Stars, Studs and Duds: Celtics drain half their 3's in win over Pelicans

Stars, Studs and Duds: Celtics drain half their 3's in win over Pelicans

BOSTON -- We all know how much the Boston Celtics love the 3-ball.

Lately, that feeling has apparently been mutual because the Celtics have done more than just hit a few more 3’s than usual.

They are on a historically red-hot pace which was on display Saturday night in their 117-108 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Boston (23-14), winners of five straight at home, made 18 of their 36 three-pointers taken.

It was the fourth straight game Boston has made at least 15 three-pointers, a feat that has been done just two other times in NBA history.

And according to stat czar Dick Lipe, Boston had just three games with 17 or more made 3’s in their first 6,118 games played.

But since then, they’ve met or eclipsed the 17 made 3’s mark in each of their last four games.

“We’re playing to our strengths and we’re taking what the defense gives us,” said Kelly Olynyk who was one of six Celtics to make at least one 3-pointer on Saturday. “We don’t have a lot of guys that you’re throwing the ball in and posting up 10, 12, 15 times a game, so a lot of movement, a lot of ball screens, make guys help, draw and kick and knock down shots.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens doesn’t see a significant difference in the caliber of 3-pointers Boston is taking now, compared to the looks they were getting a few weeks ago.

“We talked about those will come back, we’ll make a few of those now,” Stevens said. “It’s just kind of the way the world works; sometimes you make them, sometimes you don’t but you always try to focus on doing everything you can to get the right shot.”

It’s not all that unusual for a player or two to get into a nice rhythm shooting 3’s, but it seems just about every player Boston runs on to the floor is connecting from long range.

“Threes are more contagious than the flu,” quipped Olynyk. “Which is pretty contagious at this point.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Saturday’s game.


Isaiah Thomas: When the Celtics started to show some slippage in the fourth quarter, it was Thomas who once again restored order for Boston. He led all scorers with 38 points, 17 of which came in the fourth.

Anthony Davis: Like most teams, the Celtics had problems limiting the 6-foot-10 all-star on the perimeter as well as around the basket. He finished with a team-high 36 points on an efficient 14-for-22 shooting night along with grabbing 15 rebounds which led all players.


Marcus Smart: He stepped in for Avery Bradley and truth be told, the Celtics didn’t miss a beat. He had a season-high 22 points on 7-for-10 shooting which included him connecting on all three of his 3-point attempts. In addition, Smart managed to tally six assists with five rebounds and two steals.

Langston Galloway: After getting down by 20 going into the fourth quarter, Galloway led the way as the Pelicans chipped away at Boston’s lead, coming within seven points with less than a minute to play. He had 20 points off the bench to go with four rebounds.

Kelly Olynyk: This was one of those nights when Olynyk did a lot of nice little things that collectively put them in position to escape with the victory. He finished with 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting along with four rebounds and three assists.


Al Horford: This was a really bad game for Horford in terms of scoring the ball as he tallied just eight points on 3-for-18 shooting. But to his credit, he found ways to help elsewhere. Horford also tallied a team-high eight assists while also hauling down seven rebounds which also led the Celtics who were playing without their No. 2 scorer and top rebounder, shooting guard Avery Bradley (right Achilles soreness).

Gordon Hayward rips back a morning workout while repping his Butler Bulldogs

File Photo

Gordon Hayward rips back a morning workout while repping his Butler Bulldogs

There hasn't been all positive news surrounding Gordon Hayward as of late.

The Celtics have been shooting down rumors of Hayward returning this season. Recent news has detailed a minor setback in his recovery.

But it's always good to see the C's superstar up early crushing a workout in the weightroom.

We might not see him back in 2018, but his dedication during recovery is something to admire.


Celtics look to continue rolling on the road

AP Photo

Celtics look to continue rolling on the road

It seems all season we’ve talked about the Boston Celtics overcoming adversity, whether it be a bad injury to a key player or a blown assignment leading to a loss.

Nowhere is this more apparent than their play on the road this season which ranks among the best in the NBA.

The Celtics will look to continue on their road warrior-like ways tonight at New Orleans, a team that’s fighting for playoff position in the tighter-than-usual Western Conference.

In recent years, the terrain has been rough for teams from the East venturing into Western Conference territory.

For this year’s Celtics?

Not so much.

Boston comes into tonight’s game with a 17-7 record against Western Conference teams, tops among all teams in the East.

And while Boston has eight road games left this season, they are on pace to finish with one of the best road records in franchise history.

Currently 24-9 away from the TD Garden (tops in the East, third overall in the NBA), that’s a winning percentage of .727 which is the fourth-highest in franchise history.

Here are five under-the-radar story lines to keep an eye on when the Boston Celtics take on the New Orleans Pelicans tonight.


It’s a given that Al Horford will spend time defending Anthony Davis tonight. And while Davis will likely have a strong night scoring the ball, you can count on Horford making it extremely tough on him. When the two teams met on Jan. 16, Davis was 8-for-19 shooting for 16 points in 52 possessions when defended by Horford. For the game, Davis had 45 points on 16-for-34 shooting.


We’ve seen “Playoff" Rondo and “National TV" Rondo deliver some impressive performances in the past. What will we see from “Well-Rested” Rondo? The Pelicans gave the ex-Celtic the night off on Saturday as to not play him in back-to-back games. Of the two games, it made sense to sit him against the Rockets and have him ready to roll against a Boston Celtics team that will not have its full complement of players available.


Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry had some choice words about the officiating in New Orleans’ 107-101 loss to Houston on Saturday that he clearly felt cost his team a better chance at winning. The only cost in play now is how big will the check be that he’ll pay the league for his comments about the officiating. His issue was that Anthony Davis doesn’t get enough calls based on the physical abuse he takes per game. Davis ranks fourth in the NBA in free throw attempts (7.8) per game, but only had four attempts against the Rockets. It’ll be worth watching whether the Pelicans, 16th in the league in free throw attempts (21.4) per game, will get to the line significantly more or less than their season average.


One of the keys to Boston’s improved play since returning to the floor since the all-star break, has been their ability to begin games with strong play. Boston has outscored their opponent in the first quarter each of the last eight games, and 10 of 11. In addition, Boston has been ahead at the half in each of their 10 games since the all-star break, which comes on the heels of trailing at the half in the seven games prior to the break.


Jayson Tatum has been one of the most impactful rookies in the NBA this season which will likely land him a spot on the NBA’s all-rookie first or second team. One of the strengths of Tatum has been his durability, evident by him being one of just two first-year players to appear in each of his team’s games played this season. He is joined by Memphis’ Dillon Brooks.