Rapid Reaction: Wizards 118, C's 102

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
10:15
PM ET
BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics 2013-14 season passed Wednesday night at TD Garden after a 118-102 loss to the Washington Wizards. It was 82 games old.

The Celtics went quietly surrounded by a sellout crowd of 18,624 that proudly chanted "Let's Go Celtics" in the final minutes.

Despite a flawed roster and a first-year coach, the Boston Celtics enjoyed competitive games and individual development. The team navigated much of the year without point guard Rajon Rondo as he recovered from ACL surgery, but even he couldn't rescue the team upon his mid-January return. The Celtics went 6-24 when Rondo played and he sat out the final game of the season while dealing with a sore left hamstring.

A private memorial is planned for members of the organization this week at HealthPoint in Waltham. The public is invited to a public celebration of the season at the NBA Draft Lottery on May 20.

In lieu of flowers, the Celtics kindly request good luck charms be donated to the team in advanced of the lottery.

THE NITTY GRITTY
Bradley Beal scored a game-high 27 points on 10-of-14 shooting, while Marcin Gortat put up 15 points and 10 rebounds. Kelly Olynyk scored a team-high 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting despite foul trouble to pace the Celtics. Jeff Green added 20 points, while Phil Pressey had nine points and 10 assists. The Wizards shot 56.8 percent overall and led by as much as 26.

TURNING POINT
The Celtics played without Rondo, Jared Sullinger (ankle), Kris Humphries (knee), and Jerryd Bayless (Knee), leaving it just eight available bodies. Add in early foul trouble for Olynyk, along with a whole bunch of defensive indifference, and the game got away pretty early. The Wizards put up 38 points in the first frame and led by as much as 15. Boston made a couple charges, but never led.

BOSTON STRONG
The Celtics honored a group of Marathon Survivors with a moving ceremony at the end of the first quarter. Boston coach Brad Stevens broke his huddle early to have his players applaud those being saluted and the Wizards did the same. Later, the team honored doctors and nurses from Brigham and Women's Hospital that treated victims in the aftermath of the bombings.

WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics wrap up the season at 25-57 overall and their .305 winning percentage is the third worst in team history. Aided by the Lakers' win in San Antonio, Boston will finish with no worse than the fifth worst record in basketball (pending Utah and Minnesota's nail-biter).


BOSTON -- Boston Celtics forward Brandon Bass took home the ninth annual Red Auerbach Award before Wednesday's season finale against the Washington Wizards.

The honor, presented each year since the 2005-06 season, is bestowed upon the Celtics player or coach who best exemplifies the spirit of what it means to be a Celtic through performance on the court and off. The award is named in honor of legendary coach, general manager and president of the Celtics, the late Arnold “Red” Auerbach.

Previous winners include Paul Pierce (2013, 2006), Al Jefferson (2007), Kevin Garnett (2012, 2008), Ray Allen (2009), Rajon Rondo (2010) and Doc Rivers (2011).

Celtics owners presented Bass with the award before the game. Not only did Bass appear in all 82 games for Boston this season, but he was very active in the community, particularly with his learning-to-swim initiatives.


BOSTON -- Boston Celtics second-year forward/center Jared Sullinger addressed the crowd before the team's season finale Wednesday against the Washington Wizards as part of Fan Appreciation Night.

Sullinger kept his message short and simple, thanking the fans for their support during a difficult season, then offering: "Hopefully we'll come back better next year."

Rondo's Marathon tribute sneakers

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
7:50
PM ET
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo will sit out Wednesday's season finale against the Washington Wizards, but he showed off his ANTA-brand sneakers that honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

A snapshot from the Instagram account of Celtics strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo:

Rondo's Marathon sneakers


The tongue of the sneakers reads "Boston Strong" with the date April 15, 2013. The sneakers feature the blue and yellow colors familiar to Boston Strong with the initials of victims covering the shoe.

Pregame: Rondo out for finale

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
7:45
PM ET
BOSTON -- Rajon Rondo is one of four Boston Celtics who will sit out the season finale against the Washington Wizards, leaving the team with only eight available bodies as it plays Game 82 at TD Garden.

Rondo strained his left hamstring during Monday's loss in Philadelphia and will sit for the fourth time in six games. Rondo, who returned from ACL surgery in mid-January, appeared in 30 games this season.

"He pulled his hamstring, or strained his hamstring, late third quarter of the Philly game," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "He came out, stretched on the sideline, felt good enough, played the rest of the game, but did not feel good [Tuesday] or [Wednesday] morning. Obviously, with a hamstring, that is something that you don’t mess with at any time. From what I heard, he wanted to play, and this morning he just didn't feel good."

The Celtics also will be without Kris Humphries (knee), Jared Sullinger (ankle) and Jerryd Bayless (knee). All three players will miss the final three games of the season while dealing with lingering maladies.

Boston trots out a starting lineup of Phil Pressey, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Kelly Olynyk.

The Celtics will secure no worse than the fifth worst record in basketball with a loss to the Wizards, who can lock up the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference with a victory.

Despite their lottery-bound status, Stevens singled out his team's desire to compete on a nightly basis as the season's biggest positive while reflecting on his first year on the bench.

"The one thing that I probably learned about myself is that it’s been very difficult to not be very good," Stevens said. "It’s hard not being a team that’s contending for a playoff spot, or contending for bigger things than that.

"The thing that I’m proud of is that the team, the coaches, the staff really put in the work for every single game, every single day. I told them this morning, as we went through the walkthrough and prepared like we did for the first game of the season, those guys have done a pretty good job of that all year. The thing that I probably feel most comfortable with is that, regardless of circumstance, we came to work and we tried to get better and ultimately do our best. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been good enough on a lot of nights."
Tags:

2014Game82

W2W4: C's vs. Wizards (Game 82 of 82)

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
10:30
AM ET
The Boston Celtics (25-56, 16-24 home) close out the 2013-14 season on Wednesday night with a visit from the Washington Wizards (43-38, 21-19 away) at TD Garden (8 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:

  • WHAT'S AT STAKE: The playoff-bound Wizards can secure the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference with a win (or a Charlotte loss to the Bulls). That's attractive because, instead of a first-round matchup with the defending champ Miami Heat, Washington would instead draw either Toronto or Chicago. For Boston, a loss clinches no worse than sole possession of the fifth worst record in basketball. The Celtics would move into a tie for the fourth worst mark with a loss and a Utah win in Minnesota. If the Celtics win and the Lakers lose in San Antonio, the two rivals would finish tied with the fifth worst record and a random drawing would determine who picks first in the event neither leap into the top 3 spots at the draft lottery. Also in play: The Celtics will have an eye on Brooklyn's game in Cleveland. A Nets loss -- coupled with a Washignton win -- could help improve Boston's other first-round draft pick (though it will require a coin flip to decide whether Boston's pick is No. 17 or 18).

  • GOOD RIDDANCE, 2013-14 SEASON: The Celtics played hard on a consistent basis and the games were often entertaining until the final horn. Alas, Boston didn't win many close games and, spoiled by six previous years of playoff basketball, most are ready to bid farewell to this transition season. The Celtics will wave goodbye to the regular season and hello to another potential summer overhaul, one that the team hopes can help restore it to contender status next season.

  • LOOSE BALLS: This is the fourth meeting of the season for the two teams with the Wizards owning a 2-1 advantage. Boston's only triumph came in overtime on the road in Washington in late January. ... The Celtics are likely to be without Jared Sullinger (ankle), Kris Humphries (knee), and Jerryd Bayless (knee). Rajon Rondo returned for Monday's game in Philadelphia and, barring a setback with his left shin injury, should be available to close out the season. ... It's fan appreciation night an Sullinger will address the crowd before the game. ... Those going to the game, note the later-than-normal tip time for the final game of the season.

(Read full game preview)

Handing out some Celtics hardware

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
3:00
PM ET
With the 2013-14 NBA regular season drawing to a close, it's award time. You won't find many Boston Celtics in the mix for the league's major awards, so we're handing out some team-focused hardware as Boston wraps up this grueling transition campaign:

SportsNation

Who was the Celtics' MVP this season?

  •  
    75%
  •  
    9%
  •  
    16%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,187)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Let's disqualify Rajon Rondo here. If he plays in Wednesday's season finale, he'll top out at 31 games played after a mid-January return from ACL surgery. Rondo's stat line is impressive at 11.7 points, 9.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds over a mere 33.3 minutes per game, but the Celtics are 11-30 since his return, including 6-24 in games he appeared. Examining the rest of the field, you could make a case for a number of players, maybe even the departed Jordan Crawford given Boston's early-season success. Our pick? Jared Sullinger.

Despite not having the luxury of a pure center alongside him, Sullinger performed admirably in his sophomore season, averaging 13.3 points and 8.1 rebounds. The Celtics asked him to step outside his comfort zone and he spent much of the season trying to extend his range beyond the 3-point line (to limited success while shooting 26.9 percent beyond the arc). The fact that Sullinger will shoot more triples (208) than free throws (203) is worrisome, but let's chalk it up to experimentation in a transition year. If the Celtics add a pure center next to him, Sullinger needs a serviceable 3-point shot to stretch the floor, but we'd also like to see more back-to-the-basket next season. According to ESPN's new WAR (Wins Above Replacement) metric, Sullinger topped the team and his real plus-minus stats help show that he was a better defender than might appear. Sullinger was the team's best two-way rebounder, giving the team a lift on the offensive glass that hasn't been seen in these parts in recent seasons. All this while coming off back surgery that limited his offseason. We're intrigued to see where Sullinger goes from here, but he certainly was one of the brightest spots this season.

Honor roll: Avery Bradley's blossoming offensive game made him a legitimate two-way threat, but injuries did rob him of nearly a quarter of his season. ... Jeff Green, for all his inconsistencies, is set to start all 82 games for the second straight season since heart surgery, but his WAR is even lower than that of D-League call-up Chris Johnson (albeit in two very different sample sizes).

SportsNation

Who was the Celtics' Rookie of the Year?

  •  
    83%
  •  
    16%
  •  
    1%

Discuss (Total votes: 1,949)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Kelly Olynyk's late-season exploits make this one a slam dunk. Olynyk, who set a career-high for scoring with 28 points in Monday's loss in Philadelphia, is averaging 15.6 points on 51.5 percent shooting in seven games for the month of April, while grabbing 7.3 rebounds over 25.1 minutes per game in that span. Olynyk's confidence has steadily grown and his natural offensive talents are on display more frequently. There's still strides to be made on the defensive end, but it's clear the 13th pick in last year's draft has a very bright future and, assuming the Celtics add a legit big next season, projects as one of Boston's top reserves.

Honor roll: If not for Olynyk's April strides, Phil Pressey might have made things interesting with his own April emergence. Pressey has been a serviceable backup ball-handler all season, making the most of spot starts as Rondo works his way back from surgery, but his playmaking talents have been on full display recently. ... It's too bad Vitor Faverani's season ended with a knee injury while on D-League assignment. It would have been interesting to get a longer look at him late in the season when he would have had more freedom to make the mistakes that caused him to get plucked from the rotation earlier in the year.

(Read full post)

Handicapping the Auerbach Award field

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
11:45
AM ET
Getty ImagesPast Auerbach Awards honorees include Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo.
The Boston Celtics will hand out their 9th annual Red Auerbach Award during Wednesday's season finale against the Washington Wizards at TD Garden.

The honor, presented each year since the 2005-06 season, is bestowed upon the Celtics player or coach who best exemplifies the spirit of what it means to be a Celtic through performance on the court and off. The award is named in honor of legendary coach, general manager, and president of the Celtics, the late Arnold “Red” Auerbach.

The award has typically been a nod to the best player on the team, though it made the rounds among Boston's four All-Stars (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and Ray Allen) during the Big Three era and the team even bestowed it upon coach Doc Rivers one season.

Here's the full rundown of past winners:

2013: Garnett
2012: Pierce
2011: Rivers
2010: Rondo
2009: Allen
2008: Garnett
2007: Al Jefferson
2006: Pierce

So who takes the award this season? Let's handicap the field:

THE FAVORITE: While he'll top out at 31 games if he appears in Wednesday's finale and he's still shaking rust while working his way back from ACL surgery, it's probably fair to say Rondo is Boston's most valuable player (when healthy) and his efforts to be around the team even while rehabbing him make the captain the favorite to join Pierce and Garnett as repeat winners. Plus, it just seems right that No. 9 would win the 9th annual award.

THE FIELD: Jared Sullinger put together an excellent sophomore season and represents one of the bright spots for the future. The guess here is he'll be hoisting one of these awards in future seasons. ... Jeff Green will complete his second 82-game season since returning from heart surgery and while we tend to focus on his inconsistencies, Green will finish with a career high in scoring (16.8 points per game). ... Ankle/Achilles woes derailed Avery Bradley a bit late in the season, but his offensive game blossomed this season and he was one of the most impactful players when he was on the court.

THE DARK HORSE: Brandon Bass did what Brandon Bass does, quietly bringing his hard hat to work each day. He will close out the season having quietly started nearly 90 percent of Boston's games despite plenty of young competition pushing him for that starting gig. What's more, Bass was one of the most active players in the community off the court, most notably with his swimming initiatives. Only Rondo and Bradley have longer tenures here and Bass might be exactly the sort of under-the-radar guy that the Auerbach Award aims to celebrate.

THE OUTSIDE THE BOX PICK: Given that no player quite screams for the award this year, maybe the Celtics could go the curveball route. It's probably too early to give it to first-year coach Brad Stevens (though he was a soldier for navigating this season with a flawed roster), but maybe this is the year that the Celtics give it to president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. After all, he's the one in the spotlight while navigating this transition process and it was Ainge that ushered int he remodel with the deals that sent Pierce and Garnett to Brooklyn and Rivers to Los Angeles.

[More Red Auerbach Award coverage]

SC Featured: Boston Strong

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
9:15
AM ET
video

Sunday's "Outside The Lines" spotlighted the role Boston's athletes and teams played in helping the region heal in the aftermath of the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

“We needed to be together. We needed a gigantic church. We needed a gathering, and a gathering that brings people together, and sports are the biggest venues to do that,” former Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.

OTL: Part 1 | Part 2

(Boston Marathon Blog)

Down the stretch they come

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
12:12
AM ET
Mercifully, there's only one game left in the 2013-14 season for the Boston Celtics.

Boston watched its two-game winning streak end Monday in Philadelphia as the 76ers withstood the Celtics' fourth-quarter surge and emerged with a 113-108 triumph at Wells Fargo Center. The Celtics stand in sole possession of the fifth-worst record in the NBA, which would give the team a 29.1 percent chance at a top-three pick and an 8.8 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick.

A look at the full lottery standings through Monday's games, thanks to our friends at Tankathon:

Tanakaton: April 13


With the Lakers' triumph over the Jazz on Monday, Boston has a one-game cushion on both sides with a single game to play. With a loss on Wednesday against the Washington Wizards, the Celtics would assure themselves of no worse than the fifth position.

The final-day schedule: The Celtics host Washington; the Jazz visit the Minnesota Timberwolves; and the Lakers trek to meet the San Antonio Spurs.

If Boston finishes in a tie with Utah for the fourth-worst record, the two teams would split the lottery probability for those two spots -- meaning each team receives 103 pingpong combinations (out of 1,000). One extra combination is awarded to the team that wins a random drawing, and that team will also pick first if neither team vaults to a top-three pick.

Likewise, if the Celtics and Lakers end up knotted for the fifth-worst mark, the two teams would each receive 75 pingpong balls and draw for the extra combo and the tiebreaker.

The Wizards will have motivation to end Boston's season with a loss as they jockey for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Washington needs a win Wednesday to assure itself the sixth seed in the East, which would mean the Wizards would avoid a first-round matchup with the Miami Heat.

Regardless of Wednesday's finale, the Celtics will finish the season with the third-worst winning percentage in franchise history. Boston already owns one win more than the 2006-07 entry that went 24-58. That year, Boston's record was good enough to easily have the second-worst record in basketball (though the pingpong balls defied them and the Celtics landed the fifth pick).

If the Lakers had defeated the Jazz on Monday, Boston would have been in a three-way tie for the fourth-worst record in basketball. In that instance, the Celtics' chances at a higher pick would have been only marginally better (90 pingpong combinations) and the Celtics would have been at the mercy of a random drawing to determine if Los Angeles or Utah would be in front of them for tiebreaking purposes.

The Celtics have one more game to go in this frustrating season, and then all eyes can lock on May 20, when draft position will finally be determined at the lottery drawing.

C's can't turn over a new leaf

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
12:05
AM ET
One of the areas where Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens yearned to see progress over the final games of the 2013-14 season was execution in late-game situations. Boston has really struggled to make plays, particularly on the offensive end, at the end of close games.

Despite winning consecutive games entering Monday's tilt in Philadelphia, Boston failed to show progress in that regard while dropping a 113-108 decision at Wells Fargo Center. Stevens might want to avoid the final 88 seconds of the game film: Boston committed four turnovers -- each one more head-shaking than the last -- to help Philadelphia post its third win of the season over the Celtics.

A glance at the miscues:

• With 1:28 to go in a one-possession game, rookie Kelly Olynyk, who has been one of the primary bright spots of this late-season stretch, threw a poor bounce pass to Jeff Green on the blocks, and it was picked by Michael Carter-Williams. Making matters worse, Olynyk got whistled for a blocking foul at the other end trying to take a charge from Tony Wroten in transition (and the call stood even after a lengthy video review).

• With Boston now down five, Rajon Rondo tried to attack the basket early on the ensuing possession, but left his feet to shoot, then decided otherwise with Carter-Williams contesting. Rondo tried to pass to the right wing, but there wasn't a green jersey within 20 feet of the ball and it bounced once before hitting a fan sitting next to the scorer's table.

• Still down five with 25 seconds to go, the Celtics called a timeout to draw up a play. The 76ers smothered Boston's players and Jeff Green had nowhere to inbound the ball, leading to a five-second violation.

• Despite all the miscues, Boston somehow got back within three and the 76ers threw the ball away on an inbounds play with 15 seconds to go, giving the Celtics one last gasp. The Celtics struggled to generate a quality 3-point look and, with about two seconds to go and desperate to get a shot off, Rondo handed off to Chris Johnson beyond the 3-point arc. Johnson elevated and actually made the 3-pointer, but not before a referee nearby whistled the play dead with 0.9 seconds to go because Johnson stepped on the sideline before his shot.

Boston had its chances, but execution hurt the team in crunch time. Stevens pointed out after the game that the Celtics probably let things get away in the first half when they gave back an early 10-point lead and watched the 76ers open a 17-point halftime advantage.

A couple more postgame thoughts from Monday's loss:

ANOTHER CAREER NIGHT FOR OLYNYK: Two nights after matching his career high for scoring, Olynyk bested his mark by scoring a team-high 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting with nine rebounds and three assists over 35 minutes. Olynyk continues to show a developing touch around the basket, finding opportunities while rolling off pick-and-rolls or attacking the basket in transition. Olynyk hasn't been bashful about drawing contact lately and finished with either hand early against Philadelphia. Of his 10 makes on Monday, six came at the rim, while he also got to the charity stripe for a team-high seven attempts. Olynyk's progress remains maybe the most encouraging aspect of Boston's late-season exploits.

LOOSE BALLS: GOOD GREEN: Jeff Green quietly put up 27 points in one of his better outings. Green produced eight of his 10 makes near the basket and took only 16 shots overall. Add in three steals and two blocks and only one turnover, and this is exactly the sort of efficiency the team needs from Green. ... Avery Bradley scored 23 points, but he needed 22 shots to get there. Bradley missed nine triples (2-of-11 beyond the 3-point arc). ... Rondo scored his eighth point less than three minutes into the second half, but didn't score again, preventing him from a triple-double (14 assists, 11 rebounds). Rondo took only eight shots but was 1-for-5 after the intermission. Hard to complain with his impact when he handed out seven assists and grabbed seven rebounds and was plus-18 in the final two quarters.
Tags:

2014game81

Rapid Reaction: 76ers 113, C's 108

April, 14, 2014
Apr 14
9:45
PM ET
The Boston Celtics reverted to familiar ways on Monday, making things interesting late in the game but unable to produce the necessary plays to keep their winning streak going while falling to the Philadelphia 76ers 113-108 at the Wells Fargo Center:

THE NITTY GRITTY
Rookie Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high 28 points, while Jeff Green (27 points) and Avery Bradley (23) joined him in the 20+ club. Rajon Rondo flirted with a triple-double while putting up 8 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds over 42:25. Michael Carter-Williams scored 21 points, while Tony Wroten added 20 points to pace the 76ers. The Sixers shot 54.4 percent from the field while fending off Boston's second-half rally.

TURNING POINT
The Celtics led by 10 early, then fell behind by as much as 19 early in the second half. Boston surged within two heading to the fourth quarter, but could never get over the hump despite sticking close much of the final frame. The Celtics got a last gasp after a head-shaking turnover by the 76ers with 15.8 seconds to play. But in a microcosm of Boston's season, rookie Chris Johnson stepped on the sideline before launching what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining, The call was upheld on one of roughly 3,472 video reviews over the final two minutes of the game.

LOOSE BALLS
Even with just one game left in the season, Celtics fans held their breath when Rondo got hit with a stray elbow in the first quarter and dropped to the ground. He returned later in the frame. ... The Celtics were playing with nine available bodies as Jared Sullinger (ankle), Jerryd Bayless (knee) and Kris Humphries (knee) sat out. All three remain uncertain for the season finale. ... The Celtics turned the ball over 19 times, including three times in the final 88 seconds. ... Philly won the season series, 3-1.

WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (25-56) had a two-game winning streak snapped. Boston, at least for the moment, owns the fifth-worst record in basketball, but that hinges on the Lakers-Jazz game out west (a loss by the Lakers would force a three-way tie for the fourth-worst record). The Celtics wrap up the 2013-14 season on Wednesday night with a visit from the Washington Wizards.

Rondo back in Celtics lineup

April, 14, 2014
Apr 14
6:27
PM ET
The depleted Boston Celtics will get one body back on Monday night in Philadelphia.

Rajon Rondo, listed as a game-time decision, is back in the starting lineup against the 76ers after missing two games with a bruised left shin.

Jared Sullinger (ankle), Kris Humphries (knee) and Jerryd Bayless (knee) are all out for Boston.

Rondo's return gives Boston nine available players. Being shorthanded didn't stop the Celtics from winning their second straight game in Cleveland on Saturday.

Sullinger and Bayless were dinged up on Friday and sat out Saturday. Humphries is battling lingering tendinitis and will miss his second straight game.

W2W4: Celts vs. 76ers (Game 81 of 82)

April, 14, 2014
Apr 14
10:00
AM ET
The Boston Celtics (25-55, 9-31 away) visit the Philadelphia 76ers (17-63, 9-31 home) on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:

  • GOING STREAKING: The Celtics snapped a nine-game losing streak on Friday against Charlotte, busted a 13-game road losing streak on Saturday in Cleveland, and now visit Philadelphia looking to win three straight games for the first time in more than two months (Feb. 2-7). Meanwhile, the 76ers have lost four straight (and 32 of their last 34 overall).

  • PLAYING THE LOTTERY: A win by the 76ers or -- a loss by the Bucks in Toronto -- will cement Philadelphia in finishing with the second worst record in basketball this season. The 76ers would then have a 19.9 percent chance at the top pick and a 55.8 percent chance at a top 3 selection. The Celtics enter tied with the rival Los Angles Lakers for the fifth worst record in basketball. Boston can still finish anywhere from third to sixth in the final lottery standings and Celtics fans will have their eyes on the scoreboard when the Lakers visit the Utah Jazz on Monday night.

  • LOOSE BALLS: This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two teams. The 76ers lead the series, 2-1, but Boston won in Philadelphia back in February. Philadelphia's last win came in Boston earlier this month. ... As STATS LLC notes: Boston is averaging 105.4 points in its last five games, 9.4 points more than its season mark. ... The Celtics played Saturday with only eight available bodies. Rajon Rondo (left shin bruise), Jared Sullinger (sprained left ankle), and Kris Humphries (sore right knee) all have a chance to rejoin the lineup in Philly. ... This is Boston's final road game of the season as the Celtics wrap up the 2013-14 campaign on Wednesday night with a visit from the Washington Wizards.

(Read full game preview)

Lottery rivals: C's, Lakers tied

April, 14, 2014
Apr 14
12:25
AM ET
Well, this is different.

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are the two most decorated franchises in NBA history, combining for 33 of the the league's 67 championships. But now, with matching 25-55 records, the two teams and their .313 winning percentages, are tied for the fifth worst record in basketball with two games to play. A look at the lottery standings, through Sunday's action, from our friends at Tankathon:

Tankathon: April 14


If the season ended today, the Celtics and Lakers would be splitting 151 ping-pong ball combinations and flipping a coin to see who gets the additional combos (and who goes first in the event that both teams are outside a top 3 spot).

According to ESPN Stats and Info, the only instance in which both teams missed the postseason in the same year was during the 1993-94 campaign. Both squads emerged with lottery picks and Boston took Eric Montross at No. 9, while the Lakers picked Eddie Jones at 10.

What's more, in the common draft era (since 1966), the Lakers and Celtics have both picked in the top 10 just twice: 1994 and 1966. It should be noted, of course, that there were only 10 teams in the league in 1966.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.8 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9