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Fast Break: Celtics can’t deliver Brad Stevens’ first win 11.01.13 at 10:11 pm ET
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Bill Russell walked through that door, but he was 79 years old and watching from the front row after the city unveiled a statue in his honor on Friday afternoon. The Celtics still could’ve used his help.

The C’s built a second-half lead as large as 22, but the Bucks outscored them 34-15 in the fourth quarter to regain the lead in the final minute and steal a 105-98 victory in Boston’s home opener.

It wasn’t all bad for the Celtics, who got a double-double from Vitor Faverani (12 points, 18 rebounds) and nearly got a couple more from Brandon Bass (17 points, 9 rebounds) and Jeff Green (13 points, 9 rebounds).

WHAT WENT WRONG

Nets loss: Maybe it was the matchup. Maybe it’s more than that. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Whatever it was, Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans and MarShon Brooks sat on the bench. For the entire game. Only Gerald Wallace, who started for the second straight game, saw the floor among those acquired in the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett trade.

Glass wipe: The Celtics talked a whole lot about rebounding better after getting trounced on the glass and allowing 19 offensive boards in the season opener. And while they owned the overall rebounding edge against Milwaukee, the C’s still allowed 17 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second-chance points for the Bucks.

Lame late: The Celtics built a lead as large as 22 after a 9-0 lead early in the third quarter, and then proceeded to watch it slowly disappear like a codeine drip. From 9:32 to 3:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Bucks went on a 16-4 run that tied the game, 93-93. Wallace drilled a 3-pointer that briefly gave the C’s a cushion, but a late controversial call handed Zaza Pachulia a pair of free throws that gave the Bucks the lead for good in the final minute.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

El Hombre Indestructible: Is Vitor Faverani still the best? It appears so. Vitor likes blocks, so in the opening two minutes of the contest he introduced himself to last year’s block percentage leader, Larry Sanders, with the first of his six blocks. Vitor likes dunks, so he threw one down for his first NBA basket 5:17 into the game. Vitor like rebounds, so he grabbed 11 of them by halftime. Vitor like physical plays, so he tried to charge through Sanders for one of his four turnovers. Hey, Vitor Faverani’s not perfect. He’s just the best.

Downright offensive: Playing without a point guard, the Celtics pushed the ball, attacked the basket and shared the scoring load. Sound familiar? It shouldn’t. These C’s netted 11 points on the break and 23 on second-chance opportunities (thanks to 18 offensive boards), and somehow they did it with just 13 assists on 34 field goals. The offense fell apart late, but the Celtics’ 83 points through three quarters was encouraging.

Wonderful Lee: After committing as many turnovers as he had points and submitting a minus-16 rating against the Raptors on Wednesday night, Courtney Lee bounced back with exactly the type of game the Celtics would like to see out of him on a nightly basis. He added three rebounds and a couple steals to his 13 points in 26 minutes off the bench.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA,
Rajon Rondo’s Red Sox beard in all its glory 11.01.13 at 8:06 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo welcomed Celtics fans to the 2013-14 NBA season, wearing a faux beard to honor the Red Sox. The C’s also showed a tribute video to the Sox prior to the game as owners John Henry and Tom Werner hoisted the World Series trophy at midcourt. Nicely done all around.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, NBA, Rajon Rondo
A song for Bill Russell: ‘I Am My Father’s Son’ 11.01.13 at 7:58 pm ET
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At the unveiling of the Bill Russell Legacy Project in Boston, Bill Withers wrote a song entitled, “I Am My Father’s Son,” that fellow Grammy Award-winning artist Johnny Mathis performed. It was amazing.

Read More: Bill Russell, Bill Withers, Boston Celtics, Johnny Mathis
Report: Avery Bradley headed for restricted free agency after failing to finalize deal with Celtics 11.01.13 at 10:46 am ET
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Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley and the Celtics could not come an agreement on a contract extension by Thursday’s deadline for 2010 draftees on rookie contracts, meaning the guard will become a restricted free agent next offseason, according to a Boston Globe report.

The sides had been talking about a four-year deal but apparently could not put the pieces together. The Celtics still would be able to match any offer Bradley receives from another team.

The 22-year-old defensive standout continues to be inconsistent with his offense, evidenced by his 4-for-13 shooting in Wednesday’s season-opening loss to the Raptors. He also had as many turnovers as assists (4).

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Celtics, for the last time: Courtney Lee 10.31.13 at 3:52 pm ET
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One of the most unpredictable Celtics seasons in recent memory began Wednesday, and in order to determine the likelihood of each player reaching his full potential, we’ll be examining them individually in this year’s Green Street preview with one form of this question in mind: “When’s the last time … ?” Next up: Courtney Lee.

When’s the last time a mid-tier veteran improved in Year 2 with a new team?

Courtney Lee’s struggles last season are well documented. Heck, even he readily admits to his inconsistency. When a reporter treaded lightly last month on the subject of his 2012-13 season, Lee stopped him and said something to the tune of, “You don’t have to be afraid to ask that question. I wasn’t so good.”

Now accustomed to his new city and out of the Doc Rivers doghouse, Lee has a new lease on his NBA life. It stands to reason that his comfortability during his second season in Boston might breed consistency.

A handful of players on similar contracts to Lee’s $5.2 million price tag have found themselves in a similar situation over the past several seasons: Jamal Crawford in New York, Atlanta and now the Clippers; Kyle Korver in Utah, Chicago and now Atlanta; Andre Miller in Denver, Philadelphia, Portland and Denver again; Chuck Hayes in Sacramento, J.R. Smith in New York; Martell Webster in Minnesota and now D.C.; and Brandan Wright in Dallas.

Here’s how those seven players performed in Years 1 and 2 with their new teams over the years.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Courtney Lee, Last Time, NBA
Celtics need to rebound after opening loss to Raptors 10.31.13 at 9:20 am ET
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Avery Bradley puts up a shot during Wednesday night's loss to the Raptors. (AP)

Celtics guard Avery Bradley puts up a shot during Wednesday night’s loss to the Raptors in Toronto. (AP)

Brad Stevens had good reason to be optimistic following his team’s season-opening 93-87 loss to the Raptors in Toronto on Wednesday night, but the first-year Celtics coach also had plenty of reason for concern. Mainly, the C’s were dominated on the boards, getting outrebounded 48-33, including 19-7 on offensive boards.

“When they broke us down, they crushed us on the glass,” Stevens told reporters. “They shot 20 more field goals than us. It’s going to be hard to win a game when that happens.”

Added Brandon Bass: “We tried to help and got ourselves out of position. Their bigs were naked under the basket for the most part.”

Jeff Green scored 25 points, Bass netted 17 and Vitor Faverani added 13 points and three blocks for the C’s, who lost to Toronto for just the sixth time in 26 meetings. Kris Humphries had eight points and a team-high nine rebounds.

First-round draft pick Kelly Olynyk played 16 minutes off the bench and scored four points on 2-of-5 shooting. Olynyk, a Toronto native, was a minus-19, tied for worst on the team with Faverani. Guard Avery Bradley struggled with his shooting, hitting just 4-of-13 from the field, and recording as many turnovers as assists (4).

The Celtics rallied from a 16-point third-quarter deficit and were tied at 78 with 7:42 left after a Jordan Crawford jumper, but they didn’t score again until 4:08 remained.

“At the end of the day we didn’t do everything perfectly,” Stevens said. “I didn’t coach a perfect game, but I think we can all rest assured we’ve got a team that will fight and we’ve got a team that will compete. And we can shore up a couple of those mistakes, maybe we can come out the other end of it.”

Rudy Gay led the Raptors with 19 points and eight rebounds.

The Celtics next host the Bucks on Friday night.

Read More: Avery Bradley, Brad Stevens, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green
Celtics, for the last time: Jared Sullinger 10.30.13 at 4:43 pm ET
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One of the most unpredictable Celtics seasons in recent memory begins Wednesday, and in order to determine the likelihood of each player reaching his full potential, we’ll be examining them individually in this year’s Green Street preview with one form of this question in mind: “When’s the last time … ?” Next up: Jared Sullinger.

When’s the last time a sophomore stud enjoyed success post-injury?

In the past 25 years, only two bigs underwent season-ending surgery as a rookie and ultimately became a star.

The most recent is Blake Griffin, whose broken left kneecap was discovered on the eve of his rookie season. He missed that entire year, and then unleashed himself on the NBA in 2010-11, averaging 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists to earn his first of three All-Star invitations. But he was a No. 1 overall pick.

The other is LaMarcus Aldridge, whose heart ailment cut his 2006-07 rookie year short in April. He responded the next season with averages of 17.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He’s now a two-time All-Star.

Kenyon Martin suffered a broken leg as a college senior, and then finished second in the 2001 NBA Rookie of the year voting. Otherwise, no big man who battled injuries that early in his career ever flourished in the NBA. In fact, on the flip side, there’s guys like Greg Oden, whose chronic knee problems are well documented.

Doctors have assured Sullinger he’ll fully recover, and the production of both Griffin and Aldridge suggest it’s not only possible to recover in time for your sophomore campaign, but you can potentially flourish, too.

But Sullinger is entering uncharted territory, especially considering his surgery involved back issues. Then again, the Celtics understood that when he dropped to them at No. 21 in last year’s draft.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jordan Crawford, Last Time, NBA
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