Tag Archives: Tyson Chandler

Resilient Celtics Look to Overcome Star-Powered Knicks

The Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett (left) and the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (right) will build on the physicality from their first meeting this year.

The Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett (left) and the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (right) will build on the physicality from their first meeting this year.

The Boston Celtics have overcome adversity this year to find themselves in the NBA postseason for the sixth consecutive season. The Celtics lost their All-Star point guard, Rajon Rondo, to a season-ending torn right ACL in a January 25th double overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Rookie forward Jared Sullinger was forced to undergo surgery on his back in February that ended his season. Reserve guard Leandro Barbosa suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the third quarter of the 94-91 loss against the Charlotte Bobcats on February 11th. In a matter 17 days, the Celtics lost three key players in their rotation.

This season has been split into the team with Rondo and the team without Rondo. Prior to Rondo’s injury, the Celtics were 20-23 and they had lost six consecutive games. Then the team improved their play and appeared to rally around people calling for their demise. They won their next seven contests, including a 100-98 overtime victory over the top team in the NBA, the Miami Heat, and were 14-4 in their initial 18 games without their floor leader. The team played well defensively and they spread the ball around. Jeff Green became the player that Danny Ainge hoped he was getting when he sent Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2011. Green was more aggressive on the offensive end and his speed and length provided fits for the opposition. At one point the team was down to nine active players because of all the injuries. Ainge traded Jason Collins to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Crawford before the trade deadline ended on February 21st. He signed TerrPence Williams, Shavlik Randolph, and D.J. White. All three of these players came from the Chinese Basketball Association and had been unable to stick with a team in the NBA.

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Celtics Must Prove They Can Win on the Road

Celtics forward Brandon Bass (left) was fighting for loose balls with Cleveland Cavaliers players such as Luke Walton (right) in the 93-92 win over the Cavs.

Celtics forward Brandon Bass (left) was fighting for loose balls with Cleveland Cavaliers players such as Luke Walton (right).

The Celtics were able to snap their five game losing streak with a 93-92 win at the buzzer over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. This brings the Celtics’ road record to 13-23, which is the worst in the NBA for teams who would be in the playoffs right now.

The reason why the Celtics inability to win on the road is so significant is because the Celtics may have to begin their playoff series on the road. Currently, the Celtics are the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. If the postseason began today, the Celtics would be slated to play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Those two teams played on Tuesday night with both sides without their frontcourt stars as the Celtics played without Kevin Garnett and the Knicks were without Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire.   The Celtics were also playing without guard Courtney Lee. The Celtics fell at home, 100-85, in a listless performance.

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Jared Sullinger Plays Big Role for Celtics’ Reserves

Boston Celtics forward seemed to be getting to every loose rebound against Marcin Gortat and the Phoenix Suns last Wendesday.

Boston Celtics forward seemed to be getting to every loose rebound against Luis Scola and the Phoenix Suns on January 9th.

It is no coincidence that the Boston Celtics won six consecutive games (before they fell to the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday) because of their improvements on the defensive end. The Celtics are getting consistent production from their bench and the rebounding of rookie forward Jared Sullinger.

Sullinger posted double digit rebounds in wins over the Phoenix Suns (16) and the Houston Rockets (11). The 6-foot-9-inch forward has accumulated most of his boards on the offensive end and he has helped the Celtics get out of last place in offensive rebounding.

During the winning streak, Sullinger averaged nearly 10 points and nine rebounds per game. He also corralled 21 offensive rebounds in this stretch against players such as Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith and Al Horford, and the duo of Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola of the Suns.

Despite Sullinger being undersized, he is able to outmuscle bigger players with a big lower mass that is able to push opponents away from the basket. He is also able to do this on the defensive end of the court.

Teammates have praised Sullinger for his basketball intelligence, his interior passing, and the ability to score. Sullinger can also make 15-foot jumpers outside the paint. Most of Sullinger’s scoring has come from within five feet of the basket because he has strong post moves and of his rebounding ability.

At the beginning of the year, the Celtics believed they had strong depth inside with Sullinger or Brandon Bass and Darko Milicic as reserves along with Chris Wilcox. The Celtics lost Milicic because he went back to Serbia to take care of his ailing mother. Bass has struggled with inconsistency. Wilcox suffered a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and has been out since December 18th. Bass was just reinserted into the starting lineup and Jason Collins is playing limited minutes due to nagging injuries. This has left Sullinger to be a force and to play a big role in the reserve unit.

The biggest reason why Sullinger has struggled is his propensity to accumulate fouls early. This issue has not gone away since Sullinger fouled out in the final minute in the 103-91 victory over the Rockets last Friday. He committed three fouls in the first half of the 100-89 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday. He also got into early foul trouble against the Hornets. Officials will pick on Sullinger because he is a rookie. Sullinger’s size forces him to be physical when defending taller forwards, which means he will get called if the officials are calling a tight game.

At this time last year, Sullinger was battling injuries while playing for the Ohio State Buckeyes against Big Ten competition. He fell to the 21st pick in the 2012 NBA Draft in June because teams were worried about his back and conditioning problems.  Now, he is in the running for Rookie of the Year while helping the Celtics climb back into the Eastern Conference race. Currently, the Celtics are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but they are just four and a half games behind the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat.

Sullinger has provided the Celtics with energy off the bench. If the Celtics continue to win, they will also need continued production from Sullinger.

Avery Bradley Is The X Factor For The Boston Celtics

Avery Bradley's defense is an energizing force for the Boston Celtics.

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

Celtics Must Regain Toughness And Consistency

Courtney Lee’s aggressiveness has picked up on the offensive end over the past three games.

The Boston Celtics are nearly a quarter into their 2012-’13 regular season with a 10-8 record. Through seventeen games, the Celtics have battled inconsistency on both ends of the court.

This year the Celtics’ roster appeared to be deeper than in the past five years since they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to form the Big Three with Paul Pierce. With Allen leaving the Celtics for the Miami Heat in July, they replaced him with Jason Terry. Terry has performed fairly well other than allowing Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings to get by him for the go-ahead basket in the Celtics’ 91-88 loss to the Bucks on Saturday. Terry missed a couple of treys in the final minute.

The Celtics’ bench was supposed to be strong this year with players such as Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, Leandro Barbosa, and either Jared Sullinger or Brandon Bass. They lost Darko Milicic, who had an ailing mother overseas, for the season. Milicic was supposed to be an upgrade over Greg Stiemsma last year. Milicic’s height (7 feet) and interior defense were supposed to help the Celtics, but that never materialized. Instead, the Celtics have used undersized forwards such as Chris Wilcox and Sullinger in the frontcourt with rare cameos from Jason Collins.

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Celtics 2012-’13 Season Predictions

Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green was really aggressive on the offensive end throughout the preseason.

The Boston Celtics enter the 2012-’13 season with high expectations after an offseason in which they revamped their roster. Many reporters and commentators are saying the Celtics should compete with the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.

Ray Allen decided to accept a deal with the Heat in July. The Celtics already moved to replace Allen with free agent Jason Terry. In August, the Celtics shipped 2011 first-round pick JaJuan Johnson, second-round selection E’Twaun Moore, Sean Williams, and a 2nd-round pick to the Houston Rockets for Courtney Lee in a sign-and-trade deal. The Celtics also traded Sasha Pavlovic, two second-round choices, and cash considerations to the Portland Trail Blazers. Lee signed a four-year, $21.5 million contract. This move was made to keep the Celtics under the $74.3 million luxury tax and with Avery Bradley expected to be out until December after having two shoulder surgeries, the Celtics needed to upgrade their backcourt depth. Twelve days ago, the Celtics added Leandro Barbosa to the backcourt mix. When Bradley returns, the Celtics will have four guards competing for minutes.

In the frontcourt, the Celtics drafted Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger with the 21st selection and Fab Melo of Syr]use at No. 22. Sullinger looked impressive during the preseason with his array of post moves and /ability to rebound on both ends of the court. He is undersized, yet Sullinger has a knack for getting to the ball on the glass. The Celtics also brought back Kevin Garnett to a three-year deal, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, and Chris Wilcox. They signed Jason Collins and Darko Milicic.

Rajon Rondo took over the leadership duties this summer by holding private workouts in California with several players in attendance. He also appeared to be taking outside shots with confidence. In the preseason loss to Fenerbache Ulker, Rondo drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter.

Here are five predictions:

  1. Celtics will win the Atlantic Division: The Division is improved with the New York Knicks adding point guards Raymond Felton and Jason Terry to a team with Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler. Though Stoudemire has regressed since the Knicks dealt for Anthony with injuries and a lack of consistency. He is expected to miss the first six weeks when he re-injured his left knee that he had surgery on in 2005.   The Knicks have added interior defenders such as Rasheed Wallace, but they are older and with Anthony dominating the ball, will the Knicks jell or erupt in flames? The Brooklyn Nets are moving into the Barclays Center. They resigned point guard Deron Williams and added Joe Johnson. Despite not getting Dwight Howard, the Nets still have Brook Lopez (despite not being a great rebounder and having significant injuries last year) who can be a presence inside. Andray Blatche could be a surprise this year. The Philadelphia 76ers received former Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum in a four-way trade. Bynum is out with a bone bruise and the Sixers are unsure when the 7-footer will return. These three teams have more size than the Celtics, but each squad has their own issues while the Celtics’ core is filled with veterans who nearly carried the Celtics to the NBA Finals last year. Read more
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