Beating the Odds: C’s Avoid Anticipated Collapse

Celtics Competing:  I’ll admit I was one of the many who threw their hands up and said, “What are we going to do now?” when I heard Rajon Rondo was out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Well, since then the Celtics have responded to everyone’s questions the old fashioned way…by simply winning.

The Celtics have won eight of their last nine games with impressive victories over the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and Chicago Bulls . More importantly, and surprisingly, the C’s have done so without the likes of Rondo, Jared Sullinger, and more recently Leandro Barbosa (all out for the remainder of the season due to injury).

Winning Ways: With the loss of Rondo and Co., Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jeff Green have led the team on the floor along with assistance from Jason Terry. Here are their numbers for the month of February:

Pierce: 17.1 PPG with 8.9 RPG and 7.3 APG

Garnett: 16.6 PPG with 10.3 RPG and 1.4 SPG

Green: 14.4 PPG with 4 RPG and 1.7 BPG

Terry: 13.1 PPG with 3.7 APG

Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Bass have also contributed, each averaging 8 PPG.

The Celtics have used a no “pure point guard” philosophy in their 8-1 stretch without Rondo, and so far it has worked well.

Playoff Probability: Although Boston is finding ways to win without a true point guard, they will have to add depth to their roster if they want to have a sure shot at the post-season. According to ESPNBoston’ Chris Forsberg, Coach Doc Rivers recently released his “shopping list” of what he felt the team needed to compete down the stretch:

“Well, I would say a ball-handling guard. It’s no longer a point guard, it’s just a guard. A guard that, if I had my perfect guard for this group right now, it would be a guard that can play multiple positions, that can shoot, and has some toughness. Then we need a big. You’re not going to find a center, so a 4. Obviously a 5 would be great, but a 4 that can stretch the floor, or a 4 that can rebound — just a great rebounding 4 that has skill. That’s the list.”

We’ll have to wait and see what kind of deals Doc and Danny Ainge can whip up in the weeks to come. As of today (February 15th) the Celtics are 28-24 overall and hold the seventh playoff spot/seed of the available eight in the Eastern Conference. Moreover, if the season ended today the C’s would make the playoffs. Of course, the season still has about 30 games to go and as we all know with any sport “anything can happen”.

Nevertheless, I whole heartedly believe Boston can continue their winning ways and place themselves somewhere between a fifth to seventh seed at seasons end. Honestly, at the rate the C’s are playing, they could even lobby for a fourth seed. We’ll just have to watch and see what happens.

Final Thoughts: With roughly 30 games left and only 10 healthy players on a 13 man roster, the C’s have their work cut out for them as they head down the final stretch. Will the Celtics make the post-season? If so, what playoff seed will they earn? Leave a comment below.

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C’s versus Knicks

The Celtics will take on their division rival tonight when they host the New York Knicks. gadThe Celtics topped the Knicks a few weeks ago 102-96, and Melo wasn’t happy after that one. There is footage of him screaming at KG through the locker room door after Garnett supposedly said that Melo’s wife tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios. Classic.

The Knicks are leading the division and are 2 games behind the Heat for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are currently on a 4 game losing streak after winning 6 straight and are sitting one game below .500.  Below are some stats of how the teams match up. Everything is close except for the points scored and turnovers lost. Celtics are last in the league in rebounding. Knicks are favored by 1.5.

Knicks Celtics
W-L 25-14 20-21
Points Scored 101.1 94.9
Points Allowed 96.3 96
Rebounds 40.5 39.1
Assists 19.9 23
Turnovers lost 11.1 14.5
Turnovers forced 15.4 15.9

C’s Win

The Celtics made it a great Christmas Classic yesterday afternoon, beating the Brooklyn Nets 93-76. There was another scuffle, the second of the season against this team, after KG and Wallace got into it. It didn’t get as big as the first time when Rondo made Humphrkg wallaceies look like a girl and everyone got ejected basically. Rondo had 19 points but only 5 assists, which was weird to watch. Paul Pierce and KG each only had 8 points so that probably explains it, but Pierce was the leader with 10 assists. I would like to know when the last time Rondo played and wasn’t the team leader in assists.

Jeff Green had a big game with 15 points, while Jared Sullinger scored 16 on 6 of 7 shooting while grabbing 7 boards. The C’s are now one game above .500 but it will be tough to stay that way when they visit the Clippers on the west coast Thursday night. The Clips are currently riding a 14 game win streak. Hope everyone had a good Christmas!

The Ugly Faces of Lebron James

Gallery

This gallery contains 15 photos.

Ahh, the Celtics are back. What better way to start off the season than to go down to Miami and remind LBJ there will always be an asterisk next to his only ring, won during a lockout-shortened season. Similar Posts … Continue reading

Aging Celtics Live On

Well it looks like Pierce was the missing link. First three games without the captain, 0-3. Last three games with him, 3-0. You do the math. I’m not saying he single handedly won these games, but how can you argue that he wasn’t the deciding factor. If not performing on the court, his mere presence uplifted the team to where it needed to be. After a rocky start, and especially after the loss to the Hornets, thoughts of concern started to set in. Could it be a repeat of 06-07? No. Now, back to .500, these thoughts have been erased. We’ve seen how the C’s can play. Even last night, the second game in a set of back to backs, the boys proved they could win. Granted it was the Wizards, my point stands. During the first quarter it looked like they were going to pull away, with stretches of brilliant transition basketball. If the Celts can mock this kind of play, not even each game, but steadily throughout the shortened season, they should be just fine come playoff time. The big names are continuing to show how great they are and the others, including younger guys are beginning to step up. And on a side note, I’ll continue to comment on how much of a steal Brandon Bass was. Each night he continues to let it be known too. Ridiculous. The team may be rough around the edges at first, but the Celtics will pull it all together. Doc wouldn’t allow anything less. It’s no secret to anyone that this could very well be the last year the core of this team is together. And by no means would any of them let it go to waste.

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B’s Continue New Streak

Thank God for the Bruin’s huh? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a basketball guy, but after so much anticipation built up for the NBA to start back up, the past week has been nothing short of a major buzz kill to Celtics fans all over. Luckily for us, we’re from Boston and can rely on more than one team to keep us happy. Last night the Bruin’s improved their win streak to seven games, beating the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime. After scoring 17 seconds into the game, the Bruins didn’t find the net again until 58 seconds into overtime, off a deflection from a Seidenberg shot. Tuukka Rask may have only seen 22 pucks fly his way, but 21 saves was all he needed for his team to pull off the victory. This was their first overtime win that didn’t end in a shootout. Talk about playing great. The Bruins have won 21 of their last 24 since the start of November and have just moved past the Rangers for first place in the Eastern Conference. It’s just incredible to watch. There’s still plenty of regular season hockey to be played, but if the B’s keep up this momentum, I don’t see any reason Lord Stanley wouldn’t be back in Boston for the second straight year.