Zzzzz: Pacers vs. Celtics preview.

By Jon R. LaFollette (@JonFilet) and Dave Searle (@Dave Searle)

Jon: The most exciting moment of the Boston Celtics’ off-season occurred between two people who aren’t associated with the team.

Let’s wind the clocks back to draft night. The C’s were trading away a pair of franchise cornerstones for poop and some picks to Brooklyn,  and Doc Rivers was off to the Left Coast to coach the other L.A. team.

It was all a bit too much for ESPN’s Bill Simmons to handle. Watch as he tries to control his sadness.

Simmons, like any bereaved girlfriend, lashes out – in this instance at Rivers.

Things get dicey from here on out.

Then things got even more ridiculous on Twitter, where Rivers’ son, and awful draft bust Jeremiah Rivers, began attacking Simmons.

That sums up Boston’s summer, yes?

Dave: Pretty much. The Celtics have an embarrassing roster. Their second leading scorer is defensive specialist Avery Bradley. Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace are having so much fun losing with this young squad that Wallace got fined for an obscenity-laced post game rant.

The only highlight to come out of Boston so far is Rajon Rondo’s priceless reaction when he looked at a stat sheet while the Celtics were down 18-1 to the Rockets:

It isn’t all bleak. Brad Stevens (proud idol of geeky-looking Indianapolis basketball junkies such as ourselves) has the Celtics playing solid defense. They have held four teams under 90 points, and they are currently third in the league at defending spot-up jumpers. That is a major source of offense for the Pacers, and it could be a way for…

Just kidding! That was literally the only nice thing I could say about the Celtics. I dug deep into the well of advance metrics, and that was the best I could do. In the event that you were truly enraptured by my spot-shooting stats, it may interest you to know that the Pacers get 17.7% of their offense in such situations. They are fourth in the league in points per spot-shooting play, driven by Paul George. George is scoring 1.39 points per spot-up play, good for seventh overall in the NBA. Fascinating!

Other than those jaw-dropping numbers, the Celtics are super boring. They might be the most boring team in the league. Boston certainly not great at anything, but they aren’t terrible at anything either. They are in the 18-25 range on just about any metric. Not god awful, but not decent. Rajon Rondo isn’t even around to do weird Rondo things. Rondo could at least keep the eyelids open. As it is, this one might be a snoozer on par with the Cavs game earlier this year.

Speaking of the weird side of Rondo, let’s take a look at one on my favorite NBA compilations. Here is a bunch of clips of Rondo doing weird stuff as he receives the tip:


Jon: The highlight of Boston’s season came in a buzzer-beating win on the road in Miami. This is the Mike Dunleavy tip-in moment. Great win, but meaningless in the grand scheme of an 82-game season.

Behold, Celtics fans. The best feeling you’ll get all season.

To Jeff Green’s credit, that was an incredible shot. Hitting a fade-away three as time expires with LeBron James in his face? Congrats, sir.

Have fun doing it against Paul George. Have fun even keeping up with PG.

Prediction: Pacers 92,  Celtics 84.


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