Category Archives: Shane Cardillo

Celtics Continue Hot Streak With Ninth Straight Win At Home

 

Celtics Continue Win Streak

Celtics Continue Win Streak

The Celtics pulled off a big win in overtime against the Atlanta Hawks last night to make it their fifth straight win and their ninth straight win at home. They defeated the Hawks, 107-102. Paul Pierce carried Boston to the victory with 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists including a big three pointer late in the game with the shot clock winding down to give the Celtics the lead. “We just continue to fight,” Pierce said after the game.

Many people thought the Boston Celtics would slowly diminish off into the background after a shaky start to the season and the loss of their All-Star point guard to a season ending injury. The Celtics however have done just the opposite and have proved that they will not go down without a fight.

“People who wrote us off didn’t know really who we are. Right now, we’re focused on what we’re doing in here,” Garnett said. The Celtics play with a lot of pride and passion and only have one focus, and that is to win games. The Celtics have shown the fire and passion they poessess with some big wins against some of the top teams in the Eastern Conference including the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat. They proved they will not go down without a fight or be an easy first round match up when the playoffs roll around.

Since the loss of Rajon Rondo for the season the Celtics have gone 14-4. The Celtics have shown that their depth can carry them past contending teams. Jeff Green and Avery Bradley are two players who have stepped up to help the Celtics soar into contention. Contributions from Jason Terry and Courtney Lee off the bench also have given the Celtics more depth to battle past opponents.

On March 5th against the Philadelphia 76ers Bradley had his best game of the season putting up 22 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Last week against the Golden State Warriors Jeff Green scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half to help lead the Celtics to victory.

The Celtics are no longer a team that just leans solely on their aging veterans to lead them to victory. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have both been huge factors and have been putting up great numbers, but the Celtics would not win many games if it was not for the supporting cast.

The depth of the roster gives Doc Rivers the ability to fully utilize players more efficiently without having to wear players like Pierce or Garnett down by running them the entire game night after night. The Celtics are able to play with more passion and energy when they have several players contributing on a nightly basis. Last night Boston’s bench outscored Atlanta’s 46-8.

“Defense wins games” is a common phrase heard in basketball and it has also added to the recent success of the Celtics. Prior to the first of the new year the Celtics were ranked 17th defensively in the league. Since then they have risen to 9th in the league in points allowed.

The Celtics will be on the road to play the Oklahoma City Thunder tomorrow afternoon to try and stretch their win streak against one of the best teams in the NBA.

Celtics Win Eight of Last Nine Games Going into the All-Star Break

Paul Pierce Leads Celtics to Victory

Paul Pierce Leads Celtics to Victory

Wednesday night the Celtics were able to seal the deal against the Chicago Bulls to wrap up the first part of the season before the All-Star break. The Celtics beat the Bulls by a score of 71-69 to make it eight victories in their last nine contests.

 It was not the prettiest win but the Celtics were able to hold on for the victory. It was clear that players were fatigued and tired. That was expected after their past string of games playing shorthanded along with a triple over time win against Denver. They were in need of a break.

At one point both teams missed several layups consecutively. The poor shooting didn’t just stop there; Chicago shot just 36.5 percent and Boston 36.8 percent from the field for the game. Both teams were dragging and just looking to get through the game to get to the break. From the looks of both teams that last buzzer could not come soon enough. Fortunately for the Celtics when the final buzzer went off they were able to hold onto a two point advantage for the victory.

“So many things have gone on over the last couple weeks for us, just physically, mentally. This is the perfect time for a break,” Paul Pierce stated after the game. For the Celtics it is a much needed break, and not only that but a great way to go out to end the first half of the season. They were able to win eight of their last nine games and roll into the All-Star break with the momentum they need.

Plagued by injuries and fighting through adversity the Celtics have been able to prove they can compete and still win even when they are shorthanded. After losing three players to season ending injuries within a 15 day span it has not been easy for the Celtics. Losing Rondo, Sullinger and Barbosa has brought the team closer together and has allowed for other players to step up.

The success the Celtics have achieved the past several games would not have been possible if it was not for the veteran leaders to lead the way. Both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have been phenomenal in the last stretch of games.

Paul Pierce in the month of February is averaging 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game while obtaining two triple doubles and hitting two huge shots that have helped seal wins for the C’s. Against the Nuggets Pierce had a huge night posting a triple double with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists.

In the past nine games Kevin Garnett has averaged 17 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Against the Nuggets on February 10th Garnett filled up the stat sheet with a monster game putting up 20 points, 18 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks.

The Celtics will be back in action on February 19th after the All-Star break. They will have a rematch against the Denver Nuggets. The two teams had an epic battle just five days ago that went into triple overtime that will go down as one of the most memorable regular season games in Celtics history. Look for a sure battle to kick off the second half of the season as the Nuggets will be out for revenge.

Celtics Adjust Without Rondo

Barbosa and Lee step up in absence of Rondo

Barbosa and Lee step up in absence of Rondo

As you know the Celtics got the devastating news last Sunday that  Rajon Rondo would be missing the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL.

Rondo who had hurt his leg in a game the previous Friday, thought nothing of it feeling that it was just a hamstring injury. He continued to play the remainder of the double overtime game against the Hawks. Sunday, before the game against the Miami Heat he left with some discomfort and the feeling that he may have hyper extended his knee. The team trainer sent him to get an MRI.

Right when the trainer evaluated Rondo before he sent him for an MRI he knew it was going to be his ACL and that he would be done for the year. The trainer approached Doc and told him before the game, and Doc informed the team following the game.

Near the end of the Celtics overtime victory against the Miami Heat Rondo showed up in street clothes to support the team and share the devastating news. As hard as it was for Rondo to miss a huge game against the rival Heat and Ray Allen’s return to Boston for the first time, it will be even harder for Rondo and the Celtics to have to miss the rest of the season and go through extensive rehab to get back for next season.

The Celtics still have the tools and personnel to not completely throw the season down the drain yet. They need to adjust and make changes to fill the void in the starting lineup where their all-star point guard led the team. So far, in four games without Rondo they have done just that by winning all four.

Courtney Lee is starting in place of Rondo and Barbosa has had a big increase in minutes off the bench running the point. Barbosa creates a lot of plays off the dribble and takes the ball to the rim. He has proven that he can run the floor, push the ball and help give the Celtics a spark. In the four games with the absence of Rondo he has averaged 10.5 points per game.

With a shorthanded roster with Sullinger out also the bench and roles players are the biggest key in order for the Celtics to have success. So far they have really stepped it up and it has proven that they can still win games. Jason Terry, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, and Leandro Barbosa have all had a huge impact for the C’s. Against the Kings they combined for a total of 43 points off the bench, and against the Magic the four combined for 47 total points.

Not to take away from the starters and leaders of the team in Garnett and Pierce who have been playing well including a triple double for Pierce last week. The Bench has been the deciding factor and without them stepping up, the Celtics would not have the success that they have had the past four games.

Players have had to adjust and take on new roles, but so far they have done just that. If they can continue to step up and contribute as a team and play consistently then the Celtics have a good chance to still be successful.

The C’s will take the hardwood again on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors to try and stretch their win streak to five games.

Boston Celtics Land Two Starters in 2013 All-Star Game

Rondo and Garnett come together as All-Stars

Rondo and Garnett come together as All-Stars

The Boston Celtics have landed two players into the starting lineup of the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett will both be starting this year for the Eastern Conference.

 

For Rondo this will be his fourth trip to the All-star game and the first time he will be starting. In his first three appearances he has averaged 4 points and 7 assists in 18.3 minutes per game. Rondo is averaging 13.3 points and a league leading 11.1 assists per game this season. He also leads the league in total assists with 390, turnovers per game with 3.8, and triple doubles with 3. His league leading stats and creativity with the ball has given him the start in this year’s All-Star game. Rondo was second in voting among Eastern Conference guards with 924,180 votes.

 

For the Veteran Garnett, this will be his 15th trip to the All-Star game. He is not having a great year however and it has brought up lots of criticism on whether or not he deserves a starting role with lots of other superstars in the league. All of his stats are below his career averages, as he is being monitored closely on his minutes. With his age and past injuries Doc Rivers is holding Garnett to an average of just 29.8 minutes per game. Anyway, he is a fearless veteran leader and a huge part to the Boston Celtics team and was third in votes for Eastern Conference front court players with 553,222 votes.

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Celtics Keep Hot Streak Alive

Boston Celtics Step It Up

Boston Celtics Step It Up

The Boston Celtics won their sixth straight game Monday night at the Garden against the Charlotte Bobcats by a score of 100-89. This notched the Celtics’ sixth straight win and brought them to a 20-17 overall record.

If you think they have played easy teams during their win streak like the Bobcats who just came off an 18 game losing streak and a struggling Suns team that has a record of 12-25 well guess again. To start this streak they topped the Central Division leading Pacers, a solid Hawks team with a 21-16 record, the streaking Knicks who have been hot all season and sit atop the Atlantic Division, and the Rockets who are first in the league in scoring at 105.4 points per game and are led by one of the top scorers in James Harden.

The C’s have not  looked this good all season. What has changed? Two things: defense and players stepping up and contributing.

The defense has held strong for the Celtics and it has been a big reason for their success the past six games. To start the season they gave up 100 or more points in 13 of their first 30 games including six games just in December. In the past six games they have yet to give up 100 points and have held their opponents to under 85 points on three different occasions. The saying defense wins games holds true for the Celtics. They have plenty of talent on the team to score. If they play defense and stop other teams they will win more games.

The other piece to the puzzle for the success the C’s have had lately is players stepping up on the team. When someone has an off night somebody else has stepped up and filled that void. The Celtics have a lot of talented stars on the team and any one of them can score and play at a high level. They can’t just rely on the Big Three to score a lot and carry the team every game. Players have been stepping up and contributing both on the offensive side and defensive side.

Avery Bradley has been a big asset to the defense harassing opposing guards and causing turnovers. In Monday nights game Kevin Garnett played well and had 10 rebounds, but it was an off night for him scoring wise as he only had seven points. Jason Terry did not score at all last night coming off the bench, but because other guys filled that void in scoring and the team was able to be successful. Avery Bradley had 16 points including four big threes. Rondo led the team with a triple double, Jeff Green chipped in 11 points off the bench and Jared Sullinger contributed 8 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. Courtney Lee also scored 9 points and hit a big three in the fourth quarter to help the Celtics seal the deal.

Against the Phoenix Suns Paul Pierce only scored 7 points and Rondo had 8 points. Jared Sullinger however had a career night off the bench with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Jeff Green led all Celtics in scoring with 14 off the bench and Jason Terry added 13.

This just shows that the Celtics are very versatile and if one or two players have an off game in one particular area then there are several other players that can pick up the slack, and they have successfully done that and that is a big reason why the Celtics are winning lately.

Leadership of Paul Pierce Leads Celtics to Four Straight Wins

boston-celtics3

The Truth is stepping up.

Captain Paul Pierce individually is having a solid year.

The Celtics however have had far from a stellar season up to this point. Paul Pierce has had to put his leadership skills of being the team captain to the test to help the struggling Celtics get through this tough stretch. This is Pierce’s 15th season with the Celtics so he is no rookie when it comes to working through adversity and expressing leadership to the team. He has been through the worst of the worst when the team was 24-58 in the 2006-2007 season to the best it can get when they won the championship in the 2007-2008 season.

The Celtics have struggled this year and just came off  of a horrible  losing streak last week but were able to snap that with a big win last Friday over the Indiana Pacers. They have been able to string together four straight wins which is their biggest win streak this season.

They did all this behind the leadership from their captain, Paul Pierce. Before the game against Indiana, Pierce told his team to survey the East. “It’s not one team out there that we feel like we can’t beat. If you look at the elite teams and we can compete with them, then why can’t we compete with these other teams that come in here like the Milwaukee’s  like the team that came in here tonight, like the last game we played against the Memphis Grizzlies,” said Pierce. “I just wanted to keep the confidence in the locker room going and help them understand that when we want to, we can be this type of team.” The Celtics came out and put up their strongest defensive stand of the season and allowed the first place team in the Central division to just 75 points.

Trying to keep the momentum going, the Celtics were off to Atlanta to face the Hawks. They didn’t come out with the same fire however as they did against Indiana and found themselves trailing 46-27 in the second quarter. Their defense looked as bad as it did when they lost four straight games.

At half time before the team took to the floor Pierce brought the team together and noted after the game he recalled:

“I just said we want to bring the fight to them, I think we were kind of bickering at each other a little too much, figuring out what kind of defense we run and that was a little bit too much. I just had to say the fight ain’t against one another, it’s against the team out there on the court. When we realize that, we can play some ball. We stepped up that third quarter and we played the type of ball we know how to play”

The leadership Paul Pierce provided to the team through the struggle proved to be successful in bringing the team together and motivating them to step it up. The Celtics came out with fire in the second half and went on a 14-1 run. Pierce then proved his all-star abilities and led the team scoring 17 of his 26 points in the third quarter. The Celtics completed the comeback and edged the Hawks 89-81.

After the game Avery Bradley acknowledged the impact Paul Pierce had on the team at half time. “Paul came in here and let us know about ourselves. That’s why you saw us come out hyped, our bench was hyped, we were hyped. That’s the way we play and that’s how we need to play from the start of the game,” said Bradley.

On Monday nights ago the C’s won their third straight game against the Knicks who are in first place in the Atlantic Division with a 23-11 record. They snuck by New York by a score of 102-96 with Rondo sitting out the game due to the much publicized one game suspension he received from the game before.

Wednesday night the Celtics extended their sreak to four straight wins. They beat the Suns 87-79 at the Garden. The C’s were led by their bench who scored 47 of the team’s 87 points. Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger led the charge off the bench. Green scored 14 points and Sullinger had a double double with 12 points and a career high 16 rebounds.

The leadership that Paul Pierce showed and the motivation and determination that he was able to instill into his teammates led the Celtics to these three straight wins. Pierce proves to be a vital part to the team and a great leader and veteran that knows what it takes to be successful in the NBA.

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