Celtics

Who are Celtics' most 'clutch' players? Breakdown includes a few surprises

Who are Celtics' most 'clutch' players? Breakdown includes a few surprises

The 2019-20 Boston Celtics boast a very balanced offensive attack: They have four players averaging more than 17 points per game and are the only NBA team with three players averaging north of 20 points per game.

But who do the Celtics go to when the game is on the line?

We enlisted Boston Sports Info (@BostonSportsInf on Twitter) to crunch the numbers on the Celtics' "clutch" scoring stats, defined as the shots they attempt and make with under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime that would either tie the game or give Boston the lead.

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Here are the results for the Celtics' top six scorers:

A few observations:

-- Jayson Tatum by far is Boston's top option late in games, with more than double the attempts of the next-closest Celtic.

Outside Gordon Hayward, he's also Boston's most effective option at 57.1 percent clutch shooting, including a 10-for-14 clip on clutch 2-point field goals.

-- Perhaps the Celtics should feed Hayward more. The Celtics forward has missed just one clutch attempt this season but has only taken four.

-- Considering the "Cardiac Kemba" nickname he earned in college, Kemba Walker's clutch stats are a bit eye-opening. The All-Star point guard has struggled in crunch time this season after being the Charlotte Hornets' go-to fourth quarter bucket-getter for years.

The Celtics had better hope Walker finds his groove soon: Boston has lost each of its last four games decided by five points or fewer and now is 6-12 in such games this season, per Basketball Reference.

Sounds like the C's need to rediscover their "clutch gene" Tuesday night when they visit Indiana to play the Pacers.

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

Celtics' Jaylen Brown organizes peaceful protest in wake of George Floyd's death

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File photo

Celtics' Jaylen Brown organizes peaceful protest in wake of George Floyd's death

Jaylen Brown is one of the many Americans speaking out against the death of George Floyd and the racial injustices that remain prevalent in this country.

The Boston Celtics star has been outspoken about the issues over the last several days, and on Saturday he took to social media to organize a peaceful protest in Atlanta.


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Brown also posted an important video message urging those who witness acts of racism to speak up or act on it.

“Being a bystander is no longer acceptable," Brown said. "If you and your friends are around or are witnesses to cultural biases, micro-aggressions, subtle acts of racism, actual racism etc. and you don’t speak up on it or do something about it, you are part of the problem. We’re past the point where if it’s not in your governance space so you have nothing to do with it. If you don’t speak up on these issues, you just as bad.”

Watch:

In addition, the 23-year-old posted an Instagram photo of himself holding a sign that reads, "I can't breathe," referencing the words said by Floyd before he was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Along with Brown, several athletes including Tom Brady and members of the New England Patriots have used their platforms to speak up about George Floyd's death.

Another Larry Bird milestone to assert his place among the all-time greats

Another Larry Bird milestone to assert his place among the all-time greats

BOSTON -- The 1986 Boston Celtics are considered one of the greatest teams of all time, having run through the regular season with ease towards a dominant postseason that ended with the team hanging Banner 16.

But weeks before the franchise’s triumphant conclusion to the season, there was another historic milestone.

Larry Bird was named the league’s MVP 34 years ago this week for the third straight season, a feat that only two others - Bill Russell (1961-1963) and Wilt Chamberlain (1966-1968) - had ever done.

It’s significant because it serves as yet another reminder of how historically great Bird was; not only for the Boston Celtics but for the entire league.

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To carve out a spot in history with such an elusive group speaks to Bird’s greatness as a player who at the very least should be in the conversation as one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history. 

And what made that season even more special was that during the playoffs, the elite level at which Bird played during the regular season did not waiver or lessen up in the games that mattered the most. 

In the playoffs that year, he averaged 25.9 points (0.1 points less than his season average) while increasing his field goal shooting (51.7 percent in the playoffs, 49.6 in the regular season), assists (9.8, from 8.2) and steals (2.1, from 2.0).

And when the game was on the line, the only thing larger than Bird’s ability to come through in the clutch, was his confidence.

“There’s no doubt I’m in control of what I do out there,” Bird said in an interview in 1986. “I can score any number of points my team wants me to if they give me the ball in the right situations.”

And he did, over and over and over again before finally calling it quits on his Hall of Fame career in 1992. 

Throughout his time in Boston, Bird had a number of stretches of brilliance as a basketball player. 

But the three-year run in which he was the league’s best player, resulting in three consecutive league MVP awards, stands out in a career that was filled with standout moments.