Celtics starting games hot in December

Celtics starting games hot in December
December 18, 2013, 11:15 am
Share This Post

BOSTON — Fast starts have been a key ingredient in Boston's formula for success in the month of December.

Prior to December, the Celtics had a 7-12 record and were being outscored by 1.32 points per game in the first quarter.

This month, which includes wins in five of seven games, has been one in which the Celtics have been seemingly at their best in the game's opening moments.

Such collaborative work has allowed Boston to outscore opponents in the first quarter by an impressive 7.86 points per game, fueled in large part by better defense and an even more diverse scoring punch.

In those seven games, Boston has had four different leading scorers after the first quarter, including a different player in each of their last three games.

"We have different guys step up every night," Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com. "It's been a lot of fun to watch this group play."

One of the keys to Boston's first-quarter success in December has been Avery Bradley who is averaging a team-best 6.6 points per game scored in the first quarter.

Not too far behind him is Jeff Green, the team's leader who has averaged 4.9 points per first quarter.

As a team, Boston has shot 53.2 percent from the field this month compared to 45.7 percent in October/November.

But the hallmark of Boston getting off to such great starts this month has been their defense which has limited opponents to 39.6 percent shooting in the game's first 12 minutes.

That's a significant improvement over the 46.2 percent shooting they allowed opponents in October and November.

"That's the kind of team we have to be, a defensive team, if we want to win," said Brandon Bass.