|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 31, 2014 at 2:35 AM||comments (4)|
Well, the site formly known as Celtics Title Town is now Celtics Today. We have finally changed web hosts, and now you can catch our stuff over at Celticstoday.com.
So please join us. I would have liked to keep the old name, but I felt like the change, plus my old web host wouldn't change over the domain. This is finally the last post at this site. So click the link above to catch our new site.
|Posted by Morena on January 30, 2014 at 3:05 PM||comments (1)|
The game was not very appealing - the last two teams of the Atlantic Division of the Easter Conference facing each other: almost same record and both team coming into this game with a three-game losing streak going on.
Yet, I was waiting for this game. The Celtics played a pretty awful game against the Knicks on Tuesday, once again not stepping on the court as a team and unable to get things done individually. I wanted to see if my team learned something from that game, I wanted to see my team and be able to recognize it. And I can’t say I’m disappointed by the effort. I’d just wish to be able to write about a win.
The game was a balanced one, with both teams not shooting well; we turned the ball over a lot, but Philly didn’t take advantage of that, scoring 15 points, just three more that the Celtics. We totally outplayed them off the boards, thanks to Sully’s monster game, but they scored a lot more in points in the paint. In the end, the game was decided in the last 10 seconds, when Humphries missed a shot while Turner scored on the buzzer.
That’s not to say it was Humphries fault if we lost; on the contrary, the guys almost recorded a double double off the bench playing 20 minutes. After the first quarter in which he scored no points, Hump make the best out of the minutes Stevens gave him, also attacking the basket earning 8 free throws. Hump is also one of the few guys with a good shooting percentage, last night and in the last month.
Even shooting 36%, there’s no question that Sully was the best player on the court last night. The guy finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds, to go with a pair of assists. Before the game, Stevens told him that they needed him to be some years ahead of his age on the field, and Sully showed he got the message, and with Rondo out, he stepped up and tried everything to lead the team to a victory. He finished 9for25 from the field, but even if he struggled, he kept fighting until the very last minute.
All the bench guys came up big last night for the team:
Bayless was back after missing some games with a foot injury, and reminded us why trading for him wasn’t a mistake: Jerryd struggled shooting the ball as most of the guys, but still finished with 10 points and four rebounds making up for the couple of turnovers with 3 steals. The guy seem to put in the effort, and I think he can be pretty valuable for us off the bench.
Once again, I can’t avoid to say something about Johnson: Chris is really playing some unbelievable basketball for us. Last night he finished with 6 points and 5 rebounds in twenty minutes. He earned another 10 days contract, but I honestly hope the Celtics will keep him even further. I also love his fighting attitude: when a couple of nights ago Stevens asked him if he was hurt and he answered that he can’t be hurt right now, he showed how determined he is.
Olynyk played a really good game. In 18 minutes, Kelly scored 9 points on 4for8 shooting to go with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a couple of blocks. He didn’t get the chance to play a lot of minutes, but he sure earned every one of them.
Now a day off before the Magic come to town.
We’ll have to seek a revenge against those guys.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 30, 2014 at 7:15 AM||comments (1)|
Durant has made it clear that this is his year. For the MVP, and for his Thunder to be regarded as the best team in the NBA. Wednesday night Durant proved it all in a regular season game against James. Durant has now scored at least 30 points in 12 straight games after his 33 points against the Heat.
I feel like were going to be apart of a great rivalry for the next 5 plus years.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 30, 2014 at 7:00 AM||comments (1)|
Rajon Rondo is leader and captain of the Boston Celtics. That doesn't mean he cant get help,and especially this season when he's mentally, physically getting back to what he once was. Sullinger, and some others are in line trying to take the load off of Rondo who just returned. That's been the case for most of the season. There has been a new leader every night. KG's not walking through those doors, and Paul Pierce is not walking through those doors. The proof in that was Sunday.
Sullinger has the most potential with the Celtics, along with Bradley of course. Outside of that, do you think Green is the leader type? Not with this team, Green is a guy who goes with the flow, with an occasional break out game. The real leaders of this squad are Rondo, Sully, and Bradley. So that's likely reason behind coach Stevens pushing so hard with Sully.
“First of all, I did say, ‘Hey, I realize you're playing through the hand and the finger,’ because he’s a tough guy, he wants to play, he likes to play and I value that, and I think highly of him for that,” Stevens said. “And one of the things that I just challenged him on is not having to accept being a (21)-year-old in the league.
"We are in a unique situation in that we're asking some of our young guys to be almost leaders, and almost more vocal in their approach. My talking point with him was, ‘I know you're (21), but you're a mature basketball player, you know the game, and for our team to grow we need for you to maybe play and be a few years ahead of where you are.’ And it's not fair to him, but it's a great opportunity for him, so that was my challenge to him.”
The 21-year-old Sullinger responded by posting a game high 24 points and 17 rebounds. He's been dealing with the finger, and he's lost his touch. Sullinger got back to what he does. Does Sullinger have the chops to lead this Celtics team with Rondo? Maybe, he's got the rest of this season to show that, and maybe next season. He's only 21, and he has a lot to prove this franchise. I think he's got this teams ear though, or it seems that way.
Sullinger's rebounding prowess has most fans wanting more, and hoping for more when his career progresses. Some fans have big goals for Sullinger, and count me as one of them. I really hope he can live up to his skill set.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 30, 2014 at 2:30 AM||comments (0)|
Humphries had a near double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. After a stint in the starting lineup, Humphries has moved back to the bench, and I'm not sure why exactly, but he's still playing with a purpose regardless.He's been a guy moved around in this lineup, or he's been a player who didn't see much time, but unlike some other guys on the roster. Humphries has been a true professional.So how does he stay so positive after the team struggles?
"If you have animals you go home hang out with them and spend time with family and you focus on your hobby when not your practicing. When you are practicing you practice hard and get ready for the next game."
Humphries is solid, and he plays within his abilities.He gives effort every single game,and I really hope the Celtics can bring him back on a solid contract that won't hurt the future. At best maybe the Celtics can turn him into a nice player, if the Celtics are unable to bring him back. Maybe a sign and trade this summer. I would rather see him stay.
I don't think Humphries is the future when it comes to help leading the Celtics back to title contention, but he's a player that can help in some ways for that quest. He can be a solid big off the bench, and in a bind he can provide you with a double-double.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 30, 2014 at 2:05 AM||comments (0)|
The Celtics had another crushing loss at the hands of the 76ers. Sullinger had one of those games that shows us what could be. He's been hampered with the disloacted finger, and instead of jacking up three's or deep jumpers. Sully went on the block, and did what he does best. He pulled down 17 boards, and put in 24 points.
Sully's short chart this season.
Sully's been encouraged all season to take the three when it presents itself. Sully, as you can see in the chart struggles from three, unless it's straight on. In the arc he's a solid jumper shooter. Sully has attempted 291 shot attempts within 8ft, and he's shooting 50%. Sullinger isn't going to dunk over guys, but his foot work, and moves inside are strong, and his baby hook is rare in today's NBA. Sullinger has been the most up beat guy after every loss, and he continues to believe in this team.I believe
"I think we have a good set of guys in here that keeps our morale at a good level. We constantly come out and compete, other then last night and we bounced back tonight and competed. We just got to win some."
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 30, 2014 at 1:55 AM||comments (0)|
The Celtics have without a doubt missed Bradley. They've missed the All-NBA defender, and his offense.AB is averaging a career-high 14.5 points per game this season along with
4.1 rebounds. He has been the rock of the Celtics this season, and the Celtics certainly could have used him on that last play tonight. It will be a nice seen seeing him back this Sunday.
"I don't see any reason why right now why he wouldn't play on Sunday," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after a 95-94 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 30, 2014 at 1:20 AM||comments (1)|
During the early days of this blog, I had to deal with the dreadful lockout. During that time my disliked for Stern grew even more. I don't believe he hurt the game with the last lockout, and I don't believe he fixed a thing, but honestly it's hard to say much about the backlash of the lockout, most of the changes are barley in effect, and will start to really hurt teams next season, as Stern walks out.
The players took a massive pay cut, and Stern's owner friends get to keep their pockets much fuller. Stern's approach about his official's is bull in so many ways, and during Stern's watch he had a dirty ref, if not more corruption.Stern's 30 years has seen many conspiracy theories, or facts. I believe it's a little bit of both. Stern is about the all mighty dollar.
Stern did make the NBA into something, it wasn't all corruption, or him being an arrogant ass. He made the game global, and he utilized the likes of Bird, Magic, and Michael to build his empire.
At his best, Stern was a visionary. He globalized the game. He globalized the league. He built a television -- and real life -- empire. Bottom line: Stern will leave the NBA in a much better place than when he found it. And working under the assumption that nobody’s perfect, there’s not a whole lot more you can ask for.
At his worst, Stern was smug. He was condescending. He was a tyrant. He provided the basketball world with a glimpse into what life’s like under a dictatorship. He was self-serving and ruthless. Even worse, at times, it seemed that he got off on being ruthless. That he enjoyed it. Forget Austin Powers. Stern was Dr. Evil’s real long lost brother.
This article dives into Sterns darker side, here are some stories from the article.
THE CELTICS VS. DAVID STERN
Case 1: Showdown with Jesus
Background: Four months into Stern’s tenure, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird faced off in the commissioner’s first NBA Finals. Two week’s later, the commissioner met his first conspiracy theory —
The scene is the visitors’ locker room at the old Forum. The Lakers had just beaten the Celtics in Game 6 (to force a Game 7) and Bird was asked for his thoughts:
“Stern told a fan that the NBA needed a seven-game series, that the league needed the money,” he told Shaughnessy. “When the commissioner makes a statement like that to a fan, you know it's going to be tough. When Stern makes a statement like that, things are going to happen. You just don't make statements like that and not expect anything out of it. He's the commissioner and he shouldn't be saying anything like that. The NBA wanted a seventh game because they wanted to make more money and they got their wish. There is no reason for me to lie. He said it. He's a man and he'll live up to it. He may say he said it in jest. But I'm out there trying to make a living and win a championship."
Stern never lived up to it. In fact, he never discussed the accusations publicly. Although through a league rep, he eventually called Bird’s comment “ridiculous.”
Case for Stern: The Celtics had a 35-to-17 edge in Game 6 free throw attempts. Bird himself had 13.
Case for Celtics: It’s a little curious that Stern never fined Bird for those comments. I mean, Larry said some pretty volatile stuff. That is, unless everything he said was true.
And anyway, Bird was just out there trying to make a living and win a championship.
Verdict: The refs may not have screwed with that game, but that doesn’t mean Bird’s story was inaccurate. The lack of fine leads the court to believe that Stern said something that he shouldn’t have, even if it was a joke. And that Bird had every right to put the young, hot shot commissioner in his place.
Court rules in favor of the Celtics.
Case 4: Everything Red
Background: That story about Red accosting Stern in the private room is only one of many classic interactions between the two. Red loved going after Stern. He loved messing with him. Red treated Stern the way Seth treated McLovin.
There was the time that Stern was on camera presenting the NBA Coach of the Year award, made reference to the award’s corporate sponsor, but forgot to mention that the trophy itself was named after Auerbach.
Here’s Stern telling the story of what happened next:
"Red called me up to express what could mildly be described as his displeasure, directed that his name be forcibly removed from the proceedings, or else he was going to come down and remove it himself," Stern said. "By the end of the phone call, he accepted my assurance that it would never happen again and that the Red Auerbach Trophy would henceforth always be presented with mention of the person after whom it was named. He was very proud of that."
Then there was the time (2001) when Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker were snubbed in the All Star Game.
“I'm really upset at David Stern and the league." Auerbach said. “They should have picked (Antoine) Walker. Let me ask you this: Would you trade Antonio Davis for Walker? It's just plain dumb. Picking Sprewell over [Paul] Pierce was bad enough. But this was worse, and I will tell him that.”
And he did tell him that.
"Red expressed his displeasure to me as only he could," Stern said. “The situation was that we needed a backup center for Dikembe Mutombo. It was a tough one, but we went by position, the same way we did in the Western Conference with Vlade Divac. I know how he feels. I don't blame him. I'm sure he will share those feelings with me again in his own inimitable style.”
And finally, around that same time, McDonough (never a friend of Stern’s) caught up with Red, and the Celtics legend went off:
“I like David Stern as a person, and I consider him a friend, but he's always giving Boston the short end of the deal," Auerbach said. "I called up to complain before the game was played. We didn't have a single player picked to be in Washington. We had no one in the game, or the slam-dunk contest, or the 3-point contest. Ridiculous.
“Then take this schedule we are playing right now,” he continued. “It's a killer. A few years back, I complained when they gave us eight straight games on the road. It's unheard of. No one else has a schedule like that. So I complained. The next year they cut it to seven in a row. Big deal. Last year it was six. Now it's back up to seven. Why us?"
Case for the Celtics: He’s Red Auerbach.
Case for Stern: N/A
Verdict: Another victory cigar for Red.
The 1984 incident sounds like Stern, and it sounds like the 2002 Western Conference Finals when Stern screwed the Kings out of a trip to the NBA Finals. I will always believe that Stern was corrupt. If it's not, then he did a poor job running his league, and running the refs who believe they are bigger then the game.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 30, 2014 at 1:15 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 29, 2014 at 11:35 PM||comments (0)|
The Celtics trailed by 14 in the second quarter, and it took the Celtics until the 11 minute mark in the 4th to take a 76-74 lead. After that the Celtics would build a 84-78 lead, but soon after it was a back forth match between two of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers missed 2-of-6 free throws in the final two minutes to help the Celtics hang onto a 1 point lead. Jarred Sullinger had a great night, Sullinger finished with team highs with 24 points and 17 rebounds. Sully had an attempt to give the Celtics a 3 point lead, but missed the jumper. The Celtics had another chance to take a 3 point lead,but Humphries missed the jumper.
With under 10 seconds to go, Michael Carter-Williams had a questionable dribble, or carry, that should have been a turnover, but what can you do. Carter-Williams got the ball to Evan Turner, and he nailed the game winner over Bayless and Sully to give the 76ers a 95-94 win at the buzzer. This was another close loss at home. Jeff Green started fast scoring 13 first quarter points, but went quiet later while putting up 18 points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Celtics (15-33) have now lost four straight and 16 of 18 overall. The loss flip-flops them with Philadelphia in the standings, giving Boston the third-worst record in basketball. Wow, this season at this point is about so much more then the record, still tough to swallow.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 29, 2014 at 6:30 AM||comments (1)|
This kid came out of nowhere, and it's been one of the bright spots for me watching him give it his all. Chris Johnson in his five games in the NBA, is putting up 10.4 points per game, along with nearly 3 rebounds per game. His go get it attitude has rubbed off on me, and I hope it has for others on the Celtics.
“He is playing unbelievable,” Rajon Rondo said. “He’s playing very well right now. He’s shooting the ball extremely well. He is doing everything coach is asking from him and I am rooting for him.”
“I’m a fan of him. I wish him the best. Each night he plays with us, practices with us, he shows a lot of heart,” Brandon Bass said. “Hopefully we sign him for the rest of the year.”
Blakely of CSNNE believes the Celtics should start Johnson. I would have to say why not. Send a message to Jeff Green. Move Wallace to small forward, and use Johnson at shooting guard for now.
"The easiest transition to making Johnson a starter would be to have him replace Gerald Wallace at shooting guard, although a few - OK, quite a few of you - would probably prefer seeing him on the floor in place of Jeff Green who continues to struggle shooting the ball."
I still would love to see Green moved to the bench. Green has benched a couple of times this season in the 4th quarter, so let's just take him out of the staring unit. Johnson has given mx effort, so Stevens should reward him. What do you guys think. Should Johnson start?
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 29, 2014 at 6:00 AM||comments (2)|
Rondo is many things, he's a proven tough player who fights through injuries, and he has one of the best basketball I.Q's in the game of basketball. Rondo also recently called himself humble after a year away from NBA basketball. Rondo has certainty started off the season rocky, but that should be expected. He's got a new coach, and a bunch of new teammates. Plus he's getting his footing back, timing and speed are everything in sports.
"I felt like I was He-Man," Rondo said following practice on Saturday, one year to the day of his injury. "I took longer than I wanted to, but I wanted to do the right thing. I'm not trying to rush to get back to do a contract or trying to rush to prove anything. You only get one opportunity for a shot at this so I don't want to rush back to mess up something else that could go wrong."
I will always remember game 3 of the second round in 2011. Wade pulled a cheap move, and Rondo came out with one arm basically and led the Celtics to victory. He's proven his toughness many times, but that moment sticks with me. Rondo also played on his torn ACL during an overtime game against the Hawks, and he truly wanted to play against Heat.
"I wanted to play against the Heat that day. I wanted to play, period," Rondo said. "I thought I was in a good rhythm. I think I had two triple-doubles the two games prior, so I felt like I was in a good groove. I felt like I almost mastered a triple-double at that time. I knew how to get them and still win games. Even though we lost that Atlanta game, I played through an ACL injury and I took a lot of credit for that game, but I didn't know I had a torn ACL."
I love how Rondo has figured out the art of getting a triple-double, and I think he will again. He nearly pulled one off against the Nets this past Sunday.
"A lot of people always talk to me and tell me to stay positive, be patient, it'll come," Rondo said. "Rome wasn't built in a day. I've been out a year of basketball. It won't come back to me as quickly as I want it to be, but I still have the natural instincts and the mental part to do it. It's just that the physical part is a little bit behind."
All very true advice given to Rondo. Rondo was blocked a few times getting to the lane against New York, and I felt like it was a big step. Rondo was getting to his spots and figuring it all out. But the athletic side of it all wasn't on Rondo's side. He still has the I.Q, and with his patience. everything will fall into place.
"I accepted it [the injury] when it happened," he said. "It was frustrating not playing, but I didn't really watch much basketball. It's not entertaining to me really. If I'm not playing, if I'm not scouting, I don't like to watch it."
"Life is more important than just basketball, really," Rondo said. "Basketball's only so much of who I am. There's a lot of things that go on outside of basketball. Basketball is just what I do for a living. People get caught up in just thinking I just play basketball because obviously the spotlight that I'm in. But at the end of the day there's a lot of things that I do besides play basketball."
Rondo is maturing, and I believe that statement is a genuine response, and he speaks the truth. It sounds like Rondo had a lot of soul searching during his rehab. This entire process has forced Rondo to grow, and this little bit of aversity has been a total life change in all parts of who Rondo is.
"It's still the same. I can do anything I want to, anything I can put my mind to. I'm just a little more humble. It was a humbling experience. That's what I got from it the most part, I'm more humble. I'm still cocky but I've been more humble."
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 29, 2014 at 2:45 AM||comments (0)|
It's clear as day that Rondo's teammates haven't become accustomed to Rajon's ways. I don't think that was the case in the Knicks loss, the effort was awful, and you could say Rondo was apart of the problem, or he was just continuing to work on his timing and getting to know his team. Sure, Rondo had time on the bench watching this team play, but that doesn't translate in every case.
So what did Rondo think of the Celtics getting picked apart?
"We didn’t take anything away tonight. We gave them whatever they wanted. They are a three-point shooting team and they did that. They took away stuff from us and we didn’t take away anything from them."
"It was effort. It was everything. We didn’t do anything well individually and they exposed us."
The Knicks nailed 10-of-20 from three-point land. The Knicks controlled the paint out scoring the Celtics 44-36. The Celtics did limit the Knicks to just 8 fast break points. So the Celtics did some good things. What did the Celtics in, lack of effort, and the Knicks wanted to shove it to the Celtcs.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 29, 2014 at 2:05 AM||comments (0)|
The Boston Celtics were handed one of their worst losses of the season. The Knicks returned the favor after the Celtics blew the Knicks out by 41 points at MSG. The lack of effort was hard to watch, but the execution was just eye opening. In past years the Celtics ran the same stuff, they had a plan, they scouted teams differently. Things right now are not about that, this is a new system, with basically new players after a couple of trades, and after a couple of injuries. This is a team rebuilding, and rebuilding a system under Brad Stevens. Things won't run perfectly.
To go back to what I said about running the same stuff, and about having plan. That didn't always work, and honestly Doc's ability to change was poor. As for Stevens, I'm not shifting the blame to him. That's not the point that I'm trying to make. The issue comes down changeover in the roster, and just plain inconsistent play from Jeff Green, Sully, and Bass.
"It was a good old fashioned butt kicking. That is what it was. I don’t think I have to described it that much, we all were sitting there and watched it."
Bass got the start Tuesday against the Knicks, and he scored 4 points, and grabbed 4 rebounds in 17 minutes. As for Green, after his 39 point performance, Green has posted 14 against the Knicks, 8 points against the Nets, and 16 points against the Thunder. I think the next time Green scores 30 plus points in a game, it could be Danny's best chance of trading Green. Sullinger is a different story, he is bothered with a dislocated/sprain finger in his shooting hand. Sully's stats are not good at all, he's averaging 8.4 points per game, and a decent 6.8 rebounds. He's also shooting 34% from the field, and he's 1-of-13 from three.
The Celtics are still in the playoff picture, and honestly I don't care, I just want them to start executing what they should, and maybe I'm asking too much. Can I just see more consistent play from Green, Bass, and Sully?
"We have to get more connected; we have to get more together. We don’t have a lot of time together with some of these guys that are playing for us right now. Those guys are really having some pretty good moments, the new ones. We have to get everyone back on one page playing as well as can. We have to analyze and look at what we’re doing collectively because we’re going through a drought right now, scoring. The way we defended, we wouldn’t have beaten them even if we scored tonight.
Stevens hits it on the head. The Celtics are not reading the same book, Rondo's reading "Gone with the Wind", and Green is reading "Of Mice and Men". I don't know, but Tommy mentioned on the broadcast that the team just looks disconnected. It's the truth, and Stevens end game this year is to have them connected by seasons end.
Quotes from Celtics.com
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 28, 2014 at 11:00 PM||comments (0)|
This was over in the first quarter, the Celtics couldn't score, and nobody wanted to shoot the ball at times, which made for bad shot attempts. Rajon Rondo was 3-of-13, and a lot of that has to do with his timing, he'll get it, he was the most aggressive. Rondo finished with 7 points and 5 assists. The Celtics lost 114-88, and it was payback from Boston beating the Knicks by 41 points.
The Celtics are now (15-32), and losers of three straight, and they have dropped 15 of their last 17 games.As for something good, Chris Johnson, put up 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting over 22 minutes.He was just signed to his second 10-Day contract, and he continues to play well. For a good chunk of the game the Celtics shot 28-30% from the field, they surprisingly improved by the end of the game. They shot 39% from the field.
This may have been the worst loss of the season. The Celtics had two other games to compare this one to. The Houston game, and the Denver games were bad,but something about this one screamed worst of the year. The Celtics looked like a team that didn't know each other. They effort wasn't there. Jeff Green had a team-high 14 points, but he was 4-of-13, and he was just jacking up bad shots. The Celtics will have a chance to go back home against Philly tomorrow night to get this nasty taste out of their mouths. Will see.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 28, 2014 at 7:15 AM||comments (0)|
The Celtics are 15-31, and 4 games out of the 8th seed in the East, which would equal to a quick out by the hands of Indiana. Most fans at this point may have moved onto something different in what they want this season. I've come to the point in which I don't know what I want. I guess what I really want is to see this team winning games the right way, and this squad improving game by game with Rondo. If we make the playoffs, that's fine, and if we don't that's fine. The Celtics will likely end up with a lottery pick this year, and maybe that's for the best at this point.
I don't take that the wrong way. I'm not saying the work tank. Like I said, I want to see this team win the right way, and improving with Rondo each game. I just don't see the Celtics as an 8th seed like the 2007 Warriors, or the Grizzlies of 2011. Plus why would we want to see the Pacers lose, there the best hope to knocking off the Heat. Putting all of that aside. What about the current string of games on tap for the Celtics.
- @ Knicks 17-27, but winners of their last two behind Melo's 62 point game the other night.
- Home against the 76ers who are 14-31.
- Home against the Magic who are 12-33.
- @ 76ers who are 14-31 as of right now.
- Home against the Kings who are 15-29, and in last place in the West. Plus Gay and Cousins have been on the mend with injuries.
- Home against the Mavs who are playoff bond with a 26-20 record.
- @ Bucks who have the worst record in the game at 8-36.
The Celtics have games in which they can win, and more importanylu games they can build from. The Celtics will probably be without Bradley for some of these games if not all of the. It's a shame, the Rondo/Bradley backcourt seems to always hit a snag because of injuries. This could be the Celtics last chance to cut into the gap for the 8th seed. It's now or never for the playoffs.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 28, 2014 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
Paul Pierce will be a free agent this summer, and that leaves the door open for a possible return to Boston. A lot of what ifs follow a possible return. Such as, does Danny want to bring him back during a rebuild? Does Pierce want to leave KG in Brooklyn? What if KG retires this summer? As much as I love Paul Pierce, I don't know if it's for the best if he returns. I hate to say that, but I don't see Pierce taking a veteran minimum deal next year either. He'll get paid 5-7 million maybe. That's just my guess.
I feel like the torch has been passed to Rondo, and bringing back a Celtics legend like Pierce would hurt Rondo's captain status. Perhaps that's not even the case, and maybe Pierce could take a bench role with this team. Maybe he just wants to retire with this franchise, maybe it's a dream of his that will come true. A lot of what ifs remain about his possible return this summer.
Mike Gorman had this to say about Pierce's possible return with the Celtics.
"Paul has a great attachment to Boston. He always wanted to retire a Celtic and he had no desire to go anywhere. He wanted to retire a Celtic and still wants to come back, which I think is a possibility. Paul's contract is up at the end of this year, and the question is does he want to continue to play or not? I asked him directly last night and he really left the door wide open. He said he would come back and work in the front office, assistant coach, he smiled and said he would come back as a player and really smiled and said he would come back as a broadcaster. Paul wants to stay in basketball, and his heart remains in Boston. He knew he was connected to this city, but when he left and came back he really knew how connected he was."
Paul still could retire after this year. I don't think he'll do that. But what about possible return with Doc in Pierce's hometown? I could see that over a return with the Celtics.
Mike and Paul interview
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 28, 2014 at 2:25 AM||comments (0)|
(Durant's game winner of Atlanta)
I felt for years that Durant had an upper hand on James, but two championships later for James has him just above Durant. James first NBA title came against Durant and the Thunder, who improved every season at that point, and they seemed poised for a title last season before Westbrook was out for the playoffs, allowing James to win his second title.James may have dogged a bullet last year, but it seems as if that bullet is coming full speed ahead.
Durant is clearly the leagues MVP this year, and award that James has owned for the past 4 out of 5 seasons. I hate to sound like a hater, but I think James was given two of those MVP's. Kobe should have won the MVP in 2009, and 2012 should have went to Durant. That's not really a story, just personal opinion. Durant's current has been without Westbrook who has played in 25 games this year. The Thunder will likely get Westbrook back after the All-Star game, and without him they don't win the title, despite Durant's run right now.
Durant is currently averaging a career best 31.1 points per game,and that number seems to be on the rise. In Durant's past 4 games he's averaging 38.8 points per game, and he seems to be playing at his peak right now. He currently has a streak of 11 games of 30 or more points.
The Thunder are 36-10 with the best record in the West, and they have the second best record in the NBA. The Heat and Thunder will clash this Wednesday in Miami, and the Thunder fill face a test of wills in Miami.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 28, 2014 at 1:05 AM||comments (1)|
It's great knowing that there is no bad blood between Rondo and his former teammates. Rondo, KG, and Pierce went out to dinner the night before Sunday's reunion, and KG and Pierce give Rondo their stamp of approval to take this franchise to the next level. Since 2010, when Rondo drove this team into the NBA Finals. He was the best player in Green, he was dubbed the leader since, but he wasn't truly the guy that this team looked at. It was Paul and Kevin. Now Rondo's the 15th captain of the Boston Celtics, and it's his legacy that he's building.
"I think he's ready now," Pierce said. "Rondo is mature. He understood what was coming, and I think he was ready. Before he had Kevin and me to lean on, and now he's the guy. He's the captain. He's who everybody looks to for leadership and I think he's ready. He's grown, he's matured. He's seen the bottom, he's seen the top, and he's gotta understand that it's his team to lead through good and through bad. And I think he understands that. He's ready for that responsibility. He's ready to deal with it."
Pierce and Garnett met with Rondo on Saturday night to have dinner with their former teammate. There they discussed Rondo's situation in Boston and Pierce and Garnett relayed the similar experiences that they went through.
"I think he took notes last night as we were tailing to him," Garnett said. "More importantly I think we stressed to set the tone and be the example even when he didn't want to. I always talk to him about being professional. Being a professional, you don't get to pick and choose when you wanna do that. Understand the pedigree of champion that you don't let losing become something usual. You keep that mentality of some are not gonna follow, but most will.
"You're the example and you're having a voice to just do it by example," Garnett added. "Rondo is ready. I think he's very comfortable in his role here. I think he understood the transition once it was happening. I think he's the type of person that has the type of mentality with the personality to do just that. He'll be alright."
Rondo witnessed three Hall of Fame players, and what it takes to lead. Rondo doesn't need to follow their script, but he can take bits and pieces from their scripts, along with his own ways to form his script of being a leader with the Celtics. Rondo has taken big steps this year during his rehab, and he's shown great maturity this season. The Celtics franchise is in good hands with Rajon, and will see if both sides agree when he becomes a free agent.
Rondo's legacy isn't close to being finished in Boston. Sunday's game was a look into his future, if everything goes right for Rondo in Boston.
|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 28, 2014 at 12:45 AM||comments (3)|
This has been a topic for years, but after Sunday's game. It's clear, if it wasn't before, that the fans love and appreciate KG's time in Boston. How can he not have his number retired after spending 6 years with Boston. KG raised a banner, and had great team success in Boston. His numbers were not Minnesota type numbers, but sometimes retiring numbers doesn't have to be about the numbers. KG put his stamp on the Celtics franchise, he changed the culture, and his arrival brought the Celtics franchise out of a funk. KG gets my vote.
So what about Ray Allen? Ray spent 5 years with the Celtics, and he won a ring, and he made his presents felt with this franchise, but should he have his number retire for his services. Let's look at this way. Ray did leave, KG was traded. I know KG had the no trade clause, but honestly, Danny was making a trade, nothing was stopping him. I'll be honest, I don't think Ray falls into the category of retiring number 20. Ray didn't have the same culture changing qualities of KG, lets face it KG is regarded as one of the best to play the game. Ray is, but Ray for a lot of people is the greatest shooter in the game ever. Maybe, I'm still bitter of Ray, and I can't see past his departure.
But I do feel like Ray didn't give us fans a lasting memory like KG has. Bob "I hate Rondo" Ryan's talked about retiring Ray and Kevin's numbers.
"I thought that was unprecedented in a couple of ways. The number one way is that the Garnett tribute took place with two minutes left in the period. The game was going on. It was like every one was signing off on it, no one had a problem with it . . . then Pierce's takes place at the end of the period.
"The idea of saluting the visiting players . . . is new and different, and the way it transpired and played out and the reaction of those two guys I thought made it a very special evening."
The guys then discuss whether or not Ray Allen will or should get his number retired.
Ryan notes that Red Auerbach allows for that second tier of players to get their numbers retired.
Ryan also says that Allen may not make the cut, but he's not going to argue against it because he knows how important Allen was to the C's, and how great of a shooter he is in the NBA.