After a tough back to back against the Warriors & Hornets where the Celtics went 1-1, they had a few days off before facing LeBron & the Cavs at home.
After how last year’s game 4 ended, in chippy fashion, many expected this game to be very similar. The referees were letting the game play for the most part as Boston jumped out to an 11-6 lead after a Johnson dunk. 7 straight Cleveland points scored by Kevin Love had the game tied back up at 13. The Cavs got out to a 3 point lead before Avery tied it up with a 3 that sparked a little Celtics run to take a 25-23 lead at the end of 1.
The 2nd quarter started with a foul, defensive 3 seconds & a jump ball all in 15 seconds. Some great hustle plays by James Young, most noticeably his rebound over Tristian Thompson & pass to Lee that gave Boston a 3 point lead. LeBron went into attack mode scoring back to back baskets before a little spark by the Celtics, capped off by a Jae Crowder 3 had Boston’s lead at 39-34. The end of the half got chippy as LeBron & Thomas got to the line on back to back trips. Isaiah scored his 10th point in the final second to put Boston up 6 at halftime.
The Celtics started the 2nd half shooting 2-14 as Cleveland went on a 12-0 run to take a 7 point lead. Evan Turner stopped the bleeding for the short time but the Celtics only had 6 points in the quarter as Cleveland had opened up a 62-52 lead but 5 quick points by Avery Bradley cut the deficit in half. Cleveland immediately answered the run as Boston trailed 61-69 at the end of 3.
Olynyk started the 4th with 5 points for Boston but the Celtics couldn’t get stops as Shumpert hit two 3’s & LeBron’s finger roll put them up 13 & forced Boston into a timeout. A 6-0 Boston run was quickly stomped by Love who scored 5 straight to put Cleveland back up 12. The rest of the quarter was a formality as Cleveland took down the Celtics with an 89-77 win.
Cleveland outscored Boston in the paint 44-24. The Celtics shot 32% from the field, 28% from 3. Avery was Boston’s best scorer finishing with 17.
The Celtics would be looking to bounce back after a tough loss to the Spurs & close out this 5 game road trip 3-2.
Anthony Davis started the first quarter with 6 straight points for the Pelicans but Isaiah Thomas & Boston were able to keep up the pace taking a 13-10 lead as Davis picked up his 2nd foul early. Anderson & Holiday wouldn’t let the Celtics capitalise without Davis on the floor as 13 points between them had the game tied at 25 apiece.
The Pelicans had extended the run & had a 32-27 lead when Davis returned to the floor. 3 straight Boston baskets by Olynyk had the game tied again at 38-38. The defence led to offence as Isaiah exploded for 10 points across the final 5 minutes of the half, including 2 3’s that led Boston to a 53-44 lead at the half. Thomas had 19 points on 8-9 shooting while Sullinger kept up his solid season with 10 rebounds.
The Pelicans started the 2nd half with an and 1 basket through Gee which started a trend of fouls for the next few possessions as New Orleans would shoot 5 free throws in the first 4 minutes. That however didn’t stop Boston from scoring as they had extended the lead to 19 after three straight 3 point baskets from Bradley, Thomas & Crowder. Crowder extended the lead into the 20’s after getting fouled on a 3 point attempt. The Pelicans closed the quarter on a 14-8 run to cut the Celtics lead down to 14.
The Pelicans cut the lead to 10 before Crowder hit a 3 that sparked a lighting quick 10-2 run by Boston. With less than 5 minutes to play the Celtics had extended the lead to 20 points on the back of 19 rebounds & some stellar defence by Jared Sullinger. The rest of the quarter was just a formality as the Celtics would answer every Pelicans attempted run to take a 111-93 win & finish this tough road trip with a 3-2 record.
Jared Sullinger: 20 rebounds, 11 points, 3 assists & a team high +32
Isaiah Thomas: 22 points (9-13 & 4-4 from 3) 5 assists & 1 steal
Kelly Olynyk: 21 points (8-13, 2-5 from 3 & 3-3FT) 3 assists & 2 steals
Jae Crowder: 17 points
The weighting game. What was a bit of light entertainment during Jared Sullinger’s rookie season has now been going on too long. Everyone had similar thoughts; he’d drop the weight as he matures into his body and works hard. This still hasn’t eventuated and it is now threatening his place within the organisation.
Sullinger just can’t seem to shed the pounds that would turn him into a much more agile and dangerous player.
Sullinger can be an absolute monster on the boards, and when healthy he is near unstoppable. But that has been the issue; he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. If Sullinger can finally get through a season without a serious injury that forces him to miss time, he will be an important part of the Celtics puzzle.
In the Celtics final game of the 2015 season, game four in the first round of the playoffs, Sullinger dominated and poured in 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. More of that in the upcoming season would be more than acceptable!
Sullinger had two very encouraging games to round out the preseason against the Knicks and Sixers. He finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists(!) and 3 blocks against the Knicks. The next night he followed that game up with a solid 6 points and 14 rebounds against the Sixers.
Brad Stevens has said that he would like to play four big men a night, which you would think leaves Sullinger on the outer with the likes of David Lee, Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller and Kelly Olynyk in front of Sullinger.
But if Sully can take that late preseason form over to the regular season, he will force Stevens to give him minutes.
The Celtics were looking to take game 4 & force a 5th game in Cleveland & things didn’t start well for them as Brad Stevens took a timeout not even 2 minutes into the game to emphasize the importance of rebounding as the Cavs already had 5 2nd chance points. After Love & Olynyk’s arms got tangled, Love ran to the locker room with a dislocated shoulder & would not return. The Celtics weren’t able to take advantage of Love’s injury & Thompson’s 2 early fouls as Cleveland led 29-19 after one.
The 2nd quarter began better for the Celtics as Sullinger & Smart got back to back baskets but the Cavaliers quickly went on a run as LeBron & Co pushed the lead to 18. Out of a Celtics timeout Sullinger & Crowder combined for 7 straight points to get the crowd back into it but as the trend of the series Thompson got an offensive rebound & put back which sparked a run as they got up by 19 points. Kendrick Perkins & Jae Crowder got into a fight which led to Perkins getting a flagrant + a double tech on Crowder & Perkins. A chippy 2nd quarter ended with the Cavs up 21.
The Celtics started the 2nd half aggressive drawing fouls. JR Smith was ejected for hitting Crowder, Jae needed to be helped from the floor as Thomas knocked down a pair from the line. Bass finished a put back dunk over Thompson who picked up his 4th foul on the And 1 play. Bass missed the free throw & in a very unusual way he was 0/3 from the line in the quarter. Crowder was diagnosed with a left knee sprain & would not return to this game. Thomas cut the deficit to 13 after a fast break basket. The Celtics got the crowd amped after Pressey beat LeBron in a jump ball & Sullinger hit a buzzer beater as they cut the Cavs 21 point lead to 9 going into the 4th. The Celtics were shooting 14-25 from the line.
Sullinger, who now had a double double, knocked down a 3 to make it an 8 point game but Kyrie quickly answered. Smart cut it down to 9 with just under 7 minutes left but again, Irving had an answer. Shumpert had 4 straight points to push the Cavs lead to an untouchable 13 points. . After an eventful final minute the Celtics fell victim to a sweep after losing game 4 93-101. Sullinger finished with 21 points & 11 rebounds.
The 2014-15 Boston Celtics overcome a lot of doubters, line-up changes, injuries & anything else that came at them to get the 7th seed. The team played with heart, grit & toughness all season long & had that never say die attitude. They showed us what Celtic Pride is all about. While it’s sad this fun & eventful season has come to an end, this Celtics team will be one I always remember. See you all next season, Bleed Green.
A mere two hours before yesterday’s trade deadline, Celtics reporters were all stating the same thing – expect Danny Ainge and his crew to stand firm and let the deadline pass with no moves. Think again! In the dying stages of the 3pm cut-off, the Celtics got involved in a very productive way.
Continue reading Trade Deadline Recap: Well Done Danny
After losing 3 of their last 4 the Boston Celtics were looking to get things back on track against the Wade & Deng-less Miami Heat.
Zeller would be starting over Sullinger who was late to the arena & it didn’t take Tyler long to get the first Celtics basket. Miami got out to a quick 6 point lead as Boston struggled from the floor. Zeller got to the line on consecutive trips to cut the lead to 3 but Miami would respond & get it to an 8 point lead. Thornton got it back to 5 but a 5-0 run by the Heat as the quarter ended with a Chris Anderson 3 had them on top by 10 as the Celtics shot 5-22 on field goals.
Boston started the 2nd on an 8-2 run to get within 4 but Miami would answer with an 8-0 burst to go up by 12 points. Pressey would get some run during the 2nd quarter as Boston went 11 deep in the first half & Prince still hadn’t played. Bass cut it to 10 but Bosh hit a 3 followed by a Chalmers basket had Miami up 15. Sullinger closed the cold half with a jumper as the Celtics could only manage 31 first half points & trailed by 13.
The 2nd half began with Avery scoring 2 baskets off Zeller assists before Avery got a dime of his own to Bass. Bosh got fouled & split the free throws to keep Miami’s lead at 10 but Crowder responded with a 3. Zeller put in his 12th point of the night to get Boston down 4 & off to a perfect 7-7 start to the quarter. The points forced a Miami timeout as the Celtics started the half on a 16-7 run. An Avery steal & slam followed by a Bass hook shot had the crowd roaring & Boston only down 2 which would be the deficit heading into the final frame after a back and forth last few minutes that seen Bradley head to the locker room.
Whiteside started the 4th with 3 straight baskets to give him 20 points followed by a Bosh basket to get the Heat back on top by 10. Bass got the C’s back within 7 but Miami scored 4 to push it to 11 as Boston took a timeout to try & make a comeback with 5 minutes left. Bradley hit a 3 to cut the deficit to 8 but time was running low. Smart hit a 3 which were his first points of the night & Zeller split some free throws to get Boston down 6. The Celtics stole an inbounds pass but turned it straight back over & Norris Cole would make us pay. Boston came back from 15 down to tie it up but would eventually fall 75-83.
Avery Bradley: 17 Points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Brandon Bass: 15 points, 6 rebounds
Tyler Zeller: 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Marcus Smart: 3 Points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists (Career high)
Marcus Thornton: 9 points, 3 rebounds
Jared Sullinger: 7 points, 3 rebounds
Marcus Smart would get his 2nd career start vs KG & the Brooklyn Nets in Boston as the Celtics would look to get back on the winners list after 2 straight losses.
Continue reading Boston fault late as Jack has career night to lead Brooklyn