< Back to front page Text size +

Welcome to BMO Harris Bradley Center for Celtics-Bucks

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 30, 2013 07:07 PM

MILWAUKEE -- Well what do you know? The Celtics, who recently lost six consecutive games and have been encouraged to tank the season by some of their faithful, are a victory from being tied for first place in the Atlantic Division. And they face perhaps the league's worst team in the Bucks, who enter Saturday night having lost 11 straight game and have won once since beating the Celtics on Nov. 1. That's one win in 30 days for Milwaukee.

The Bucks are in turmoil this season but are positioning themselves for a nice lottery pick in June, which may be a better trade off.


PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Jared Sullinger

Inactives: Rajon Rondo

PG Brandon Knight
SG O.J. Mayo
SF Khris Middleton
PF Ekpe Udoh
C John Henson

Inactives: Carlos Delfino, Larry Sanders

Officials: James Capers, Olandis Poole, Leroy Richardson
TV, radio: 9 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

Pregame notes:

• Brad Stevens said forward Courtney Lee is day-to-day with a left knee sprain and could be available Tuesday against the Bucks. Lee missed Friday's game against Cleveland after tweaking the knee Wednesday against Memphis.

• The Celtics will get some much-needed practice time with home games on Tuesday (Milwaukee) and Friday (Denver) before heading to New York next Sunday. Stevens said the club needs consecutive games of practice.

• The Bucks will be without Caron Butler (sore knee) and Ersan Ilyasova (hamstring) for tonight. Henson and Udoh were pressed into starting duty.

• Rajon Rondo and Kelly Olynyk also did not make the trip to Milwaukee. Stevens said it did not make much sense to bring two injured players on a one-game road trip.

Mike Brown and Brad Stevens have unusual link through Brown's son

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 29, 2013 07:32 PM

They stood on opposite sidelines Friday night at TD Garden. Mike Brown coached the Cavaliers, Brad Stevens the Celtics.

But they had an unusual – and, to be fair, rather uncomfortable – connection: Brown’s son, Elijah.

In April, Elijah Brown, a shooting guard out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., signed a national letter-of-intent to play at Butler for Stevens, then the head coach of the Bulldogs.

Before the ink was dry, though, Elijah’s father called Stevens just to feel out the coach, who had been rumored to be leaving.

“I tried to be as candid as I possibly could, as I was with most everybody,” Stevens said. “Certainly you didn’t know if you’d ever leave, but I said it would have to be an extremely unique situation.”

Sure enough, after Doc Rivers left his post as the Celtics head coach, Stevens left Butler to replace Rivers in Boston.

“When I called [Mike] and told him that, he was great to me,” Stevens said.

Elijah has fared well at Butler, where he’s averaging 8.3 points in his freshman season and scored 15 in a 69-67 loss to No. 5 Oklahoma State Friday.

“I’ve said this: He’s in the best program in the country,” Stevens said.

Mike Brown acknowledged that it was a tough situation, but he added that there was a strange side story involved.

When Elijah committed to play at Butler, Mike was out of a job, having been fired as the Lakers head coach. Soon enough, the coaching positions at nearby USC and UCLA became available. Mike immediately thought Stevens would take the UCLA job.

“I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, Brad is going to leave, He’s going to leave,’ ” Mike said. “And the next thing I know, I get a call from Brad and he says, ‘Am I losing a recruit?’ And I said, ‘What are you talking about?' He goes, ‘Is his dad going to UCLA and you’re taking him with you?'

“I’m like, ‘No, I thought you were going to UCLA!'

“He was like, 'No, I thought you were going to UCLA!' ”

Neither one was right. UCLA tried to woo Stevens, but he turned them down. Meanwhile, Mike would later become the Cavaliers coach.

The process was one that forced Mike to be in the position of both a coach and a parent.

“It was tough, and I had to wear both hats to help my son through it,” Mike said. “But again, it helps because we’re in the business. We’re in the profession. Elijah has been in it his whole life. He doesn’t know anything else different – the same with my wife.”

Mike said he has no hard feelings toward Stevens for leaving Butler.

“Brad is such a class guy, and when he did leave, I don’t know if you can handle it any better,” Mike said. “Elijah has been through a lot of that type of stuff but Elijah told me – and he’s going to get mad because I said it this way, but he’s so cute – he called me and said, ‘Dad, when he told me…my knees buckled and I thought I was going to faint…but Dad, I locked my knees and I stood strong.'

"I was like, ‘Good job, buddy.’ ”

There was even more to the story, though.

“I called Danny Ainge and Danny told me, ‘Hey, I’m sorry for screwing with you or messing with you, and because of that, we’ll take [Elijah] in the second round when he comes out,' ” said Mike, laughing. “I also called Doc too, and I said, ‘Doc, you caused this whole thing because you left.'

‘Doc said, ‘Well, if Boston doesn’t take him, we’ll take him here in LA.’

"So, I’ve got him covered.”

Welcome to TD Garden for Celtics-Cavaliers

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 29, 2013 07:20 PM

The Celtics haven't lost five straight at home since the 2006-07 season, one season before the Big Three era began. They'll look to avoid repeating that against the Cavaliers, who have lost four straight overall, most recently against the Miami Heat Wednesday.

CELTICS (6-11)

PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Jared Sullinger

Inactives: Rajon Rondo (knee), Kelly Olynyk (sprained right ankle), Courtney Lee (sore left knee)

PG Kyrie Irving
SG Sergey Karasev
SF Alonzo Gee
PF Tristan Thompson
C Andrew Bynum

Inactives: C.J. Miles (calf)

Officials: Bill Kennedy, Mark Lindsay, James Williams

TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, WBZ FM (98.5).

Pregame notes:

• The Celtics will travel to Milwaukee to play the Bucks Saturday. It will be their final game of a grueling month in which they played 18 games in 30 days.

• Olynyk said his sprained right ankle is improving but there is still no timetable for when he'll return. He suffered the injury in a Nov. 22 loss to Indiana and has missed the past four games.

• Cavaliers power forward Anthony Bennett was drafted No. 1 overall, but he has been disappointing thus far, averaging just 2.0 points and 2.7 rebounds.

• The Cavaliers are 1-8 on the road.

Welcome to TD Garden for Celtics-Grizzlies

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 27, 2013 06:59 PM

The Celtics return home after a successful two-game road trip with wins in Atlanta and Charlotte. Boston will try to avenge a 95-88 loss to the Grizzlies on Nov. 4 at FedEx Forum when Jerryd Bayless was unstoppable in the final quarter. Jeff Green scored 22 points in that earlier matchup. The Celtics have not won at home since a Nov. 11 victory over the Orlando Magic and play again at TD Garden on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Marc Gasol will not play because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. He is expected to miss two months.


PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Jared Sullinger

Inactives: Rajon Rondo

PG Mike Conley
SG Tony Allen
SF Tayshaun Prince
PF Zach Randolph
C Kosta Koufos

Inactives: Marc Gasol

Officials: Tom Washington, Nick Buchert, Josh Tiven

TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

Pregame notes:

• Brad Stevens had nothing but good things to say about Memphis backup center Kosta Koufos, who is averaging 6.1 points and 5.2 rebounds this season. He was acquired for big man depth from the Denver Nuggets for Darrell Arthur.

• Former Celtic Tony Allen said he has no hard feelings against Boston for allowing him to leave via free agency three years ago.

• The Celtics will take Thanksgiving Day off but will have morning shootaround on Friday. Stevens said the team needs more practice time and that will occur in December, when the Celtics have just three road games.

• Keith Bogans did not make the trip to Charlotte but was working out on the treadmill and could be available tonight. Bogans has played in just two games this season.

Celtics mailbag: Explaining the pick from the Nets

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff November 26, 2013 09:57 AM


The Celtics will squeeze in one more game before Thanksgiving Wednesday night vs. Memphis, so we're giving you one more Celtics mailbag before you stuff your face with turkey and green bean casserole.

The first question is one I've gotten several times over the last week, so it's a good place to start.

While I anxiously watch the Celtics standings this season, I also watch that of the Nets. In the case of the Celtics, I want to see them play well and win, but part of me also wants to see them have a poor record for a better draft pick. In the case of the Nets, I am gratified to see them do worse that the Celtics, given that the Celtics own their draft pick for 2014. Is the Nets' pick protected (i.e. from 1-3 picks)?
Robert, Albany, N.Y.

You're right to root against the Nets, Robert, but there's a wrinkle involving the Atlanta Hawks. From RealGM.com:

Brooklyn will convey the less favorable of its 2014 1st round pick and Atlanta's 2014 1st round pick to Boston (via Atlanta's right to swap for Brooklyn) [Atlanta-Brooklyn, 7/11/2012 and then Boston-Brooklyn, 7/12/2013]

Because Atlanta has the right to swap picks with Brooklyn, the Hawks can swoop in and take the pick if, say, the Nets end up with a top-five pick. If both teams are bad, though, the Celtics will wind up with a good pick either way, but at 8-7 the Hawks are currently third in the Eastern Conference. The pick is unprotected, but Atlanta is unlikely to be worse than mediocre.

What the heck is going on with the Nets, by the way? Saddled with the league's largest payroll, at 4-10 they're the NBA's biggest disappointment. Jason Kidd can't coach. Paul Pierce's 13-point average is the lowest of his career. And have you seen Kevin Garnett's shot chart? With Brooklyn leaning on so many older players, there may not be an easy way out of this, either. Danny Ainge's trade is looking better and better.

The mid to bottom of the East is stinking and the Atlantic Division is a mess. My beloved Celtics are 6-10. We have played some pretty good basketball teams the past week or so and I must say I am impressed. With the C's playing better, 11 of our next 15 games at home, and let's hope Rondo returns mid-December, do you think the C's would push for a playoff spot or just tank it all away? I am a delusional fan and I am not in support of tanking.
Hafeez, Arlington, Texas

I wrote about the tanking argument Tuesday, but your points about the schedule and Rondo are good ones. They've got some very winnable games in there, so you're right about them being able to tread water.

That being said, I believe it's better for the franchise if the Celtics lose more games than they win and get a higher draft pick in 2014. Rondo may help that cause. I doubt we see him in mid-December -- he hasn't returned to playing 5 on 5 yet -- and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Celtics ease him back in. Without Rondo, no game is a slam dunk for this team.

This is a good time to transition into three semi-related Rondo questions:



Is there any way Danny allows this team to win 20 Games? I just cant see it with the supposed loaded draft for 2014. I think they will all play hard but Danny will make sure Rondo, Sullinger and Green never play together. What do you think?
Gary, Melrose


With all the rumors about a possible trade of RR...what's the reason for him to stay with the C's? He probably could earn more money elsewhere, and also the chances for his 2nd ring might be better with another team.
Alex, Vienna, Austria

I found it interesting that the first time Rondo met the media this season, on media day, he mentioned Rose within the first 90 seconds of his interview. To me that was a sign that he might take it slow. Fast forward to now, and Rondo could be cleared soon for 5-on-5. If all goes well, a return in a few weeks seems possible, though it wouldn't be surprising if his return was delayed until after the first of the year.

Ainge "allowing" this team to win 20 games falls on the more conspiratorial side of the tanking argument than I'm comfortable with, but it's clear this roster has redundancies and deficiencies that make it difficult to win the maximum number of games now. Rondo's return would remove one major flaw, which is the lack of someone to run the offense.

As for trading Rondo, it's always possible, but his value is lower right now than it could be at the deadline in a few months or at the draft. Danny Ainge is not going to ship his best player out for pennies on the dollar just to lose a few more games.

We'll close with a more pragmatic question.

Do you think there's a possibility of Olynyk playing with Humphries & Green and/or sometimes Wallace in the frontcourt at times this year? I think he can really play the four or five ... if that could happen and be successful, then would the C's move Bass ... like to figure out a way to get bigger up front at times ... Even though I am from Northern Calif. I love the C's.
Gary,Lodi, Calif.

You've hit on all of the problems with the Celtics' frontcourt in one question. Bass has been the team's best big man this season. Humphries should play more, but he, Bass, Olynyk, and Jared Sullinger all occupy the same position. Vitor Faverani is the team's only true "center", but he's not as good as the rest of those guys (he's played well, I just think the others are better). Olynyk needs NBA court time to develop, and he's shown brilliant flashes, but when the Celtics have used him at center their defense has suffered. Any one of these players are fine at power forward, but the pairings leave something to be desired. I'd love to see Humphries and Sullinger get more court time together.

Thanks to everyone who has written in. Happy Thanksgiving.

For Celtics, tanking and winning aren't mutually exclusive

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff November 26, 2013 09:09 AM


Let's start with the word "tanking." In the already hyperbolic sports lexicon, "tanking" is a particularly awful descriptor of one way franchises are built in the modern NBA. You're either a winner or a tanker, the anti-tanking folks say. How can you expect to build a winning franchise on a foundation of losing?

That black-and-white way of looking at the way teams are positioning themselves for the 2014 NBA Draft is both simplistic and misleading. It also serves to anger both sides in the debate. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge positively bristles when he's asked whether or not his team is throwing in the towel.

"We are not tanking," Ainge told the Globe in July. "That's ridiculous. This is the Boston Celtics."

Pressed on the subject a couple of weeks ago on the Toucher & Rich show, Ainge said of fans who think the team is tanking, "They're not paying attention. They’re not watching all the games. They’re not watching all the exhibition games and they’re not at practice. That certainly is not the case. Anybody that’s informed that sees what goes on day-to-day would not make those conclusions.”

If the definition of the word is tanking is "trying to lose", Ainge has every right to be indignant. Pay attention long enough and it's clear the Celtics aren't throwing games. They've won two straight on the road. Brad Stevens is a good coach. The roster is full of serviceable NBA talent, from promising second-year big man Jared Sullinger to established veterans like Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries. Despite facing more talented teams, the Celtics have competed in almost every game. That's a testament to Ainge and the character and preparation of the players he's assembled.

There's a large gulf, however, between intending to lose and positioning your resources toward future success rather than immediate rewards. Ainge's actions suggest a long-term approach, from parting with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to signing Stevens to a six-year contract. It doesn't take more than a passing interest in the team to see that the Celtics aren't hell-bent on winning a title this season. Even the most fervent Celtics fans have to acknowledge that it's not going to happen this year.

But there are players on the floor this season who could be part of making it happen in years to come.

In an informal Twitter survey, I asked people who pay attention on a regular basis what constitutes as progress for this group. Here's a sampling of the answers:

Celtics fans, it seems, may not be the irrational, try-or-tank group they've been made out to be. There's nuance in their answers in spite of how it serves Ainge, on one side, to laugh at the idea of tanking, and Felger & Massarotti, on the other, to make it into a "Rig it for [Andrew] Wiggins" game show. The argument that season ticket-holders "deserve" for the team to win has always been bothersome, as if the paying customers weren't sharp enough to navigate the ups and downs of modern professional sports on their own. Of course you want the team to win when you bring your 11-year-old to the game, but if you've made any kind of investment in the team you'd rather they be good 8 of the next 10 years than really good this season and awful for the next nine. This Celtics team has proven to be entertaining enough, win or lose, to keep the ticket holders reasonably happy.

Another bothersome argument in the "anti-tanking" camp is the that losing doesn't guarantee anything. Losing doesn't guarantee the Celtics the top pick, but in a draft where five or six players are projected highly, it's good to be in that mix. In the NBA more than any other league, a handful of top-tier players constitute the difference between winning and losing. Not every No. 1 pick turns into an All-Star, but more of them are taken at the top of the draft than in the middle or at the bottom. Kevin Durant was a No. 2 pick. Kevin Love was taken 5th. James Harden, Steph Curry, and Paul George were taken 3rd, 7th, and 10th respectively. You want those guys.

It's possible for the Celtics to lose a game in which Sullinger, Bradley, and Olynyk play well and see progress in the franchise. They can fade down the stretch vs. Indiana or Oklahoma City but win as a franchise if Jeff Green is an efficient, aggressive scorer. They can finish with 17 wins and chalk it up as a victory if Rondo hits it off with Stevens and looks confident as the team's best player upon the point guard's return. And when the season ends, and the Celtics earn a top-five draft pick, they'll be better for it.

So what do we make of the recent winning? The suddenly streaking Celtics are now 6-10, on pace for 30.75 wins for the season. If the Knicks and Nets can get their acts together, that should leave Boston out of the playoffs and guarantee at least a lottery pick, even in the awful Eastern Conference. Last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves won 31 games for the 9th-worst record in the league. That's still a good pick, though not as high as some would hope. With a stockpile of future picks, perhaps the Celtics can trade up a few spots.

To me, Monday night's Celtics-Bobcats box score is more concerning than the victory. Bradley played just 8:42. Sullinger was 2 for 9. Jeff Green was 5 for 16. Stevens said he was encouraged that the bench won the game for his team, but Celtics fans shouldn't be. At this point, the eye test matters just as much as wins and losses do.

Most Celtics fans aren't actively rooting for losses. It's more nuanced than that. The season has gone essentially as expected. It's what happens in June that will drastically alter the direction of the franchise.

Welcome to Time Warner Cable Arena for Celtics-Bobcats

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 25, 2013 05:33 PM

CHARLOTTE -- The Celtics, coming off their 94-87 comeback victory over the Atlanta Hawks, are in Charlotte to face the improving Bobcats, who enter Monday tied for the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference. The Bobcats rolled into Milwaukee and dusted the Bucks 96-72 on Saturday with five players scoring in double figures.

The Celtics again will start Jared Sullinger at center and Brandon Bass at power forward. That undersized lineup was able to out-rebound the Hawks on Saturday.


PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Jared Sullinger

Inactives: Rajon Rondo

PG Kemba Walker
SG Gerald Henderson
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Josh McRoberts
C Al Jefferson

Inactives: Brendan Haywood, James Southerland

Officials: Ken Mauer, Marat Kogut, Leon Wood

TV, radio: 7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

Pregame notes:

• Al Jefferson has played in the past two games after missing four games with a bone bruise in his right ankle. Jefferson responded with 19 points and seven rebounds in Charlotte's 97-72 win at Milwaukee on Saturday. Jefferson signed a three-year, $41 million deal in the offseason.

• Former Brookline High School and UConn product Jeff Adrien has collected 10 rebounds in two of his past three games and has three double-figure rebounding games in limited minutes this season. Adrien is averaging 5.6 rebounds in just 15.3 minutes per game.

• The Celtics will return home tonight and practice Tuesday before hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

• Keith Bogans did not make the trip to Charlotte and remains out with an undisclosed illness. He has played in just two games this season.

Welcome to Philips Arena for Celtics-Hawks

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 23, 2013 06:49 PM

ATLANTA -- The Celtics begin a two-game road trip against the surprising Hawks, who have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference in the early going. Injuries are taking a toll as Kelly Olynyk could miss a "couple of weeks" with his sprained right ankle sustained in a collision with Roy Hibbert during Friday's 97-82 loss to Indiana. He and Keith Bogans (illness) remained in Boston and Olynyk obviously will not play Monday in Charlotte.


PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Jared Sullinger

Inactives: Rajon Rondo

PG Jeff Teague
SG Kyle Korver
SF DeMarre Carroll
PF Paul Millsap
C Al Horford

Inactives: Elton Brand, Jared Cunningham

Officials: Michael Smith, Olandis Poole, David Jones

TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

Pregame notes:

• Brandon Bass will get the start at power forward to replace Olynyk, meaning the Celtics will go with Jared Sullinger at center against Al Horford, could be a tough matchup for Sullinger. Sullinger is fine after battling flu-like symptoms during Friday's game.

• Hawks shooting guard Kyle Korver has canned a 3-pointer in 86 consecutive games, three short of the NBA record set by former Celtic and BC standout Dana Barros, who began his streak with the 76ers and ended it with the Celtics in 1996. Korver passed former Georgia Tech and Orlando Magic star Dennis Scott at 78 games on Nov. 9 and ex-Denver Nugget Michael Adams on Nov. 11. His percentage during the run is 46.7 percent.

• The Celtics will take Sunday off after a back-to-back before facing the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday. They currently stand at 12th in the Eastern Conference.

• Former All-Star Elton Brand is a healthy inactive for the Hawks and hasn't played since Nov. 19 at Miami.

Despite ups and downs, Jeff Green says he's still Celtics top go-to option

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 23, 2013 09:41 AM

Before the season, Jeff Green was tabbed as the Celtics’ “go-to” player.

Green is leading the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game, but he has been inconsistent, a trait that has been attached to him for years.

For instance, after scoring in double digits for seven straight games, he scored just 2 in a loss at Minnesota Nov. 16 and then just 4 a few days later in a loss at Houston.

In Green’s eyes, though, he’s still the team’s go-to player.

“Yeah, for sure,” he said recently. “I’m going to always feel like that, no matter what.”

Green scored 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting against the Pacers, his first game of 20 or more points since he scored 24 Nov. 9 at Miami, when he hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Green said that coach Brad Stevens “draws up the plays. I just try to play my part in doing what I have to do. I can’t ask for the ball every time. I’ve just got to find other ways to figure things out for myself.”

Green, 27 and in his sixth season, said this role is a huge adjustment from the past.

“Now all the attention is on me,” Green said. “I’ve been the guy who has been the third option most of my career. Now, it starts with me, in my eyes. But we’ve got to figure it out as a team how we can get past that and how we can win as a team.”

Pacers center Roy Hibbert played with Green for three seasons at Georgetown and said he has faith that Green can be the No. 1 option.

“I just tell him it’s his team, you’re always going to have growing pains,” Hibbert said. “I had growing pains the past couple of years and they have a good GM, a good president, so they’re going to bring good, quality players depending on the cap. He’s a good player. I wish him the best, just not against us.”

Green’s top scoring average at Georgetown was 14.3, achieved during his junior (and final) season.

“At Georgetown, he played within the offense, did a lot of great things for us, but the NBA is different,” Hibbert said. “The first couple of years, he was in Seattle/OKC with Kevin Durant and Russell [Westbrook], how do you tell somebody to take over?

“And then you’re playing with Paul [Pierce] and [Kevin Garnett] the past couple of years, two Hall of Famers, how are you going to tell somebody to take over?

“This is his first opportunity, so he’ll learn, still young. I have the utmost faith in him.”

Welcome to TD Garden for Celtics-Pacers

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 22, 2013 06:40 PM

The Celtics return home briefly to face the best team in the NBA after a difficult 0-3 road trip where they were beaten soundly by Minnesota and Houston before fighting valiantly against the San Antonio Spurs. Jared Sullinger will remain in the starting lineup after his 19-point, 17-rebound effort Wednesday against the Spurs. Brad Stevens admitted he grew up a fan of the Indiana Pacers and joked at the one year he isn't they have their best team in history.


PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Jared Sullinger
C Kelly Olynyk

Inactives: Rajon Rondo

PG George Hill
SG Lance Stephenson
SF Paul George
PF David West
C Roy Hibbert

Inactives: Danny Granger

Officials: Derrick Stafford, Eli Roe, Brian Forte

TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

Pregame notes:

• Danny Granger (strained calf) has yet to play this season and it is uncertain when he will return. He is traveling with the team and is participating in practice.

• The Celtics hit the road late Friday night for Atlanta and then head to Charlotte for a Monday contest before returning home to face Memphis.

• Vitor Faverani is shooting his role shrink after playing just two minutes Wednesday against San Antonio. He did record 14 rebounds last Saturday at Minnesota.

Popovich guarantees Celtics will improve if they stay patient

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 20, 2013 09:32 PM

SAN ANTONIO – Gregg Popovich offered a guarantee Wednesday, saying that the Celtics will have success if they remain patient during the rebuilding process under new coach Brad Stevens.

Popovich, the veteran San Antonio Spurs coach, offered nothing but praise for Stevens before the teams faced off at the AT&T Center, saying that he even studied Stevens’s Butler teams.

“When they were on TV, I watched the game, [to] see what I could pick up, [to] see what he did, because he did such a fine job,” Popovich said.

“Yeah, and the answer was no,” Stevens said with a laugh, doubting that there was anything perhaps the NBA's finest coach could learn from a young college coach.

“It’s a really kind thing for him to say,” Stevens said. “He’s at the top of our profession. I don’t think there’s any question about it, in a number of ways.”

Stevens added, “I admire them greatly, admire him greatly. Us Indiana guys, we have to stick together sometimes.”

Popovich was born in East Chicago, Ind., and attended high school in Merrillville, Ind. Stevens grew up in Zionsville, Ind., and attended high school and college in the state.

Popovich didn’t think there was much he could teach Stevens.

“He doesn’t need advice from me,” he said. “He’s already a good coach in his own stead.”

Popovich went on to say that “In this league, with the number of games, and as talented as teams are…patience is probably a big commodity, especially in someone’s situation who’s used to winning night after night after night.

“It’s a little bit different when you’re rebuilding a program, and so patience on everybody’s part is really important and Danny [Ainge] has it and he understands the situation and all it will do is improve as time goes on, guaranteed.”

For his part, Popovich said he was glad to see the Celtics reach into the college ranks to hire a coach who had no NBA experience prior to this season.

“I think we don’t see it enough, where ownership and GMs will actually look and say, ‘Who is coaching well?’ rather than ‘What name can I bring or what would this do or that?’” Popovich said.

“But actually look around the country – it doesn’t matter what level – and say, ‘This guy is doing a hell of a job right here.’ Or maybe from another country – ‘This guy is doing a hell of a job.’ Whatever it might be. And Danny did that, so he deserves a lot of credit for it.”

Stevens did note that even though he was busy at Butler, he spent plenty of time studying the Spurs.

“Though they don’t get a lot of attention maybe nationally all the time, because they’re not the flashiest [team], they get every bit of every coach’s attention in the country because they do everything that we all want our teams to do,” Stevens said.

Welcome to AT&T Center for Celtics-Spurs

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 20, 2013 06:07 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- The Celtics would love to snap their four-game losing streak, but it may take a miracle for that to happen against the Spurs here Wednesday night.

The Spurs have won seven straight games, including their last four by an average of 19.3 points. They haven't lost since Nov. 2 against Portland.

The Celtics, meanwhile, are reeling after a 109-85 loss to the Rockets at Houston Tuesday.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens will mix up the lineup by playing Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger, his two young forwards, ahead of forward Brandon Bass and center Vitor Faverani. It's a move he hopes will lead to a better start for the Celtics, who trailed the Rockets, 18-1, in the first quarter of Tuesday's game.

Starting lineups
BOSTON (4-8)

PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Kelly Olynyk
C Jared Sullinger

Inactives: Rajon Rondo

PG Tony Parker
SG Danny Green
SF Kawhi Leonard
PF Tim Duncan
C Tiago Splitter

Inactives: None

Officials: Ed Malloy, Mark Ayotte, David Guthrie

Game time: 8:30 p.m.

TV, radio: Comcast SportsNet, WBZ-FM (98.5).

Pregame notes:

• Jeff Green is averaging a team-high 14.5 points per game, but he has scored just 6 total in the last two games, shooting a combined 2 of 13 from the floor.

• The Spurs have the NBA's third-best scoring defense, giving up just 89.3 points per game. The Celtics are 26th in scoring, averaging just 93.4 points per game. Expect the Spurs defense to hold the Celtics to some low figures.

• This game closes out a back-to-back set and a three-game road trip. The Celtics return home to play the powerhouse Indiana Pacers Friday at TD Garden before going on a two-game road trip, facing the Hawks in Atlanta Saturday and then the Bobcats in Charlotte Monday.

• The Spurs have won three straight games against the Celtics.

Wallace fined $10,000 for language, Sullinger warned for flop

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 20, 2013 04:19 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- Celtics swingman Gerald Wallace has been fined $10,000 for using profane language during the postgame media availability after his team's 109-85 loss to Houston, the league announced Wednesday.

Wallace described Tuesday's loss by saying “I don’t know what the [expletive] that was, to be honest." The Celtics fell behind, 18-1, to start the game and trailed by as much as 35 as they went on to lose their fourth consecutive game.

Additionally, Celtics forward Jared Sullinger received a flop warning from the NBA after his second-quarter collision with Rockets center Dwight Howard. Sullinger was trying to box out Howard during a shot attempt by another player, and the league felt that Sullinger dramatically overreacted and fell after being hit by Howard's forearm.

If the NBA finds that Sullinger commits a flop, he'll face a $5,000 fine. The fines increase from there for each additional violation, up to $30,000 for the fourth violation. If a player violates that rule five times, they could face a suspension.

The Celtics will play the San Antonio Spurs here Wednesday night.

Celtics Mailbag: Are they this bad?

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff November 20, 2013 07:58 AM


What now?

Last week at this time, the Celtics were riding high after a four-game win streak. The lowly Charlotte Bobcats were in town. What could go wrong?

It's unraveled fairly quickly for the green, but no more so than during Tuesday night's 109-85 shellacking by the Houston Rockets. There are far more questions than answers during this four-game losing streak, and the road doesn't get any easier with a game in San Antonio tonight.

My friend Gerald Wallace leads off the mailbag:

That's an actual quote, paraphrased a little, from the fiery Wallace Tuesday night. Here are my takeways from that game:

-- The Celtics gave up 40 points in the first quarter. The Rockets shot 80 percent in the first and 57 percent for the game. That's obviously too easy. Many of Houston's baskets were layups in transition. Much of that offense ran through Dwight Howard, whom the Celtics had no answer for.

-- Where was Jeff Green? With the Celtics down 18-1 with 6:52 left in the first quarter, it occurred to me that Green had done virtually nothing. Green had a shot blocked by Chandler Parsons and missed a three before being subbed out for Gerald Wallace. By the time he returned, with 7:25 left in the second quarter, the Celtics were down 21 points. The game was effectively over at that point. Not what you want from your team's best player.

-- The offense was dismal throughout, from 24 percent shooting in the first quarter to Jordan Crawford, down 82-49, going 360 on a layup and throwing up a shot that missed everything. Avery Bradley took 22 shots in the game and missed 17 of them. The Rockets had 10 blocks in the game, but even left to their own devices the Celtics weren't exactly running crisp offense.

Two positives stood out for me amid the muck:

-- Bradley is finally getting some of the calls he didn't get as a rookie. He drew a push-off foul on James Harden. Bradley may have sold the call, but he was also in the right position, moving his feet to perfectly cut off Harden's angle. The only starter in double-figures, he's looked good since sliding over to shooting guard.

-- Courtney Lee continues to shine. In a game the C's lost by 24 points, Lee played 23 minutes in which the Celtics were plus-4 on the scoreboard. He led the Celtics with 17 points, continuing to play the two-way game he's played all season. He made 3 of 4 3-pointers.

On to your questions:

Good question, Nick. It's got to be Green for me as the biggest disappointment, though expecting him to step right in for Paul Pierce this season was foolish to begin with. Still, 14.5 points per game while leading the team in minutes isn't going to cut it.

For biggest surprise I'll go with Sullinger. He was expected to be good, but with limited conditioning I didn't expect him to hit the ground running. His 20.2 points/36 minutes leads the team. He's shown that he can be a great role player but also be a focal point when called upon.

Click Full Entry for more Q&A


Welcome to Toyota Center for Celtics-Rockets

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 19, 2013 04:29 PM

HOUSTON -- The Celtics looked dead tired Saturday after being spanked by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who handed Boston its most lopsided loss of the season, 106-88.

But they were able to enjoy consecutive days off for the first time since their season opened Oct. 30 in Toronto. And now, they'll face the high-powered Rockets here Tuesday night.

The Celtics are on a three-game losing streak. The Rockets are looking for their fourth win in five games. For an undersized Celtics team, it will be interesting to see how they fare against All-Star center Dwight Howard. The challenge there will fall on rookie center Vitor Faverani -- or at least Faverani will deal with him to start the game.

Starting lineups
BOSTON (4-7)

PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Vitor Faverani

Inactives: Rajon Rondo

PG Pat Beverley
SG James Harden
SF Terrence Jones
PF Chandler Parsons
C Dwight Howard

Inactives: Greg Smith

Officials: Mike Callahan, Derek Richardson, Gary Zielinski

TV, radio: 8 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, WBZ-FM (98.5).

Pregame notes:

• Keith Bogans (illness) and Courtney Lee (sore right wrist) both missed the Celtics' last game but will be available against the Rockets, coach Brad Stevens said.

• Jeff Green is the Celtics' leading scorer, averaging 15.5 points per game, but he scored a season-low 2 points in the loss to the Timberwolves. It will be interesting to see how he responds against the Rockets.

• Howard leads the league in free throw attempts with 128 and is shooting 53.1 percent from the charity stripe, but he has improved of late, making 27 of 41 (65.9) in the past three games after making just 14 of 39 (35.9) in the three before that.

• Houston leads the NBA in rebounding (47.5) and is second in scoring (108.8 points per game).

• This is the first of a back-to-back. The Celtics will travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs Wednesday, closing out a three-game road trip. However, it won't be any easier for the Celtics win they get back home, as they play Indiana Friday.

Danny Ainge said no teams have contacted him about Rajon Rondo

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 18, 2013 11:48 AM

HOUSTON – Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Monday that he has not received any inquiries from other teams interested in acquiring Rajon Rondo.

Ainge's comments come on the heels of what seems like an annual tradition – trade rumors involving the Celtics' All-Star point guard, the latest one involving the New York Knicks.

Yet Ainge said he hasn't heard from any team about Rondo – and Ainge said he doesn't expect that to change, either.

"Rondo is coming off an injury and I think people know how much we love Rondo, so I don’t expect anybody to inquire, quite honestly," Ainge said. "People know that Rondo is a big part of our future and that we’re not going to trade him."

Ainge called Rondo, a four-time All-Star, "the centerpiece of our future."

He added, "Guys that are starting All-Star players just don’t come around. The special players, the transcendent players in our league, are very difficult to find and acquire. We believe Rondo is one of those guys. He’s a very special player. We value him a great deal."

The Celtics made many offseason changes, overhauling the roster and hiring Brad Stevens as their head coach after Doc Rivers left to coach the Los Angeles Clippers.

And, as the NBA is a business, there could always be more changes down the road.

Yet even though no player on any team is ever untradeable, it seems unlikely that Rondo will be leaving Boston anytime soon.

"What’s real is, he’s going nowhere," Ainge said. "That’s what’s real."

It has been about nine months since Rondo had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Rondo has been making progress with his injury, and was running wind sprints and even trying to dunk before the team played the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis Saturday.

Ainge said that no time frame exists for when Rondo might return, but he added, "I don’t think we’re feeling that it’s real close. It’s not any time real soon."

Reports: Knicks interested in Rajon Rondo

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff November 18, 2013 10:27 AM

The New York Knicks are interested in trading for Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, according to two reports over the weekend.

Both the New York Daily News and ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Knicks were interested in trading for Rondo. The return for Rondo would center around Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton and Amar'e Stoudemire, according to the News. According to Broussard, the interest on Boston's side is minimal.

It's no secret any team would be interested in trading for Rondo, especially if his knee injury brought him at a discount. The Celtics aren't likely to part with Rondo without a draft pick or asset for the future. Trading him within the division also seems unlikely.

Daily News reporter Frank Isola tweeted that a Rondo deal actually makes more sense between the Celtics and Houston Rockets, where center Omer Asik is unhappy. Would a return of Asik and Jeremy Lin be enough to pry Rondo out of Boston?

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge denied to the Globe Monday that he had been shopping Rondo. Like the question of tanking, though, a denial at one moment in time means virtually nothing. A million little decisions go into every big one. Would the Celtics trade Rondo for pennies on the dollar? Of course not. Would they trade him for an All-Star and a first round pick? Maybe. The answer to the "trade Rondo" question will be different every day from now until the NBA draft. Ainge has made it clear he'll do what's best for the team, and what's best is not static or even measurable.

Do you want the Celtics to trade Rondo, or build around him? Vote in our survey below.

Welcome to Target Center for Celtics-Timberwolves

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 16, 2013 05:20 PM

MINNEAPOLIS -- Coming off Friday's 109-96 loss to Portland at TD Garden, the Celtics are on the tail-end of a back-to-back against the Timberwolves and will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak. Boston is also looking to extend its road-winning streak to three games.

The Timberwolves are coming off a 117-113 loss Friday at Denver.

The Celtics' bench will be a short-handed, as Courtney Lee (sore right wrist) and Keith Bogans (illness) will both miss the game. Lee suffered the wrist injury during the Celtics' loss to Portland.

Also, the Celtics will start 6-foot-11, 260-pound Vitor Faverani instead of Kelly Olynyk in the hopes that Faverani will match up better with 6-11, 285-pound Nikola Pekovic.


PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Vitor Faverani

Inactives: Rajon Rondo

PG Ricky Rubio
SG Kevin Martin
SF Corey Brewer
PF Kevin Love
C Nikola Pekovic

Inactives: Chase Budinger, Ronny Turiaf

Officials: Kane Fitzgerald, Danny Crawford, JT Orr

TV, radio: 8 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (98.5).

Pregame notes:

• These teams met in the preseason in Montreal, a game that the Timberwolves won, 110-100. The Celtics had six double-figure scorers, led by Bradley's 19 points. Pekovic scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves.

• The Timberwolves rank No. 2 in the NBA in scoring (108.7 points per game) and No. 4 in assists (25.2 points per game).

• The Celtics will head to Houston, where they'll play the Rockets on Tuesday, starting the first of a back-to-back that will end Wednesday against the Spurs in San Antonio.

Welcome to TD Garden for Celtics-Trail Blazers

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 15, 2013 06:46 PM

The Celtics play the final game of a three-game homestand against the much-improved Trail Blazers, who have beaten mostly losing teams but do have a win over San Antonio. Boston is back after a real clunker Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats and need to win before a difficult three-game road trip against Minnesota, Houston at San Antonio.


PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Kelly Olynyk

Inactives: Rajon Rondo

PG Damian Lillard
SG Wesley Matthews
SF Nicolas Batum
PF LaMarcus Aldridge
C Robin Lopez

Inactives: Meyers Leonard, CJ McCollum

Officials: Marc Davis, Derrick Collins, Haywoode Workman

TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

Pregame notes:

• Jared Sullinger has been cleared to return to action after missing Wednesday's game with a bone bruise in his right knee.

• The Trail Blazers will be without center Meyers Leonard but he is expected to rejoin the club Monday in Brooklyn.

• Three Celtics were placed on the All-Star ballot: Rajon Rondo, Gerald Wallace and Jeff Green. Any other Celtic would have to be a write-in candidate.

Jeff Green, Rajon Rondo and Gerald Wallace on 2014 NBA All-Star ballot

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 15, 2013 04:41 PM

Celtics players Jeff Green, Rajon Rondo and Gerald Wallace were among the 120 total NBA players on the 2014 All-Star ballot that the league released Friday.

Entering the Celtics' game Friday against the Portland Trailblazers, Green, a forward in his sixth season out of Georgetown, was averaging a team-high 17.1 points.

Wallace, a veteran swingman in his 13th NBA season and first with the Celtics, was averaging 5.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists. The 31-year-old Wallace was voted an All-Star once before, in 2010.

And Rondo, a four-time All-Star (from 2010-2013), had yet to play this season as he is still sidelined while recovering from knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

There are 60 players from each conference – Eastern and Western – with 36 players from the frontcourt and 24 from the backcourt.

The players were selected by a panel of media who regular cover the NBA: Greg Anthony (NBA Digital), Mary Schmitt Boyer (Cleveland Plain Dealer/PBWA), Zach Lowe (Grantland), and John Reid (New Orleans Times Picayune).

Balloting concludes Jan. 20, and there are several ways for fans to cast their vote until then, including using social media such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

With Instagram, fans can post an original photo with the #NBABallott hashtag that incudes the player’s first name and last name in the caption.

Twitter allows fans to tweet a vote using the player’s first and last name, along with the hashtag #NBABallot.

Facebook allows fans to comment on official league, team or international NBA All-Star Facebook pages by commenting below the post with the player’s first and last name and the hashtag #NBABallot.

With all three social networks, fans can vote for 10 unique players per day until balloting concludes.

Fans can also access the ballot and fill out one per day on the NBA Game Time and NBA Game Time from Sprint applications that are available on Android and iOS mobile devices.

And fans can also vote by texting the player’s last name to 69622 (MYNBA).

The starters for the 63rd annual All-Star Game, which will be held Feb. 16, 2014 in New Orleans, will be announced Jan. 23.

Welcome to TD Garden for Celtics-Bobcats

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 13, 2013 06:49 PM

Just nine games after dropping to 0-4, the Celtics have a chance to eclipse the .500 mark with a win over the Bobcats. But these aren't your normal Bobcats, Charlotte is a respectable team with wins over Cleveland, New York and Toronto. The Bobcats also welcome back former Celtic "Big" Al Jefferson, who returned to the lineup Monday after missing five games with a bone bruise in his right ankle.

For the Celtics, Jared Sullinger will not play because of a bone bruise in his right knee. He is considered to day-to-day. Kris Humphries is expected to take his minutes.


PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Kelly Olynyk

Inactives: Rajon Rondo

PG Kemba Walker
SG Gerald Henderson
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Anthony Tolliver
C Al Jefferson

Inactives: Josh McRoberts

Officials: Violet Palmer, Mike Callahan, Courtney Kirkland

TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

Pregame notes:

• Rajon Rondo continues to work out before games, this time taking midrange jumpers after taking passes from a coach. Today is the nine-month anniversary of his ACL surgery and he could be returning to the Celtics lineup by Jan. 1 although he hasn't been cleared for full contact.

• Charlotte coach Steve Clifford is back coaching after a health scare. He had two stenches places in his heart and doctors have limited his coaching schedule but he did return to the team Monday after missing just one game.

• Former Brookline High School and UConn product Jeff Adrien has played in six of Charlotte's seven games and is averaging about 11 minutes per contest. He is averaging an impressive 4.5 rebounds in his short minutes.

• Coach Brad Stevens said he watched a few minutes of the college games last night featuring potential lottery picks Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle. He refused to answer whether he recruited any of the trio at Butler. That would be classify as tampering.

MRI reveals Sullinger has bone bruise ; Celtics practice notes

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 12, 2013 02:26 PM

WALTHAM -- The Celtics were without key contributor Jared Sullinger at practice Tuesday because of an ailing right knee. He underwent an MRI on the knee this afternoon and the team revealed last this afternoon that it is a bone bruise and he is considered "day to day."

It is uncertain whether Sullinger will play Wednesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Sullinger sustained the injury in the second quarter of Monday's 120-105 win over the Orlando Magic, taking a charge from Maurice Harkless. Sullinger appeared to favor his midsection and remained in the game and scored 14 points with 5 rebounds and 3 assists in nearly 26 minutes.

After missing the season opener because of a team suspension, Sullinger is averaging 11.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in a reserve role.

"Jared got hit on that collision under the basket and he's got a sore knee," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said before the MRI results. "Nothing conclusive and certainly day-to-day what they're looking. But we just don't know yet. We want to make sure."


  • Jordan Crawford is receiving high regard for his play of late but he said he is unfazed by the added attention: "I really don't want people to understand me. I let people does their guessing on me and let them think what they want to think. I don't really care."

  • Brandon Bass said he is a big fan of Stevens: "There's something special about that guy."

  • Welcome to TD Garden for Celtics-Magic

    Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 11, 2013 06:55 PM

    The Celtics return home for a three-game homestand with Orlando, Charlotte and Portland, a golden opportunity to reach over .500 after three straight wins. The Celtics took Sunday off and are fresh after consecutive wins at Orlando and at Miami. Boston trailed Orlando most of the first half in the first meeting Friday but surged ahead in the third quarter and held on for a 91-89 win.

    The Celtics had six players in double figures but none scored more than 14 points (Avery Bradley).


    PG Avery Bradley
    SG Jordan Crawford
    SF Jeff Green
    PF Brandon Bass
    C Kelly Olynyk

    Inactives: Rajon Rondo

    PG Jameer Nelson
    SG Arron Afflalo
    SF Maurice Harkless
    PF Jason Maxiell
    C Nikola Vucevic

    Inactives: Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis

    Officials: Mark Ayotte, Ed Malloy, Sean Corbin

    TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

    Pregame notes:

    • Coach Brad Stevens said Kelly Olynyk will remain in the starting lineup for the time being, meaning rookie Vitor Faverani will play limited minutes off the bench. He played just 2:41 in the win over Miami.

    • Vucevic is fourth in the NBA with 12.1 rebounds and collected 21 in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers. He has had double figure rebounds in five of Orlando's seven games.

    • Former Celtic Glen "Big Baby" Davis has yet to play this season because of a broken foot but he is expected back in a few weeks. Davis has impressed his coaches with his solid conditioning during his rehabilitation.

    • Afflalo is averaging a career-best 19.7 points per game and has 44 in his past two games. He has two more years left on his contract in the $7.5 million range and could be an interesting trade chip for a team looking for a scoring nearing his prime.

    Ray Allen revisited

    Posted by Globe Staff November 10, 2013 12:49 AM

    By Gary Washburn
    Globe Staff

    MIAMI – In a break between one of this infamous summer workouts or as he celebrated his second NBA championship by cheating on his diet with a glass of cranberry juice, Ray Allen marveled at the developments in Boston over a five-day period.

    On a June Sunday, Doc Rivers was released from his Celtics contract and agreed to join the Los Angeles Clippers as their new head coach. Boston received a first-round pick in return. And five days later, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were also former Celtics as they were sent to Brooklyn in blockbuster deal that was consummated when Garnett agreed to waive his no-trade clause.

    A year prior, Allen rejected a two-year, $12 million contract with a no-trade clause from Boston to accept a two-year, $6 million deal with the Miami Heat and was vilified in the process by fans and his former teammates. Allen, now in his second season with the Heat after helping Miami win a second consecutive last June, still smarts over what he perceives as a double standard in treatment for essentially the same decision.

    Before the Celtics’ 111-110 win over the Heat, Allen expressed disappointment that Garnett or Pierce have yet to carry a conversation with him since his Boston departure, especially since he believes Garnett waiving his no-trade clause at Pierce’s encouragement was essentially a sign that both wanted out of Boston for a better situation. And Allen said his signing to join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade for a title run was his best option for finishing his career with a championship.

    So he wonders why isn’t Pierce or Garnett feeling the same wrath for departing Boston while he was soundly booed in his return to TD Garden last season. This remains a sensitive subject for Allen.

    “No, they haven’t spoken to me,” Allen said of Pierce and Garnett. “Look, I have a feeling they were in the same predicament I was in this summer or somewhat the same predicament. Even Doc, he had to make the decision that was best for himself and that’s what he did and I’m happy that they can be put into a situation where they could be successful.

    “When you get traded, there’s no telling where you could end up or what could happen. And they’re in a situation where they can still contend and for that I’m happy for them. Kevin had to come to that realization where he had to make that decision (to waive his no-trade clause) so for them to be so upset with me is disappointing because regardless of how everything happened, we’re still, because that banner in 2008 is still going to be there and we’re still always going to be tied to it.”

    Allen’s final year in Boston was injury plagued and troubled and he was eventually brought off the bench in favor of Avery Bradley until Bradley got hurt. Needing surgery on both ankles, Allen played through the playoffs but got the distinct feeling the organization didn’t want him back while team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge did not make his re-signing a priority.

    Allen felt the Celtics could have re-signed him during the season but only got serious when the Heat showed interest when free agency began. So after being buoyed by owner Mickey Arison and president Pat Riley, he took half the money for South Beach.

    Pierce and Garnett expressed disbelief in Allen’s decision. Garnett did not try to recruit Allen to stay in Boston while Pierce only communicated through text messages.

    “I did think that (I was unfairly treated) but I was curious to see how (the Brooklyn trade and Rivers leaving) was received not long by the people in the NBA but by the people in Boston,” Allen said. “In my opinion it was the same scenario. I wasn’t upset with any one of those guys because it was their right. We all have those rights when we get put into those situations you have to make the choice that you feel are best for your situation.

    “That’s why when I did it, I was disappointed that I was criticized because those guys knows what it takes when you have to make a decision for your families. But I understood. It wasn’t like I didn’t understand. You gotta do what you gotta do. When guys sign contracts for more money, less money, you move to another team, you had to make the decision that you thought was best for yourself.”

    Allen badly wants to be embraced by Celtics fans when he career ends because of his contributions there. And of course he wants to be embraced by Pierce and Garnett, but that may not happen for several years. The Celtics overhaul made the Big Three Era past history, so Allen said he doesn’t feel the deep emotional bond to the current Celtics as he did last season but he does feel a bond.

    “I’ll always be connected, always. That doesn’t change. Emotionally, present day, present moment, but the things that went on over the last five years, a lot of great stuff and it’s always going to be close to my heart,” he said. “Doc talked to me like I was still on his team. I got heavily criticized by each one of them the minute I left. They were disappointed, they were upset, but we (all) decided what we had to decide we ended up putting ourselves in a situation of winning another championship. The writing was on the wall for us. (The Celtics) told us we’re moving in a different direction. That’s what each one of them dealt with and again each one of us had to make that choice that’s going to put us after Celtics basketball. Where can we go to be successful and play good basketball.”

    Welcome to AmericanAirlines Arena

    Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 9, 2013 07:14 PM

    MIAMI -- The Celtics, winners of two straight, will try to sneak a win against the two-time defending world champions with a new starting center. Rookie Kelly Olynyk will get his first NBA start over Vitor Faverani, who has struggled of late. The Heat will have LeBron James in the lineup despite back issues.


    PG Avery Bradley
    SG Jordan Crawford
    SF Jeff Green
    PF Brandon Bass
    C Kelly Olynyk

    Inactives: Rajon Rondo

    MIAMI HEAT(4-2)
    PG Mario Chalmers
    SG Dwyane Wade
    SF Shane Battier
    PF LeBron James
    C Chris Bosh

    Inactives: Udonis Haslem, Greg Oden

    Officials: Bill Spooner, Derrick Collins, Haywoode Workman

    TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

    Pregame notes:

    • The Heat made a last-minute lineup chance, replaceing Udonis Haslem (back spasms) with Shane Battier. Greg Oden has yet to play a regular season game but the Heat is prepping him for contributions in the playoffs.

    • The Celtics play the Heat for the first time since the departures of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and all parties involved say it's a different feeling but Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said he still sees "green.".

    • LeBron James is in the lineup, He said he would play despite back soreness

    • The Celtics return home for a three-game homestand with Orlando, Charlotte and Portland.

    Welcome to Amway Center for Celtics-Magic

    Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 8, 2013 06:09 PM

    The Celtics begin a brief two-game road trip to Orlando and Miami before heading back home for three consecutive games. The Magic come to TD Garden for a rematch on Monday night. Boston will go with the same starting lineup that produced its first victory with Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford sharing point guard duties.

    The Magic have been one of the league's biggest surprises, having already beaten Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Clippers. Nikola Vucevic led the Magic in the win over Los Angeles with 30 points and 21 rebounds.


    PG Avery Bradley
    SG Jordan Crawford
    SF Jeff Green
    PF Brandon Bass
    C Vitor Faverani

    Inactives: Rajon Rondo

    PG Jameer Nelson
    SG Arron Afflalo
    SF Maurice Harkless
    PF Jason Maxiell
    C Nikola Vucevic

    Inactives: Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu

    Officials: Tony Brothers, Steve Anderson, Tre Maddox

    TV, radio: 7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

    Pregame notes:

    • The Celtics are last in the NBA, averaging 89.4 points per game and but they are 12th in field goal percentage, meaning the issue is shot attempts per game. The Celtics are also last in the league in assists.

    • The Magic are ninth in the league in scoring (103.4 ppg) and tops in defensive rebounds and rebounding. Vucevic is third in the league with 13.2 rebounds per game.

    • Vitor Faverani was back in the starting lineup despite playing just 6:04 of Wednesday's win over the Utah Jazz because of ineffectiveness. He did not score in that contest. Kelly Olynyk, who started the second half against the Jazz, will come off the bench.

    • The team leaves last Friday night for Miami for a Saturday night matchup with the Heat. LeBron James is expected to play despite back soreness.

    • The team leaves last Friday night for Miami for a Saturday night matchup with the Heat. LeBron James is expected to play despite back soreness.

    More on Brad Stevens and the origins of his 'calm' reputation

    Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 8, 2013 11:26 AM

    For Friday's Globe, I wrote a feature about Celtics coach Brad Stevens and his measured demeanor, which has often received a lot of attention because, at times, he can seem rather emotionless.

    Look no further than how Stevens reacts at the end of this game to see what I'm talking about.

    However, Stevens said in a recent interview that this reputation is a misconception.

    "The whole ‘calmness thing’ is way overblown,” he told me.

    In the story, I detail why he acts the way that he does, so check it out for more on that.

    However, as with any story, there are always details that are left on the cutting room floor.

    Here are some of them:

    From the start, Stevens has always presented a measured demeanor.

    "I’ve never seen him lose it,” said Mark Stevens, his father.

    And as a high school player, Stevens acted the same.

    “I don’t remember Brad Stevens ever being anxious during a game,” said Phil Isenbarger, an assistant coach at Zionsville Community High School in Indiana when Stevens played there.

    Indeed, Stevens seemed to follow the first two lines of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling, which Stevens’ mother, Jan, introduced to him at a young age: “If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you…”

    During games, Stevens said it's not always easy for him to stay composed. He said he has improved, but he doesn’t consider himself a "Zen Master" like former NBA coach Phil Jackson.

    On the court, though, the Celtics say his actions -- or lack thereof -- create a positive reaction.

    “When he’s not panicked," Avery Bradley said, "everybody else feels comfortable."

    5 early observations – and one big takeway – from the Celtics' first 5 games

    Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff November 7, 2013 08:23 AM


    We'll start with the big reveal: The Celtics are who we thought they were. At the moment, that means they're not a very good team. The Celtics won their first game of the season, 97-87, at home Wednesday night vs. the hapless Utah Jazz. At 1-4, the C's are on pace to win 16.4 games. That's well below the the 27.5 number one Las Vegas book set to get action on the team before the season started.

    Rajon Rondo's return should make this team much better, and Brad Stevens just coached his fifth NBA game. The Celtics will improve as the season goes along. That improvement, however, doesn't mask the fact that this roster isn't built to win now. Outside of Rondo, the C's don't have a reliable ball handler; there's redundancy at both forward spots and they lack size in the middle. None of their four shooting guards are particularly good outside shooters.

    As hard as it may be to watch, right now, the Celtics are meeting expectations. Stevens was not handed a playoff team or anything close to it. It's going to get better, but not dramatically so. Remember, with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (and Rondo for much of the season) the Celtics were 41-40 last season and suffered a first-round exit. Without those players, it's hard to expect much more than this.

    Here are five early observations after the first five games of the season:

    -- Avery Bradley isn't a point guard: No, this isn't some ethereal discussion on what it means to be a true point guard vs. a combo guard. Bradley can't run the offense. Brad Stevens started Bradley at shooting guard Wednesday night alongside Jordan Crawford, and the results were much better. Heading into the game the Celtics were averaging a league-worst 21 turnovers per game. That number dropped to 14 vs. the Jazz.

    I'm one of Bradley's biggest supporters, but through five games he's averaging 3.4 turnovers to 2.6 assists. On the other hand, Crawford has averaged 3 assists and 1 turnover per game. Bradley is a plus defender and a better shooter than he's shown. Asked if he felt more comfortable starting next to Crawford, Bradley said, “A little bit. If there is somebody else there you can kind of get a rhythm a little better because you don’t always have the ball.”

    Bradley should improve slotted next to Rondo. For now, Crawford is the better option.

    -- Jordan Crawford is a sneaky good passer: Last season, Doc Rivers said several times that the shoot-first Crawford was an excellent passer. The statement elicited eye rolls and smirks, but through the first part of this season Crawford has proven to be better than expected in that area. Crawford is still looking for his shot first, but he's pulled off some great dishes so far. My favorite came in the third quarter last night when Crawford drove the lane and found Sullinger with a nifty no-look that screamed right into his hands. Per 36 minutes Crawford is averaging 5.2 assists. Not exactly high volume, but it's the best on the team to date.

    -- Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger are good and bad together: As an offensive duo, Olynky and Sullinger are mesmerizing. They each move well without the ball, have a deft passing touch, and have all the little tricks you need to score around the rim. They feed off each other, finding one another when there's a mismatch in the post.

    Defensively it's a different story. Olynyk is not ready for NBA defense, which makes sense: he's a rookie. He gets lost on screens and bullied in the post. On a play near the end of the first quarter Wenesday, Olynyk gave an awful close-out on a baseline jumper by Derrick Favors. Through no effort of Olynyk's, Favors missed the wide-open shot, but OIynyk was able to sprint free and score an easy layup. Such is life watching the rookie.

    Sullinger is better on defense and great at keeping his man off the defensive glass. But he lacks the height to be an NBA center. Together, they form an exciting NBA frontcourt on one end and a potentially disastrous one on the other.

    -- There are a lot of bad teams out there: Did you see that Jazz roster last night? Outside of Gordon Hayward and above-average big man Enes Kanter, there's no one on the team who worries you. Utah tried to rebuild while also contending the last few seasons. It didn't work. They're going to be bad, along with half a dozen or more teams in the league. The Celtics face a couple of them -- the Magic and the Bobcats -- this week. Even if a team were theoretically tanking for a higher draft pick, it wouldn't guarantee anything.

    -- Kris Humphries isn't being used enough: Humphries could be Boston's most complete big man, but he barely sniffed the floor last night, seeing just 5:42 of action. That's about half of what he usually plays. Sullinger and Olynyk are undoubtedly more exciting, but they're also greener. The Celtics would be a better team with Humphries on the floor more.

    Wallace perplexed about bench role

    Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 6, 2013 07:23 PM

    Celtics swingman Gerald Wallace said he is uncertain about his move to the bench after being replaced for Wednesday's matchup against the Utah Jazz by Jordan Crawford.

    Wallace has been mainly a starter since his first three seasons with the Sacramento Kings, starting 590 out of his past 608 games played before Wednesday.

    Stevens said he wanted to add spark to the offense but Wallace appears uncertain of the team's direction.

    "It’s tough for me to adjust to everything. I’m trying to just figure out my role and do the best that I can in that role," he said. "Once I figure that out, then hopefully I’ll be more comfortable in the situation."

    Wallace said he isn't accustomed to coming off the bench.

    "I don’t know. This is the first time for me. I never came off the bench, other than about three years in Sacramento, where they were garbage minutes," he said. "I’ve always been a starter. I worked my tail off in the league to become a starter. It’s something that’s new to me. I approach the role the same way I did as a starter, and see what I can do from there."

    Wallace has been outspoken since arriving in Boston and he appears unsure of the team's plan considering the Celtics are in a rebuilding mode.

    "I’m just trying to make sense of everything. I’m trying to figure out what’s really going on and go from there," he said. "I don’t have a clue. I don’t know what’s going on. My thing is, when I’m on the court, I compete to win. And when I’m not, it’s just cheer my guys on and hopefully we’ll get a win tonight."

    Wallace said he won't approach Stevens about the change.

    "I’m done talking. Whatever they say, it’s their team," he said. "They can do whatever they want to do. (I’m just) going to come out and compete hard and try to win."

    Welcome to TD Garden for Celtics-Jazz

    Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 6, 2013 06:14 PM

    In order to spark the early offense, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has decided to insert Jordan Crawford into the starting lineup, replacing Gerald Wallace, who is averaging just 5.5 points and four shot attempts per game. Crawford has began the season hot, hitting 13 of his first 23 shots and four of his nine 3-point attempts.

    The Jazz are also winless, having dropping a 104-88 decision to the Brooklyn Nets. They lost their first two games by 3 points but dropped games to Houston and Brooklyn by a combined 27 points.


    PG Avery Bradley
    SG Jordan Crawford
    SF Jeff Green
    PF Brandon Bass
    C Vitor Faverani

    Inactives: Rajon Rondo

    UTAH JAZZ (0-1)
    PG Jamaal Tinsley
    SG Gordon Hayward
    SF Richard Jefferson
    PF Derrick Favors
    C Enes Kanter

    Inactives: Trey Burke, Andris Biedrins, Jeremy Evans

    Officials: James Capers, Derek Richardson, Kevin Scott

    TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

    Pregame notes:

    • Wallace is available for tonight after bruising his right knee in the third quarter of Monday's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. He will come off the bench.

    • The Jazz are banged up with Andris Biedrins (ankle), Trey Burke (finger), Jeremy Evans (rotator cuff) and Marvin Williams (Achilles) all out. Burke was the team's projected starting point guard but Utah is going with Tinsley and journeyman John Lucas III

    • Stevens said Jared Sullinger has to continue to get into better shape after back surgery. Sullinger has played an average of 15 minutes in the first three games.

    • The team leaves Thursday afternoon for a two-game road trip to Orlando on Friday and Miami on Saturday. It will be the first meeting between the Celtics and Heat since the big trade sending Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn.

    Celtics news and updates

    Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 6, 2013 06:08 PM

    Get the latest in Boston.com's Celtics blog.

    Welcome to the FedExForum

    Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 4, 2013 05:49 PM

    MEMPHIS -- The Celtics look to avoid starting their season with four straight losses, but that won't be easy against the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that, like Detroit, offers a strong front line that will be tough for the undersized Celtics to stop.

    This game marks the second of a road back-to-back set for the Celtics, who are coming off a loss to the Pistons in Auburn Hills, Mich., Sunday. The Grizzlies are coming off a 111-99 loss to the Mavericks in Dallas Saturday.


    CELTICS (0-3)
    PG Avery Bradley
    SG Jeff Green
    SF Gerald Wallace
    PF Brandon Bass
    C Vitor Faverani

    Inactives: Rajon Rondo

    GRIZZLIES (1-2)
    PG Mike Conley
    SG Tony Allen
    SF Tayshaun Prince
    PF Zach Randolph
    C Marc Gasol

    Inactives: None

    Officials: David Jones, Tony Brown, J.T. Orr

    TV, radio: 8 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, WBZ-FM (98.5).

    Pregame notes:

    • Expect rookie point guard Phil Pressey to get some playing time for the Celtics. Coach Brad Stevens hinted at that before the game.

    • Stevens and Dave Joerger are both rookie NBA coaches -- and they're among the youngest in the league. At 37, Stevens is the league's youngest coach. At 39, Joerger is the third-youngest.

    • From here, the Celtics will play Wednesday against the Utah Jazz at TD Garden, Friday against the Magic in Orlando, and Saturday against the Heat in Miami.

    Welcome to the Palace at Auburn Hills

    Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff November 3, 2013 02:53 PM

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Celtics look to snap a two-game losing streak and win their first game of the regular-season Sunday night here against the Detroit Pistons.

    The C's are coming off a horrible loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, who came back from a 22-point third quarter deficit to stun the Celtics in their home opener at TD Garden.

    The Pistons, who are coming off a 111-108 overtime loss in Memphis, have won four straight games against the Celtics at the Palace at Auburn Hills.

    Detroit guard Brandon Jennings is expected to make his regular-season and Pistons debut after sitting out because of an impacted wisdom tooth and a fractured jaw.


    PG Avery Bradley
    SG Jeff Green
    SF Gerald Wallace
    PF Brandon Bass
    C Vitor Faverani

    Inactives: Rajon Rondo

    PG Will Bynum
    SG Chauncey Billiups
    SF Josh Smith
    PF Greg Monroe
    C Andre Drummond

    Inactives: Charlie Villanueva

    Officials: Ken Mauer, Dick Bavetta, Sean Corbin

    TV, radio: 6 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WZLX 100.7 FM).

    Pregame notes:

    • The already-undersized Celtics face a tall task against the uber-athletic frontline of the 6-foot-9 Smith, the 6-11 Monroe and the 6-11 Drummond.

    • The Celtics are one of four winless teams in the NBA. The other three: Denver (0-2), Utah (0-3) and Washington (0-2).

    • This game marks the first of five in seven nights in five different cities for the Celtics. From here, they play Monday against the Grizzlies in Memphis, Wednesday against the Utah Jazz at TD Garden, Friday against the Magic in Orlando, and Saturday against the Heat in Miami.

    Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 1, 2013 06:46 PM

    The Celtics face Milwaukee in their home opener, their second chance to get Brad Stevens his first NBA win. The Celtics lost their season opener 93-87 at Toronto as Jeff Green led the club with 25 points. Coach Brad Stevens will go with his same starting lineup, which includes rookie Vitor Faverani, who had 13 points in his NBA debut.


    PG Avery Bradley
    SG Jeff Green
    SF Gerald Wallace
    PF Brandon Bass
    C Vitor Faverani

    Inactives: Rajon Rondo

    PG Nate Wolters
    SG O.J. Mayo
    SF Caron Butler
    PF Khris Middleton
    C Larry Sanders

    Inactives: Ekpe Udoh

    Officials: Joe Crawford, Leon Wood, Ben Taylor

    TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, (WBZ FM, 98.5).

    Pregame notes:

    • Avery Bradley was cleared to play after tests to determine a concussion were negative. Bradley got into a collision with Toronto's Kyle Lowry for a loose ball in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's 93-87 loss.

    • The Bucks are missing two point guards with Brandon Knight (sore hamstring) and Luke Ridnour (back spasms) being out. Rookie Nate Wolters will receive his first NBA start.

    • Jared Sullinger returns after a one-game team-imposed suspension and was expected to play Friday.

    • The team leaves Saturday evening for Detroit to begin a two-game road trip against the Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies. The Celtics next home game is Wednesday against the Utah Jazz and Gordon Hayward, who played for Stevens in college.

    Statue unveiled for Celtics legend Bill Russell

    Posted by Robert Burgess November 1, 2013 01:30 PM


    Celtics legend Bill Russell attended a star-studded unveiling of a statue of himself on City Hall Plaza today.

    Russell said he enjoyed the artist’s work and quipped that she had done a good job “considering what she had to work with.”

    The unveiling of the 6-foot-10, 600-pound statue, held under a tent, was attended by, among others, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Celtics owner Steven Pagluica, and former NBA Commissioner David Stern.

    Outside the tent, in the wind and rain, a crowd of about 200 gathered, chanting, “Thank you, Bill Russell. Thanks for all the championships.” Russell looked at the crowd, gave them a broad smile and a quick wave.

    He then was spirited away in a golf cart to a reception at a nearby downtown office building.

    Those in the room for the reception included former Celtics Sam Jones, Jojo White, Satch Sanders, and Bill Walton. Other former players included Charles Barkley and Bill Lanier.

    Those attending said that Russell contributed not just on the basketball court, but by his support for civil rights and education for children.

    Russell, 75, who looked trim, wearing a gray suit coat and pants, with a blue shirt, became emotional when he said all he ever wanted to do was to make his father proud and live each day that way.

    Ann Hirsch, the sculptor, recently told the Globe about the research and artistic effort that led to her design of the statue.

    Right photo, with Bill Russell in the background, from @baxterholmes.

    More photos from the event are here.

    John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.

    Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.

    No extension for Bradley, will be RFA next summer

    Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff November 1, 2013 12:37 PM

    The Celtics and Avery Bradley's representatives negotiated into the late evening trying to work out a four-year contract extension but they were unable to reach a deal before the midnight deadline, meaning the guard will be a restricted free agent next summer.

    Bradley, who just finished his third season, was eligible for an extension before the Oct. 31 deadline and both the Celtics and Bradley had interest in a long-term deal but couldn't come together on the money.

    Interested teams will be able to offer Bradley a contract next summer but the Celtics will have the right to match those offers. Bradley has missed 85 games over his first three seasons because of injuries, including 32 last season because of surgery on both shoulders. Tuesday was the just the second time in four seasons Bradley has been healthy enough to play in a season opener.

    For his career, Bradley has averaged 6.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

    News, analysis and commentary from the following Boston Globe and Boston.com writers:

    NBA video


    browse this blog

    by category