In a rare moment of candor, Celtics coach Brad Stevens blasted the Rockets for firing coach Kevin McHale.

In a rare moment of candor, Celtics coach Brad Stevens blasted the Rockets for firing coach Kevin McHale.

“First and foremost, we’re in a business where expectations certainly drive decisions at times,” Stevens told reporters before his team hosted the Mavericks. “I don’€™t agree with the firing, but it’€™s not my choice to make. I think Kevin is a great coach. Kevin has been great to me. Kevin is obviously a great Celtic. People love him everywhere they’€™ve been. Everybody that you hear from loves working with him, loves being around him, so to me, from the outside looking in, it looks like 11 games in making a rash decision, but it’€™s not my call.”

OK, so Stevens didn’t exactly blast the Rockets, but he questioned them, and it’s nice to see behind the curtain. Only 32 people in the world have the job at any given time, so the NBA coaching fraternity can be a tight-knit bunch. Stevens said he wasn’t too familiar with McHale outside of the Hall of Famer’s work as a coach, leading the Rockets to the Western Conference finals last season, but noted that McHale and C’s president Danny Ainge are “close friends,” dating back to their time together in Boston during the 1980s.

Another guy who spent time with both Ainge and McHale on the ’80s Celtics was Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who also had some pointed remarks for former C’s assistant general manager Daryl Morey, now the GM in Houston.

“I was extremely surprised that McHale was let go,” Carlisle said before Wednesday’s game. “Here’€™s a guy who has such amazing integrity as a person. You watch him on the sidelines, and he walks with a limp because of the sacrifices he made to become one of the greatest champions in history. He loves and respects the game so much.

“It’€™s surprising when something like this happens — shocking — but he’€™s going to be fine,” added Carlisle. “He’€™s going to get a chance to get some rest here, probably jump on TV and have a blast doing that, and then there will be a lot of teams wanting to hire him, because he did a fantastic job in Houston. When you look at their team over the last few years, their roster was constantly in flux, and he just did an amazing job putting that together and bringing those guys back from down 3-1 in the conference semifinals. That’€™s a guy with some great coaching credentials, and his other championship credentials really go without saying.”

As for whether the 1985-86 Celtics were the greatest team in NBA history, Carlisle agreed with Ainge: “Yes.”

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

As is often the case, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban just said what we were all thinking.

As is often the case, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban just said what we were all thinking.

Asked about the trade that sent Rajon Rondo to Dallas and brought Jae Crowder to Boston, the “Shark Tank” star told reporters before Wednesday night’s game, “[Expletive] happens, right? There are a lot of risks I’ve taken that have worked out just fine. They’re not all going to work.”

And as you’d expect. Celtics coach Brad Stevens had a milder take when posed the same question.

“Obviously, they had a really good player in Rondo, and it didn’t work out,” Stevens told a pool of reporters pregame. He added, “Crowder’€™s done well for us. That’€™s been pretty well documented. I’€™m not into judging or analyzing or rating how trades go; I’€™m more interested in who’€™s on our team.”

Both Stevens and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle took time to properly credit Dwight Powell, the former C’s undrafted free agent who was thrown into the Rondo deal. The only piece remaining from the deal in Dallas, Powell entered Wednesday’s game averaging 10.5 points and 8.1 rebounds.

“After the trade, I talked to Brad, and Brad said, ‘€˜Hey, we really like this guy and didn’€™t want to give him up,’€™ but they had to put some other things in the deal,” said Carlisle. “Powell’€™s worked extremely hard. He’€™s a guy with energy — he goes hard all the time — he’€™s got skill and he’€™s a great worker. We’€™ve really needed him this year, and he’€™s stepped up. He’€™s played well.”

Once again, Cuban cut to the chase. “I think when it’€™s all said and done, that Crowder for Powell trade will be a break-even,” said the billionaire. Well, don’t forget about that top-seven protected first-round pick the Mavericks still owe the Celtics. That’s when Cuban probably should have taken a cue from his television show and told C’s president Danny Ainge on Rondo: “I’m out.”

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach
A 5-minute recap of the Celtics 11-95 victory over the Houston Rockets

[0:00:09] ... here. Welcome into the WEEI Celtics podcast team recap that he's beaten Houston rockets' red state. Dominate the Houston Rockets won eleven to 95 in Houston the second night of a back to back then you're really didn't matter this season because. ...
[0:04:29] ... To Rezko and Johnson getting the majority of the minutes we thought David Lee and Tyler Zeller for a little stretches of tonight. But really they're not getting it done so it seems like those will be the war bigs that. Even more roll it and then it's kind of rotate those five perimeter players as he needed. He thinks they're five starters are there and so windows elite defenders and then with the facilitators. Isiah Thomas and Evan Turner the always have a lot of potential moving forward. And it's just going to be. Mastermind Brad Stevens figures it out. Our that's gonna wrap it up for me here that WEEI Celtics podcast again he's win don't want eleven to 95. They've won four of their last five and will take the day off or traveling back to Boston to take on that Dallas Mavericks at home. They sure you tune in to the team recap live from Alaska and buy a lot of any pre recorded ...

Brad Stevens has entered unfamiliar territory, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas

Brad Stevens has entered unfamiliar territory, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

With their 111-95 victory Monday over the Houston Rockets, the Celtics are now two games over .500 for the first time in the coach’s tenure. After struggling in the first quarter, the Celtics finished outscored the Rockets 87-67 to finish the game. Isaiah Thomas led the way for the C’s with 23 points, while Avery Bradley (21) and Jae Crowder (16) were also in double figures.

The two teams played with polar opposite energy levels. The C’s played with their normal aggression/desperation, while the Rockets looked as disinterested as a prepubescent boy at a middle school dance. The Celtics were extreme active in the passing lanes, which led to a season-high 16 steals. MVP runner-up James Harden was held to only 16 points on 4-of-10 shooting.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

STUDS OF THE NIGHT: Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas.

The pair spread their 44 points across all four quarters. In the first, Thomas carried the C’s, starting the game 4-for-5 from the field with 10 points and three assists. In the second half, it was Bradley’s turn, as he scored 13 points while sitting out the final eight minutes. Both finished 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. Thomas actually started over Bradley, who was able to score 21 points in only 20 minutes. Thomas scored a similarly efficient 23 points in 24 minutes.

DUD OF THE NIGHT: The entire Houston Rockets staff, basketball and crew.

It really didn’t seem like the Rockets ever wanted to win this game. A number of times they neglected to run back on defense. Mike Gorman was personally disgusted and offered his public condolences to Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, who I imagined just shrugged his shoulders and sighed the whole night. The Celtics seemed to win every 50-50 ball and on numerous occasions just ripped the ball out of the hands of Rockets players.

VINES OF THE NIGHT: Bae Crowder up and under …

and Bradley dominates Harden …

WHINE OF THE NIGHT: End of bench in garbage time.

With Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter, and Tyler Zeller in the game during garbage time, the Celtics stopped moving the ball and started giving up easy transition baskets. The Rockets even went on a a 15-2 run, cutting the C’s lead to 14.

STAT OF THE NIGHT: 16 team steals.

I know the Celtics have the fourth-best defensive rating in the league, but 16 steals is an absurd number.


Blog Author: 
Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart

After staying within striking distance in the first half, Marcus Smart and the Celtics turned Oklahoma City’s seven-point halftime lead into a double-digit lead with a 27-6, second-half run en route to a 100-85 win at Oklahoma City.

Smart scored 15 of his career-high 26 points in the third quarter, propelling the C’s offense in the second half. Isaiah Thomas‘ nine-point fourth quarter pushed the Celtics‘ lead to 88-76 with 6:38 left, and Boston’s defense held Oklahoma City to 11 fourth-quarter points, stifling any comeback attempt.

Thomas finished with 20 points and eight assists. Avery Bradley returned from injury to score 14 points off the bench. Joe Crowder added 10 points, while Jared Sullinger grabbed 15 rebounds to go along with eight points.

Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 27 points and Serge Ibaka had a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) for the Thunder. For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

STUD OF THE NIGHT: Marcus Smart.

Smart went off, scoring his 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting (3-4 3P) opposite Westbrook. He also played solid defense and made big stops in the second half (see the Vine of the night below).


Turner struggled offensively against the Thunder, scoring just points on 1-of-5 shooting and collecting three assists against two turnovers. However, he did finish plus-12 in 24 minutes.

VINE OF THE NIGHT: Smart’s huge stop in the fourth quarter.

WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Trips to the free-throw line.

Westbrook scored 12 of his 27 points from the charity stripe (12-13 FT), and he wasn’t the only one making frequent trips to the line. The Thunder shot 79.3 percent, converting 23-for-29 free throws.

STAT OF THE NIGHT: Team rebounding.

For the second consecutive game, the Celtics beat their opponent on the glass, which pushed them to big offensive scoring runs throughout the second half. The Thunder were out-rebounded, 47-34.


Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon
A quick recap of the Celtics domination of Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

[0:00:19] ... post game talk us these wind. 100 Q 85. Completely dominate in Oklahoma City Thunder especially in the fourth. Quarter where they only allowed. Eleven points going into the game that's thunder led the NBA in fourth ...
[0:02:34] ... not get anything going and that's when the Celtics on their best Nat Turner shot in the ball. Is when they're getting their hands in the passing lanes increase in number of deals. Not twelve he'll ...
[0:03:14] ... a huge test tomorrow night in a back to back. Against the Houston rocket taking on James Harden. Dwight Howard and the rockets are struggling this year but. James Harden MVP runner up is a great scores going to be interesting if ...

After staying within striking distance in the first half, Marcus Smart and the Celtics turned Oklahoma City’s seven-point halftime lead into a double-digit lead with a 27-6, second-half run