With NBA games on hold for at least the next month, we’re going to be bringing back a fun feature here at BSJ, Classic Box Score, to help pass the time. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a fun look back at epic games or performances in Celtics history. Please send along your requests for future games in the comments and I’ll try to get to the ones I can in the coming weeks.
To kick things off, let’s go to a bit of an obscure contest that marked the beginning of a crucial era for the Celtics: Brad Stevens' first win as head coach in Boston. A completely overhauled roster awaited the first-time pro coach upon arriving in Boston, full of rookies, overpaid veterans and potential trade chips the front office was set to cash in. Amazingly, Stevens managed to stay close to .500 with this group over his first 30 games of coaching before following into the basement of the Eastern Conference.
The Setup Boston Celtics (0-4) vs. Utah Jazz (0-4) November 6, 2013 TD Garden
The Celtics had opened their season on a four-game losing streak, even though they had been competitive in pretty much every game. Fourth-quarter collapses loomed large in losses against the Bucks, Grizzlies and Raptors, but the stage was set for a possible win against another young team in Utah arriving at the Garden.
The Jazz were starting over this season like the Celtics after losing their top two players (Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap) in free agency. That left 23-year-old Gordon Hayward as their leading scorer with another familiar face (Enes Kanter) getting big minutes off the bench. Nine of the team’s 15 players had three years or less of experience so this was a matchup where the Celtics had the edge.
In the first big move of Stevens’ coaching career, he elected to start journeyman Jordan Crawford at