Celtics

CELTICS TALK PODCAST: Will/should Gordon Hayward come back? Are the Cavs REALLY in trouble?

dl-celtics_talk.png

CELTICS TALK PODCAST: Will/should Gordon Hayward come back? Are the Cavs REALLY in trouble?

Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about the Celtics impressive win streak after losing their first two games. (3:00) Kyrie Irving has been a catalyst for the win streak, but maybe not in the ways you would've expected. (8:05) Gordon Hayward spoke with the media for the first time since his injury...will he return this season? Should he? (12:40) The Celtics have a DPE they can use to go get a player, and Sherrod and Kyle discuss whether they will use it, on who, and specifically talk about the rumors surrounding Jahlil Okafor.

(15:00) Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders is our guest to talk about a team he is familiar with, the surprising Orlando Magic. Also, Kyler talks about whether he expected the Celtics to be playing this well after the Hayward injury, and whether the Cavs are in real trouble, or whether it's just a matter of 'flipping the switch' like they have done in previous seasons.

Baynes injury shakes up Celtics rotation

cp-celtics-baynes-irving-jaylen-brown-021218.jpg
File Photo

Baynes injury shakes up Celtics rotation

Brad Stevens said a shake-up of some kind with the team’s rotation was on the table, but he didn’t want it to come about due to injuries.

Aron Baynes is out for tonight’s game against New York after suffering an elbow injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 110-98 win at Detroit on Friday night.

Replacing him in the starting lineup will be Daniel Theis who is coming off a career-high 19 points in Boston’s win over the Pistons.

Boston will also benefit from having Shane Larkin available. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Larkin will be available to play after having missed the previous nine straight games because of a sore right knee.

Regardless of who may or may not play, the Celtics will need the collective efforts of all their available players to close out the regular season on a high note.

“We got a lot of guys that have done this for a long time, but we also got a lot of guys that haven’t,” Stevens said. “We gotta lean on all the freshness left in their legs.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Have Celtics solved their second-quarter problem?

Have Celtics solved their second-quarter problem?

Let’s face it.

The second quarter has been a major problem for the Celtics this season.

And then there’s Friday night in a 110-98 victory in Detroit, where the Celtics outscored the Pistons 38-21 in the second to take control of the game.

The 38 points tied a season-high for second-quarter scoring and the +17 scoring margin in the quarter was their best in a second quarter this season.

Boston’s point differential for the season speaks to how, while the Celtics don’t score a ton of points, their defense allows them to have a bit of a scoring cushion most nights.

For the season, Boston’s point differential of +3.7 ranks fourth in the league behind Houston (+8.9), Toronto (+8.3) and Golden State (+8.1).

Still, if you hone in on what the Celtics do in the second quarter...it’s not pretty.

Their scoring differential this season in the second quarter is -1.1, which ranks in the bottom 10 in the NBA (24th specifically).

Here are five under-the-radar storylines you might not be thinking about heading into tonight’s game between the Celtics and Knicks as they close out their regular-season series (Boston leads, 2-1):

EXCLUSIVE CLUB


With the victory in Detroit, the Celtics won their 20th road game of the season. The victory puts them in select company in the NBA. Only Golden State (22-7) and Houston (21-7) have more road wins or a better road record than the Celtics (20-8).

ARON BAYNES


Seeing Aron Baynes head to the bench and soon after towards the locker room with an elbow injury was not a good look. Following the win at Detroit, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Baynes had not been ruled out from playing tonight. Boston has been atop the NBA most of this season defensively and the play of Baynes has been critical to that success. Prior to the Pistons game, Boston’s defensive rating when Baynes was on the floor was 96.4. When he was not playing, it ballooned to 103.5.

MICHAEL BEASLEY


You always have to be on guard when Beasley’s in the building. While his season numbers may suggest he’s a role player coming off the bench who can maybe score a little, don’t be fooled. Beasley is a cold-blooded scoring assassin who can kill a defense with his wide array of scoring techniques. The Celtics saw this up close earlier this season when Beasley dropped a season-high 32 points the Knicks' 102-93 victory over Boston on Dec. 21.

FEBRUARY STRUGGLES


Boston can’t wait to flip the calendar and get on to March, because February has been brutal for the defense. In the four previous months this season, Boston’s defensive rating always ranked among the top-10 each month. But in February, Boston’s defensive rating of 108.6 currently ranks 16th in the NBA. There’s still time to improve upon that before the month is over, but February is likely to go down as Boston’s worst month defensively this season.

CELTICS-KNICKS HISTORY


When it comes to history, Boston and New York share more than just being among the original teams when the NBA formed in 1946 (In 1946, the NBA had a different name, the Basketball Association of America. Following its third season, the BAA would merge with the National Basketball League to form what is now known as the NBA). They are also the only teams from the league’s inception that did not disband for a period of time, or move to another city.  

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE