Boston Celtics Hang Tough in Lottery Race

By Michael LeDuc
Rajon Rondo
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

After failing to make a single move at the trade deadline, the Boston Celtics seem to have a little too much skill on their team to be at the bottom of the league and obtain high-lottery pick. With a rather easy schedule in the upcoming weeks, the feeling was that the Celtics would lose a significant amount of ping-pong balls in the lottery. However, the Celtics blew the lead against the Los Angeles Lakers and suffered a much-needed loss, 101-92.

Not only did the Celtics secure their lottery chances, but they also hindered the Lakers’. The rival teams switched positions in the lottery race with Boston hopping over the Lakers to No. 5.  The fact that its the Lakers makes this feat a little extra sweet.

Some irony was featured in the contest last night at the Staples Center. Jeff Green and Brandon Bass, the two players who most felt needed to be dealt on Thursday, put up big numbers. Green scored 21 points and Bass scored 20 points with eight rebounds. Both players came out hot to give Boston the edge. With the Celtics up by double-digits in the first-half, most fans most likely pulled out their pitchforks and torches in order to raid the house of Danny Ainge for not moving these pieces. Fortunately for Boston, Green and Bass faded down the stretch.

Unlike the Celtics, the Lakers made small moves at the deadline to makes themselves just a little bit worse. Instead, Kent Bazemore and former Celtic MarShon Brooks led a 38 to 18 run in the fourth quarter to beat the Celtics. Brooks and Bazemore were brought to LA to help tank, not help the team come out victorious. Also, who knew that Brooks’ absence would assist the Celtics with their tanking efforts?

All in all, it was job well done by the Celtics. They played hard and were competitive, but still fell short and more importantly, moved up the tankapalooza rankings. With a loss tonight against the Sacramento Kings, the Celtics could move up to No. 4 in the lottery race.

Michael LeDuc is a Boston Celtics writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @mike_leduc, and add him on Google.


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