Around the NBA 12/31: 14 things Celtics fans should know from last night

While the Celtics were suffering by far their worst loss of the season to the Lakers, there were 18 other teams in action. Here are 14 things you should know:


1. The Nets lost at home to the Magic, which moved them to 9-23 on the season and maintained their lead over the Pelicans for the third-worst record in the NBA. Combined with the Lakers win, Brooklyn is now 3.5 games back of having the second-worst record. The Celtics own the Nets unconditional first-round draft pick.

2. The Timberwolves moved to 12-20 as they ended their home-court drought with a 14-point win over the Jazz last night. They are now only two games back of the Utah, who holds the eighth seed in the West. Furthermore, when combined with recent losses by the Suns, Bucks, Nuggets and Kings, Minnesota moved four spots up in the overall league standings from fifth-worst to ninth-worst. Minnesota will convey their first-round pick to the Celtics only if it falls between 13-30. If Minnesota's pick falls between 1-12, they will instead convey their second-round picks in 2016 and 2017. Therefore, this pick would NOT be conveyed if the season ended today because they would be projected to receive the ninth pick in the draft.

3. The Mavericks moved to 19-13 by giving the Warriors their worst loss of the season, 114-91. Unfortunately, if you are a fan of theirs, everyone ahead of them in the Western Conference standings have been winning as well, including the Clippers, who are in the spot ahead of Dallas. With the victory, they hold a two-game lead over the fifth seed and are a half-game back of Los Angeles. Dallas will convey their first-round pick to the Celtics only if it falls between 8-30. If Dallas' pick falls between 1-7, the conditional 2016 pick will become a 2017 first-round pick with the same conditions. Therefore, this pick would be conveyed if the season ended today as they would be projected to receive either the 21st or 22nd pick in the draft.


4. The Celtics lost to the Lakers 112-104.

5. The Nets lost to the Magic 100-93.

6. The 76ers beat the Kings 110-105 for their third win of the season.

7. The Raptors defeated the Wizards 94-91.

Atlantic Division Standings as of 12/31:
Toronto 20-13
Boston 18-14 (1.5 GB)
New York 15-18
Brooklyn 9-23
Philadelphia 3-31


8. WINNERS: Bulls, Magic, Raptors.

9. LOSERS: Celtics, Hornets, Pacers.

10. Notable Change: with the Celtics losing and three teams who were already tied or ahead of them winning, they moved down two slots from the sixth to the eighth seed. They are a half-game ahead of the Hornets, who are in ninth place. Lastly, they are only one-game back of the fourth-seeded Bulls; however, the Magic, Pacers and Heat also stand between them and Chicago.

Eastern Conference Standings as of 12/31:
1. Cavaliers 21-9
2. Hawks 21-13
3. Raptors 20-13
4. Bulls 18-12
5. Magic 19-13
6. Pacers 18-13
7. Heat 18-13
8. Celtics 18-14
Hornets 17-14
Pistons 17-15


11. Rajon Rondo played 39 minutes in the Kings loss to the 76ers last night. He finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 14 assists, 7 turnovers and 5 fouls. Sacramento was plus-one with Rondo on the bench and minus-six with him on the floor.

12. Brandon Bass played 24 minutes in his return to Boston in a Lakers uniform. He finished 2-4 from the field, with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. However, he was minus-two for the game as well.

13. Paul Pierce started and played 21 minutes in the Clippers win over the Hornets. He shot 4-9 from the field and finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. The team has really taken off since adding to Pierce’s minutes and putting him in the starting lineup. He was plus-six on the night as well.

14. Kevin Garnett started and played 16 minutes in the Timberwolves double-digit win over the Jazz last night. He made four of his five shots and finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds. He was plus-12 on the night.


Bucks @ Pacers
Timberwolves @ Pistons
Warriors @ Rockets
Clippers @ Pelicans

Follow Max Sandgrund on Twitter @SotoSpeakz