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The Celtics are at 12-4 and all things considered really held things together well on a rough five game road trip which saw the team go 2-3 in that span.  They returned from the road trip and narrowly defeated the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden on Monday night.  The Kings held on and beat the Celtics a week earlier when Marcus Smart’s last second floater sat on the rim and fell out painfully.

The Celtics lost Kemba Walker on the road trip and played without Gordon Hayward.  However, they lost by one to Sacramento, lost in OT to the LA Clippers, and barely lost to the Denver Nuggets while playing without Kemba Walker.  Not too bad overall given all the factors.  Marcus Smart is providing immense defense and leadership, and both Jaylen Brown and Jayson tatum are becoming All Star caliber players right before our eyes.  

Check the schedule and select the games you want to see with the interactive seating maps.  There is nothing like the live action of watching the Celtics vs Sixers or Celtics vs Bucks right from TD Garden in Boston.  You can also catch the Celtics on the road in huge games like the Celtics vs Lakers at the Staples Center or Celtics vs Rockets at Toyota Center.

When you are in Boston there are tons of things to do beyond just sports.  Take a look at upcoming concerts near me at places like the House of Blues Boston or Royale Boston.  There are wonderful options as well for Broadway shows at the Boston Opera House.  It's very easy to find country concerts near me or rap concerts near me.  

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The Boston Celtics are off to a very strong start this season with strong wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and NY Knicks.  The team is dealing with some injury issues as Jaylen Brown suffers fron an infection and two crucial big men are out - Robert Williams and Enes Kanter.  After the opening loss to the Sixers the Celts have picked it up sharply and are getting strong output from Kemba Walker, Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Gordon Hayward.


Boston Celtics preseason is underway and the Celtics kicked it off with a victory over the Charlotte Hornets.  The Cs are locked and loaded for a major run this season, and the buzz is building up under cover and discreetly.  Gordon Hayward looks to rebound in a big way and younger players like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Robert Williams look to expand their roles.  Look out for new acquisition Kemba Walker as he will certainly make this offense pop.  Tacko Fall was a huge hit with the crowd as he was in the NBA Summer League, but we still have no idea yet if e will make the NBA club or be in Maine with the D League.  

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Wins Over Raps and Pacers Stand Out, But So Do The Duds

Very strong win on 1/16 at TD Garden over the Toronto Raptors for the Boston Celtics.  No doubt it was a great win.  But what about all the lousy games?  We still don't know who these Celtics are.  They know what they can be but nobody can predict what they will be.

The Raptors victory and demolition of the Indiana Pacers earlier in January show how dominant the Celts can be.  The trends are very clear.  When they are at home at TD Garden and record a lot of assists - they win.  When the ball movement isn't there they tend to struggle mighily, and their road record is very pedestrian. 

Getting Aron Baynes back is huge.  He may appear to be "just a role player" but his impact on defense is enormous.  The health of Baynes and emergence of Robert Williams ("Swat Team" our nickname) could end up being really huge factors for the Celtics.  If Baynes is healthy and gives that great defense that is huge.  If Williams earns consistent playing time and gives that great energy and rim protection in spurts, that is the type of action that can win a couple playoff games for you.  

Celts Handle Twolves, Hayward Erupts For 35

With Kyrie Irving out due to lacerations to his eyes, Gordon Hayward took charge of the offense and pured in 35 points in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves before a packed TD Garden.  

Cs Win Second Straight Since Bucks Blowout, Down Philly 121-114

The Celtics continued their up and down season on Christmas Day with a solid victory in OT over the visiting Sixers.  Kyrie Irving bailed out The Green again with a masterful performance.  Irving had 40 points and ten boards and hit some huge 3PT bombs in OT to seal the game.

This Celtics team continues to try and find its soul beyond Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris on offense.  Tatum has been fairly solid but not great, and Al Horford is clearly very limited with his knee at the moment.  Irving and Morris are carrying the load on offense and the loss of Aron Baynes really hurts the team defense. 

This next stretch is crucial.  The Celtics face the Rockets, Grizzlies, Spurs, Twolves, and Mavericks over the next five games.  The team really needs Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward to step it up on offense and make that bench lethal.  Let's see how it goes.  

Streaking Celtics Destroy Hawks, Rookie Williams Getting Great Playing Time

Al Horford was out again for rest, and the rookie 1st round pick Robert Williams helped energize the bench and blocked every shot in sight seemingly in a torching of the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden.  Kyrie Irving had 24 points and 4 steals as everyone chipped in during this mauling.  The Celtics have now won eight straight games.

Marcus Morris had another outstanding game dropping in 20 points and six 3PT shots.  Daniel Theis had 18 points and Gordon Hayward had 19 points.  Jayson tatum dropped in 22 points.

Depleted Cs Hammer Pels At Home In Revenge Game To Keep Streak Alive

The winning streak continues as the Celtics continue to dominate the lower levels of the NBA along with a fairly squad here and there such as the New Orleans Pelicans.  The Celtics were in control of this game for essentially the entire time, and they were without Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Aron Baynes.

Daniel Theis was solid and the rookie Robert Williams got quite a bit of action.  Williams even swatted away two Anthony Davis shots. 

Jaylen Brown continues to really shine in his return and role off the bench.  He is much more aggressive offensively and is driving the lane consistently.  This is getting him free throws and seems to keep him more relaxed with his perimeter game as he is knocking down 3PT shots with ease.  

Brown Back, Resurgent Cs Rattle Off Wins Over Cupcakes

Capped by a Saturday night massacre in Chicago, the Celts reached the 5/6 mark on this hot streak by blasting the inept Chicago Bulls right off of their home floor.  Playing with Al Horford and Aron baynes, the Celtics cruised with strong minutes from Daniel Theis and the recently returning Jaylen Brown.

The blend of Brown and Hayward off the bench and Smart and Morris in the starting lineup is working.  Granted, the competition has been mediocre recently, but during this hot streak the Celtics are #1 in the NBA in Net Rating and #1 in Offensive Rating.  Let's keep it going as long as we can.  

Jaylen Brown Injury Update

Brown returned to the practice floor this week with complete, rigorous practices after missing four games with a bruised tailbone.  Brown expects to play on Thursday night.  

Eastern Conference Standings

1. Toronto 20-4

2. Milwaukee 15-7

3. Philadelphia 17-8

4. Detroit 13-7

5. Indiana 13-10

6. Boston 13-10

As seen above the Boston Celtics are a very average team right now.  However, there may be quite a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.  The Celtics have won four of their last five games, and lineup changes appear to be making a difference.

Jaylen Brown's injury helped Coach Stevens in a way usher in a new starting lineup and new rotations.  Marcus Smart is getting more minutes and there is more use of Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes.  Gordon Hayward is getting more use as well, and Hayward busted out with a huge game on Saturday night in the win over Minnesota.  Time will tell if this sticks but history shows us that Brad Stevens is very willing to tweak things and mix it up until he finds what he wants.

The Eastern Conference is tough.  In fact, the entire NBA is highly competitive at this point.  The Raptors may look like the team to beat right now, but even they will acknowledge it is a very long season and there are no guarantees.  Old stalwarts like the Lakers, Mavericks, and Pistons are resurgent this year, and hot teams from recent years like the Houston Rockets and Spurs are struggling mightily. 

The Celtics enter a pretty friendly stretch of their schedule over the remainder of December, so let's see how much ground they can make up in that span.  Jaylen Brown should return shortly and add some juice to the bench.  Hopefully Hayward can continue his progression higher.  

Cs Sizzle In Rout of Raptors, Then Flop Versus Jazz

The Friday night win over the Raptors was impressive and revealing about how a playoff atmosphere type of game might look for these Celtics.  Then, on the second night of the home back to back, they came out and had nothing on offense versus the Utah Jazz.  We are still knee deep in experimental mode folks.  Who are these Celtics?

Right now they are a very average basketball team.  This is ok as there is tons of time left.  Hayward is starting to look a bit better and a bit more explosive.  Jaylen Brown's offense is gradually improving.  The Raptors dropped a few games in a row so nobody is going to run away with the Eastern Conference.  We just have to wait and see how Coach Stephens handles this offensive malaise.  

Celtics 111 Bulls 82

The Celtics took advantage of the Chicago Bulls and easily beat them on Wednesday evening at TD Garden.  The Bulls are a mediocre at best club, but nonetheless it was nice to see the Celtics come out and execute off of the awful five game road trip which saw the team go 1-4 in those games.

All five starters scored in double figures and Jaylen Brown led the way with 18 points.  Maybe this is a big step forward for Brown who has been slumping all season offensively thus far.  Rozier, Smart, and Baynes were very effective off the bench.  Baynes had nine points and 11 rebounds.  

Cs Torched On 1-4 Road Trip, Back To Boston To Sort it Out

The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Celtics 100-94 on Sunday night to wrap up a miserable 1-4 road trip for the Celtics.  This was not bad luck or bad circumstances.  The Celtics were outplayed and defeated on this road trip.

There may be a silver lining.  The Celtics were hyped up to extreme levels before the season and human nature suggests some of that creeped into the minds of the players.  This road trip provided a good snapshot of who the Celtics are right now.  Thye faced very good clubs like the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Utah Jazz.  They were defeated.  This is what it is.  Now they have a standing and foundation to build on top of and go where they can go.  

Celtics 116 Suns 109

The Celtics snapped an ugly losing streak with a 116-109 victory over the Phoenix Suns in overtime on Thursday night in Phoenix.  Kyrie Irving fired in 39 points for the Celtics and both Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris tossed in 17 each.

This was a badly needed win for a team that has yet to find its groove.  During this time the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks are cruising away.  Of note as well is the modest efforts from Jayson tatum and Gordon Hayward.  Tatum had merely 4 points and Hayward had only 8 points.  This team is still operating well below potential.  

NBA Standings - Eastern Conference

1. Toronto 11-1

2. Milwaukee 9-2

3. Boston 7-4

4. Philadelphia 7-5

5. Indiana 7-5

Celtics Blow Game In Indy, Now Face Gauntlet Starting In Denver

Failing to guard Oladipo with time expiring giving him a wide open three for the win?  Check.  Horrible execution on an inbounds play with four seconds left to win the game?  Yup.  All that and more on Saturday evening when the Cs tossed away a game late against the Pacers.  This Pacers team is solid and they play hard.  Huge win for them.

Kyrie Irving bailed out the offense late with two threes and the Celts were on fire from 3PT land, but they blew the game.  Now, the Celtics visit the red hot Denver Nuggets on Monday night in the altitude and facing a team that is sky high and 8-1.  This will be a very good test to see where the Celtics are right now.  Everyone is healthy aside from Theis.  Morris is playing the best ball of his career.  In many ways this team should be rollling but it is not.

Let's see how things go in Denver.

Celtics 108 Pistons 105

The Detroit Pistons arrived at TD Garden on Tuesday night, and they were ready to play off the blowout loss at home to the Celtics.  Detroit was energetic and put up a strong fight all night long, but the game belonged to Kyrie Irving. 

Irving exploded for 31 points and gave the Celtics what they needed.  When the game got tight and the Celtics needed a bucket, irving delivered.  That's really what this game cam down to.  

Jayson tatum added 16 points.  Jaylen Brown had 14 points and Marcus Morris added 15 points. 

On Thursday night at TD Garden the Cs square off with the red hot Milwaukee Bucks.

Celtics 109 Pistons 89

The Celtics visited the 4-0 Detroit Pistons on Saturday night and put forth their best overall effort of the season.  The Cs elite defense locked up the Pistons and Jaylen Brown busted out of his slump to produce his best game of the season.  Brown had 19 points on the evening.

The Celts played without Aron Baynes sitting again with a hamstring issue, and it was questionable if Daniel Theis would play.  Theis did inded play and he had 17 points and 8 rebounds, perhaps his best game of his NBA career. 

Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving both continue to grind their way back.  Hayward had 15 points and 5 rebounds and Irving had just three points.  The Celtics improved to 4-2 on the season.    

Celtics 101 Thunder 95

In a game that looked like it could be an ugly and demoralizing road loss for the Celtics, the Celts responded with an explosive 40 point 3rd quarter to get right back in the game.  The Celtics offense was struggling again the entire first half, and OKC was dominating the entire time.  The Celtics ripped off 40 points in the third quarter and managed to squeeze out the victory late with the game tied at 95 with 34 seconds remaining.  

Jayson Tatum led the way with 24 points and Marcus Morris added 21 for the Celtics.  Al Horford had 19 points and 9 rebounds.  Gordon hayward and Jaylen Brown both continued to struggle with just 5 and 6 points respectively.  

Celts Launch Two Game Road Trip, Baynes Uncertartain, Rozier Feels The Pinch

The Celtics will play at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night followed by a road tilt versus the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night inside Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit.  Following that game the same Pistons team visits TD Garden on Tuesday evening.

At 2-2 the Celtics are still searching.  Aaron Baynes' status is still uncertain and his role makes an enormous impact on the Celtics defense.  That said, the team still needs to make sure it has solid rotations with Baynes out whether it is late October or early May.  Nobody knows with a hamstring and injuries in general are part of NBA life.  

Terry Rozier leads all backcourt players in net rating and wants more minutes.  Everyone wants more minutes.  Rozier, to is credit, is doing his thing continuing to advance from a solid playoff run and preseason while other players have yet to really round into form.  Coach Stevens can and will use Rozier's solid play to of course help in the here and now but also light a fire under other players.  

Three days rest since the debacle versus Orlando so let's see how they look in OKC.  

Magic 93 Celtics 90

The Orlando Magic came into TD Garden and d'ed up the Cs and walked out with a win.  The Celtics shot a horrendous 9/40 from 3PT land and 40% overall from the field and could not muster enough to outlast the Orlando Magic.

The Celtics only attempted 9 free throws but threw up 40 3PT shots.  This is one of those nights where relying on the 3PT shot can really stand out in a bad way.  Only having 9 FT attempts clearly shows there were not enough drives to the lane and attempts near the rim. 

Jaylen Brown's discouraging season continues as he lodged a tepid 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.  Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 8 rebounds.  

2-1 Celtics Open Doors To Plenty of Questions

2-1 to start the season is perfectly acceptable, especially given the loss was at a very tough but perhaps overlooked Toronto Raptors club.  But, do we really know what this Celtics team is yet?  Probably not, and that is perfectly fine as well.

The other night on the post-game Tommy mentioned that he thinks the team is playing at only about 20% of their true potential.  He felt that Kyrie Irving looked a little overweight and slow, and that overall things weren’t clicking.  We are fine with this assessment.  The main objective is to peak in May and June.  Irving is not at the top of his game yet.  We have no comment on his condition and wouldn’t know either way, but we know he will round into top form eventually.

It’s clear Gordon Hayward has a ways to go to regain All Star form, and he won’t be playing on any back to backs for a while.  While Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris have paced the offense overall, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier have struggled.  Brown in particular is off to an overall rough start.  At the end of the day it’s very good news that the Celtics are 2-1 with so many critical components of the team underperforming currently.  The home game Monday night against Orlando with a full two days rest should be a great opportunity to polish things up a bit.

The biggest concern however currently is Aaron Baynes.  The Cs were +15 with Baynes on the court in the 1st half against the Knicks when he left with a hammy issue.  Baynes is the best defender on the team perhaps aside from Smart and makes a huge overall difference.  Not to mention his offensive game is really extending itself so far.  Hamstrings can get ugly so we hope this is not a major setback.  Daniel Theis and Yabusele should get great chances to shine now.

Some Celtics History

As the Celtics opened up their brand new training facility in Brighton, MA in 2018, it's very important to look into Celtics history and especially the role and significance of Red Auerbach.  Red loved McHale and he went after him.  1 which year was a middle, Carroll from Purdue, but Auerbach did Not like his game. He'd from Minnesota, who'd raised his opportunities with a few postseason performances like the 6-11 McHale. Auerbach were concerned about being able to re sign him and approached the Warriors, who'd a Parish with prodding from coach Bill Fitch. Golden State agreed to provide up its pick and Parish, No. 3 overall, for 2 Celtics picks, No. 13. The rest is history. The Celtics won another title in 1981, but the team came apart. Auerbach named placid K. C.Jones to replace Fitch and then persuaded Phoenix to separate from guard Dennis Johnson for no longer needed Rick Robey. All of these deals created a dynasty, and current Celtics President Danny Ainge strives to match this type of performance every year.

Johnson gave Boston a defensive and stabilizing presence seven game series in the year 1984. 2 years later, Auerbach experienced the low and high of his Celtics career. In June he accepted the championship trophy after the Celtics thru the postseason in 1It was the Celtics team that was biggest and steamrolled with a 67-15 record throughout the league. Walton, who'd come over the summer in an exchange for Cedric Maxwell, won the sixth year of the Year Award and has been a presence on and off the floor. Bird won the 3rd of his 3 consecutive MVPs. The team went 40-1 at home. 

But right following defeating the Houston Rockets for the NBA title, the fund fell out. The Celtics had the second pick at the draft, courtesy of an agreement with Seattle in the year 1984. Auerbach had his heart set on an athletic, mobile, gifted forward out of Maryland named Len Bias. Auerbach had scouted Bias and has been good buddies with Maryland Terrapins Basketball Coach, Lefty Dreisell. By all reports, Bias was a cannot miss prospect and Auerbach swelled when he announced the pick. Two days later, Bias had died of cocaine intoxication. Auerbach cried from the Celtics office. The Bias death cast a pall over the group and unleashed a series of unrelated, but nonetheless almost unfortunate events. 

McHale broke his foot at the 1987 playoffs. Walton managed just 10 games following breaking a bone at his foot on the exercise bike. Bird missed all, But six games of the 1988-89 season as a result of double Achilles surgery. Auerbach finally relinquished the daily operations at 1991 to Dave Gavitt, a longtime college basketball bigwig. But Auerbachs reputation and presence still appeared deep, even from afar.  The Celtics wer sliding and the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls were emerging.  

Celtics 103 Knicks 101

Tight battle ends with Irving and Tatum heroics.  The Celtics defeated the NY Knicks 103-101 on Saturday night in a game that got very tight late inside Madison Square Garden.  The Celtics led by as many as 16 points but then trailed the Knicks in the 4th quarter.

Kyrie Irving returned to the game in the 4th quarter and took charge on back to back posessions.  On one he found Horford for an easy bucket and scored on the other.  In the final minute Jayson Tatum had two huge baskets to include an incredible fadeaway jumper from the elbow with the shot clock winding down.  Tatum had 24 points and 15 rebounds.

Aaron Baynes did not return for the second half after an injury in the first half.  We await further information on his status.   

Early Tight Game Sees Raptors Pull Away Late

The Raptors rather easily dispatched the Celtics late in the 4th quarter in a game that should serve as a welcome wakeup call to the Celtics.  Getting through the East will be no walk in the park.  It's clear the Raptors are a much better club than Philadelphia, and they will give the Celtics all they can handle in the Eastern Conference.

The Raptors knocked off the Cs 113-101.  Al Horford had 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists for the Celtics.  Kawhi leonard had 31 points for the Raptors and Serge Ibaka added 21.  

Celtics, Raptors Showdown Has Early Sizzle

The Celtis visit the Raptors on Friday night in an early season tilt with big implications.  The Raptors are a different team now and obviously the biggest change is the addition of Kawhi Leonard.  Leonard has not operated ta top speed or at his peak level in the NBA for quite some time now.  This isn't to suggest he has lost anything but rather to simply point out it has been a while.  We saw plenty of rust on Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in the Cs opener. 

This game sets up nicely for the Celtics in terms of tempo and effort.  They will enter with three full days of rest and should have plenty of energy and intensity, particularly on defense.  The travel is very minimal as well with just a quick dash to beautiful Toronto.  It should be a great game.   

Celtics 105 Sixers 87

The Celtics pulled away in the second half on Opening Night and buried the rival 76ers to open up the 2019 NBA Season.  The Green looked rusty and shot the ball terribly in the first half, but the defensive effort was there throughout the entire game essentially.

Kyrie Irving struggled mightily and couldn't hit shots, but the offensive punch from Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris was more than enough to get the Celtics over the edge.  Aaron Baynes was great in his minutes.  Baynes displayed some nice offensive abilities along with his stout defense.

Hayward made his return and played 24 minutes.  He had some nice moments.  

Cs Gala Finds Grousbeck Going All In

It seems to no surprise the Celtics ownership team has moved past the transiton and rebuilding phase and now publicly challenges the players to take home the title.  This is great news in our view.  It is time.  No more almost or what could have been.  Now is the time to get to the finals and see what happens.

Wyc gushed over Irving's pledge to stay in Boston and emphasized the unity he sees on this team.  At the same time Ainge is confirming speculation that team is pursuing a long term deal with Terry Rozier.  It will be very exciting this season if guys can stay healthy.  The depth on this team is ridiculous.  

Celts Lose To Cavs Again In Preseason Finale - Smart Ejected After JR Smith Scuffle

In a game where Irving and Hayward rested the Celtics lost again to the Cavs to conclude the games portion of the preseason.  The team now has a solid week to practice intensely and get ready for the regular season action. 

JR Smith delivered a cheap shot and Marcus Smart responded accordingly.  Smart was ejected.   


Marcus Smart made a gesture on his way out, to J.R. Smith to "meet me in the back. I told him come back. We can handle that off the court. And that's on my momma, may she rest in peace. Ain't no punk right here. J.R. know where I'm at." from r/bostonceltics

Kyrie Verbally Commits To Marriage, Cs Get Chance To Wake Up Saturday Night

In front of a throng of season ticket holders at TD Garden last night, Kyrie Irving stolel the Boston Sports spotlight by declaring verbally that he will re-sign with the Boston Celtics this next summer.  This is certainly very encouraging news and very helpful to Ainge and the management of the team.  Unless Kyrie reverses on his word, Danny can now use this commitment when working on other long term, strategic deals.

Yes, it's only preseason.  But, the Celts got destroyed the last time out.  The team needs to basically tighten the screws a bit and get ready for the regular season.  They will do so.  The first two games are against Philly and Toronto so those will be evry tough.  After that it's the Knicks which could be an improving sleeper team in the East.

Kyrie Irving: “This is the best team in terms of talent that I've been on.” from r/nba

Cavs Smoke Cs Leaving Observers Wondering What Cs Are Now

After three preseason games Coach Stevens says he could not be more unimpressed right now.  The Celtics defense was again a no show against the Cavs as a very borderline playoff team torched the Celts for 59 first half points.  

With only four preseason games total, Irving sitting out lst night, and Hayward clearly a long ways from peak form, it should be no surprise if the Celtics get off to a modest start this season. 

Jaylen Brown commented after the game about guys trying to avoid stepping on each ther's toes and not being in sync.  That certainly describes a lot of the challenges currently.  No need to panic, but this is the cliche wake up call.  They will figure things out but they have a lot of work to do.  

[Blakely] “I couldn’t be more unimpressed after our first three preseason games. We got a lot of work to do. That’s pretty clear.” - Brad Stevens. from r/bostonceltics

Game 3 Tuesday Night Celtics vs Cavs

The preseason march continues on with the thrid game tonight versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.  It will be interesting to see who and what develops in this game.  It is quite clear Kyrie Irving is gearing up fo a monster season, but there are so many other contributors as well.  Terry Rozier has been playing wonderfully so far, and his motivation is of course sky high with a contract looming.

Marcus Smart has been out for personal reasons and needs to get into the mix to be ready for the opener.  The rotations may be relatively set but not everyone has had legit minutes yet with the associated counterparts, so look for Stevens to weave that in more.  Buckle up and enjoy the game.

Terry Rozier on coming off the bench: "If you want to win a championship, that's what it's going to take -- sacrifice. ... We're all going to have one goal and it's going to lead us to the promised land." from r/nba

Celtics 115 Hornets 112

Preseason game 2 is in the books.  Kyrie Irving scored 20 points in his limited action and Jayson Tatum rebounded from a soft opener to knock down 16 points as the Celtics defeated the Hornets ar TD Garden.  The bench players executed almost the entire second half and had to battle back for the victory late in the game.

Gordon Hayward had an impressive block on a breakaway attempt by the Hornets.  The play showed high confidence by hayward in his return from that horrific injury.  Terry Rozier had 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.  

POST GAME THREAD: Boston Celtics 115, Charlotte Hornets 112 from r/bostonceltics
Guerschon Yabusele and Robert Williams seal the game with the clutch basket and block from r/bostonceltics

First Preseason Game In The Books

With fan expectations sky high and two prominent players returning from injury, the Celtics first preseason game heading into this seasonw as a bigger event than normal.  All in all the team is likely quite pleased with the results.

With the typical rotations on the floor the Celtics put up 37 points in the first quarter and had a dominant lead at halftime.  They were basically up by 15-20 points the majority of the time.  The shots created during this first half were of significance to note.  The Celtics were creating a lot of nice looks and shots - hallmarks of a Stevens offense.  Shots weren't falling for everyone but it was apparent this group has tons of potential on offense.

Jaylen Brown in particular looked very strong.  It is clear he continues to improve and focus on weaknesses and gaps in his game.  Gordon Hayward returned from his very serious injury and was competent.  His shot wasn't falling early but he looked pretty good and can certainly build on that

Kyrie Irving came out on fire and the knee appears to be in very good shape.  Marcus Morris was great off the bench.  Terry Rozier was his usual self and very productive off the bench.  

Aron Baynes teased that 3PT shot again.  He took two in the first half and made one.  Neither were heaves to beat the shot clock or forced.  It will be very interesting to see how Baynes is used on offense this season.

Morris had 12 points on 5-11 shooting.  Jaylen Brown had 14 points on 5-13 shooting.  Tatum struggled at 3-11 from the floor with 8 points total.  Hayward had 10 points on 2-7 shooting.

Sunday night at TD Garden is the second preseason game.

Celtics Break Camp

The Celtics conducted their first full practice at the glistening new Auerback center on Tuesday.  Much of the talk was about returning from injuries and the depth of the team.  The Celtics have tremendous depth.  Daniel Theis is back at full strength and of course the core bench guys such as Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, and Marcus Morris are all locked and loaded.  

Gordon Hayward dunked off of his left foot and observers continue to say he looks good.  Kyrie Irving is having no issues with his knee.  Both Irving and Hayward contend they will play in Friday's preseason game.  

September 30th is the first preseason game at TD Garden.

Rookie Robert Williams did not participate in the schrimmage on Day 1.  Jabari Bird was out and is listed as away from the team given the arrest and legal proceedings.  

Celtics Update - 9/24

The Celtics conducted Media Day on 9/24 and the first practice of the season is on Tuesday, September 25th.  The first preseason game is less than a week away.  

It's getting closer and we continue to see nothing but good news about the injuries and associated recoveries.  By all accounts Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Daniel Theis are all coming back and ready to go.  

Celtics Update - 9/17

As training camp draws near there is no shortage of stories related to the Boston Celtics.  The top story is the arrest of Jabari Bird.  We will not comment on any legal ramifictions or ongoing situations.  Bird was arrested and detained by Brighton Police.  he recently signed a contract with the Celtics.  Seemingly he had a pretty secure roster spot.  We will simply wait and see what happens.

boston celtics schedule

More videos and chatter related to the injury progress of both Gordon hayward and Kyrie Irving continues to surface.  More and more it appears that both will enter training camp at full strength.  We still won't be surprised to see extreme caution taken when dealing with both players.  The objective is to have them at full strength as you hit February and March so you can make that run at a Championship.  

Ainge Declares Irving and Hayward 100% For Day 1 On Camp

During contacts with the media recently, Danny Ainge stated that both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward would be at 100% without restrictions from the start of training camp.  This is excellent news as we have no way of knowing exactly how the health of a player is progressing or not progressing other than to see the player on the court and participating.  

The Celtics open training camp on September 26th in Newport, RI.  The first practice at the new facility, the Red Auerbach Center, in Brighton will be on September 29th.  

Boston Celtics 2025 Season Preview

Take a look around the NBA landscape and associated fandoms and media kingpins, and it’s not too difficult to run across a prediction that pits the Boston Celtics versus the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals.  Sure, this seems to make plenty of sense and perhaps that will very much be the case after all is said and done.  Much needs to happen between now and then however, and there is no guarantee that either of these two teams much less both of them cruise through an entire season without adversity or significant injuries. 


The idea is exciting to ponder though, but more importantly just where are these Celtics?  The Celtics were one game away from getting to the NBA Finals and they were hosting Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in the Garden to get it done.  That is a huge accomplishment and makes a monstrous statement about where they are and how far they have come since Danny Ainge essentially obliterated the team and put it back together piece by piece.  Yet, in that same game several key components of the Celtics’ future came up completely empty.  Jayson Tatum had a solid game but both Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier were horrendous offensively.  They couldn’t buy a bucket seemingly as the game completely slipped away and Cleveland advanced to the NBA Finals.

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This isn’t to say Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier are question marks.  Rather, this is to say the Celtics can be so close but yet still have so much maturing to do.  Brown and Rozier both appear well on their way to highly productive careers.  Jaylen Brown looks like a potential All-Star and one of the best two way players in the NBA.  Yet, in a game 7 against The King both players folded.  This could prove to be one of the most powerful experiences each has in their lifetime.  The entire team went through the process of dealing with incredible adversity only to get to that last final step before the finals . . . . at home . . . . and experience failure.  What will they do to build on this?

Let’s dive into some interesting topics on the Celtics heading into this season. 

Gordon Hayward

Gordon Hayward is an extremely intriguing component of this Celtics 2018/2019 for so many reasons.  Obviously the biggest area of focus is the health of his ankle and if he truly is ready to come back at the NBA level.  We won’t speculate on that here as we will simply have to wait and see what happens.  One thing we will say is that we find it highly plausible that the Celtics take a conservative and slow approach with Hayward.  If the Celtics see that Hayward can indeed fully recover AT SOME POINT, then we would expect them to take it slow with the goal being to get Hayward back close to full speed by the second half of the regular season to build up for the postseason.  Perhaps the same can be said about Kyrie Irving.  There may not be a lot of fireworks between Hayward and Irving early in the year simply because both may not be heavily involved right away.

boston celtics schedule

Boston Celtics

But let’s discuss another topic: Hayward’s minutes.  Hayward is a swing/edge guy with length that plays great two way basketball.  Hmmmm, we may not be rocket scientists but we do know that the Celtics have a couple of young players that fit that same description.  Yes, the Celtics can use ALL of their players and could be the deepest team in the NBA.  However, there is no law that says Gordon Hayward will immediately step into a feature role and play 30+ minutes a night when he returns.  Hayward both competes with and complements Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

Hayward will have to earn minutes on this Celtics squad.  If he were returning to say 20 other NBA teams he likely would walk right into major minutes and a feature role.  Not so fast here in Boston with this team.  Hayward got the big money as a free agent and Stephens and Ainge love the guy, but that doesn’t mean he will get a star role just based on his contract and track record.  Hayward has a lot of work to do to prove he deserves minutes and deserves the trust and respect of his teammates. 

You know what, this may be one of the most powerful forces in the favor of the Celtics this season.  The Celtics have a multiple All-Star top 25 NBA player that was not on the court when they advanced to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.  They have a multiple All Star that has to fight his way back and prove himself to players and coaches.  They have a multiple All Star that will be very motivated to prove that he is indeed a big part of the Celtics and Celtics history and aura.  This is the exact opposite of a free agent that gets the big money and then chills out and rets on his laurels.  Hayward is the big free agent, but in some ways he has to compete for a roster spot and minutes.  We won’t be shocked to see Hayward charging forward with the same type of fire Tom Brady did when Belichik drafted Jimmy G to light a fire under Brady. 

Daniel Theis

The contribution made by Daniel Theis was somewhat lost in the shuffle last year as people focused more so on Kyrie’s knee injury, the playoff rush, and the showdown with the Cavs and Lebron James.  This is certainly understandable.  Also, Theis is a role player.  Most people think that only stars matter in the NBA.  We do not view it that way at all.  If Theis can come back at full strength this season we see him as a major contributor in his role as a bench performer.  Boston Sports Jounral recently reported that Theis is expected to arrive at Training Camp at full strength.

Theis’ 36 minute splits last year were the following: 12.7 points and 10.5 rebounds.  The guy was on a steep learning curve and didn’t get into a groove until almost half way through the season.  He learned very quickly and was a crucial component of the Celtics physical game.  The NBA is very, very physical.  Aside from Baynes, Morris, and Smart the Celtics lack “bangers” or guys you would see mucking it up physically with the other team.  Daniel Theis fits this mold.

Look for Theis to provide a physical presence and spark off the bench for the Celtics this season.  If he can shoot above 35% from 3PT and knock down wide open 3’s that would be an even better boost.  We think he can and we see him getting consistent minutes if he is healthy and ready to go.

Aaron Baynes

Aaron Baynes is another “throw in” according to the “experts” in the Boston sports media.  These “experts” look at Baynes as just a body out there taking up space.  The reality is that Aaron Baynes is a critical piece of this Celtics team.  There is a reason why Ainge obtained Baynes and there is a reason why his free agency was an afterthought as the Celtics and Baynes were going to reach an agreement.

Baynes is one of the most effective one on one defenders in the NBA among big men.  He has excellent body control and holds opposing big men to a low effective field goal percentage.  This may sound like peanuts but just think of how many NBA games, and playoff games especially, come down to just one or two possessions.  If Baynes can come up with big stops on defensive possessions, then he has a ton of value to a team that should contend for a Championship.  Beyond that he is a great asset in the locker room and brings an overall level of toughness to the Celtics.  Is he developing a 3PT shot?  We saw that in the playoffs.  Was that a mirage?  Well, we know the Cs love the stretch bigs and the 3 ball so we won’t be shocked if Baynes does indeed fire up 3s when he is left wide open. 

Team Defense

2017-2018 NBA Rankings:

Defensive Efficiency – 2nd

Opponent Points From 3 Pointers – 4th

Opponent Effective Field Goal % - 2nd

Defensive Rebounding % - 8th

Opponent 2nd Half Points Per Game – 3rd

The defense is the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics despite all the adoration for the wizardry from Coach Stephens in play calling to Kyrie Irving’s exceptional offensive skills.  Those are certainly important but the Celtics defense is the most important facet of this ball club. 

The Celtics have a borderline elite defense.  The stats noted above are extremely encouraging.  This team brings back Marcus Smart and hopefully gets Daniel Theis for a full season along with Gordon Hayward.  Those factors can make this team even better defensively (we also assume Marcus Smart does NOT punch a picture frame inside a hotel room this season in our calculations).   


Boston Celtics Schedule 2018/2019

The NBA Schedule is out for the 2018 and 2019 season.  The Celtics will be on national TV a whopping 27 times.  That is 1/3rd of their total games on the season.  Organic and long term Celtics fans will have to endure the national announcers and 8PM EST start times while missing out on Mike and Tommy quite often this season. 

Celtics vs Lakers

Celtics Sixers

Some key matchups:

Oct 16 - Celtics vs 76ers

Oct 25 - Thunder vs Celtics

Nov 30 - Celtics vs Cavs

Dec 25 - Celtics vs 76ers

Dec 27 - Rockets vs Celtics

Jan 26 - Celtics vs Warriors

Feb 7 - Celtics vs Lakers 


celtics tickets



Celtics Ink Bird To Two Year Deal

Most people may overlook this roster move, but the locking up off Jabari Bird to a two year deal might open quite a few eyes say by Christmas of 2018.  Bird got quite a few minutes in the last handful of games of the 2017/2018 regular season with the seeding locked up, and he made the most of it.  Bird provided explosive offensive pop and energy.

In the NBA Summer League, Jabari Bird was simply dominant and didn't even need to play the last couple of games.  Ainge had seen enough and presumably they went into contract negotiations.  Bird is a great example of the Celtics building a program that is sustainable for a very long period of time.  More and more draft picks and more and more assets.  A brand new facility in Brighton that shows players they have the best resources in the NBA.  The Green continue to get better and better.  

Celtics Take 2-0 Lead In Eastern Conference Finals, Head To Cleveland

The Celtics were able to absorb the inevitable onslought from Lebron James in game 2, remain poised, and methodically hammer away to grind out a very nice victory in Game 2 of the ECF.  James threw the kitchen sink at the Celtics as everyone on the planet predicted, and the Celtics as a team responded.

One must wonder now what it will take for Cleveland to get back in this series.  In Game 1 the Celtics offense went through the Cavs defense like a hot knife through butter.  In Game 2 the Celtics offense got off to a tepid start but ultimately went through the Cavs defense again like a hot knife through butter.  We shall see what adjustments can be made in Cleveland.  

One thing is for sure and that is the Celtics are not intimidated, scared, or in any danger of backing down to the Cavs and James.  We are consistently seeing some nice moments of chippiness where the Celtics are getting right in the face of the Cavs and bringing a ton of energy and passion to this series.  

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TD Garden Seating Chart

Celtics Cavs Showdown, Rockets and Warriors Battle Out West

The NBA must be pretty happy here on the morning of May 10th.  The league has the four most desirable teams alive in the Conference Finals in terms of matchups, rivalries, and anticipated viewer participation relative to the options on the table.  Bitter rivals Boston and Cleveland will square off in the East and the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets will battle for the Western crown.

These gutty and gritty Boston Celtics dispatched the Sixers in five games with an exciting win at TD Garden on Wednesday night.  There were no blowouts in this series as each game was tight.  The Celtics simply made more plays during the crucial moments and were much better at keeping their composure and poise throughout.  

It appears that Jaylen Brown's hamstring is recovering fairly well and a few more days rest before the Eastern Conference Finals can only help.  A handful of players have really emerged this season and specifically during the playoffs, but perhaps Brown's name tops that list.  He really took over on the floor and as a leader when he returned from his concussion and the Celtics were roundig ut the regular season.  That has continued in April and May where Brown is the best two way player on the Celtics.

Al Horford has been an animal as well clearly cranking up his intesity.  Rozier, Tatum, Smart and several others are all contributing.  This team is very different from the one the Cavs smashed in last year's Conference Finals.  the Cavs are quite different as well.  Coach Stevens will need to cook up smething interesting here to beat this Cleveland team.  

Game 2 - Celtics 120 Bucks 106

The Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 120-106 on Tuesday night at TD Garden to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.  Game 3 is on Friday night in Milwaukee with a 9:30PM EST tip time.

Jaylen Brown was sensational as he continues to emerge as the leader of the Boston Celtics.  His energy was outstanding and he was all over the court.  Marcus Morris yet again stepped up huge off the bench.  Terry Rozier is completely dominating Eric Beldsoe on both ends of the floor.  Frankly, it's a bit embarassing.  Rozier is taking Bledsoe to the cleaners.    

Game 1 Thriller 

In what will certainly go down in an instant classic in TD Garden history, the Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime on Sunday afternoon in Game 1 of the first round playoff series.  After Terry Rozier broke a tiw with a 3PT shot leaving only 0.5 seconds on the clock, it sure looked like the Celtics would win by three points in regulation.  Milwaukee's Celtic killer, sharpshooter Middleton wouldn't have that as he buried a very long range three as the buzzer went off, leading to a tsunami of sigs and shrugs inside TD by the Celtic faithful.

Lots of folks will point to the foul call on Gianis at the end of overtime, but the Celtics earned this win.  Giannis ertainly got his fair share of calls and no calls.  The game was quite physical and the referees were absolutely letting the teams play.

Middleton crushed the Celtics.  Coach Stevens undoubtedly will work on trying to cool down Middleton in Game 2 and beyond.  Giannis is what he is.  There is not completely stopping him perse.  Brogdon and Middelton must be contained.

using a short rotation the majority of the Celtics players had very good to great games.  Horford was outstanding.  Terry Rozier really lifted the team offensively in the second half.  Jaylen Brown and Jayson tatum both had strong overall games (notwithstanding Jaylen Brown leaving way too much space for Middleton on his bombs away 3 at the buzzer).  Semi Ojeleye gave the team some nice minutes off th bench.

Perhaps the most important player however was Marcus Morris.  Morris was excellent on Sunday.  Beyond that though he brings an edge and level of toughness to the Celtics.  The fans love him and his teammates adore him.  Opposing players can't stand him.  Marcus Morris is very, very important to the success of the Boston Celtics in these playoffs.  Hopefully he continues to play like he has for the last few weeks.  

Game 2 is Tuesday night at the Garden.  Game 3 for some unfathomable reason has a 9:30PM EST tip on Friday night.  A shame it can't tip at 8PM or earlier.  

Celtics vs Bucks

Well here we are on the cusp of the first game of the 2018 NBA Playoffs for the Boston Celtics.  It feels as if the buzz surrounding the Celtics has fizzled out a bit and fans and media "experts" are taking an "aww shucks" angle on those gritty Celtics mauled by inuries that have no chance of making any noise in the playoffs.  We here seriously doubt the men in that locker room are feeling that way.  Those players and coaches are playing to win a Championship.  Keep playing and adjusting and let the chips fall where they may.

Here's a couple of factors to consider heading in:

Celtics Fresh Legs - It was obvious for most of the season and especially since the All Star Break that Coach Stevens and his medical staff were strategically resting players.  This was most apparent with Irving, Horford, and Morris.  Irving as we know is out.  Now it is time to ratchet up the juices for Horford and Morris and the rest of the team.  Intentional nights off and resting for nagging injuries may just boost this Celtics squad now.  Sure they could have won 4 or 5 more games in the regular season going full tilt, but that is not the goal.

Jaylen Brown Surge - Brown has been on fire since his return from the concussion.  Maybe his legs got a good rest as well and he came back fresh and ready to rock.  Perhaps it was more time to think.  Either way it doesn't really matter.  Jaylen Brown has notably improved offensively since his return.  This playoffs run sets up as a huge opportunity for Jaylen to take that next step forward.

Greg Monroe - Yes, the other team tends to score more points when Monroe is on the court.  Monroe stinks on defense.  However, Monroe has been rolling offensively.  If he keeps this up in the playoffs he can have a positive net rating even with his terrible defense.  Monroe at times can score at will and he is simply an excellent passer.  This could be huge as Stevens uses him in specific matchups and other creative ways.

Terry Rozier - This guy has a lot on the line here.  He wants to be seen as an NBA starter now and for the rest of his career.  Well this is the biggest gift he has ever received because he is an NBA starter for a Championship contender in the NBA right now.

Sure there are a million Xs and Os to discuss and analyze and which team is or is not a good or bad matchup for the Celts.  That doesn't matter as much as how well or poorly the Celtics play.  the Bucks defense stinks.  The Bucks played below .500 ball since the All Star Break.  The Celtics need to play Celtics basketball.  The Celtics need to move the ball effectively and play like the top defensive team in the NBA.  Just do your job and things will be fine in this first round.

Celtics vs Bucks - First Round

Game 1 - April 15th

Game 2 - Aprl 17th

Game 3 - April 20th

Game 4 - April 22nd

Game 5 - April 24th

Game 6 - April 26th

Game 7 - April 28th

Raptors Trounce Celtics

The celtics simply had no offense against the Raptors and their recent streak of winning against all odds while overcoming all obstacles came to a thumping end.  As we noted heading in though, this is not the end of the world.  The Celtics already showed themselves and the Raptors that they can handle Toronto when playing at their best levels possible given the current circumstances.

It's all about getting healthy now and gearing up.

Boston Celtics News and Rumors

Jaylen Brown Stats

Gordon Hayward Stats

Celtics Box Score

Celtics Raptors Rematch

Both teams are on a back to back.  Both teams lost the night before.  Both teams have a shot at the #1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference and home court throughout the playoffs.  One team is relatively healthy overall and one is patching together whatever it can.  Something must give tonight in Toronto. 

The Celtics deployed Kadeem Allen at the point guard position against Milwaukee and he hung in there quite nicely.  We don't know if Terry Rozier will suit up tonight in Toronto.  In an interview the other day Stevens said if Rozier is not at least 85% and able to make all the cuts he will sit.  Stevens made a point to emphasize that Terry Rozier will be seeing major minutes in the postseason.  We have no idea as observers and fans if and when Kyrie Irving will ultimately return. 

Let's take a peak at Terry Rozier's stats as he rounds out his 3rd season in the NBA.  This is that point in one's career where the contract situation really comes into focus.  By the end of three years the team will know what they have and what they don't have.  Here are the 36 minute splits:

Terry Rozier Stats

2016:  8.3 poits, 7.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 22% 3PT

2017:  11.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 32% 3PT

2018:  16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 38% 3PT

It is very, very clear that Terry Rozier is a player that has shown strong improvement.  he can also shoot that 3 ball and the numbers back that up.  We know the Celtics love that 3PT shot and versatile players.  We would look for the Celtics to try and lock up Rozier long term this offseason.  If he plays very well in the playoffs Rozier's leverage will only rise.  Rozier understands the Celtics and Celtics culture.  We could see the team opting for Rozier over Smart if that is what it comes down to.

Bucks 106 Celtics 102

The depleted Celtics squad which did not play Terry Rozier couldn't handle the Milwaukee Bucks and fell 106-102.  kadeem Allen got the nod at the point.  Jaylen Brown had an excellent game with 24 points and continues to look very sharp back from the concussion.

On Wednesday night the Celtics are at the Raptors and on a back to back. We shall see who Coach Stevens suits up for this game.  Will there be some strategic resting taking place?  Highly possible at this point.  

Rozier Update

Coach Stevens has stated that Terry Rozier will play tonight.  This is a very positive change.  Shane Larkin is still in Boston dealing with the flu but he is improving.

Who's On Point?

The 4/3 Tuesday night game in Milwaukee should be very interesting.  Who is playing point guard for the Boston Celtics?  Shane Larkin and Terry Rozier are both dealing with injuries and Kyrie Irving is still out.

If you like watching Coach Stevens cook up interesting dishes then you should definitely consider tuning in for this one.  Will we see Jayson Tatum handle the ball more?  Will Al Horford take the ball up the court more as he has in the past at times?  We shall see.

NBA Team Stats - 4/2

Offensive Efficiency

1. Houston

2. Golden State

3. Toronto

4. Minnesota

5. Cleveland

Effective Field Goal %

1. Golden State

2. Houston

3. Cleveland

4. Toronto

5. New Orleans

Defensive Efficiency

1. Boston

2. San Antonio

3. Utah

4. Philadelphia

5. Toronto

Opponent Effective Field Goal %

1. Philadelphia

2. Boston

3. Golden State

4. Portland

5. Toronto

Rozier Joins Larkin On Sidelines

Terry Rozier is dealing with an ankle issue.  He appears to be joining Shane Larkin on the sidelines and may be out of action this week.  

Remaining Schedule - What More could You Ask For?

A lot of folks will look at that Wednesday night game in Toronto and place a lot of emphasis on it and urge the Celts to go all out.  Why?  Who cares?  Of course we want the team to playw ell but more importantly we want everyone healthy.  Going all out for the #1 seed doesn't make all that much said.

Regardless of Wednesday the Celtics have no complaining to do with the end of the schedule.  The Celts will face the Bucks, Bulls, Hawks, Wizards, and Nets in addition to the Raptors.  There is no travel beyond just one time zone over.  This is an ideal setup.  Coach Stevens can strategically rest players and the entire crew can load up on rest and relaxation with minimal travel.  It couldn't get any cleaner for the team.

Injuries will be the main focus.  Hey, look around the NBA.  Smart teams will keep playing as hard as they can for as long as they can in the postseason.  Anything can heppen.  The mighty Golden State Warriors have some major injury issues.  So far Toronto and Houston have been very fortunate, but that can change easily.  Keep playing hard.

Jaylen Brown Stats

It is quite common to see fans and media surrounding the Celtics compare Jaylen Brown and Jayson tatum.  Generally it is a debate about which is better and which one would someone trade or not trade in any of the mythical proposed trades that very few people have absolutely any clue as to whether said proposed trade is close to reality in any way, shape, or form.  Another item that pops up is a debate about whether Jaylen Brown has "taken that next step" in his second year in the NBA.  

Jaylen Brown is still only 21 years old.  He's a starter on one of the top 4 teams in NBA.  That right there says something in fact it says quite a lot.  here's the 36 min splits for the first two seasons (ytd on the current season):

2017: 13.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 34% 3PT

2018:  16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 38% 3PT

Brown has struggled at times this season just like every member of the Celtics.  The numbers above, plus his defensive effot and contribution, project that he is progressing quite nicely.  With so much upside it's no surprise the Celtics are in no hurry to trade Jaylen Brown.  In fact, instead look for them to lock him up long term.

The bigger debate will come when choosing between Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart give the salary cap realities of the NBA.  

Gordon Hayward Teases

Of course Gordon Hayward is dying to ge tback on the court.  he loves basketball, likely feels like he isn't yet "earning that big contract", and knows his team can potentially win an NBA title this season.  Not next season.  This season.

Of course the Celtics are NOT going to do anything crazy or risky with Hayward.  They know the length of he contract and the window for winning.  They know how severe the injury was and is.  

It seems that folks get all riled up everytime a video appears on social media and that is understandable.  Hayward wants to play.  He misses playing and competing with the guys.  He's human like the rest of us.  None of that means he is truly ready for the rigors of an NBA game.  He'll be back when he's ready.  All of these videos and questions Danny Ainge gets on the radio are just attempts at getting people to talk and react.  

Celtics Defeat Raptors

The Boston Celtics soundly defeatd the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night in a possible preview of a playoff matchup later on.  The Raptors don't have to wait long to try and exact revenge because the Celtics visit the Raptors on this Wednesday evening.  This was not some monumental victory where the Celtics can now consider themselves clearly superior to the Raptors.  That remains to be seen.  However, this was a major victory for a few reasons.

The Raptors led this ballgame the majority of the time until late.  The Celtics simply would not go away.  In the end though it was a defeated and deflated Raptors team waithcing the final seconds tick down.  The Celtics soundly defeated Toronto in this matchup.  That inspires confidence.

Both Marcus Morris and Al Horford returned to the lineup and played legitimate minutes.  This is important.  

Morris was ejected as well but that may be a positive.  Morris gives the Celtics a little extra edge as he doesn't back down from anyone and he likes to mix it up.  A Toronto player challenged him and the two did some jawwing and yapping back and forth.  After Morris slapped a  rferee on the butt he was tossed.  The crowd went wild.  Morris is singaling to this young team that the plkayoffs are approaching and it is time to crank it up.  

Although Horford and Morris returned . . . . .  the bench guys still stepped it up.  The Celtics don't want to reserves to lose their edge if/when Kyrie Irving returns by just assuming Kyrie will handle evenrything.  We saw the bench stay focused and effective against the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.  Good news.  

Celtics vs Raptors - 3/31

The hype machines at the national level will likely be fully cranked up for this matchup as people try to draw conclusions one way or another on the future of the Eastern Conference.  We look for the Celtics to take the same methodical approach they have been taking during the entire Stevens era.  It will be interesting to see who plays in this game.  It wouldn't surprise us if the Celtics remain cautious here.  We don't expect them to push any limits with anyone just because it's a hyped up game against the #1 seed in the East.  They won't take the bait.  The plan to strategically rest guys like Horford and Morris will continue so we will have to see who suits up Saturday night.

Jaylen Brown Return - Pesky Celtics Keep Plugging With half A Team

The first few minutes of Jaylen Brown's return in the game against Sacramento looked a bit shaky.  Brown turned the ball over and looked a little rusty, but he ended up having a very nice game in the Celtics victory.  Since then Jaylen Brown has played very well and hit a game winning 3PT shot with less than a second on the clock last night against the Utah Jazz.  We mentioned earlier how fresh legs and a rejuvenated body could be a major benfot of missing those games with the concussion.  We certainly aren't happy he was concussed but rather looking at it from all angles and how it may help in the long run.

These pesky Celtics just won't allow themselves to be defeated and roughed up.  Against the Jazz the Cs were of course without Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart along with Theis, the three of which also sustained longer term injuries.  These Celtics were also without Al Horford and Marcus Morris.  The strategic resting of key players continues and Coach Stevens still dials up wins.  Guys like Ojeleye and Larkin are getting big minutes and this could be crucial for the playoffs.  The perception is that NBA teams just play like 6-7 guys in the postseason because "you can only win with stars" the experts say.  That is not true.  Depth is crucial.  Stevens is masterfully crafting more depth for this Boston Celtics team as it appraches the postseason.

Celtics Four Straight Without Irving – Raptors Looming

No, we are not trying to argue that the Celtics are better without Kyrie Irving.  After all, they whooped a couple of cupcakes in the Kings and Suns so no big deal, right?  Not so fats in either direction.  Winning out on a West Coast road trip is never easy in the NBA so these wins are valid and telling.  The Celtics continue to function regardless of who is on the court.  Are they better without Irving?  No way.  But, they seem to be peaking at the right time in terms of effort and the execution by the coaching staff. 

This latest run is likely building even more confidence inside that locker room.  Experts abound and pontificate about the “right time” to go for a championship and waiting for “next year”.  We doubt the guys I that locker room are talking about next season.  There is a home game against the Raptors Saturday night at TD Garden.  Is this some type of major test?  Sort of but not really.  We expect the Cs to approach it like just about every game they play and fight hard to the last buzzer and try to adapt and find ways to win.  The Raptors have more to lose in this game than the Cs have to gain as they are the darling of the NBA currently with expectations mounting.   

Celtics Update – 3/25

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Toronto 54-19

2.       Boston 49-23

3.       Indiana 43-29

4.       Cleveland 42-30

5.       Washington 42-31

As the Boston Celtics approach the postseason it appears highly likely that they will end up occupying the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference.  They will have home court advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs if they are able to make it past the first round.  That much appears likely.  Beyond that however there seemingly are a million variables the team is juggling.

Kyrie Irving underwent surgery this week and the official statement is that he is out for 3-6 weeks.  There is a lot more to it however.  Do we know for sure if he will play in the playoffs?  We know he wants to play no doubt about that.  What if the recovery falls short and a month from now he doesn’t appear ready and on track?  Will the Celtics consider just shutting him down and gearing up for next season when Gordon Hayward returns?  How much does Kyrie’s long term future in Boston play into this analysis?  All interesting questions.

We know the Celtics can (not a slam dunk but they can) get past the first round without Kyrie Irving.  This remainder of the season and that first round are also presenting an incredible opportunity.  Other players are receiving major minutes and they have the chance to prove what they are all about and what they can contribute in the NBA.  Terry Rozier is a great example of this.  If Rozier has the keys to the car for an entire playoff round that provides the Celtics with an added treasure trove of data and film on Rozier.  This is very important.

Other players such as Jaylen Brown will come under heavy scrutiny as well.  Brown is set to return from a concussion tonight versus Sacramento.  His legs should be very fresh and his body rejuvenated after sitting out a few weeks with the concussion.  This is an enormous opportunity for Jaylen brown to show the Celtics he is taking that big step forward in his second season by being a major contributor in the postseason.  The Celtics desperately need more offensive juice without Irving anf Jaylen Brown needs to step in and provide that role along with his excellent defense.

Marcus Morris is a very interesting situation.  Morris has been absolutely phenomenal recently and proving to be yet another excellent acquisition by Danny Ainge.  He is certainly making the team look at what they want to do long term with Morris.  Look for him to maintain his very significant role throughout the postseason.

Who are these Celtics?  Who will be suiting up in the playoffs?  We don’t really know but we do know that Brad Stevens will be the Head Coach.  We do know that Stevens just beat two of the top four seeds in the Western Conference playing with all reserves essentially.  We do know that injuries can and will happen (just look at Boston and Golden State).  Anything can happen.  We expect the Celtics to take a very simple approach.  Put your head down and keep plowing forward.  Play every minute of every game.  See what happens.       

Injury Update - 3/12

The Celtics were recipients of two pieces of sobering news on Monday, March 12th.  Daniel Theis will miss the remainder of the season and undergo surgery on his knee.  Marcus Smart also has a torn tendon in his thumb and is listed as out indefinitely.

Theis emerged as a very productive player off the bench on both ends of the floor this season.  His 3PT shot is not yet where it needs to be but Theis is a gutty and gritty player that mixes it up on both ends.  Smart, as we reported previously, is clearly a positive catalyst for the Celts.  We shall see if his season is over but the Celtics will definitely miss him.

Celtics Update – 3/12

Eastern Conference Standings

1.      Toronto 49-17

2.      Boston 46-21

3.      Indiana 39-28

4.      Cleveland 38-28

5.      Washington 38-29

The realities and challenges of a long and grinding NBA season are smacking the Celtics right in the face at the moment.  Although the #1 seed and home court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs is highly desirable, there may be more benefits to securing the #2 seed in this particular scenario this season.

On Sunday night at TD Garden on March 11th, the Celtics dropped a close game to the sizzling hot Indiana Pacers.  The Celtics were playing without Jaylen Brown and Al Horford.  The Cs led by double digits a couple times during the game but then Kyrie Irving left the game with more soreness in his left knee.  The Celtics defense rose up to the challenge but the offense was unable to keep the game in check.

It is what it is.  The best move here on out is to make sure the team is as healthy as possible for the playoffs while also securing that #2 seed.  They can do this.  There are two games left against the Raptors which will be tempting chances to go all out but wisdom shall prevail.  Anything can happen.  Steph Curry is having more ankle issues and Golden State is without him currently.  Playoff success can come down to who has the healthiest team that is playing with the most momentum.  The Celtics can consolidate and gear up to be that team in May and June.

Jaylen Brown Injury

Jaylen Brown took a brutal spill following a dunk in Thursday's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.  It looked very scary as it happened as Brown fell straight down onto his upper back and neck.

Brown left the court and the team since reported that he is ok.  He did experience headaches and he is now in the NBA concussion protocol treatment program.  It looks like he will be fine and will comply with the league protocols and return to action when he is ready.

Celtics Update - 3/5

The Celtics dropped a thriller at the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.  The Cs were leading by 6 with a few minutes left but ended up losing.  Not the end of the world.  They can clearly play with both Houston and Golden State and those two are generally considered the two best teams in the NBA.  Also, Irving did not play a good game at all by his standards.  Greg Monroe and Marcus Morris both stepped up again and looked good.

Kyrie Irving is OUT tonight versus Chicago.  We don't view this as a major concern.  Irving and Horford have been strategically missing games all season.  The team might not say that but it looks like they are intentionally finding spots where Horford and Irving can get extra rest.  Look for that to continue until the playoffs.

Celtics Update – 3/2

Eastern Conference Standings

1.      Toronto 43-17

2.      Boston 44-19

3.      Cleveland 36-25

4.      Washington 36-26

5.      Indiana 34-27

Quite a bit has changed since our last update to include the All Star Break and the horrid skid by the Celtics heading into the break.  As you can see from the standings above it sure looks like home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs will come down to a showdown between the Celtics and the Raptors.  On March 31st, a Saturday night, the Celtics host the Raptors at the TD Garden in what certainly will be an exciting evening.

The good news is that the Celtics came out of the All Star break like gangbusters and destroyed a couple of weaker teams and are unbeaten since the break.  They will be tested on Saturday night March 3rd when they take on the Houston Rockets in Houston.  That is another nice assessment tool. 

Kyrie Irving during the break politely said he needs to figure out how to get the Celtics firing on all cylinders and working better together for the remainder of the season.  So far, so good.  Irving continues to play exceptionally well and is usually the very last reason why the team loses a game or goes on a bad run.  Offensive lack of production from other sources has been the major challenge this season thus far.

In addition to Irving, two other factors really jump out so far post the All Star Break.  Marcus Smart is back after his idiotic hand slashing and picture smashing incident in a hotel.  There is no doubt he brings an edge to the Celtics and in particular on defense energizes the team which tends to lead to a better overall defensive effort.  The other thing is the play off the bench specifically from the bigs.  Marcus Morris has been awesome lately and Daniel Theis is really emerging as a reliable role player that is getting solid minutes.  We will continue to monitor this as Theis may emerge as a wild card in the postseason.

Recent acquisition Greg Monroe has shown he can be effective offensively in certain scenarios.  Defensively he is slow and vulnerable most times whereas Baynes and Theis do a much better job on defense.

Celtics Update – 2/5

Eastern Conference Standings

1.      Boston 39-15

2.      Toronto 36-16

3.      Cleveland 30-21

4.      Washington 30-22

5.      Milwaukee 29-23

Things can change very quickly in professional sports and the NBA.  A week ago most of us were concerned with Kyrie Irving missing games and still fuming over Marcus Smart’s hotel incident which resulted in a lacerated hand injury.  Now the Celts have ripped off three straight victories and Terry Rozier looks like an All Star.  It’s a long season filled with many ups and downs.

The standings are getting very tight between Toronto and the Celtics.  The Cavs appear to be in free fall mode.  Love is injured but will return.  The Cleveland defense is horrendous.  Will this magically change before May?  Highly doubtful.  This week the Celtics play at Toronto, at Indy, and then they host the hated Cavs on Sunday.  This is a very big week for the Celtics.

Perhaps we will see Irving and Morris back this week.  This three game winning streak has occurred with Irving, Morris, Smart, and Larkin.  Terry Rozier stepped forward in a huge way and both Jaylen brown and Jayson Tatum seemingly are improving and playing their best basketball of the season.  Maybe the pieces will start to fit together in a more complete manner over the next few weeks.  We would expect Irving, Horford, and Morris to get intentional nights off throughout the remainder of the regular season, but Coach Stevens knows even given that they need to gel with a complete team before the end of March.  Time will tell. 

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Celtics Update – 1/30

Eastern Conference Standings

1.      Boston 36-15

2.      Toronto 33-15

3.      Cleveland 29-19

4.      Miami 29-21

5.      Milwaukee 27-22

The Celtics are now tied with the Raptors in the loss column and definitely in the thick of the long and grinding NBA season.  We opined earlier about how the Cs had gone through the meat grinder of a schedule and that the schedule was setting up to help them out.  Well, easier said than done.  The Celtics return home now after a 2-2 West Coast trip that was almost a disaster and could have been much better. 

Both losses on the trip (to the hated Lakers and the Warriors) were games where the Cs had control late and lost it.  The real issues however were before the trip when the team dropped a couple of games to teams that it is clearly superior to. 

On top of all this is the Marcus Smart saga.  After hogging the ball and missing a game winning 3PT attempt at the Lakers, Smart proceeded to punch a picture in his hotel room and suffer a laceration on his hand.  He was diagnosed and given a two week timeframe for his return.  The Cs certainly needed his defense against offensive powerhouse Golden State. 

This win last night versus Denver was a legitimately “huge win” for the Celtics, perhaps the most important thus far this season.  The team was/is reeling and they were up against a Denver team with great transition offense that is very tough to beat at home.  Last game of a road trip when you are down in the dumps and easy to see how a team could mail it in and just look forward to getting home.  They didn’t do that however.  Jaylen Brown hit a game winning 3PT shot and Jayson Tatum had his best game in weeks.  Let’s see if they can build on this and crank it up a notch in the second half. 

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Brad Stevens

Head Coach Boston Celtics

Brad Stevens is a notable personality in the NBA world, not only for his successful role as Boston Celtics’ head coach, but for his prior achievements as well. He has been a remarkable basketball figure since his time in high school, during which he set quite a number of records in the basketball court. Brad took part in more than just basketball. He also reportedly enjoys solving puzzles, something that he has credited for his ability to analyze opponents and come up with winning strategies.

Life History

Born Bradley Kent Stevens on the 22nd of October, 1976, Bradley was raised in Indiana – Zionsville. He started showing his interests in basketball at a rather young age and by the time he was five, he would watch basketball games on tape almost daily. His father was also pretty supportive of his love for basketball and would often drive him to watch basketball games at Bloomington. His interest in basketball received a boost when he turned eight after he was given a basketball hoop. Things then got a lot better for him when a basketball court was installed in the backyard of his friend, Brandon Monk.

He would spend lots of time at his friend’s place, practicing basketball. He would even carry his own food so as to spare time to play. The court attracted kids from the neighborhood and neighboring places who would come for pickup basketball games. The more games he played, the more he sharpened his basketball skills. Within just a short period of time, he had managed to really develop his competitive streak.

He later joined Zionsville Community High School where he rose to become one of the most prominent basketball players of his time. As a freshman, Stevens would wake up early, head to a local gym and train prior to heading to school. His high school jersey number was 31 in honor of Reggie Miller, guard of Indiana Pacers. Brad made it to the varsity team that same year and went ahead to set school records in basketball. Before culminating his high school basketball career Stevens set records for assists, steals, scoring and three point field goals. He also bagged the Straight A Gold Medal Award among other awards and commendations.

Coaching History and Success

Brad Stevens was offered a volunteer opportunity at Butler basketball office which he took. He then got a job at Butler and was promoted by Todd Lickliter to full time assistant coach. After Todd’s resignation, Brad among other assistant coaches were interviewed for the head coach position. He was named the new Butler head coach. His transition into head coach was largely successful and he propelled his team to numerous wins and quite a number of trophies. His coaching skills were admired by all and other coaches, some more experienced than him were amazed by his style. With Steven as the head coach, Butler became one of the most renowned basketball teams and Brad was even called by President Barrack Obama to congratulate him on a successful season in 2009.

Results with the Celtics

Steven transferred to Boston Celtics as head coach on the 3rd of July, 2013. He drove the Celtics to the 2015 playoffs with a 40-42 record in the Eastern Conference. He then led the team as the first seed in the 2017 playoffs with a 53-19 record.

Interesting Facts and Info

  • His father is an orthopedic surgeon
  • His mother is a professor
  • He has a degree in economics

Celtics Update – 1/15

After some much needed rest the Cs embrace this current week with three games in a row at home at TD Garden.  The Celtics will face the Pelicans, Sixers, and magic on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday of this week.  In theory, with no B2Bs and plenty of practice time, the Cs should be in a position to have a great shot at winning all three of these games.  Time will tell. 

The Celtics recently buried the 76ers in London but have had trouble with them in the past.  Orlando started the year off hot but has not looked as good since.  The Cs smoked them earlier.  Celtics don’t see the Pelicans much so of course there will lots of chatter about Anthony Davis and potential trades.  All of that is just a distraction. 

Defensive Win Shares (DWS) – Current Rankings

The statistic known as DWS, Defensive Win Shares, is an estimate of how many wins a player has contributed to his team due to his defense.  People can certainly pick apart any and all statistics and find alleged flaws with all of them.  That is true.  Trends however are difficult to ignore fo even the most stubborn stat basher out there.  We happen to strongly believe in the merit of stats and find ourselves on the same side of the fence as NBA head coaches and GMs (to include Coach Stevens and Danny Ainge). 

Here are the current rankings for DWS in the NBA:

1.       Russell Westbrook

2.       Andre Drummond

3.       Jayson Tatum

4.       DeMarcus Cousins

5.       Al Horford

6.       Paul George

7.       Karl-Anthony Towns

8.       Ben Simmons

9.       Jaylen Brown

10.   Marcus Smart

11.   Kyrie Irving

12.   LaMarcus Aldridge

13.   Dwight Howard

14.   Pau Gasol

15.   Draymond Green

Haters can cry all they want and say the stats are bogus because so many Celtics are in this top 15.  But, by doing so you are saying those other guys on this list are not as good defensively as the numbers suggest.  Either way, the reader can decide for themselves.  Looks to us like the Celtics have a large contingent of excellent defenders on their team.  

Celtics Update – 1/10

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Boston 33-10

2.       Toronto 28-11

3.       Cleveland 26-14

4.       Miami 23-17

5.       Washington 23-17

The Celtics face the Sixers in London on Thursday of this week in a stretch that sees them playing just two games within a ten day span.  This provides much needed practice time and time for injuries to recover and heal.  Hopefully the Cs come firing out of this lull in the schedule on all cylinders ready to make a strong push forward in the second half of the season. 

Rumors are circulating that Gordon Hayward may be able to return to action a lot sooner than most were expecting.  Danny Ainge fueled those rumors even more with some recent tweets showing Hayward without a cast or anything on his ankle doing some work in the pool.  We will avoid injury speculation and just wait to see what happens.  This does highlight an interesting point however.  A lot of fans and media constantly try to place some sort of label or expectation in terms of time on the Celtics and their position vis a vis “contenders for the title”.  Who cares!  Injuries can and do happen and anything in the NBA is possible or any professional sports league for that matter.  Key players (such as Curry and Harden) can indeed get hurt so we just don’t know what will or will not happen.  The best thing to do is to strive to become better every day as a team and see what happens.  If the Celtics can be among the healthiest and deepest teams and play well then they will indeed make a very deep run in the playoffs. 

Let’s take a look at some critical stats to see where the Celts stack up in the NBA right now. 

Defensive Rebounding % - 9th

Total Rebounding % - 12th

Defensive Efficiency – 1st

Opponent Fast Break Efficiency – 10th

Offensive Efficiency – 15th

Assists per FGM – 11th

Cavs Game Reaction and Ping Pong Balls

The Cavs game creates and easy opportunity to react too strongly in both directions.  The Cs throttled the Cavs on Wednesday night at TD Garden.  There is no overlooking this fact.  But, Cavs defenders will find plenty of reasons to play down the significance of this Celtics victory.

The Cavs were without Isaiah Thomas.  The Cavs were on a back to back.  Both of those things are true.  Injuries are a reality in the NBA.  Back to backs are a reality in the NBA.  Yes, we know the playoffs eliminate back to backs but the playoffs also happen with tired legs in some cases after a grueling season. 

The biggest thing we get from this victory is the very ugly Cavs defense.  Yup, the Cavs did not have IT.  If they did have IT the defense arguably would have been even worse.  Some say the Cavs defense stinks on a back to back and they can gear down when needed.  We don’t see that.  This Cavs defense stinks.

The Cavs were missing IT and the Celts were missing the real Kyrie Irving struggled in this game.  It happens.  This was a very important and encouraging victory.  This victory shows the men in that locker room that not only can they beat Cleveland they can destroy Cleveland if they play with confidence.

Don’t look now but the Lakers are among the worst teams in the NBA.  The Celtics have their 1st round pick if it falls between 2 and 5.  Right now the Lakers are the second worst team in the league.  Things are not getting better either as they have been simply awful lately.  Is it too early to talk draft and ping pong balls? 

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Celtics Update – 1/2

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Boston 30-10

2.       Toronto 25-10

3.       Cleveland 24-12

4.       Detroit 20-15

5.       Washington 21-16

The standings above highlight the grind that was the first half of games for the Boston Celtics.  Injuries impact every team in the NBA but there is no disputing that the Celtics have played more games than their competitors in the conference.  The New Year’s Eve victory over the surging Nets ended the grueling gauntlet that was December. 

The December slump produced some very ugly play at times but the reality is that the Celtics are 30-10 and have very nice wins over many teams this year to include the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.  Now that the intense stretch if games jammed into limited days is in the rear view mirror, the Celtics have a ton to look forward to.  This is actually a tremendous setup.  They have no excuses in terms of the schedule as they will be among the most well rested teams in the NBA heading into the playoffs. 

January and February should give us a much more realistic assessment of the Celtics and their ability to make a run at a Championship this season.  They likely aren’t as good as the team that won 16 straight and likely not as bad as the team that struggled through December.  December had several games where very important players were out with injuries, and the win streak was nice to see.  Both are in the past (hopefully so with the injuries). 

Hopefully we can get to the bottom of the true largest, looming issue with the Celts: the bench.  The loss of Marcus Morris for a handful of games has been a huge issue so far.  Without Morris the Cs have struggled to maintain offensive consistency with the second unit.  When Morris is healthy it’s a completely different ballgame.  If Morris can stay relatively healthy that will go a long way to solidify the bench.  If guys like Rozier and Larkin can consistently chip in offense that would always be huge.  We also look to see more use of Jayson Tatum with the second unit crew and a more aggressive Tatum offensively when with that unit.  

Celtics Update – 12/18

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Boston 25-7

2.       Cleveland 23-8

3.       Toronto 20-8

4.       Detroit 17-13

5.       Indiana 17-13

The standings depicted above really do highlight the reality of the current season for the Celtics and the Eastern Conference.  What you see are three teams (Boston, Cleveland, and Toronto) that may not be that far apart from each other.  The incredible run the Celts went on after the Hayward injury has given way to reality.  The reality is that in the last month the Celtics have been an average team.

All is not lost however as the NBA season is a very long grind.  The Celtics are the best team in the Eastern Conference when at full strength as this means without Hayward.  The loss of Marcus Morris is really hurting the bench and the Celtics have lost a bit of their defensive edge in the last couple of weeks.  Maybe that is correlated tightly with Theis and Morris being out.  Either way, the Celtics have cooled off.  Better now than in May for sure. 

Let’s take a look at some critical stats to see where the Celts stack up in the NBA right now. 

Defensive Rebounding % - 7th

Total Rebounding % - 8th

Defensive Efficiency – 1st

Opponent Fast Break Efficiency – 8th

Offensive Efficiency – 11th

Assists per FGM – 8th

The recent mediocre skid has been concerning but when you take a look at the numbers above they are extremely encouraging.  Yes Houston and Golden State are excellent teams out West but the Celtics are clearly still among the top 4 teams no matter how you slice it.

Going back to last year (and recent years for that matter) fans and the media fretted about the lack of rebounding.  This was a very valid concern.  As you can see above 32 games into the season and the Celtics are actually a pretty damn good rebounding team.  Note that this did NOT require trading for a big like Cousins or Jordan to purportedly shore up the middle and rebounding.  The Celtics profuse use of wing players with length has helped make them #1 in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency and a very good rebounding team.  Turns out Danny Ainge and Coach Stevens certainly have a plan and know what they are doing as we have stated here all along.

The next couple of weeks will be very interesting.  The Cs have some intriguing matchups to include the red hot Pacers, resurgent Knicks, rival Wizards, sizzling Rockets, and all just before another tilt with the Cleveland Cavs.  Tune in and let’s see what happens.

Celtics Update – 12/13

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Boston 23-6

2.       Cleveland 20-8

3.       Toronto 17-8

4.       Milwaukee 15-10

5.       Indiana 16-11

Here we are 29 games into the current NBA season which is a bit more than a third of the way through.  The Celtics have a couple of games lead on the Cavaliers and a comfortable lead over the rest of the Eastern Conference.  I suppose this is about what we expected for this season through this point.

The grind of the season is starting to catch up with the Celtics.  It now appears very likely that Marcus Morris will miss an extended amount of time due to his troubling knee.  The knee was an issue coming into the season and the Celtics eased Morris into action and spotted him nights off as well.  Well, now that doesn’t appear to be enough and he will miss some time.

Both Al Horford and Kyrie Irving have and will miss more games here and there as well.  Irving missed the second night of a back to back early in the week with a thigh issue and Horford is out on 12/13 with “rest” given as the reason.  This looks to us like Coach Stevens and Danny Ainge are proactively prepping for a deep playoff run.  They will find spots to rest their key, veteran guys.

With Morris out the other guys simply have to pick up the slack.  It won’t come from one singular player but rather a combination of Smart, Rozier, Tatum, Brown, Their, and Baynes.  The depth is there to ride out the absence of Morris.  We expect the Coach to simply shuffle things up a bit and plow forward. 

Let’s take a look at Jaylen Brown through the first third of the season.  Here are the 36 minute splits:

16.8 pts, 6.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 39.5% 3PT

Jaylen has certainly progressed very nicely from his rookie season and appears headed for stardom.  However, like the team in general, there are always ups and downs and pitfalls in the long grind of the NBA season.  Brown is showing some excellent signs most of the time but has his lapses as well.  It will be exciting to see the team and Brown at the end of the year.  Last season during the season Jaylen showed remarkable improvement and the ability to take coaching and feedback and implement it.  We expect the same this season. 

Celtics Update – 12/5

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Boston 21-4

2.       Cleveland 17-7

3.       Toronto 14-7

4.       Detroit 14-9

5.       Philadelphia 13-10

The resurgent Cavs are incredibly hot now and entering a stretch with minimal travel and very weak opponents.  They will likely continue to chip away at the Celtics’ lead in the Eastern Conference as it stands currently.

The Celtics are 21-4 which is obviously a spectacular record and best record in the NBA.  However, some of the things we’ve mentioned here previously continued to linger and fester over the last week or so.  The defensive numbers and execution have lagged.  Coach Stevens said there are some technical things they can improve and matchups can cause issues, but he is well aware of the ebb and flow of a season and the need to constantly improve.  At one point the Cs were dominant on the glass and defensively but that has slipped.

The offense is grinding its way forward.  The revenge win on Monday night 12/4 at TD over Milwaukee certainly highlighted this.  Irving and Horford simply function beautifully together.  They have such a strong sense of flow and tempo and where the other player needs to be and will be.  Another factor getting stronger by the game seemingly is the long range shooting of Jayson Tatum.  When the Celts are moving the ball exceptionally well and the assists per FGM is very high, the rookie Tatum is finding himself with some very nice looks from 3PT land.  It is paying off as Jayson Tatum currently leads the entire NBA in 3PT%.  Not the rookie class, the entire NBA. 

After one more home game this week the Celtics head out on the road for a three game road trip.   

Wake Up Call – Detroit Pistons Ring The Bell

No need to panic.  Perhaps it will end up being a useful loss.  Whatever the case, on Monday night November the 27th the Detroit Pistons came into TD Garden and easily handled the Boston Celtics.  Some may jump to conclusions regarding this loss and we will not do that.  There are a couple of things that did stand out however.

The first thing that jumps out is how easily Detroit scored on the Celtics.  The top defense in the league looked very mediocre.  Detroit was able to get nice, open looks on the perimeter and Andre Drummond scored at will down low and off the pick and roll.  Al Horford had a lot of trouble with Drummond.  Baynes fared much better when he was on the floor.  So, it is very prudent to keep an eye on the perimeter defense against a top shooting club (Detroit is currently #1 in the NBA in 3PT %) and the interior defense when facing big, old school centers.

The other thing that really caught our attention was the defense Detroit used against Kyrie Irving.  This was a game where no other Celtic was really able to step up to help Irving offensively.  This doesn’t happen every night but it can happen.  The Celtics need to scheme their way out of this type of situation where Irving is bottled up and nobody else scores the ball consistently.  

Celtics Update – 11/27

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Boston 18-3

2.       Detroit 12-6

3.       Cleveland 12-7

4.       Toronto 12-7

5.       Philadelphia 11-7

The Celtics finally lost a game and the epic winning streak came to an end.  The good news is that they rebounded immediately following the loss to go out and completely dismantle Orlando in their next game.  They won the game by fifteen points but they were up almost thirty for a good portion of the game.   

The Celtics now have five home games in a row in Boston at the TD Garden.  They host the Detroit Pistons on Monday night the 27th in a showdown with the #2 team in the Eastern Conference.  Then they host the Sixers, Suns, Bucks, and Mavericks.  This is a stretch where they need to win these games and refine their game overall while staying healthy.  There are no back to backs and then they are back out on the road. 

Let’s take a look at some crucial team statistics and where the Celtics rank currently in the NBA.  We are a quarter of the way through so this data is very legitimate and meaningful.  Yes, the season evolves and things change but the reality is teams have already played about 20 games of the 82 game slate.

Defensive Rebounding % - 5th

Total Rebounding % - 4th

Defensive Efficiency – 1st

Opponent Fast Break Efficiency – 11th

Offensive Efficiency – 13th

Assists per FGM – 10th

As the statistics show above the Celtics are clearly a superior defensive team and rebounding team.  This matches what you see on the floor when watching games.  Currently the Celtics are a bit above middle of the pack on offense.  This also makes sense with what we see on the court.

Ideally the Celtics are able to vault into the top 5 in the NBA for defense, offense, and rebounding.  Easier said than done but that is the objective.  

Celtics Update – 11/21

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Boston 16-2

2.       Toronto 11-5

3.       Detroit 11-6

4.       Cleveland 10-7

5.       Washington 10-7

The Celtics winning streak now stands at an astonishing 16 games after an overtime victory in Dallas on 11/20.  Kyrie Irving poured in 47 points.   Since our last update the Celtics defeated the defending champion Golden State Warriors and held them to 88 points.  They also went on to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in that letdown game and now the Mavericks on Monday night.  This team is simply rolling along right now.

As each game passes Celtics fans are starting to see more and more why the trade for Kyrie Irving was so important.  Irving could end up averaging the same or even fewer points/game than Isaiah Thomas but that misses the point.  It is very obvious to all now that Kyrie Irving truly is a special talent.  Kyrie can take over the game whenever he wants to and he appears to be strategically waiting for these very situations to present themselves so he can pounce. 

Jaylen Brown continues to blossom as well and is truly a force right now in the NBA.  If Jaylen brown keeps playing like this he might find himself on the All-Star team in just his second year in the NBA.  His defense and rebounding have been outstanding every game.  His offense has seen some ups and downs but his stroke from the 3PT line has been great and you can see how he could be a 20+ points/game scorer.  No doubt the ability is there.  Jaylen is averaging 16.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and shooting 40% from the 3PT line so far. 

The next four games are a critical and difficult stretch for the Celts.  They play at Miami, home to Orlando, at Indiana, and then home to the surging Detroit Pistons in an intriguing showdown.  These are tough conference rivals and they will all be out to end this winning streak.  

Celtics Update – 11/13

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Boston 12-2

2.       Detroit 10-3

3.       Orlando 8-5

4.       Washington 7-5

5.       Knicks 7-5

The Celtics continue to roll right along and have won 12 straight ballgames now after their first two losses to open the season.  This is really an amazing run the team is on.  On Sunday 11/12 the Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors in dramatic fashion 95-94 to win their 12th straight game.  This week the Cs will face the Brooklyn Nets and then on Thursday they welcome the Golden State Warriors to TD Garden.

During this win streak the Celtics have played two games without Al Horford and now two games without Kyrie Irving.  Irving took an accidental elbow to the face from teammate Aron Baynes and suffered a facial fracture.  He was fitted for a mask and should return this week.

The Celtics defense continues to dominate as the team sorts out its offense.  The most recent win featured offense from a group of players but most notably Horford, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier off the bench.  It changes every night.  Watching this offense evolve over the course of the season will be one of if not the most interesting storylines.  Yet again in Sunday though it was the league’s best defense that was able to keep the opposition in check.  The Celtics held a team to under 95 points again. 

Take a look at the Top 10 ranked players in the NBA right now for Defensive Rating:

1.       Rozier – Boston

2.       Horford – Boston

3.       Irvng – Boston

4.       Smart – Boston

5.       Baynes – Boston

6.       Drummond – Detroit

7.       Capela – Houston

8.       Brown – Boston

9.       Davis – Portland

10.   Tatum – Boston

This pretty much says it all right there.  That is most of what you need to know about the season so far for the Boston Celtics.  

Celtics Update – 11/9

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Boston 10-2

2.       Detroit 8-3

3.       Orlando 7-4

4.       Washington 6-4

5.       76ers 6-4

The Celtics continue to roll along and have won 10 straight ballgames now after their first two losses to open the season.  It was the Lakers on Wednesday night that came into TD Garden only to leave without a victory.  A high profile rookie for Los Angeles got all of the attention but it was very clear that there were not just a few but several players on the floor vastly superior to Lonzo Ball.

There are some new challenges for the Celtics to face currently.  Jayson Tatum left the Laker game with a bad ankle and did not return in the 2nd half.  Al Horford sat out the game completely due to a concussion and the NBA’s concussion protocol.  Early reports are that Tatum’s ankle is not serious but we don’t know how long it will sideline him.  Horford missed nine games last year with concussion issues but we do not know if that will be the case this year.  They really have to take these concussions on a day by day and hour by hour basis.

Aron Baynes stepped up big time against the Lakers.  He tossed in 21 points, slammed the glass all night, and played his usual rugged defense.  Baynes was a force.  Kyrie Irving as well continued to show how he is indeed a MVP candidate.  Irving’s wizardry was on full display with his shiot making and ball handling and he also showed off some really exceptional passing skills. 

The Celtics will host the Hornets and Raptors on Friday and Sunday respectively before heading to Brooklyn to face the Nets.   

Kyrie Irving and Al Horford – Two Peas In A Pod

The two members most often criticized and poked at by the fans and media are the two producing the most beautiful basketball on the court, perhaps in all of the NBA currently.  As the Celtics offense as a whole struggles to gain the consistency shown by the defense, Horford and Irving are synchronizing their movements and actions at a very high level.

Most fans and media “experts” look at the most basic and superficial stats to make a judgment or deliver a so called “hot take”.  People criticize Irving for not scoring 35+ a game as if leading a team to a 9-2 record so far means nothing.  It is worse with Horford.  Because of his salary people expect Horford to lead the NBA in every category.  Well, he currently is leading the NBA in some of the stats that mean the most in terms of victories.  Irving, for his part, simply does whatever is needed throughout a game.  If the team is getting good offensive production from others he continues to push hard to feed them and help the team win.  If the team is struggling to score then Irving simply takes over himself. 

The Celtics slim victory over a weak Atlanta team on Monday night, November 6th highlights this better than any game this far.   Playing three games in four night perhaps caught up with the Cs (who also had Marcus Morris out resting that knee) because they simply didn’t have it on defense.  So, in the third quarter Irving simply took over the game and won it for the Celtics.  Horford?  That bum!  Yup, he just missed getting a triple double.  Not too shabby for a center.  This game is the reason why Horford/Irving might be the best duo in the NBA currently and leading perhaps the best team in the NBA currently. 

Boston Celtics Game

Boston Celtics Coach

Boston Celtics Score

Boston Celtics Record

Celtics Update – 11/6

Eastern Conference Standings

1.       Boston 8-2

2.       Detroit 7-3

3.       Orlando 6-4

4.       Washington 5-4

5.       Toronto 5-4

The Celts defeated the Orlando Magic in Orlando on Sunday evening November 5th to improve to 8-22 by winning their 8th straight game.  The Celtics sit alone atop the Eastern Conference standings ten games into the long NBA season.

Coach Stephens’ comments after the game we felt really captured the essence of this season so far.  The defense without a doubt has been the key and the most consistent aspect of this team.  The Celtics currently have the best defense in the NBA.  There is really no way around that fact.  The Celtics are #1 in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency and points allowed and among the leaders in Defensive Rebounding %.  Coach Stephens was very emphatic when stating that the coaching staff was not pleased at all with the offensive performance this far.  Coach Stephens feels that the Celtics have a tone of improvement on offense ahead of them.

Wait, what?  On paper it looked like this team would be an offensive juggernaut when assembled.  Perhaps that will still happen.  Right now however the Coach is spot on in his analysis.  Guys are still getting to know each other and gain comfort in the system.  Kyrie Irving has had explosive moments late in games but you sense he really hasn’t turned on the jets just yet.  Things are looking very bright though because what we are seeing consistently on offense is the ball movement and finding open shots.  Irving and Horford appear to be building amazing chemistry and guys are always moving the ball well.  The offensive stats and consistency will come along as long as the players stick to the system and keep moving the ball.  

Celtics Update – 10/30

Eastern Conference Standings

1.      Detroit 5-2

2.      Boston 4-2

3.      Washington 4-2

4.      Orlando 4-2

5.       Milwaukee 4-2

Still early in the season but we are seeing some interesting things with the current standings in the Eastern Conference.  One notable absence is the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The Cavs have lost to a handful of weak teams already and their defense is really struggling in a major way.  It will be very interesting to see how they react because the simple fact of the matter is that the team is filled with mediocre defenders.  Isaiah Thomas returning, if he does this season, won’t help them there either.

Speaking of defense let’s check in to see how the Celtics look after six games and a major transformation.  Remember, there were countless “experts” extolling how the Celtics would plummet defensively with the loss of Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.  Perhaps they failed to grasp the gains seen from the length and athleticism provided by Brown and Tatum along with the toughness brought by Aron Baynes.  These numbers are also without Marcus Morris and a partially healthy Marcus Smart. 

Defensive Efficiency: 2nd

Defensive Rebounding %: 4th

Opponent Fast Break Efficiency: 11th

Opponent Effective Field Goal %: 7th

Again, it is indeed still early in the season but these numbers presented above are VERY encouraging.  If the Celtics become a top-tier defensive team there is no doubt that they are a contender for a Championship.  Fans and media tend to overlook defense and focus on offensive superstars and exciting teams like the Warriors and Rockets that score tons of points.  That’s fine but even the Warriors have ranked well defensively over the last couple of years.  So far so good so let’s see how the Celtics continue to progress on both ends of the floor.

Celtics Update – 10/27  

The Celtics proceeded to continue making progress on Thursday night with a nice road win versus Milwaukee in a revenge seeking situation.  A week ago the Bucks defeated the Celts at the Garden and the Celts bounced back with a fairly solid overall effort.

This game was a great snapshot of how thigs ebb and flow.  Most of the excitement this far centers on Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.  This is even to the point where fans are questioning Kyrie Irving and as usual overlooking Al Horford.  The victory versus the Bucks makes a strong statement that the team’s performance as a unit is what is most important.  Al Horford was the best player on the court Thursday night and he led the Celtics to victory.  Kyrie Irving was also very effective.  Jaylen Brown struggled for most of the game and Tatum was kept in check by the Bucks.  Things evolve and ebb and flow.  The Celtics will need big contributions from all of their players and things even out over time.  Aaron Baynes was also very solid last night.

Our sense is that Kyrie Irving is feeling his way into this situation. He may be a bit more passive currently but that in no way means he can’t simply choose to dominate offensively at any moment.  He is likely intentionally working very hard to get as many people involved as possible.  Seems like plenty of people are looking for him to score 40+.  Who cares about that?  Kyrie’s focus is on winning games and making the team better.

Celtics Offense – 10/23 Update

Perhaps the main reason why Coach Stevens was able to guide the Celtics as they kept grinding away to the ECF was offensive system and efficiency.  Across several categories the Celtics ranked #2 or #3 in the NBA often only behind a team like the Golden State Warriors.  It was very clear last year that the system endorsed by Danny Ainge and installed by Coach Stevens was working quite well. 

Although just a three game sample it warrants poking inside the stat hub to see how the Celtics look so far this season.  Here are the NBA rankings for the Celtics in some critical offensive categories:

Offensive Efficiency – 23rd

2nd Half Points/Game – 11th

4th Quarter Points/Game – 14th

True Shooting % - 24th

Assists Per FGM – 10th

Obviously it is still very early in the season so there is no reason to ring the alarm bells just yet.  After ten games are played these stats could be completely different . . . . . . but they could also be similar.  The Stevens offense should be producing a high number of assists per FGM due to elegant ball movement along with high efficiency ratings and a high true shooting % among other measurements.  The numbers you see above are reflective of what you have seen so far on the court.  On offense it looks like the Celtics are still trying to find themselves and get into some type of groove.  Tuesday night’s game against the Knicks comes after ample practice time so it will be interesting to see what we see out on the court.  

Celtics News

Celtics Tickets

Celtics Rebounding

Celtics Trade

Celtics Update – Rebounding: Has It Improved?

Only three games so far.  Yup, that is a small sample size.  However, this is three NBA games and they all count and are all highly scrutinized and evaluated.  For the last two seasons most fans are aware that the Celtics have had challenges with rebounding.  This is certainly the case.  What most don’t realize though is that an NBA team does not have to be the best rebounding team in the NBA to win a championship.  You might not even have to be in the Top 5.  What a team must avoid though is being at the bottom of the barrel in Defensive Rebounding %.

Operating a t a low level in terms of Defensive Rebounding % means the opponent is getting a lot of offensive rebounds and a lot of easy buckets.  This is of course hurts the overall defensive stats and efficiency because there are so many easy baskets being scored.  The Boston Celtics currently rank 10th in the NBA in Defensive Rebounding %.  Just three games in, but it’s a start.

It may very well be that the team that has more 2/2 type combo guys and not many traditional 5s is a better rebounding team.  Guys like Brown, Rozier, and Tatum look to be high quality rebounders for their respective positions and roles which will only help.

Celtics Update – 10/21

The Celtics got the win on the road in Philadelphia Friday night in an ugly NBA game marred by a ton of fouls and horrid basketball through the first three quarters.  Playing with Marcus Smart (both ankles) out and Marcus Morris still out the Celtics gutted out a much needed victory.  It was a good sign to see both the team and coaching staff respond with finding a way to get that first victory of the season.  The Celtics are now 1-2 and host the New York Knicks on Tuesday at the Garden. 

Friday night saw a very strong performance from Al Horford as the all around best player for the Cs.  Horford got more shots and helped make the offense function much better when on the court.  Kyrie Irving took a modest step forward and appears to be settling in a bit more to the offense.  Guys off the bench such as Larkin and Bird made some big contributions simply doing their jobs and filling their roles. 

The Celtics get some much needed rest and more importantly practice time.  This coming week is a great opportunity to fine tune things and grab a few wins.  Let’s see what happens.

Celtics Update – 10/19

The Celtics dropped their second game last night and are now 0-2 on the season.  Yes, the loss of Hayward and missing Marcus Morris are huge issues, but every team in the NBA faces serious challenges over the course of the long season.  The key is bouncing back and grinding it out.

Right now the Celtics are not organized or synchronized well at all offensively.  In addition to shooting poorly from the field, Kyrie Irving looks timid and tentative at times.  Perhaps he is working his way into the mold of a Celtic teammate but the team needs him to be the superstar of the offense.  Jaylen Brown has looked very assertive on offense and Jayson Tatum is showing positive signs as well. 

The best performer so far perhaps is Terry Rozier.  Rozier has been fabulous off of the bench on both ends of the floor.  Rozier and Brown have been the two best players so far.

There is no reason to panic at this point.  The loss Wednesday at home was on a back to back and now the team gets some rest before playing at Philadelphia Friday night and at home against the New York Knicks on Tuesday.  There are plenty of rest days in there and time to get things straightened out.   

Celtics Update – 10/18

The major news from opening night was of course the horrible injury suffered by Gordon Hayward of the Celtics.  We don’t know the exact extent of the injury and how long Hayward will be out so we will just have to wait and see.

Although the Celtics lost to Cleveland there certainly some encouraging signs.  Playing without Hayward and Marcus Morris the Celts lost by just three points on the road against a very good team.  The Cs had the lead late and basically blew the game in the end.

The biggest positive was Jaylen Brown in our view.  Brown was extremely aggressive, confident, and athletic and it was fun to watch.  Jaylen missed some easy shots early but he just kept coming back for more and played a lot of minutes.  He finished with 25 points.  Rookie Jayson Tatum certainly had a robust experience in his first game.  He struggled mightily in the first half but rebounded quickly and actually played quite well in the second half.  Marcus Smart looked horrible on offense early but also settled in nicely.  With Hayward out the trio of Brown, Tatum, and Smart will be playing a ton of minutes and will be needed to contribute at a very high level.

Celtics Update – 10/16

The coming season is no doubt the most highly anticipated season for the Celts since the Garnett era.  Expectations are fairly high and it all gets underway on Tuesday night in Cleveland.  It’s very easy to take this game and extrapolate to some conclusion the following day as to who is better and who is going to get to a certain point or not.  However, let’s remember there are a lot of moving pieces here.

Lebron James is working through an ankle injury and may not play for Cleveland.  If he does suit up it remains to be seen how much he plays.  Isaiah Thomas will be out until at least January for Cleveland.  The Celtics are missing Marcus Morris with a knee injury.  Morris got off to a late start in the preseason dealing with personal issues and now needs a few more weeks of time to properly prepare. 

The first full week of NBA action for the Celtics will see the Cs take on the Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia Sixers.  Coach Stevens announced that the starting lineup most likely will consist of Irving, Hayward. Horford, Brown, and Tatum.  Yes, the starting lineup will have a rookie and a 20 year old in his second season.  We may not gain too much from the opener with Cleveland but it looks like we are going to get to see quite a bit of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum right out of the gate.  That is probably the most intriguing aspect of this first week.  Let’s see how this team fits the pieces together and enjoy the action.

Preseason Observations – October 11th

Just some quick hitting notes about the action so far.

Terry Rozier – Rozier has been absolutely fabulous.  Yes, it is preseason and some of his minutes are against guys that won’t play all the much in the regular season but regardless Terry Rozier is progressing quite nicely.  We have been wondering about the second say 3-5 guys to get minutes and where the offense will come from.  If Rozier takes a step forward offensively that is certainly part of the answer.  So far in the preseason Rozier has done the following:  61 minutes, 35 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists, 5 steals and shooting 50% from the floor. 

Marcus Smart – Smart continues to look more energetic and physically fit as he enters his contract year.   Look for the Cs to not rush to sign him but rather let him use that motivation all year long to earn a new deal.  One can’t help but repeatedly comment on how much slimmer Smart looks and how much better his outside shot looks.  Marcus appears to be definitely moving in the right direction.

Marcus Morris – We haven’t seen Morris in game action yet.  The last two preseason games will be the only action he gets before the games are live and for real.  

It’s Finally Here – The Celtics On The Actual Basketball Court

Preseason Game #1 took place on 10/2 at the TD Garden and the Celts defeated the Charlotte Hornets in a fairly entertaining game in front of a solid crowd for a preseason game.  It’s important to note that in addition to reducing the back-to-back games in the schedule the NBA also reduced the preseason to just four games.  Coach Stevens won’t have all that much time to sort out this new squad with eleven new players and will likely use the first 20 or so games of the regular season to learn quite a bit. 


The starting five with Morris away for personal reasons consisted of Horford, Irving, Hayward, Brown, and Baynes.  It was clear that this first unit will be able to move the ball quite nicely on offense and there was fairly impressive defensive chemistry as well.  Guys were nervous or rusty or both and missed quite a few good, open looks that they will hit with more frequency as the season really gets going.  Hayward in particular seemed a little off and nervous. 


So what was interesting about the first preseason game?  Here are a few observations:


-          Marcus Smart DEFINTELY lost a good amount of weight and that looks like a very positive factor for the Cs.  Smart also looked quite good shooting the 3 all and a lot more confident overall.


-          Aron Baynes might be more than just a nice little roll player.  He looked very comfortable and a lot more effective on offense than most people might have expected. 


-          Daniel Thies has some nice overall basketball skills and knowledge.  Yes, he played mostly against the reserves from the Hornets but it’s apparent he understands the game well and is a complete player.  Interesting.


Sure there were a lot more things going on out there but those are a few observations for now.  We will learn more with each preseason game and will keep you posted.  

Training Camp – What To Expect From The Cs

Now the real work begins.  This past summer was perhaps the most exciting summer in the history of the Boston Celtics.  That may sound like hyperbole or an overstatement, but let’s face it this summer was huge.  The Celtics traded a second team all-NBA point guard that lead their team in scoring for a top 5 offensive player in the league.  But, they only gave away peanuts to get IT4 initially so in reality they traded peanuts for Kyrie Irving.  IT4 was a flip.  They always landed another huge free agent in Gordon Hayward on top of landing Al Horford the year before.  Oh, and they are completing construction on their phenomenal new training facility just off the Mass Pike in Brighton.  The Celtics are building a basketball machine and dynasty.

Well, enough with the praise and hype they still need to get on the court and win a whole bunch of ballgames.  So, what will we see in training camp and what can we be looking for?  Here’s a few ideas.

Jaylen Brown’s Role – Is Jaylen Brown a starter in the NBA?  Is he coming off the bench?  Does it even matter?  One thing we know for sure purely by process of elimination is that Jaylen Brown will be getting substantial minutes.  Danny Ainge traded or cut loose everyone else so by default Brown is the next man up as a wing or 2 guard.  The Celts appear more than willing to be patient with young players on the offensive end in terms of developing their outside shot.  What Stevens won’t tolerate is defensive lapses.  If Jaylen Brown is an asset on defense he will play a lot of minutes this season.  It’s as simple as that.

Offensive Juggernaut – The whole world expects this Celtics team to explode offensively, but we might not see that all that much in the preseason.  This is the preseason and the core guys are veterans.  They know how to prepare and be in shape and get and stay healthy.  Let’s see how much playing time they actually get in preseason games versus practices.  We would expect the core of this team to ebb and flow over the course of the season and get used to playing with each other.  Hopefully they peak heading into the postseason.  We are not sure how much the Celtics will put on film for other teams this preseason and how much they will risk injuries or playing the stars too much. 

The Bench – What will the Celtics bench look like and consist of?  Who will provide the scoring and offense off the bench?  Will Jayson Tatum be taking a lot of shots right away and relied on for scoring?  In recent years the Cs bench had some guys that could shoot the bell fairly well and came in firing away.  Now the team has guys like Tatum, Terry Rozier, Aron Baynes, Guerschon Yabusele, and a few others.  We think it is more than reasonable to ask what this will look like and more importantly who will be scoring the basketball.  Baynes is not a scorer.  Marcus Smart is an all-around gutsy and strong ballplayer but not an offensive force.  Tatum is a rookie and just a kid in reality.  Yabusele has never played in the NBA.  Certainly parts of the starting five will blend in with the bench but you can bet Coach Stevens and his staff will be working tirelessly on how they will get production from players not named Irving, Horford, Hayward, and Morris.  

Marcus Smart – The Forgotten Man

They kept him.  They didn’t trade him.  That is actually saying quite a bit when you look at exactly how much of the roster Danny Ainge has turned over in the last two seasons.  It really is remarkable.  Yet, here is Marcus Smart standing tall and still wearing green.  What this tells us in our view is that the Celtics really like this guy and are willing to ride alongside him as he tries to improve his offensive game.

 Smart is a bulldog and has tons of heart.  You can’t coach or teach that.  But, he still shoots poorly and was out of shape in the latter half of the season last year and playoffs.  Apparently Smart has trimmed down and dropped about 15 pounds.  We will see if that is the case shortly. 

 Historically speaking is it even possible to just “all of a sudden” be a much better offensive player?  Well, actually fans can look no further than the Celtics and Avery Bradley to see if that is the case.  Bradley entered the NBA as a defensive stud and still is.  However, he methodically chipped away and built himself into a very legitimate offensive player in the NBA.  Last year he shot 41% from 3PT and will likely make $20 Million/year or more when he signs somewhere as a free agent after this season. 

 Just because Bradley was able to do it does not mean Smart will.  The one thing we know is that Marcus Smart has the desire and the killer instinct.  If he is in better condition this season that will be a big sign.  He sees all the big names and he knows Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum can eat up some minutes he might otherwise get.  It’s up to him to take a big step forward this season.

Celtics Three Point Shooters

Very deservedly so much has been made about the exciting offensive prospects for this 2017/2018 Boston Celtics team.  The addition of Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to the Brad Stevens system that statistics prove is indeed working very well opens up boundless opportunities.  This Celtics team should be very efficient and effective offensively. 

Let’s take a look at the stats for the Celtics’ primary three point bombers for this coming season.


Total 3PT%

Corner 3

% of 3PT Assisted

Kyrie Irving




Gordon Hayward




Al Horford




Marcus Morris




Jaylen Brown




Marcus Smart




Terry Rozier




Guerschon Yabusele




Jayson Tatum





This snapshot includes what we are projecting to be the team’s primary 3PT shooters this season.  Certainly some others will throw up the long ball here and there but the bulk of the shots will come from this group.

The first thing that jumps out is that the Top 5 names on that list might be the starting unit and they all shot at least 33% from the 3PT line last season.  Not many NBA teams will put a starting five on the floor that can say the same. 

Another thing that stands out is that really only two players (and primarily just one – Irving) can create their own 3PT shot.  Hayward and Irving both have a % of 3PT Assisted number below 75% meaning that there are occasions where they make a 3PT shot and it was not set up with a pass and catch and shoot scenario.  This makes sense.  Hayward can create his own shot and Irving is the perhaps the best player in the NBA with the ball in his hands.

A few other things jump out as well.  Take a look at how much better Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris, and Marcus Smart are shooting the Corner 3 versus their overall 3PT%.  This isn’t to say young players like Brown and Smart can’t or won’t improve their overall percentage, but clearly they appear to be more comfortable and confident shooting that Corner 3.  Along with Morris part of this might be the ability to get a pretty wide open look and time to release the shot.  Whatever the exact reason is you can bet Coach Stevens will be looking to run offensive plays and sets that put those three players in the best position to success and help the team win.  With opposing teams worried about Irving and Hayward, if I were Jaylen Brown, Morris, or Marcus Smart I would be very motivated to knock down a whole bunch of open looks from the corner.

Jaylen Brown:

Here are the 36 minute splits for 20 year old Jaylen Brown in his rookie season with the Boston Celtics:

Points: 13.8        Rebounds: 5.9       Assists: 1.7

FG %: 45.4           3PT %: 34.1           FT %: 68.5

People seem to overlook how difficult it is to even get ANY minutes on a NBA team that ultimately makes the conference finals.  Jaylen Brown certainly had an up and down year and learned a ton.  He started quite a few games when Bradley was out.  He had some DNP coach’s decisions.  He had games where he barely played at all.  He also had games where he was very effective. 

Jaylen’s athleticism was apparent right away but he was also able to improve his shooting as the year went on.  Specifically, he looked and felt more comfortable with the 3 ball as the year went on and shot it with confidence in the postseason as well.  Although throughout the year he missed plenty of defensive assignments as any rookie will, Jaylen Brown also earned a spot as a defensive weapon for Coach Stevens and was used in that role in the playoffs.

It seems pretty clear that Brown will get a lot of minutes this coming season.  He needs to improve his handle so that he does not get stripped so frequently when taking the ball to the basket.  He can get his own shot and the team needs that desperately but he must cut down on the turnovers.  Those things will come with time.  His defensive skills and length and athleticism on the defensive side are wat will likely get him more minutes in the short run as he continues to mature and grow.  Defense and chip in on the glass and he will play more consistently.    

Summer League Results

The Celtics were pretty effective in the Summer League racking up wins left and right.  Most of the focus was on the 7/11 combo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.  The Celtics selected Tatum 3rd overall and traded out of the #1 spot to do so.  There will be very heavy scrutiny on this move and the comparisons between Tatum and Markelle Fultz will go on forever.  Granted it is the Summer League and just rookies and younger players, but boy did Jayson Tatum look very good (as did Brown as a second year player).  Jayson Tatum clearly has very nice offensive skills and can create his own shot.  You can see that he could certainly evolve into a powerful 3PT shooter and already shoots great from the FT line.  Time will tell. 

Celtics Defense Post Irving Trade

There will be plenty of debates about how this mega trade will affect the Celtics defense going forward.  As we examined in the offseason review posted on this page the Celtics were actually fairly competent on defense last season despite the huge issue with rebounding.  Poor defensive rebounding gave opponents easy buckets which skewed the overall defensive stats in a bad direction.  By other metrics the defense was in the upper half of the NBA so the question is what will happen this season.

 The swap of Irving and IT4 likely favors the Celtics defensively.  Irving is by no means a strong defender but he at least has some size and length at the point position.  He is not as much of a liability as Thomas is when taller guards back him down into the post and shoot or find open looks for others from there.

 Although Crowder was quite versatile the inclusion of Hayward is not necessarily a drop off defensively.  Hayward is quite competent in contesting shots and playing solid team defense.  In fact, he played major minutes for an elite defensive team last season in Utah so he must have some level of ability and desire defensively. 

 The big question is who starts in that 2/3 role that is open and what Morris brings if he starts at the 4/5.  Jaylen Brown might be that guy and he as excellent length and athleticism to contribute defensively.  He showed that last season quite clearly.  Morris is a player with a reputation for nagging opponents like Lebron James so we will just have to see how he blends in with the Celtics.  Most of the focus is on the star laden Celtics offense that will take the floor but it is quite possible the team is a bit better defensively as well.  

Irving Trade Complete – 8/31

Regardless of whatever was at play it can now be safely reported that the trade of Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics is complete.  The Celtics did agree to add a 2nd round pick in 2020 and the deal is done.

Speculation abounds on both sides as to what was really taking place behind the scenes.  There are those that feel that the new Cavaliers GM needed to take some type of stand and try and show that he will not be bumped around.  Some feel there really is an issue with IT’s hip beyond what the physicals show which got the Cavs very nervous and filled with regret.  Who really knows?

Training camp will be here in no time and both teams deserve the opportunity to move forward with a final and clear resolution.  They can now do exactly that.  

Final Roster Spot – 8/28

Despite the drama surrounding the trade for Kyrie Irving and waiting on if/when the trade goes official, life does move on for the front office.  By all accounts there is one roster spot still open on the Boston Celtics.  Chatter surrounding this roster spot recently centered on Tony Allen (old Celtic, drafted by the team, defensive specialist) and Gerald Green (another old Celtic and drafted by the club). 

On Monday a new name emerged – F/C Thomas Robinson.  Let’s take a look at Thomas Robinson to see what he could potentially offer the Celtics and why they might be looking at him seriously.  Apparently Robinson is in working out for the team today. 

Robinson is a 6’10” F/C with five years of NBA experience under his belt.  He’s bounced around a bit playing for seven teams over those five seasons.  The thing that really jumps out about Robinson is rebounding, and that is certainly the biggest area of weakness for the Celtics.  Here are Robinson’s Defensive Rebounding Percentages for the last three seasons: 30.2%, 27.8%, and 28.1%.  Last season Kelly Olynyk lead the Celtics in Defensive Rebounding Percentage which tells you something right there.  Here are his Total Rebounding Percentage stats the last three seasons: 22.6%, 22.0%, and 21.8%.    

Thomas Robinson’s 36 minute splits last season were 15.5 points and 14.3 rebounds.  Robinson would never even get close to 36 minutes on this Celtics roster but those numbers are extremely productive.  If he joined the club and was that productive with his minutes the team would welcome that with open arms for sure.

Irving Trade Drama – 8/28

So, is Irving a member of the Celtics or not?  Last week late in the week reports emerged that suggested the Cavaliers were basically voiding the trade due to concerns over the hip injury to Isaiah Thomas.  Obviously Thomas took a physical with the Celtics just days before the trade and also took one with the Cavaliers after the trade was announced.  The Cavaliers have stated their main objective in this trade was getting their hands on that Brooklyn pick in 2018 though it is not entirely clear if that is true.

Different folks have different opinions about whether or not this trade can be rescinded.  Some feel the Cavs will wiggle their way out of this.  Some feel the Celtics will not budge and the deal is done.   Another view is that this is just a ploy to get the Celtics to sweeten the deal.  Some even say the Cavaliers are demanding Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum.  Celtics fans and supporters quickly laugh at that suggestion.

The whole issue just screams of an obtuse and strange scenario.  How could Irving return to the Cavaliers and how could IT4 and Crowder return to the Celtics?  All three players know at this point that their respective teams were happy to trade them.  Yes, these are professionals and they will play and play hard regardless but erasing this trade as if it never happened would certainly throw both teams into a mess of confusion. 

As of right now the Celtics have been fairly quiet and appear to be sticking to their guns.  A close and reliable source on the Celtics sent out messages on social media stating that in no way, shape, or form would Brown or Tatum be involved.  The waiting continues for now.  Will the Celtics toss in something to sweeten the deal and put it in the rear view mirror?  Will the NBA get involved and resolve this by force?  Time will tell as we wait to see what happens.

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Irving Trade – Celtics Roster

Danny Ainge kept saying he was stockpiling assets while remaining on the prowl for a big move.  Well, he certainly kept to his word.  Ainge followed up the free agent signing of Gordon Hayward with a blockbuster deal that brings All-Star guard and NBA Champion Kyrie Irving to the Celtics from the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The Celtics sent Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic, and Jae Crowder along with the Brooklyn Pick in next year’s draft to the Cavaliers in exchange for Irving. 

It may appear to be quite a haul for Cleveland at first glance.  Crowder has an extremely team friendly contract and Thomas is making a modest salary this coming season.  Zizic could develop into a decent big off the bench and everyone expects Brooklyn to be terrible again this season.  There are however risks in what Cleveland obtained.  Thomas is a free agent and might simply walk for the biggest deal he can get after being underpaid for a few seasons given his productivity.  Brooklyn might be a bit more formidable this season thus increasing the chances that pick is not in the Top 3 or even Top 5.  Nobody knows for sure.

Looks like the Celts went for a “sure thing”.  They know Kyrie Irving is and what he is not.  They have him for two more seasons guaranteed and he is only 25YO.  Perhaps he can be persuaded into signing a long term deal.  There is no guarantee that this 2018 Brooklyn pick is a slam dunk or even in the Top 5.  Aside from that the Celtics already have numerous other draft picks to include two other 1st round picks in the 2018 draft.  The Celts can only fit so many guys on a roster at any given time. 

Irving makes the Cs a very legitimate threat to win it all.  His offensive explosiveness is in the Top 5 in the NBA for sure.  The Celtics will now have four starters around the edge that can all shoot the three ball and create their own shot.  Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Jaylen Brown can all do this.  Brown is a work in progress but he showed the athletic ability to get to the basket and shoot the three in his rookie season. 

There are questions now about the depth and rounding out the roster.  It certainly appears that Marcus Smart and rookie Jayson Tatum will get a whole bunch of minutes.  Beyond that it’s not entirely clear aside from Terry Rozier so this bench will have to come up with something in terms of generating offense.  Bringing back Gerald Green to fill the final roster spot and add some offensive explosiveness is a very possible option. 

This upcoming NBA season figures to be very exciting.  It sure looks like the team’s ownership and management have done their part in putting together an extremely talented roster.  It’s up to Coach Stevens and his staff to put the pieces together and get the team operating at full capacity.  Opening night sees the Celtics visit Cleveland so the drama and intrigue will be amped up right away.

One of the most overlooked aspects of this trade is the huge bet being placed by the Celtics.  The Celtics in making this trade are betting big on their youngest players.  Many of the key role players from recent seasons are gone.  Jaylen Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum will be getting serious minutes.  Who else will be getting the minutes 

With all of the drama surrounding the #1 pick, trading the number one pick, and the potential trades and eventual trade of IT4 to tof they do not?  Brown could get 25+ minutes a night easily if he performs well.  The move to orient the entire season and franchise around Irving, Hayward, and Horford by default places an enormous bet on the expectation that Brown and Tatum are both ready right now to be reliable NBA players.  

Gordon Hayward – Overlooked Gem This Offseason

With all of the drama surrounding the #1 pick, trading the number one pick, and the potential trades and eventual trade of IT4 to the rival Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving . . . . . . . forgive anyone that has somewhat lost sight of the addition of Gordon Hayward to this Celtics team.  The Celtics sign one of the top 20 players in the NBA to a juicy long term contract.  This is a huge move by a franchise known for struggling to attract big name free agents.  That is now Al Horford and Gordon Hayward in back to back off seasons. 

Let’s not forget how important Gordon Hayward will be for the Celtics.  Hayward is a very competent defender that has length to contest shots on the perimeter.  This aligns nicely with the current NBA style and specifically the style of top teams such as Golden State and Cleveland that launch tons of 3s.  Hayward can also create his own shot off the dribble and shoot off the pass along with the 3 ball.  The Celtics will benefit tremendously from this spacing and ability to create a shot.  Thomas was the only real option for the Celtics in this regard in recent seasons.  Now they have Hayward and Irving and others such as Horford and Jaylen Brown that can create their own shot. 

Hayward is a legitimate NBA star that has really blossomed in the last three seasons.  Some feel he will perform even better in the Coach Stevens system and with the talent around him on this Celtics team.  This is a player that has averaged 19.3, 19.7, and 21.9 points the last three seasons.  His PER over those last three years is also 20.2, 18.3, and 22.2.  Last seasons was his best yet so you could argue he is just now putting it all together.  These next couple years should be his peak performance level. 

So many “fireworks” did in fact emerge this summer (as ownership and Ainge kept promising) that one can easily lose sight of the impact Gordon Hayward can have.  It will be very interesting to see how Hayward performs with this Celtics squad as it appears as though he is on the cusp of taking his performance to another higher level.  

Celtics Offseason Review

By all accounts the 2016/2017 season was an enormous success for the Boston Celtics.  Of course fans and the media clamor for the next banner and championship but let’s not lose sight of the tremendous progress by the Boston Celtics.  Just take a look at the records of Brad Stevens over the first four years of his Celtics coaching career.  Every single year the team makes progress and more signs show up in terms of the implementation of his systems and strategies. 

The Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals and were soundly beaten by the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Nobody enjoys a good butt kicking but this may turn out to be a very productive experience for the team.  Yes, several players will move on from the team and new faces will arrive but the team was able to learn what it takes to make a deep playoff run.  They also received a very frank and blunt assessment of where they are and what they need to do.  Building blocks. 

Coaching Staff:

This was a huge season for the coaching staff and in particular Head Coach Brad Stevens.  Stevens earned a reputation among Celtics faithful of being a bit of a genius.  Everyone can clearly see how crafty he is calling plays and how he has maximized the skills and performance of not just one but several players.  However, the fact was his playoff record was very weak heading into the 2017 postseason.  Stevens showed a ton of versatility and flexibility in navigating his way to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Let’s not forget regardless of your own explanation the team was down 0-2 to Chicago and won four straight to take that series.  It doesn’t matter who was hurt or not it is still difficult to beat an NBA team four straight games in the playoffs.  The seven game series against Washington was huge.  That was a turning point.  Coach Stevens showed that he can get his staff and team focused and able to grind out a hard fought series.  Stevens did whatever it took to take the team as far as possible.  Gerald Green started games and produced.  Jaylen Brown sat out entire games and then contributed when called upon.  Throughout the postseason the team got an incredible amount of open looks that the players simply did not knock down.  The offensive system is clearly working as the easy looks and very wide open shots were there.  These are all very good signs. 

Jaylen Brown:

Here are the 36 minute splits for 20 year old Jaylen Brown in his rookie season with the Boston Celtics:


Points: 13.8        Rebounds: 5.9       Assists: 1.7


FG %: 45.4           3PT %: 34.1           FT %: 68.5

People seem to overlook how difficult it is to even get ANY minutes on a NBA team that ultimately makes the conference finals.  Jaylen Brown certainly had an up and down year and learned a ton.  He started quite a few games when Bradley was out.  He had some DNP coach’s decisions.  He had games where he barely played at all.  He also had games where he was very effective. 

Jaylen’s athleticism was apparent right away but he was also able to improve his shooting as the year went on.  Specifically, he looked and felt more comfortable with the 3 ball as the year went on and shot it with confidence in the postseason as well.  Although throughout the year he missed plenty of defensive assignments as any rookie will, Jaylen Brown also earned a spot as a defensive weapon for Coach Stevens and was used in that role in the playoffs.

It seems pretty clear that Brown will get a lot of minutes this coming season.  He needs to improve his handle so that he does not get stripped so frequently when taking the ball to the basket.  He can get his own shot and the team needs that desperately but he must cut down on the turnovers.  Those things will come with time.  His defensive skills and length and athleticism on the defensive side are wat will likely get him more minutes in the short run as he continues to mature and grow.  Defense and chip in on the glass and he will play more consistently.   

Team Stats 2016/2017 Season:

Defensive Rebounding % - 29th


Opponent Effective FG % - 6th


4th Quarter Points Per Game – 2nd


2nd Half Points Per Game – 3rd


Assists Per FG Made – 2nd


Assists Per Possession – 2nd


True Shooting % - 6th

Taking a look at the above statistics we can clearly see that the Celtics struggled mightily with rebounding this past season.  Everybody knows this.  Fans lashed out at Danny Ainge for his “failure” at the trade deadline to acquire a solid rebounder off the bench.  Danny Ainge made it very clear the team was only interested in “skilled bigs” which aligns with their strategy and huge success Golden State is having using the same strategy.

However, take a look at the defensive stats above.  The Celtics were 6th in Opponent Effective FG % which means they are pretty damn good at defending at the point of attack.  If they can improve their rebounding even just modestly their overall stats on defense will shoot higher.  Better defensive rebounding will improve all of the defensive scoring stats because there will be fewer offensive rebounds for the opposing team.

The offensive stats noted above really hammer home the point that the Celtics have the right Head Coach in place and the right system.  The Celtics have absolutely beautiful ball movement and only Golden State ranks higher than the Celtics in the key assists categories.  The Cs also ranked 6th in True Shooting % (despite not having more than one true star offensive player in IT) which demonstrates that the coaching and system are on track indeed.  Also, look at how well they perform in the second half and the fourth quarter.  They make adjustments and they are conditioned to go the distance and keep battling. 

Let’s see how the remainder of the offseason looks because they are still more moves that need to be made to work towards that final roster for opening night.   

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Celtics Update 6/20

It certainly has been a crazy couple of months for the Boston Celtics.  The team made a thrilling run to the Eastern Conference Finals only to be outdone by a Cleveland Cavaliers team that currently is simply better than the Cs.  However, there was so much progress made this season and fans and the coaches learned so much about various players and where and how they may fit into the Celtics future. 


After the Golden State Warriors crushed the Cavs in the finals the focus shifted to the draft, free agency, and any potential trades that might go down.  Celtics President and GM Danny Ainge did not disappoint in terms of providing a lot of drama and speculation as the Celtics made a major move with the Philadelphia 76ers.  The Celts and Sixers swapped picks in the current 2017 draft and the Celtics also acquired a future first round pick from Philly.

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The protections on that future pick get a bit confusing but for now the key is that the Celtics now draft 3rd on Thursday night and the Sixers have the #1 overall pick.  This tells me that Danny Ainge simply does not have nearly as much faith and confidence in Markelle Fultz as the majority of fans and “experts” seem to have in him.  If the Celtics viewed Fultz as a “can’t miss” superstar they would have stayed pat and taken him.


Who will the Celtics take now at #3?  We will have to wait until draft night to find out.  A surprise pick to consider: Jonathan Isaac.  The tall and lanky 6’10” freshman from Florida State is very young and thin so will likely get banged around quite a bit in the NBA early in his career.  However, he was a point guard just a year or so ago and has excellent ball and shooting skills.  That near seven footer that can shoot and handle the ball might be just what Ainge has in mind.


Celtics Update 5/17

Well it certainly has been an exciting couple of days for the Boston Celtics.  On Monday night the team defeated the Washington Wizards in Game 7 of the quarterfinals to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the Cleveland Cavaliers.  

On Tuesday night May 17th the bouncing ping pong balls finally landed in the favor of the Boston Celtics.  The Celtics will have the #1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft in June.  The brilliant trade engineered by Danny Ainge with the Brooklyn Nets is starting to really pay off.  As a reminder, the Celtics were able to draft Jaylen Brown last June because of that trade and they have the Brooklyn pick for next season.

Let's get into this series.  There are a couple of very important factors to consider.  Everyone knows this will be a very tough task to deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.  One major challenge will be how the Celts manage the Cleveland muscle underneath.  By that we mean specifically Tristan Thompson.  The Celtics don't have a wide, strong, aggressive body underenath to match up with a guy like Thompson.  Tristan Thompson has destroyed the Celtics this season on the offensive glass in the games he played.  If he does that again in this series that will only create more looks for Cleveland's arsenal of 3PT shooters.  

Speaking of 3PT shooting, another major factor to consider is how the Cs will defend against the Cleveland 3PT bombers.  In the playoffs the Cavs are shooting an absolutely scorching 55% on uncontested 3s, and that certainly has to come back down to Earth at least a little bit.  More important will be how the Celtics defend on the edges as Lebron James and Kyrie Irving penetrate the lane and look to find open shooters.  I would expect to see more of Jaylen Brown in this series for primarily defensive purposes.  Certianly the Celts would love to see Brown contribute offensively like he did in game 7, but he has the athleticism and reach to contest open 3s around the arc.  They need him badly to do just that.   

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Celtics Update 5/13

Well here we are now with a Game 7 heading back to Boston and the TD Garden.  The Celtics lost in agonizing fashion in Game 6 in Washington and now face a do or die situation in Game 7 on Monday night, May 15th.

The Celts lead by five with 1:24 left in the fourth quarter and committed a devastating turnover.  The wizards made them pay and ultimately won with an amazing 3-pointer by John Wall with almost no time remaining.  The biggest challenge for the Celtics in Game 6 (and in most games this series) was the lack of production from their bench.  Most observers felt heading into this series that the Celtics had a substantial edge in depth and bench play.  That has not been the case.  However, it should be noted that the bench has performed a heck of a lot better at TD Garden in the playoffs than they have on the road. 

Another facto to keep a close eye on is Coach Stevens and his staff.  This is the fourth year now for Brad Stevens as the Head Coach of the Boston Celtics.  Game 7 is an extremely pivotal point for the coach.  He needs to prove, and has the opportunity to do so, that regardless of the roster and any holes he can indeed maneuver his way through two rounds of playoffs in the NBA.  If he can do so that is really saying something.  The Celtics are absolutely loaded up with future draft picks and have a lot of room to spend money in free agency.  Coach Stevens can prove he is making progress with his staff if he can make it into the Eastern Conference Finals this season.  

Celtics Update 5/5

The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards series is offering fans and the media plenty of drama and entertainment.  The Celtics currently lead the Wizards 2-1 in the series after getting completely buried and destroyed in Game 3.  There is no doubt that off the OT win in Game 2 and 2-0 series lead the Celts entered the home court of the Wizards flat and were blitzed right out of the gates.

Both teams seriiously dislike each other and the play has been very physical.  Oumbre was ejected in Game 3 for assaulting Kelly Olynyk with a cheap shot.  Morris threw Horford into the crowd in Game 2.  Players on both teams are doing their share of flopping and trying to get each other in trouble.  

Game 4 is in Washington on Sunday May 7th in the early evening.  This will be an absolutely crucial game for this series.  How will the Celtics react to getting destroyed in Game 3?  Will the Wizards be able to maintain that level of energy and continue to shoot lights out?  It will interesting for sure and we now know the series is definitely coming back to Boston for a Game 5 showdown.   

Celtics Update 5/1

The Celtics were able to polish off the Chicago Bulls with four straight victories to take that series 4-2.  Looking back at the games, the Celtics really dominated and those four victories were not as close as the score might imply in a couple of them.  The interesting thing is that the Celtics did not shoot the ball well at all that entire series except for one game.  Let's see if they can find more easy shots and get their stroke going against Washington.

On Sunday April 30th the Celtics defeated the Wizards in Game 1 of the Conference Semifinals.  The Wizards took advantage of their super high energy level early and blew the doors off the Cs running to a 16-0 lead.  Over time the Celtics grinded away and wore down the Wizards.  They entered the 4th quarter up 15 points.

About half way through the 4th Coach Stevens went to Jaylen Brown which provided a nice spark.  Eventually the Celts pulled away ratrher easily to take a 1-0 lead.  Al Horford continues to play just absolutely brilliantly.  Hordford is literally doing everything possible to win and racking up major assists and rebounds to go with some scoring.  The Little Guy IT4 torched the Wizards for 33 points in Game 1 and nailed several big 3s.  Jae Crowder was on fire from deep range which is a very postive sign.   

Celtics Update 4/24

Celtics fans are likely saying “finally” to themselves.  The series is now tied 2-2 and Game 5 is at TD Garden in Boston.  The Celtics really sprung to life in Games 3 and 4 and beat the Bulls rather handily in a manner not truly reflected in the final scores.

Many people will point to the absence of Rajon Rondo for Chicago as the reason.  That certainly is playing a role but the bigger issues are the emergence of the Celtics bench and containing Robin Lopez.  Lopez has not dominated like he did in the first two games.  The Celtics bench is not playing great by any means yet but they are at least making a positive contribution.

Other key factors of course are Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, and Gerald Green.  Green jumped into the starting lineup in Game 3 and has provided very solid offensive punch.  In Game 4 he tossed in 18 points and grabbed 7 boards.  Horford has been sensational overall in three of the four games and Isaiah is taking over on offense every time when called upon.  It’s a three game series now and 2/3 games are in Boston.  

Celtics Update 4/21

The Celtics lost Game 2 to the Bulls in embarassing fashion.  They were essentially blown out on their home floor.  There were a couple times where they got it close but it isn't a stretch to say they gave up a little bit.

Robin Lopez killed the Cs again.  The Celtics bench was trrible again.  Time will tell if things turn around but it's hard to see the Celtics shooting and scoring much less efficiently than they have in these first two games.

UPDATE: PG Rajon Rondo is now listed as OUT indefinitely with a sprained thumb.  

Celtics Update 4/18

The Celtics find themselves down 1-0 to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.  As the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference the Celtics nabbed home court advantage and a first round matchup with the Bulls. 

The Bulls had an up and down year and, as the #8 seed implies, barely made the playoffs.  One area where the Bulls do excel is offensive rebounding.  This happens to be the Achilles heel of the Boston Celtics as the biggest weakness of the Cs is defensive rebounding.  This definitely played a huge role in Chicago’s win in Game 1.  The Bulls destroyed the Celts on the glass.  Robin Lopez was a beast. 

The other big issue was the production from Portis off the bench for the Bulls.  Look for the Celtics to have a firm plan on how they want to deal with him in Game 2 and the rest of the series.  The same can be said for Lopez.  He is too tall and has too much reach to completely stop him so the Cs will need to do something to mitigate his impact.

Isaiah Thomas is playing this series with a very heavy heart and under unimaginable pain and suffering.  Thomas lost his younger sister in a tragic car accident the day before the series started.  Thomas opted not to miss any time and he was outstanding on offense in game 1.  The rest of the team, and in particular the bench, needs to pick up the slack.

The keys the rest of this series will be the Celtics bench scoring and the Bulls offensive rebounding.  The Bulls are not that good or efficient on offense, but they sure are better when they get an extra 15-20 possessions.  The Celtics bench can and has been very productive all year long.  They stunk in game 1.  If that bench can spring to life and Al Horford plays as well as he did in game 1 the Celtics can definitely make a series out of this.


Celtics Update 4/7

1.       Cleveland Cavaliers 51-27

2.       Boston Celtics 50-29

3.       Toronto Raptors 48-31

4.       Washington Wizards 48-31


After cruising to an expected easy victory at the Knicks on Sunday, the Boston Celtics got pushed around and manhandled this past week.  Both Cleveland and Atlanta completely dominated the Celtics and beat them easily. 


There are three games remaining: at Charlotte and then home to Brooklyn and Milwaukee.  These are three games of course the Celtics “should win” but keep in mind the strategic nature of resting players and controlling minutes. It looks much more likely now that the Celtics will end up with the #2 seed in the playoffs rather than the #1 seed.  So, we will have to see how Coach Stevens handles these last three games.  They must win at least one to stay in that #2 spot in all likelihood.  

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Eastern Conference Standings

1.   Cavaliers  46-23

2.   Celtics      45-26

3.   Wizards    42-28

4.   Raptors    41-29

5.   Hawks      37-33

6.   Pacers      36-34

7.   Bucks      34-35

8.   Pistons    34-36

Week in Review

          The Celtics, as predicted here, went 3-1 last week. They lost a game they should have won, although against the Sixers and not the T-Wolves, and won a difficult game against a quality opponent when they beat the Wizards. The Celtics missed an opportunity to gain some ground on the Cavaliers. A 4-0 week would have helped them in their race against the Cavs. However, it is difficult to complain about a 3-1 week. Especially considering the beat the number 3 seed, and further separated themselves from the rest of the pack in the Eastern Conference. Isaiah Thomas missed two games after hurting his knee against the T-Wolves. And Avery Bradley and Al Horford have begun playing very well, finally getting back into a groove after finally getting healthy. Horford in particular has increased his production both as a scorer and a rebounder, while still posting quality assist numbers game in game out. Bradley has become an important source of secondary scoring. The Celtics will need Thomas, Bradley, Horford, Johnson and Crowder to stay healthy. When their starting 5 is intact they are a tough team to beat. When they have injury issues they have been frustratingly, even if understandably, inconsistent.

          This coming week the Celtics will play the Pacers, Suns, and Heat. All three games are at home. The Celtics are 0-1 against the Suns, but 5-0 against the Pacers and Heat. Isaiah Thomas’ health will be something to watch going forward. He returned to action against the Wizards but seemed to lack his usual lift and speed. Will the team opt to rest him in order to ensure maximum effectiveness during the playoffs? It isn’t out of the question. Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier struggled mightily on offense while he was out, as did Jaylen Brown. The Celtics will be looking for revenge against the Suns who embarrassed them just last week. While both the Pacers and Heat are battling for the final few playoff spots in the East. The Pacers are currently the 6th seed and the Heat are the first team out of the playoffs in the 9th spot. Both teams will also be aware that conference records are a tie-breaker. And seeing as neither team has beaten the Celtics this season, they are sure to have plenty of motivation this time around. This could be a more difficult week for the Celtics than it would seem on paper. If the Pacers and Heat bring their “A games” and Thomas is less than 100% or out entirely the Celtics could easily drop a game or two this week. 

Pacers (36-34) at Celtics (45-26)

          The Pacers are playing well right now, coming off a win against the Utah Jazz. Their top performers are Paul George, Jeff Teague, Myles Turner and C.J. Miles. The Pacers have no reported injuries. The Pacers have a strong roster on paper, and one could say they should be better than their record. Jeff Teague has been an all-star at the point-guard position before. Paul George is one of the best wings in the league. Myles Turner is one of the best up and coming young big men in the game. He can rebound, defend, is a shot-blocker, and can shoot from range. Thaddeus Young is an athletic and effective power-forward. C.J. Miles is a sharp-shooter from deep and they have a strong bench with guys like Aaron Brooks, Glen Robinson the 3rd, Al Jefferson and Monta Ellis. They’ve been struggling all season to find effective lineup combinations and to figure out who fits well together. In fact, they’ve essentially been alternating wins and losses for their last 13 games.

Isaiah Thomas will have to attempt to slow down Jeff Teague. Teague has a big size advantage over Thomas. The two are also familiar with each other. Teague played for the Hawks during last season’s playoff series against the Celtics. While slowing down Teague is no small feat, neither is slowing down Thomas. Teague knows this first hand, as despite the Hawk’s attempts to double and trap Thomas he still blew up for 42 points in game 4 of the series last season. This matchup could go a long way towards deciding the game.

          The other matchup to watch is Paul George against Avery Bradley. The Pacers have been playing George next to C.J. Miles at the Shooting Guard position lately. Will the Celtics have Bradley attempt to defend George? Or will Crowder defend him, as he would if he was still slotted in at the Small Forward spot. Bradley has defended 6’8’’ wing players before, as he generally defends Gordon Hayward when the Celtics play the Jazz, or Jimmy Butler when the Celtics play the Bulls. The Celtics could also start Jaylen Brown at the 2, as they did while Bradley was hurt. Regardless of who lines up opposite George he presents a huge challenge. George is averaging over 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game and is shooting better than 38% from three-point range. He is tall, long, strong, athletic, and highly skilled.

          Al Horford and Amir Johnson will have to match up with an athletic pair of big men in Thad Young and Myles Turner. Both are effective two-way players. Young is an important player for the Pacers, as their defense struggled at times this year when he was out with an injury. And Turner averages over 2 blocked shots per game. These two combine for around 24 points and 13 boards per game. Thad Young is an underrated offensive player as well. He is great at getting to the rim and effective finishing around the rim. He can shoot the corner 3 at 36%, and he shoots over 50% from 3 feet to 10 feet out. He hasn’t historically been a three-point shooter, but is shooting 39.5% from three this season on 1.8 attempts per game. Myles Turner is also very effective at the rim (70%), and while he isn’t a great three-point shooter he can knock them down on occasion at 33.3%. Turner is also a very good mid-range shooter. He makes 45.5% of his shots from 10ft to 16ft and from 16ft to the 3 point line. Keeping these two in check on offense, on the boards, and on defense will be very important.

 Suns (22-48) at Celtics

          The Suns beat the Celtics by 3 points, 109-106, on March 5th. So while they are 22-48 and have one of the 3 worst records in the league, the Celtics should know first-hand not to take them lightly. The Suns have been shutting down their veterans and playing their younger players big minutes. They’ve shelved Tyson Chandler, Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe. Instead playing Alex Len, Marquese Chriss, Tyler Ulis and Alan Williams. The average age of their top 10 rotation players is actually the second youngest in the NBA next to the Lakers. Whether this plan is solely for tanking purposes, as in losing as much as possible to attempt to get as high a pick as possible, or whether they’ve just decided they need to develop their young players through actually in-game experience is debatable. Veterans Ronnie Price and Leandro Barbosa are basically the only older guys still in the rotation.

          The back-court matchups will be interesting with Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis taking on Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley. Ulis is a small but quick point-guard. But he is deceptively effective on defense. Despite lacking size and length he uses his speed to stay in front of his man and is an absolute pest. He can also use his speed to get to the rim on offense and is an effective passer. He’s averaging 12.5 points and 7.1 assists over his last 9 games, and 14.75 points and 9.5 assist over his last 4 games. Since he has been given the starting job and started playing big minutes, he has excelled for the Suns. Booker is one of the best young guards in the league. He is an excellent shooter and a fantastic all-around player. Booker averages 20 points 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Booker shoots 36.9% from three. Bradley will have to stick to him like glue out on the perimeter, and make sure to contest every shot. Especially in the corner, where Booker shoots 43.8%. Booker is difficult to defend, because in addition to being a great shooter he is an excellent finisher near the rim. He hits 59.3% of his at-rim attempts. Booker does struggle in the mid-range, however.

          Marquese Chriss, Alan Williams, and Alex Len will get the bulk of the front-court minutes for the Suns. Len and Chriss are both great finishers inside, and Chriss is also a pretty good shooter for a big man. Chriss especially is a double-double threat and can be a pest on defense. Chriss was a big part of the final moments of the Suns victory over the Celtics back on March 5th, stealing an inbounds pass meant for Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics will have to make sure to box these guys out, and stick with them defensively.

 Heat (34-36) at Celtics

          The Heat are battling for a playoff spot. Right now they’re 9th in the East. The Heat are 0-3 against the Celtics this season. However, they’ve been playing some of their best basketball of the season lately. Hassan Whiteside was just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Dion Waiters is out with an injury and Rodney McGruder has taken his place in the starting lineup. Justise Winslow is also hurt and is likely out for the season.

          The Heat’s biggest threat is Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside is an athletic finisher and shot-blocker. He is a beast on the glass. Whiteside is a similar style player to DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond. However, he does have a bit more foot speed than either of those guys. One way to neutralize his shot-blocking is to attack him with a speedy point guard. If Isaiah Thomas can penetrate, draw Whiteside to him, and then dish the ball of to Whiteside’s man, the Celtics can use his eagerness to block shots against him. The Celtics have employed this strategy before. Other than that Amir Johnson and Al Horford will simply have to box him out, body him up, and battle him underneath.

Goran Dragic plays the point for the Heat. Dragic averages 20 points and 6 assists per game. Dragic is an efficient scorer, and is playing well lately. Dragic scored 33 against the Pelicans March 15th and followed that up with a 19 point 10 assist outing against the TimberWolves. The Celtics might attempt to defend Dragic with Avery Bradley and put Isaiah Thomas on either McGruder or Ellington. Regardless, whoever defends Dragic will have their hands full. Dragic is a lot like Isaiah in that he gets most of his points either at the rim or behind the three-point line. He doesn’t take a lot of mid-range shots.

Tyler Johnson is a big time three-point shooter off the bench for the Heat. The Celtics will have to make sure they don’t leave him alone on the perimeter or try to help off of him. Johnson scored 23 points in the Heat’s win over the T-Wolves on March 17th.

Weekly Outlook

With 3 home games this week the Celtics should go 3-0. The Suns are one of the youngest teams in the NBA, and young teams generally struggle in this league. Not only that, the Celtics should know not to take them lightly. The Celtics will be out for revenge over their last second loss to the Suns on March 5th. While the Pacers and Heat both present a decent challenge, more so the Pacers, both are teams the Celtics should beat if they execute and don’t make mistakes. Neither team will be a pushover and both teams are battling for playoff positioning. But the Celtics are also trying to catch up to the Cavs, and further distance themselves from the Wizards. The Heat would present more of a challenge if Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow were healthy. However with guys like Wayne Ellington and Luke Babbitt on the floor, the Celtics should be able to handle them.



Eastern Conference Standings #1-#8 

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers 43-22
  2. Boston Celtics 42-25
  3. Washington Wizards 41-25
  4. Toronto Raptors 39-28
  5. Atlanta Hawks 37-20
  6. Indiana Pacers 34-32
  7. Detroit Pistons 33-33
  8. Milwaukee Bucks 32-34

Week in Review    

          The Celtics lost to the Clippers and Nuggets, but beat the Warriors and Bulls last week. The Celtics beat the Warriors in Oakland for the second time in two seasons. The Celtics were fortunate to play the Warriors without Durant, but the win is impressive regardless. Al Horford and Avery Bradley have returned providing a big boost to the Celtics. While other teams added at the trade deadline, the Celtics were able to sit on their assets and add two of their best players from their own sideline. The Celtics went on a tear from January 25th to February 15th, winning 11 of 12, but have been up and down lately. 5-6 since February 15th to be exact. However, the tear they went on after the All-Star break and the struggles the injury hampered Cleveland Cavaliers have gone through have the Celtics within a game in the win column of the Number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

          The Celtics have a favorable schedule remaining and after blowing out the Bulls last week hopefully they are starting to get their groove back. The Celtics can make some hay in the remaining weeks. However, a favorable schedule is only favorable with the appropriate attitude and proper execution. Any team is capable of playing up or down to any given opponent on any given day. The Celtics will still have to bring their “A game” day in and day out. This week the Celtics will play the Timberwolves, Nets, Sixers and Wizards. The Wizards are currently the third seed in the East, and within 2 games of the Celtics. The Nets and Sixers games are on the road, and the Timberwolves and Wizards games are at home. 

Timberwolves (28-38) at Boston Celtics (42-25)

          The Timberwolves are an exciting young team probably a year or two away from being able to really do some damage in the league. Karl Anthony-Towns is maybe the most exciting young big man in the league right now. His ability to do dirty work inside, and combine that with skill and athleticism on the perimeter is incredible. The big man can handle the ball, shoot, pass, and pound the paint. He had 39 points and 13 rebounds on March 13th against the Washington Wizards. 

          The Timberwolves have another young stud on the roster in Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins is athletic and capable on both ends of the court. Wiggins is the opposite of most young players when it comes to his shooting profile from the perimeter. Most young players learn to shoot threes by starting in the corners and working out from there. Wiggins shoots 34.7% from three overall, but only 25.0% from the corner. The Celtics have to be aware of this, and keep him away from the wings and the top of the key. 

          The Timberwolves round out the rest of the roster with a mix of younger prospects, young veterans, and veteran role players. Prospects like Kris Dunn and Adreian Payne are on the bottom of the depth chart. Young veterans like Ricky Rubio, Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammed play primary rotation roles on the team. Brandon Rush and Jordan Hill provide some veteran support for the young guys. 

          The Celtics should be able to defeat the Timberwolves, however their athleticism and team speed will definitely pose a threat, as will Karl Anthony-Towns. (Not to mention they’ve been hot lately, including that win over the Wizards.) While Towns and Wiggins mature, and the team adds to the supporting cast around them, this team could become a major threat within the next few years. The Celtics are 1-0 against the T-Wolves this season. 

Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets (12-53) 

The Brooklyn Nets have had a very difficult season. They’ve had a bit of a revolving door at the point-guard position with Jeremy Lin missing some time this season. Brook Lopez and Joe Harris are out right now. However, they have made some strides.

          Isaiah Whitehead and Spencer Dinwiddie have helped the Nets find some consistency at the PG spot even with Lin missing some time. Hollis-Jefferson and Sean Kilpatrick have continued to develop and look like they’re becoming solid players. Trevor Booker is a very solid rebounder and defender at the power-forward position.

          The Nets are a lottery team, yes, but they aren’t a team completely devoid of talent. They don’t have any stars besides Lopez, and they don’t have any real veteran starter-level talent. While the Celtics should beat the Nets easily, and the Nets should finish with the worst record in the NBA, they’ve made strides this season. They’ve installed a new coach that doesn’t seem entirely incompetent in Atkinson. And they have solid young prospects developing within his system. 

          Caris LeVert has returned from injury and begun to excel. He was the exact type of home-run swing the Nets need to take in the draft. Without any lottery picks for the next couple years, any type of lottery talent that falls for any reason is what they need to target. LeVert was an excellent player in college but he suffered various injuries throughout his college basketball career. LeVert has had his struggles and growing pains, he’s only shooting 30.3 % from three for the season. But he’s also had some big games. Scoring 19 points against CLE on January 6th with 7 for 12 shooting, or scoring 13 points against the Knicks on 4 for 4 shooting on March 12th for example. LeVert needs to refine his shooting from deep, however he excels near the rim. LeVert shoots 68.9% within 3 feet of the rim. He’s a guy the Celtics will need to focus on keeping out of the paint. Keep him on the perimeter and he will struggle, but let him get into a rhythm and he’s shown he’s capable of big games. 

          The Celtics should win this game easily, and the Celtics fans around New England will enjoy some #NetsPick talk. While the Nets have a difficult road to improvement in front of them without their next two draft picks they do have some emerging young talent and a head coach who given sufficient time may start to make lemonade out of the lemons he’s been given. 

Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers (24-42)

 The Sixers are 0-3 against the Celtics this season. They, too, have some emerging young talent. No, I’m not talking about Embiid or Simmons or even Okafor. The young player on the Sixers the Celtics need to watch out for is Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. He recently scored 18 points on 7-11 shooting in a win against the Lakers. He’s a slasher, and he’s athletic enough to get things going at the basket. 

The Celtics won’t have to worry about dealing with Joel Embiid or Robert Covington. But that does mean they’ll contend with Okafor and the above mentioned Luwawu-Cabarrot. Okafor is a talented inside scorer, but is a terrible pick and roll defender. He’s awful at help defense, weak-side defense, or any type of defense off the ball or in space. He can be exploited. While he’s been playing some of the most promising basketball of his young career lately, the Celtics should look to attack him early on the offensive end, and contain him on the defensive end. 

The Celtics will also have to contain Dario Saric. Saric can pass the ball exceptionally well for a big man. And he has a streaky three-point shot. He posted a 29-7-5 stat line against the Lakers with Joel Embiid declaring him the rookie of the year after the game. He has a pretty good handle for a big man, but he can be sloppy with it. He tends to lose focus with his dribbling at times. Saric is a player the Celtics should defend aggressively. Force him into some turnovers and throw him off his game before he gets it going. Turn his streakiness against him. 

Just like the Nets, the Sixers are one of the worst teams in the league and a team the Celtics should beat easily. However, they have NBA players on their roster too. The Celtics can’t take this game lightly, or some of the young talent the Sixers have might surprise them. 

Washington Wizards (41-25) at Boston Celtics 

          This will be an important game. The Celtics are the 2 seed in the East, and the Wizards are 3 seed. The Celtics want to gain ground on the Cavaliers, and establish some distance between them and the Wizards. Not only that, but the Celtics are 1-2 against the Wizards this season. With a win in this game the Wizards will hold the tie-breaker over the Celtics. 

          The Celtics will have to worry about the duo of star guards the Wizards feature. John Wall and Bradley Beal are both fantastic players. Wall is one of the most athletic points in the NBA and Beal can shoot the lights out. Together they make a great pair. The Celtics will fortunately have Avery Bradley back. Bradley and Marcus Smart need to make locking down Beal and Wall their top priority. 

          The Wizards also have an impressive group of big men. Gortat is a force to be reckoned with and around him the Wizards have Markieff Morris and Ian Mahinmi. Mahinmi is a serviceable defender and rebounder, and Morris is a versatile and athletic offensive power forward. Gortat is a really impressive all around player and a bruiser inside. These guys make the Wizards a difficult matchup for the Celtics. 

          Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre are a pair of young and talented wings. Porter Jr. is shooting a blistering 45.3% this season. He’s improved his game in other areas as well, and he’s got a PER above 15, which is the league average, for the first time in his career. (17.6 to be exact.) Porter Jr. can score, rebound, and defend. And he can certainly take advantage when extra defensive attention is given to Wall and Beal. 

          This will be a very difficult game for the Celtics to win. The Celtics have a favorable schedule remaining a part from this game. If the Celtics can beat the teams they should beat, like the Nets and Sixers, and win this game as well they can go on quite a run to close out the season. The number 1 overall seed in the East wouldn’t be out of the question. The Wizards are deep and talented and have great roster balance. They have the guards, the wings, and the big men to pose a threat to the Celtics.

Weekly Outlook

          The Celtics should go 3-1 this week. While it’d be easy to predict wins over the T-Wolves, Sixers and Nets and a loss to the Wizards that’s not exactly how it will go down. The Celtics will lose a game they should win, most likely against the T-Wolves as they’re hot right now and KAT is a monster, and then post an impressive victory over the Wizards.  


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