Olynyk nominated for Player of Week award

December, 22, 2014
Dec 22
1:51
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Boston Celtics second-year big man Kelly Olynyk was nominated for Eastern Conference Player of the Week but lost out to Atlanta's Al Horford.

Olynyk's stat line in Boston's four-game span last week that saw the team go 3-1: Team-best 19.8 points on 60.8 percent shooting overall (43.8 percent beyond the 3-point arc) with 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1 steal per contest. Olynyk scored a career-high 30 points during Monday's win in Philadelphia and was a team-best plus-52 in plus/minus this week.

Olynyk is the first Celtics player nominated for Player of the Week this season.

Celtics suffer from fast-breakdowns

December, 21, 2014
Dec 21
10:15
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The NBA began tracking fast-break points during the 1996-97 season, giving it featured placement at the bottom of each game's official box score. It's not easy to find an official definition of the metric, though the long-held understanding is it measures points generated in the first six seconds of the shot clock after a defensive stop.

It's not a statistical category you'll hear referenced very often, though it does a fine job in summarizing the Boston Celtics' 100-84 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Boston, which entered the game ranked third in the league with an average of 17.1 fast-break points per game, didn't generate a single fast-break point against the Heat. The Celtics missed all three shot attempts generated on fast-break chances and saw their season average dive by 0.7 points.

[+] EnlargeNelson
Robert Mayer/USA TODAY SportsJameer Nelson, along with Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder, made their Celtics debuts but it was clear they'll need time to become integrated.
Given that the Celtics just traded away an All-Star point guard noted for his ability to generate points in transition, you'll hear plenty of groans about Boston's fast-break goose egg on Sunday. But all the statistic does is hammer home how Boston fell victim to Miami's typically plodding pace and did little to generate the ball movement that the shorthanded Heat did in halfcourt sets to create their own scoring opportunities.

Rookie Marcus Smart, making his first pro start at point guard, will be scrutinized, though it's worth noting that none of Boston's ball-handlers were able to give the team any jolt on Sunday (all while Phil Pressey drew a healthy DNP as newcomer Jameer Nelson bit into the point guard minutes). The Celtics were fumble-happy out of the gates on Sunday and never quite recovered from their sloppy start.

"I didn’t feel that we kept up with their speed all day," Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters in Miami. "I thought that we looked a step behind all day. Credit them; they were flying off of everything. Sometimes, as we talked about before, when you’re missing a ‘go-to’ kind of guy like they were in [Dwyane] Wade and [Chris] Bosh, the other guys are flying all over the place. I thought we got hit by that and I’m not sure that we responded with that the entire night.

"Obviously, the ball was whipping around, and they played a really good style of basketball. Then I thought that it affected us on [offense]. I thought that we missed some plays at the rim and some open shots because we were so uncomfortable. I thought that they played great. There’s no question that we need to get more fluid in what we’re doing, especially with rotations, the new guys and all that other stuff, but all of it was to do with [the Heat]. Turnovers in general killed us. We didn’t react to their speed and aggressiveness on either end of the court."

Boston's inability to generate easy points clearly was an issue. The Heat own one of the worst transition defenses in the league, ranking 28th while allowing 1.2 points per play, according to Synergy Sports data. The Heat clearly put an emphasis on getting bodies back and forced Boston into halfcourt sets, where it struggled to get much going beyond feeding Tyler Zeller (team-high 22 points) around the basket. (Boston ranks third in the league in points in the paint.)

Go ahead and blame Boston's attempt to integrate three new faces acquired from Dallas in the Rajon Rondo swap, but even when those most familiar with the team's playbook were on the court, the Celtics struggled to generate easy scoring opportunities.

There's going to be a learning curve while Smart learns how to be a playmaker at the NBA level. He finished with three points on 1-of-4 shooting (all 3-point attempts) with four assists, four rebounds and two turnovers in 28 minutes, 25 seconds of court time. With Smart on the floor, Boston's offensive rating was a dismal (and team-worst) 85.8 points per 100 possessions. There will be growing pains with Smart at the point.

Smart needed only 12 seconds to generate his first assist of the day, then had a trio of nice feeds to Zeller later in the game, including a nice transition find after a make early in the third quarter.

But the Celtics didn't push the ball enough to generate the opportunities this offense so desperately needs. And the fast-break points help reflect that.



The Celtics put all three of their new faces on the court Sunday in Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder.

As could be expected, all three -- with little more than 48 hours of exposure to the team's playbook -- looked out of sync and might have contributed to Boston's disrupted flow at times.

"They were fine; I thought they were solid," Stevens said of the newcomers. "It’s hard to play in this deal one day after getting here, and your world is kind of shook up. I thought that they did a lot of good things, and I think that there’s a lot that we can improve on. There’s going to be some time before they feel as fluid as they can. Everyday should be a little bit better, but it’s going to take some time."

Wright had the best night of the newcomers, chipping in six points on 3-of-5 shooting with three rebounds over 13:24.

"The time has been limited, but we are professionals," Wright said. "We know what to do. We have to come out here and do the best we can. I look forward to getting better each and every game."

He refused to pin any of the team's struggles on integrating new faces.

"I don’t want to use that as an excuse," Wright offered. "Like I said, we are professionals and we have to adjust on the fly. There are a lot of things that happen during the season. Guys come and go. We played hard, but we just came up short."

Heat 100, Celtics 84: Miami vice

December, 21, 2014
Dec 21
8:27
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The Boston Celtics struggled while trying to integrate some new faces, while the Miami Heat thrived without some familiar ones.

Luol Deng scored a game-high 23 points, while rookie James Ennis added 16 points and eight rebounds as a Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh-less Heat squad posted a 100-84 triumph over the Celtics at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Tyler Zeller provided much of Boston's offense, scoring a team-high 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting with eight rebounds. Jeff Green and Kelly Olynyk added 13 points apiece.

The Celtics shot just 39.8 percent from the floor and 26.1 percent beyond the arc. Miami shot 47.4 percent and led by as much as 16.

New faces in focus: Boston put all three of its new acquisitions to work. Brandan Wright totaled six points on 3-of-5 shooting with three rebounds over 13:24; Jameer Nelson posted three points on 1-of-6 shooting with three assists and two rebounds over 20:25; Jae Crowder went scoreless with two rebounds and an assist over 7:10.

Smart starts: Celtics rookie Marcus Smart drew his first career start at point guard and finished with three points, four assists, four rebounds, a steal and two turnovers over 28:25. He was minus-8 in plus/minus during his floor time.

Loose balls: The Celtics utilized a 10-man rotation including all three new faces acquired from Dallas. Phil Pressey and Gerald Wallace were healthy DNPs. ... The Celtics did not generate a single fastbreak point. ... Miami turned the ball over just 11 times for 10 points; Boston gave it away 15 times for 20 points.

What it means: The Celtics fall to 10-15 while having a three-game winning streak snapped. The Heat improve to 13-15. ... Boston gets a much-needed practice day Monday before visiting the Orlando Magic on Tuesday evening.

Rookie Marcus Smart starts vs. Heat

December, 21, 2014
Dec 21
6:05
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Boston Celtics rookie Marcus Smart drew his first career start in Sunday's game against the Miami Heat.

Three days after the Celtics traded All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, Smart shuffled into the starting role. Evan Turner, who started Friday's game, will come off the bench, where coach Brad Stevens thinks he can better utilize Turner's versatility.

Smart has appeared in only 11 games this season while battling ankle and Achilles injuries. He's averaging 6.1 points, 2 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 17.4 minutes per game while playing both guards spots.

Smart was asked last week if he felt any pressure filling Rondo's shoes.

"I wouldn’t say pressure," Smart said. "It’s going to be hard to fill his shoes. Rondo is a great player and he’s done a lot for the franchise, so it’s going to be really hard. I think it’s an opportunity for not only me, but some of these other guys to step up."

Asked about his development at the point guard spot, Smart added, "I think I’ve done pretty well for the times I’ve been there. Just got to keep working."

W2W4: C's vs. Heat (Game 25 of 82)

December, 21, 2014
Dec 21
10:00
AM ET
The Boston Celtics (10-14, 3-6 away) visit the Miami Heat (12-15, 4-9 home) on Sunday evening at AmericanAirlines Arena (6 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:

The new guys: The Celtics spent Saturday's offday trying to get recent acquisitions Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder, and Brandan Wright up to speed on the team's playbook and all three should be in line to make their Boston debut on Sunday after watching Friday's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. It'll be our first glimpse of how coach Brad Stevens plans to integrate the new faces on a team that's riding a season-best three-game winning streak.

Heat in focus: Miami ranks 17th in offensive rating (103.4) and 25th in defensive rating (107.1). That minus-3.7 differential puts them 21st in the league. Miami is the worst rebounding team in the league and plays at the slowest pace. That said, the Heat do shoot the ball well (6th in both true shooting and efficiency field goal percentage). Miami is playing without star big man Chris Bosh (strained left calf).

Loose Balls: The Heat are a ½ game ahead of Boston in the Eastern Conference standings with the teams occupying the final playoff berths at the moment. ... The Heat have lost two straight. ... From STATS LLC: Boston has dropped five of seven at Miami, but the Heat have already matched their total of nine home losses from last season and are trying to avoid losing six straight there for the first time since a seven-game slide in March 2008. ... Miami is 3-8 in December.

(Read full preview)

Rondo (6 pts, 9 ast) makes Mavs debut

December, 21, 2014
Dec 21
1:23
AM ET
video

DALLAS -- The star of Rajon Rondo's debut with the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night was Monta Ellis -- the teammate whom the Mavericks hope helps Rondo form a lethal backcourt combination that will make them championship contenders.

Ellis equaled his season high with 38 points, including 11 during the final four minutes, as the Mavericks rallied late to beat the depleted San Antonio Spurs 99-93. Ellis broke a 93-93 tie with a driving basket with 1:48 to play to give Dallas the lead for good. He hit 15-of-23 from the field and made four steals.

The Spurs dropped their fourth straight, including three-overtime games on Wednesday and Friday.

"I felt it," Ellis said of his late surge. "It's in my blood. Those guys were tired from last night, and their defense let up, so we took advantage."

Rondo, the four-time All-Star who played his first eight-plus seasons with the Boston Celtics, scored six points on 3-for-11 shooting. Acquired Thursday in a multi-player trade, he had nine assists and seven rebounds.

"It was exciting," Rondo said. "Best part was we got the win."

[Read full recap]

ESPN Dallas: Ellis stars in Rondo's debut | Mavs need Rondo to be star role player

Merry Mavericks: Newcomers ready to help

December, 20, 2014
Dec 20
12:25
PM ET
Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson and Brandan WrightAP Photo/Charles KrupaJae Crowder, Jameer Nelson and Brandan Wright flash their jerseys at their Celtics introduction.
BOSTON -- The three men tasked with the unenviable assignment of making Boston Celtics fans forget about Rajon Rondo were sitting inside the press room at TD Garden on Friday night discussing the surprise of the trade and a long day of travel when they were asked about sitting down with Celtics coach Brad Stevens for the first time.

"Me and [Stevens] put things aside because his last college loss was against my alma mater," said a smiling Jae Crowder, referencing Marquette's 74-72 triumph over Butler in the 2013 NCAA tournament, Stevens' final game with the Bulldogs.

Next to him, veteran point guard Jameer Nelson shook his head and quipped, "You know he controls the playing time, right?"

Crowder smiled again and continued, "We put that aside and we’re moving forward."

So, too, are the Celtics.

Say this for Boston's newest additions: They handled themselves incredibly well in their first trip in front of the local cameras and microphones, saying all the right things and mixing in some lighthearted humor. Which is to say, it was the exact opposite of the forlorn introduction that followed the Brooklyn blockbuster in 2013.

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The Dallas trio, oblivious to their own murky futures, came out swinging, immediately citing a desire to help propel the Celtics toward the playoffs. Said big man Brandan Wright, "On the plane ride up here, we were looking at the standings and the team is right here, goals are still attainable, playoffs are reachable. We just want to come in here and do the best we can. Do what we do best, play hard, add an aspect to this team that hopefully pushes up in those standings."

The knee-jerk reaction to Boston trading away its best player was that the Celtics were hitting the reset button on their rebuild and that the team, this season, would likely be headed back into the lottery. That might ultimately be the case. But while the newcomers were still undergoing their mandatory physicals before Friday's game, the Celtics brass was defiantly suggesting that this Boston team could still compete and that the goals of progress were unchanged by the departure of Rondo.

Asked about being in Boston, Wright noted, "It's one of the best places to come and play basketball in the NBA. Fans are passionate. When we were in the airport, we were taking a lot of pictures, meeting a lot of fans, so the town is excited. Boston lost one heck of a player, but we feel like we came over here to prove a lot, we know we can play some basketball, so we’re excited."

(Read full post)

Prices up on Celtics vs. Mavs

December, 20, 2014
Dec 20
11:00
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Less than 15 hours after the Boston Celtics traded Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks, the team raised prices on its Jan. 2 home game against Dallas.

A sampling of ticket prices on the Celtics' Ticketmaster site taken Thursday night versus the prices in the same areas Friday afternoon reflected increases of 15 to 25 percent.

"We dynamically price individual tickets based on demand and adjustments are made daily and weekly throughout the season," said Shawn Sullivan, the team's chief marketing officer.

Ticket-broker Jeff McGuinness of Indianapolis-based 317 Tickets bought tickets Thursday night anticipating that they might go up for Rondo's return.

"If I were in the Celtics' position, I'd probably do the same thing," McGuinness said. "They need to capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves. Dynamic pricing is here to stay."

For years, teams used variable pricing, where the prices of games would be dependent on the quality of the opponent, but as the secondary market got more robust, dynamic pricing -- where teams change the prices constantly based on a variety of market factors -- has become more prevalent.

One market factor? A chance to see a familiar player playing for the other team.

[Read full story]

Celtics won't give up without Rondo

December, 20, 2014
Dec 20
2:00
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BOSTON -- There was a touch of defiance in his voice. Polite defiance, mind you, but Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens still bristled a bit when it was suggested that some fans assume that the Celtics are content to tank the remainder of the 2014-15 season following the trade that delivered point guard Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks.

[+] EnlargeBrad Stevens
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images
"First of all, this team is going to prepare every day to win games," Stevens said before Friday's tilt with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He acknowledged that some of the young players on his roster are going to have to step up and embrace leadership roles to replace what Rondo meant as captain, but Stevens made sure to stress that the goals of this team haven't changed because of one player's departure.

"I think the deal is, this is our team," added Stevens. "This is how we're getting ready to win every single night. And we are building every single night to be the best that we can be. Tonight, tomorrow, the next night, and it's never going to stop. I'm excited about the guys in the locker room. Time will tell how we do, but I'm excited about the guys we have."

It's hard to gauge Boston's true potential after Game 1 of the post-Rondo era -- it was the basement-dwelling Minnesota Timberwolves on the opposite sideline after all -- but there's something to be said for the way Boston dominated the final six minutes of the game en route to a 114-98 triumph at TD Garden.

The Celtics have now won three straight games, matching their season high. While there are still 58 games left in the season, Boston shuffled into the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, at least for one night.

For a team that just traded away its best player, the Celtics were a pretty jovial bunch after Friday's game. While players admitted to being surprised -- and maybe a bit disappointed given Rondo's departed talents - many were quick to point toward the opportunity that still exists for them. Like Stevens, they don't like the idea that they're supposed to just wave the white flag on the season.

As Boston's remaining young core were savoring Friday's victory, the team's three newest faces -- Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, and Jae Crowder -- convened at the interview podium to assess their new squad and hold up their new uniforms.

"On the plane ride up [to Boston] we were looking at the standings and the team is right here, goals are still attainable, playoffs are reachable," said Wright. "We just want to come in here and do the best we can. Do what we do best: Play hard, add an aspect to this team that hopefully pushes up in those standings."

Added Crowder: "That's what we talked about on the way up here. I still feel like we have a chance to make a push in the Eastern Conference, to make the playoffs and that's our goal. And that's how we're going to influence those guys to keep fighting, each and every day, to get better as a unit and see what happens."

[Read full story]
video
BOSTON -- No Rajon Rondo, no problem for the Boston Celtics.

OK, it certainly helped that the first game in the post-Rondo era came against the basement-dwelling Minnesota Timberwolves. But Boston's young remaining core closed the fourth quarter with the sort of flair that was often missing with Rondo this season en route to a 114-98 triumph at TD Garden.

The Timberwolves clawed within a possession with under six minutes to play, but Boston scored the game's next eight points -- Marcus Smart and Jeff Green sandwiching 3-pointers around a Green dunk -- and pushed its lead as high as 15 after another Smart triple capped a 15-3 run.

Kelly Olynyk scored a team-high 21 points off the bench, while Jared Sullinger posted a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) as Boston put six players in double figures for scoring. Avery Bradley had a season-high seven assists and Boston generated 29 total assists on 48 field goals.

No new faces: The Celtics didn't have any of the three recent additions in Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder and Jameer Nelson. The three newcomers were still taking their physicals and were inactive for Friday's game.

Loose balls: Boston shot 56.5 percent overall (48-of-85). The Timberwolves shot 50 percent beyond the arc, but 45.2 percent overall. ... The Celtics were also without Marcus Thornton (calf strain) and James Young (shoulder subluxation).

What it means: Boston has now won three in a row, matching a season high, while improving to 10-14 overall. The Timberwolves fall to 5-20. Boston departs on a two-game Floridian road trip that visits Miami and Orlando next week.

Danny Ainge: Very difficult to move Rondo

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
9:15
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BOSTON -- Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said lingering uncertainty about Rajon Rondo's future in Boston, along with the team's inability to immediately surround him with impact players, contributed to his decision to trade him to the Dallas Mavericks.

[+] EnlargeDanny Ainge
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
The Celtics shipped the four-time All-Star point guard and rookie power forward Dwight Powell to Dallas on Thursday night for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, two future draft picks and a $12.9 million trade exception. And while Ainge admitted that giving up the best player in the deal ran counter to the team's typical philosophy with swaps, he believed it was the right move for the Celtics moving forward.

The Mavericks had called Boston to inquire about Rondo's availability in the years since former point guard Jason Kidd's departure, while the Celtics had inquired with Dallas about Wright and Crowder in recent seasons. A deal came together quickly in recent days when both sides revisited those talks, even as attempts to add a third team fizzled.

"There was definitely uncertainty into what might happen [with Rondo as a free agent] this summer," Ainge said Friday night while addressing reporters for the first time since the swap. "That was a big factor. We liked the players that we got in the trade. But, listen, with his impending free agency, and the uncertainty of what might happen this summer, I think that gave us the impetus of wanting to do a deal."

Encouraged in part by Rondo's desire to be part of a contending team, the Celtics explored adding impact players this offseason -- Kevin Love among the most notable -- but were unsuccessful, and a team that won 25 games last year continued to struggle in the early stages of the 2014-15 campaign.

Ainge noted the team was also eager to see how Rondo performed this season, further removed from ACL surgery, and as the focal point of a young team. While Rondo dazzled as a distributor, he failed to take over games -- particularly in the fourth quarter -- the way an elite player on the verge of a maximum contract might be expected to.

It all added up to Thursday's swap, though it still wasn't easy for Ainge to bid farewell to the last remaining member of the team's latest Big Three era.

"It was hard. Yeah, it was very difficult to move Rajon," Ainge said. "I know it's a business in professional sports, but you really develop a lot of close relationships and I loved watching Rajon, I loved visiting with him, our one-on-one conversations were fun, entertaining, frustrating sometimes. And always a surprise.

"The guy was a very unique person. But watching him grow and watching him develop as a man and as a person and as a basketball player, I just enjoyed my interactions with him. It was an emotional time as we met last night. It was not an easy thing to do. But I believe it was the right thing to do."

[Read full story]

Rajon Rondo 'fired up' to join Mavs

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
9:11
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videoDALLAS -- The opportunity to play for a contender again has Rajon Rondo feeling revitalized after leaving a rebuilding franchise in the Boston Celtics.

"There's one goal that you have in mind, and I'm dying to get another ring again," Rondo said in his introductory news conference after joining the Dallas Mavericks in a blockbuster trade. "I want another parade."

The Mavs acquired Rondo along with rookie power forward Dwight Powell from the Celtics in exchange for center Brandan Wright, point guard Jameer Nelson, small forward Jae Crowder, a protected first-round pick, a second-round pick and a $12.9 million trade exception in a deal finalized Thursday night.

Rondo played in two NBA Finals and won one championship during his eight-plus seasons in Boston. But the Celtics have been rebuilding since trading Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the summer of 2013, going 25-57 last season and getting off to a 9-14 start entering Friday this season.

Rondo attempted to approach the situation with professionalism, but the Mavs anticipate getting a much more motivated version of the four-time All-Star point guard, who says he physically feels "closer to where I used to be, if not better" after battling back from a torn ACL in his right knee suffered in January 2013.

"It was very challenging these last couple years," Rondo said. "I've been fortunate enough to play for future Hall of Famers and great teams and a great coach in Doc Rivers. And to get back to that situation and be able to play with future Hall of Famers and a great coach and a team that's ready to contend for a title, I'm fired up. I'm ready to go."

Mavs owner Mark Cuban made it clear that the team fully intends to re-sign Rondo, whose contract expires after this season, to a long-term deal this summer.

"We're past the days of rent-a-player," Cuban said, calling Rondo the definition of a franchise cornerstone. "We want him to be here for a long time and we want to earn his desire to stay here. We have to convince him that he wants to be here because we know we'll want him. We're going to do everything possible to keep him here forever."

Rondo's response: "I'm definitely excited and optimistic about the situation here. ... The future seems bright and I'm just looking forward to winning a championship as fast as possible, and hopefully we can keep this team together."

[Read full story]

W2W4: C's vs. Wolves (Game 24 of 82)

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
12:00
PM ET
The Boston Celtics (9-14, 6-8 home) host the Minnesota Timberwolves (5-19, 2-9 away) on Friday night at TD Garden (7:30 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:

Post-trade fallout: Celtics coach Brad Stevens talked Thursday about the difficulty in getting his team to focus even as trade rumors swirled around his team. Now Stevens must figure out how to keep his team on task in the aftermath of Thursday's trade, even when all the talk is likely to focus on a player that's no longer here in Rajon Rondo.

Wolves in focus: The Wolves have been as bad as their record suggests. Minnesota ranks 26th in offensive rating (98.4), 28th in defensive rating (109.5), and 29th in net differential (minus-11.1). About the only advanced metric that leaps off the page -- in a positive way -- is Minnesota's offensive rebounding rate (sixth overall). The Timberwolves do crank the pace, ranking fourth in the league while averaging 98.7 possessions per 48 minutes (Boston is first at 100.49).

Loose Balls: Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart tested his injured ankle/Achilles at Thursday's practice and, assuming no setbacks, he could be back in the lineup Friday (and Boston needs some ball-handlers with Rondo's departure). ... Boston can match its season-high three-game winning streak. ... A couple notes from STATS LLC: The Timberwolves have lost nine of 10 and would record their third losing streak of four or more games with a defeat Friday. ... Boston has won eight straight at home against Minnesota since a 99-97 loss on March 6, 2005.

(Read full game preview)

Celts assistant McCarty gets charge dismissed

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
11:59
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FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics assistant coach Walter McCarty has agreed to pay more than $20,000 to a contractor for the purchase and installation of kitchen cabinets, and in exchange a larceny charge will be dismissed.

The MetroWest Daily News reports that under a deal reached in court Thursday, the 40-year-old McCarty has until Dec. 31 to pay the money.

Prosecutors say McCarty ordered more than $30,000 worth of cabinetry for the home he's building in Wayland. He paid $12,000, but authorities say a second check for the balance bounced, and several requests by the contractor for the money were ignored.

McCarty's lawyer says the case was a misunderstanding and that McCarty's bank account had been compromised.

[Read full story]

New Celtics choose jersey numbers

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
10:49
AM ET
The Boston Celtics announced the jersey numbers for their latest acquisitions:

Brandan Wright: 12
Jameer Nelson: 28
Jae Crowder: 99

Crowder is only the third player to wear No. 99 in team history and first since Darko Milicic. Nelson is first to wear No. 28 since Mickael Pietrus. Wright takes the digits from departed Dwight Powell.

[Basketball Reference: Celtics number register]

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
19.2 1.6 0.9 34.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.2
AssistsE. Turner 3.4
StealsK. Olynyk 1.2
BlocksK. Olynyk 0.8