Celtics

Drummond, Pistons offense roll past Celtics, 118-108

Drummond, Pistons offense roll past Celtics, 118-108

BOSTON – Avery Bradley received a warm reception when he was introduced with the starters for the Detroit Pistons.
 
Once the game started, his former team’s defense was more than accommodating to his new teammates who collectively shot the ball like no other team has against the Celtics this season which ended with Detroit holding on for a 118-108 win.
 
Detroit (13-6) scored more points against Boston (18-4) than any team this season, fueled in large part by them shooting a collective 51.8 percent from the field which was also the best any team has shot against the Celtics this season.
 
Tobias Harris led Detroit with 31 points while Andre Drummond tallied a double-double of 26 points and 22 rebounds. Former Celtic Avery Bradley, playing in his first game against his former team, finished with 13 points and five assists.
 
The Celtics were led by Marcus Smart’s 23 points off the bench. Kyrie Irving chipped in with 18 points.
 
Following Boston’s 16-game winning streak, the Celtics have split their last four games.
 
Boston had rallied in the fourth behind some impressive shooting by Smart – yes, Marcus Smart – to put the Celtics ahead 100-99 only for Detroit to score five straight which led to a Celtics time-out with 4:16 to play.
 
A pair of free throws by Jayson Tatum made it a one-possession game only for a Reggie Jackson layup pushed Detroit’s lead to four points. The former Boston College standout had 20 points and seven assists.
 
It was that kind of game for Boston, one where they never seemed capable of getting the kind of second-half traction they’re used to getting that catapults them to victory.
 
No matter how hard the Celtics pushed back, Detroit pushed harder.
 
It should serve as a humbling experience for Boston which has made a living this season off of rallying back from double-digit deficits.
 
Boston has had nine games this season in which they trailed by double digits (Detroit led by as many as 11 points), posting a 6-3 record.
 
But the Pistons know a thing or two about that, posting a 7-5 record after trailing by 10 or more points.
 
To Detroit’s credit, they never let any momentum Boston had ever reach that point, getting timely baskets while making all the necessary stops defensively to either secure its lead or expand it.
 
And the challenges for the Celtics don’t let up, not with the Philadelphia 76ers coming to town on Thursday.
 
Like Detroit, they too will be gunning for Boston with the goal being to knock off the team with the best record in the East.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Horford named to NBA All-Defensive second team

Horford named to NBA All-Defensive second team

The Celtics' Al Horford has been named to the NBA's All-Defensive second team.

It's the first time in his 11-year career Horford has made an NBA All-Defensive team and his play on that end was a key to the Celtics being ranked No. 1 in the NBA in defensive rating at 101.5 points allowed per 100 possessions.

Horford's Celtics teammates Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown were among those receiving votes. Here are the NBA All-Defensive teams: 

FIRST TEAM
C:
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
F/C: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
G: Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers
G: Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans
G: Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers

SECOND TEAM
C: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
F: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
F/C: Al Horford, Boston Celtics
G: Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs
G/F: Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves

Bean: Let LeBron get his points, but stop Korver

Bean: Let LeBron get his points, but stop Korver

Entering the Eastern Conference Finals, we thought a lot of things that have proven to be incorrect. Or I did, at least. 

I thought the Cavaliers were going to win in six games. They still could, of course, but watching the series has changed my mind to think it will be Celtics in seven. 

The other big thing was that it was LeBron James, Kevin Love and nobody else. Through two rounds, that seemed generally correct. 

So, it seemed that if you let LeBron get his points and focus on the other guys, you'd be all set. Yet, the other guys have gotten their points here and there this postseason, and that's why, after four games, Kyle Korver is actually a talking point.            

Here are the Cavs records by how many non-LeBrons had decent scoring nights: 

WHEN NO PLAYER OTHER THAN LEBRON SCORES 15+ POINTS: 2-1, but the two wins came when the Cavs had five and three other scorers with at least 10 points, respectively. 

WHEN ONE PLAYER OTHER THAN LEBRON SCORES 15+ POINTS: 4-4

WHEN TWO PLAYERS OTHER THAN LEBRON SCORE 15+ POINTS: 2-0

WHEN THREE PLAYERS OTHER THAN LEBRON SCORE 15+ POINTS: 2-0 

Now, let's look at it by player. The Cavaliers actually have a better record when Love doesn't score 15+ (6-2) than when he does (4-3). So no, it hasn't necessarily been about the two best players on the team. For some super-duper weird reason, it's been more about 37-year-old Kyle Korver than a lot of people expected. 

The Cavaliers are 5-0 this postseason when Korver scores at least 15 points. And of those five games, he was the only non-LeBron Cavalier with at least 15, so it's not like all of those wins came because Korver cleaned up in garbage time or something. 

Now, let's scale back the parameters from 15 points to 10. The Cavaliers are 8-1 this postseason when Korver scores 10 points. That's an even better record than they have when LeBron scores 40 points (5-1). 

So, the home court should help the Celtics tonight. They haven't lost a game at TD Garden this postseason. Know what else would help them? Stopping that super old occasional bench player/occasional starter.  

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE