C's need to get into shape and find rhythm


C's need to get into shape and find rhythm

ORLANDO, Fla. From time to time, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett reminds us that things we see on the court don't come about as easy as they look sometimes.

Especially for the Celtics offense, which has noticeably further behind than the team's defense.

When you look at the C's roster, one filled with a slew of scorers in the starting unit as well as a couple coming off the bench, the idea that 25 teams are actually better at producing points is surprising.

Not to Doc Rivers.

"It's tough to work on your offense when some of your key guys aren't in your offense," Rivers said.

You have to start with Paul Pierce who missed all of training camp and the first three games of the regular season.

From there you have Rajon Rondo who also missed time during training camp, and has been out the last three games with a right wrist injury.

Add in injuries to Ray Allen (ankle), Mickael Pietrus (shoulder), Chris Wilcox (calf, hamstring), Keyon Dooling (knee) and you get the picture.

Rivers clearly would like to have all his players healthy and available, if for no other reason than to gauge whether they can truly play together as a unit.

But if there is a positive that has come about with all the injuries, it is that the players have a better understanding of how imperative it is for them to defend at a high level. Monday's 31-point win over Orlando was a great example of that.

The C's limited the Magic to a franchise-low 56 points scored, as Orlando shot just 24.6 percent from the field.

"The one thing you know, you can play defense no matter who is on the floor," Rivers said. "Your offense is only going to be so good until you get your right parts on the floor. And so instead of trying to put in new things, why? It seems like we've been in a holding pattern because they haven't been on the floor."

Rivers added, "It'd be nice to get all the working parts together, in shape and in rhythm. but you can almost not expect that this year and we still have to get to be, become the team we need to be, from that."

Stars, studs and duds: Stevens shows confidence in Brown


Stars, studs and duds: Stevens shows confidence in Brown

Jaylen Brown made a costly turnover in the final minute that contributed to Boston’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The fact that he was even in the game at that point speaks to not just his potential, but the level of confidence the rookie has already garnered from the Boston Celtics coaching staff.

Brown, who had nine points on 4-for-7 shooting on Thursday, turned the ball over with less than a minute to play and the Celtics trailing 101-99 at the time.

Moments after the turnover, Chicago’s Dwyane Wade drained a step-back 3-pointer that sealed the Bulls’ victory.

Disappointed with the game’s outcome, Brown acknowledged that it meant a lot to him for Stevens to have enough confidence in him to keep him on the floor down the stretch.

But with that faith comes added pressure for Brown to come through and deliver.

“It means I have to do better and try and execute for my team and earn everything I get,” Brown told reporters after the game. “I don’t want anything given to me just because I’m the number three pick in the draft.”

Stevens was asked about having Brown on the floor in the game’s closing seconds.

“He (Brown) was playing pretty well and I thought we were better off playing small,” Stevens said. “I wanted to keep Jaylen in there. I thought he did a lot of good things tonight.”

“Obviously that play didn’t go his way,” Stevens said.

On the play in question, Brown was matched up with Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic. Brown began to make a move, and eventually spun away from Mirotic and left his feet.

Brown was called for the turnover when he left his feet to make a pass, but didn’t release the ball until after he had landed – a traveling violation.

“I was looking for an outlet,” said Brown in explaining his late-game miscue. “I should have just shot the ball but I was thinking it was a bad shot. I probably should have just shot it. I just saw Mirotic on me, slower feet. Coach (Stevens) told me to drive him so I tried to be aggressive. I should have made a play.”

Brown added, “Just have to come out and execute, and play the game the right way. I want to make coach feel like he has a reason to put me out on the floor.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Thursday night’s game.



Dwyane Wade

The Chicago native gave his family and friends plenty to cheer about on Thursday. In his first game playing for his hometown Chicago Bulls, Wade had 22 points which included a back-breaking 3-pointer with 26 seconds to play that pretty much sealed the Bulls victory. Consider this: He made a total of seven 3-pointers all last season. He had four on Thursday.

Isaiah Thomas

For the second straight game, Thomas tallied 25 points and continued to shoot the ball extremely well. His 25 points on Thursday came on 10-for-15 shooting. He also had four assists and three rebounds.

Jimmy Butler

Butler was among the Chicago players who shot the ball much, much better from 3-point range than they usually do. He finished with a team-high 24 points which included him knocking down four of his six 3-point attempts.



Avery Bradley

Bradley provided a nice offensive complement to Thomas’ high scoring night, finishing with 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. Bradley also made his presence felt on the boards and as a distributor with six rebounds and five assists.

Nikola Mirotic

He may have lost out on a starting job to Taj Gibson, but Mirotic’s value to the Bulls is clear. Mirotic had 15 points off the bench, shooting 6-for-11 from the field in addition to nine rebounds.



Second-chance points

Boston’s only two games into the season, but second-chance points looks to be an issue with no clear-cut solution. For the second straight game, Boston was outscored by double digits in second-chance points. On Thursday, Chicago had an 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.