Stars, studs and duds: Celtics rally fueled by defense

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics rally fueled by defense

BOSTON – We have seen the Boston Celtics put together some pretty miraculous runs through the course of a game.

But to be down 26 points and come back and win?

It was indeed a rally for the ages and according to Elias, was also the largest comeback by a team this season.

And the comeback was fueled in large part by a Celtics defense that in the second half, looked a lot like the defense we saw earlier this season that shut down team after team after team.

“It was great. It was great,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “We got into the ball, we were tough. We’re not going to have a prayer if we don’t play really hard and really get into the ball in these games against this level of competition. So that’s how we have to be as we move forward.”

In the second half, Boston limited the Heat to shooting 26.3 percent (10-for-38) from the field while forcing eight turnovers which led to 15 points.

Getting down so big means near-perfect basketball has to be played offensively, and that’s exactly what Boston was able to do.

Along with shooting 53.7 percent from the field (22-for-41) in the second half, Boston also turned the ball over just three times which resulted in zero – nada, zilch – points for the Heat.

“We just turned up our intensity on both ends of the floor,” said Boston’s Kelly Olynyk. “Played with a lot more pace, a lot more purpose and it paid off.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Wednesday’s game:



Avery Bradley

His defense in the second half was among the keys to one of Boston’s most impressive comeback win this season. Bradley wasn’t too shabby as a scorer either, with 17 points coming on 8-for-12 shooting.

Joe Johnson

‘Iso’ Joe Johnson has been a major plus for the Miami Heat, and he was once again leading the charge for Heat with a team-high 19 points on 9-for-19 shooting.



Evan Turner

Sixth man on your roster, number one in your heart. Turner continues to deliver whatever the Celtics are lacking when it matters most as he came off the bench to score 16 points to go with four assists with just one turnover.

Goran Dragic

One of the more under-rated point guards in the NBA, Dragic gave the Celtics problems most of the first half before finishing with 18 points on 9-for-16 shooting.

Hassan Whiteside

A leading candidate for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award, Whiteside showed his offensive side on Wednesday with 19 points to go with nine rebounds and four blocked shots.



Dwyane Wade

He had 17 points and did so on 7-for-16 shooting, but most of his offense did very little in terms of moving the needle or for the Heat, giving them an edge. His plus/minus for the game was -21, easily the worst among all 19 players who saw action in the game.

Celtics should get word Friday on Irving's status

Celtics should get word Friday on Irving's status

BOSTON -- Kyrie Irving has had a second opinion on his sore left knee, and a decision on what the next step will be is expected to be made within the next day or two, according to a league source.

 The medical officials involved in the initial evaluation will meet with those who examined him today, to compare notes and determine what’s in the best interest of Irving going forward.

 While surgery is a possibility, the source indicated that the current course of treatment, which consists primarily of rest, remains a consideration. 
The concerns regarding Irving’s knee are to be of the short-term variety, with the source indicating reports that there are long-term concerns with the knee are “just wrong.” 

 In his first season with the Celtics, Irving has appeared in 60 games in what has been one of his most efficient seasons as a scorer. 
He’s averaging 24.4 points per game while shooting a career-high 49.1 percent from the field. The five-time all-star is shooting 40.8 percent from 3-point range this season in addition to dishing out 5.1 assists along with grabbing a career-high 3.8 rebounds.


Celtics assistant McCarty to become coach at Evansville

AP Photo

Celtics assistant McCarty to become coach at Evansville

BOSTON – The first member of the Brad Stevens’ coaching tree is about to take off. Celtics assistant coach Walter McCarty is expected to be named head coach at Evansville University.

McCarty, an Evansville, Ind. native, was selected over a field of candidates that included former Indiana University standout Calbert Cheaney and David Ragland who, like McCarty, is an Evansville native.

The 6-foot-10 McCarty, a 10-year NBA veteran with seven-plus spent with the Celtics, has been part of Stevens’ coaching staff since 2013. The former Celtic has been a college assistant coach at Louisville (2007-2010) in addition to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers (2010-2011).