Stars, studs and duds: Celtics 'still have a long ways to go'

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics 'still have a long ways to go'

Al Horford missed a game-winning shot at the buzzer. Moments earlier, Isaiah Thomas missed a lay-up that was challenging but should have been made. 
As much as those plays hurt Boston in its 107-106 loss at Houston, there were a series of gaffes prior to that which proved to be just as impactful on the game’s outcome. 


Boston led 96-88 in the fourth quarter but Houston rallied with a 14-6 spurt. 
When asked about what the Rockets did to get going, Celtics Jae Crowder said there was confusion among the five players on the floor. 
“We had confusion on a couple of play calls,” Crowder told reporters after the loss. “That’s on us. Three guys on the same page, two guys doing something differently. We didn’t know exactly what we were doing.
Crowder added, “all five guys on the court have to be on the same page and we weren’t. That turned into turnovers and points on the other end. That’s how they got back into it.”
Monday night’s loss serves as a reminder of while the Celtics are improving, there’s plenty of room to grow when it comes to late game execution. 
“We still have a long ways to go,” Crowder said. “We have to keep working at it. We can’t have that situation kill us at the end of the game. Missed shots, that’s OK. But miscommunication and turnovers, we can’t have.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Monday night’s game. 

James Harden

The “beard” once again chopped down the competition with a dominant performance. He led all scorers with 37 points to go with eight rebounds, eight rebounds and finished with a not-so-great double-double of points scored and turnovers (10).

Al Horford

Missing the game-winning lay-up summed up the kind of night it was for Horford who still managed to finish with 21 points and a game-high nine assists with six rebounds and two blocked shots.  
Eric Gordon

When Harden went to the bench, Gordon did a nice job of keeping the offense flowing for the Rockets. He would finish with 19 points off the bench on 6-for-11 shooting with four 3-pointers. 
Isaiah Thomas

He finished with 20 points but like Horford, he too missed a lay-up in the closing seconds that could have potentially won the game for Boston.
Trevor Ariza

It was a quiet but effective night for Ariza who had 15 points to go with eight rebounds and two blocked shots.   
Celtics bench

They have been a much-maligned group for most of this season, but they kept this game from getting out of hand in the first half with strong play from Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier (seven points each), and got strong plays at both ends of the floor from Marcus Smart (13 points).

Amir Johnson

He was replaced in the starting lineup by Jonas Jerebko, and was just as ineffective coming off the bench. He was scoreless in less than five minutes of playing time, committing as many fouls (2) as grabbed rebounds (2). It remains to be seen whether he will be in the starting lineup when the Celtics play at Orlando on Wednesday. 

'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

USA TODAY Sports Photo

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.

CELTICS TALK PODCAST  - Smart's importance to C's, dissecting the East

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.