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.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk and Peter King of SI.com join the show to talk about the latest news surrounding deflate gate.
Mike Westhoff joins the show to talk about deflate gate and the Pats innocence. Also what would have happened if he worked with Bill Belichick.
PHOENIX — After landing in Phoenix Monday afternoon, Patriots owner Robert Kraft took to the podium to make a passionate defense of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the organization in response to Deflategate.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
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Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Ben Volin sits in with the guys and breaks down deflategate and the future of Darrelle Revis.
Kirk wasn't taking any crap from Woody in North Reading.
Tony Kornheiser joins Dennis and Callahan in Arizona to discuss his comment comparing Bill Belichick to Whitey Bulger.
Four-time Super Bowl Champion Bill Romanowski joined the show to share his thoughts on the greatest QB he ever played with, and his Super Bowl experiences.
Chris Mortensen, ESPN, joined the show to talk about all the reports regarding "Deflategate." He thinks that people are making too big a deal out of it. He also hints that he's skeptic of Bill Belichick's attempt to blame science on the balls dropping in pressure.
The Rogue Ball Boy Theory picks up steam...then dies. Is the Rogue Ball Boy the fastest ball deflater ever or is he simply someone with a healthy prostate who probably doesn't even wash his hands. Also, Ted Wells says the investigation will take a while. And Robert Kraft demands an apology if the investigation finds no wrong-doing by the Pats.
We dive deep into some of the shadier things the Patriots have done over the years from a personnel standpoint.
Mike Florio and Peter King talk about some of the latest news surrounding deflate gate and whether the Pats knowingly did something wrong.
Mike Westhoff joins the show and explains other cheating scandals and if he thinks the Patriots are guilty of deflate gate.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
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