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NBA Links: Celtics wrap; catching up on the Bulls; and a few former Pistons partying in LA this week

It's Thursday and we are on board with the links today, folks.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports


A Celtics perspective on the game:

WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Personal fouls and timeouts

The Celtics were whistled for 35 fouls. The Pistons shot 74.4 percent from the charity stripe on 32-of-43 shots. The Celtics were responsible for the Hack-a-Drummond — when they intentionally put Andre Drummond on the line for six attempts (3-6), and the intentional fouls at the end of the game but aside from those the Celtics have to play better defense. Although some calls were questionable ones, the Celtics have to find a way to get themselves to the line when their offense is struggling — like it was tonight. The Celtics went 20-for-24 from the line.

Although 1.8 isn't a lot of time in basketball, the Celtics could have set up a game-tying play at the end if they had one more timeout. Stevens has to do a better job conserving his timeouts to give his young team a chance at the end of games.

DUD OF THE NIGHT: Avery Bradley

Bradley scored five points on 2-for-8 shooting. His jump shot looked flat and so did his defense on Pistons guard Caldwell-Pope.

Really enjoyed reading that last sentence. May we please have more defenders looking 'flat' against KCP. And just plain derp against KCP is great too.

Bulls still looking for identity under first-year coach Fred Hoiberg -- ESPN

Study time guys and girls -- get caught up a bit on the streaking Chicago Bulls, winners of four straight. Detroit plays at Chicago tomorrow night (Friday, December 18th).

At 14-8, Chicago's season is hardly a disappointment, but the Bulls have yet to find their identity under Hoiberg, whose team ranks among the NBA's least efficient teams offensively. They are averaging 98 points per 100 possessions, better than only the lottery-bound Brooklyn NetsLos Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers. And their true shooting percentage of 51.0 is near the bottom as well, only better than the Lakers (50.7), Detroit Pistons (50.1) and the 76ers (49.9).

Hoiberg walked into an incredibly difficult situation after all the success Thibodeau and the Bulls enjoyed over the past five seasons. There's still time for this group to right itself and find the offensive flow Hoiberg envisions, but the early warning signs haven't been hard to miss. The Bulls don't look like a team that is having fun playing together, much like they looked at the end of last season. There are more frustrated glances and exchanged words than there have been in a long time.

NBA trade season is underway. Here are a few names to watch -- SB Nation

Some more talk about players that have already come up as likely to be dealt soon. However, there's a mention about Joe Johnson too.

If Jodie Meeks wasn't set to come back this season, I wonder if Joe would be on Detroit's radar?

Joe Johnson: That massive six-year, $124 million deal he signed with the Atlanta Hawks in 2010 is finally coming to an end, which means the 34-year-old swingman is no longer a player impossible to move. Of course, Johnson is also no longer the player he once was (11.2 points per game on 36 percent shooting), but he's still a big wing with the ability to score.

Pistons' Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has shut down the league's best point guards -- Fox Sports

Missed this from last week, but it's not like we all don't know about the work KCP is doing.

"Stephen Curry has matched up with a number of elite defenders to begin this season, but only one managed to keep him under 40 percent shooting from the floor: Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who limited Curry to 22 points on 7-18 shooting.

Caldwell-Pope also contained Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook this season. While the Pistons went 1-2 in those contests, the trio of point guards combined to shoot a woeful 34.4 percent from the field when being guarded by Caldwell-Pope. "

Milwaukee Bucks partying at strip club morning of Lakers loss -- TMZ (short video)

Seems certain members of the Bucks aren't super serious about improving that stinky 10-17 record.

O.J. MayoGreg MonroeKhris Middleton and Miles Plumlee rolled into Ace of Diamonds L.A. on Monday night ... and we're told they stayed a little after 2 AM.

The Bucks played the woefully bad Lakers on Tuesday night and lost -- just days after upsetting the previously undefeated Golden State Warriors -- leaving many people scratching their heads.

And this is interesting ... Monroe was a late scratch for the Lakers game, citing a knee injury he apparently suffered at a practice hours after he left the strip club.

And, shockingly, Buck's head coach Jason Kidd isn't a fan of such tomfoolery.

Kidd on players in road cities: "You're going to go have dinner and you have to be responsible."

— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) December 17, 2015

Asked if any internal discipline for 4, Kidd said: "We had that discussion today, so that was enough discipline to have to listen to me."

— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) December 17, 2015

Come on Bucks players (at least the ones frequenting strip joints), you guys need to work on making your strip joint runs more 'responsible' -- I suggest perhaps leaving by 1AM at least. Or just don't get caught out that late. Or, just win more games so people/media will shut up. Win a lot more. Or rather, don't. The East is already competitive enough as it is. Yeah, so just don't win. Keep partying before every road game no matter the opponent.


I once partied in Beijing until 430AM and had a rec-game five and a half hours later. I shot 2-7 from the field (the usual) and played crappier defense than usual. I thought the Chinese refs were speaking German the whole game. Heck, I don't remember who won the game. I'm not sure where I'm going with this but hope your day is productive anyway, Pistons fans. Feel free to share your party hard stories hours before hitting the court, field, whatever.