Glen Davis

Glen Davis

You would think Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis would have a certain amount of appreciation for Doc Rivers.

It was the former Celtics head coach who brought Davis into the NBA via the 2007 draft, and then brought him over to the Clippers for the 2014-15 season. Evidently, those turn of events don’t matter much to the current free agent.

There are definitely some hard feelings coming from Davis.

Appearing on Chris Broussard’s podcast, the former Celtic called Rivers “lucky as hell” and “overrated” when asked about his former coach.

According to FoxSports.com, this is how the exchange went …

Davis: Because what Doc had in ’08 was special and he was lucky as hell … Lucky as hell. The year before that they was wearing trash bags … But then the next year they win it, now he is one of the best coaches ever? I’m just not feeling that. You know what I mean? You give credit to KG. You give credit to Paul Pierce. You give credit to Ray Allen. Those are the guys who made sure whatever Doc needed to be done, got done.

And see now it’s easy for Doc to do his job. And then you give credit to Danny Ainge. That’s the one you give credit to. Because I know multiple times [Ainge] had to talk to Doc, just to say ‘Hey Doc, leave em alone. Hey Doc, ease up.’

“I’m off that Doc tip. He’s a great guy but as far as that basketball stuff but I try to …”

Broussard: Is he overrated as a coach?

Davis: I think so.

Broussard: Really?

Davis: Yea.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart keep coming up huge when it matters most. 

But unfortunately for the Celtics the officials decided Thursday’s game. 

Feb 16, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives past Chicago Bulls guard Michael Carter-Williams (7) during the second quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Thomas (4) drives past Chicago Bulls guard Michael Carter-Williams (7) during the second quarter at the United Center. (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports)

Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart keep coming up huge when it matters most. 

But unfortunately for the Celtics the officials decided Thursday’s game. 

Jimmy Butler hit two free throws with 0.9 seconds left when Marcus Butler was called for grazing the right elbow of the shooter by referee Zach Zarba on the baseline. The two free throws were the difference in Chicago’s 104-103 win at the United Center. TV replays showed Smart didn’t make contact. 

A brutal call by Zarba at the worst time. Butler and Thomas each finished with 29 points. 

After a timeout trying to inbound, Al Horford missed a 16-foot shot at the buzzer as the Bulls were bailed out. 

“We not going to be derailed by that,” a tight-lipped Brad Stevens told reporters after. Stevens was irate at the moment the call was made. 

Thomas and Smart stayed on the court for nearly a minute after the final buzzer and stared down Zarba. Before the call, the Celtics were poised for another clutch win in the fourth. 

There was a mindset and thought as recently as three years ago in Brad Stevens’ first year in Boston that the Celtics still needed Rajon Rondo to be apart of their next charge at a title.

But in that 2013-14 season, he missed the first 40 games recovering from an ACL injury the year before. He was named the 15th captain in team history. One year later, the disenfranchised Rondo was traded away to Dallas and the Celtics haven’t looked back. The Celtics made the playoffs that year, Stevens’ second as head coach. After 48 wins last season, the Celtics are making a run at the No. 1 seed this year.

Rondo has played for Sacramento and now Chicago.

It’s somewhat appropriate that Thomas – the man that helped the Celtics move on from the Rondo era – set a new franchise mark with his 41st straight game of at least 20 points Thursday night in the loss to the Bulls at the United Center in the final game before the All-Star break. The Celtics head into the break with a 37-20 mark, three games behind Cleveland for the top spot in the East.

For a full box score and statistical recap of Thursday’s game in Chicago, click here.

Rondo twisted his left ankle badly with three minutes left in the second quarter but in the time he was on the court, he clearly was inspired to prove he could hang with and defend Isaiah Thomas. To an extent, he was successful, holding Thomas to just two points over the first 15 minutes of the game. Rondo, coming off Chicago’s bench, was held scoreless in 20 minutes, missing all five shots from the floor, dishing out eight assists with seven rebounds. 

The Bulls were without Dwyane Wade, out for the third straight game with a bruised wrist and flu-like symptoms.

The duo of Amir Johnson and Al Horford came out on fire, combining to hit their first eight shots from the floor. The Celtics raced out to eight-point leads three times, including 22-14, midway through the first quarter. The Bulls closed the period on an 8-3 run to close to within 25-22 heading into the second quarter.

Isaiah Thomas didn’t light up the scoreboard in the opening 12 minutes, scoring just two points. But he dished out five assists as the Celtics found offensive rhythm early.

Thomas scored the final 13 points of the second quarter as the Celtics grabbed a 58-52 halftime lead. The Celtics were 10-of-21 from 3-point range while the Bulls, the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA, were just 2-of-12.

The Celtics were pounded on the offensive glass in the third quarter as the Bulls caught fire and took a 75-68 lead midway through the period. Thanks to a late run, featuring a three from Kelly Olynyk, the Celtics closed to within two, 81-78, heading into the fourth.

Olynyk caught fire in the fourth quarter with a pair of threes and a three-point play that kept Boston close. Terry Rozier’s three from the left wing tied the game at 92 with six minutes left. Then Isaiah Thomas drove the paint and converted a layup with 5:45 left to put Boston up, 94-92, and give Thomas the new franchise mark with his 41st straight game of at least 20 points, breaking John Havlicek’s old mark set back in the 1971-72 season. 

Thomas drained a three with 3:42 remaining to put the Celtics ahead, 97-94. With Jimmy Butler hounding him on defense, Thomas beat the Bulls best player with an up-and-under move for a layup with 2:30 left for a 99-98 lead. His two free throws with 1:56 put the Celtics up, 101-98.

As expected, Avery Bradley missed his 16th straight game with a sore right Achilles while Jaylen Brown sat out his third straight game with a sore hip. Brad Stevens is hopeful that both could return to practice after this weekend’s All-Star break as the team returns to action on Feb. 24 in Toronto.

JBL_CMYK_NoHarmanNoRBallWEEI is how you listen to Celtics coverage. JBL cutting-edge wireless headphones and speakers are how you feel like you’re there. As the official Sound of the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas and the NBA, JBL is Made for the Biggest Stage.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Feb 15, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) competes for the ball against Philadelphia 76ers guard Nik Stauskas (11) in the second half at TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the 76ers 116-108. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Smart competes for the ball against Philadelphia 76ers guard Nik Stauskas (11) late in the game at TD Garden. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Danny Ainge watched this week as the Raptors made a big push to re-claim their position atop the Eastern Conference with Cleveland when they acquired forward Serge Ibaka from the Magic.

But what the Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations has also watch is the emergence of one of his own players into a legit force on the team that has pushed its way past Toronto in the East and sits just two games back of Cleveland in the East.

What Marcus Smart has done in the last two weeks has been eye-opening.

In Boston’s 11-1 run to second place in the East and first in the Atlantic Division, Smart is averaging 12.3 points, 5.4 assists, four rebounds and an eye-popping 2.3 steals a game. Of course, that last number got a huge bump Wednesday night with eight swipes against the Sixers in a 116-108 win at TD Garden.

A 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio is considered good, and that’s exactly what Smart is averaging in the 12-game run, with 2.7 turnovers per game. But throw in his steals and it’s nearly 3-to-1. That’s sensational. Consider that the OPS-plus of basketball.

“I’ve been really trying to elevate my game especially going into the second half trying to keep the momentum alive,” Smart said after Wednesday’s win. “I can honestly say this is the most comfortable I have been in a Celtic uniform. It feels good, not only for myself but to be able to contribute to this team in other ways. It’s definitely something I will continue to try and keep doing.”

If there was a singular play that defines Smart’s play over the last two weeks it was his jumping on Nik Stauskas when Stauskas lost his dribble 20 feet from the basket with three minutes left and the Celtics up, 106-101. He seized the opportunity to grab the ball, which he did for his seventh steal, and fed Jae Crowder for the game-sealing lay-up.

“I saw the ball and went after the ball,” Smart said. “He just happened to be in the way of it.”

“I thought Smart was fantastic. I thought Smart has really strung a bunch of games together here. Made big shots, made timely shots, but then defensively was terrific,” Brad Stevens said. “I think the last couple of weeks have been some of his best basketball. And we needed it. We’re down a couple of bodies and he is playing at a high level on both ends of the floor.

“I think the ankle sprain at the start of the year was kind of an unfortunate kick-off to the year; it set you back a little bit. And then in the last few weeks I just think, like, he’s really found a rhythm and a groove. And it started on the defensive end with guarding at a really high level. I think he’s guarding even better than he did at the start of the year and he’s been good. We need him to, again. We’re down Jaylen (Brown) and down Avery, you’ve got to have those perimeter defenders step up for you.”

With Isaiah Thomas setting all sorts of new franchise scoring marks (now averaging 29.8 points for the season), it would be easy to overlook Smart. But Smart’s efforts in the last week have been the backbone behind Thomas’ sensational season. With Smart locking opponents down defensively, Thomas has been freed up a bit to focus mainly on making sure the Celtics keep scoring at a frenetic pace.

Ainge has a decision to make. Does he want to make a deal in the days leading up to the Feb. 23 deadline to give the Celtics a better chance at making a run at Cleveland? What pieces on his current roster could help him make such a deal? Forgetting, for a moment, the first-round picks the Celtics have in their draft bank, there likely would have to be some legitimate talent swapping places.

This brings us to Avery Bradley. When healthy, Bradley is still considered one of the best on-ball defenders in the NBA. He’s a reigning first-team defensive player. He has one more year left on an extremely team-friendly four-year, $32 million deal. Bradley has also shown this year a significant jump in his offensive production, averaging 17.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range.

He has also missed 15 straight games with a sore right Achilles and 20 of Boston’s first 56 games this season. Add to the fact that the Celtics have not missed his scoring while he’s been out and the temptation gets stronger.

If ever the Celtics were going to deal Bradley for a potential haul coming back the other way, this is it. The Celtics are primed for a run at the Cavs and have the pieces to do it. Whether it’s Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, Carmelo Anthony or Andre Drummond, the Celtics have the capital.

The downside, of course, is that you lose the flexibility of putting Smart and Bradley on the court at the same time if you need defensive pressure to turn around a game. That’s something the Celtics don’t really have right now and something considered crucial come springtime. But that might be something Ainge figures Stevens could easily coach around and plan for in the final two months.

Marcus Smart, considered the heart and soul of the Celtics locker room even more than Thomas, is going nowhere at the deadline. He’s playing his best basketball in a Celtics uniform and Terry Rozier, Gerald Green and an emerging James Young are on the bench in reserve.

The very real possibility exists that Avery Bradley has played his last game in a Celtics uniform. The next week will be a fascinating one to watch.

JBL_CMYK_NoHarmanNoRBallWEEI is how you listen to Celtics coverage. JBL cutting-edge wireless headphones and speakers are how you feel like you’re there. As the official Sound of the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas and the NBA, JBL is Made for the Biggest Stage.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Isaiah Thomas has earned superstar status. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Isaiah Thomas tied two franchise scoring records on Wednesday night at TD Garden. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Isaiah Thomas became the second player in Celtics history to score 20-plus points in 40 consecutive games on Wednesday night at TD Garden. 

Thomas finished with a game-high 33 points in the Celtics’ 116-108 win over the 76ers. He is now tied with hall-of-fame legend John Havlicek, who completed the feat on Jan. 30, 1971.

If Thomas is able to score 20 or more points in Thursday night’s game against the Bulls, he will become first Celtics player to score 20-plus points in 41 straight games. 

Can he make history on Thursday?

“I’m confident I can but like I’ve said, I’m not chasing that,” Thomas said. “Maybe it happens, maybe it doesn’t. I always say it — it doesn’t seem real for my name to be mentioned with certain greats and hall of famers, you know? It doesn’t seem like it should be like that but you know it means I’m doing something [right] and I’m just glad we’re winning on top of it.”

Thomas also made Celtics history from behind the arc in Wednesday’s win when he drained his 168th 3-pointer of the season. He’s now in second place for most 3-pointers made in a single season, tying Ray Allen who finished the 2010-2011 season with 168 3’s.

Antoine Walker holds the franchise record for most 3-pointers made in a single season, he drained 222 3’s throughout the 2001-2002 season. 

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

More Celtics history Wednesday night from Isaiah Thomas in a win over the Sixers at TD Garden. Mike Petraglia and Josue Pavon have the details.

JBL_CMYK_NoHarmanNoRBallWEEI is how you listen to Celtics coverage. JBL cutting-edge wireless headphones and speakers are how you feel like you’re there. As the official Sound of the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas and the NBA, JBL is Made for the Biggest Stage.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Kelly Olynyk is quietly becoming one of the Celtics’ most reliable players off the bench. 

For the fifth straight game, Olynyk led the reserves in scoring. He finished with 16 points on 6-of-8 shots and 7 rebounds in the Celtics’ 116-108 win over the 76ers.  

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk 

Kelly Olynyk is quietly becoming one of the Celtics’ most reliable guys off the bench. 

For the fifth straight game, Olynyk led the reserves in scoring. He finished with 16 points on 6-of-8 shots and 7 rebounds in the Celtics’ 116-108 win over the 76ers.  

His contributions on both ends of the floor has made him a leader for the second unit — one that’s playing without Marcus Smart — and has helped fend off opposition from grabbing big leads while the starters are resting.

Isaiah Thomas finished with a game-high 33 points, Smart added 21 points and Crowder chipped in 18 but it was Olynyk’s effort that not only led the bench but prevented the C’s from falling behind in the first half. He scored 10 of his 16 points in the second quarter as the Celtics and 76ers headed into halftime tied at 61.

Olynyk continued to play well in the second half by pulling down rebounds and defending the paint. He helped the Celtics keep up their offensive momentum before Thomas and the starting unit returned to close out the win in the fourth quarter. 

After a slow start, including December when he averaged a woeful 6.5 points in 18.2 minutes, Olynyk has turned things around this month by making an effort on the defensive end, pulling down rebounds and finding ways to score inside the arc.

Olynyk is averaging 12.7 points in his last eight games, while shooting 56.4 percent from the floor. The biggest reason for the spike in his scoring statistics has to do with his effort in seeking high percentage shots instead of settling for 3-pointers. 

He’s only averaging three 3-point attempts a game while averaging six shots from in or around the paint. And on Wednesday night he finished a perfect 2-for-2 from deep.

Olynyk has not only been making cuts to the baskets and converting layups, he’s also averaging 7 rebounds. He’s made an effort in chasing down boards and boxing out big men — a facet of his game that has always been the biggest knock about the 7-footer, who averages a 4.7 boards for his career. 

Celtics have now won 11 of their last 12 games and will look to make it five straight when they take on the Bulls tomorrow night at Chicago in their final game before the All-Star break. 

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

On a night when Isaiah Thomas tied John Havlicek for the most consecutive games of at least 20 points in Celtics history, Sixers coach Brett Brown gave the Celtics point guard praise worthy of his history-making night. 

“They really can score,” Brown began when asked about the Celtics offense. “They really, really can score. The last two times we’ve played them, with 30 seconds left, it was 100-100, and it was 102-100 the other game. We’re there at the end. The good news is I feel like we’re playing good basketball right now. The bad news is they are playing as good as basketball as I’ve seen them play in a while because I feel they are firing on all cylinders with just firepower.”

CSN Philly’s Jessica Camerato tried to ask an ‘apart from Isaiah Thomas’ question, probing Brown’s thoughts on the rest of the Celtics roster, like the red-hot Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk. But Brown couldn’t help himself. 

“Isaiah Thomas, what he is doing to the NBA and the volume and the volume of points he scores and what he does in fourth periods and what he does in back-to-back games,” Brown said. “You look at what he’s doing to the league right now, he’s an All-Star for a reason.” 

That reason is 29.8 points per game, second only to the 30.8 of Russell Westbrook. He is averaging 10 points a game in the fourth quarter. The Celtics lead the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring at 29 points per game. The Celtics have been closing out close games and Thomas is the numero uno reason. Throw on top of all of that 40 straight games of at least 20 points, and you have a historic performance for a legacy franchise. 

“I know you asked, ‘Apart from Isaiah,’ but you can’t help but talk about him and the firepower they have collectively when you talk about how you try to give yourself a chance to win,” Brown said. “You have to find ways to defend them, and they’re really hard to do that.” 

Then Brown took it to the next level. 

“I mean he’s so unassuming physically. You look at him and it’s not like you’re looking at LeBron or somebody that’s tall and all cut up,” Brown said of the 5-foot-7 guard. “He’s very sort of unassuming when you look at him on a court. And then all of sudden, you start studying him. His ability to control speeds.

“He can go from 80 (MPH) to a 100 back down to 40 back to 90. He really can get you off balance and create separation and that because he can shoot, now lets him dance and get to the rim, take a hit and finish. There’s a toughness in him that you may not think if you just saw him warming or just looked at him. So, his growth in our league and what he’s for this program, you really step back and have tremendous respect for what he’s doing.” 

This, naturally, is nothing new to Brad Stevens. He has been coaching Thomas his entire two years in Boston, since the Feb. 19, 2015 deal that sent him to the Celtics from Phoenix. 

“He’s just gotten better at what he does well, right? He’s a guy that can find his own shot and get his own shot and he’s become even better at making those and being creative with his finishes,” Stevens said in the latest praise heaped on the diminutive guard’s shoulders before Wednesday’s game. “He’s been really accurate with his jump shot from three, whether it’s off the catch or off the bounce. And he’s doing a great job of reading whatever defense you throw at him. I think last time we played Philly he did a great job of reading when they jumped him and played the blitz. Other teams have switched. Some teams have been back, some teams have played him different ways. He’s just getting better and that comes with experience. He’s got the ball a lot in the fourth quarter, specifically. 

“He just does a good job of reading what the defense gives him. I thought the other night, Dallas blitzed him and he made multiple plays that were the right pass to initiate offense to get us where we needed to go. He’s just going to have to read the defense and play the right way.” 

 

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Avery Bradley really wants to get back to playing.

But the Celtics want him 100 percent when the games really matter in April and May.

To that end, Bradley understands the Celtics being ultra-cautious with his sore right Achilles, which is just about fully healed.