Road about to get easier for Celtics

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Road about to get easier for Celtics

WASHINGTON The Boston Celtics begin the new year similar to how they began the new season - on the road.
And while that has usually been a good thing for the Celtics -- Boston has the second-highest number of road wins (76) and winning percentage (.618) in the Big Three era -- they come into tonight's game on a bit of a losing skid.
Not only are they winless (0-3) on the road this season, but they also lost their last four road games last season.
The combined seven straight road losses are the C's longest losing streak since dropping 12 in a row on the road in January-February 2007.
But road success should be easier to come by this month based on the opponent and the schedule.
Three of the five road games are against Washington (twice) and Cleveland, two of the league's worst teams. The other two opponents, Indiana and Orlando, are beatable, as well.
The only one that really hurts the Celtics schedule-wise, is the road game at Indiana on Jan. 14. Boston hosts Chicago the night before in what should be a tough game that'll be both mentally and physically draining for the C's.
For now, Boston's focus has to be on a Wizards team that despite its record (0-3), is capable of pulling off the upset.

Trade targets for Bruins as they enter trade deadline season

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Trade targets for Bruins as they enter trade deadline season

Joe Haggerty looks at a number of trade possibilities for the Bruins with the NHL deadline little more than a week away

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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.