House not sentimental about Celtics

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House not sentimental about Celtics

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

MIAMI Eddie House has lots of love for his former Boston Celtics teammates.

It goes beyond simply being on the same roster.

They have the kind of bond that can never be broken, the kind forged with the blood, sweat and tears that come about through winning an NBA title.

But House plays for the Miami Heat now.

There's a time to be brothers, he says.

Now?

It ain't that time, people.

"We got plenty of time, the rest of our lives to be friends," House told CSNNE.com following Miami's practice on Friday. "But when we're out on that court . . . (expletive) 'em."

As talented as both teams are, there's no love lost between these two.

Boston eliminated the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs last year.

LeBron James, now with the Heat, played for Cleveland last season and he, too, was ousted by the Celtics.

It was the second time in the past three years that James' season ended at the hands of the Celtics.

Having one team continue to beat you in the games that matter most, repeatedly, certainly brings about some animosity.

That animosity, wrapped around both teams fighting for the right to move on in the playoffs, will make this one of the more closely-watched, contentious playoff series to date.

"They're gonna come out just how we are, guns blazing, throwing punches," House said. "We know they're not going to back down. I think they know we're not going to back down if that last game was an indication of it."

In their last regular season game, a 23-point Heat route, Boston's Jermaine O'Neal (he played for Miami last year) and James were separated by teammates for both after O'Neal delivered a hard foul on James that James didn't appreciate.

"That play was what it was," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said at the time. "I thought it was all theatrical, all that crap. That stuff . . . I guess that's called toughness these days. Two guys run into each other. I guess we gotta call that a flagrant foul, which I thought that was a joke. I thought the reaction by both was a joke. Don't even get me started on that crap."

Regardless, this series is expected to be a physical one between two teams that it seems all season, were on a crash course with one another to meet in the playoffs.

House said he came to Miami because he felt that he could help them win an NBA title.

But to to that, he said, a series with the Celtics was inevitable.

"To accomplish our goals, you're going to have to go through Boston at some point," House reasoned. "You're gonna have to see them. We haven't done anything yet, and they've done a whole lot of stuff. We know we gotta go through them to get where we're going."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

WATCH: Celtics vs. Rockets

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Rockets

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics play the Rockets in Houston. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game Preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

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Celtics-Rockets preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

Celtics-Rockets preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

Earlier this month the Boston Celtics took a season-high 42 three-pointers in a game which raised a few eyebrows. 

And you know what?

No one would be surprised if the Celtics (12-8) surpassed that total tonight when they face the Houston Rockets who have set the pace when it comes to launching 3-point bombs in the NBA this season with 37.0 attempts per game. 

The Celtics aren’t too far behind, averaging 30.8 three-pointers which ranks fifth in the NBA.

But what makes these two teams so unique is that in addition to taking a lot of 3s, they also rank among the NBA’s leaders when it comes to knocking them down. 

The Rockets (13-7) make an NBA-high 14.0 three-pointers per game while the Celtics are fifth in the league with 11.1 made 3s per game. 

And the key to that stat is that both teams shoot a surprisingly high percentage from 3-point range as well. 

Houston’s 37.8 percent from 3-point range is the fifth-best mark in the NBA while the Celtics shoot 36.0 percent on 3's which ranks 10th in the league. 

So what does all this 3-ball shooting mean? 

It means get your popcorn ready for what should be one of the more exciting, high-scoring games on the Boston Celtics’ schedule this season.

Here are some other key stats to keep tabs on during tonight’s game. 

 

FIRST QUARTER SCORING

There is no team in the NBA better at jumping on you from the outset, then Houston. They lead the NBA in first-quarter scoring with 31.2 points per game while shooting 51.9 percent in the quarter which is also tops in the NBA. But there’s a downside to their first quarter success. Houston’s first quarter defense is pretty bad, ranking 27th in the league in first-quarter points allowed (28.5) while allowing teams to shoot a league-worst 52.3 percent from the field in the game’s first 12 minutes. 

 

FOURTH QUARTER SCORING

As impressive as Houston is to start games, the Boston Celtics are just as dominant offensively in the fourth quarter. Boston averages a league-best 29.1 points per game in the fourth compared to the Rockets whose 24.4 points in the fourth ranks 21st in the NBA. Boston’s strong finish to games is aided by a defense that seems to save its best work for the fourth quarter. Opponents are shooting just 40.6 percent against the Celtics in the fourth which ranks as the third-best fourth quarter defense in the NBA.

 

OFFENSIVE REBOUND PERCENTAGE

Boston’s struggles on the boards are well documented which includes - but is certainly not limited to - offensive rebounding. The Rockets will present a major problem to Boston when it comes to trying to avoid Houston getting second and third-shot opportunities. The Rockets rank fifth in the NBA in second-chance points (15.3) per game while the Celtics’ defense allows 15.2 second-chance points which ranks 27th in the league. And Boston’s offensive rebounding percentage for opponents ranks dead-last in the NBA at .265.

 

BALL MOVEMENT

Both teams rank among the league leaders in assists per game with Boston’s 24.4 assists per game average No. 2 in the NBA and Houston’s 24.3 assists ranks fourth. But more telling is how the Celtics rely more heavily on keeping the ball moving, more so than the Rockets. You see this in Boston averaging 329.2 passes per game which ranks third in the NBA while the Rockets’ 273.5 passes per game average is 29th in the league. Still, Houston’s passing game is to be respected especially when you consider the lofty assists numbers they’ve racked up in addition to them getting 59.2 points created via the assist according to nba.com/stats

 

TURNOVERS

These two are at opposite ends of the basketball world when it comes to turnovers. Boston commits 12.3 per game which is the fourth-fewest committed in the NBA while the Rockets are turning the ball over 16.1 times per game and that ranks 27th in the league. And these two remain widely far apart in the fourth quarter which is when the Celtics turn the ball over a league-low 2.2 times per game in the fourth while Houston turns the ball more than twice as much (4.5) which ranks 29th in the league.