Dooling makes impact in first start for Celtics

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Dooling makes impact in first start for Celtics

BOSTON -- Keyon Dooling had started nearly 100 games over his career before joining the Boston Celtics this season.

On Wednesday night, he got his first nod with his new team. Dooling started at shooting guard in place of Ray Allen, who was battling flu-like systems, in the Celtics 89-70 win over the New Jersey Nets.

It was a transition not only to the starting lineup, but playing to the two-guard rather running the floor as the point guard like he has been doing with the Cs.

I think the adjustment for me is getting most of my minutes at the point versus starting at the two, he told CSNNE.com prior to the game. Its a totally different position -- less ball handling, less responsibilities, but more continuity stuff, so its my job. Ive got to know two positions and thats why I prepare for two positions.

Dooling played 31 minutes, scoring five points (2-for-6 FG) and chipping in one assist. After the game, he was glad the Celtics earned a W, which came from a second-half comeback. Dooling's third-quarter trey broke a 40-40 tie, and the Celtics outscored the Nets 23-7 after that point in the remainder of the quarter.

At the end of the day, we got the win, Dooling said. I didn't shoot the ball the way I wanted to, but defensively, I think, in the second half we really turned it up. Obviously MarShon Brooks had a great first half . . . he had 15 points, and I couldn't allow him to do that again in the second half. So I really wanted to focus on defense and we had a 29-12 quarter. That was the difference of the game, I think.

Both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce noted Doolings experience in the lineup.

He brought energy, said Garnett. We know that hes an outside threat, obviously he can shoot threes, but his energy and his energy and his leadership is what we value here. I thought he brought more of a defensive mindset to the starting lineup versus offense, and I thought second half we got into a better flow versus first half.

Pierce would not have minded seeing Dooling taking a few more shots, but believes that will come with time.

Keyon, he fills in for Ray, a veteran presence, know-how, a guy who can knock down shots, another ball handler, he said. Its kind of unconventional that we run kind of a like a two-point guard front set. Youve got two ball handlers so you would think wed probably run a little bit more, but its just about probably implementing him more with the starting unit and him understanding because at times I thought he had opportunities offensively that he should have took, but he swung the ball. But thats just us breaking him into the starting unit and getting more comfortable with what we do out there.

For Dooling, this start was different not only because of the position he played or the teammates he shared the court with, but for the franchise he started for.

At this point in my career, I'm grateful for every second I get to play in this amazing league. he said. But when you have a historic organization like this one, it's just a whole different ball game. I can't explain it. It's just something that I have never experienced, on any level. The commitment to winning over here is second-to-none. The history of the banners that you see, everywhere you look, it's history. Even in our lockers you see former players who've worn your number. So it's just totally different in that aspect.

Fast-break points aren't necessarily a good thing for Celtics

Fast-break points aren't necessarily a good thing for Celtics

BOSTON – Conventional NBA wisdom tells you that getting out to score in transition is a good thing, usually serving as easy points scored, which is what every team wants, right?
 
But bundles of transition points have been nothing but trouble for the Celtics this season.
 
They are coming off a game against the New York Knicks in which they scored 22 fast-break points, which was their second-best showing this season. But the final score, a 117-106 loss, wasn’t all that unusual from what has happened this season when their transition game has generated a decent amount of scoring.
 
Boston has a 2-6 record this season when they score 16 or more fast-break points. On the nights when Boston’s fast-break offense generates 10 or fewer points?
 
They’re 11-5.
 
While there are several possible reasons why this is, here’s what you have to remember.
 
The Celtics are a ball-movement, 3-point shooting team.
 
Often that means they’ll pass up potential shots in transition, to instead work the ball around from one side of the floor to the other, until they get what they deem is the best shot to take (usually it’s a lightly contested to wide open 3-pointer).
 
The Celtics average 329.6 passes per game, which ranks second in the NBA (Philadelphia, 354.8). Not surprisingly, that has led to them ranking among the league’s leaders in assists (24.9, third in the NBA).
 
And that has led to Boston being ranked among the top-3 in several other key passing statistics, such as secondary assists (7.1, 2nd in the NBA); potential assists (49.5, 2nd); and assists points created (60.8, 3rd);
 
Here are a few more stats to crunch on, courtesy of CSN Associate Producer Andy Levine.
 
PAINT BY NUMBERS: When the Celtics score 40 percent or less of their points in the paint, they are 19-5 this season. When Boston gets 40 percent or more of its points in the paint, they are just 7-11.
 
BROWN IN THE FOURTH: Jaylen Brown has been among the better rookies this season, especially in the fourth quarter. Among rookies who played in at least 20 games in the fourth quarter, Brown is second in fourth quarter shooting at 54.9 percent. With those same standards, he’s sixth in shooting 3’s in the fourth at 38.5 percent.
 
CROWDER BOUNCES BACK: The past four games has seemingly brought out the best in Crowder. In that span, he has averaged 18.5 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 57 percent from the field and 48 percent from 3-point range. Crowder’s 3-point shooting of late has elevated him to seventh in the league while connecting on 42.5 percent of his 3-point attempts (minimum 150 attempts).

OUCH! It has not been a smooth start for Evan Turner with his new team, the Portland Trail Blazers. This season, Turner’s plus/minus is -234, which is the fourth-worst plus/minus in the NBA.
 
 

Stevens: Bradley, Zeller, Jerebko out vs. Trail Blazers

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Stevens: Bradley, Zeller, Jerebko out vs. Trail Blazers

BOSTON – Before Brad Stevens addressed the media before the Celtics faced the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday afternoon, he had to take a moment to make sure he wouldn’t forget anyone who wasn’t able to play.
 
Yeah, the list was a pretty long one.
 
Tyler Zeller, Demetrius Jackson and Jonas Jerebko will not play tonight due to sickness. And Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will also be out with a timetable that’s starting to feel like it’ll be longer than anyone would want.
 
“I don’t anticipate Avery this week at all,” Stevens said. “He still has some soreness. Obviously we’re concerned about the long-term impact of a sore Achilles; what it means on that foot but also what it means when you compensate off it. But he’ll be back when he’s ready but I think he’s still a little bit away.”
 
Bradley, the team’s top on-the-ball defender and No. 2 scorer this season at 17.7 points per game, will be out for the sixth time in the Celtics’ last seven games because of the Achilles injury.
 
Replacing him in the starting lineup will be Marcus Smart whose status for tonight’s game wasn’t a sure thing.
 
On the Celtics’ pregame notes package, Smart was listed as probable with a sore right ankle injury. I asked Stevens about Smart’s status a few minutes ago, and he said the 6-foot-4 Smart will play tonight.
 
In his 15 starts this season, Smart has averaged 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 31.7 percent on 3's - all of which are better than what he produces when coming off the bench.