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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Boston's Tank for Wiggins Campaign Hits Its First Pothole of the Season

You might have noticed that I hadn't written a word about the Celtics since they started their sure to be wretched season a week ago. That wasn't my intention but simply a product of having so many conflicts and not enough hours in the day to watch everything. I had DVR'd a couple of the previous contests but didn't end up watching them, that changed tonight as I saw the Celts (1-4 overall, 1-1 home) pick up their first win of the season, 97-87 over the Jazz (0-5 overall, 0-3 away) at TD Garden.

Head coach Brad Stevens notched his first NBA win, ironically when one of his former star players at Butler-Gordon Heyward-dropped a game-high 28 points with nine rebounds and five assists for Utah. He'll be a free agent this summer, do I smell a reunion? Brandon Bass led Boston with 20 points and Jeff Green added 18.

Enes Kanter had 22 points and eight rebounds, old man Richard Jefferson put up 13 points and five steals while Derrick Favors had 10 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks for the Jazz. Utah's bench only managed 14 total points, the same amount that Boston rookie Kelly Olynyk (8 rebounds) picked up. Jared Sullinger also thrived off the bench for the C's with 12 points and five rebounds.

As everyone knows, for Boston 2013-14 is all about losing as much as they possibly can in hopes of getting a high lottery pick in what should be a loaded draft. When you look at their fatally flawed roster and painfully thin bench, you realize that the Jazz could be one of the Celtics' biggest rivals in terms of racking up the most losses.

By design, the Celts got up by 25 points (70-45) in the third quarter before they tried everything in their power to gag it away. The Jazz cut it to six in the fourth (89-83) but they couldn't come all the way back. Looking beyond the main guys, Avery Bradley (8 points, 6 rebounds) and Gerald Wallace (9 points, 9 rebounds) each played well in the win.

The Jazz actually led 26-23 after the first quarter but Utah scored only eight points (eight points!) in the second quarter to trail 50-34 at halftime. In a few of the four losses, the Celtics held big leads only to fall apart but this margin was too wide and the opposition too terrible to slip on another banana peel tonight.

Boston outscored Utah 34-28 in the third quarter before going to sleep in the fourth and watching the Jazz take it to them 25-13 but it was much too late. Other than the bench scoring (44-14), the two main reasons that the Celts won was that they hit six more 3-pointers (7-1) and dished out eight more assists (22-14).

Up next, the C's travel to Orlando on Friday (7, CSN) to take on the surprising Magic (3-2) who were supposed to be one of the main tanking squads. I guess they didn't get the memo that winning isn't the important thing for a team like them. Boston has a back-to-back as they are in Miami on Saturday.

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