|Report: Celtics boss Danny Ainge has spoken to forward David Lee about his future||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.
|Studs and Duds: Celtics fall to Magic, snap 5-game win streak||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.
|Report: Celtics inquired about Hawks’ Al Horford, Jeff Teague||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.
|Studs and Duds: Celtics bench dominates Magic for 5th straight win||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.
|Report: Celtics ‘quietly aggressive’ on trade front looking to make ‘splashy move’||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.”
|Isaiah Thomas headed to All-Star game in Toronto||01.28.16 at 9:17 pm ET|
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.
|Studs and Duds: Celtics beat Nuggets, stretch win streak to 4||01.27.16 at 10:22 pm ET|
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.
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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