Paul Pierce‘s first game against his former team had to be this ugly. The Nets and Celtics combined for 95 missed field goals and 43 turnovers in a brutal 82-80 Brooklyn victory, and that doesn’t even do it justice.
The Celtics held Pierce to just four points on six shots in 27 minutes, but Brooklyn bigs Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche, who started in place of a reluctantly resting Kevin Garnett, combined for 34 points in a winning effort.
Meanwhile, five Celtics scored in double figures — Courtney Lee (14 points), Kris Humphries (12), Jeff Green (12), Kelly Olynyk (10) and Jordan Crawford (10) — as the C’s showed some encouraging signs despite dropping to 1-4 in their first preseason without Pierce since 1998.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Foul play: Young bigs Jared Sullinger and Olynyk have been serial hackers. They entered the game combining for a personal foul once every six minutes, and then committed five in 19 first-half minutes. Sullinger avoided foul trouble the rest of the way, but Olynyk fouled out in 18 minutes. The two complement each other wonderfully and should play big minutes together this season — unless whistles keep them on the bench.
Heart Pierce-ing: Needless to say, the sight of Pierce in a Nets uniform was jarring. Same plodding, no-lift-left-in-those-legs preseason approach, same deliberate, cut-like-a-knife-through-the-lane results. He scored just four points on six shots, but fed Brooklyn’s bigs and filled the stat sheet (10 rebounds, 5 assists, block, steal).
Layup line: Along with Green, Avery Bradley has been the C’s most predominant preseason shooter. While that’s encouraging, Bradley attempted six of his 13 shots within 4 feet and only made one — an uncontested dunk. Only a handful of NBA regulars last season were worse at the rim than Bradley’s 51.5 percent clip inside of 3 feet. That must change if he hopes to pair double-digit scoring with his perennially feisty defense.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Over the Hump: It was quite a night for Humphries. Not only did he finally produce the way he’s proved capable in nine previous NBA seasons, amassing 12 points and eight boards in 28 minutes off the bench, but he scored $749,000 at auction for his ex-wife’s engagement ring on Tuesday. Two steps forward.
In their defense: The Celtics shot just 35.6 percent from the field and totaled more turnovers (22) than assists (20), so they must have done something right to stay in a game with the Nets — even if Brooklyn rested seven players, including Garnett and Jason Terry. Led by Bradley’s incessant energy, the C’s forced 21 turnovers and held Brooklyn to 82 points on 35.5 percent shooting (14.3 percent from 3) — by far their best defensive effort.
Superb Lee: Lee has been the forgotten man, shooting just 8-of-24 from the field and apparently losing a starting backcourt spot to Jordan Crawford. But Lee’s effort against the Nets might change Brad Stevens‘ mind. He scored a team-high 14 points on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, including back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Celtics even late in the fourth quarter. Lee added four rebounds, three steals and a block on the night.
Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Joe and Alex talked with the Sox AGM about the state of the team as Opening Day approaches.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Peter Chiarelli joined the Sunday Skate crew to talk about the Bruins playoff push heading into the final handful of games of the regular season. Chiarelli talked about avoiding some of the overly negative feedback he gets while realizing that the team does have real issues. He discusses what went down at the trade deadline and if he was happy with the outcome, Lucic having a down year and underperforming, the salary cap and if he considers it as big of an issue as it's been made out to be and what the future holds for the team.
It's a big hour #2 for the Sunday Skate dudes - they talk about the B's defenseman and what the future looks like at that position, with both moves the team can make and younger guys in the AHL. They also get into the Bruins philosophy on bringing guys up and sending them back down and how players deal with that. Finally, the boys are joined by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to discuss EVERYTHING.
The Sunday Skate crew gets the show going discussing the Bruins big, impressive victory over the NY Rangers yesterday. What can you take from that game? According to LB - Lyndon Byers - who called the guys from the road, not a lot. LB drops a dime on what was going on with the Rangers yesterday. DJ and Joe discuss Claude's lines and groupings and the importance of Ryan Spooner. They also get into Lucic, his contributions this year and if he can turn things around.
The latest edition of the highly rated segment.
The great Lisa Scherber joined us to discuss today's trip to Fort Myers with 46 Jimmy Fund patients.
D&C's favorite author joined the show to discuss his new book.
We hear more audio from Christian's day between the pipes. He did his best to try and intimidate the small children shooting on him.
After Christian gave away his children's dog, we find out that Lola eventually found a better home.
During the recess of the Aaron Hernandez murder trial, Ted Daniel describes the first half of Shayana Jenkins testimony.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss David Ortiz's self-penned piece which took on such topics as steroids, the media, his contract and more. And we get into a back and forth about the fan perception of him in Boston, and why he can be so polarizing at times, even with the on-field track record he has.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss some of the testimony from Aaron Hernandez' fiancee, and try and judge how her words might change the outcome of this case.
Dale and Michael talk Bruins after they managed to snatch defeat from the claws of victory and blow a late game lead to the Anaheim Ducks. With the playoffs still in question, the Bruins need more efforts like that, and more luck.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Mikey, Mut, and Lucy are talking about all things New England sports, the Red Sox spring training, more Darrelle Revis and Jets talk, and some Bruins mixed in.
Ben and Adam finish the odyssey that is the history of Wrestlemania. Wrestlemanias 21-30 are discussed and analyzed.
Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
Scott Cordischi and John Rooke take your calls, texts, tweets and emails on the week's hot topics. The boys are back together in studio! It’s a bittersweet reunion due to the end of the NCAABB Tournament run for the PC Friars, so we say “see you next season” to the play by play team of John Rooke and Joe Hassett. We don’t waste time looking ahead with the issues confronting the men’s basketball program at URI and PC. On the table is the argument over the validity of RPI, outgoing coveted players, incoming recruits and whether Coaches Dan Hurley and Ed Cooley will remain after their successful 2014 season. Some time is spent on the NFL owners meetings, with the whiny Baltimore Ravens and a ranting Bill Belichick. We close March in all it’s madness, with “Three Things” where we celebrate the open mic and a young man’s passion .More from this show