Celtics map out their snow day(s)

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Celtics map out their snow day(s)

BOSTON -- The city of Boston is expected to be hit with a blizzard that could dump two feet of snow between Friday and Saturday.

With residents urged to stay inside, the Celtics could find themselves snowbound. They are scheduled to practice Saturday, subject to weather conditions, but could end up indoors until their next game Sunday evening at TD Garden against the Nuggets.

How will they spend this rare amount of midseason downtime? Some players are looking forward to a mini-break, while others got antsy thinking about being cooped up because of the wintery mess. They shared their plans with CSNNE.com.

Avery Bradley: The snow definitely isnt going to hold me back from any of my plans, I was just telling Courtney (Lee) that. He thinks Im going to stay in the house all day. Ill probably just go shopping for groceries and clothes, the same thing I do on every day off. What if the city of Boston shuts down? Shut the city down? They cant do that. Theres no way all the stores can be closed, no way. Ill probably watch TV, watch movies with my girlfriend, chill, thats about it. We got snow in Seattle (Bradley grew up in Washington state), I was out of school for two weeks one time because of it.

Jeff Green: Ill be on the couch, watching TV, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Modern Family, Workaholics. Those are my only three shows I watch. I like having down time, I need it.

Chris Wilcox: Ive got a few movies, Ill watch them. Im going to cook something, sit back on the couch, and chill. I took out some oxtails so I might cook some oxtails. I seasoned them Thursday, Ill sear them, then Ill put them in a Crock Pot and let them slow cook. Then Ill stir them, mix them, get them right, and right at the end before I take them out, Im going to put my special ingredient in there. I cant really tell you what it is. Its like the best-tasting filet ever. Its so tender, it falls off the bone.

Fab Melo: Im used to snow, so its not anything that would bother me. Im going to work out, go to the gym. I will get there, I live right there. If anything, Ill go running. I did it at Syracuse . . . (The craziest thing I did in the snow at Syracuse was), somebody dared me to do a snow angel outside and I went, no shirt on.

Brandon Bass: Im going to enjoy the snow maybe play in it, maybe take my son out a little bit. Thats part of the reason why I like Boston, because I get the opportunity to see snow. Its just different from what Im used to (growing up in Baton Rouge, LA). Its cool (to see my five-year-old son play in the snow). Ill get home from practice and the snows out there, hell be like, Daddy lets go outside! . . . When I have downtime, Im spending time with my son, playing around. I might watch him play Kinect on the Xbox or we might play some kind of game. When Im home, he always asks me, Daddy, lets do something that you think is fun. He actually comes up with it, he gives me three choices and Ive got to pick one. Hell do whatever, as long as its with me.

Jason Collins: I live downtown, so Im going to try to work out at a fitness center there. I can walk. I did go out and buy these really big boots, snow boots. I got them online because (I wear) size 17. They look like I could survive in the arctic. Ill be able to manage in the snow.

Courtney Lee: Im going to relax, eat food, watch TV. Other cities will be fine so Ill be watching some games. (I like to watch) The First 48, got to watch The First 48. I always watch games, Law & Order has a lot of good episodes on there. MTV runs back Martin and The Wayans Bros., so I always catch them. Other than that, I just watch games for the most part, college and NBA.

Celtics overcome big game from George to beat Pacers, 109-100

Celtics overcome big game from George to beat Pacers, 109-100

BOSTON – Having already clinched a playoff spot prior to Wednesday’s game, no one would have been shocked to see them come out and play fat-and-happy basketball.

Especially against an Indiana Pacers team that’s hungry for a win to bolster their playoff position.

But the Celtics continue to show us that they are a different team than the one that far too often failed to stack strong performances on top of one another.

That was not the case on Wednesday as they pulled away in the second half for an impressive 109-100 win over the Pacers.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 25 points and five assists. His backcourt mate Avery Bradley was solid as well, scoring 18 points to go with eight rebounds. Jae Crowder and Al Horford each had 15 points while Kelly Olynyk had another strong showing off the bench with 11 points and eight rebounds along with four assists.

With the win, Boston (46-26) swept the regular season series 3-0. While it’s unlikely they will finish in a tie record-wise with the Pacers, there is the possibility that they could meet in the first round of the playoffs next month.

Knowing they haven’t lost to the Pacers all season could be a huge mental plus for Boston if in fact their first-round foe was Indiana.  

Wednesday’s game was the first between these two with most of their respective rosters at full strength.

And the Celtics at full strength, regardless of the opponent, have been pretty tough to beat.

But the Pacers (36-35) weren’t going to make this easy for Boston, even as they fell behind by as many as 17 points to the Celtics.

Paul George, who led all scorers with 37 points, began to lead the Pacers back into the game with a strong fourth quarter showing.

And when Boston’s defense tried to adjust to George’s jacuzzi-hot scoring, he got others like Jeff Teague involved.

Teague, who had 25 points, made a 3-pointer that cut Boston’s lead to 93-86 with 6:31.

That was enough for Celtics head coach Brad Stevens who called a time-out.

After a pair of Isaiah Thomas misses, the Celtics got a little more cushion following a mid-range jumper by Olynyk.

While Indiana continued to get timely offensive rebounds, the Celtics went into bend-but-don’t-break mode defensively down the stretch.

And while the Pacers certainly were in the game, there was never a moment down the stretch when Boston’s impending victory was in doubt.

Both teams set the tone defensively in the first half which was a relatively low-scoring affair.

That should not come as a surprise considering how well each team has played of late at that end of the floor.

Since the All-Star break, Boston has the third-best defense in the NBA while the Pacers aren’t far behind, coming in at No. 6.

A 3-pointer by Bradley to close out the second quarter gave Boston a 49-42 lead at the half.

Boston’s control of the game remained solid through most of the third, but an 8-3 spurt by the Celtics to close out the third put ahead 88-74 going into the fourth.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Strong defense standing out

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Strong defense standing out

BOSTON – Boston and Indiana know there’s a chance they could face off next month in the playoffs, with both teams delivering the kind of defensive performance on Wednesday that highlighted two teams playing with a heightened sense of urgency fueled by tough, physical defense.

It was indeed a “Both Teams Played Hard” kind of first half which ended with Boston ahead 49-42.

Avery Bradley drained a 3-pointer that just beat the halftime horn which gave Boston its biggest lead of the half.  

The tone was set by both teams with a low-scoring first quarter in which the defenses for both teams stood out.

It really should not have been that big a surprise considering how well both teams have defended since the all-star break.

Boston has the third-best defense in the NBA since the break, while the Pacers have proven to be no slouch coming in at No. 6.

After falling behind 37-36 in the second, Boston ran off eight straight to lead 44-37 which was their largest lead of the game at this point.

But the Pacers stayed within striking distance in large part because the Celtics’ unusually high number of turnovers.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Wednesday’s game between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers.

 

STARS

Paul George

A four-time All-Star, George was scoring but the Celtics made him work a lot harder than he would like. He leads all scorers with 14 points, but has done so on 4-for-11 shooting.

Isaiah Thomas

Like George, the opposing team’s defense made for a rough first half. Thomas still managed to lead the Celtics with 10 points.

 

STUDS

Jeff Teague

He really went at Isaiah Thomas to start the game, and for the most part it was working for him. He had 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting in the first half.

Jae Crowder

Solid defense and timely shot-making made for a solid first half for Crowder. He had nine points on 4-for-7 shooting.

Avery Bradley

He did more than deliver a timely shot to end the half for Boston. He had nine points on 4-for-6 shooting in addition to grabbing four rebounds while being one of the main contributors defensively to Paul George not having an efficient night shooting the ball.  

 

DUDS

Celtics turnovers

By far the biggest concern Boston has heading into the second half. The Celtics average 13.2 turnovers per game. They had 14 in the first half, which led to 17 points for the Pacers. Boston’s season-high for turnovers is 24 which they racked up against Philadelphia on Feb. 15.