Celtics rain 3′s, cool Heat.

Game 69 of 82: Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics

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The LeBron-less Miami came out on fire, connecting on 6 of their first 7 shots as they took a 12-7 lead at the first timeout. The Celtics responded, tying the game on a Jeff Green 3 at 14-14. The Heat then went on a 9-0 run before Sullinger nailed a 3, which he followed up with yet another shot from deep shortly after. Miami closed the quarter on a 18-6 run led by Haslem’s 12 points , Chalmer’s 8 assists & took a 34-22 lead at the end of 1.

The second quarter seemed to be all about the three ball. Boston started the second frame on a 9-5 run to cut the Heat lead to 9 on an Avery 3 with 8:44 left in the half. Bayless & Avery nailed back to back 3’s for the Celtics to get the Heat lead down to 6 with 6 left in the half. Ray scored for the Heat & KO followed with a 3 to cut it down to 3. Miami pushed the lead back to 7 on a Wade jumper. The Celtics outscored Miami 31-25 & trailed 59-53 at the half.

Halftime statistics:

  • Celtics 9-18 from 3, Miami 1-5
  • Heat shot 56%, Celtics 48%
  • Miami 32 points in the paint, Celtics 8

The Celtics began the second half on a 10-2 run to take a 2 point lead after AB scored 6 straight, followed by a Green layup that forced a Miami timeout. Miami responded with a 6-0 run to lead by 4. The Celtics answered with a 6-0 run to retake the lead. Avery nailed a 3 to give the Celtics a 4 point lead before Norris Cole and Ray Allen hit 3′s with a Bass basket in between to tie things back up. The Celtics had 4 tries of it to end the quarter but couldn’t get a shot to fall & Boston led 80-78 after 3, outscoring Miami 19-27 in the quarter.

The Celtics pushed their lead to 5 with 9:30 left with 2 Sullinger free throws. Avery hit his 6th 3 on the night, followed by a Rondo jumper to put the Celtics up 6. Ray Allen tied the game with a pair of free throws with 4:30 left. Green hit a 3 and Rondo forced a jump ball against Haslem, won it & scored to put the Celtics up 5 with 1:44 left. Wade cut it to 3 but Rondo answered with a jumper to put the C’s on top by 5 with 18 seconds left. Miami missed a 3 & the Celtics, with some quick passing, Miami couldn’t foul & Boston ran out the clock & won it 101-96.

Turning point: with the Celtics up 3 and Haslem grabbed an offensive board in the final 2 minutes, took a risk with 5 fouls & forced a jump ball. Rondo won the jump ball & scored at the other end.

Bonus: Rondo highlight reel!

Notable statistics:

  • Celtics shot 51%, Heat 49%
  • Heat had 81FGA, Celtics 77
  • Celtics 13-28 from 3, Heat 4-17
  • Miami 37 rebounds, Celtics 36
  • Celtics & Miami had 29 assists
  • Miami 50-20 in points in the paint

Player stat lines:

  1. Rajon Rondo: 9-10-15
  2. Avery Bradley: 23-4
  3. Brandon Bass: 18-4
  4. Jeff Green: 13-4-3
  5. Jared Sullinger: 14-4-3
  6. Kelly Olynyk 10-5

Kelly’s Playing Olright

The expectations on most rookie big men must be set reasonably low as players transition from the tempo of the college game into the faster pace of the NBA. However, this isn’t always the case when those rookie bigs are drafted in the top 15 of their class.

Kelly Olynyk displayed a high basketball IQ from the word go, especially when he was named player of the tournament for the 2013 Summer League in Orlando. However, the pace of real NBA games meant Olynyk had trouble finding his feet over the first few months of the season proper.

The turnaround in Kelly’s game over the past two months or so can be put down to something rather simple: confidence. This added confidence can be attributed to several factors. A familiarity with Coach Stevens’ system and his teammates (especially Phil Pressey), an understanding of the tempo of the game and his opponents, and just being comfortable knowing his own game is good enough at this level.

Tommy Heinsohn noted that Olynyk’s selection to the Rising Stars game at All-Star weekend may have helped him feel like he truly belongs at this level.

He is no longer hesitating with the ball in his hands, instead taking the shots that are available to him straightaway, demonstrating a higher arc on his jump shots too. If the shots aren’t there, he simply illustrates a very smart passing game to find an open teammate. Olynyk runs the floor very well for a big man, and his ability to finish around the rim is very impressive. In February he averaged 8.4 points per game, substantially improving on averages in December and January of 6.1 and 6.3 points per contest.

Since his return from a toe injury, Kelly has posted averages of 16 points at 53% field goal percentage, 6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 22.5 minutes of court time over those 3 games.

Not only is Olynyk putting up better numbers and looking comfortable in offensive sets, he is also playing with an added aggression which has seen a spike in his rebounding numbers. Over the months of December and January, Olynyk averaged 3.6 and 3.8 boards per contest respectively. In February, those numbers jumped to 6.5 rebounds per game. This is no coincidence, as he actively pursues rebounds and positions himself a lot better than he used to.

It also seems as though Kris Humphries’ tutelage has been working on Olynyk, as he looks to have added some size and muscle since the start of the season.

Danny Ainge has now drafted Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk over the past two offseasons, with both big men showing enormous potential to be something special for the Celtics going forward. As Kelly continues to improve, it’s exciting to think about what the future holds for this young and promising team.

- Michael (@mickyt34)

Celtics beat Nelson-less Magic, Rajon Rondo records double-double

The first quarter showed just how badly the Celtics wanted a win, after what could be termed mildly as a terrible January.

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Bass started with a slam, AB, who in his first game back from injury, nailed a jumper & Sullinger hit a hook shot to put the Celtics up 6-0 early. Vucevic got the Magic on the board but Sullinger answered with a layup off the feed by Green after he had created space. Afflalo got fouled on a 3 & made all 3 FT’s to make it a 5-8, Celtics lead with 8 left. Rondo’s hot half started with a pull-up J before Harris went on a 5-0 run to put Magic up 12-10. Rondo hit another jumper & after a cold minute and a half from both teams, Bass got his second dunk of the quarter to give Boston back the lead. Harris kept his hot shooting going & tied things back up before Vucevic was called for a defensive 3 second & Green nailed the FT. Bass then took over scoring 5 of the next 7 Boston points to put the Celtics up 22-16 with 2 left. Afflalo scored the next 3 points for Orlando before Bayless drained a jumper & Johnson hit a 3 to give the Celtics a 27-19 lead after one.

Ex-Celtic Big Baby Davis, along with Harkless got the Magic started in the second as the Celtics started out stone cold. The lead was cut to 4 before AB & Sullinger quickly equalised. Davis hit a couple FT’s before Sullinger scored 4 straight to give him 10 on the night & the Celtics a 10 point lead with 8:30 left. Harris got a layup & Olynyk split a pair, Bayless & Oladipo exchanged jumpers before AB got his 6th first half point off Green’s 4th assist. Afflalo answered with a 3 but Rondo scored 6 of the next 8 Boston points to have the green up by 10 before Vucevic got an easy layup in transition. Rondo got a nice steal & Green knocked down a 3 off Rondo’s feed, Harkless answered with a 3 & Rondo responded with another 3 to give him 13 first half points. Oladipo finished the quarter with 2 FT’s as the Celtics led 45-54 halfway.

Half time statistics

  • The Celtics lead on points in the paint 24-16. Rajon Rondo 13-3-4 on 6-7 shooting
  • Jared Sullinger 12-6 on 6-8 shooting
  • Brandon Bass 9-3
  • Jeff Green 6-0-4

Rondo started the second half with a layup before Davis answered for the Magic. Sullinger missed 2 chances & Rondo stepped in for a charge at the other end but was called a blocking foul, which also was his 3rd personal. Thankfully, Oladipo missed a 3 right after. Afflalo got a layup and the blocking call (and fourth foul) on Rondo, which forced him to sit. Jeff Green subsequently gave a huge block and swatted Afflalo’s shot right into the stands. The Celtics managed to get a stop on the next possession, with AB pushing for a quick two points and was fouled while heading to the basket. He split the FTs to give Boston a 59-49 lead with 8:33 left. Vucevic scored the next 4 points and Harris hit a jump shot to cut the C’s lead to 4. After a flurry of exchanged points, Bass nailed another shot to push the Celtics’ lead back to 8. Vucevic scored again before Oladipo drained a 3 to cut the Celtics lead to 3. Bayless got his defender in the air and fed the rock to AB for an uncontested layup, forcing a Magic timeout with 3:44 left. Vucevic tipped Hump’s shot in, resulting in the closest Celtics basket, Bass. Bayless drained a nice shot to push the Celtics lead back to 9 with 2 minutes left. Both teams went ice cold before Harris hit a layup with 33 ticks left. The Celtics got the final 2 shots with Green missing 2 3’s to give him 1-11 after 3.

The 4th began ice cold for both teams other than Sullinger’s first shot of the quarter. Harkless made 2 FT’s before Sullinger got another rebound & basket to put the Celtics up 75-66 with 9:22 left. Harkless got a layup & ex-Celtic, Moore nailed a floater to make it a 5 point Celtics lead. Hump answered with a jumper to force a Magic timeout with 8:16 left, Boston up 7. Lamb nailed a tough floater out of the timeout, Rondo turned it over & Davis scored to cut the lead to 3. O’Quinn cut it to 1 before Rondo scored with a crazy hook shot and AB canned a nice Jumper to put the Celtics back on top by 5 with 5:20 left. Out of the timeout Afflalo knocked down a jump shot before fouling AB at the other end, AB made both FT’s. Sullinger committed a foul that put the Celtics over the limit with 4:12 left, Oladipo made both before Sullinger stepped into it and made a smooth 3. Oladipo answered with a reverse layup to cut the Celtics lead to 4. Chris Johnson nailed a 3 but was standing out of bounds, resulting in a turnover & a timeout. Davis & Rondo exchanged baskets out of the timeout. Vucevic missed a jumper and Green drained a deep 2 at the other end to put the Celtics up 6 with 1:53 left. Vucevic was called for the offensive foul & Rondo found Bass at the other end to force a Magic timeout with 1:22 left, down 8. Afflalo scored out of the timeout, Bass answered & then Big Baby nailed a clutch 3 to cut the lead to 5 with 46 ticks left. Rondo missed a 3 & Magic took a timeout with 20.9 seconds left. After errors by both teams, Rondo got the ball & fed it to Avery with 2 seconds left and got his double-double.

After much struggle, Celtics held on and won it 96-89.


Player statistics:

  1. Jared Sullinger 21 points , 12 rebounds & a block
  2. Rajon Rondo 19 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists & 2 steals
  3. Brandon Bass 19 points & 9 rebounds
  4. Avery Bradley 17 points , 2 rebounds & 2 assists

Notable Statistics:

  • The Celtics shot 41-82 (50%), Magic 33-80 (41%)
  • Celtics won rebounds 44-39
  • Celtics won assists 24-18
  • Magic shot 10 more free throws
  • Celtics win fast break points 10-7.

The Celtics fall to aggressive Philadelphia in heartstopping thriller at the Garden.

sixers_celtics

The 1st quarter started with back to back baskets by the 76ers in the paint before Bass started us off with a slam. Jeff Green began the game very aggressively by getting to the line on the next Boston possession, tying the game at 4. Sullinger got 4 off his 24 to cap off an 8-0 Boston blitz. The 76ers answered with a 6-0 run before Sullinger stopped the drought of 2:45. Jeff Green scored 8 straight Celtics points including a sick slam dunk before KO answered the 76ers’ free throws with a 3 to knot things up with 2:30 to play. Jeff Green drained a 3 and as time had expired he hit another from beyond half court which unfortunately was after the buzzer, giving the Celtics a 26-23 lead at the end of 1 & Green 13 first quarter points.

The second quarter didn’t start well at all for Boston as Philadelphia went on a 10-0 run starting with back to back 3’s by Spencer Hawes & ending with a dunk by Dedmon to give the Sixers a 33-26 lead. Bass went in aggressive and got to the stripe, making both & Sullinger had to have 3 goes at it before he got it to fall as the Celtics had cut the deficit to 3 with 8 minutes remaining in the half. Young hit a 3, Bass and Wallace split some free throws as the 76ers went on another quick spurt of 12-2 run to get a 48-34 lead with under 4 left. Bayless shook off his cold start and drained 2 baskets in a row, one being a 3 & Hump nailed a jumper followed by 2 free throws as Boston cut it to 5 with 1:40 remaining. Sullinger finished his strong half with 4 straight points to give him 12 points & 7 rebounds at the half as the Celtics trailed by 6.

The second half started with an 8-3 Sixers run to push the lead to 11 and things didn’t look promising for the C’s before Sullinger & Bass went on an 8-0 run to make it a 3 point game. Both teams exchanged baskets for a while before Hawes drained a 3, Hump split a pair and Turner hit a jumper as the 76ers pushed it back to 7. Humphries then went on to score 6 of the next 8 points including a dunk & Kelly Olynyk followed a Pressey miss to make it a 1 point game. Wroten answered with another point in the paint for the Sixers as they took a 3 point lead into the final frame leading 74-71.

The 4th started just how the Celtics needed it to be, with young gun Chris Johnson draining a 3 & Pressey hitting a bank shot to give Boston a 2 point lead. Wroten hit a tough shot to tie things back up before Green connected on a 3, giving him his first points since the 1st quarter. Sullinger hit a hook shot & Chris Johnson nailed another 3 as the Celtics went on an 8-2 run to lead by 6 with 9:20 left. After the 76ers’ timeout both teams struggled scoring with multiple opportunities being missed, before Sullinger got a layup to fall off CJ’s 5th dime. Anderson started a quick 8-2 76ers run with a 3 to cut the deficit to 86-88 with around 5:30 left. Jeff Green hit a tough fadeaway jumper before Anderson slammed one down & Young followed with another Philadelphia slam not long after to tie the game at 90 apiece with 4 minutes left. Sullinger turned up the hustle again grabbing 3 straight offensive rebounds before being fouled & hitting 2 clutch free throws to give the Celtics a 2 point lead. Bass blocked Hawes and Sullinger grabbed his 15th rebound as Boston were looking to make it a 2 possession game as Jeff Green got double teamed and turned it over. Bayless picked up his 4th foul at the other end as Carter-Williams splits the free throws, Sullinger grabbed the second miss and pushed it to Green who missed the jumper. The 76ers failed to convert to take the lead and Bayless got fouled and headed to the line to make it a 3 point ball game, Bayless missed both & then Sullinger fouled Young who also missed both. The Celtics had possession up 1 with 1:23 left. Sullinger couldn’t convert the tough jumper & then committed a very bad 5th foul that put MCW to the line & he split them to tie the game at 92. Green missed a fadeaway before more hustle by the Celtics on the boards led to Hump tipping the ball home with 42 ticks left & a 2 point Boston lead. Out of the timeout Bass was called for a foul and Evan Turner missed 1 at the line to give the Celtics the ball and a 1 point lead with 34.8 left. The 76ers didn’t foul & Hump got the look he wanted but it didn’t fall. Carter-Williams pushed the ball before palming it right in front of the official for a no call, gave it up to Evan Turner who drove & hit the buzzer beating shot to give the Philadelphia 76ers a 95-94 win in Boston.

Video highlights:

Best performances:

  1. Jared Sullinger 24 points & 17 rebounds
  2. Jeff Green 18 points , 6 rebounds & 4 assists
  3. Kris Humphries 13 points (3-5 shooting, 7-8 from the line) & 9 rebounds.
  4. Brandon Bass 11 points & 5 rebounds.
  5. Bayless 10 points & 4 rebounds

Notable statistics:

  • The Celtics won the rebound battle 59-40 but only had one more FGA due to +8 in turnovers.
  • The 76ers won the points in the paint 58-40
  • The 76ers missed 11 free throws (14-25)

Marc D’Amico on Chris Johnson’s contract as many people have been quite excited by his play:

“With the trade deadline being about three weeks away, the Celtics need to make sure they’re in position to complete any trades that they’re interested in. In other words, they may need roster spots open to complete some trades (say, one where you send out two players and take back four). And that is not to say that the Celtics are sure to make any deals just saying there’s more to it than just how Johnson is playing.”

Let me know your thoughts on if Chris Johnson should get a longer contract.

Did we witness the Celtics’ best first quarter of the season?

11 August 2013, game 21 of the NBA 2013/14 season: a brief moment in a long 82-game season that should be treasured.

Today’s first quarter against the Nuggets has encapsulated some of the most beautiful basketball we’ve seen from this season’s Celtics so far. The C’s performed brilliantly on offense and defense, kicking the game off with a 39-15 scoreline. Considering how the average score per NBA quarter usually hovers about the 25-point mark, a 24-point lead only happens with the help of several contributing factors.

So, what actually happened?

Sharing the rock

The ball was moving decisively. Spacing was good, passing lanes were visible without guys being obviously marooned. There was a concerted effort to get the ball into the post, which further improved spacing at the perimeter, which led to open shots and so on. You’re not going to get an assist if your teammate starts pounding the ball all by himself, andthen abruptly pulls up for a shot in a show of one-on-one prowess. If nothing else, the 10 assists notched in this quarter are an indicator of selfless team passing.

The passing obviously helped Avery’s shooting a great deal. Ever since his reversion to the 2 guard, he has regained his former confidence on defense, and is an absolute gunner on offense these days. Check out his shot chart so far. (Green denotes a shooting % above the league average.)

Avery Bradley's shot chart as at 11 Aug 2013 - from stats.nba.com

Avery Bradley’s shot chart as at 11 Aug 2013 – from stats.nba.com

While he hasn’t been a Ray Allen clone on the three balls, he’s been burying the long 2′s at an amazingly efficient rate. Give AB a high screen, and he’s ready to make that one dribble to the side, get some space and pull the trigger. Either that, or he’s cutting without the ball to get open shots, something we all know he’s always been good at. Cutting however, is useless without the right pass being made. It points out once more that good passing is being established, which in turn gives the guys their open shots.

Defensive rebounding

Best of all, we saw the rebounding. Brilliant, brilliant defensive rebounding. The new Celtics are not a hulking team like the Detroit Pistons (our starting center is a 6’9″ Jared Sullinger; an average NBA center’s height would be closer to 6″11′), but under Brad Stevens’ direction, there has been a visible and intense focus on team rebounding, especially on the guards helping to corral defensive boards. We see this in action, especially when top rebounders for the game in the first quarter were Avery Bradley (4) and Jordan Crawford (4). 15 total rebounds for the team, with 8 taken by your guards. I have to say, that’s a solid sign of team rebounding in action. Your big men box opposing bigs out, and the guards are free to charge in and nab them loose balls.

“… And it’s good that our guards rebound, because they need to rebound for us to win. – Brad Stevens, Jordan Crawford nets triple-double as Boston Celtics pound Cleveland Cavaliers: ‘Jordan Crawford had 11 rebounds?’ Brad Stevens quips

Apart from defensive rebounding, the overall defense has been solid effort, especially transition defense. No open layups!

Staying careful

We ended the first quarter with only one turnover. ONE. TURNOVER. Let that sink in for a bit. That solitary TO came early in the game from a bad JC pass, who lobbed a pass to a waiting Sully on the block but rifled it a tad too high, which ended up flying out of bounds.

Crawford TO pass to Sully

Crawford TO pass to Sully

Not a live ball TO, no transition. Lesser impact, especially when we’re talking about a fast-paced team like Denver.

On a Celtics team where we have been used to seeing double-digit TOs every single game, having only ONE bloody turnover in 12 minutes shows just how crisp and well-directed the ball movement was. Badly co-ordinated passes lead to turnovers. Stagnant ball movement leads to turnovers. Aggressive defense leads to turnovers.  If you want to stay pessimistic though, put the blame on how awful the Denver defense was at disrupting the offense.

That being said, the team’s averaging 16.2 TOs so far, unlike last season when the C’s made 14.5 TOs per game. While this ugly number is putting them at only rank 26 in the league, there’s definitely room for improvement in this area.


Of course, we had a lot of help from Denver in their decidedly awful shooting and bad luck, but credit must be given where it’s due. The Celtics played well, and while no one’s holding their breath for this to happen every night, it is most definitely a silver lining moment for a young team finding its identity under a new coach, when they manage to pull out twelve minutes of splendid basketball like this.

Wolves tear Celtics apart in paint, win it 88-106

Celtics fall to Minnesota Timberwolves 88-106

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The 1st quarter started well for the Celtics and Avery Bradley scored 6 points to put Boston on top 6-1 early. The Timberwolves and Celtics kept exchanging baskets as the Celtics were on top 12-7 after a Brandon Bass made basket with 7:00 left. Minnesota went on an 8-0 run to take a 15-12 lead with 5:11 remaining. Boston retook the lead (16-15) on a pair of Bass free throws. Humell hit a 3 for the Wolves and Sully responded with a layup that had the Celtics down 20-22 with 2:38 left. Minnesota finished the quarter on an 18-8 run to take a 9 point lead at the first break.

The 2nd quarter didn’t start as well for Boston as Pekovic & the Wolves pushed their lead to 17 with a little over 8 minutes left. Both teams exchanged blows for couple of minutes before 2 big 3’s by Faverani had the Celtics back within 11 with 5:51 left. Avery hit one of his many jumpers on the night with 1:18 remaining to get the Wolves lead back to 6 for the first time since the first. The quarter finished with a 3 point shootout as Crawford, Love & Bradley all exchanged 3’s as the Celtics finished the half on a 20-8 run & trailed by only 5 at the half. Avery had 13 points & Faverani had 8 & 9.

The 3rd quarter had both teams exchanging baskets once more before Avery knocked in a J to make it a 4 point game with 9:48 left. Minnesota then flipped the switch, forcing turnovers, drawing fouls & making shots as they went on an 11-0 blitz to take a 15 point lead with 7 minutes left. The Wolves pushed the lead to 18 with less than 5 left. The Celtics were able to keep scoring but weren’t able to get any stops at the defensive end and trailed 70-89. Avery now had 25 points, 3 away from tying a career high he has against the Hawks.

When the final quarter started, you could tell the Celtics weren’t going away; they clawed back to be down 13 after an 8-2 run with a little under 10 minutes remaining. Minnesota did what they had been doing all night answering a challenge with their own run as a quick 5-0 blitz had them back on top by 18. Avery got his only basket of the quarter with under 5 minutes left to get it to 16 but Kevin Love converted an and 1 followed by a Brewer dunk off another Celtics turnover to push the lead to 20 with 2:42 left. Jordan Crawford banged in a 3 with 13.6 left and that would be the ball game as the Celtics dropped it 88-106 in Minnesota. The Celtics now have lost 3 in a row and are at 4-7.

The next game is Celtics @ Rockets on Wednesday.

I think MarShon showed he could score & I hope he gets a few more minutes from here on out.

Notable Statistics

  • The Celtics had 22 turnovers compared to Minnesota’s 13
  • Minnesota scored 28 points from Celtic turnovers
  • Minnesota outscored the Celtics 52-28 in the paint
  • The Celtics had Minnesota had exactly the same amount of rebounds (50)
  • The Celtics had 8 blocks
  • The Celtics were outscored 27-18 in second chance points

Notable Players:

  • Avery Bradley finished with 27 on 12-23 shooting
  • Brandon Bass had 15 points and 7 rebounds on 60% shooting
  • Vitor Faverani finished with a solid night of 9 points and 14 rebounds
  • Jordan Crawford had 10 points but shot 4-14 from the floor
  • MarShon Brooks got some minutes due to Courtney Lee being out injured and scored 8 points along with 3 boards

Game 7 of 82: Celtics, Jeff Green stun Heat in Miami heartstopper

Kelly Olynyk got his first NBA start as the Celtics beat the Heat in a thriller 111-110.

Image credit Kaine Underwood @Lil_Kaino

The 1st quarter started with a 3 from the guy who made his first NBA start, Kelly Olynyk.  Miami tied it up 3-3 before Crawford banged home another 3 and its 6-3 Boston with 10:17 remaining. LeBron scored 6 points quickly to put Miami on top 12-13 with 7:11 left. Miami pushed their lead to 9 with less than 5 minutes remaining behind some great defence before Bass slammed it down and a Crawford 3 brought the Celtics back within 6. Bass picked up his 3rd foul in the first quarter with 3:33 left, Celtics were down 9. Humphries knocked down a nice jumper to bring the margin back to 8 with 2:49 left. The rest of the quarter went back and forth as the Celtics trailed 25-31 at the end of one. Tough first quarter as the Celtics picked up 8 fouls while Miami only had 1. Bass had 3 PF while Olynyk had 2. Sullinger did some nice work with 4 points and 3 rebounds. The Celtics shot 58% but Miami shot 65% and attempted 10 more free throws.

The Celtics began the 2nd quarter with a tough sequence as Miami went end to end to score before Green responded with a 3, leading the Celtics on a 10-3 run to take a 1 point lead with 9:53 left. Green converted an and 1 to give the Celtics a one point lead with 8:37 left.  The Celtics had now outscored the heat 21-11 in the 2nd to have a 4 point lead. Courtney Lee provided another spark off the bench scoring 6 points quickly. Beasley scored 4 quick points to tie the game up with less than 5 minutes left. Gerald Wallace was called for a shocking charge and Beasley scored again to give Miami a 2 point lead before Wallace tied it up with 3:27 remaining. Crawford banged in a deep 3 at the buzzer as the Celtics outscored Miami 28-35 in the quarter to take a 1 point lead into the half.

Half time Statistics

  • Not much defence was played as Miami shot 61% and the Celtics 60%.
  • The Celtics shot 56% from downtown on 9 attempts.
  • Miami had 19 attempts at the line as Boston only had 9.
  • Crawford scored 11 on 100% shooting from the field including 3 from deep.
  • Courtney Lee & Kris Humphries combined for 13 off the bench.
  • The Celtics had 11 assists on 24 made field goals.
  • For the Heat, Michael Beasley scored 10 off the bench while LeBron and Bosh combined for 23 points.

The 3rd quarter started with a big 3 from Jeff Green followed by a jumper from Bass before Bosh answered with a layup, as the Celtics pushed the lead to 4 with 10 minutes left. Olynyk was called for a 3 second violation as LeBron hit the technical and Bosh followed with a layup to cut the Boston lead to 1. Jeff Green knocked in a 3 but Battier answered straight away, that 3 gave Miami a 1 point lead.  Miami forced a Boston time out with 5:43 remaining as the Heat took a 3 point lead. Bradley attacked the Miami defence and put it in to cut the deficit to 1 with 3:45 left. Humphries converted on a jumper to tie the game up with less than 2 minutes remaining. Miami had shot +15 in free throw attempts but only took a 2 point lead into the last. Sullinger had 10 points and 6 rebounds, Humphries had 9 and 5 while Crawford had 13.

The 4th went back and forth as Jeff Green cut it to 1 with a 3 but Cole responded with one of his own. Pressey knocked a jumper down to bring the Celtics within 2 with 10:08 left. Miami pushed the lead to 6 with less than 8 minutes left.  Jeff Green slammed another one down while getting fouled, then missed the free throw. Bradley put in a deep 2 from the corner to make it a 4 point game with 6:05 left. LeBron converted a 3 point play to make it a 7 point Heat lead with less than 5 minutes left. Bradley banged in a huge 3 followed by an even bigger 2 that made it a 2 point game with 3:43 remaining. Crawford buried a tough pull-up to bring the Celtics within 2 with 2 left.  Bradley hit a huge shot with under 40 seconds left to keep it at a 2 point deficit. Olynyk missed a wide open shot & LeBron made 2-2 from the line. Miami led by 4 with 3.6 seconds left. Wallace put in a layup with 1 second left to cut the Miami lead to 2. Wade got to the free throw line, being fouled by the Celtics in an attempt to save the shot clock. Wade missed the first, and got called for a lane violation due to a failed attempt at burning the clock up, his free throw not hitting the rim. This gave the Celtics a chance to win it all, being down 2 with 0.6 seconds left.

Out of a final timeout, Gerald Wallace inbounded an amazing lob to Jeff Green as he hit a 3 from the far baseline, and the Celtics won in a near-magical fashion, stunning the Miami home crowd and giving Boston a 3 game win streak so far.

#BostonStrong

Notable statistics

  • The Heat attempted 22 more free throws.
  • The Celtics were +13 on rebounding
  • The Celtics had + 11 more assists

Notable players

  • Jeff Green had 24 points & 5 rebounds (including the game winner)
  • Jordan Crawford finished with 15 points, 2 rebounds & 4 assists
  • Jared Sullinger had 12 points & 8 rebounds
  • Avery Bradley had 17 points
  • Kelly Olynyk finished with 7 points, 8 rebounds & 4 assists
  • Gerald Wallace had 6 points, 5 rebounds & 6 assists
  • Phil Pressey had 7 points, 3 rebounds & 4 assists
  • Kris Humphries had 9 points & 5 rebounds.

Game 6 of 82: Boston Celtics defeat the Magic in Orlando and win second straight.

The Celtics hold off Magic to win it 91-89.

In the 1st quarter, a slow start to the game by both teams had it tied 4-4 with 9:00 left. Great ball movement by the Magic led to a 3 but then a quick fire 6-0 run put Boston on top 10-7 with 7:50 left. The Magic responded with an 8-0 blitz to lead 15-10 at the first timeout with 5:34 remaining. Out of timeout, the Magic continued the run and extended the lead to 19-10 with 4:29 left. Jordan Crawford stopped the ice cold streak with an offensive rebound and put back to make it 12-19 with a little over 3:00 left, The Celtics had not scored since 7:57 in the period, and Celtics trailed 24-17 at the end of the 1st. The Celtics only shot 7-27 (26%), the Magic shot 48%. Kelly Olynyk had 2 points, 5 rebounds (4 offensive).

To start the 2nd the Celtics went on a 6-3 run to cut the Magic lead to 4 with 10:17 remaining, before Orlando recouped the lead once more to 10 with a pair of free throws with 8:58 left. A 6-0 blast by Courtney Lee forced a Magic timeout with 6:08 left, 6 point Magic lead. Lee scored 9 of the last 11 Boston points to bring the Celtics within 5 with 4:37 left. Jeff Green scored his first basket which sparked a 6-0 Boston run that ended on the back of a massive slam by Green to make it a 3-point game with 2:22 left. Jordan Crawford converted an and 1 with 0.8 seconds left and made it 46-49 at the half, Celtics trail. The Magic had a lot of free throw attempts but missed 7 in the half. The Celtics ended the quarter on a 21-12 run as Courtney Lee made a big quarter scoring 11 of Boston’s 29 points on 4-6 shooting from the field and 3-4 from the line. Olynyk had 6 points with 6 rebounds (5 offensive).

The 3rd quarter started with more offensive rebounding for the Celtics but they could not finish at the rim, which did not help things while Orlando made theirs at the other end. The Celtics answered with an 8-0 blitz and took the lead 54-51 with 8:39 left. AB then knocked in a trey, then a lovely runner by J-Craw put the Celtics up 59-55 with 6:42 left. It went a bit quiet for a couple of minutes, going 61-56 with 4:28 left. Magic cut it back to 1 before another Jeff Green dunk followed by back to back layups by Sullinger had Boston in front 69-62 with 1:51 left, but the Magic responded with an and 1. The Celtics outscored the Magic 25-19 in the quarter to take a 68-71 lead into the last. Sullinger had 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists, Bass had 12 points and 5 rebounds.

The 4th started very slow, but the Celtics were the first to score through Courtney Lee to push the lead to 5 with 10:37 left. The Celtics extended it to 7 before the Magic went on a 7-0 run to tie it up with 7:31 left. Avery responded with a 3 point play to make it a 3 point game with 7 minutes left. With 5:53 left it was a 1 point Celtic lead. Avery Bradley made another 3 point play to make it 81-77 with 5:48 left. Nelson hit his second 3 of the quarter to make it a 2 point game with 3:28 left. Celtics responded and pushed the lead to 6 with 2:32 left. Avery Bradley fouled Afflalo on the 3 and he made the resulting free throw, a comeback 4 point play bringing things back to a 2 point game with 1:38 remaining.  A wonderful play out of the timeout with Olynyk gave the Celtics a 4 point lead with under a minute left. Afflalo converted an and 1 to make it a 1 point game with 26 seconds in the game. Bass, once again took charge  and knocked down 2 clutch free throws to give the Celtics a 3 point lead with 10 seconds left. Afflalo made a deep 2 to make it a one point game with 4.6 seconds remaining. Avery went 1 of 2 from the line, Oladipo missed a 3 and the Celtics hold off a late charge by the Magic to win it 89-91.

Notable Statistics

  • The Celtics shot 36% from the field compared to the Magic’s 40% but took 12 more shots than them.
  • Orlando missed 10 free throws, the Celtics only missed 5.
  • Magic had 20 turnovers. The Celtics had 11.
  • The Celtics grabbed 3 more offensive rebounds than the magic.
  • Both teams shot a shocking 6-34 from 3 combined

Notable Players

  • Brandon Bass finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds
  • Avery Bradley had 14 points and 8 rebounds
  • Jordan Crawford had 13 points and 5 assists
  • Jared Sullinger finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists
  • Courtney Lee had 13 points on 5-9 shooting and 3-4 from FT (11 in the 2nd quarter)

Game 5 of 82: Celtics defeat Jazz for first win of the season

The Celtics get their first win of the season 97-87 over the Utah Jazz at home in the TD Garden.

utah-jazz-v-boston-celtics-20131107-011235-600

The first quarter didn’t start so well as Utah came out of the gates on fire, starting the game 16-3 as the Celtics started 1-9 from the field. Boston then quickly replied with Bass, Wallace and a Jeff Green and 1 to bring us down 6 with 5:36 left. The Jazz pushed it back to 10 before Sully forced a jump ball that led to Jeff Green going on his own 5-0 run to get it back to 5. The Celtics closed the 1st on a 10-20 blitz to trail 23-26. Gerald Wallace, who came off the bench after being replaced by Jordan Crawford in the starting line-up, scored 8 points on an amazing 100% from the field, including 2-2 from 2 and 3 boards in the first.

The second started and this time it’s the Celtics who ran  hot to start, scoring 8 unanswered points to lead 31-26 with 9:24 left. Jeff Green got the crowd rocking with a 35 foot 3 pointer to put us up 6 as Brad Stevens said something to the fans that made them laugh. The scoring then dried up as both teams didn’t score for over 2 minutes as the Celtics lad by 4 with a little under 6 minutes left. The team finished on a 47-18 outburst since being behind 16-3 to start the game, to lead 50-34 at the half. Jeff Green had 13 points, 3 rebounds and 4 dimes & Kelly Olynyk had 8 and 3.

After the break the Celtics kept it going, pushing the lead to 22 with 10:24 left. Jeff Green knocked down one of his three 3’s tonight to give him 16 and the Celtics a huge 63-38 advantage. Olynk got his 3rd offensive rebound and put it back in to push the lead back to 22 with 4:10 left. Courtney Lee knocked down a big 3 to push the Celtics ahead by their biggest margin with a little over 2 minutes left. It was a much tighter quarter than the second as the Celtics outscored the Jazz 34-28 to lead 84-62 heading into the last. Jeff Green had 18 including 3-4 from deep and Wallace was having himself a nice night of 9 points, 9 boards and 3 assists off the bench.

The fourth quarter was not pretty as the Jazz started on a furious 17-3 rally before Crawford finally stopped the drought of nearly 5 minutes and pushed the Celtics lead back to 10. The Jazz again did some quick scoring to get it down to 6 before Bass nailed a jumper to push it back to 8 with 3:49 left. A big turnover by Utah led to Sully making them pay and extended the lead back to 10. The game finished going back and forth as Bass slammed it down with 42 seconds left. It was a scrappy last quarter as the Celtics only managed 13 points in the last but held on to get their first win 97-87 at home and improved to a 1-5 record.

Notable statistics:

  • The Celtics shot 45% from the field for the game even though they started 1-9.
  • The Celtics forced 22 Jazz turnovers compared to their 15.
  • The Celtics were out sized but still pulled down the same amount of rebounds (42)
  • The Celtics shot 7-20 from downtown and 10-14 from the line.
  • The Celtics had 22 assists as a team but only 3 in the last quarter
  • Jared Sullinger, Gerald Wallace & Kelly Olynyk where a + 44 combined
  • The Celtics have now been outscored 134-79 in the 4th quarter.

Best players:

  • Brandon Bass lead all scorers with 20 points, 4 boards and 2 assists
  • Jeff Green had 18 points, 3 boards and 4 assists but only scored 5 points after the half (None in the last)
  • Jared Sullinger had 12 points, 5 boards and a +18. After this game, Jared Sullinger honestly deserves a starting role.
  • Olynyk had 14 points, 8 boards and 3 assists
  • Gerald Wallace had 9 points and 9 boards off the bench.

Game 4 of 82: Celtics fall to 0-4 after loss to Memphis

The Celtics drop game 4 to the Grizzlies 88-95.

Avery Bradley, Mike Conley

In the 1st quarter Jeff Green came out aggressive, hitting a bank shot in the first 2 minutes while Avery Bradley got into early foul trouble yet again, which led to Crawford coming in and getting 3 assists in 2:28. The Grizzlies went on an 11-0 run to lead 11-4, before the C’s made back to back 3’s by Faverani and Jeff Green. Pondexter answered straight back before Bass converted a reverse layup to cap off a 8-3 battle, cutting it to 3 with 6:43 left. Memphis answered the Boston run with a run of their own going on a 6-0 blitz to lead 22-14. Jeff Green converted an and 1 to cut the lead to 6 with a little under 3 minutes left.  The Celtics finished the quarter on a 9-3 spree to trail 24-27. Jeff Green had 11 points on 3-5 from the field,,1-1 from 3 and 4-5 from FT.

The second quarter started with a Memphis 6-2 run to lead 33-26. Sullinger follows his own miss to tip it in, Crawford gets a steal and slams it down then Lee hits a jumper to cap off an 8-0 Celtics run to put them in front. Green hits a turnaround J with 2:38 left to give us a 5 point lead. Celtics finish the quarter 24-13 to lead 46-50 at the half (originally 52 but a Faverani basket was reviewed and taken away). The Celtics shot above 50% in the half and 90% from the line while keeping Memphis to 42% from the field and forced 7 turnovers in the 2nd quarter alone!

After the half the Celtics started flat as the Grizzlies went on a 18-7 run to take a 66-57 lead with a little under 5 minutes remaining before the Celtics caught fire, starting with a 3 from Jordan Crawford & ending on Jared Sullinger’s 3rd career 3 pointer (2-3 on the night) capped off a 15-0 Celtics rally to finish the quarter and give the C’s a 72-66 lead heading into the last.

The 4th starts and went back and forth for a little bit before Memphis made a 8-2 run to tie it with 5:08 left. The quarter goes back and forth again before Bass nails a mid-range jumper to bring the Celtics within 1 with 2:11 left. That was the last score the Celtics got, as the offence went ice cold down the stretch as Memphis went on to win it 88-95 (outscored 29-16) as the Celtics move to 0-4 for the first time since the 1969-70.

This game has been similar to all the others as we’ve been in them all, but just gone cold down the stretch and critical turnovers at the end cost us. Bayless scored all 15 of his points in the 4th while Jeff Green scored nothing at all in the last. The Celtics shot 47% from the field & 83% from the FT line but we only assisted on 14 of 33 made field goals while Memphis assisted on 23 of their 36.

Notable statistics:

  • Jeff Green 22 points on 50% from the field and 9-12 from FT along with 5 boards.
  • Sullinger, Bradley & Crawford all scored in double figures 16, 14 & 12 respectively.
  • Sullinger finished with a +12 and Courtney Lee a +17 in which Lee finally found a bit of a rhythm hitting 4-5 from the field including 1-1 from deep.

Personally I’d like to see a starting line-up of Crawford-Bradley-Green-Sully-Bass next game to see how it works.

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