19-year officiating vet Bill Kennedy (#55) heads tonight’s crew as the Celtics head to New Orleans. Tyler Ford (#39) and Gediminas Petraitis (#50) round out the referee roster.
Kennedy made substantial headlines several years ago when he made “the call he had to make” — coming out of the closet as a gay man in a league that’s not always welcoming.
That call, as ESPN called it, came after Rajon Rondo complained about one of Kennedy’s on-court rulings — using an anti-homosexual slur that drew a hefty fine.
“I am proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man,” he told Yahoo Sports in 2015.
He also officiated game 3 of the 2011 Celtics-Heat playoff series
Home-away — Kennedy’s not afraid to rile the home-town fans. The home team is just 27-24 straight up in games he officiates, well below the league average. Ford and Petraitis, not so much: the home team is 61-39 (combined) in their games.
Fouls and totals — This crew is a combined 74-76 on the over-under total, not a strong tendency there. All three officials call slightly less than the league average for fouls per game.
A “let-em-play” crew could be helpful to Boston’s muscular but less-than-fleet-footed bigs like Greg Monroe, Aron Baynes, Al Horford, and Guerschon Yabusele. It will take a village to contain Anthony Davis — and do so without letting Pelicans like Rondo, Jrue Holiday and others run wild.