With playoff seeding on the line, the Celtics laid an egg in the second quarter and were stung by the Hornets, 114-100. (AP)

The first thing I did after the final buzzer sounded on the Boston Celtics’ 114-100 loss to the Charlotte Hornets was Google “largest egg.”

You see, the Celtics played so poorly that I couldn’t just settle for saying they “laid an egg,” but needed scientific confirmation of the largest egg in existence in order to aptly describe just how bad a loss the Celtics suffered.

And that was before I saw Celtics coach Brad Stevens’s quote saying his team “laid an eight-minute egg.”

Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder played just 21 minutes and didn’t see the court in the fourth quarter. RJ Hunter got extended minutes, and the Hornets were so far ahead after a 31-3 run to close out the second quarter that they felt comfortable playing Tyler Hansbrough. Tyler Hansbrough!

In other words, I don’t think even an ostrich egg suffices. The Celtics laid an elephant bird egg, 120 times the size of a chicken egg and larger than a dinosaur egg. Continue reading With Playoffs in Sight, Celtics Lay “Eight-Minute Egg” in Blowout Loss to Hornets »

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Boston Celtics

As part of a four-way tussle for the #3 and #4 seeds in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics had its backs against the wall as they headed out of town for a crucial five-game west coast road trip. The fact they are now coming home after going 3-2 bodes well for them as they clinched a playoff spot and currently sit in the third spot at 45-32, tied with the Atlanta Hawks.

This road trip will last a long time in the memories of players and fan all across the nation. Why? On April 1, the Celtics marched into Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. and abruptly ended the Golden State Warriors’ record-breaking 54 game home winning streak with a score of 109-106. To put a cherry on top of this historic victory, Boston flew down to Los Angeles two nights later and beat arch rival Los Angeles Lakers 107-100. Continue reading Celtics Beats Lakers 107-100 as Bryant Scores 34 in His Rivalry Farewell »

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Jae Crowder may not agree, but could his injury actually be a blessing in disguise for  the Boston Celtics? (CSNNE)

Entering the March 10th game against the Houston Rockets, the Boston Celtics were 39-26 and seemed fairly well entrenched as the third seed in the Eastern Conference.

Then Jae Crowder ran into the stanchion on a fast break, exited with a high ankle sprain, and hasn’t played since.

In his absence, the Celtics lost four in a row to the Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Toronto Raptors before rebounding with wins over the lowly Philadelphia 76ers and the struggling Orlando Magic. Those two wins propelled the Celtics back into the conversation for the third seed, but they are now mired in a playoff seeding slugfest with 11 games left in the regular season, including a season long five game road trip with stops against the Portland Trail Blazers, LA Clippers, and (gulp) Golden State Warriors. That doesn’t sound like much of a silver lining (even if Crowder will travel with the team).

But looking at the Celtics through a slightly different lens, isn’t Crowder’s injury a blessing in disguise? Continue reading Is Jae Crowder’s Injury a Blessing in Disguise for the Celtics? »

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After sitting comfortably at #3 in the Eastern Conference for a month, the Boston Celtics have hit a little bump in the road. With 11 games remaining in the regular season, the Celtics are now tied for the third spot in the conference with the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks. Another 5 games back is the Charlotte Hornets at 40-30 with 12 games remaining on its schedule.

With three more teams (Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons) within 3.0-3.5 games of the Celtics, a playoff spot is far from assured. Of the nine teams occupying the top nine spots in the conference, only one team has failed to record a winning record over the last 10 games. That team is the Celtics at 5-5. Continue reading Celtics Begin Final Push Towards the Playoffs »

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brandon lafell

It has been a week to remember in Boston sports. Let’s recap all that happened from Wednesday to Friday.

The Patriots released Brandon Lafell and Scott Chandler, opening up some salary cap space to revamp the New England offense. LaFell and Chandler underperformed this year. Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick are most likely looking for tight ends and backs. Tom Brady is willing to give up part of his salary for the right receivers. Will that be enough to make a difference? It all depends on what kind of talent is out there.

Continue reading Week In Review: Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, Bud Collins »

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The rumor mill was churning at the trade deadline last Thursday but the Celtics refrained from having any part of the action. Initial speculation focused on Al Horford and Jeff Teague but as the deadline approached another blockbuster deal developed. Unfortunately for Celtics fans the front office kept the details confidential.

During a recent appearance on WEEI’s OM&F, Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge confirmed that a deal was “very close” to transpiring until the other team backed out in the final moments. The target of this deal, Ainge revealed, was the Sixers’ 20 year old center Jahlil Okafor.

Unfortunately Ainge did not divulge and the exact specifics of the deal remain a mystery. It is safe to presume the deal involved the Nets’ highly coveted first round selection in the upcoming draft and possibly David Lee’s contract, but the details of the agreement remain subject to speculation. In any case this revelation from Ainge is a very interesting development for eager Celtics fans.

Okafor is raw low-post presence with the opportunity at greatness and stardom. Renown among local sports fans for his involvement in a bar fight in Boston after their game against the Celtics at the start of the season, the 20 year old rookie has plenty of time to mature and develop. This will need to happen both on and off the basketball court. On the court he has, statistically, been quite impressive in his rookie campaign despite the deplorable Sixers’ record. In 48 appearances so far this year the Duke product has averaged 17.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in his 30.2 minutes per game.

The idea of Jahlil Okafor on this young roster is unexpected yet captivating. Imagine adding his presence to the Celtics’ front court? It would add a dimension to the offense that this team lacks. As a go-to scorer and quality rebounder in the paint, the only concerns about Okafor emerge on defensive side of the basketball. He has always been such a physical superior among his peers that his lack of technique and awareness were never at risk of exploitation. Now that he has finally reached the NBA these aspects of his game need polish, but if he puts in the hard work both are skills that can develop and improve.

As Celtics fans let’s hope the Sixers’ don’t fully default on their interest in a deal involving Okafor. There is a lot left to be determined between now and the NBA draft, and even more rime before the start of the next season; this trade could still materialize. In the mean time we should cross our fingers and trust in Ainge’s ability to entice the Sixers because Okafor is a generational talent who could address an important void in the Celtics roster.

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

After Avery Bradley edged the Celtics over the Cavaliers Friday night with a buzzer beater 3-pointer he continued his sharp shooting against the Kings going 6-7 from 3-point range and scoring 25 points in a 128-119 victory Sunday in Boston. The win in Cleveland was likely the Celtics biggest win of the season, especially being on the road and playing the Cavaliers after they had come off a loss. It looked ugly early for the Celts Friday in Cleveland but they were able to hang in and keep it close in the first two quarters before gaining the lead in the second half. A balanced attack with Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Tyler Zeller and Jared Sullinger all scoring in double figures helped to hold off the Cavaliers late game push. The grittiest play of the game came with the Celtics down two points with seconds left. A missed free throw from Evan Turner allowed for Marcus Smart, 6’4″, boxing out Timofey Mozgov, 7’1″ to cause a scramble for the rebound that ultimately went out off the Cavaliers. This afforded the Celtics just the chance they needed and, on a broken play, Bradley gathered himself to knock down the game winning triple from the corner.

Rolling into Sunday winners of three straight and coming off dethroning the mighty King the C’s hung 46 points on Sacramento in the first quarter en route to the win. They were in control wire to wire despite a pesky performance from the Kings who made runs but were never able to recover from the 76 point first half performance of the Celtics.

Boston is now in sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference behind Cleveland and Toronto, they are winners of four in a row and nine of their last ten. Celtics’s fans have reason to be excited with the wins and the way the team has continued to get better and play together. However, four and half games is all that separates the now third place Celtics and the ninth place Hornets. The C’s will need to continue to win with a tough schedule ahead. Boston not only has a slew of balanced Eastern Conference teams to play that will all be jockeying for position but still has a variety of tough Western Conference opponents to face after the All-Star break including Golden State, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles Clippers (and Lakers), and Memphis to name a few, those wins will not come easy.

For now Boston will head to Milwaukee to go for five straight wins against the Bucks who are losers of five straight, before coming home to face Doc Rivers and his 34-17 Clippers that have won seven of their last ten, doing so without Blake Griffin.

The Celtics should feel confident heading to the Midwest behind their Eastern Conference player of the week Isaiah Thomas who continues to put up numbers and help the C’s win games. His most recent weekly stat line to earn said honors goes like this: 20.3 points, 7 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.3 steals over 33.6 minutes per game. With the C’s seeming to play their best basketball of the season coach Brad Stevens will continue to keep their feet on the ground and their eyes on the clipboard to hopefully finish the next two games strong before heading into All-Star weekend.

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