Fast Break: Balanced Celtics effort stops the Magic
|11.11.13 at 9:52 pm ET|
Seven Celtics scored in double figures as they shot 60 percent as a team and stopped the Magic, 120-105.
Avery Bradley led the way with 24 points; Jeff Green, Jordan Crawford and Kelly Olynyk each netted 16; Courtney Lee dropped 12 and Brandon Bass contributed 10 in a balanced effort that improved the C’s record to .500 (4-4) for the first time in the Brad Stevens era.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Steez knees: Believe it or not, Crawford actually looked like a point guard. Submitting by far his best half of basketball in a Celtics uniform, he reached triple-double watch by halftime: 12 points (5-7 FG), six assists and four rebounds. More importantly, he entered the break with zero turnovers in 17 first-half minutes and owned the C’s best plus/minus number (+13) in staking them to a 59-50 advantage.
On the range: Bradley’s jumper from 15-19 feet has steadily improved since his rookie season, rising from to 26 percent in 2010-11 to 41 percent in his sophomore season and 44 percent last year. After knocking down his first three attempts from that range against the Magic — and finishing 7-of-9 on long 2′s — he’s started 13-of-24 (54 percent) from that range this season. Avery Bradley is officially a shooting guard.
Kelly O’Sully: By replacing Vitor Faverani in the starting lineup, Brad Stevens broke up the unselfishly entertaining Olynyk-Sullinger frontcourt combination that had helped produce 105.1 points per 100 possessions through the first seven games. And the two talented young bigs responded by providing consistent production throughout a thorough dismantling of the Magic, totaling 30 points on remarkable 14-of-18 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and three steals as Jelly Sullynyk.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Swiss roll: Lacking an established NBA center, the Celtics will struggle against talented bigs, and Nikola Vucevic is one such talent. The 7-footer notched his fifth double-double in eight games for the Magic, totaling 15 points and 10 boards against an interior Celtics defense. File this one away: Vucevic can become a free agent in 2015.
Getting possessive: The Celtics allowed double-digit offensive rebounds for the sixth time in eight games, as Vucevic and Mo Harkless combined for nine of Orlando’s 14. And the C’s earned their first win in a game in which they committed at least 15 turnovers, doing so for the first time since reaching that mark in their first four outings. The Celtics aren’t going to shoot 60 percent from the field every night, so giving away 30 extra possessions isn’t something Stevens wants to see on a nightly basis.