Will Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo remain teammates next season? (AP)



BEN ROHRBACH

BIO | ARCHIVE


Rajon Rondo scored just nine points, but he was the best player on the floor all night, taking over the fourth quarter in a 101-96 victory against the two-time defending NBA champion Heat. Of course, it didn’t hurt that LeBron James (back spasms) was relegated to the Miami bench, but still — this was Rondo’s night.

Rajon Rondo scored just nine points, but he was the best player on the floor all night, taking over the fourth quarter in a 101-96 victory against the two-time defending NBA champion Heat. Of course, it didn’t hurt that LeBron James (back spasms) was relegated to the Miami bench, but still — this was Rondo’s night.

The Celtics point guard finished one point shy of a triple-double (15 assists, 10 rebounds), ending a five-game losing streak. Avery Bradley‘s 23 points, including a career-high six 3-pointers, led the scoring effort, and four other Celtics reached double figures: Brandon Bass (18 points), Jared Sullinger (14 points), Jeff Green (13 points) and Kelly Olynyk (10 points). And the Celtics needed all of it from each of them.

The Celtics improved to 23-46, moving one win ahead of the Lakers and Suns for the NBA’s seventh-worst record.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Bradley’s back: After making just six of his 25 attempts from outside of 10 feet in his first three games back from an ankle injury, Bradley found the stroke that made him so successful early this season. The soon-to-be free agent knocked down three of his six first-half 3-point attempts and added a long jumper to enter the break with 11 points. In all, the C’s shot 50 percent (9-18) from distance over the first two quarters and stayed within 56-53 after two.

Charmed third: Working inside and out, Bradley and Brandon Bass shot a combined 8-of-8 from the field to score 21 of the C’s 27 third-quarter points. Rondo was on the feeding end of four of those buckets, finishing with six assists in the frame. As a result, the Celtics took an 80-78 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Bench press: The C’s bench situation isn’t pretty. It’s comprised of four guys who weren’t on the team to start the season, two rookies and another player with 45 NBA games under his belt entering the year. Yet, they received valuable contributions from three of those seven players, as Sullinger, Olynyk and Jerryd Bayless (7 points, 5 assists) combined for 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Worst first: The opening quarter couldn’t have gone much worse for the Celtics defense. While the NBA’s two-time defending MVP sat on the bench, the Heat still scored 34 points on 70 percent shooting to take a 12-point lead in the game’s initial 12 minutes. It wasn’t Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh who victimized the C’s, but Udonis Haslem. The Miami veteran scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first quarter.

No LeBron: The Heat announced James would miss his first game in a month shortly before tipoff. It remains to be seen whether he’ll return Friday in Miami, but regardless of how they feel about him, Boston fans missed a player worth the price of admission. Perhaps a motivated Celtics team took it as a sign of disrespect, too.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Though Jerryd Bayless nearly inspired a single-handed fourth-quarter comeback, a pulseless performance from the rest of the Celtics starting five yielded a 94-89 loss to the Mavericks. Bayless — who led the Celtics with 19 points — scored nine straight points in a 2:01 stretch in the game’s final minutes, and the C’s got within a point at 90-89 with just 22 seconds remaining, but Dallas converted four free throws to put the game away.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 to lead the Mavericks past the Celtics. (AP)

Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 to lead the Mavericks past the Celtics. (AP)

Though Jerryd Bayless nearly inspired a single-handed fourth-quarter comeback, a pulseless performance from the rest of the Celtics starting five yielded a 94-89 loss to the Mavericks. Bayless — who led the Celtics with 19 points — scored nine straight points in a 2:01 stretch in the game’s final minutes, and the C’s got within a point at 90-89 with just 22 seconds remaining, but Dallas converted four free throws to put the game away.

Despite the late outburst by Bayless, the Celtics’ starting five put together a brutal performance. The quintet of Bayless, Avery Bradley (11 points), Kris Humphries (5 points), Brandon Bass (5 points) and Jeff Green (5 points) amassed a combined 45 points on 17-of-55 (31 percent) from the floor, with Green (2-of-12) struggling through a particularly dismal performance. The poor shooting offset a solid night for the Celtics bench (led by Kelly Olynyk, who scored 16 and grabbed nine boards, and Jared Sullinger, who scored 13 with nine reboundes) and a dominant night on the glass (Boston outrebounded Dallas, 57-36).

The Mavericks were led by Dirk Nowitzki‘s 19 points and 10 point on a perfect 5-of-5 off the bench by Brandan Wright.

For more from the game, click here.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Sunday night the Celtics proved they are nothing if not entertaining in this rebuilding season.

Anthony Davis rises for a dunk Sunday against the Celtics. (AP)

Anthony Davis rises for a dunk Sunday against the Celtics. (AP)

Sunday night the Celtics proved they are nothing if not entertaining in this rebuilding season.

Former No. 1 pick Anthony Davis scored a career-high 40 points to lead the New Orleans Pelicans a heart-pounding 121-120 overtime win over the Celtics in the Bayou Sunday night. Davis added 21 rebounds, the first 40-20 game in the history of the New Orleans franchise. Jared Sullinger, who helped sparked a late fourth quarter rally with a 3-pointer, missed a trey with 11 seconds remaining that would have given the Celtics the lead.

The last two minutes of regulation featured a frantic Boston rally and several wild sequences.

Kris Humphries forced the overtime when he took an inbounds pass from Rajon Rondo and drained a 20-foot turnaround jumper at the regulation buzzer. Jeff Green matched his season high with 39 points while Humphries had another double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Green was fouled in the act of taking a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds remaining and made all three free throws to tie the game, 110-110 before Anthony Davis drilled a jumper that appeared to give New Orleans the win with 1.1 seconds left in regulation.

Down one, the Celtics had a chance to win the game after winning a key jump ball with under 20 seconds left but Avery Bradley dribbled the ball off his leg and out of bounds, setting the stage for the frantic final sequence.

The Celtics lost their fourth straight and fell to 22-45 on the season.

The Celtics scored 39 points in the second quarter to take a 64-57 halftime lead. Leading the way in the second quarter was Jeff Green, who hit two threes and led Boston with 12 points in the stanza.

The Celtics led 66-57 on a Brandon Bass dunk with 10:40 left in the third quarter. The Celtics were outscored 27-18 in the final 10 minutes of the quarter and went into the fourth quarter tied, 84-84.

As was the case Friday night in the loss to the Suns, the Celtics had a poor third quarter shooting the ball. They made just 9-of-23 shots and were outscored 11-0 at the free throw line.

The Celtics appeared to run out of gas completely early in the fourth quarter, getting outscored 18-5 by New Orleans in the first seven minutes. The Pelicans led by 13, 102-89, with 5:36 left. The Celtics did make a run as Jeff Green’s baseline three with just over three minutes left capped an 8-0 run and brought the Celtics within five, 102-97. Two Anthony Davis free throws with 3:04 left put New Orleans up, 104-97.

Jared Sullinger drained a three with 1:58 left to make it a one-possession game, 104-101. The Celtics could not get a stop as Brian Roberts answered with a runner in the lane to make it 106-101. Sullinger came back and a baseline jumper to make it 106-103. Humphries nailed a jumper with Just over a minute remaining make it a one-point game, 106-105. But Davis answered on the next possession for New Orleans, giving the Pelicans a 108-105 lead with 49.4 seconds left. Jeff Green came back with reverse layup with 38.4 seconds left to make it 108-107 New Orleans.

Green hit two free throws with 4:06 left in overtime to give Boston its first lead since the third quarter, 114-112. But the Pelicans answered with the next seven points of overtime to take a 119-114 lead, as Anthony Davis dominated the defensive glass on four straight misses in overtime. But like he did in the fourth quarter, Sullinger hit a huge three to bring the Celtics to within two, 119-117, with a minute remaining. Sullinger tried to give the Celtics the lead on the next possession but missed his next three.

The Celtics finish up their brief two-game southern swing on Monday night in Dallas with a date against the Mavericks. The Celtics return home to take on the Miami Heat at TD Garden.

Rondo finished with six points and 14 assists in 45 minutes and is not expected to play Monday in Dallas as he continues to rest his right knee in the second game of back-to-back contests.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year as a member of the 1985-86 Celtics that finished 67-15 during the regular season — and 41-1 at home in the Boston Garden — on their way to winning 15-of-18 playoff games and the franchise’s 16th NBA title, Bill Walton can wish you a St. Patrick’s Day far better than I can.

So, without further ado, I give you Walton uncensored, about five or six Guinesses deep most likely (from his 2011 appearance on the Big Show two years ago):

Bill Walton says Jerry Garcia, John Wooden and Larry Bird are the same person.

Bill Walton‘s thirst for life is no secret. Neither is his thirst for Guiness.

“Go Green. Go Guinness. I’m popping one right now. Ten million pints poured every day around this great globe of ours — the globe, the most perfect orb, just like the basketball. The basketball by itself does nothing, but when you make it an extension of your mind the way that [Rajon] Rondo does, the way that Danny Ainge did and DJ [Dennis Johnson] and Larry [Bird] and Kevin [McHale] and Chief [Robert Parish] and Jerry [Sichting] and Rick [Carlisle] and Scotty [Wedman] and all the guys did — but when you’re able to make an extension of your mind, of what it is you’re doing in life, whether it’s drinking a Guinness responsibly, whether you’re bouncing that magic basketball for the Celtic Green, you can make a difference, and that’s what we’re calling everybody to do on St. Patrick’s Day, the start of the college tournament, the most perfect harmonic convergence ever. Be bold, stand tall, quit your job and chase your dreams. …

“I only drink Guinness, the holy water falling from the sky, delivering spiritual guidance. We’re blessed. We’re so blessed. We’re on record pace, and we’re having the time of our life. …

“When this morning started, and it started more than 24 hours ago, the call to action was to take the day off. Who wants to lead a watered down life? C’mon. Let’s get up and be bold. Forget just taking the day off, just quit your job. Make your dream your job, and that’s what I was able to do. My parents ask me to this very day, ‘So, Billy, did you ever get a job?’ I’m closer than ever to being able to say yes. It’s so special. The remarkable thing about Guinness in our world is that in the mother country, Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. In Canada, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. Somewhere, we got lost along the path, along the golden road to unlimited devotion. …

“When you go over to Ireland, and you go to Dublin, and you go to the Guinness thing, they have the Hall of Brilliance, and I’m in there already. I’ve had a lot of honors in my world, and none more important than that one. …

“Assume responsibility. That’s what Guinness is all about. Live in a world of exploration, curiosity, experimentation that leads to a culture of generosity, but do it responsibly. If you’re looking around, blaming other people, if you’re not willing to stand tall and be bold, if you’re not willing to quit your job and chase your dreams, then what are you doing on the Boston Celtics. Let’s go. What are the two sets of three from John Wooden? Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses, and don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal. That covers a lot of ground. …

“The young people, the children, they don’t care that you have red hair and a big nose and a goofy, nerdy looking face and you stutter all the time and you’re a Deadhead and you’re drinking Guinness every minute. They’re going to care that you’re there, and when you care about them, they will care about you. Through practice and through a lifetime of experimentation, maybe you have a chance to play in the game of life one more time — that opportunity that Red [Auerbach] and Larry and Celtics Nation gave me. …

“It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s go. Start the party early. Pop one early. Get that pint going.”

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

The debate over the long-term future of Rajon Rondo in Boston will seemingly continue as long as he’s in a Celtics uniform. But one thing that can’t be denied is Rondo’s appreciation of those who have his back in turbulent times, led by the man who cuts his paycheck.

The debate over the long-term future of Rajon Rondo in Boston will seemingly continue as long as he’s in a Celtics uniform. But one thing that can’t be denied is Rondo’s appreciation of those who have his back in turbulent times, led by the man who cuts his paycheck.

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck told the Boston Globe this week that despite all of the rumors and speculation on the future of the tempestuous point guard, Rondo remains the leader of the franchise going forward.

What did that mean to Rondo?

“It means a lot, especially coming from the head guy,” Rondo said after Friday’s loss to the Suns. “With all the rumors swirling, the criticism that I was having throughout the past couple weeks, he stuck his neck out. He didn’t have to say anything, but he did. I’ve talked to Wyc since then. Everything is what it’s supposed to be.”

Here is what Grousbeck told the Boston Globe in a story that reflected on the rebuilding season of 2013-14:

“[Rondo is] loved right here, from my seat on the court,” the owner said. “I love the guy. I love his championship ring when he was the young kid. I love his growth. It reminds me of Paul Pierce. Growing from the moments in his younger days and making progress toward being an all-time Celtic and a leader. I am always hopeful that a guy like that is going to stay around.”

Rondo will enter the final year of his contract next season, in which he will make $12.9 million.

Earlier this season, Rondo said he would be open to signing a long-term deal with the Celtics but, at the same time, indicated an interest to test free agent waters. Rondo signed a five-year, $55 million extension at the start of the 2009-10 season.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia