Celtics-Blazers preview: Getting other Celtics involved


Celtics-Blazers preview: Getting other Celtics involved

We’ve seen enough of Isaiah Thomas to know that he will make an impact for the Boston Celtics, usually with a barrage of buckets.

But as good a scorer as Thomas has proven himself to be, he is not a one-man operation.

He’ll need help if the Celtics (43-31) are to bounce back tonight at Portland following Monday night’s 114-90 beating at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers.

“I’m just trying to get myself to be more aggressive to get the ball in the hoop,” Thomas told reporters following Monday’s loss. “I still have to manage getting others involved and being a scorer. I have to do both and do it at a high level.”

Finding that happy medium has become a lot tougher without Jae Crowder (high ankle sprain) who may return to action as early as tonight after having missed Boston’s last eight games with the injury.

In those eight games, Thomas has averaged 24.9 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 34.7 percent on 3s.

Prior to Crowder’s injury, Thomas scored at a 21.9 points per game clip and dished out 6.6 assists per game while shooting 42.8 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from 3-point range.

Celtics guard Avery Bradley will be among Thomas’ teammates who can help Thomas find better on-the-floor balance which should in turn help Boston get back on a winning track.

Despite being without Crowder the last eight games, Bradley has averaged 14.8 points in that span compared to 15.1 points per game prior to Crowder’s injury.

Bradley sees improved communication as being one of the keys to Boston playing better tonight.

“Not only that, but us making plays, all of us,” Bradley told reporters. “And make shots; that’s the most important thing.”

Having already beaten the Blazers decisively back in Boston, one of the keys to that victory was the play of Boston’s backcourt which outplayed all-star Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum who is one of the NBA’s most improved players this season.

In Boston’s 116-93 win over Portland on March 2, Thomas and Bradley combined for 47 points on an efficient 18-of-34 shooting night while Lillard and McCollum tallied 37 points on 13-for-30 shooting.

“One thing about good players in this league,” Bradley said. “All you can do is try to make everything hard on them. They’re usually going to get their average no matter what.”

Especially Lillard, who has been among the NBA’s toughest covers since the all-star break with a 27.7 points per game average which ranks fourth in the league.

When Boston faced Portland earlier this month, Lillard had 20 points on 8-for-17 shooting.

“That’s what we try to do to Dame (Lillard),” Bradley said. “We try to make every possession hard on him; try to put a lot of different guys on him.”

And while the Celtics know that delivering another dominant performance isn’t likely on the road, the way they played that night is indeed a blueprint of sorts of what they have to do tonight.

The Celtics had six players in double figures scoring, and were decisive in winning the effort categories such as points in the paint (60-34), second-chance points (21-9) and fast-break points (30-11).

“We played great as a team,” Bradley said. “That’s why we got the win that night.”


'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

AP Photo

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

Former Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was arrested last month in a hotel room in Aberdeen, Maryland, with more than 126 grams of marijuana and more than $92,000 in cash.

Davis, 32, who played on the Celtics 2008 championship team was last in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015, was arrested Feb. 7 after the hotel owner at the Aberdeen Hampton Inn smelled marijuana coming from Davis' room, WMAR-TV in Baltimore reported.

“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” Aberdeen Police Lt. William Reiber told WMAR. “In addition to that, there was a briefcase that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”

Davis is charged with seven counts of drug possession and distribution.

Police said the strains of marijuana were from a Los Angeles wholesaler that court records show Davis told police he was in business with.

He told officers he was visiting family in Maryland. Davis' attorney told WMAR the former Celtic (2007-11) adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court next month to clear his name. 


Horford helps Celtics get back on track

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Horford helps Celtics get back on track

Aggressive Al Horford was on the floor Friday night for the Boston Celtics, a good sign for a Celtics team that has been battered by injuries. 

As the oldest member of the team, the 31-year-old’s leadership has to become more example-driven as well as existing in the spoken word.

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Horford was on point for most of Friday’s 92-83 win over Orlando, a game that was far more lopsided in Boston’s favor than the final score might indicate.

The 6-foot-10 forward/center had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

What was more telling was that Horford took a team-high 18 shots from the field, as clear a sign as you will find that Horford’s mindset on Friday was to attack Orlando’s defense early and often. 

And while it’s true that the Magic are one of the worst teams in the NBA, that doesn’t diminish the way Horford executed the plays called by head coach Brad Stevens as Horford played the role of primary scorer more often than usual, instead of being a major facilitator.

Having missed Boston’s previous two games, Horford was admittedly concerned if the lay-off might affect his conditioning. 

“Wind-wise I felt good,” Horford told reporters after Friday night’s win. “A little rusty on offense. But defensively I felt great. I felt our team came out with energy; just a good win.” 

A win that became a lot easier to get with Aggressive Al on the floor. 

 Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 92-83 win over Orlando.



Terry Rozier: He continues to provide the Celtics with really solid guard play, with all-star guard Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) missing. Rozier had a game high-tying 17 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. 

Greg Monroe: The third quarter was when Monroe really began to take over the game. He finished with 17 points, 10 of which came in the third. 

Shelvin Mack: Not a lot to cheer about for Mack and the Magic who once again struggled in so many phases of the game. But Mack still managed to score 16 points. 



Al Horford: Having missed the two previous games, Horford was back in full force on Friday. He had 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting to go with nine rebounds

Boston rebounding: The Celtics control of the glass began from the outset and never really eased up. For the game, Boston grabbed 55 rebounds compared to just 40 by Orlando. 



Fourth-quarter Celtics: The only real blemish on an otherwise impressive performance by Boston, was the team’s overall play in the fourth quarter. Boston was outscored 31-17 and turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter.