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Report: Celtics ‘quietly aggressive’ on trade front looking to make ‘splashy move’

01.29.16 at 11:30 am ET
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Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge

Much has been made of the fact that the Celtics are loaded with assets as the Feb. 18 trade deadline approaches. The team has appealing complementary players and multiple draft picks to dangle.

Controversial Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins long has been considered a target for C’s president Danny Ainge, along with Cavaliers forward Kevin Love. However, both teams have made it clear those players are not available.

That doesn’t mean the Celtics are folding. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, “Boston has been quietly aggressive, with its well-chronicled array of assets, in search of the splashy move we all know Danny Ainge would love to make.” With Cousins and Love apparently out of the picture, “there isn’t a starry trade target for Ainge to chase. At least not yet.”

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Isaiah Thomas headed to All-Star game in Toronto

01.28.16 at 9:17 pm ET
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Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives the ball against the Nuggets in Wednesday's win. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas drives on the Nuggets in Wednesday’s win. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Isaiah Thomas is no longer a forgotten star in the NBA.

The 26-year-old Celtics scoring guard entering his prime was selected to his first career All-Star squad Thursday night.

The NBA announced during Thursday’s special on TNT that Thomas will be heading to Toronto Feb. 12-14, joining Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Paul Millsap, Andre Drummond, Chris Bosh and John Wall as the seven reserves selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

All-Star reserves were chosen by the league’€™s 30 head coaches.

Thomas entered the Celtics‘ starting lineup on a regular basis on Nov. 4 and scored at least 16 points in 40 of his 44 games in that time. Thomas is averaging a career-high 21.6 points per game this season, which leads all Eastern Conference point guards and ranks seventh among all guards in the NBA.

On Oct. 28, in the season opener against the Sixers, Thomas scored a game-high 27 points off the bench to pace the Celtics to a victory. On Dec. 16, 2015, he tied his career-high of 38 points in a loss to the Detroit Pistons.

Thomas has averaged 20.3 points and 5.8 assists in Boston’s current four-game winning streak, a run that has improved them to 26-21 on the season, putting them just a game behind third-place Atlanta in the East.

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Studs and Duds: Celtics beat Nuggets, stretch win streak to 4

01.27.16 at 10:22 pm ET
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Jan 27, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) reacts after his three point basket against the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics guard Avery Bradley  reacts after his 3-pointer against the Nuggets in the first quarter at TD Garden. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Forcing a total of 20 turnovers, the Celtics led the Nuggets throughout the final three quarters Wednesday en route to a 111-103 victory at TD Garden.

After three quarters, the Celtics scored 15 second-chance points off of 13 offensive rebounds and took a 86-71 lead into the fourth quarter. The Celtics used an 18-2 run in the final frame to open up a 22-point advantage — their biggest lead of the night. The Celtics bench totaled 40 points and took care of the lead while the starters rested.

Avery Bradley scored a game-high 27 points and Isaiah Thomas added 16 points and five assists. Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton each scored 23 points to lead the Nuggets.

The Celtics (26-21) have won four games in a row — tying a season high — and are half a game behind the Bulls for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

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

STUD OF THE NIGHT: Avery Bradley

After Bradley scored 13 first quarter points on 5-for-7 shooting, including 3-of-5 from deep, you knew it was going to be one of those shooting nights for him. The Celtics guard shot 55 percent on 11-of-20 shooting, including 5-of-13 from distance and tallied 27 points. Defensively, Bradley was a pest in the back court and finished the night with four steals.

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Report: Avery Bradley unhappy with Celtics contract

01.26.16 at 11:01 am ET
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Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley reportedly has grown frustrated with his current contract situation. While he was previously highly touted mostly for his lock-down perimeter defense, Bradley has elevated his offensive game this year and has proven to be a major asset on both sides of the ball for the Celtics. Now he and his new agent apparently feel he should be paid like it.

The Celtics inked Bradley to a four-year, $32 million deal in 2014. Many actually thought Celtics boss Danny Ainge had overpaid to keep him in Boston, due to the fact that he was seen by most as a one-sided player. It seems the tables have turned, and in the coming seasons Bradley and his agent may be pushing for more money.

Wrote Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe: Avery Bradley has changed agents from Mitchell Butler of the Rival Sports Group to Rob Pelinka, who also represents Kobe Bryant. Butler was able to procure the oft-injured Bradley a four-year, $32 million contract extension last summer, considered an above-market deal. Now Bradley is apparently unhappy with his contract, especially after seeing players such as Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton (five years, $70 million), Utah’s Gordon Hayward (four years, $61 million), and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson (five years, $82 million) cash in with lucrative extensions, making Bradley’s deal appear to be a bargain with the new television money increasing the salary cap this summer.

Bradley has averaged 14.8 points per game and is shooting 37 percent from 3-point range. His offensive success clearly has not caused his defense to suffer, as he’s also on pace for a career-high 1.6 steals per game.

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Studs and Duds: Isaiah Thomas, Celtics rout Wizards

01.25.16 at 10:03 pm ET
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Jan 25, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) shoots as Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) looks on during the second half at Verizon Center. Boston Celtics won 116 - 91. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas shoots as Wizards guard John Wall defends during the second half at Verizon Center. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

For the fourth time this season, the Celtics defeated the Wizards — sweeping the season series — and they did it in blowout fashion in a 116-91 win on Monday.

After a back-and-forth first half, the Celtics built the first double-digit lead of the night in the third quarter and took a 84-70 lead into the final frame. The Celtics converted 21 points off 14 Wizards turnovers before they grabbed their biggest lead of the night in the fourth quarter. After Wizards forward Nene was whistled for a flagrant 1 foul, the Celtics opened up a 27-point lead behind a 23-7 run.

Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 23 points and led six Celtics in double figures, including Evan Turner (18 points, five rebounds). Otto Porter and Jared Dudley each scored 15 points to lead the Wizards.

Monday night marks the ninth straight game in which the Celtics have scored 100 or more points. The Celtics (25-21) now are one game ahead of the Pacers for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

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

STUD OF THE NIGHT: Isaiah Thomas

In three days the NBA All-Star reserves will be announced, and Thomas continued to make his case for a spot on the East team. He finished the night with 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting, nine assists and four rebounds. He was a plus-19 on the night. Monday marked the 31st time Thomas has scored 20-plus points this season.


Fortunately for the Celtics, John Wall wasn’t the best Wizard on the floor. Wall had a bad shooting night. He shot 27.3 percent on 3-of-11 shooting and couldn’t stop the bleeding when the Celtics offense erupted in the fourth quarter. Not having Bradley Beal in the game also didn’t help the Wizards offense. Beal exited the game with a bloody nose in the second quarter and never returned.

VINE OF THE NIGHT: No vine but scroll down to the @ of the night to see the dunk of the game

WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Marcus Smart takes a beating

Wizards power forward Nene was very physical against the Celtics, especially toward Smart. In the first quarter, Nene was posting up against Smart and knocked him, but no offensive foul was called. He also got away with sneaky pushing and sketchy screens. Nene finally was penalized in the fourth quarter when Smart was driving to the hoop and Nene’s arm came down on him and knocked Smart down. He was issued a flagrant 1 foul.


The Celtics shot 48.9 percent from the floor on 44-of-90 shooting. They finished with 42 points in the paint and shot 40.9 percent from distance on 9-of-22 attempts. The Celtics offense has been hot lately, and it starts on the defensive end of the floor. The C’s coerced 20 Wizards turnovers and sealed the win in the second half behind 63 second-half points.

@ OF THE NIGHT: Winter Storm Jonas

Nobody watches as Celtics dominate 76ers

01.24.16 at 9:38 pm ET
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Jan 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) reacts to his three pointer against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) reacts to his 3-pointer against the 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

If the Celtics dominate the 76ers and no one is there to see it, does it still count as a win?

Yes. Obviously.

After Winter Storm Jonas dropped close to two feet of snow on the Philadelphia, less than 2,000 people were in the stands to see the Celtics defeat the 76ers, 112-92.

The Celtics dominated the entire game, scoring 94 points in the first three quarters. The C’s are averaging 112 points over their past eight games.

The 76ers played terrible defense and allowed the Celtics to take numerous open 3’s. The Celtics shot 44 percent (11-for-25) from beyond the arc.

Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas each scored 20 points, while Avery Bradley added 19. Marcus Smart and Evan Turner added 16 and 11 points off the bench respectively.

With the win, the (24-21) Celtics are in sole possession of the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference. The team will travel south to the next closest covered city to play the Wizards on Monday night.

For a complete box score, click here.

Studs and Duds: Jared Sullinger’s double-double lifts Celtics past Bulls

01.22.16 at 10:04 pm ET
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The Celtics ended their two-game losing streak with a 110-101 victory over the Bulls on Friday night.

In a dominant first half, the Celtics built up a 15-point lead while shooting 50 percent from the field. The Celtics defense did an excellent job getting their hands on the basketball, scoring 17 points off of 13 Bulls turnovers.

In the second half, Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler helped the Bulls claw back in the game.  The duo picked apart the Celtics poor pick-and-roll defense in the third quarter, combining for 36 of their 55 points in the final 24 minutes.

Two Jimmy Butler foul shots cut the Celtics lead to 97-96 with 4:58 left to play in the game. The C’s, who have led a number of fourth-quarter leads slip away this season, did not relinquish their lead, only allowing five points during the rest of the game.

With the game on the line, the team turned to their potential All-Star Isaiah Thomas, who scored six of his team-high 22 points down the stretch.  Avery Bradley added 21 on 8-of-14 shooting.Jared Sullinger registered his 13th double-double of the season, finishing with 18 points, and 12 rebounds.

With the win, the Celtics improve to 23-21 on the season. Due to Winter Storm Jonas, their schedule game against the 76ers was postponed from Saturday to Sunday night.

For a complete box score, click here. Read the rest of this entry »

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