Box Score Bank: Election Night


Box Score Bank: Election Night

Good news for Doc Rivers. With the Celtics off until tomorrow, he doesn't have to kick himself out of a game to watch tonight's election unfold. Thanks to the schedule, the whole team even you, Darko can kick back and relax in the shadow of presidential history without worrying about another loss. Of the basketball variety, at least.

As it turns out, the Celtics almost never play on Election Night. In fact, they've taken the court on the first Tuesday in November (in an election year) only twice in the last 40 years. The first time was down in New Orleans on November 2, 1976 the night Jimmy Carter knocked off Gerald Ford when the defending champs dropped a 115-97 decision to the Jazz. (Pistol Pete scored 43 for New Orleans).

The most recent time? Well, that occurred on the night of our country's last presidential election, and it's also today's Box Score Bank. So, let's set the flux capacitor for . . .

November 4, 2008

"Whatever You Like" by T.I. sat atop the Billboard charts. High School Musical 3: Senior Year was regrettably the No. 1 movie in America. Jared Sullinger was in the middle of High School Basketball 3: Junior Year (sorry). Sarah Palin was enjoying her last moments of relevance.

And over at the Garden, coach Rivers was celebrating his buddy Barack's big night with a victory over the Rockets:

Final Score: Celtics 103, Rockets 99

Times have certainly changed for the Celtics since America's last big Election Night. First and foremost, they were still the champs, and in the midst of a ridiculous 27-2 start to their title-defending campaign. The time lapse is also evident in the fact that only three players Rondo, Pierce and KG that saw the court against the Rockets are still with Boston today. But while that may seem like a lot of turnover, it's nothing compared to what we've seen in Houston. They've gone through an entire roster reset everyone's gone. And anyway, if the Celtics were going to keep three guys from that year's team, I think they made the right choice.

Although on this night, one of the guys who got away made the biggest contributions to Boston victory: Ray Allen, who torched the Rockets for 29 points, plus a surprisingly-balanced five rebounds and five assists.

But the most surprising thing of all? Doc didn't even get himself ejected!

If there was ever a night he would've been happy to see Bill Kennedy . . .

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Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener


Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener

BOSTON – Marcus Smart’s sprained left ankle injury continues to heal, but the Celtics remain in wait-and-see mode when it comes to his availability for the season opener on Wednesday against Brooklyn.
Smart sprained the ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holliday.
He was helped off the floor by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas along with head trainer Ed Lacerte.
Since the injury, the Celtics have been pleased with the healing progress of the ankle, the same ankle he sprained as a rookie which kept him out for several weeks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart is no longer in a walking boot and continues to be day-to-day as he receives a steady diet of treatments to help speed up the healing process.
Smart will undergo a series of tests to determine the ankle’s strength, prior to getting any kind of clearance to play.
That’s why Stevens isn’t worried about Smart returning to the floor too soon.
“I trust our staff. Our staff and Marcus will make that decision well,” Stevens said. “Then I play guys, if they are available.”
Smart has established himself as one of the Celtics’ top reserves, with the ability to play both guard positions and some small forward depending on the lineup on the floor. The Celtics have to prepare for the possibility that he will not be able to play in the opener (or the first few games considering Boston opens with three games in four nights.

His absence would create more playing time for Terry Rozier in addition to likely resulting in extended minutes for starters such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
As eager as Smart is to get back on the floor, he and the Celtics are mindful of the big picture.
This team wants to make a deep playoff run and they’ll everyone – Smart included – to do so.
That’s why as much as Smart wants to get on the floor immediately, he has to remember – or be reminded of – that this is an 82-game season and his long-term value to this team and its goals can’t be taken for granted.

Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice


Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice

BOSTON - The Celtics got a bit of good news on the injury front with Kelly Olynyk being cleared for full contact.
The 7-foot center participated in most of the Celtics’ drills on Saturday, some of which included contact.
Olynyk said he had been doing some contact work prior to practice Saturday, but in a more controlled setting.
“I’m just trying to ramp it up a little bit more, every day,” Olynyk said. “Just trying to take a step in the right direction every day.”
Olynyk had surgery on his right shoulder in May with him expected to be out for at least five months.
Danny Ainge, C's president of basketball operations, recently said that he anticipated Olynyk returning sometime in the middle of November.
That would put his return about six months out from the time of surgery.

“He did a lot more than he has done,” coach Brad Stevens said. “We’ll see how he feels and progress at the appropriate rate after that.”
One of the strengths that Olynyk brought to the floor when he played was the ability to help space the floor because of his 3-point shooting.
Olynyk was not just a good 3-point shooter for a center, but one of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA last season when he connected on 40.5 percent of his 3s last season.  And it’s clear that last season was not a fluke, evident by him shooting 37.3 percent on 3s for his career.
However, the addition of Al Horford not only solidified the Celtics’ interior defense but also provides them with another stretch center.
Horford, who spent the past nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, shot 34 percent on 3s last season which at the very least, makes him a player that defenses have to respect when he’s outside of the 3-point line.