Ference not a Subban fan

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Ference not a Subban fan

Andrew Ference is an honorable player, and he is not happy about P.K. Subbans antics after throwing a dangerous head shot at David Krejci in the third period of last nights 2-1 victory over the Canadiens at TD Garden. Ference emptied both barrels on Subban during his weekly radio appearance on the Dennis and Callahan Show on 850 WEEI Friday morning and didnt leave much to the imagination when it comes to his feelings about Subban.

"I wasn't that surprised. I think it's more embarrassing he was fighting his own teammates in practice the early January tussle betweenSubban and Tomas Plekanec during a Habs practice. I don't know. It was a hit to Krejci's head. I'm the smallest defenseman on our team, so I think he pulled a pretty good card on that one. But I guess he still didn't want to fight.

I wasn't extremely surprised. With most guys, it's a big hit to one of our key players, and obviously a high hit -- Krejci's got the marks on his face to prove it. So, that's usually pretty cut and dry. You don't have to be the toughest team in the league or fight all the time. And they're not; that's not their identity. That's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. But the general code in hockey is on plays like that, you man up. That's whether you're big or small or whatever you are. You just do it. That's where I think it rubs a lot of guys around the league -- and probably on his own team -- raw. I think most guys were raised as kids playing hockey, that's just the way you do it.

Ference pointed to teammates Brad Marchand currently out on a five-game suspension due to a clipping incident with Sami Salo as a guy that will answer for his actions when opponents feel hes crossed the line. Ference has seen Marchand in action.

Marchand is a friend of his, and Subban is clearly no Marchand.

"If you're going to play that way -- and for a direct example on our team, before this season started, I talked with Brad Marchand. I said, 'If you're going to play the way you play, you have to fight. You have to drop the gloves once in a while.' I said, 'You don't have to fight the toughest guy or fight every time somebody asks you, said Ference. But if you're going to play that style of hockey, if want any respect at all around the league, you have to drop the gloves once in a while.' So, that's what it's all about. Not being crazy and not picking up penalty minutes all over the place, but at least showing up once in a while and playing honest."

Subbans cockiness, confidence and outspoken style has certainly rubbed plenty of NHL players the wrong way, and its even spurred Ference to chirp at him on some occasions. Like last season when the Montreal defenseman was beaming after his team had lost a heartbreaking playoff series.

"He was even smiling after they lost in the playoffs last year, and I told him -- I'm not much for chirping guys and trash-talking -- but I said, 'You're team's not exactly doing so hot right now, I don't know if it looks so great when you're smiling around at the rink all game, said Ference. If a guy on my team was smiling like that after you're losing and when you're obviously going through some struggles, I don't know. Well, I guess that's why they're having the kind of practices they're having.

Sounds like theres not a lot of love lost between those two.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Wizards shoot ridiculous 65 percent from field

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Wizards shoot ridiculous 65 percent from field

After Boston’s last game against Portland – a loss – Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said he was encouraged by some of the things his team did defensively.

It’s safe to say Stevens won’t be singing that tone if the Celtics continue along the path they’re on defensively right now as the Washington Wizards went into the half with a 66-59 lead.

Washington, donning all-black clothes when they arrived at the Verizon Center, were very much looking as though they were digging a basketball grave for the Boston Celtics who allowed the Wizards to shoot a ridiculous 65 percent from the field in the first half and 61.5 percent (8-for-13) from 3-point range.

The Wizards scored the first four points of the game and spent all of the first half playing with a lead.

But the Celtics showed some fight late in the second quarter, going on a 14-6 run to cut Washington’s lead to 55-52 with 3:39 to play in the quarter.

Boston would later have a chance to tie the game, but Marcus Smart’s 3-pointer was off the mark.

And the Wizards, as they had done all game, made the Celtics pay as Bradley Beal drained a jumper that made it a two-possession game.

Here’s a look at the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half.

 

STARS

Bradley Beal

It was his idea to go with the all-Black look, and he backed up his talk with a strong first half of play. He has a team-high 14 points at the half along with five assists.

Isaiah Thomas

Thomas delivered yet another all-star caliber scoring performance in the first half for Boston. He led all scorers with 17 points on 5-for-9 shooting along with a game-high eight assists.  

John Wall

After scoring just nine points when these two met on Jan. 11, Wall has 13 points at the half on 6-for-9 shooting to go with five rebounds and three assists.

 

STUDS

Al Horford

It was an extremely efficient game offensively in the first half for Horford. He had 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting with three assists.

Markieff Morris

He’s one of four double-digit scorers in the first half for the Wizards. In addition to his 10 points, he also has five rebounds and three assists.

 

DUDS

Celtics defense

At this end of the floor, the Celtics were absolutely atrocious in the first half. The Wizards shot a ridiculously high 65 percent from the field, and were just as lethal (8-for-13, 61.5 percent) from 3-point land. They have no shot at competing let alone winning tonight’s game, if they don’t turn things around and do so soon!

Beyond the numbers: 'Game is slowing down' for Isaiah Thomas

Beyond the numbers: 'Game is slowing down' for Isaiah Thomas

Just about every part of Isaiah Thomas’ game offensively has seen tremendous growth this season.

But what has really separated him from earlier versions of himself, has been his 3-point shooting.

He comes into tonight’s game against the Washington Wizards shooting a career best 38.4 percent from 3-point range.

When asked about how he has elevated his game this season, the answer isn’t that simple.

“I don’t know” he told reporters prior to tonight’s game. “The game is slowing down for me. My teammates put me in position, my coach does … and I’m just knocking down shots.”

Because of his shot-making, Thomas has made it difficult for defenses to give him a steady diet of any style of play in trying to limit him.

And because they have to change things up with regularity, that has created more scoring opportunities.

“Sometimes they forget what they want to do (defensively) and leave me open for a three,” Thomas said. “Those are the the types of shots I need to knock down and I’m being aggressive.

He added, “I need to get to the free throw line, trying to make plays for my teammates. It’s one of those things where I’m in a really good zone now; a really good rhythm.”

A good rhythm?

According to NBA statistics guru Dick Lipe, Thomas is the first Celtic ever to make at least four 3-pointers in five straight games. Taking it a step further, he has made at least three 3-pointers in seven straight games which equaled Antoine Walker’s streak in 2001.

Thomas has also attempted 11 three-pointers in five straight games which is a franchise record. There have only been three longer streaks in NBA history - Golden State’s Stephen Curry (7 straight games, 2016); Washington’s Gilbert Arenas (7 straight games, 2005) and Dallas’ George McCloud (6 straight games, 2006).

He’s also averaging 3.1 made 3’s per game which would be a franchise record that’s currently held by Antoine Walker who averaged 2.7 during the 2001-2002 season.

And all those 3’s have added up to Thomas scoring at least 27 points in seven straight games, something that hasn’t been done by a Celtic since Larry Bird had eight such games in March 1988 as well as the 1987-1988 season.