Celtics

Stars, Studs and Duds: Celtics can't cool off hot Jazz shooters

Stars, Studs and Duds: Celtics can't cool off hot Jazz shooters

SALT LAKE CITY – The Celtics road woes continued with a 123-115 loss at Utah.

Boston (7-5) has dropped three of its past four – all on the road – to secure a losing record for this five-game road trip which ends in Portland on Sunday.

And like most of the previous losses, Boston’s defense has been ineffective for long stretches that ultimately played a pivotal role in the defeat.

Utah came in as one of the top shooting teams in the NBA and they showed why by connecting on 55.8 percent of their shots from the field.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Friday night.

STARS
Joe Ingles

The sharpshooting big man was in full-blown splash mode against the Celtics, doing most of his damage in the first half. He would finish with a team-high 27 points, 20 of which came in the first two quarters of play. He also dished out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds.

Terry Rozier
He was filling in for Kyrie Irving (who missed the game for personal reasons) and while he didn’t quite deliver a Kyrie-like game, Rozier was one of the better performers for Boston. For the game, he had a team-high 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting along with six rebounds and three assists without a turnover.

Donovan Mitchell
He found his groove scoring the ball in the third quarter, playing a pivotal role in Utah getting the victory. He would tally 21 points, including a number of baskets in iso situations where he attacked Gordon Hayward off the dribble. He also had five assists.

STUDS
Jayson Tatum
Less than 24 hours after one of his worst shooting nights as a pro, Tatum was indeed more efficient Friday night. He finished with 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting to go with four assists and three rebounds.

Rudy Gobert
The Celtics haven’t been good at getting points in the paint this season and having to contend with 7-foot-1 Gobert didn’t help. Not only does he defend at a high level, but he also hurt the Celtics with a series of lob dunks before finishing with a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Marcus Morris
He continues to deliver the goods off the bench, delivering one big shot after another in the second half before finishing with 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting to go with five rebounds.

Ricky Rubio
He was a key to the good shooting night by the Jazz, scoring 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field to go with seven assists and six rebounds.

Jae Crowder
The trend of Crowder coming up big against former teams continues. The former Celtic had 20 points off the bench on 8-for-15 shooting while knocking down four of his nine 3-point attempts. 

DUDS
Celtics defense
For too many stretches, they allowed the Utah shooters to get too comfortable whether it was raising up for a 3-pointer or finishing at the rim. They were better in the fourth quarter but again, they allowed the Jazz to get into a rhythm that they were able to maintain for most of the game.

Brad Stevens
The Celtics aren’t executing as well as they should and while the players certainly deserve their share of the blame for that, some of that should also fall upon the shoulders of the coach. He has shown himself to be one of the best at getting the most out of whatever he has been given to work with. And while the Celtics certainly have a difficult schedule out of the gate, they’re simply not getting it done in crunch time. In the past, that's often when Stevens and his Xs and O’s tended to shine brightly. He’s still one of the best coaches out there, just like the team he coaches has lots of really good players. But lately, neither has delivered the kind of performances Celtics fans have come to expect.

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The Enes Kanter Show: Kanter on beef with LeBron James, Lakers-Celtics rivalry

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

The Enes Kanter Show: Kanter on beef with LeBron James, Lakers-Celtics rivalry

Enes Kanter and LeBron James have long had an on-court and social media beef. It started back when Kanter was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder and during his time with the New York Knicks, it escalated.

For that reason, the Boston Celtics win over the Los Angeles Lakers had extra meaning for Kanter, who had one of his best games of the season in the Celtics 139-107 drubbing of the West's second-best team.

And that sparked a conversation about Kanter and LeBron's beef.

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On the latest episode of "The Enes Kanter Show", Kanter discussed he and LeBron's feud with Chris Forsberg.

Click here to listen and subscribe to The Enes Kanter Show Podcast:

 

While Kanter acknowledged that he didn't know if he and James still have beef, he did say that they still are intense competitors on the court.

In the game man, it's a war. It's a war. Because he's trying to win. I'm trying to win. I'm like, nope. I'm not going to say hi to you, not going to look at you.

Kanter agreed with Forsberg's observation that LeBron and Kanter are both guys who are "about the same things", but Kanter made one final point about the beef between the two.

On the court, it's different. No friendship.

This type of on-court drama is common in the NBA, so it's no surprise to continue to see Kanter and James continue to show disdain for one another when they play against each other. Surely they will do a bit to spark the Lakers-Celtics rivalry as long as they're a part of those teams.

Check out the full episode below and subscribe to "The Enes Kanter Show" on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast network.

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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Grizzlies-Celtics, which begins Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Bill Russell posts touching tribute to late, former NBA commissioner David Stern

Bill Russell posts touching tribute to late, former NBA commissioner David Stern

Former NBA commissioner David Stern passed away earlier this month after dealing with complications following a mid-December brain hemorrhage. On Tuesday, a memorial service was held one of the NBA's biggest off-the-court legends.

Many former stars honored Stern's life and legacy on Tuesday. And among them was 11-time NBA champion Celtics center Bill Russell.

Russell posted a touching tribute to Stern on his Twitter account late Tuesday night: 

It's clear that Stern meant a lot to the Celtics legend. His legacy will surely be carried by former and current players alike.

Stern is widely credited with the globalization of the NBA and is responsible for the construction of the league today. The Basketball Hall of Famer helped found the WNBA, the NBA G League, expanded the NBA's digital presence and established NBA Cares, an NBA social responsibility initiative in his 30 years in charge of the NBA.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Grizzlies-Celtics, which begins Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.