A 5-minute recap of the Celtics victory over the Nets. David Lee talks about his improved play, Brad Stevens discusses using Isaiah Thomas off-ball before completely ignoring Gino Time.

[0:00:06] ... the WEEI Celtics broadcast of sandbags here. Welcome into the WEEI Celtics pod cast the seas below at the nets. 14295. Celtics shoot a crazy 58 point 6%. From the field as a team this year which I think. Is best for her one demon that for any team in the NBA this season in the first quarter the Celtics were led by Jae Crowder who scored eleven points on five of seven shooting. Knocking down 13 exit three rebounds two steals and one assist or just aren't great quarter Crowder. And he kind of kept the Celtics in the scheme is Isiah Thomas started off over six bit in the second quarter is really where the Celtics dominated. They shot an amazing eighteen for 21 from the field scoring. 43 points and has really start up and played David Leo I've been kind of skeptical about David Lee's presence on this team all year I don't think he's that great defender. But in the past few games he's been playing ...
[0:02:15] ... were one point he threw that reaches behind the back pass to Isaiah Thomas in the corner. Who knocked down a three I say it's another per player for the Celtics who had a great second ...

Jae Crowder

Jae Crowder

For the second consecutive game, the Celtics grabbed a big lead in the first half — the only difference this time, they were able to hold onto it. The Celtics blew out the Nets, 120-95.

The Celtics led by 24 at the half (66-42) and opened up a 30-point advantage in the third quarter — their biggest of the night. The Celtics also outscored the Nets 46-28 in the paint and shot 58.6 percent from the field.

Avery Bradley‘s 21 points off the bench led five Celtics in double-figures. Isaiah Thomas (18), Jae Crowder (19), Evan Turner (12) and David Lee (11) all reached double digits in points.

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


Crowder found his offense early and often against the Nets. After scoring 11 points in the first quarter, Crowder finished the night with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He also pulled down five rebounds and had three steals.


Johnson couldn’t find a rhythm and was minus-19 on the night. He finished with three points on 1-of-5 shooting.


David Lee had a big first half, and got the bench crew rolling

WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Marcus Smart’s bruised left knee

Smart headed towards the locker room in the fourth quarter. After nursing a toe injury earlier in the season, Smart reportedly suffered a bruised left knee and did not return to the game. 

STAT OF THE NIGHT: Team assists & Field goal percentage

Celtics hit a season-high in two statistical categories. The team dished out a season’s best 39 assists and shot 58.6 percent from the floor. 


Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

DeMarcus Cousins has caused plenty of grimaces in his short career.</p>
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The Celtics own as many as eight draft picks in June 2016 — only one of which is their own — and the unprotected selection from the Nets is legitimately one of the most fascinating storylines in the entire NBA this season. We’ll regularly update the status of those selections, speculating when and who the Celtics will pick.


3. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn): Dragan Bender.

The Celtics can thank the Rockets and Hawks for delivering the only two Nets wins in 12 tries. Houston, as we learned on Wednesday, was in disarray, and it’s likely Brooklyn delivered the knockout punch before Boston rang the death knell on Kevin McHale‘s coaching tenure. But what’s Atlanta’s excuse for losing to the Nets (2-10)?

Unfortunately, Brook Lopez (19.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.4 bpg, 1.5 apg, 53.5 TS%, 21.1 PER) and Thaddeus Young (15.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.5 spg, 55.5 TS%, 20.5 PER) might be too good to allow Brooklyn to finish with the absolute worst record in the league.

17. Boston Celtics: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.

Had the Celtics beaten the Mavericks on Wednesday, this pick would’ve fallen to No. 24, and they’d legitimately be in the conversation for the East’s second-best team. They still might be. The C’s own a top-five defense, and if the shots ever start falling, their offense could be pretty darn good, too, since they play at a top-five pace and feature one of the league’s best five benches. Even despite the loss to Dallas, they rank fourth in point differential behind only the Warriors, Spurs and Cavaliers.

26. Boston Celtics (from Dallas): Timothy Luwawu.

The Celtics didn’t do themselves any favors pick-wise by blowing an 18-point, first-quarter lead to the Mavericks. But should Boston start being concerned that Dallas might actually be decent this year. As C’s coach Brad Stevens said, “Well I expected difficulty because they’€™re really talented. I mean, Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, [Chandler] Parsons, [Dirk] Nowitzki — those guys are ‘player’ players. Like, those guys are good players, let alone all the other guys that made great plays for them, so that’s a good basketball team. They’re 8-4 for a reason.” All true.


31. Boston Celtics (from Philadelphia): Malik Pope.

Let’s change the record and run back what we said two weeks ago in this space: “The Sixers are 0-12 this season, which sounds about right. If we play the game where we predict when Philly will get its first win, I’m thinking somewhere around January … 2018. The Celtics don’t have to wonder whether this will be a high second-round pick; they just need to keep their fingers crossed the 2016 NBA draft is a deep one.”

42. Boston Celtics (from Memphis): Aleksander Vezenkov.

For now, at least, the Celtics are benefiting from a slow start by the Grizzlies (6-6). Well done by Danny Ainge for planting Jeff Green as the banana in their tailpipe.

54. Boston Celtics (from Miami): Moussa Diagne.

The Heat (6-4) are outscoring opponents by 6.4 points per 100 possessions — the league’s third-best net rating behind the Warriors and Spurs. Justise Winslow, who the Celtics offered a fortune for, is averaging 7.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists as Miami’s sixth man, but it’s an undrafted rookie who’s had just as big an impact. North Dakota native Tyler Johnson is averaging 13.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists per 36 minutes, while shooting 46.2 percent on 2.5 3-point attempts per game — good enough for the Heat to finally dump Mario Chalmers from the roster.

58. Boston Celtics (from Cleveland): Alex Poythress.

Poythress just lost a tooth when it got caught in the net on an alley-oop dunk against Duke, which is both gross and proof he plays above the rim. Here’s a strategy for this Cavaliers pick, since it will be among the worst in the draft: Just take any Kentucky guy left standing. Look how well it’s worked out with James Young. Oh, wait …

And, yes, we’ve got the Celtics drafting international players left and right. Where else are they going to stash eight — EIGHT — draft picks? I’d be curious how many scouts they’ll have overseas, and are they looking for one to be stationed in Italy?

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

For a while there, it looked like the Celtics were going to hand a third straight Western Conference foe a blowout loss. In the end, it was the C’s who blew an early 18-point lead and collapsed down the stretch.

For a while there, it looked like the Celtics were going to hand a third straight Western Conference foe a blowout loss. In the end, it was the C’s who blew an early 18-point lead and collapsed down the stretch.

The Mavericks went on an 11-4 run over a five-minute stretch late in the fourth quarter, turning a tie game into a seven-point lead with 30 seconds remaining. The Celtics had a chance to tie during a frantic final few possessions, but Isaiah Thomas turned it over in transition and Dallas went on to win, 106-02.

Thomas led the Celtics (6-5) with a team-high 19 points and six assists. Jared Sullinger (18 points, 12 rebounds), Avery Bradley (18 points), Jae Crowder (14 points) and David Lee (14 points) also reached double figures. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks (8-4) with a game-high 23 points on 14 shots.

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

STUD OF THE NIGHT: Avery Bradley.

Comfortable in his newfound role as a sixth man, Bradley scored 12 straight points on five consecutive shots, and then dropped a behind-the-back pass to Isaiah Thomas on the next trip down the floor. In the process, the Celtics doubled their lead from nine to 18 and ignited the Garden crowd. When the Mavericks swung the momentum and erased the C’s lead early in the second half, Bradley’s put-back dunk (see below) stopped the bleeding, and his corner 3-pointer stretched the lead back to seven at the end of the third.

DUD OF THE NIGHT: Kelly Olynyk.

It’s not that Olynyk was bad. Despite underwhelming numbers (5 points, 3 rebounds), he owned the C’s second-best plus/minus rating behind Isaiah Thomas through three quarters (plus-14). It’s that Olynyk can’t stop fouling folks. After fouling out in 17 minutes against the Thunder on Sunday, Olynyk collected five fouls in his first 10 minutes against the Mavericks, forcing him to ease up on his already lax defense.

VINE OF THE NIGHT: Olynyk tries the Dirk.

Just before the half, Olynyk isolated his idol, Nowitzki, and tried a one-legged fadeaway on the German who made the move famous. It rimmed out as Olynyk explained to a smiling Nowitzki at midcourt:  “I had to. I had to.” Nowitzki later showed the Canadian how it’s done, dropping the move in Olynyk’s grill.

WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Killer instinct.

If the Celtics are going to make building big leads a thing, they might as well finish the job. On the back of Bradley’s early outburst, the C’s built a 31-13 lead 9:30 into the game. Boasting the best bench in the league, statistically speaking, the Celtics had an opportunity to put the Mavericks away early, but Dallas used a late second-quarter run to close within nine that half, and then used that momentum to erase the C’s lead completely with a Wesley Matthews 3-pointer that tied the game at 56 three minutes into the third quarter.


The Celtics are 6-1 when holding their opponent under 100 points — their lone loss to the title-contending Spurs — and they’re now 0-4 when allowing teams to reach the century mark. Owners of the league’s third-best defensive rating entering the game (94.2 points allowed per 100 possessions), they hadn’t given up 100 points in a fortnight. Then, the Mavericks shot 51.4 percent and made 29 trips to the free throw line.


Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

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