Former Butler University basketball player Andrew Smith, who was visited recently by Celtics coach Brad Stevens, died on Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer.

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

Former Butler University basketball player Andrew Smith, who was visited recently by Celtics coach Brad Stevens, died on Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer.

The news was broken by Smith’s wife, Samantha, who tweeted: “Andrew peacefully passed away in his sleep and in my arms as I told him I loved him this morning. Love you always, Smith.”

Smith had battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia over the last two years. Stevens, his former coach at Butler, missed the Celtics game on Jan. 8 in Chicago to pay Smith what turned out to be a final visit. He had previously checked in with him in November when the Celtics visited the Pacers, and Smith was hopeful a bone marrow transplant would help him beat the disease.

Stevens tweeted his condolences on Tuesday.

“To the toughest guy I ever met – Thank you, Andrew,” Stevens wrote. “We love you and will always be inspired by you.”

Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel noted in a separate post that, according to Samantha, Stevens called or texted Andrew Smith more than anyone outside of his family.

The 6-foot-11 Smith played on both of Butler’s national runners-up teams, in 2010 and 2011. He was a freshman reserve in 2010 when the Bulldogs lost a classic final to Duke, and he averaged 8.5 points a game for the club that lost to UConn. He played professionally in Lithuania for two years. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January of 2014.

Smith’s father Curt issued the following statement:

“Andrew packed more living into his 25 years than most of us will enjoy in a full 75 years. He lived his faith, relished his family, selflessly served his wife, and pursued his passion of basketball at the highest levels.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Celtics coach Brad Stevens needs to rein in his team. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)



In the Celtics‘ 101-98 loss against Memphis on Sunday, there was a play that drew the attention of most of the Celtics team.

With the Celtics down 93-92 and a 17-second difference between the shot clock and game clock, the plan appeared to be to play the possession out and get a stop, but Marcus Smart pressed up on Greg Chalmers fouled him, which seemed to upset many of his teammates, including Jae Crowder who ran at him stomping his feet.

After the game, Smart accepted responsibility for the bad play and said there’s no hard feelings between he and Crowder.

“He was just telling me we didn’t need to foul there,” Smart said to reporters. “It was heat of the moment, two players, competitors going at it, both mad at each other. I’m mad at myself. He’s mad at me because I made a play. But me and Jae are good. That’s supposed to happen. I made a bad play.”

The Celtics have now lost three straight and five of their last six.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

The Grizzlies overcame a 21-point deficit to beat Celtics 101-98 on Sunday night in Memphis.

The Memphis Grizzlies overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 101-98 Sunday night in Memphis. After a Tony Allen made a three pointer to open the game,  the Celtics quickly took the lead on a 19-1 run. The starting unit did an excellent job moving the basketball from side-to-side on offense and finished the quarter with 34-16 lead.

In what is becoming a disturbing pattern for the team, the Celtics then let their foot off the gas in the second half and slowly let Memphis back into the game. The ball movement from the first quarter completely disappeared as the Celtics settled for contested jumper after contested jumper.

The Grizzlies took advantage of the Celtics lack of size, dominating in the paint and on the offense glass. Zach Randolph led the team with 25 points and 13 rebounds off the bench, while Marc Gasol finished with 11 boards and 11 points, nine of which came in the second half.

The loss is the (19-18) Celtics third straight and their five in the last six games.  The team attempt to halt their losing streak as they travel to New York to play the Knicks on Tuesday.

For a complete box score click here.

STUD OF THE NIGHT Isaiah Thomas

After struggling from the field against both the Pistons and Bulls, Thomas quickly found his shooting stroke. In the first quarter he scored 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting. He hit all three of his attempts from beyond the arc, all of which were catch-and-shoot opportunities. Thomas also dominated a stretch late in the third quarter after the Grizzlies went on a 9-0 run. He responded by hitting a pull-up three in transition, then making two key assists to extend the lead. IT finished with 35 points and 8 assists.
DUD OF THE NIGHT David Lee
If Lee thinks that he will earn more minutes by forcing shots, he is sadly mistaken. Especially if those shots don’t come anywhere close to going into the basket. The Celtics were a minus-12 in the 16 minutes Lee was on the court tonight. He also turned in this atrocious shot chart.
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VINE OF THE NIGHT Sweet Stevens ATO action to end the half.

WHINE OF THE NIGHT  Scal, stop trying to make The Cobra happen!
Scal was trying too hard to nickname Marcus Smart, “The Cobra.” I don’t know if the White Mamba just wanted another Snake in the organization, but it was awkward and I didn’t like it.
STAT OF THE NIGHT 21 Offensive Rebounds
The Grizzlies grabbed an absurd 21 offense boards in this game, eight of which came from Z-Bo. In the third quarter alone, Memphis generating 10 second-chance opportunities on 15 minutes.
@ OF THE NIGHT P Flanns asking the important questions.

Blog Author: 
Sam Packard

The Chicago Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics 101-92 on Thursday night in Chicago.

The Chicago Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics 101-92 on Thursday night in Chicago. After a sloppy first half in which both teams struggled to find open looks, the Bulls pulled ahead in the third quarter, outscoring the Celtics 26-16. In the quarter, the C’s only shot 7-for-32 (21.9%) from the field, missing all six of their three point attempts.

The Bulls were led by Pau Gasol, who finished with a double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 18  boards. The rest of the Chicago starters also scored in double-figures, as the dynamic backcourt of Jimmy Butler (18) and Derrick Rose (19) combined for 37.Seven different Celtics scored in double-figures, as Jae Crowder led the team with 17.

The loss was Boston’s fourth in their last five games. The Celtics will look to end their two-game losing streak on Sunday night as they travel to take on the Memphis Grizzlies.

For a complete Box Score click here.

STUD OF THE NIGHT Derrick Rose

After suffering an broken orbital bone during training camp, its looks as if Derrick Rose has regained the full use of his face. The former MVP scored 19 points on only 9 shots. Rose did an excellent job in the paint, making excellent use of a jump-hook while he was guarded by the smaller Thomas.

DUD OF THE NIGHT The Celtics Offense

Without Avery Bradley, the Celtics offense has been atrocious. Isaiah Thomas has done has a great job of attacking the basket, but that has not translated to made shots. As opposing defense collapse on Thomas, he is forced to pass to his teammates who similarly can’t put the ball in the basket. When IT is out of the game there is no semblance of ball movement. Tonight back-up ball handlers Evan Turner and Marcus Smart only score 10 points, combining to shoot 7-for-23 from the field.

VINE OF THE NIGHT

WHINE OF THE NIGHT  Mark and Martinis

For some reason, TNT was broadcasting live from Las Vegas. Obviously this means they brought in a house-band called Mark and Martinis. The band featured seven white dudes dressed in tuxedo and must have been the saddest grouping of individuals I have ever seen on TNT, and I have watched one episode of The Closer. 

STAT OF THE NIGHT Three-Point Shooting

Without any ball movement or basic offense, the Celtics settled for contested three pointers. Tonight the C’s were 5-for-23, missing all six of their attempts in the third quarter. 

@ OF THE NIGHT

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Brad Stevens will not be on the bench for Thursday’s game against the Bulls in Chicago, as he is visiting a former Butler player in Indiana, the team announced hours before the game.

Brad Stevens will not be on the bench for Thursday’s game against the Bulls in Chicago, as he is visiting a former Butler player in Indiana, the team announced hours before the game.

“We ask that the private nature of this visit be respected,” the Celtics said in a statement.

Assistant coach Jay Larranaga will serve as head coach in Stevens’ absence.

Former Butler player Andrew Smith, who has been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma for the past two years, was readmitted to the hospital on Wednesday, according to the Indianapolis Star. His wife, Samantha Smith, reached out on Twitter asking for prayers for her husband, whose condition worsened in November.

Smith played four seasons for Stevens, who visited his former player on the eve of his bone marrow transplant when the Celtics played the Pacers in Indiana this past November.

‘€œI think after the transplant it’€™s going to be pretty tough on him, so obviously getting to see him, and Coach getting to see him, is good for us and good for him,’€ Celtics video coordinator Alex Barlow, who played for Stevens and with Smith at Butler, told The Boston Globe in November. ‘€œIt’€™s just very unfortunate that somebody like him who’€™s so nice has had to go through something so terrible.’€

Blog Author: 
WEEI