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Celtics to start Gerald Green, bring Amir Johnson off bench in Game 2

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Inserting Gerald Green into the starting lineup worked well for Boston in the first round against Chicago, that is when the Celtics were down 0-2 and turned the series around. Well, it was that and Rajon Rondo getting injured. And the Celtics just becoming more focused defensively.

Whether it works against a far better Cleveland team is another question entirely, but Boston coach Brad Stevens is going to give it a shot, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

Green is more athletic than Amir Johnson and may be slightly better suited to guarding LeBron James, although with the way LeBron is playing it’s all relative.

Expect a better, more determined effort from Boston in Game 2.

Whether that is enough is another question.

Markieff Morris cleared to play in Game 2, will start against Celtics

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After Game 1, Markeiff Morris called his second-quarter ankle sprain the worst of his career, so bad he thought he broke it.

Two days later, he’s playing on it. Which is forcing the Celtics to adjust.

Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports broke the news.

Morris tested his ankle pregame and decided he could make a go of it.

This had to make coach Scott Brooks happy — the Wizards need Morris in this series. In Game 1, the Wizards were +7 with him on the court. Boston likes to play small with Al Horford at the five, Morris allows the Wizards to match that lineup and hold their own. Morris also brings some toughness and attitude to the front court.

It forced Brad Stevens to adjust and start Amir Johnson.

Does adjusting for playoff rotations show Cavaliers’ burden?

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A team’s won-loss record, seed and point difference tell us something about its quality.

But by this point, the second round of the playoffs, many of the players involved in assembling that won-loss record, seed and point difference have changed.

Teams have made in-season trades and signed players after buyouts. Injuries have happened. Rotations have been shortened.

As we did before the playoffs:

I’ve found how many points per 100 possessions teams score and allow when five players projected to be in the postseason rotation are on the floor together.

This is hardly a perfect measure. Teams rarely announce their playoff rotations, so we’re left with my predictions of which players will receive regular playing time. The minutes distribution among players in the adjusted rating can vary from what it’ll be during the playoffs. This doesn’t take into account opponent quality. Some teams have larger samples than others.

But I find it useful, another data point among the many necessary to evaluate the upcoming playoffs. It shows how the players we project to see on the court for the next few months have played together, without someone else affecting the chemistry.

Here’s each team’s offensive, defensive and net ratings adjust from the regular season to counting only lineups (regular season and first round) that include five players projected to be in the playoff rotation (using nbawowy! to calculate):

Eastern Conference

1. Boston Celtics

  • Offensive rating: 112.4 to 114.4 to 116.2
  • Defensive rating: 109.8 to 109.2 to 110.4
  • Net rating: +2.6 to +5.2 to +5.8

3. Toronto Raptors

  • Offensive rating: 113.1 to 116.8 to 113.8
  • Defensive rating:  108.9 to 106.6 to 108.1
  • Net rating: +4.2 to +10.2 to +5.7

4. Washington Wizards

  • Offensive rating: 111.7 to 116.5 to 115.6
  • Defensive rating:  110.0 to 110.7 to 110.5
  • Net rating: +1.7 to +5.8 to +5.1

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Offensive rating: 114.4 to 118.0 to 117.9
  • Defensive rating:  111.1 to 112.1 to 113.6
  • Net rating: +3.3 to +5.9 to +4.3

Western Conference

1. Golden State Warriors

  • Offensive rating: 116.6 to 121.7 to 122.9
  • Defensive rating:  104.9 to 102.9 to 102.8
  • Net rating: +11.7 to +18.8 to +20.1

3. Houston Rockets

  • Offensive rating: 115.5 to 118.5 to 118.1
  • Defensive rating: 109.7 to 109.5 to 109.2
  • Net rating: +5.8 to +9.0 to +8.9

2. San Antonio Spurs

  • Offensive rating: 111.7 to 115.4 to 116.3
  • Defensive rating: 104.2 to 106.9 to 108.1
  • Net rating: +7.5 to +8.5 to +8.2

5. Utah Jazz

  • Offensive rating: 110.7 to 112.5 to 112.9
  • Defensive rating:  106.4 to 107.2 to 104.7
  • Net rating: +4.3 to +5.3 to +8.2

Observations:

  • The Warriors continue to soar above everyone else.
  • The Cavaliers, after a close sweep of the Pacers and better look at their playoff rotation, have the lowest adjusted net rating of the eight remaining teams. They can probably flip a switch, but this shows that’s necessary.
  • Every remaining Western Conference team has a higher adjusted net rating than every remaining Eastern Conference team.
  • I projected the Celtics’ and Wizards’ rotations before their Game 1 yesterday. Boston used a couple more players – Amir Johnson and Jaylen Brown – than I expected. Include them, and the Celtics’ adjusted net rating drops to +5.2.
  • Neither Raul Neto nor Shelvin Mack were included in the Jazz’s projected second-round rotation. Include one of the backup point guards, and Utah’s adjusted net rating drops between half a point and two points per 100 possessions.

Darren Collison scores 26, Kings snap Celtics’ 7-game win streak

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Darren Collison scored 25 points and the Sacramento Kings, playing without suspended All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, snapped the Boston Celtics’ seven-game winning streak with a 108-92 victory Wednesday night.

The Kings played an inspired second half, outscoring the Celtics 59-43. Ben McLemore finished with 17 points, Matt Barnes had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Willie Cauley-Stein also had 14 points. Anthony Tolliver finished with 11.

Isaiah Thomas had 26 points and seven assists for the Celtics in the opener of their four-game road trip. Amir Johnson had 14 points and Al Horford and Marcus Smart each had 10. Boston shot 5 of 15 and was outscored

Cousins was serving an automatic one-game suspension without pay after he picked up two more technical fouls Monday against Chicago, giving him an NBA-worst 16.

Draymond Green delivers questionable leg kick against Celtics (VIDEO)

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Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has had quite a few issues with his wandering legs. The Michigan State product even missed Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals for questionable extracurricular activity, including a kick to Oklahoma City Thunder star Steven Adams in the Western Conference Finals.

Green is on thin ice for this stuff when it comes to the league office. It’s a wonder then why he did it again on Friday night.

As Green was tied up down low against Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, Green swung around his opponent and swung his leg up high against Amir Johnson.

Via B/R:

This isn’t the first time this season Green has tried to kick an opponent. The Warriors star has already taken a shot at Portland Trail Blazers guard Allen Crabbe.

Against the Celtics, Green was whistled for a common foul for tying up Smart.