|02.02.16 at 10:16 pm ET|
Shooting is overrated.
On a night when the Celtics couldn’t make a 3-pointer to save their lives — missing their first 13 — it didn’t matter in a 97-89 victory over the Knicks on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
With the win, the Celtics (28-22) pulled a half-game ahead of the Heat and are tied with the Hawks for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.
In a sloppy and physical first half, the Celtics kept the game close, despite only shooting 38 percent from the field and missing all 13 of their 3-point attempts.
With their outside shots not falling, the Celtics pulled ahead in the third quarter by moving the ball and attacking the basket. After only managing six assists in the first half, the Celtics assisted on nine of their 11 third quarter field goals.
In the fourth, the Celtics bench, led by Turner, Zeller, and Kelly Olynyk, dominated the Knicks, abusing their terrible pick-and-roll defense. The trio combined for 25 of the team’s 27 points in the final frame.
They needed it, too, because they were abysmal from long range, making only 3 of 19 3-pointers (15.8 percent). They helped their cause by limiting the Knicks to 30 percent shooting from distance (6-for-20).
The C’s return home to play the Pistons to complete the back-to-back on Wednesday night.
|02.02.16 at 12:21 pm ET|
If so, that player could be Danilo Gallinari.
According to a report from over the weekend on Sportando, a website that tracks worldwide basketball, the Celtics have interest in the Nuggets’ sharpshooter, who’s in the midst of his best season.
The 6-foot-10 Italian, the No. 6 overall pick by the Knicks in the 2008 draft, has rebounded from 2014 knee surgery to post the best numbers of his career. He’s averaging 19.3 points and 5.6 rebounds a game, both career highs, and he ranks among the NBA’s top 10 in free throws made (291, 5th) and attempted (333, 9th).
That the Celtics would have interest shouldn’t be a surprise, since the Herald’s Steve Bulpett reported over the summer that Gallinari was a potential target of Celtics president Danny Ainge and that the sides had discussed a deal.
Gallinari, 27, is signed through the 2017-18 season on a two-year, $34 million extension.
|02.01.16 at 3:24 pm ET|
Lee, who has not played in the last 12 games, is a free agent after the season. The 6-foot-9 power forward has lost his spot in the rotation with the Celtics deciding to shift to a smaller lineup featuring the versatile Jae Crowder at the 4.
Both Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens have praised Lee’s willingness to make the best of what everyone recognizes is a less-than-ideal situation. The 32-year-old former All-Star is a skilled scorer in the post, but not necessarily a fit in Stevens’ offense, which is built more around ball movement and 3-point shooting.
“All the success he has had in the NBA ‘¦ he has dealt with it right,” Ainge told CSNNE.com. “He knows an opportunity is going to come to him at some points. He’s staying ready.”
Ainge declined to disclose what he told Lee’s camp, and there are no indications the forward has requested a trade in advance of the Feb. 18 trade deadline.
Lee is averaging 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He’s only two years removed from going for 18.2 and 9.3 in Golden State.
|01.31.16 at 8:55 pm ET|
The Celtics saw their five-game winning streak snapped in a 119-114 loss to the Magic on Sunday in Orlando.
The hosts prevailed on the strength of a 72-point second half, overcoming a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to lead by as many as 11 in the fourth.
The Celtics cut the deficit to 3 with 14 seconds left to play on a four-point play by Marcus Smart, but the comeback fell short.
Evan Fournier (24) and rookie Mario Herzonja (17) led the Magic, combining for 41 points off the bench. Four other Magic scored in double figures.
For a complete box score, click here.
|01.31.16 at 9:12 am ET|
“Atlanta, I’ve been told, is ready to turn the page, to give the team to Dennis Schroeder, their young point guard, who is ready to step up and be a starter,” Mannix said. “Teague is available because Teague has some value. He has another year left on his contract, about $8 million per year, and teams across the league are looking to get him.”
Mannix continued, “I’ve heard that Boston’s inquired about several players with Atlanta, Teague and Al Horford. Teague might seem like a weird fit with this team because they already have point guards, but he is an asset, He’s someone the Celtics could be interested in.
“Horford, a little more difficult. It would be a gamble going after Al Horford because Al Horford is in the last year of his deal and he’s going to command a salary north of $20 million next year. But as we know and as I just said, (president of basketball operations) Danny Ainge is a gambling GM. He could make a move like that, too.”
Atlanta is currently tied for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference at 27-21, with the 29 year old Horford averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Teague, 27, 14.5 points and 5.5 assists per contest.
|01.29.16 at 10:05 pm ET|
The depth is real.
The Celtics outplayed the Magic for the majority of the game, but only led by nine points at the end of the third quarter. The Celtics bench unit of Kelly Olynyk, Evan Turner, Jonas Jerebko, and Marcus Smart then used an 26-6 run to blow the game wide open.
Olynyk and Smart led all scorers with 16 points, while five other Celtics were in double figures. Jared Sullinger also finished the game with a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
The (27-21) Celtics have won five in a row and eight of their last 10 games. With the win, the C’s are tied with the Hawks for the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference. The C’s will look to extend their winning streak to six games as they travel to Orlando to take on the Magic on the second leg of the home-and-home series.
For a complete box score, click here.
STUD OF THE NIGHT The Bench Mob
Since Brad Stevens shortened the bench to nine players, the bench mob has really excelled. Friday night, the foursome absolutely dominated the Magic reserves, outscoring them 60-35. All four players scored greater than 13 points and combined to shoot 7-of-10 from 3-point range.
|01.29.16 at 11:30 am ET|
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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