Posted by Tom Westerholm on Dec 11, 2013 (1 hour ago)
The Celtics tried really REALLY hard to ruin Doc Rivers’ return to the TD Garden. Nobody was particularly efficient, but everyone was engaged from the beginning as the Celtics tried for the second time in as many nights to beat a returning long-time member of the franchise.
In the end, there was just a little too much firepower — Jamal Crawford’s two 3-pointers in the last few minutes were back breakers — and a little too much scoring around the basket on the Clippers roster, and the Celtics were outgunned.
There were still plenty of positives to go around, and Ryan will be by later tonight to grade the performances, but for now, here’s the tribute to Doc Rivers the Celtics played after the first quarter (with a…questionable choice of background music). Big ups to Boston’s classy fans for cheering Doc’s accomplishments, rather than booing his messy exit.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.
Posted by Adam Lowenstein on Dec 11, 2013 (7 hours ago)
Los Angeles at Boston
7:30 P.M. ET
Boston: 98.8 points/100 possessions (T-22nd)
Los Angeles: 105.1 points/100 possessions (5th)
Boston: 100.5 points allowed/100 possessions (11th)
Los Angeles: 100.4 points allowed/100 possessions (10th)
Probable Clippers Starters:
Chris Paul (PG), Willie Green (SG), Jared Dudley (SF), Blake Griffin (PF) & DeAndre Jordan (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: ClipperBlog
Thumbnail: Hope you are ready for The Reunion: Part II. Just 24 hours after the Celtics tipped off in Brooklyn for their first regular season game against Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, they will do the same in Boston as the TD Garden hosts Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Oddly, these teams have more commonalities than were expected when the season began. Heading into Wednesday’s contest, both own a 6-4 record in their last 10 games, and both lead their respective divisions by 1.5 games.
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Posted by Tom Westerholm on Dec 11, 2013 (9 hours ago)
As the season has progressed, the B, R, A, D, S, T, E, V and N keys on my laptop have been receiving extra abuse, and that’s not likely to change, especially on days where Celtics Hub editor emeritus Zach Lowe talks one-on-one with Boston’s new coach for Grantland. Stevens had a ton of interesting insights into the season so far, and Lowe asked all of the right questions, but here are a couple of particularly relevant excerpts from the piece, but go read the entire thing.
Lowe: Was there a “Come to Jesus” talk with Jordan Crawford? [...]
Stevens: I never had it.
Stevens: It was more about talking collectively about: “What do we all do well?” And then thinking about what our teammates on the floor do well, and how we all can make them better at what they do. There are very few guys in the NBA who don’t have things they don’t do well.Some of the better players don’t have very many, but everybody is here because they have a strength. So you just try to find your strengths and soar with them.
[Crawford] has done a good job of recognizing his strengths and recognizing his teammates’ strengths. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Brendan Jackson on Dec 11, 2013 (11 hours ago)
Could have used this fist of justice against Brooklyn
The Celtics tried to combat the superior size of the Brooklyn Nets with speed and quickness and got burned for it. The tandem of Brook Lopez backing down all challengers and Kevin Garnett hitting midrange jumpers worked perfectly against the smaller Celtics front line. The C’s have enough tape on Garnett to know how to stop him but unfortunately it’s all been moved to the Media Relations department in preparation for the most epic of all montage videos (expect Coldplay, Paula Cole, and Bee Gees as all part of the musical accompaniment). Had Brad Stevens properly scouted Lopez he would have assigned assistant coach Rajon Rondo the duty of drawing him pictures of Wolverine. It’s the best way to render Lopez powerless.
Luckily, the Celtics will get a chance to revamp their strategy for when they Nets come to town. They will have the time to devise a way to keep Lopez from playing like that one 6′ tall kid on your fifth grade travel team. They need to make Lopez play like that same kid only in his junior year of High School. You know, when he never grew again while simultaneously not developing any guard skills. Given Stevens recent flirtation with playing small really hitting the honey moon stage, the C’s will likely be seeing a lot Junior High Lopez. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Tom Westerholm on Dec 11, 2013 (23 hours ago)
Emotions were mixed in Boston's loss to Brooklyn on Tuesday.
“There is no greater sorrow than to recall a happy time when miserable.”
- Dante Alighieri
“I love those guys. They’re going to continue to fight. That’s that Celtics pride.”
- Paul Pierce
To do Dante’s quote full justice, it should be noted that Celtics fans are not, at the moment, miserable. “Miserable” would be 3-19, slogging through an awful season while discovering that Brad Stevens, Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk are all busts and learning that Rondo’s injury was worse than we thought. “Miserable” would be having a 5-15 record, no draft pick and an owner determined to control things he doesn’t understand (looking at you, New York). “Miserable” would be old Jordan Crawford running the point as opposed to the current Crawford.
The Celtics are not miserable.
But it’s impossible not to get nostalgic seeing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in different uniforms, and I got the impression it wasn’t easy for them to suit up opposite the Celtics either. How could it be? For the past few years, they have played alongside the majority of the players on Boston’s roster with a combative us-against-the-world mentality. Now, Garnett has to muster the energy to yell at Jared Sullinger, his protege and front-court mate last year. Paul Pierce has to try to beat and defend Jeff Green one-on-one. Garnett and Sullinger would have had a fair amount of practice battles, as would Pierce and Green, but that’s not the same for obvious reasons.
Pierce says he remembers Celtic pride, and that makes sense since he embodied it for most of his career. 2008 was a happy time. 2009-2013 was a happy, if bittersweet, time. Recalling that while suffering through a start like Brooklyn’s may be truly miserable for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, and the Brooklyn draft pick notwithstanding (or the Atlanta pick, however that shakes out), it has been sad to see this team get decimated night in and night out.
All that said, Brooklyn looked a lot better tonight, and Nets players not named Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett played well. It made a big difference for Brooklyn having Deron Williams and Brook Lopez together and back in the lineup, which should come as a surprise to exactly nobody. Lopez dominated Boston’s small front line, scoring 24 points on 10-for-13 shooting, while Williams put together an efficient line of his own, scoring 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting. We can probably hold off writing Brooklyn’s final eulogy until we see them consistently at full health — the Nets team we saw tonight was completely different than the one that got eaten up by the Knicks less than a week ago. As it turns out, having talented players sometimes makes a team better.
Current Celtics players also played tonight as well, and we should probably grade them. But before we do, we should note that if tonight’s game represents a turning point for the Nets, it wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise. Pierce and Garnett aren’t Brooklyn’s best players, but they may be the most instrumental in the locker room, and getting tonight out of the way and off their backs may have been big. If tonight’s win makes Brooklyn’s (and by extension, Pierce’s and Garnett’s) season a little less miserable, it’s a loss I personally am more than happy to take.
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