Avery Bradley usually isn’t compared to Larry Bird. During one shot tonight, that changed. The fourth-year guard was in the right spot in the first quarter on Tuesday night, rebounding a Jared Sullinger airball under the basket. Knowing he needed to get off a shot before the shot clock expired, Bradley hoisted up a prayer [...]
We’ve talked about Jared Sullinger quite a bit this week, but he has been playing intriguingly well, so forgive us for continuing the trend. The “Should Sullinger be taking 3-pointers?” argument continues to rage, but last night presented compelling arguments for proponents of the strategy. I wrote about these shots specifically during the preseason, and [...]
Only five NBA teams are humiliated by a less effective offense than the one currently deployed by the Boston Celtics. But being that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, here are a couple parts of that offense we should all be grateful for. (Most notably the fact that it’s run by Brad Stevens, a mastermind [...]
Last season, Jared Sullinger was whistled for 6.2 fouls per 36 minutes. In other words, statistically, even if the Celtics wanted to give him a starter’s minutes, he would foul out before the 36 minute mark. Some of that was on Sullinger — it takes a certain amount of time to adjust to the way [...]
In a playoff-less season, the Celtics really have only one thing to look forward to before lottery night: The return of Rajon Rondo. There are always a few indicators that a player is nearing his return, and one of the first ones is that he is returning to drills during practice. From Gary Washburn’s Twitter [...]
Trade talk hasn’t died down just yet in Boston. Days after Danny Ainge confirmed to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald that the team was engaged in discussions with other teams pertaining to their veteran pieces of the roster, we have another report surfacing today from Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report on potential talks between the Celtics [...]
Thumbnail: The Celtics arrive at the site of a catastrophe tonight in Auburn Hills. The once-feared Detroit Pistons have been brought to their knees, mired in another losing season, with an overpriced, unbalanced roster and now – internal squabbles, as shooting guard Rip Hamilton has reportedly quit on the team.
The Celtics are back-to-back’ing tonight so there’s always the possibility of an underwhelming performance, but this game is entirely theirs for the taking. You won’t find a more messed up franchise than the Pistons anywhere in the NBA.
Still, there will be some drama in watching Kevin Garnett’s matchup with Villanueva, who, of course, accused KG of calling him a ‘cancer patient’ during the Celtics’ 109-86 win on November 3. Whatever Garnett said, it’s clear he has little respect for Villanueva and will look to take it to him tonight. Let’s see if Charlie V is up to the challenge.
Of course, despite that promise of chippiness, the game may not quite live up to this Pistons-Celtics clash of yore:
WHAT THE PISTONS DO WELL:
Shoot the three ball: The Motor City team is firing at 37.7%, good for 7th in the league. Their prime gunners are Hamilton (40.9%), Austin Daye (41.9%), Gordon (40.2%) and Villanueva (37.1% on a whopping five shots a game). The name of the game for the C’s will be taking away open looks from the arc. Because after that, the Pistons, who have no interior offensive presences to speak of, are reliant on mid-range shots, and in the halfcourt game at that (they’re the fourth slowest team in the league).
Take care of the ball: The Pistons are 4th in the league, with a 12.8 turnover rate.
WHAT THE PISTONS DO POORLY:
They’re poor at, well, defense, the perfect tonic for a struggling Celtics’ offense. This is attributable in large part to the alleged Detroit big man corps, which includes Villanueva, a finesse 4, Wallace, an aged, undersized 5, Greg Monroe, a rookie big, and Chris Wilcox, an undersized 4. It does not include anyone who can body up on Shaquille O’Neal or stop KG in the post if he’s motivated to get down there and work it. Nor does it include anyone with great athleticism.
How exactly did Joe Dumars think this group was going to get it done?
PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY:
Isiah Thomas. Vinnie Johnson. Mark Aguirre–
They’re long gone.
So, no one then, other than Gordon, who has made a career out of cooking up the Celtics:
PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY:
Despite all the injuries and the back-to-back games – the Celtics.
Shaq’s well-rested (he’s played only 29 minutes the last two games) so look for Boston to establish he and Garnett down low early on. Nate Robinson should also have fresh legs after sitting out much of last night.And after a mediocre showing against the Pacers, the C’s starters will be looking for redemption.That group rarely puts in more than one ho-hum effort in a row, no matter who’s healthy enough to play.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM BOSTON TONIGHT:
A blowout victory.
More minutes for Avery Bradley (and maybe a made basket or two?).
A Luke Harangody sighting.
Jermaine O’Neal showing he’s not ready to be put out to pasture just yet.
Of course, I realize how stupid I’ll look if the Pistons come out and take it to the C’s and pull off the upset. If that happens, feel free to direct your sarcasm and mockery at Brendan, who’s back with the post-game recap later tonight.