Celtics 116, Lakers 95. The Boston Celtics won their sixth straight last night after laying a homecourt walloping upon the comically wayward Los Angeles Lakers. The C’s were propelled to a 32-point fourth-quarter lead by runs of 17-8 in the first half and 23-8 in the second. Contained within the latter was a two-minute third-quarter stretch in which the Celtics put on a dizzying, dazzling exhibition of two-way play, outscoring the Lakers 14-3 in the process.
Was it the most exhilarating two-plus minutes of Celtics basketball in the 2013 season? It sure felt like it. Here’s the rundown: Continue reading →
The rivalry that made you feel a little uncomfortable about your breakfast food choices tips off for Round 2 tonight at the TD Garden. Avery Bradley used to love to drown his Honey Nut Cheerios in Peach Schnapps and granulated sugar, until he decided that there would be no more pills, no more bad food, no more destroyers of his body; until he decided that every muscle must be tight…
“All the animals come out to Celtics games – whores, skunk pussies, bare-armed meatheads, pink-hatted tramps, Big Papis, Donnie Wahlbergs, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets…” -Avery Bickle
“Well, I ride the bench mostly…first quarter, third quarter…I figure, you know, if I’m gonna do that, I might as well get paid for it.”
Celtics 103, Rockets 91. For the third straight game, the Celtics’ bench came up big. Jared Sullinger, Courtney Lee, and Jeff Green combined for 37 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. That exact line was once produced by Antoine Walker in a 113-105 loss to the 76ers. It was 1997 — Antoine’s rookie season — and the only time between 1986 and today that a player has put together that combination of numbers in a single game.
The Boston Celtics have played 34 games this season. They played their first 30 without third-year defensive whiz Avery Bradley (out with two shoulders). In those first 30 games, they allowed their opponents to score at a rate of 102.4 points per 100 possessions. Their opponents, meanwhile, allowed the Celtics to score at a rate of 100.0 points per 100 possessions.
In those first 30 games, the Celtics allowed their opponents to shoot an effective field goal percentage of .499, while they shot .495. They allowed their opponents to score 42.1 points in the paint per game,while they scored 37.5. Their opponents committed 15.1 team turnovers per game, while they committed 14.8. The Celtics won 14 of those first 30 games and lost 16.
INT. TD GARDEN - AFTERNOON
The sounds of bouncing balls and squeaking sneakers reverberate
through the near-empty arena. A pair of prize-winners smile for
the cameras as a gang of charity cases idle courtside, savoring
a vantage point normally reserved for the city's celebrated and
Across the way, a clutch of pressmen and training staff look on
as a small group of players choose sides and shoot for ball. The
"friendly" game's outcome seems of special importance to two
players in particular.
I'd seen you using an old style. I'd
wondered where you had learned it from.
You know very well. It's yours too.
Yo, Doc! It's a duel. It's a duel!
Heh! I'd forgotten. Will you show me?
Buck buck buck buck buck buck...
May 12, 2012
Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 1: Boston Celtics (1-0) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (0-1)
Aldridge: “As this series goes on, there’s no rest for you guys, there’s a game every other day. You’re an older team, it may be difficult, how do you…”
Rondo: “It may not be. Look at us. We’ll be fine.” [Drops mic, walks away.]
Just prior to the start of the second half of Saturday night’s Eastern Conference Semifinal kick-off between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, TNT’s Dick Stockton passed along the following bit of statistical ephemera: in 2011-’12, the Celtics were 1-22 in games in which they had trailed by 13 points.
April 20, 2012
Game 64: Boston Celtics (37-27) at Atlanta Hawks (38-25)
After Wednesday night’s 102-98 win over the Orlando Magic secured the Atlantic Division title and a number four seed in the playoffs, the Boston Celtics chose to put their stalwarts on ice, giving them some much needed rest in preparation for the rapidly-approaching second season. This meant that the starting lineup for your Boston Celtics in Friday night’s matchup with the Atlanta Hawks looked like this:
The Celtics lost accordingly (97-92), though not before cutting the lead to one six times in a dogged rally that spanned the game’s final 13 minutes.
April 18, 2012 Game 63: Boston Celtics (37-26) vs. Orlando Magic (36-26)
“Whenever you’re undermanned, like Orlando is, and you’re undersized to begin with, you have to cut down on the turnovers, shoot a high percentage, and then not give up the easy basket.” –Hubie Brown
One night after collapsing beneath the weight of a preposterous onslaught of three-pointers (Steve Novak + J.R. Smith = 50 points, 15-20 from downtown) in a 118-110 loss to the New York Knicks, the Boston Celtics clinched the Atlantic Division title and a playoff four-seed with a 102-98 win over the Orlando Magic. The Celtics finished their nightmare stretch of seven games in nine days with an admirable 5-2 record, though they picked up a few dents in the chassis along the way.
Now entering the final turn of the 2012 season, the Boston Celtics are at present engaged with the most grueling stretch of scheduling they’ve faced all year: seven games in nine days, with two back-to-backs on either side of three in a row. As documented in Episode 26 of “The Avery Bradley Chronicles,” the C’s took the first two of the run, following up a stirring 115-107 victory over the positively villainous Miami Heat with an ugly 88-86 overtime win over the decidedly unsexy Atlanta Hawks.
On paper, three in a row against the Toronto Raptors (22-39), New Jersey Nets (22-39) and Charlotte Bobcats (7-52) seem about as gimme as a back-to-back-to-back can. The three teams are amongst the bottom seven in the league in Basketball-Reference’s Simple Rating System, a points-above or –below average measurement of team quality (click here for an explanation of the system as it relates to football). If the Bobcats’ current mark of -13.54 holds, it would be the second-worst in NBA history, just over a point ahead of the 1992-’93 Dallas Mavericks’ -14.68.
April 10, 2012 Game 57: Boston Celtics (33-24) at Miami Heat (40-16)
On December 27, the Boston Celtics started Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Sasha Pavlovic, Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal in the second game of their season, a 115-107 loss to the Miami Heat. Brandon Bass, Keyon Dooling and Marquis Daniels combined for 40 points in 75 minutes off the bench. The Celtics allowed 69 points in the first half and trailed by as many as 20 points in the third quarter. According to Hayes Davenport at CelticsHub, “they were outrebounded, outshot, and overwhelmed by the defense.”
On April 1, the Boston Celtics started Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett in the rematch and absolutely eviscerated their opponent. Greg Stiemsma, Keyon Dooling and Sasha Pavlovic combined for 13 points in 58 minutes off the bench. The Celtics scored 91 points and held an offense that presently averages 100.3 points per game on 47.4% shooting to seasons lows of 72 points and 34.8% shooting.