Jess Sayin'…

Detailed recaps and updates of Boston Celtics games


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Celtics land sixth pick in 2014 draft

The NBA draft lottery came and went on Tuesday, May 20 with yet another apparent disappointment for the Boston Celtics. The Celts had a 10.3 percent chance of getting the number one overall pick, and a 33 percent chance to get a top three pick. Instead, they came away with the sixth pick as well as the 17th overall pick (in the trade with Brooklyn).

Hear what General Manager Danny Ainge had to say after the lottery.

After the teams were actually placed in an actual order, some more preliminary mock drafts were constructed.

CSNNE Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely had some thoughts about who will be drafted in what order: He picked Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart with the sixth pick and NC State star T.J. Warren with the 17th pick.

Blakely also made a compelling argument that the 17th pick is more important than the sixth pick: Click here for this article from CSNNE.com.

CelticsBlog writer Kevin O’Connor also put together his list for the top 30 picks in the draft on June 26.

O’Connor, in addition to his mock draft looked deeper at possible selections for the sixth pick for Boston.

There will be much more speculation as the next month goes by, but all options for Boston seem compelling, whether it to be to actually take a player with their first pick or make a monster trade for someone such as Kevin Love (which has been mentioned in almost all of my interviews). Don’t sleep on that 17th pick, either.

Buckle up, Celtics fans, it could be a very interesting summer!


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Celtics recap and offseason: Interviews (bloggers Julian Edlow, Kevin O’Connor), podcast and more

As the NBA season came to a close, most Celtics fans have been looking towards the offseason and all the possibilities that could happen to this team after their 25-57 start. I took the opportunity to look back at the season as well as look ahead to the NBA Draft and the offseason. I interviewed CelticsBlog.com writer Kevin O’Connor and CelticsLife.com and WEEI Green Street blogger Julian Edlow to get their thoughts on all things Celtics.


Jess Thomas: What are your opinions on the season as a whole?

Kevin O’Connor:  The season was a success for the Boston Celtics. Brad Stevens managed to establish his identity onto the team, one that works hard and makes progress each and every day, which was the biggest question mark going in. Obviously the team struggled, but that will be a good thing in the long run since there is a good chance they draft a quality player or trade the pick for a proven one.

 

JTWhat was the most satisfying aspect (in a season not full of them) for you this year?

KO: For me, it was the fans. I think it’s amazing that the Celtics had the 11th best attendance (97.2%) in all of the NBA. Other bottom-feeder teams couldn’t fill up the building yet TD Garden was packed every single night. Fans were crazy and some games it was like a playoff atmosphere. It speaks to the loyalty of the fans, but also to the character of the Celtics team and organization.

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Interview with Celtics fan and self-proclaimed analyst Sam Shepherd

Now that the Celtics season is over, it is time to reflect.

I brought in Celtics fan and analyst Sam Shepherd to break down the season for the Green. We cover topics such as the Celtics MVP this season as well as grades for various players.

Will Rajon Rondo be wearing this uniform in the future?

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Photo courtesy of Jess Thomas

 

 

We also look towards the future to potential players the Celtics could go after in the future, how many players from this team will stick around and how the team will fare next season. Enjoy!

Feel free to comment and discuss!


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Boston’s season ends with 118-102 loss to Wizards, clinch fifth seed

The Washington Wizards (44-38) needed to beat the Boston Celtics (25-57) to avoid the Miami Heat (two seed) in the first round of the NBA playoffs. They did just that with a 118-102 win at the TD Garden to win the season series with Boston 3-1. They will be playing the Chicago Bulls in the opening round of the playoffs in a 4-5 matchup. On Fan Appreciation Night, Brandon Bass won the Red Auerbach Award, given to the player who best exemplifies being a Celtic on and off the court. And the fans appreciated the team, despite only 25 wins, as they still chanted “Let’s Go Celtics” during the last few minutes. It was a feel-good night as the Celtics honored the Boston Marathon Bombing survivors at the end of the first quarter to a huge standing ovation.

Storyline of the night: As has been the issue all season, no defense being played by the Celtics. Washington had 68 points at halftime, shooting 61 percent from the field. They were over 70 percent for the majority of the half. They finished with 118 points on 56 percent shooting. They needed a win badly tonight and had no problem picking up the road win over Boston.

Highlight of the night:

Turning point: After the Celtics came back a few times with solid runs, the Wizards put the game out of reach with a 13-2 run to end the third quarter, making the score 91-75. They would only extend the lead there in garbage time in the fourth.

Positives:

  • The Celtics had four players in double figures at the half. Jeff Green had 14 points, Avery Bradley had 12, Brandon Bass with 11 and 10 for Chris Johnson.
  • The second quarter was one of the Celtics better quarters in a while. They shot 63 percent and put up 32 points on the Wiz.
  • After getting in foul trouble early, Kelly Olynyk finished off his rookie season the right way with a big second half, finishing the contest with 24 points. This is his third straight game of 20+ points.
  • Bass, after winning the Auerbach award, scored 16 points and collected seven rebounds: Yet another workmanlike solid effort from B-Bass.
  • Green had 20 points in his 82nd game of the season. He played, and started, every single game this season and made 135 three pointers.

Negatives:

  • Allowing 20 points to Trevor Booker in the first half was not too smooth, as Booker’s career high is 26 points.
  • A slow start cost Boston in this one, giving up 38 points in the first quarter.

The Celtics conclude the season with a 25-57 record, which is the third worst record in franchise history. They were better than only the 2006-07 and the 1996-97 teams. This is the first time that Boston has not made the playoffs since 06-07. With a Los Angeles Lakers victory tonight, Boston will finish tied for the fourth worst record in the league with the Utah Jazz. The draft lottery will be on May 20.

Bright future for Brad Stevens? Tommy thinks so!

More posts to follow.

I’m Jess Sayin…

 


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Celtics downed by Philly 113-108 after Johnson steps out of bounds

The Boston Celtics (25-56) and Philadelphia 76ers (18-63) played a wild last 1:24 of the second-to-last game of the season on Monday as it was a fight to the finish. Philly prevailed 113-108 to win the season series 3-1 over Boston, but it would not be easy. It featured two failed inbounds passes, a foul on a three-point attempt, and three video replay reviews, one of which would uphold a three pointer by Chris Johnson that would have tied the game. His foot was out of bounds and the Celtics lost because of it.

Check out this video from 1:00 to 1:20 for a few of the crazy plays at the end of the game.

Storyline of the night: This game was very back and forth. The score was tied at 33 after one quarter, with high shooting percentages and not much defense played. The second quarter was extremely ugly, with Philly outscoring Boston 34-17 and taking a 67-50 lead into the break. Philly had 46 points in the paint in the half. The script flipped in the third quarter, with Boston taking the 34-19 edge in points and getting within two, at 86-84, after a 19-4 run to end the quarter. The game was close throughout the final quarter all the way until the final possession where Johnson tied the game with 0.9 seconds left, only to find out that he was called for stepping out of bounds.

Highlight of the night: The whole last 1:24 was a highlight in and of itself. But the real highlight was Kelly Olynyk’s career night. He scored a career high 28 points, hitting big shot after big shot. He also had nine rebounds. On Saturday, he had a career high 25 points, only to break it two nights later.

Turning point: The 19-4 run to end of the fourth quarter was a big point, as the Celtics actually made it a ballgame, when it looked like Philadelphia had the potential to run away with it.

Positives:

  • Olynyk, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, and Rajon Rondo led the way for Boston. Olynyk, Bradley, and Green combined for 78 of the 108 points and Rondo had eight points, 11 rebounds, and 14 assists. These four guys spurred the comeback and kept the C’s in it till the end.
  • It was impressive that the team dug in deep to avoid getting routed by Philly. Bradley has four straight games of 20+ points.

Negatives:

  • Philadelphia shot 54 percent from the field. Boston has no answer for the 76ers inside game without Jared Sullinger and Kris Humphries in there, especially in the first half when Philly had 67 points.
  • The C’s committed 17 turnovers.
  • Michael Carter-Williams torched Boston for 21 points, 14 rebounds (career high) and six assists on 9-13 from the field.
  • Losing three out of four to the lowly 76ers is a big negative.

Boston now has one game remaining on the 2013-14 schedule. It has been a rebuilding season with many ups and downs (but mostly downs). Coach Brad Stevens definitely proved that he is here to stay for the future and much change is sure to come in the offseason. Boston will close out the season at home against the Washington Wizards at 8 p.m., which will be a game that could decide lottery position.

I’m Jess Sayin…

 


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Undermanned Celtics throttle Cavs 111-99 (it wasn’t that close)

The Boston Celtics (25-55) seem to be getting stronger as the season draws to a close. They routed the Cleveland Cavaliers (32-48) 111-99 Saturday night to sweep a back-to-back against the Bobcats and Cavs. This is the first two game winning streak since March 7 and 9 against Brooklyn and Detroit. The Celtics were without Rajon Rondo (shin), Jared Sullinger (ankle), Jerryd Bayless (knee), and Kris Humphries (knee). No one would ever know it as Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, and Brandon Bass stepped up in their place. They scored a combined 88 points.

Storyline of the night: This one was a blowout right from the start. The Celtics led 28-18 after one quarter and before anyone could blink an eye, they were up by 15 and would not look back from there. Olynyk had 20 points and eight rebounds in the first half. Bradley had 15 points in the half. Olynyk finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds in 39 minutes as he started the game.

Highlight of the night: Phil Pressey threw down a put-back dunk after a Chris Johnson missed layup early in the second quarter. Who knew Pressey had such ups?

Turning point: The Celtics led by 18 at halftime. Instead of losing the lead, Boston scored the first eight points of the third quarter to extend their lead to 68-42 with 10:38 left in the third. They would take a 31 point to the final quarter. Their biggest lead was 33 points.

Positives:

  • The Celtics had 14 assists on 22 baskets in the first half. The offense was efficient and smooth. Boston scored 60 points in the first half.
  • Bradley finished with 25 points on 9-15 from the field and 5-6 from three. He is 13-16 from the arc in the last three games. It doesn’t get much better than that.
  • Pressey dished out 12 assists tonight, doing his best Rondo impression without the star guard in the lineup.
  • The Celtics held the Cavs to only 41 percent shooting. That was including a 41 point fourth quarter. A solid defensive effort.

Negatives:

  • Well, I have to say giving up 41 points in the fourth quarter. It makes sense though, since Boston only had nine players available to play, they were bound to be tired. Boston has not had a blowout even close to this big, so negatives are not necessary in this post! And this was a road win. That hasn’t happened since February 10 against Milwaukee.

Boston has two more games on the schedule. They play the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly on Monday at 7 p.m. The season concludes on Wednesday at home against the Washington Wizards at 8 p.m. In case anyone was comparing seasons, this Celtics team surpassed the 2006-07 squad in wins with 25.

Winning is nice occasionally! It’s good for the soul.

I’m Jess Sayin…

 


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Boston snaps 9-game streak, defeats Charlotte 106-103 without Rondo

The Celtics (24-55) found out before the game that Rajon Rondo would not play this game because of a bruised left shin. Well, despite not playing with their star, Phil Pressey stepped up in his place and the Celtics pulled out a back and forth victory over the Charlotte Bobcats (40-39) 106-103 to snap their long nine-game losing streak. They executed late in the game, going on a 10-2 run to take a seven point lead late in the game before hanging on for the win.

Storyline of the night: The offense was clicking for both teams in this game of runs as each team cracked the 100 point plateau. Each team shot over 50 percent for the game and the Celtics after blowing a lead, figured out a way to stick together and finish the game together with balanced offense.

Highlight of the night: Tonight was the Pressey highlight reel. He was dishing assists left and right in the first half. He wrapped a pass around Josh McRoberts in the second quarter to Bass for a basket. He also threw a behind the back pass to Avery Bradley for a three pointer. In the third quarter, he got a steal after harassing Chris Douglas-Roberts and gave it to Olynyk for a basket that put Boston up 83-75 at the time. He also came up with the biggest tip of the game, as the Celts led by one and after Jared Sullinger missed a three, Pressey tipped the ball to Brandon Bass, essentially securing the victory. He finished with 10 points, 13 assists, five rebounds, and three steals.

Turning point: After Charlotte made a comeback when the Celtics led by 13, Boston countered with a 10-2 run to take a 104-97 and they would not relinquish the lead from there.

Positives:

  • Six player scored in double figures tonight. Bradley had 22 points, Sullinger had 20, Bass and Jeff Green each collected 18.
  • The Celtics shot 11-23 from beyond the arc. This is the third straight contest that Boston has made 10 or more threes.
  • Nobody missed a free throw tonight. The team was a perfect 13-13, including two huge ones by Sullinger with two seconds remaining.
  • The ability to actually execute late and finish off a victory. These have been few and far between and it was refreshing to see it happen against a playoff team.

Negatives:

  • Boston had nobody to stop old friend Al Jefferson. He lit up the Celts with 32 points and 10 rebounds. It would not be enough to win. He shot 16-26 from the field.
  • The Celtics had 20 turnovers, which is the most in the last handful of games.
  • Jerryd Bayless sprained his knee late in the game and did not return. I wouldn’t be surprised if he sat out the last three games.
  • Despite winning, Boston still allowed Charlotte to shoot 50 percent from the field.

With the victory, Boston moves one game ahead of the Orlando Magic for the third worst record in the Eastern Conference. With the loss, Charlotte falls one game behind the Washington Wizards into seventh place in the East.

Click here for the NBA standings.

Boston will play the Cleveland Cavaliers, another lottery team, tomorrow night on the road at 7:30 p.m. This is a road game. Boston’s last home game will be Wednesday, April 16 against the Wizards. If the Celtics win one of their last three games, they will finish with a better record than the 2006-07 Celtics.

And speaking of those Celtics, Paul Pierce hit the 25,000 points mark for his career tonight. Congrats, Paul!

I’m Jess Sayin…