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Studs and Duds: Hot-shooting Celtics fly past Wizards

11.06.15 at 9:52 pm ET
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It’s the law of averages. Eventually, the shots would start falling. But no mathematician would have predicted this.

The Celtics (2-3) shot 45 percent from the field and defeated the visiting Wizards 118-98 on Friday night. Led by Jared Sullinger’s 21 points, five Celtics  finished in double figures. The C’s dominated the first half, outscoring the Wizards 72-49. It was the first time the Celtics had scored 70 in a half since the modern-day Big Three did it in 2010. They also excelled from beyond the arc, knocking down a season-high 12 3-pointers.

Bradley Beal scored a game-high 24 points for the Wizards, a fast-paced team that struggled to keep up with the high-flying Celtics. The C’s hands were extremely active on defense, forcing 24 turnovers on a season-high 18 steals.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

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Marcus Smart to miss second consecutive game with sprained toe

11.06.15 at 6:10 pm ET
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Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is inactive tonight against the Washington Wizards after spraining the big toe on his left foot. Before the game he was seen in the locker room wearing a walking boot on his left foot. Smart sat out Wednesday’s night loss to the Indiana Pacers and had a noticeable limp on Thursday,  when he missed practice. The second-year guard does not know exactly when he injured his toe, stating that he started feeling some discomfort on Tuesday night and woke Wednesday morning in a lot more pain. Smart will continue to rehab between now and the Celtics next game on Tuesday in Milwaukee.

In his place, Isaiah Thomas will make his second consecutive start for the Celtics. Thomas, the Celtics leading scorer, will be tested defensively as he will be tasked with defending the tremendous backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Amir Johnson also missed Thursday’s practice after twisting his ankle in the second half of the Pacers game. Johnson, who has dealt with ankle injuries his entire career, stated before the game that the current problem was not se

will start for the second game in a row, along with Thomas, Avery Brady expected to play. Johnson has dealt with ankle injuries his entire career,

For a lengthier preview of tonight’s match-up between the Celtics and Wizards, listen to the WEEI Celtics Podcast with guest Quinten Rosborough, writer for the Wizards SB Nation blog Bullets Forever.

 

2016 Celtics Mock Draft Pick Power Rankings v1.0

11.05.15 at 11:05 am ET
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Lionel Hollins gif

The Celtics own as many as eight draft picks in June 2016 — only one of which is their own — and the unprotected selection from the Nets is legitimately one of the most fascinating storylines in the entire NBA this season. We’ll regularly update the status of those selections, speculating when and who the Celtics will pick.

FIRST ROUND

1. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn): Ben Simmons.

Brooklyn (0-5) has no reason to tank, and yet the Nets can’t help themselves. Through the first week of the season, only one team ranks in the bottom three in both offensive and defensive rating. It’s the Nets, who score 93.5 points (29th) and allow 109.7 points (28th) per 100 possessions. That’s a recipe for disaster, unless your Danny Ainge, in which case it’s a recipe for the most delicious meal he’s ever eaten.

7. Boston Celtics: Henry Ellenson.

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Studs and Duds: Avery Bradley, Celtics come up short in Indiana

11.04.15 at 10:00 pm ET
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It was not the prettiest evening of basketball Indiana’s ever seen, but the Celtics gave themselves a shot.

That shot was soon swallowed by a stifling defense that left Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley no breathing room on the final possession. Bradley’s 3-point attempt fell well short, and the C’s lost, 100-98. They dropped to 1-3 on the season with a brutal stretch over their next six games: Wizards, at Bucks, Pacers, Hawks, at Thunder and at Rockets.

Thomas led the C’s with 27 points and seven assists, and Bradley added 21 points despite an injured right index finger. Joe Crowder (12 points), Evan Turner (11 points) and David Lee (10 points) also reached double figures. Paul George led the Celtics with 26 points, 10 rebounds and a wide-open 3 that broke a 93-93 tie with 2:13 remaining.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

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Jae Crowder commits greatest turnover in NBA history

11.04.15 at 8:36 pm ET
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If the Celtics were going to commit another turnover before the half, at least they made it the greatest one ever.

With a second left before the break, Celtics forward Jae Crowder tried to find Jared Sullinger with a fullcourt inbounds pass, except he found the bottom of the cup instead. The NBA should probably make a rule that if anyone ever does this again, everyone calls it a night — Celtics win. A proverbial mic drop. Instead, it was Pacers ball.

The turnover marked the C’s 13th of the half, and Indiana took a 49-43 lead into the locker room.

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Lineup change: Marcus Smart out (sprained toe), Jared Sullinger, Amir Johnson to start

11.04.15 at 6:28 pm ET
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Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart

The Celtics faced the Pacers in Indiana on Wednesday with a new look to their starting lineup.

Guard Marcus Smart missed Wednesday’s game due to a sprained left big toe, according to team officials. Isaiah Thomas got the nod in place of Smart. It marked Thomas’ first regular-season start as a Celtic.

Celtics officials announced Smart’s injury Wednesday afternoon from Indiana.

The Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett tweeted out the following on Smart’s status:

Team officials also announced that Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson would start in place of David Lee and Tyler Zeller.

And Avery Bradley was listed as questionable with a right index finger injury, but he made the start alongside Thomas in the backcourt.

David Lee on cold start with Celtics: ‘I have to be better finishing the ball’

11.04.15 at 1:56 pm ET
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It’s way too early to panic.

But in his first three games in Boston, David Lee is averaging 5.3 points and shooting 25 percent from the floor. The Celtics suffered two losses against two good teams (Raptors and Spurs) last week, and haven’t gotten much offensive production out of their newcomer.

Lee isn’t making excuses. He acknowledged his shortcomings after Sunday’s loss against San Antonio.

“I’m out here thinking more than I’m playing, and that’s by no means an excuse,” Lee said Sunday. “I have to be better finishing the ball. That’s what I do. I think I’ve shot 50 percent or better for the last decade. If I’m a betting man, I’m thinking I’m going to snap out of it here.”

For his career, Lee has shot 53.2 percent from the floor. Just last season, Lee averaged below double digits in points for the first time since his rookie season. But still managed to shoot 51 percent in 18 minutes.

Expectations were somewhat high when the Celtics acquired Lee. Fresh off winning an NBA title as a backup on the Warriors, Lee was coming into a great situation. No one thought he would go back to being the All-Star he was a few years back, but in a starter’s role with a young Celtics core, it was fair to expect improvement from last season. At age 32, he still has plenty of basketball left in the tank.

On Sunday against the Spurs, Lee scored two points on 1-of-7 shooting, missed a jump shot and failed to tip in a rebound (twice), then Tim Duncan stuffed his shot so badly that it left him sitting on TD Garden’s new parquet floor. It was a rough game for Lee.

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