Stars, studs and duds: Five shots 'not enough' for Al Horford

Stars, studs and duds: Five shots 'not enough' for Al Horford

BOSTON – Al Horford has never been a high-volume shooter, evident by him never averaging more than 14.5 shots per game in a season (2014).
But in Boston’s 121-114 loss to Detroit on Wednesday, there were lots of numbers that left the Celtics scratching their heads afterwards.
Horford taking just five shots from the field?
That’s one of them. 


“That’s the first thing I saw when I looked at the stat sheet,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “It’s not enough; I know that. So we need to do a better job of making sure that we help put him in position to be successful.”
Horford had three games last season with the Atlanta Hawks in which he took five or fewer shots from the field, with Atlanta winning two of the three. 
The last time he took five or less shots was on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers March 4 when he had eight points on 2-for-5 shooting as the Atlanta Hawks prevailed 106-77.
“I think that I probably could’ve got more shots,” Horford said. ‘But at the end of the day we needed to be better on the defensive end and we just didn’t get the job done on defense.”
Here’s a look at the Stars, Studs and Duds from Wednesday’s game.

Kentavious Pope-Caldwell

He’s starting to play at a level you expect to see in a contract year. Pope-Caldwell not only led the Pistons with 25 points but also did as good a job on Avery Bradley as we’ve seen done this season.
Isaiah Thomas

One of the few starters who played well, Thomas led all players with a game-high 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting. He also managed to dish out four assists.
Andre Drummond

The former UConn star was a dominant force most of the night, finishing with a double-double of 20 points and 17 rebounds. 

Ish Smith

No one seemed to give the Celtics more problems on Wednesday than Smith, whose ultra-quick speed allowed him to get into the paint or open for jump-shots seemingly all game long. He finished with 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting in addition to grabbing eight rebounds along with eight assists. 
Kelly Olynyk

It’s rare that Olynyk has a big game scoring and the Celtics don’t win. But that was indeed the case on Wednesday with Olynyk coming off the bench to score 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting.
Avery Bradley

He finished with 14 points but for most of the game Bradley was a non-factor at both ends of the floor – a rarity for one of the league’s most improved players this season. In addition to the struggles he had limiting Detroit’s guards from scoring, Bradley didn’t make his first field goal until late in the third quarter. And nine of his 14 points came in the final 76 seconds when the game’s outcome had for the most part been decided. 

Celtics defense

They have had some defensive stinkers this season, but Wednesday stood out as one of the worst to date. The Pistons shot 55.2 percent from the field, the best any team has shot against Boston this season.

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).