The Celtics continued their month of dominance by beating Charlotte Friday night at the Garden. That makes it 7 out of the last 10 for the Green and inching them closer to that eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
With 1:54 to go in the 3rd quarter, the Celtics trailed by 11 points. Stevens again went to his bench and put in his extremely small lineup, highlighted by a trio of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart. Although the Celtics were giving up size to Al Jefferson, they were able to spread the court and get open shots, which they finally started to make. After realizing that Boston was dictating the pace of the game, Hornet coach Steve Clifford switched to a 2-3 zone defense, yet it did not seem to help. Over the final 14 minutes, this super small lineup absolutely dominated Charlotte by a score of 44-25.
Isaiah Thomas had 28 points and 7 assists off the bench, while Jerebko had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Avery Bradley had 19 points, Crowder had 14 points, and Marcus Smart had 10 points and numerous successful defensive shits to fill out the super small lineup.
The Celtics finished out the month of January and put together the best month of basketball under Head Coach Brad Stevens. Things are looking up for this team as they persevered through an early deficit and rallied to win. Isaiah Thomas has give this team a certain level of swagger that they could ride all the way into the playoffs. The Garden was alive for this one, folks.
By Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS