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Tag:Boston Celtics
Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:23 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 1:25 am
 

Report Card: Boozer blasts the Celtics

Posted by Royce Young

So Boozer might've blown this layup, but he made a lot more against the Celtics. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Carlos Boozer
I'm not so sure that wasn't Boozer's best game as a Chicago Bull. 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting, 15 rebounds, five assists and a win over the Celtics. Other than blowing a wide open layup, Boozer was on point the entire night, scoring on the block and in the pick-and-roll with C.J. Watson. Boozer has been inconsistent in Chicago, but that type of performance is something that terrifies Eastern teams, especially when you think about it happening without Derrick Rose.
Luol Deng Somebody has to pick up for Rose while he's out and lately, it's been All-Star Luol Deng. Against Boston he finished with 23 points and 10 assists, with 13 points coming in the fourth quarter. It was a game where points came at a premium so every little bit that Deng gave was of big time value. The Bulls scored 89 points and Deng had a part in half of those. That's a big time performance.
 Chris Paul It was a bad three quarters for CP3. He didn't score, didn't assist much and was a part of the Clippers digging themselves into an 18-point hold. But all of that is forgotten because of a terrific fourth. Paul scored all 13 of his points in the fourth and completely owned the last couple minutes hitting a big 3 and two other jumpers to seal a nice Clipper comeback win in Portland. 
Chicago shooters From 3, 10-21 (47.6 percent). From 2, 20-55 (36.3 percent).
Attractive basketball
Just because a game is low scoring doesn't mean it can't be great. There are plenty of games played in the 80s that were well executed. The two national TV games were not. In both games there were just ugly stretches of offense, bad shooting and anything even resembling much flair or flash. Both games were competitive and close, but disgusting. An example from the Bulls-Celtics game: On back-to-back possessions, Carlos Boozer and Kevin Garnett missed wide open layups. It was a missed layup kind of night.
Raymond Felton
F is for Felton. Against the Clips he went 0-7 from the floor, had five turnovers and just two assists. And worse, he was benched by Nate McMillan the last three minutes. Felton's time not just in the starting five might be in trouble, but his place getting real rotation minutes.
Paul Pierce Pierce is being put in spots he's not entirely comfortable with. He's not the type of offensive player that wants to carry a team on his back for 48 minutes. But with as bad as the Boston offense can be, he almost needs to. A 6-16, 14-point effort against the Bulls just isn't cutting it.

E FOR EFFORT
Danny Granger (32 points on 10-for-20 shooting and five rebounds in a win over the Nets)
Kris Humphries (24 points, 11-for-14 shooting, 10 rebounds and three blocks in a loss to the Pacers)
Joakim Noah (15 points and 16 rebounds in a win over Boston)
Blake Griffin (21 points on 9-of-15 shooting and 14 rebounds in a road win over Portland)

Posted on: February 13, 2012 1:00 pm
 

Brandon Bass out 10-14 days

Posted by Royce Young

The Celtics are a team that need their depth because they're older and in this lockout condensed season. But one part of it will be missing for the 10-14 days as Brandon Bass because of an inflammation in his right knee.

Via ESPN Boston:
Bass felt some discomfort in the knee during a win over the New York Knicks on Feb. 3. He sat out the following game against the Memphis Grizzlies, but played in three games last week. Rivers said the news came as a bit of a surprise to him, as he was informed by team trainer Eddie Lacerte on Sunday morning that Bass almost certainly will be out through the All-Star break, which begins Feb. 23.

"We knew his knee was bothering him, but then he got the treatment, and he missed that one game," Rivers said. "There was nothing said after the Toronto game. Then Eddie called me this morning and told me he was out, and out for a while. That was a surprise."

The Celtics are already kind of scratching and clawing their way along so losing their top reserve player for two weeks isn't something to just dismiss. Boston needs their depth as much as anyone and have already been hit hard by injuries and other things.

Behind him the Celtics have Chris Wilcox, but he's been starting because of an injury to Jermaine O'Neal. Rookie JaJuan Johnson saw big minutes Sunday against the Bulls and produced relatively well.

Bass, who was acquired for Glen Davis right before the season, is averaging 11.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, both career-highs.
Posted on: February 12, 2012 6:24 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 11:27 pm
 

Report Card: Celtics survive Rose-less Bulls

Posted by Royce Young

 Rondo put together maybe the finest lines of the season when his team needed it most. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Rajon Rondo
Rondo's line: 32 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds. That, boys and girls, is quite the triple-double. When the Celtics needed something from someone the most, Rondo was there. He played his best game of the season, albeit against C.J. Watson and not against Derrick Rose. Still, he stepped up big time for Boston and carried his limping team to a win.
Kobe Bryant
Kobe isn't always as clutch as some like to pretend he is, but he still can hit that shot that breaks your back. With the Lakers looking at an ugly loss in Toronto, Kobe drilled an impossible baseline jumper to put L.A. up one, which they held on to for a tougher-than-expected win over the scrappy Raptors. 27 points on 23 shots is probably more "B" worthy and the Lakers won this game because of Pau Gasol but who cares, game-winner!
Boston Celtics
The Celtics need wins any way they can get them. And if that means beating the Bulls without Derrick Rose, so be it. It's still a win over the East's best team (record wise), which counts for something. Boston had dropped two straight including a bad one to the Raptors. The Celtics tried to blow a 14-point lead late in the fourth but held on to put away a nice win. So they didn't have to beat Rose. Boston's taking them any way it can get them. Besides, the Bulls have played pretty well without Rose and the rest of that roster isn't trash.
Chicago Bulls Down three with a minute left, you know Tom Thibodeau had to be looking at Derrick Rose thinking, "Hmm, maybe I could squeeze just a minute..." Even without their MVP, the Bulls battled back from 14 down and had a real chance to completely devastate the Celtics. They came up short, but it was definitely a noble effort. And finished 6-3 on a nine-game road trip.
Boston's "Big 3"
Good thing Rondo did the heavy lifting, because the Celtics' Big Three certainly did not. Kevin Garnett's help defense was terrific, but in terms of the box score, Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce combined for just 33 points on 12-27 shooting. Again, Rondo had 32 by himself.
C.J. Watson Filling the shoes of Derrick Rose is like stepping into a couple size 50s. C.J. Watson has done serviceable work, but he was very average against Boston. He gave up a triple-double to Rondo and while he had 23 points, he needed 23 shots to get it and took a miserable, contested deep 2-pointer with 22 seconds left and the Bulls down three.
Chicago's bench
Most like to call the Bulls' bench mob the best in the league, but they were completely worthless Sunday. A total of 16 points on 6-23 shooting from the Chicago reserves. John Lucas III actually was their top scorer off the pine with eight. That's not going to get it done when you don't have Rose. 
Scott Foster
The same official that blew the goaltending call in the Portland-Oklahoma City game appears to have gaffed again with a crucial late call in the Toronto-Lakers contest. The Raptors had possession with four seconds left down 93-92, taking the ball out at midcourt. With Dwane Casey trying to call a timeout from the bench, Foster called the Raps for a five second call after failing to get the ball in. Problem is, besides missing the timeout from Casey, is Foster appeared to blow the whistle at four seconds. (Update: The NBA says Foster got the call right with the official time being 5.8 seconds. He still didn't award Casey a timeout though.)

Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:24 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: LeBron and Linsanity

By Matt Moore



In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5, Ken Berger talks Lakers-Celtics, the power in the East, and what to blame LeBron for this week. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS

1. There's a common refrain in your column from Lakers-Celtics Thursday and others, which is that it was a fun rivalry game (even if neither team shot over 40%), but there's a definite sense that neither team is in a position to contend. I argued yesterday neither team is dead. What's the big key for Boston, outside of just being healthy? Is there one? Or do they just have to hope the same formula works two years later?

KB: It's mostly the same formula for Boston, and it's a pretty damn good formula as long as Pierce, Allen, Rondo and Garnett remain upright. The key for the Celtics is getting more size (to contend with Dwight Howard and to protect the rim from Derrick Rose, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade). Jermaine O'Neal isn't going to cut it. The Lakers need a point guard who can get into the paint in the worst way.

2. Is it accurate to say that it's shaping up where one team out of the Lakers, Mavericks, and Nets is going to be completely screwed after this summer? Dwight can't go to all places at once. 

KB: Well, some are in more danger than others. The Nets and Magic (take your pick in terms of what order) are most vulnerable. If the Lakers don't get him, at least they still have Kobe, Bynum and Gasol. If the Mavs get neither Dwight nor D-Will, they'll still have Dirk and the flexibility to upgrade in a vibrant free-agent class. But if the Nets don't get Howard, chances are they lose Williams. A fascinating game of musical stars.

3. What's the one team in the top of the East which isn't an Eastern Conference Finals contender? Who's the fraud?

KB: No frauds, really. I see seven locks (Chicago, Miami, Philly, Boston, Orlando, Atlanta and Indiana). In the battle for eighth, it's Milwaukee (missing Andrew Bogut) and the multiple-personality Knicks. The Cavs shouldn't be dismissed, as GM Chris Grant has been patient with the assets he received for LeBron and could make a move if the fit is right. In a short season, strange things can and usually do happen.

4. After seeing Philly up close this week, what are your thoughts on the job Doug Collins has done there?

KB: Tremendously impressed with Collins and the Sixers. Love how they defend and play unselfish team basketball. If they get a consistent post scorer, they could possibly be a conference finalist. Depends on whether they want to be patient or try to make a big move while the opportunity is there. Sometimes, those moves are the ones that blow up on you, though.

5. LeBron James went on a little rant this week about people blaming everything, including being out of milk, on him. What's your favorite thing to blame on LeBron? /eyeroll

KB: I blame LeBron for Linsanity. Somebody has to.
Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:39 am
Edited on: February 10, 2012 1:48 am
 

Report Card: Bynum and Gasol dominate Boston

Posted by Royce Young

 Bynum is an All-Star and Gasol got snubbed, but played like one anyway against the Celtics. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Bynum and Gasol
The Lakers needed something from their terrific interior duo and they got it, as Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol combined for 41 points and 31 rebounds. They gave the Lakers just enough inside and on the glass to overcome a rough night and beat the Celtics. Plus, Gasol had the game-winning block of a Boston layup.
Houston bench
 The Rockets bench combined for 57 points and here were their plus/minus numbers in a win over the Suns: +18, +27, +25, +17. +22.
Sacramento Kings
The Kings deserve a whole lot of credit for beating the Thunder in their only national television appearance. They closed the game on a 19-6 run, "forced" 23 turnovers and have now won four of five and are a two-point loss to the Wolves away from winning five straight. Still, it wasn't a clean performance and you could tell the Kings weren't entirely sure where to go for points late but caught OKC in a couple bad rotations as Marcus Thornton hit two big 3s. The team still has work to do.
The Lakers-Celtics game in general A close overtime game, featuring the biggest rivalry in the NBA, but it was mostly ugly for about 47 minutes. There were some big shots and some big plays, but both teams shot under 40 percent and both teams looked old and out of sync at times.
Houston starters
The Rockets starting five combined for 39 points and here were their plus/minus numbers: -15, -13, -16, -16, -14.
Denver Nuggets The Nuggets have dropped six of seven after working themselves into the conversation of the best in the West. The Warriors did the work, behind 36 from Stephen Curry who had 36, but the Nuggets aren't looking like the elite team we all thought they were going to be. It could be just a bump in the road, as they're without some key players, but it could mean something more as well.
Thunder ball security
Oklahoma City blew a chance to lock up Scott Brooks' coaching the Western All-Stars with a 106-101 loss to the Kings. But what killed the Thunder most was 23 turnovers and 17 Sacramento rebounds. That added up to 22 more shots for the Kings and a loss for OKC.

Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:51 pm
 

Video: Celtics start offense by snapping the ball

Posted by Royce Young



Primetime spotlight game on TNT against a hated rival. The Celtics need to come out focused, ready and ready against the Lakers. They win the tip, the ball falls to Kevin Garnett and here we go.

What does he do? He bends over like he's a deep snapper and snaps the ball back to his punter, in this case being Rajon Rondo. And to top it off, Rondo snaps it to himself after that. Was that basketball's version of the fumblerooski? Or the Celtics just coming out loose and confident?

I don't know why the Celtics did that, but I would approve of that becoming a little tradition.

Via BDL
Posted on: February 9, 2012 4:30 pm
 

The Lakers, Celtics, and a window propped open

The Lakers and Celtics don't seem like contenders this year, but has their window really closed? (Getty Images)


By Matt Moore
 

Lakers vs. Celtics just doesn't have the same umph to it it usually does, does it?

I mean, it's not like we're talking about lottery squads. The Lakers are 14-11, the Celtics 14-10. Neither team is below .500 even if neither team is remarkably above. Kobe Bryant? Still walking into the Garden Thursday night. Same for Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo. The only real players missing from their titanic clashes over the past four years are Kendrick Perkins, feuding with LeBron over someone else's dunk on him, and Lamar Odom, struggling to be the Lamar Odom he was with the Lakers without the Lakers, (or Phil Jackson). The cast of characters is essentially still in place.

But this feels more like a sideshow game, a "don't call it an old timer's game" than a showdown between contenders. Suddenly it's the Lakers and Celtics trying to prove that they can still do it, can still facedown the younger, hungrier teams and make a run at the title.

The Lakers are lethargic. Everything on offense seems so difficult. Kobe Bryant's brilliant scoring numbers are lauded by scribes who aren't bothering to check how many shots he's putting up. We've gotten to the point where Lakers fans are more consciously aware of where Bryant is at in his career than the scribes who are paid to watch on a nightly basis. Because "Kobe Bryant, once and always scoring king" is a better story. Let's not get this confused. Bryant's not Joe Johnson here. He's got a 23.4 PER. He's shooting 44 percent from the field. But the reality is that Bryant's forcing this, as much as he's ever forced it. Maybe he has to because of he offense, which seems to meander between helpless and workman-like. The Lakers are winning more games than they're losing. But they're also losing so many games they once dispatched with ease.

The Celtics are just sloppy. They're on a tear, a five-game winning streak, and have been pounding teams back into the dirt. But there are still long stretches where you can tell the Celtics just struggle with what to do. Paul Pierce has picked up his play, Ray Allen is still knocking down shots, and Kevin Garnett is still doing Kevin Garnett things. But there's a general lack of cohesion, a lack of precision, a failure to execute cleanly that we've seen in the past. This is still a very good team. But it doesn't feel like the Celtics of old.

So is Thursday night's game meaningless? Is the window closed?

Absolutely not. Bryant, in the L.A. Times:
Though they may falter on the road and remain in the middle of the playoff pack, Bryant didnt seem overly concerned looking ahead to May.

"I don't know too many people that are comfortable playing us, know what I mean?" he said, smiling.

He hoped the Lakers could snare some momentum over the next couple of months, gradually improving as the regular season winds down."If you figure things out going into the postseason and you get a good rhythm, that's what you want, especially in a short season," he said.
via Lakers FYI: Kobe Bryant says other teams are still worried about the Lakers - Los Angeles Times.

Bryant's on target here. Because the same thing that ensures neither team will be able to acquire a top-three seed in all likelihood is the very thing that ensures that trying to dig them out of the playoffs will be like getting shrapnel out of wood with a spoon.

Experience.

There's a not-so-secret adage that says that young teams don't win titles. Experienced teams do. The Spurs, the Celtics, the Lakers, the Mavericks. The Mavericks spoke very strongly last spring of the benefits of having players who knew how to respond, to keep their cool, to execute consistently. The Celtics and Lakers have precisely those teams.

This season is about survival, it's about simply managing to get through this brutal, compact season, avoid long-term injuries and make it into the dance, so to speak. Once that happens, the game changes. The pace slows down, where the Celtics are more comfortable. The Lakers' length and size become dramatically different in terms of impact. Kobe Bryant's efficiency becomes less important because all efficiency is impacted by the style of play. Pau Gasol's versatility becomes an asset. The Celtics' savvy in drawing and avoiding fouls frustrates teams. Does that mean that either will be representing their conference in the Finals? Not necessarily. But it does mean that dealing with them will not be easy. The Heat may have dismissed the Celtics last season, but there's no reason to think the Celtics can't turn a few more opportunities into wins. The Lakers were trounced by a Mavs team that no longer exists. In fact, the Lakers could very well be a different team in a matter of weeks. 

The Boston-L.A. rivalry resumes Thursday night, and it doesn't feel the same as it once did.

But maybe it will provide both with a reminder of how good they can be, and how very much they would like to see the other again sometime in June.
Posted on: February 7, 2012 11:25 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 11:32 pm
 

Report Card: Pacers survive, Pierce passes Bird

Paul Pierce took over No.2 on the Celtics' all-time scoring list and the Celtics improved to 14-10. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore


Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was. We want to hear your grades of the night on Twitter at @EyeOnBasketball.


Paul Pierce On a night where Pierce passed Larry Bird on the Celtics' all-time scoring list, the Truth was doing everything for the surging Celtics. His shooting percentage was nothing great, but 8 rebounds and 9 assists with just two turnovers to go with 15 points is excellent work. Pierce took a step up the Green's list of point producers, but it's his overall play that makes him a Celtic legend. Tuesday night showed why.
Indiana Pacers Played like warrior gods for about 34 minutes. Then utterly collapsed against the power of Paul Millsap while Frank Vogel hung out his second unit to dry. Then managed to slam the door shut thanks to what got them the lead in the first place. When the Pacers are clicking, they can be dominant, but this team is built with too many hustle defenders on the bench and not enough scoring. George Hill's absence hurts, but it goes beyond that. They might consider getting a backup scorer at the deadline. At the same time, a quality win against a good team.
Minnesota Timberwolves The Kings are more game to fight under Keith Smart, but this still should have been a more comfortable win at home. Then again, they didn't have Kevin Love. So basically, they pass, but next time maybe a little better shooting than 41 percent against a horrid defense is in order. 14 assists for Rubio in the win.
Kings final possession All you have are perimeter scorers. All you have are ISO guys. You don't pass well. I'm one of the guys who rails against the ISO-Final-Possession culture in the NBA, but in that situation, down two, give the ball to Thornton or Evans and let them do work out of Isolation. Instead the Kings tried to get inventive and cute. Not a good look. Honestly, DeMarcus Cousins should not be on the floor at the end of the game for the Kings right now. 22 for Thornton in the loss.
Tyrus Thomas 20 minutes. 1-6, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 1 foul, -12 for the game and got into it with Paul Pierce on the night he passed Bird on the Celtics' scoring list. Remember when he was going to be a difference maker?
E FOR EFFORT
LeBron James (24 points on 16 shots, 5 boards, 6 assists, 2 steals, excellent passing to close out the Cavs.)
Derrick Brown (10-10 from the field, 20 points, 4 rebounds)
Darren Collison (10-14 from the field, 25 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 turnovers)

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com