The Boston Celtics returned from a 1-4 road trip looking for answers, trying to find the form that had them favored to win the Eastern Conference. Now, two games into a three-game homestand that ends against the Utah Jazz Saturday night, some of the answers have been found. After cruising to a win over the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night, the Celtics pulled out a 123-116 overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors Friday night at TD Garden.
Much has been made about about the Celtics' offensive struggles this season, but their league-best defense deserves some attention, too.
-- NBA G League referees Mousa Dagher, Ashley Moyer-Gleich, Matt Myers, Phenizee Ransom and Natalie Sago have been promoted to full-time NBA staff officials, it was announced today by Monty McCutchen, NBA Vice President, Head of Referee Development and Training. The five officials join as new additions to the full-time NBA officiating staff. Adair was added to the staff at the start of the 2018-19 season. “These officials have excelled in the specific performance areas that warranted working NBA games on a regular basis,” said McCutchen. “All five referees have achieved the pinnacle of their profession and will continue to work on their craft as they join the NBA officiating staff.” In addition
Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell both say that you can't talk basketball with everyone. With analytics taking over basketball, the war between eye-test metric versus stats people has ramped up lately, and many players aren't fans of the way some people talk and cover the sport. There's an old saying from players that if you didn't play competitive basketball or can't hit a left-hand layup, you can't talk about basketball. Clearly, that's not going to stop people on the internet or Twitter from talking about hoops, but it's evident that a lot of players in the league are getting tired of random people voicing their opinions about a sport they have been
Ashley Moyer-Gleich and Natalie Sago The two referees are among five officials who were promoted by the NBA to full-time status, making them the fourth and fifth such women in league history. Moyer-Gleich and Sago follow former league refs Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner and current official Lauren Holtkamp. “It's been unreal, really,” Sago said. “I've had great role models, Lauren being one, and other NBA referees at these camps who kept saying, 'You've got something.' And all of a sudden, bam, I got the phone call, and it's such an honor.” Said Moyer-Gleich: “I know that I'm good enough. I know I belong there.” The league also promoted Mousa Dagher, Matt Myers and Phenizee Ransom to the full-time
Derrick White, SAN: White finally made his season debut Nov. 7, and after a quiet 16 minutes in that contest, he's been in the starting lineup over the last two games. White has parlayed the extended opportunity into averages of 12.5 points, 6.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals across 28.0 minutes over that brief stretch, and he appears set to remain on the first unit moving forward. On a starting five with three talented scorers to dish the ball to in DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay, White should continue to have plenty of opportunities for assists while also providing strong supplemental offense himself. Collin Sexton, CLE: Sexton is making good use of a starting opportunity thus far in the wake of George Hill's shoulder injury, as he's averaged 17.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
The Utah Jazz lost a game they had every right to lose, but it feels worse because they almost stole it. Utah's 113-107 loss to the Philadelphia stings more because they had a chance with 2 minutes remaining to sneak out of Philly with a win despite playing sloppy defense, missing 16 free throws, shooting 18% from three, and losing the rebound battle. The silver lining to this game will be that Utah played much better against a much better opponent. Utah had to claw their way back into this game due to an atrocious first quarter as the Philadelphia 76ers led by as many as 16 points. Utah shaved away the lead and by the end of the 3rd quarter they had taken the lead and made this thing a game.