Avery Bradley’s defense is an energizing force for the Boston Celtics.
The Boston Celtics have won four straight games and they are a game over .500. Last week after the Celtics fourth straight defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies, people were talking about the fact that the Celtics need to blow up their roster and their only way to compete is by acquiring troubled forward DeMarcus Cousins.
One of the many reasons that the Celtics are playing better, especially on the defensive end is Avery Bradley. Since Bradley played his first game against the Grizzlies on January 2nd , the Celtics have not allowed a team to score over 100 points. In the three previous games on the West Coast, the Celtics gave up an average of 108.3 points per game. The Celtics are 4-1 since Bradley returned to the court.
The Celtics rarely consistently showed a pulse early in the season on both sides of the court. When the Celtics played well defensively, they would struggle on offense. Then when the offense was executing well, the defense would falter. Read more
Garnett notched one of his best performances in Celtics green as they moved on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals
“Thank you to their owner for giving me some extra gas tonight,” Garnett said. “My only advice to him is next time he opens his mouth to know what he’s talking about with X’s and O’s versus checkbooks and bottom lines.”- Kevin Garnett
In what many can call a vintage Kevin Garnett performance, the “Big Ticket” punched Boston’s ticket to the second round.
Garnett had a throwback game of sorts, registering 39 minutes worth of quality basketball in response to the Atlanta owner’s recent string of name calling. His 28 point, 14 rebound and 5 block performance lifted the Celtics, from a hobbled Paul Pierce and a struggling Ray Allen, to a 83-80 victory and another First Round victory.
Josh Smith was a deciding factor in forcing Game 6 in Boston
When it was announced Al Horford might return for the postseason, many were unsure of what kind of impact he could make.
The Atlanta Hawks went back to what got them to the second round of the postseason in 2010, a “big” lineup of Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith and Horford.
This lineup pushed the Boston Celtics backwards, into a shootout, instead of a drag-out defensive battle that has been the norm throughout the first four games. It culminated in a Game 5 victory, 87-86, sending the series back to Boston for a decisive Game 6.
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Pierce's offense allowed the Celtics starters to rest much of the second half.
There was no need for overtime in this one.
Despite Al Horford’s much anticipated return to the Hawks lineup, Atlanta was virtually outmatched from the beginning and now will prepare to travel back home for Game 5, where they hope to protect their home court.
Other than trading baskets for the first two and a half minutes of the contest, Sunday night was a “statement game” of sorts for the veteran Celtics. Boston led by as many as 37 and took a dominant 3-1 series lead with the 101-79 victory.
How it happened:
When Rajon Rondo is penetrating the paint and his counterparts are knocking down their shots, the Celtics are a tough team to beat. When they’re also playing stifling defense, it’s nearly impossible to beat them.
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Boston Celtics forward Brandon Bass must become a force on the offensive end in Game 3 against the Atlanta Hawks.
There will be one matchup to watch in Friday night’s Game 3 of the first round series between the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. This isn’t Paul Pierce versus Joe Johnson or who will have the upper hand in the point guard showdown of Rajon Rondo and Jeff Teague.
The battle will be Brandon Bass against either Josh Smith or Marvin Williams, depending on whether Smith will be able to get on the parquet. Smith suffered a knee injury at the 4:20 mark in the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ 87-80 victory over the Hawks. There are differing reports on the diagnosis of his injury, but he is questionable for the Game 3 encounter that will swing the pendulum of the series.
Bass, other than a few jumpers in the first half of Game 2, has yet to check himself into the first two games in Atlanta. Bass’s stat lines are similar after shooting 6-14 from the field with a combined 11 rebounds in both games. He did not even attempt a shot in the first half of Game 1. Rondo’s absence from suspension did not help Bass in the Celtics’ win to even the series and steal home court advantage from the Hawks because Bass cannot create his own shot. This is one of the biggest reasons Bass was not on the court in the final frame during Game 2 when Doc Rivers went with a small lineup of Kevin Garnett, Pierce, Mickael Pietrus, Marquis Daniels, and Avery Bradley. Also, Rivers knew he needed the team to get consistent stops on the defensive end. Daniels and Pietrus could lock down on Johnson while Pierce could be the playmaker on the offensive side.
It was a vintage Paul Pierce playoff game as he led the Celtics to a 1-1 series tie.
No Rajon Rondo.
No Ray Allen.
But all the Boston Celtics needed was Paul Pierce on Tuesday night as they evened the playoff series, 1-1 with a 87-80 win.
After a poor Game 1 performance, where Pierce notched 12 points on 5-of-19 shooting, the veteran captain led the Boston squad with 36 points and 14 rebounds, including nine in the final frame on a vintage Pierce performance.
While Boston must be encouraged with the win without their floor leader and three-point specialist on their opponent’s home floor, the Hawks have to be panicked as the injury bug continues to plague their starters– with the newest casualty as Josh Smith.
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