Celtics benfiting from fan support on the road

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Celtics benfiting from fan support on the road

MILWAUKEE The stands will be filled with Green-clad fans tonight at the Bradley Center, a common occurrence when the Milwaukee Bucks host the Celtics.

But that doesn't explain all the Rajon Rondo jerseys spotted at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Nor does it explain the fans sporting black-and-green Shamrock-adorned hats at Atlanta's Phillips Arena, whose owners made their presence heard with 'Let's Go Cel-tics!' chants that drowned out the cheers from the home team's supporters.

Don't think for a minute that the Celtics players don't hear and see all this before, during and after road games.

Following Boston's thrilling 79-76 comeback win at Atlanta, a strong fourth quarter surge helped the C's gain control before they barely hung on for the victory.

But lost in that strong play was the unexpected lift the C's got from their fans in the building as their 'Let's Go Cel-tics!' chants went head-up with the 'De-fense!' chants from the Hawks faithful.

"Our fans in this building really got going," said Paul Pierce. "That gave us a boost, more than anything. It was one of those strange games."

Boston experienced similar surges from their fans throughout this current eight-game road trip that concludes tomorrow night in Philadelphia.

"It just seems the last couple of games, we've been having a lot of fans," said Pierce, who added, "it really didn't feel like a road game."

Pierce never assumes that the fans on the road will be as Celtic-centric as they have been the last few games.

But when it happens, it's not a total shock, either.

"There's Celtics fans all over the world," he said. "We got the biggest fan base in all of the NBA. So it's never surprising when we go into other team's building and you hear Celtics chants."

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Zach Lowe’s most recent podcast is worth a listen, as it features plenty of talk about what the Celtics may or may not due ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. 

Lowe brought up the possibility of the Celtics top-1 or top-2-protecting Brooklyn’s first-round pick and including it in a deal for Butler. He surmises that the inclusion of the Brooklyn pick -- protected or not -- might not come until the final minutes. 

“Look, if Butler gets traded or if Paul George gets traded, that’s when it’s going to happen,” Marc Stein responded. “It’s going to happen in the last five to 10 minutes, so Boston has to make a decision, and let's see if they’re doing the math that they’ve had these assets for a while and it is time to do something bold and the time is now. Really, I think Boston will do it. The question is what will Chicago or Indiana do? And those are two hard reads.” 

Stein spoke to the Celtics’ lack of activity at certain points, but he said that if the C’s do fail to come away with a star player Thursday, it won’t be for lack of aggressiveness. 

MORE TRADE TALK

“I think the Celtics are taking criticism for waiting, and they’ve had all these assets they haven’t moved yet, but I think the record shows that Danny Ainge in general, in total, is very aggressive, not afraid to roll the dice, not afraid to make the aggressive move,” Stein said. “So I have less doubt about Boston saying, ‘Let’s just do it.’ I have far more questions about what Chicago and/or Indiana would do.” 

Lowe said that he imagines the Bulls would “think about” trading the C's Butler if Boston threw in the Nets’ pick unprotected, but added that Chicago would demand to also take two players out of Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. 

“I think that will be the offer and they’ll get there and Chicago will either have a moment where they say, ‘We walk away or we’ll do it.’ And Boston’s not going to throw in the other Nets pick,” Lowe said. “That’s just not going to happen.”

Rating the aforementioned foursome in terms of trade value, Lowe said that Crowder is the best piece because of his “ridiculously good” contract, followed by Brown, Smart and Bradley. 

Lowe added that he considers Bradley one of the “sneaky interesting pieces at this trade deadline” because his contract is up after next season, which is the same time that Isaiah Thomas’ contract expires. Lowe says that given the uncertainty of his future in Boston, he wouldn’t be overly surprised if Bradley is moved at the deadline. 

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game.