Every two weeks I rank the Celtics based on their recent performance and my personal feelings on the player.

14. Shavlik Randolph

During his last stint with the team in 2012, Yung Lik, as his friends call him, averaged 4.2 points a game. Fans can only hope for the same level of contribution this time around.

13. Gerald Wallace

Team leader and fun party trick.

12. Tayshaun Prince

He may not get much playing time, but this play made a large impression on Brad Stevens, so that’s cool.

11. James Young

With the departure of Jeff Green, I expected Young to get more playing time, yet he remains on the bench. Let’s take this time to remember his greatest moment while he wastes away on the bench of the fourth-worst team in the league.

10. Phil Pressey

Pressey actually made some shots against the Bulls the other night, including some POINTS IN THE PAINT. I still think he is too short to really make a consistent impact, but I love his energy and court vision.

9. Marcus Thornton

“Lil Buckets” continues to shoot the ball well, averaging 11.5 points over his last four games. I will be very dissapointed when Danny Ainge turns him into a second-round pick in 2020.

8. Kelly Olynyk

Jelly Man Kelly has been OK off the bench but continues to struggle defensively. I don’t trust him on the floor against any decent big. And to think we could have drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo. I found this tweet about Kelly O quite interesting.

As GIF king Jay O also noted, Win shares are a bogus stat, the 2013 draft class is pretty bad, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player ever to put on a jersey. He may not have said that last part, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

7. Brandon Bass

Since the Jeff Green trade, Bass, playing around 20 minutes a game, has done an excellent job showcasing himself for Western Conference contenders. If I were the Trail Blazers or Clippers I would have traded for him yesterday.

6. Avery Bradley

Good Avery Bradley made an appearance for about four games. Then the Celtics played the Bulls and Clippers and AB went 4-for-14 from the field. His defense is still great, but with Marcus Smart on the roster, I don’t see what role he fills moving forward.

5. Marcus Smart

Since returning from injury, Smart has shot 40 percent from 3, which is exactly what Smart needs to be doing. If he continues to improve his shooting while playing great physical defense, he may actually emerge into a building block. In addition to his shooting, I would like to see Smart attack the basket more regularly. Currently, Smart is the only untouchable piece on the roster.

4. Bae Crowder

I really goofed on my last rankings when I listed Bae Crowder at No. 12. I was quickly rebuked by my fellow Celtics bloggers and I have seen the error of my ways. Quite simply, Bae is the best thing to happen to the Celtics this season. He hustles, plays great defense, and has an oh-so-sweet sneaky mid-range game.  Crowder does a great job of moving without the basketball, and when the Celtics are playing well he has no problem getting easy baskets at the rim.  I hope Ainge does everything to sign him next summer. You can never go wrong with a Marquette grad.

3. Tyler Zeller

I apologize #GodZeller for cursing you. I never should have ranked you the best player on the team, you weren’t ready for that kind of responsibility. Zeller and his tremendously soft hands still have their moments, but they haven’t been as dominant as they were earlier in the season. Zeller has yet to be completely exposed defensively, but this trip out west may do exactly that. If Zeller even had an ounce more personality, this  incredibly frustrating team would be a thousand time more fun to watch. Tito, I need cellies after every made basket!

2. Evan Turner

I like Evan Turner. There, I said it and I am not ashamed. Since taking over as the starting point guard, he has averaged six assists and six rebounds a game. He still needs to limit his turnovers, but his presence on the court is generally productive. He has positional versatility and would be a perfectly cromulent bench piece on a halfway decent team.

1. Jared Sullinger

The fact that Sullinger has been the best player on the Celtics is indicative of the low level of talent on the roster. He is a solid NBA player who can rebound and score the ball a little bit, but by no means is he a top-15 power forward. This is a gratuitous sentence about his gratuitous hind parts. I always forget that he is only 22 years old and thus still has tremendous upside, but I would not be the least bit upset if Ainge shipped him out of town.

Early ’90s rap song that illustrates my current feelings about the Celtics:

Follow Sam Packard on Twitter @SPacShakur

Blog Author: 
Sam Packard

With a 102-93 victory agains the visiting Celtics on Monday afternoon, Clippers coach Doc Rivers improved to 3-0 against his former tea

With a 102-93 victory agains the visiting Celtics on Monday afternoon, Clippers coach Doc Rivers improved to 3-0 against his former team.

The Boston bench scored 59 points — including double-digit production from Brandon Bass (17 points), Marcus Thornton (15 points), Marcus Smart (14 points) and Kelly Olynyk (11 points) — but the Celtics never led after falling behind by double figures in the first quarter. At least the recently traded Austin Rivers (2 points) didn’t make much of a difference for L.A.

The loss marks the C’s third straight and 12th in their last 15 games. They currently own the fifth-worst record in the NBA, leading only the Knicks, Timberwolves, 76ers and Lakers in the wins department with 13.

The Clippers’ victory keeps them in the sixth seed out West, seven games out of the lottery — an important distinction, since the Celtics own their first-round selection in June as a result of Doc’s departure.


After Celtics center Tyler Zeller made a baby hook shot to tie the game at two apiece 63 seconds into the game, the Celtics missed their next 10 shots and committed a trio of turnovers over the next six minutes, digging themselves an 11-2 hole against a championship-caliber starting lineup.

Meanwhile, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan dominated on both ends of the floor in the first quarter, scoring 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting offensively while collecting five rebounds and a pair of blocks defensively in the frame.


While the triumvirate of Jordan, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul gives the Clippers an overwhelming advantage at the top end of their rotation, their bench stands between another second-round playoff exit and the franchise’s first conference finals appearance. The Celtics took advantage of that weakness, closing the gap to four behind Bass and maintaining a single-digit deficit until a Jamal Crawford triple gave L.A. a 47-37 halftime lead. Still, without the C’s reserves scoring 17 first-half points, the score midway through the first game of a two-week trip out West could’ve been a lot worse.


The Celtics have been working with Marcus Smart to square his feet under his body and not fade on his jump shot, and the rookie has made significant improvement from the perimeter in his first NBA season, knocking down four more triples against the Clippers. After struggling from 3-point range to start the season, Smart entered Monday’s game shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc in January — this after connecting on a respectable 38 percent of treys last month. Considering he entered the league an above-average defender, the Celtics now must encourage Smart to attack the rim more often.


Since scoring 22 points in a 108-100 win over the Pelicans last week, netting double figures for the sixth time in nine games and earning a starting spot in the process, Jae Crowder’s contributions have fallen off a cliff. The newly acquired forward was underused in a loss to the Hawks two nights later, when he had seven points on four attempts, and then finished with just two points in 21 minutes in Friday’s four-point loss to the Bulls. Against the Clippers, he went scoreless and committed as many turnovers (2) as he had combined rebounds and assists in 13:26.


The C’s young frontcourt trio of Zeller, Olynyk and Jared Sullinger continue to get outworked on the defensive end. Jordan and Griffin are a tough matchup for any opposing big-man combination, but the Clippers duo combined for 41 points on 27 shots, 21 rebounds, seven assists, six blocks and three steals in a game-deciding effort.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

There comes a point in time where an NBA coach can’t worry about massaging the egos of his team. That time has come for Brad Stevens.

There comes a point in time where an NBA coach can’t worry about massaging the egos of his team. That time has come for Brad Stevens.

After another close-but-no cigar special Friday night at TD Garden, Stevens said that he’s seeing some signs of life from his now 13-25 squad. But not enough. The Celtics shot 60 percent in the first half, competed hard for three quarters and even led the Bulls by three at the half. But Boston, as it often has this season, ran out of gas in the fourth and fell, 119-105.

Asked if he’s concerned about his constantly changing roster and the impact it might have heading on a brutal six-game western road swing, Stevens was brutally honest.

“I’€™m not as worried about keeping them up,” Stevens said. “I think we need to get better off of that. I thought we didn’€™t have enough ‘€“ we weren’€™t as tight as we need to be against that level of talent. We were loose in our coverages and a little loose on the ball and it hurt us. They’€™ve got some great, great players that stepped up and made plays and really separated the game.

“But even when we were going back and forth I didn’€™t feel like ‘€“ I didn’€™t feel like it was sustainable at that rate, the way we were playing. So, yeah, I don’€™t know, hey’€¦we’€™re employed to do everything we can, to have everything we have, and to manage the ups and downs throughout a season. Players and coaches. And it’€™s on us as individuals to be up and ready. And certainly you have to help some guys through that and help manage some of that but, you know, we can’€™t spend our time managing feelings right now; we have to spend our time getting better.”

As was the case with the Hawks on Wednesday night, Stevens didn’t have as big a problem with the defense in fourth quarter as he did with the poor offensive execution that led to easy baskets and open looks.

“Well I thought our offense provided them some baskets with our ‘€“ you know, we had some moments of shoddy ball-handling in that stretch,” he said. “We were pretty sure with the ball most of the night. The offensive glass hurt us, as it has against them, but again, I thought we were better than we were before but they just seemed to get some timely baskets off of that.

“But then the three-pointer by (E’€™twaun) Moore that he hit at the top of the key that stretched it from three to six I thought took the wind out of our sails; I didn’€™t think we responded well to that. The next play they hit another three; it’€™s nine. And it snowballed on us. We can’€™t, we can’€™t let that happen. We’€™ve just got to say hey, we guarded, that was one of our best possessions defensively, and Moore hits a big shot. Move on, move on to the next play. We didn’€™t respond as well as we need to.”

And like Wednesday against Atlanta, Stevens is hoping his team was paying close attention to how the Bulls play.

‘€œTheir offense was excellent,” Stevens said. “And their offense was well-choreographed, well-designed, and well executed by multiple all-stars. But that means we have to be tighter, and we weren’€™t tight enough. We’€™re just going to hold them to that standard; I think it’€™s easy to look out there and see (Derrick) Rose being Rose, which is good for him, not good for everybody else that’€™s playing against him. And then (Pau) Gasol and (Jimmy) Butler just continue to play at the level they’€™ve been playing at.”

Stevens did get a vote of confidence from a man who knows a thing or two about coaching defense.

“Brad’€™s done a great job with these guys,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. “Their young guys are tough and you can tell that their veterans have done a great job, they’€™re playing for the team. They’€™re in every game, I watch a lot of their games and they’€™re hard to guard’€¦.They play very unselfishly and that says a lot about Brad and the guys they have on the team.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The Chicago Bulls defeated the Celtics, 119-103, Friday night at the TD Garden (Box Score Here).

The Celtics played well offensively through three quarters, shooting 52 percent from the field, but were unable to sustain the effort for the entire game. The veteran Bulls played a complete 48 minutes and pulled away during the final frame, outscoring the inexperienced Celtics, 31-17. Boston only managed to force 7 turnovers, while Chicago made 13 of their 25 three point attempts.

Star point guard Derrick Rose led the way for the Bulls, with an exceptional third quarter in which he had six assists to go along with nine points. He finished with 29 points and 10 assists, notching his second double-double of the year.


The seasonal flu ripped though the entire Celtics organization. CSNNE play-by-play commentator Mike Gorman was forced to miss the game against the Pelicans. Friday, James Young was sent home sick and may be delayed in joining the team for their upcoming West Coast road trip. Only nine players participated at practice on Thursday. Jared Sullinger, battling flu-like symptoms, played 28 minutes, scoring 20 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.


Evan Turner, after injuring his right thumb in Wednesday’€™s loss to the Hawks, played with a heavy bandage on the thumb. Turner, who normally excels when playing in Chicago, did a bit of everything while starting at point guard, scoring 11 points, dishing out eight assists, and grabbing six rebounds.


Butler is in the midst of a breakout season that will likely earn him a max contract when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Butler is leading the league in minutes played and has evolved into a potent scorer. Each year Butler has been in the league, he has increased his average points per game. This year he is scoring 20. 7 ppg, a seven-point jump from last season.

Before the game, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens noted Butler’€™s remarkable improvement:

“€œJimmy might be the most improved guy in the league and is probably an All-Star,” Stevens said.

Friday, Butler did a bit of everything in his 39 minutes for the Bulls. In addition to dropping 22points, he dominated defensively, snatching up a career-high six steals. If the Bulls make a deep run in the playoffs, it will likely be on the back of Butler.


Even with starting Joakim Noah inactive, the Celtics struggled to defend the frontline of the Bulls. Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson, and rookie Nikola Mirotic combined for 38 points and 20 rebounds. The Bulls had 48 points in the paint


In what has seemingly become a theme of their better performances, the Celtics shared the ball extremely well. Five  different players scored in double figures, The majority of their points came off of smart passes in the pick-and-roll. Turner, Smart, and Bradley did an excellent job distributing the ball to rolling bigs, as the point guard trio combined for 17 assists. Despite their early success, the Celtics only managed to score 17 points in the forth quarter, going 8 for 20 from the field. 

Blog Author: 
Sam Packard

Joakim Noah didn’t play in Friday’s win over the Celtics, but he still managed to find his way into the box score with a technical foul in street clothes from the bench. The call sparked one of the loudest ovations of the night from the TD Garden crowd — a fan base that has despised Noah dating back to his battles with Kevin Garnett when he was wearing green.

Noah’s cockiness was something that Garnett and Celtics fans have come to hate over the years. So in typical fashion, Noah took credit for the Bulls run against the C’s, claiming it was his technical that sparked his team. Jimmy Butler was asked about Noah’s claim after the game.

“No comment, man. Jo always thinks it has something to do with him. That’s your guy. Look at him over there,” said a smiling Butler gesturing towards a laughing Noah on the other end of the locker room. “Something’s wrong with him.”

So is Noah a player Butler loves to have on his team but would …

“Yes, I always say that,” Butler said emphatically before the second half of the question was even posed to him. “If I didn’t have Jo on my team I would hate him. So hopefully he’s on my team for forever because I really would not like him if I was going up against him.”

“He just talks to much. He gets on my nerves. I don’t know,” he continued while both smiling and shaking his head thinking he may have gone too far. “I love him because he’s on my team, but if we end up playing towards the end of each of our careers if we go separate ways we will end up fighting. I guarantee it.”

Butler’s honesty came as a little bit of a surprise. So this seemed like the perfect time to see if one of Noah’s own teammates could see things from Garnett’s point of view during the many altercations the two shared while the Big Ticket was still in Boston (and even during his time with Brooklyn).

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Butler said. “I think that comes with the game, you know, two fierce competitors that want to win. [They’re] really great at their position. That’s what your going to get. Especially out of that one,” he finished while gesturing towards Noah once again.

Even though Butler is open minded enough to see things from Garnett and the Boston fans’ point of view, he is very grateful to have Noah on his side.

“Jo makes everyone around him play harder, dive on the floor, take a charge, because when you see how emotional he is you know that he’s really into the game,” expressed a now more serious Butler. “You want to go to war, you want to battle with a guy like Jo.”

Look, Jimmy Butler does not dislike Joakim Noah, “Jo’s my guy,” Butler said multiple times in the locker room. But Celtics fans may just find it refreshing to know that someone in the Bulls locker room can justify that he too would hate Noah if he were an opponent. KG might even find it a bit gratifying as well.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

The Celtics have now made nine trades on the season, four of them coming in just the last week. Brad Stevens has joked that he asks Danny Ainge to e-mail him the roster every morning just so he knows who he will be coaching. Evan Turner, who enjoys a good laugh, claimed that the C’s had to take attendance at practice this week to make sure all were accounted for. Bodies are flying in and out of the locker room. Stevens informed the media on Friday that the team will be joined in Los Angeles this weekend by both Tayshaun Prince and Shavlik Randolph.

But all kidding aside, Boston’s young coach feels as though 16-year veteran Gerald Wallace is as important as anyone throughout all the changes.

“I’m not too worried about chemistry in the locker room, and large credit for that goes to Gerald Wallace,” Stevens told reporters prior to Friday’s home game against the Bulls. “Because of the way he, at his age, has accepted his role and how he talks to the young guys. It kind of makes everybody else say ‘I’m going to do what I can the right way every time.’ So I give him a lot of credit for that.”

Wallace is in a unique situation. The former All-Star is not in the C’s rotation at the moment, and when he is he plays minimal minutes, yet is still expected to lead. Not only by his coach, but by his young teammates.

“It’s a challenge for sure,” Jae Crowder admitted after Thursday’s practice about the team’s ability to remain focused. “I think that’s when guys like Gerald Wallace have to step up.”

Turner goes as far as to refer to Wallace as “uncle”, although he couldn’t resist taking a shot at his elder: “You got two types of uncles, there’s the cool ones and the ones that don’t want to be bothered, and he’s the latter.”

So the next time you see a shot of Wallace sitting on the C’s bench, remember that his role is not quite that simple. “G”, as he’s known around the league, is looked up to by Boston’s youthful locker room. That makes him a key contributor to this rebuild simply by example.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow 

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

In a series of smaller moves, the Celtics have adjusted their roster once again.

In a series of smaller moves, the Celtics have adjusted their roster once again.

The Celtics finalized a three-team trade that will send Austin Rivers to play in Los Angeles for his father, former C’s and current Clippers coach Doc Rivers, in exchange for a 2017 second-round pick, a $2.4 million trade exception and the expiring contracts of old friend Shavlik Randolph and journeyman Chris Douglas-Roberts.

The Celtics recently acquired the younger Rivers as part of last week’s Jeff Green trade, which also brought Tayshaun Prince‘s expiring deal and a future first-round draft pick (most likely in 2019) to Boston.

In another minor move, the Celtics placed Nate Robinson on waivers. They acquired Robinson earlier this week in exchange for Jameer Nelson, who arrived last month in the Rajon Rondo trade. It’s all very confusing.

In the end, as a result of trading Rondo and Green, the Celtics are left with Jae Crowder, $12.0 million in expiring contracts, three trade exceptions ($12.9 million for Rondo, $5.0 million for Brandan Wright and $2.4 million for Austin Rivers) and what will most likely be two first-round picks (Dallas’ in 2016 and Memphis’ in 2019) and four second-round picks (Dallas’ in 2016; Minnesota’s in 2016 and 2017; and the Clippers’ in 2017).

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach