Celtics-Heat: Six stats for Game 6


Celtics-Heat: Six stats for Game 6

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will face off in a critical Game 6 on Thursday night at TD Garden. The Celtics lead the Eastern Conference series, 3-2, after winning the last three games including a key victory in Miami in Game 5. Here are six stats to keep in mind for this Game 6 battle.

1) The Celtics will play Game 6 on Thursday, June 7. The Cs are 1-0 on that day of the week. They eliminated the Atlanta Hawks in the first round on Thursday, April 26. The last time the Celtics played on June 7 was during the 1987 NBA Finals. They defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 109-103, in Game 3 at the Boston Garden.

2) With a win over the Heat in Game 5, the Celtics improved to 9-0 this postseason when leading or tied after the third quarter. They have not consistently maintained halftime leads (7-5 when up or tied after two), but once they get ahead in the third, they have never faltered. In contrast, they are 2-7 when trailing after three.

3) How Important are Fast Starts? If youre going by the stats, jumping out early hasnt made that much of a difference. The Celtics are 5-3 in the playoffs when they have a leadare tied after the first quarter, and are similarly 6-4 when behind after one.

4) Forget about the century mark, reaching 90 points for the Celtics has been key. They are 8-1 when scoring 90 or more points and 3-6 when posting 89 or less. The Heat are actually averaging 0.4 points more per game than the Celtics in the series, but over the Cs last three wins, they are outscoring the Heat, 96.0 points to 90.1.

5) Rajon Rondo has moved up NBA postseason assist leader rankings during the Celtics run. He is currently ranked 19th all-time in NBA postseason dimes (821) and fifth among active players. He needs just five assists to pass Celtics Hall of Famer John Havlicek and Chauncey Billups for 17th on the all-time list.

What is more noteworthy is how quickly Rondo has accumulated the dimes, appearing in just his fifth postseason. Take a look at how he compares to those near him on the active leader charts.

1. Jason Kidd: 1239 assists, 16 postseasons
2. Steve Nash: 1052 assists, 11 postseasons
3. Kobe Bryant: 1040 assists, 15 postseasons
4. Chauncey Billups: 825 assists, 11 postseasons
5. Rajon Rondo: 821 assists, 5 postseasons
6. Tony Parker: 777 assists, 11 postseasons
7. LeBron James: 728 assists, 7 postseasons
8. Tim Duncan: 640 assists, 14 postseasons
9. Derek Fisher: 570 assists, 14 postseasons
10. Dwyane Wade: 550 assists, 8 postseasons

6) Will LeBron Deliver? LeBron James is 1-3 in his last four Game 6 appearances in which his team has trailed in the series, 3-2. See how James has performed in similar Game 6 situations, including two previous games in Boston.

Game 6: 2011 NBA Finals
Dallas Mavericks 105 Miami Heat 95
(Mavs won NBA title)
James: 40 minutes, 21 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists

Game 6: 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals
Boston Celtics 94 Cleveland Cavaliers 85
(Celtics moved on to Conference Finals)
James: 46 minutes, 27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists

Game 6: 2009 Eastern Conference Finals
Orlando Magic 103 Cleveland Cavaliers 90
(Magic advanced to NBA Finals)
James: 45 minutes, 25 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists

Game 6: 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals
Cleveland Cavaliers 74 Boston Celtics 69
(Cavs forced a Game 7, which the Celtics won)
James: 47 minutes, 32 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”