Jessica Camerato of basketballinsiders.com joins the show to talk about Marcus Smart, the starting lineup, and trade deadline.

[0:04:13] ... I'll I wouldn't practice and. What we all kind of just for Brandon Bass is six wanna see him get treated contenders it doesn't have to explain in terrible basketball games. We can't bring them back ...
[0:16:48] ... Marcus Thornton there has operated bass. And I wouldn't be surprised he Tayshaun Prince they'll put Brad Stevens seems to be completely enamored by him and loves everything he does. Well you know he's one of those players are kind of just does everything right even at his advanced stage you know doesn't have that same math was as he had runners with the pistons. But he's still a great guy to have on the team because unlike Gerald Wallace who never played basketball right. You know he's played well he's very good defender but he turned on a special office he always had the wrong thing but he relied on as apt criticism on both sides of the court. Tayshaun Prince a little bit different. He relies on his length. But yes to be Smart about how he's using that blank so. I think he's the Seve is the vets sees the savvy vet like that if you could look it up in the dictionary they're Tayshaun Prince does is he does everything correctly. And he played like it showed he got traded is pulling crunch time two days after ...
[0:20:30] ... this year Horford is good Millsap is good Jeff Teague is good Kyle Korver is having the best shooting year ever. I don't know why the wide that's all there at fall apart during the playoffs because Kyle Kyle Korver is gonna come back to earth personal. At 35 years old you don't have your best season of your career you Ray ...





Nothing like a game against the Knicks to bust out of a slump.

Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley

Nothing like a game against the Knicks to bust out of a slump.

Led by Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger, who each played their best game in weeks, the Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak with a 108-97 victory in New York. Despite the last-place Knicks (10-39) making it a two-possession game midway through the fourth quarter, the C’s (17-30) led wire to wire, staying within four wins of the Hornets and Heat for the final two playoff spots in the East.

Bradley led all scorers with 26 points in a remarkable 11-of-14 shooting performance to go along with four assists. Sullinger busted out of a slump of his own, collecting 22 points (11-19 FG), nine rebounds and six assists. Marcus Smart started in place of Jae Crowder, and they netted 13 points apiece in their new roles. Brandon Bass added 12 points as the only other Celtics player in double figures. The C’s shot 54.5 percent as a team.

Evan Turner (5 points, 5 assists, 8 rebounds) helped hold Carmelo Anthony to 21 points on 23 shots. For a complete box score, click here.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

If someone asks you about Sunday’s Celtics game, make sure to emphasize its “€œgreat personality,”€ because by no means was it visually pleasing.

Tyler Zeller

Tyler Zeller

If someone asks you about Sunday’s Celtics game, make sure to emphasize its “€œgreat personality,”€ because by no means was it visually pleasing.

In a low-scoring affair that saw neither team playing particularly well, the Celtics ‘€” wearing their bizarre and unbecoming gray “€œParquet Pride”€ jerseys ‘€” fell 83-75 to the Heat at the TD Garden. The C’€™s struggled early and couldn’t regain the lead despite coming back to tie the game.

Without stars Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng, Miami relied heavily on their big men. Hassan Whiteside led all scorers with 20 points and nine rebounds while Chris Bosh added 18 points and seven rebounds. Avery Bradley and Tyler Zeller each netted 17 points to lead the way for the Celtics. Zeller started in place of Jared Sullinger, who was benched to start the game for arriving late to a pregame walkthrough. Marcus Thornton (15 points) was the only other Celtics player in double figures.

For the complete box score, click here.

CELTICS SHOOT TERRIBLY IN THE FIRST HALF

Even if there was some sort of bucket emporium that exclusively sold buckets and the team had a variety of currency options available, the Celtics still would not have been allowed to purchase a bucket. The C’€™s finished 13 for 41 from the field for an unimpressive 32.7 percent. Chris “Birdman” Andersen made as many 3-pointers as the Celtics, who made just one of their 10 attempts. Their inability to acquire aforementioned buckets, I’d argue, directly contributed to their 13-point deficit at halftime.

12 GOOD MINUTES OF BASKETBALL

Evan Turner may have started the game at point guard, but after missing his first six shots he quickly found himself on the bench. With Marcus Smart playing in his place to open the second half, the Celtics cut the Heat’€™s 13-point lead down to two. With the hyper-athletic lineup of Smart, Bradley and Jae Crowder in the game, the C’€™s increased their intensity and ball pressure on the defensive end. The Heat scored only 17 points in the quarter, turning the ball over seven times.

Bradley played extremely well, reminding Celtics fans why the team signed him to a four-year, $32 million dollar contract in the offseason. He scored 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting and added a pair of steals in the quarter. If Bradley is going to be a starter on the Celtics moving forward, he is going to have to play like this for more than 12 minutes at a time.

PUSH TO PLAYOFFS?

Don’€™t look now, but even after the departures of Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and Brandan Wright, the Celtics are still in the playoff hunt. Sunday’s loss dropped the Celtics (16-30) to 3.5 games behind the eigth-place Hornets and a full four games back of the seventh-place Heat. With the season-ending injury to Brandon Jennings in Detroit and the general dysfunction in both Charlotte and Brooklyn, the C’s head-to-head record against the Heat may have a huge impact in the final standings. After Miami took the first two games, the Celtics do have a chance to even the series, as the two teams will play twice more this season.

JAMES YOUNG

While on assignment with the Maine Red Claws in the D-League on Saturday Night, Young scored 33 points, including an astounding nine 3-pointers.

The Celtics rookie was recalled before the game, and coach Brad Stevens mentioned that Young may see more minutes moving forward. With the entire team struggling from the outside, Young made his first appearance in the first quarter of a game this season. In his eight minutes, he did not provide the offensive spark Stevens was looking for. Young continues to struggle with his defense, and he did not see any playing time until the final moments of the fourth quarter. He finished with three points on 1-of-2 shooting.

WHY CAN’T THE CELTICS GET RIM PROTECTORS LIKE HASSAN WHITESIDE? 

Whiteside was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 33rd pick out of Marshall in the 2010 NBA draft. After a couple stints in the D-League and a few more seasons overseas, Whiteside signed with the Heat at the beginning of the season. Over the last month, the 7-footer has played his way into the starting lineup by averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds per game. Whiteside is also the elusive rim protector every team seems to be in the market for, averaging 3.5 blocks as well. Last week, he notched his first triple-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks in only 25 minutes on the floor.

Whiteside continued his amazing run on Sunday, dominating the C’s frontcourt with 20 points and nine boards. Whiteside has the longest arms I have ever seen and is able to score with ease in the paint. His presence down low created open looks for Chris Bosh, who scored 18 points of his own.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

After a dismal start, Marcus Smart’s defense and offensive contributions from a band of Celtics veterans sparked a furious comeback against the visiting Rockets, but the C’s couldn’t get over th

After a dismal start, Marcus Smart’s defense and offensive contributions from a band of Celtics veterans sparked a furious comeback against the visiting Rockets, but the C’s couldn’t get over the hump in a 93-87 loss at TD Garden.

Smart held Houston’s MVP candidate James Harden to just 14 points on 4-of-21 shooting and the trio of Brandon Bass (17 points, 8 rebounds), Marcus Thornton (17 points, 4-6 3P, 7 rebounds) and Tayshaun Prince (13 points) combined for 47 points, leading the Celtics within a single possession yet again in the final minute after trailing by as many as 19 points in the first half — but it wasn’t enough to upset another Western Conference power.

The Celtics dropped to 16-29, falling two games in the loss column behind the Charlotte Hornets for the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed. For a complete box score, click here.

NO DEFENSE EARLY

The Celtics entered Friday’s game with the NBA’s third-worst defensive rating in January (106.7 points allowed per 100 possessions), and the first half against the Rockets didn’t help matters. Houston made 52.2 percent of their 46 shots to build an 18-point halftime lead against the C’s, who allowed 60 points in a half for the first time since November.

BIGS PROBLEM

The Rockets were without Dwight Howard (knee), seemingly giving Boston’s undersized starting frontcourt duo of Bass and Jared Sullinger (8 points, 7 rebounds) a break, but Houston still set an early tone inside. Seven-foot power forward Donatas Motiejunas scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go along with six rebounds before halftime. The Lithuanian finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds on the night.

POINT OF NO RE-TURNER

Let’s just say this was not Evan Turner‘s finest performance in a Celtics uniform. He missed three straight layups, couldn’t corral a wide-open pass in transition, got abused by James Harden on defense and air-balled a 3-pointer. And that all came in his first 15 minutes on the floor. After starting 2-for-10 from the field, Celtics coach Brad Stevens mercifully sat Turner, who finished with four points and three rebounds in 21 minutes.

CUTTING IN THIRDS

Receiving offensive contributions up and down the lineup, the Celtics slashed Houston’s 18-point halftime lead to five by the end of the third quarter — thanks to a defensive effort led by Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley that limited the Rockets to nine third-quarter points. After shooting better than 50 percent over the first 24 minutes, Houston made only 20 percent of their attempts in the third frame (4-20 FG).

SMART-D PANTS

Despite having only one point to his name early in the froth quarter — in part due to an offensive foul call that negated a second-half 3-pointer — Smart was somehow omnipresent in the second half, frustrating Harden (three second-half points) to no end and getting the Celtics out in transition offensively. His presence is always felt beyond the box score — where he contributed four points, four assists and three rebounds — but it would be awfully nice to see a signature 20-point, seven-assist type of performance from the Celtics rookie.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach
Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart

Is anybody on this Celtics team capable of playing in a future All-Star Game?

The current 14-man roster shares one All-Star bid, as Gerald Wallace appeared as a reserve in 2010, but the real question is whether or not any of the eight players currently under the age of 25 will ever receive an invitation. Needless to say, nobody on this year’s Celtics even cracked the top 50 vote-getters for good reason.

While we shouldn’t give up all hope on Kelly Olynyk or James Young just yet, it’s safe to assume Jared Sullinger and Marcus Smart offer the best hopes among these Celtics for a future All-Star nomination. So, let’s take a look at how the 2015 NBA All-Stars fared at the same stage of their careers as that C’s tandem.

BACKCOURT

Midway through his rookie season, Smart has averaged 6.7 points (54.3 true shooting percentage), 3.2 assists against 1.2 turnovers, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 22.2 minutes over 30 games. How do those numbers rate against the pre-All-Star rookie averages for the 12 guards who made this year’s East and West rosters?

Stephen Curry (51 games): 34.5 min, 14.8 pts (56.3 TS%), 4.9 ast (2.7 to), 3.8 reb, 1.9 stl
Kobe Bryant (39 games): 14.5 min, 7.8 pts (55.4 TS%), 2.0 reb, 1.0 ast (1.6 to), 0.6 stl
Jimmy Butler (20 games): 7.5 min, 2.5 pts (63.4 TS%), 1.2 reb, 0.4 stl, 0.3 ast (0.3 to)
James Harden (51 games): 22.7 min, 9.7 pts (53.0 TS%), 3.2 reb, 2.0 ast (1.3 to), 1.0 stl
Kyrie Irving (28 games): 31.0 min, 18.1 pts (56.9 TS%), 5.1 ast (3.1 to), 3.5 reb, 0.8 stl
Kyle Lowry (10 games): 17.5 min, 5.6 pts (55.6 TS%), 3.2 ast (1.2 to), 3.1 reb, 1.4 stl
Chris Paul (48 games): 35.4 min, 15.9 pts (54.2 TS%), 7.7 ast (2.4 to), 5.6 reb, 2.2 stl
Jeff Teague (45 games): 9.7 min, 2.9 pts (40.8 TS%), 1.7 ast (0.7 to), 0.9 reb, 0.5 stl
Klay Thompson (30 games): 16.5 min, 7.2 pts (56.1 TS%), 1.6 reb, 1.3 ast (1.1 to), 0.5 stl
Dwyane Wade (36 games): 36.0 min, 16.3 pts (52.3 TS%), 4.4 ast (3.0 to), 4.3 reb, 1.3 stl
John Wall (42 games): 36.9 min, 15.0 pts (49.1 TS%), 8.9 ast (3.7 to), 4.2 reb, 1.7 stl
Russell Westbrook (53 games): 31.7 min, 15.0 pts (50.2 TS%), 4.9 ast (3.1 to), 1.4 stl

While Smart hasn’t been handed the workload of Irving, Paul, Wade, Wall or Westbrook in Year 1, the Celtics rookie’s 36-minute averages [10.8 pts (54.3 TS%), 5.1 ast (1.9 to), 3.9 reb, 1.8 stl] aren’t all that far off from almost everyone on this list through the first half of their rookie seasons. And that’s an encouraging sign.

FRONTCOURT

Despite back surgery that cost him the second half of his rookie campaign, Sullinger is averaging 14.3 points (53.4 true shooting percentage), 8.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists against 1.4 turnovers and 0.7 steals in 28.8 minutes over 44 games midway through his third season — by far the best year of his young career. So, what kind of numbers were the current All-Star frontcourt players posting halfway through their third NBA seasons?

LaMarcus Aldridge (51 games): 38.0 min, 20.9 pts (52.6 TS%), 8.8 reb, 2.5 ast (1.9 to), 0.8 stl
Carmelo Anthony (53 games): 36.8 min, 26.0 pts (55.0 TS%), 5.3 reb, 2.7 ast (2.7 to), 1.3 stl
Chris Bosh (53 games): 38.8 min, 22.5 pts (59.0 TS%), 9.2 reb, 2.5 ast (2.2 to), 0.6 stl
Anthony Davis (42 games): 36.1 min, 24.5 pts (61.3 TS%), 10.4 reb, 1.7 ast (1.3 to), 1.6 stl
Tim Duncan (49 games): 39.6 min, 24.6 pts (56.5 TS%), 13.1 reb, 3.0 ast (3.3 to), 1.0 stl
Kevin Durant (51 games): 39.8 min, 29.7 pts (60.6 TS%), 7.4 reb, 2.9 ast (3.8 to), 1.4 stl
Marc Gasol (56 games): 33.3 min, 11.8 pts (57.5 TS%), 7.0 reb, 2.7 ast (2.0 to), 0.8 stl
Pau Gasol (52 games): 32.3 min, 17.6 pts (54.1 TS%), 7.9 reb, 2.4 ast (2.4 to), 0.6 stl
Blake Griffin (54 games): 32.5 min, 18.5 pts (57.4 TS%), 8.7 reb, 3.6 ast (2.4 to), 1.5 stl
Al Horford (51 games): 34.9 min, 13.4 pts (59.9 TS%), 9.4 reb, 2.1 ast (1.5 to), 0.7 stl
LeBron James: (52 games): 42.2 min, 31.2 pts (57.2 TS%), 7.0 reb, 6.6 ast (3.2 to), 1.7 stl
Paul Millsap (47 games): 32.1 min, 14.7 pts (58.6 TS%), 9.2 reb, 2.2 ast (2.1 to), 1.0 stl

While many on this list were well ahead of Sullinger’s pace through two and a half seasons, there is hope for the Ohio State product, especially if he dedicates himself to getting in better physical shape. Just look to Millsap, the undersized Hawks forward whose work ethic has led to steady improvement and his current status as arguably the Eastern Conference’s best low-post player. Of course, he didn’t make his first All-Star roster until leaving the team that drafted him, so only time will tell if any current C’s make a similar leap.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

As the Celtics take on water, Brad Stevens keeps plugging holes. (Getty Images)



Last season the Celtics‘ record against the Western Conference on the road was 0-15. If there’s a positive way to spin that, it’s that Brad Stevens certainly left his team with room for improvements on the road for this season.

“It could go a bunch of different ways,” Brandon Bass said as the C’s prepared to depart for the six-game trip through three different Western Conference time zones. Yes, Brandon, it could have gone a bunch of different ways. However, I don’t think many predicted the Celtics would return home to almost three feet of snow with three more victories under their belts.

Finishing the trip with a loss in Minnesota left a sour taste in the team’s mouth, but the trip could have been far less successful in Stevens’ eyes.

“We had our moments where we played well,” the coach said of the road trip after returning home to practice on Thursday. “We won two 1-point games [back-to-backs in Portland and Denver] which could have gone either way. If we’re sitting here at 1-5 because those last two shots bounce in, do we feel worse about ourselves? Absolutely. Is it a lot less of a successful trip? Absolutely. But, because those bounces went our way, we feel better.”

With the unexpected success, the Celtics amazingly sit just two games back of the eight-seed in the Eastern Conference at 16-28. But the C’s haven’t just been getting lucky bounces in their own games lately, they’ve been lucky across the league.

The Pistons had been surging, and sit just a half-game back of Boston in the standings. But Brandon Jennings‘ achilles tear recently ended the point guard’s season, and may well keep Detroit from rolling into the playoffs after their turnaround in the post-Josh Smith era.

The Nets are currently sitting in the nine-seed, but Brooklyn has made it clear that they intend to sell, sell, sell as the deadline approaches. Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson are all on the table. If they can find a taker on even one of those players, especially Johnson, Brooklyn could remain looking in from the outside at the playoffs.

The eight-seeded Hornets have lost arguably their best player in Kemba Walker for a long period of time after the UConn product recently underwent knee surgery. Unless they make a trade that brings them back some high-end talent, it would be silly to think that they wouldn’t slip in the standings.

Finally, there’s the Heat. Miami has a grasp on the seven-seed, but with a record of just 20-25, and Dwyane Wade injured again, they are far from untouchable in the standings.

Enter the Celtics. Their goal (or at least Danny Ainge’s goal) might not be to make the playoffs this season. Ainge admitted it wasn’t a goal of his last season. But the Eastern Conference is shaping up in a way that they just may sneak right in, even with a losing record. This current Celtics unit has not been together particularly long — it’s been a season filled with moving parts — but as Stevens said on Thursday: “There’s no better team building activity than winning a close game on the road.”

If the C’s can pull out a couple more close games on the road, then who knows? We might be watching this team compete during the playoffs whether it’s in Ainge’s plans or not.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow