen spent four seasons in the CBA, where he worked the All Star game his second year and the playoffs all four years. He also officiated the CBA Finals the last three years he was with the league. McCutchen missed the 1998-99 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
He is a former elementary and middle school teacher and is fondly remembered by his students as a really nice guy. In searching for information on him, I found a Cavs' blog that blamed a loss to the Celtics on the officiating of Monty McCutchen. That was the game where Mike Brown was ejected and the Cavs made a furious comeback but fell short. In game 2 of the WCF, McCutchen flipped out on someone and yelled "I'm running this game not you!" as Serge Ibaka went to the line for free throws. Other than that, there's not a lot of controversy about him.
The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games and 2-3 this season with McCutchen on the court. He officiated the Heat game to open the season. Needless to say, he allowed Wade and Battier to grab and shove off and foul all game, which led to Rondo's flagrant on Wade out of frustration. He also called a preseason loss to the Knicks and a win over the Wizards where the Celtics took 34 free throws to 7 by the Wizards. He called the 103-88 loss to the Pistons where the Celtics took 25 free throws to 31 for the Pistons, but the officiating wasn't particularly bad. He also called the win over the Lakers at home and the officiating wasn't bad. The Blazers are 1-0 this season and 6-4 in their last 10 games with McCutchen. His home W/L record this season is 31-12.
Tony Brown has officiated 586 regular season games and two playoff games in his first 10 seasons as an NBA official. Prior to joining the NBA, he officiated for four seasons in the NBA Development League and CBA and three in the WNBA. During that time he worked the 2002 NBA D-League Finals, the 2002 WNBA All-Star Game and the 2001 CBA Finals. Brown attended Florida A&M prior to transferring to Clark Atlanta University, where he received his degree in Finance. As a member of the basketball team, Brown earned All-State honors at Amos P. Godby High School in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Celtics are 3-3 with Brown this season and 6-4 in their last 10 games with Brown. In the loss to the Spurs, they shot 20 free throws to 8 for the Celtics and the officiating was one sided in their favor for much of the game. In the win over the Rockets, they shot 29 free throws to 18 for the Celtics, but the officiating was okay. In an OT loss to Atlanta, the Hawks shot 36 free throws to 20 for the Celtics and the officiating was terrible and pretty much one sided in their favor. In a win over the Bulls, the Celtics shot 12 free throws to 17 for the Bulls and the refs pretty much let them play. The Blazers are 2-0 this season and 9-1 in their last 10. His home W/L record is 32-12.
Eric Dalen officiated 223 regular season games in his first four NBA seasons. Prior to the NBA, Dalen worked for five seasons in the NBA Development League and officiated the 2008 D-League All Star Game and the Finals. He also officiated for three years in the Southeastern Conference. Dalen was a two-year letter winner at the University of Minnesota where he played tight end for the football team. I couldn't find much on the guy other than an article where Andrew Bynum was complaining about Dalen calling all 6 fouls on him in a game in 2008.
He called 4 games for the Celtics last season. The first 3 were well officiated. But in the fourth, a loss to Chicago, the Bulls shot 28 free throws to 14 for the Celtics and the officiating was terrible. The Bulls shot 9 free throws before the Celtics shot 1 in spite of a lot of contact and no calls on behalf of the Bulls. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games with Dalen and 1-1 this season. The last game was the OT loss to the Hawks where Atlanta took 36 free throws to 20 for the Celtics and the officiating was pretty much in their favor all game. The Blazer are 0-2 this season and 2-8 in their last 10 games with Dalen officiating. His home W/L record this season is 24-15.