Celtics offense takes it to the next level

Celtics offense takes it to the next level

BOSTON – Some will chalk up Boston’s 134-106 win over Charlotte to great offensive coaching on Brad Stevens’ part.

But he knows all too well what happened.

“To be honest, we played with force,” Stevens said. “That just was one of those nights where you had great, great shot-making.”

Boston shot a season-best 62.1 percent from the field which fueled them setting season highs in several offensive categories.

Prior to the all-star break, Boston’s offense was still not humming along as well as Stevens or the Celtics would like but there was, in Stevens’ eye, promise for better days scoring the ball sooner rather than later.

“I felt really good about our structure; probably the best I’ve felt about our structure all year, heading into the break, on offense,” Stevens said. “I felt like in that last week or so we had some things that were going our way even though the numbers weren’t showing.”

And those positive signs were on full display Wednesday night as Boston absolutely dominated the Hornets behind the team’s jacuzzi-hot shooting from the field.

Boston’s Kyrie Irving attributes the team’s strong showing offensively to improved pace of play.

“We simplified some things and being able to read and react on the fly and play with a high intense effort for longer periods of time,” Irving said.

Stevens said the team has made some minor tweaks to the offense, but more than anything else, “we’re also just getting a lot more comfortable playing together.”

He added, “And sometimes that takes a little bit of time.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 134-106 win over Charlotte (28-34) which snapped the Hornet’s five-game winning streak while extending their own streak to four wins in a row.


Kyrie Irving: The efficiency that he has played with since coming back from the all-star break has been exactly what the Celtics need from the five-time all-star. He took over from the very outset of the game, scoring 16 of his game-high 34 points on 13-for-18 shooting to go with five assists and just one turnover.

Kemba Walker: The former UConn star had a similarly efficient performance for the Hornets. He tallied a team-high 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting to go with five assists without a single turnover.


Aron Baynes: His defense was strong as usual, but it was his shooting touch that really provided a lift to the Celtics. Baynes tallied his third double-double this season, scoring 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting along with 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

Dwight Howard: Boston found themselves dealing with the old Dwight Howard on Wednesday instead of an older Dwight Howard who isn’t nearly as impactful. He finished with 21 points on 10-for-15 shooting.

Celtics bench: Of course the lopsided nature of the game helped a couple players off the bench pad their stats, but this group had it going on all game long. They collectively tallied 61 points with the bench producing more double-digit scorers (4) than the starting five (three).


Charlotte’s second half defense: The Hornets were an absolute hot mess defensively in the second half, with Boston getting any and every shot they wanted. Some of the shots Boston made were of the tough, contested variety. But by and large, Boston’s ball movement opened up lanes to the basket gaps on the perimeter that the Hornets were never able to adequately adjust to and slow down. The end result was beatdown


Report: Celtics to sign Kilpatrick to 10-day contract

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Report: Celtics to sign Kilpatrick to 10-day contract

The depleted Celtics will sign guard Sean Kilpatrick to a 10-day contract, according to The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy.

Kilpatrick, 28, 6-4, 210 pounds, who played at the University of Cincinnati, most recently played for the Clippers this season and has spent time with the Bucks and Brooklyn Nets the past two seasons. 

With their spate of injuries lately, including Kyrie Irving undergoing a procedure on his knee Saturday, the Celtics have been granted a "hardship roster exemption" by the NBA. 


Report: Optimism that Kyrie will be back for playoffs

Report: Optimism that Kyrie will be back for playoffs

There's optimism that Kyrie Irving will be able to return to the Celtics sometime during the playoffs, according to multiple reports. 

The Celtics said their All-Star guard should be able to return to "basketball activities in 3-6 weeks." That doesn't necessarily mean games. The NBA playoffs begin April 14 and the conference finals as early as May 13.

The team released the following statement: 

Celtics guard Kyrie Irving today underwent a minimally-invasive procedure to remove a tension wire in his left knee. The wire was originally placed as part of the surgical repair of a fractured patella sustained during the 2015 NBA Finals. While removal of the wire should relieve irritation it was causing in Irving’s patellar tendon, the fractured patella has fully healed and Irving’s knee has been found to be completely structurally sound. Irving is expected to return to basketball activities in 3-6 weeks.

Irving underwent the procedure on his left knee to help alleviate the soreness that has kept the Celtics All-Star guard out the past five games. There was a fear that Irving could be lost for the rest of the season, including playoffs. 

Dr. Christopher Chihlas from Southcoast Health had told NBC Sports Boston on Friday that Irving might be able to return in "three to four weeks" in the best-case scenario.

More to come...