POST GAME CHICAGO

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POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by 112288 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:24 pm

Jared Sullinger makes first public comments since back surgery

By Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff

Jared Sullinger came down funny after a rebound early against Sacramento on Jan. 30. The rookie forward’s back went out. The next morning, he was in excruciating pain and could barely walk. Doctors didn’t give him an option; they told him he’d have back surgery and miss the rest of the season. And he was OK with that.

“It was a sign of relief, to get it over with, to get everybody out of my face about my back,” Sullinger said in his first public comments since surgery, Wednesday before the Celtics played the Bulls at TD Garden. Sullinger's back had raised red flags during the draft, and these issues are partly why he fell to the Celtics late in the first round. But Sullinger said doctors told him his back should be “good for the rest of my life.”

Sullinger, who was averaging 6 points and 5.9 rebounds, said he didn’t expect to have surgery now. Instead, maybe in two or three years.However, when he tweaked it against Sacramento, that timeline went out the window.

For now, Sullinger said he’s spending his time on Twitter and video games. He said he plans to get a chef and a nutritionist to help keep him fit. He said he doesn’t know what his rehabilitation will be like. “I’m kind of letting my doctors tell me what I can do now,” he said. “We have all the time in the world.”

Sullinger said he expects to be ready by next season. And he said this surgery will make him better down the line. “Because with the back problems, I had limitations,” he said. “The doctor told me with the two disks being herniated, it was only making my legs weaker. Hopefully, that’s a sign that I might be able to get off the ground more than 2 inches.”

GAME STATS

REBOUNDS - CELTICS 39 /CHI 49......Offensive - CELTICS 8 /CHI 13 ......Defensive - CELTICS 31 /CHI 36
POINTS IN THE PAINT - CELTICS 24 /CHI 38
FAST BREAK POINTS - CELTICS 12 / CHI 4
FG - CELTICS - 28/76 (36.8 %) CHI 27/74 (36.5 %)
3PM - CELTICS 5/15 (33.3 %) CHI 3/17 (17.6 %)
FTM - CELTICS 10/12 (83.3 %) CHI 12/17 ( 70.6 %)
TO - CELTICS 10 / CHI 20
ASSISTS - CELTICS 18 / CHI 15
STL - CELTICS 9/ CHI 5
BLK - CELTICS 4 / CHI 4
PF - CELTICS 21 / CHI 19
BENCH POINTS - CELTICS 20 / CHI 32
TOTAL TEAM TURNOVERS (Points off turnovers) – CELTICS 12 (11) /CHI 22 (20)

NEXT GAME ALL STAR GAME - SUNDAY - 7:00PM - TNT/TUESDAY - AWAY - AT DENVER - 9:00PM - CSNE/NBA LEAGUE PASS


POST GAME RECAP


ESPNBOSTON.COM

Rapid Reaction: Celtics 71, Bulls 69

By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

Rapid reaction after the Boston Celtics defeated the Chicago Bulls 71-69 on Wednesday night at TD Garden:

THE NITTY GRITTY
Brandon Bass produced maybe his best effort of the season, registering 14 points and nine rebounds, while Kevin Garnett added 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Celtics surged in the fourth quarter and held on at the finish line. Jason Terry added 12 points off the bench for Boston, while Paul Pierce overcame 2-of-12 shooting to produce some key fourth-quarter points. Carlos Boozer (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Joakim Noah (10 points, 16 rebounds) each produced double-doubles to pace the Bulls.

TURNING POINT
The Celtics were a dreadful 8-of-39 shooting for a mere 19 points during the middle quarters and found themselves down seven (which felt more like 70) with 10:35 to play in the fourth quarter. Ignited by a Bass steal/dunk combo, Boston improbably caught fire and embarked on a defense-fueled 12-0 run to surge ahead. Jeff Green punctuated the outburst by blowing past Luol Deng and delivering a one-handed slam on the opposite side of the rim as Boozer was too slow with help. Boston led 59-54 with 5:17 to play. Boston made enough shots down the stretch (Bass feeding Garnett for a final-minute hoop as the shot-clock expired in particular lifted Boston) and Pierce hit two clutch freebies with 10 ticks to go to help seal it.

BULLS NEARLY STOLE A WIN
With the Celtics clinging to a three-point lead in the final seconds, Boston elected to give a foul. Nate Robinson made the first of two freebies, then missed the second and Chicago go the rebound. Jason Terry blocked Marco Belinelli's initial 3-point attempt, but Taj Gibson got off a clean look that could have won it, but it was off the mark.

MY EYES ARE BLEEDING!
The Celtics and Bulls set the game of basketball back decades with their third-quarter play. The two teams combined for 21 points (21!?) on 10-of-42 shooting (23.8 percent). Nate Robinson and Luol Deng were the only players with multiple field goals (two apiece). Just an atrocious 12 minutes of basketball that had the Bulls on top 49-43 headed to the fourth quarter.

LOOSE BALLS: FOUL TROUBLE FOR BRADLEY
Avery Bradley picked up two fouls over the first 84 seconds of the third quarter and spent much of the frame on the bench. Given that Boston was down to three available pure guards, it forced Boston to go big with Green for much of the quarter... The Celtics forced 21 turnovers in the last meeting, but generated a mere seven points off of the while falling in overtime. This time around, the Bulls turned the ball over 22 times leading to 20 points. Boston coughed up it a mere 12 times for 11 points.

WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics wrapped up the first half of the season at 28-24 overall, winning seven of their last eight overall (and 13 of 19) to mask a roller coaster start to the season. Even after enduring three season-ending injuries over the last three weeks, there's optimism about the team with 30 games to go coming out of the All-Star break. Boston players will get five days to rest before reconvening in Denver to start a five-game west-coast road trip.
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CSNE

Celtics outlast Bulls, 71-69

A.SHERROD BLAKLEY

BOSTON — Boston and Chicago pride themselves on being grind-it-out teams that like to keep the score relatively low.

But you have to wonder if both teams were thinking more about their next Mai Tai's during All-Star break than going into the break with some momentum that a quality win could provide.

There's low scoring and there was Wednesday's slugfest -- and we stress the word 'slug' because that's about as quick as both teams scored points -- that ultimately ended with the Celtics winning, 71-69.

Once again Boston's "defensive stopper" Jason Terry came up with a huge play defensively -- seriously! -- in the final seconds to preserve the Celtics win when he blocked a shot with just a few ticks remaining on the clock.

It was Terry's defense in the closing moments of Boston's triple overtime win over Denver that helped preserve the game for the Celtics (28-24), who head into the All-Star break having won eight of their last nine games.

But this game was about more than Terry's defense or that of any other player specifically.

It was a hard fought, down-to-the-wire battle that was either team's for the taking when it counted most.

And it was the kind of win that provides a much-needed jolt of confidence for the Celtics as they try to continue finding ways to win despite being significantly undermanned.

As has been the case throughout this recent run, the Celtics got big games from their big-game players in the closing moments.

Both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce had struggled most of the game with their shot-making, only to come alive in the fourth quarter.

Garnett had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the game, with eight of those points coming in the fourth quarter. His eight points in the fourth equaled the entire scoring output of the Celtics in the third quarter.

Pierce, who missed 10 of his first 11 shots, drilled a 3-pointer in the fourth that put the C's ahead 65-60.

Boston, which tallied its fewest points of the season, did not look like a team that would struggle to score considering how the game began.

After a slow start by both teams, the Celtics went on a 14-3 run to lead 20-9 in the first quarter.

Boston went into the second with a 24-15 lead, but the Bulls opened with a 17-6 run capped off by a 3-point play by Jimmy Butler to lead 32-30.

After a series of stops by both teams, Boston eventually went back ahead on a 3-pointer by Terry with 1:33 to play in the second quarter.

But the lead didn't last long as the Bulls took a slim 36-35 lead into the half.

The 11 points scored by the C's in the second quarter were a season-low that was previously 12 points, set against Milwaukee on Nov. 2.
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WEEI 93.7 FM

FAST BREAK: CELTICS WIN UGLY, BUT THEY'LL TAKE IT 02.13.13 at 10:00 pm ET
By Ben Rohrbach

Thanks to another all-out effort by the few remaining healthy players left on the roster, the Celtics outlasted the visiting Bulls 71-69 to win ugly on Wednesday night, earning their eighth victory in nine tries since the first of the injury dominoes fell two weeks ago.

Four Celtics reached double digits, led by Brandon Bass (14 points, 9 rebounds), as they improved to 28-24 entering the NBA All-Star break. Kevin Garnett (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Paul Pierce (8-6-6) scored the C's final nine points as they held off a Chicago charge to close the final quarter.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Defense: The Celtics held the Bulls to 15 points in the first quarter and 13 in the third. Chicago's five starters — Luol Deng (4-10 FG), Carlos Boozer (5-14 FG), Joakim Noah (3-8 FG), Richard Hamilton (1-6 FG) and Nate Robinson (2-7) — shot a combined 33.3 percent. It's a good thing, because the C's actually shot worse until …

Heart beats: As this team has been wont to do since the injuries to Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa, the Celtics never quit. Playing their third game in four nights, shooting miserably and trailing by as many as seven in the first few minutes of the final quarter, the C's found life. Capped by back-to-back buckets from Jason Terry (12 points) and Jeff Green (8 points) off the bench — both assisted by Garnett — the Celtics went on a 12-0 run from, holding the Bulls scoreless for a stretch of 5:44 midway through the fourth quarter and capturing a 59-54 lead.

Bass finishing: In desperate need of offense help from anywhere on the roster, the Celtics found it in an unlikely hero. Beginning to emerge from a season-long funk, Bass scored his highest total (14) since Nov. 28. He also grabbed more rebounds (9) than he has since Nov. 25. Bass and Garnett combined for 26 points and 20 rebounds, forming a formidable frontcourt that helped limit a sizable advantage by the bigger Bulls, who got 27 rebounds from Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Offense: The Celtics made eight field goals in the second and third quarters combined. After scoring 24 points and taking a nine-point lead in the opening quarter, the C's made 4-of-18 shots in the second quarter (22.2 FG%) and 4-of-21 attempts in the third (19.0 FG%), scoring 11 and eight points, respectively. Somehow, someway, the Celtics trailed just 49-43 entering the frenetic fourth quarter.

Wayward captain: After a superb stretch of basketball during their recent seven-game winning streak, Paul Pierce battled through his toughest night since Rondo's ACL injury. He started a putrid 1-of-11 from the floor and missed his first two free throw attempts. While he added five assists and five rebounds, it's remarkable the Celtics were in the game at all without their captain's offense. Of course, Pierce managed to deliver a dagger of a 3-pointer that gave the Celtics a 65-60 lead with three minutes remaining.

Without Wilcox: Whether he's still suffering from the injuries that have kept him from playing 20 games this season or missing Rondo's alley-oops, Chris Wilcox hasn't been the same since returning from his thumb issue two weeks ago. Outside a few solid stretches against the Heat, Lakers and Bobcats, he's struggled to make a consistent impact. Wilcox played 11 minutes against the Bulls, didn't attempt a shot and recorded as many fouls and turnovers as he did rebounds (2).

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Last edited by 112288 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by 112288 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:29 pm

Man, during the interview in the 2nd quarter, Danny Ainge was as tight as a clam regarding personnel moves and trades.

Danny was also tight lipped on Sully and his road back next year. He did not seem overly positive......perhaps its just me, but he did not give any reassuring words that I would like to have heard.

All the scribes are calling the Celtic win UGLY........well how about Chicago.......maybe they played ugly.....maybe the Celtics defense was that much better, that is why they won.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by bobc33 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:36 pm

Donny Marshall had a good point in the post game chatter. He said something along the lines of these Celtics are just playing basketball, no one is trying to play like a power forward, or play like a shooting guard, or play like a center. Just playing basketball and moving the ball. A good description of why they have had success since Rondo went down. And I might add they certainly seem to be having fun out there.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by 112288 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:49 pm

Bob, Did not hear post game. Donny is spot on with his observation. Doc has to bottle this for next year. I just hope Rondo can adapt or he may find himself as odd-man out.

With the Celtics success with Bradley/Lee combo......I am sure Ainge is looking at this very closely in terms of cap space. You bring a young talented PG to come off the bench at let's say $3-4 million per year, you can trade Rondo ($12Million) for another major talent...be it a power forward or center and you will have a very powerful team! Don't think it may not happen....it makes loads of sense since they are compiling a great record without Rondo.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by mrkleen09 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:03 pm

I am with Tommy on the fact that people who are suggesting that the team is better without Rondo (Bob Ryan included) are way off base.

As Danny said, during the few weeks leading up to Rondo's injury - Pierce was hurt - Terry was hurt. The fact that they are playing better now is mostly due to those guys getting healthier, and the bench finding their roles and the team just going out and playing ball.

Rondo is a game changer and an elite talent. He is a warrior in close games and even better in the playoffs - and if you think the people like Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee are part of the future here....then you NEED a guy like Rajon running the break, setting them up for easy shots. Guys like Rondo do not come around very often and the Celtics would be very short sighted to let him go.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by bobc33 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:11 pm

I'd be very interested in knowing if stats are kept for how many passes a team makes before they attempt the first shot in a possession. Curious as to what it was with Rondo in the lineup vs what it has been since he went down. It seems like the number has gone up with him out. Any stat gurus out there know?

I'm as surprised as anyone by how well they have done with Rondo out and how the style has changed. Rondo is supposed to be quite an intelligent guy, and I'd love to be a fly on the wall when he and Doc have a discussion on style of play at some point when he returns. I'd say both Rondo and Doc have to do some thinking on their philosophy offensively. I know Rondo has the reputation of being stubborn, but it is hard for me to think that Doc doesn't have a bigger influence on how they operate than Rondo.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by 112288 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:13 pm

MRK,

Yes I heard Tommy say that and you bring up great points, but on the flip side of the coin, you can also bring an elite player in another position back to Boston. I admit it is an intriguing thought, and one tough position for Danny to be in if he fails in the summer to bring a very good Big via free agency into camp to give KG minutes off the bench verses starting.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by mrkleen09 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:18 pm

Assuming the Celtics even make the playoffs. When the game slows down and the court is shrunk....the Celtics lack of a true PG will be a glaring problem.

This is where Rondo really shines...and I think we will all see that the stretches of up and down play where the second unit is out and running....are all well and good, but when you need execution down the stretch - Lee / Bradley / Terry are just not going to be as effective as Rajon.

I would be happy with some compromise - as they are playing more free and loose since Rajon has gone down. But again, I think much of that is a red herring so to speak.

Jeff Green is not playing better because Rajon is out. He is playing better. Full Stop. AND Rondo being out has nothing to do with that, one way or another.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by 112288 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:19 pm

Bob, good stat question. Not sure but probably some geek out there in the NBA office keeps those stats.

Remember it will take Rondo a good 30 games + to get his A game back not due to his physical abilities but rather mental fear of getting hurt again. He has 1 more year left on his contract before he gets another major long term deal so it will be interesting to see how he reacts and if he plays without fear.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by 112288 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:24 pm

Mrk,

Agree about Green. I think he just woke up from his anesthesia and found himself standing in TD Garden.

Maybe someone had a long talk with the kid and told him to go to the net.
Perhaps Tommy said something on a long flight back to Boston, but as we speak he is not the same timid player as we saw 3 weeks ago.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by dboss on Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:20 am

The league needs to take a closer look at the two terrible calls against Avery Bradley. In both instances he controlled the space in front of his man. He did not create any contact.

I do not think the refs have caught up with how good he is at staying in front of his man. They are making calls against him that are not there.

So Paul Pierce has a pinched nerve in his neck. Is that why his shooting percentage is so poor? .378 in February and .415 for the season. When Paul is off his game he hurts the team more by shooting the ball. Last night he hit one big 3 pointer down the stretch that the hoop god himself guided into the basket.

JT and Cortney Lee are making plays now that they were not making earlier in the year. They are making shots more consistently. These are the same shots they were missing earlier.

Danny Ainge must be scratching his head trying to figure out where we go from here. We need a true PG that can run the offense in the half court and we need anothr quality big man.

I think the Celtics will secure a playoff spot between 4-8 and depending on the matchups they could very well win a round or two but winning the title or even getting to the final round is very unlikely. Guys like Pierce and Garnett have labored too many minutes this year and the price will be paid at the end with interest.

The likely senario is that the Celtics ride this one out one more time. Pierce will not be moved this year. His value in a trade next year will be measured by how far he takes the team this year. I think a lot of teams would love to have him and Garnett now but why trade these great players for pennies on the dollar. It accomplishies nothing except for helping some other team realize their deams.

The Celtics have 5 games coming up on the road after the break. A 3-2 record would be very respectable, all things considered.

Now just waiting to see who gets the first 10 day contract.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by tardust on Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:08 am

Doc said a lot of people didn't know about the pinched nerve. There is more to the game than just shooting. Paul has raised his game a lot recently in many areas. Not only running the offense, but getting assists, rebounding, which we needed someone to step up. Defense has been good as well. Took numerous charges recently and some at key parts of the game. As Doc said if the All star voting was to take place today he feels Pierce would be a shoe in to make it. Unfortunately most only look at shooting stats.
I for one am glad he is not going to the all star game. He can use the rest.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by MDCelticsFan on Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:21 pm

The only thing an ugly win beats is an ugly loss. Who cares as long as it goes down in the "W" column. This west coast swing post all star game will be very taxing ( well before April 15th). Two sets of these games are back to back Denver/Lakers & Portland/Utah. The guys better not be wandering far from the hotel or taking unscheduled visitors of the female persuasion and getting every minute of rest possible. Remember what Mickey told Rocky, "Women weaken Legs." Barbosa's loss means more time for Pierce at the "2" guard and less rest minutes on the bench.

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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by dboss on Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:26 pm

Tardust Paul takes more shots than anyone on the.team.. If he does not shoot the ball well we will not make it too far down the road.

I agree that he is doing other things which are also needed but scoring is what we need most from him


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Re: POST GAME CHICAGO

Post by tardust on Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:32 am

Dboss,

I understand he takes more shots. He always has. With Rondo out he role has expanded tremendously even though we like to say how we are moving the ball more now. Crunch time its still Paul and KG. Of course we all would like him to shoot better. Maybe the nerve is part of the problem. Maybe not. He is still our leading scorer while leading us in assists, game in and out. The other HUGE thing is we need rebounding and I only know of one guy that has raised that level much.

At this point in time we need others to score more than we need him to score. He is going to continue what he has always done and thats get close to his average. Other guys have to pick up the scoring IMO.

Do you want him to increase his assists, rebounding and scoring,, not to mention the timely charges he has been taking? Think about his age before answering this question.

I have the feeling that the rest he is getting now will help him. He usually comes on strong after the all star break each year.

One thing is right, we will only go as far as Paul and KG take us, pretty much the same as past years. That is unless someone else consistantly steps up.

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