Kyrie-less Celtics dominate Bulls, 105-89

Kyrie-less Celtics dominate Bulls, 105-89

No Kyrie Irving, no problem apparently for the Boston Celtics who handily defeated the Chicago Bulls, 105-89.

Boston (45-20) has now won five of its six games since returning from the All-Star break. And they did it without Irving who was held out due to a sore left knee. Replacing him in the starting lineup was Shane Larkin who made his first start as Celtic, tallying nine points, four rebounds and four assists.

Here are some of the highlights from Boston’s victory over the Bulls with a final score that was not indicative of how Boston absolutely controlled the action from the outset and led by as many as 37 points. 

What worked: Rebounding was among the many areas in which the Celtics absolutely dominated the Bulls on Monday. For the game, Boston grabbed 53 rebounds compared to just 36 for Chicago. And by winning the game, Boston improves its record to 32-4 when they equal or surpass their opponents on the glass. 

What didn’t work: Not much. Boston’s 3-point shooting wasn’t great, connecting on 33.3 percent (12-of-36) of their shots. But when you scorch a team as badly as the Celtics did the Bulls … it’s all good.

Play to remember: In the first quarter, Boston’s Al Horford stole a Kris Dunn pass, dribbled the length of the floor and finished the play with a dunk that put Boston ahead 26-5 with 4:16 to play in the first. 

Play to forget: In the first half, Daniel Theis took an elbow to below the waist, from Chicago’s Zach LaVine who was driving to the basket for a lay-up. Theis is all about taking more shots on the court. But that one … Not so much!

Who starred: With Kyrie Irving (left knee) out, Jaylen Brown had no problem stepping up to fill the void. He was aggressive from the outset and finished the night with a game-high 21 points. 

Who stunk: Easily it was Zach LaVine who like the rest of the Bulls, was never able to get any kind of offensive flow. For the game, he had four points on 1-for-11 shooting. 

Cool stat: Remember early we pointed out Boston lowering the boom on Chicago when it came to rebounding? Well one of the byproducts of Boston’s dominance on the glass, was the Celtics running over the Bulls when it came to getting points around the rim. For the game, Boston had a decisive 46-24 advantage on points in the paint. 

Cool fact: It was Boston’s first win in Chicago since 2014, snapping a five-game losing skid at the United Center by the Celtics.

Up next: Boston travels to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.


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).