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Stat Man: How much will Rajon Rondo help Celtics’ offense?

12.03.13 at 1:02 pm ET
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Since Rajon Rondo appears one step closer to his eventual return, now is as good a time as any to ask: Just how much will the three-time NBA All-Star point guard help the Celtics‘ woeful offense when he returns?

When we last saw Rondo, his 13.7 points and league-leading 11.1 assists per game created an average of 38.0 points for the Celtics, and that doesn’t include the new free throw and secondary assist statistics available this season on NBA.com/stats or the C’s increased pace under Brad Stevens.

This season, Jordan Crawford has received 1,301 touches, which ranks 15th among the league’s guards, and the Celtics rank 26th in points per 100 possessions (96.0). It’s safe to assume there’s a correlation there.

The other 14 guards: Chris Paul, John Wall, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Jrue Holiday, Tony Parker, Mike Conley, Ricky Rubio, Steve Blake, Kemba Walker and Jose Calderon.

The most jarring name has to be Blake, who’s doing a better job replacing Steve Nash on the Lakers than Crawford is substituting for Rondo. When you combine their scoring and passing, only Calderon creates fewer points per game than Crawford (23.8), and that’s because Calderon shares a backcourt with Ellis.

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Nets’ Paul Pierce out 2-4 weeks with broken hand, will miss game vs. Celtics

12.02.13 at 12:18 pm ET
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Nets swingman Paul Pierce is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a non-displaced fracture of the third metacarpal of his right hand, the team announced Monday.

The injury is likely to force Pierce to miss next Tuesday’s game vs. the Celtics in Brooklyn.

Pierce was injured in the first half of Friday night’s 114-95 loss to the Rockets.

Pierce is averaging 12.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 15 games this season, his first in Brooklyn following the offseason trade that also included Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry leaving Boston.

The Nets are 5-12 and ahead of only the Knicks in the Atlantic Division.

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Celtics allow Bucks to snap 11-game losing streak

11.30.13 at 11:16 pm ET
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This wasn’t exactly the corner the Celtics thought they might be turning.

After a decisive home win over Cleveland Friday night, the Celts suffered one of their worst losses of the season Saturday night, dropping a 92-85 decision to the lowly Bucks. The subpar performance was made even more difficult to digest for Brad Stevens‘ team considering Milwaukee had lost 11 straight.

Two of the Bucks’ three wins this season have now come against the Celtics.

The C’s had jumped out to an eight-point lead after the first quarter, but were outscored 28-14 in the second quarter. Also not not helping matters was a fourth stanza that didn’t see the Celtics convert a field goal until almost halfway through the quarter.

Jeff Green couldn’t quite repeat his 31-point performance of Friday night, finishing with 18 points. Jared Sullinger turned in another solid outing, scoring 21 while hauling in 14 rebounds.

Avery Bradley (4-for-15 from the floor, 9 points) fouled out of his league-leading third game.

The Celts were also out-rebounded by the usually rebound-challenged Bucks, 49-39, with the visitors making just four of their 19 three-point attempts.

Click here for a complete box score.

Jeff Green, Avery Bradley help halt Celtics’ home losing skid

11.29.13 at 9:58 pm ET
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Jeff Green — and the Cleveland Cavaliers — were going to make sure the Celtics didn’t lose their fifth straight game at the TD Garden.

Green led a Celtics attack that saw Brad Stevens‘ team shoot 50 percent from the floor on the way to a 103-86 win over the struggling Cavs. The Celts’ forward netted 31 points.

The win marked the first time in 10 games the Celts scored at least 100 points.

It was Cleveland’s fifth straight loss, and eighth in its last nine games.

The Celtics, who improve to 7-11, jumped out to a 28-10 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. By the time halftime rolled around the hosts had a 55-39 advantage.

Besides Green, the Celtics also got stellar performances from Avery Bradley (9-of-11 from the floor, 21 points) and Brandon Bass, who netted 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting fro the field.

Jordan Crawford also notched his third career triple-double, scoring 11 points while coming away with 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

Kyrie Irving starred for the Cavaliers, finishing with 17 points.

Click here for a complete box score.

Furious fourth quarter comeback falls short as Celtics lose to Grizzlies

11.27.13 at 9:56 pm ET
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Fresh off a two-game road winning streak, the Celtics proved unable to sustain momentum on their home floor. The C’s were outscored by the Grizzlies, 27-13, in the first quarter, and from there, Memphis cruised until the Celtics mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback that ultimately proved too little, too late, as the Grizzlies claimed a 100-93 victory.

Memphis led, 90-77, with 2:43 remaining, the game seemingly well in hand. But the Celtics reeled off a frantic 16-6 run to move with three — at 96-93 — when Avery Bradley drained a 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining. But the Grizzlies bounced back to score the final four points of the game and secure the victory.

Jerryd Bayless led Memphis with a season-high 22 points off the bench, while point guard Mike Conley contributed 14 points and nine assists. The Celtics, in fast, had just five more assists than Conley as a team, on a night where their execution was extremely sloppy.

The Celtics shot a respectable 43 percent from the floor, but they committed 15 turnovers and had just 14 assists. Jeff Green (9-of-19 shooting) led the Celtics with 26 points while Jared Sullinger (10-of-18) contributed 23, but in contrast to the well-balanced scoring efforts at the end of the roadtrip, the Celtics had just three scorers in double figures as they fell to 2-5 at home.

For a box score, click here.

Celtics tame Bobcats for second straight road win

11.25.13 at 9:26 pm ET
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The Celtics closed out their road trip with a second straight victory, following Saturday’s victory over the Hawks with a 96-86 win over the Bobcats in Charlotte.

Once again, the Celtics featured a balanced offensive attack. This time, five Celtics scored in double figured, led by 21 points from Jordan Crawford and a season-high 17 points off the bench by Gerald Wallace and 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from Brandon Bass.

The balanced scoring was complemented by distribution from unexpected sources. Rookie Phil Pressley had a career-high eight assists in just 20 minutes, while Crawford had five dimes.

The Celtics had a hard time containing Charlotte’s backcourt, with Kemba Walker scoring 28 on 11-of-17 from the floor and Gerald Henderson had 20, but the rest of the Bobcats scored just 38 points.

The Celtics improved to 6-10. They now return home on Wednesday against the Timberwolves.

For a box score, click here.

Celtics surge to fourth-quarter win in Atlanta

11.23.13 at 10:03 pm ET
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Down 83-80 with just over four minutes left, the Celtics reeled off a game-ending 14-4 run as part of a 30-13 fourth quarter that permitted the team to snap a six-game losing streak with a 94-87 win in Atlanta. The Celtics shot 46 percent from the floor and featured a balanced effort, with six scorers in double figures (and none tallying more than 17 points). Brandon Bass had a team high 17 points and seven boards while making six free throws down the stretch, while Jared Sullinger scored 14 with nine rebounds (with a particularly pronounced presence on the glass in the fourth quarter) and Jordan Crawford, despite shooting 3-of-9, scored a dozen points while dishing out 10 assists, matching a season-high in that category.

While Hawks center Al Horford scored a game-high 18 points, the Celtics limited Atlanta to 39 percent from the floor. Boston also outrebounded the Hawks by a 47-38 margin.

For a box score, click here.

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