Tag Archives: “Big Three” Basketball

“Big Three” Impact Will Be Felt For Years To Come in Celtics Nation

by Danny Jaillet

BOSTON — The “Big Three” era as we know it appears to be over. Even if two of them come back, one (Ray Allen) will probably not be returning next season. Even if the “Big Three” are split up, there presence will always be with us. I am not talking about “spirits” or anything like that. Their time here and what they have accomplished will leave a lasting impact on the Celtics organization for years to come.

July 31, 2007 was a landmark day in Celtics history. A new culture of winning and toughness was brought into the organization. The Celtics and their fans were desperate at this point. The 2006-07 season was a disastrous one, culminating in a 24-58 record. Paul Pierce wanted out of Boston, fans wanted Doc Rivers fired, and there was really no on-court leadership. Boston did have an emerging star, a young point guard out of Kentucky named Rajon Rondo but he was just that: emerging. The Rondo everyone knows and loves today did not exist back then. He was still learning the ropes, and with no leadership, that was hard to do.

Beginning on that magical day on July, the Celtics began a transformation process. From there, they went from being the laughing-stock of the league to one of the league’s elite teams. Paul Pierce was energized and revitalized once again, and it looked like for the first time in years, that he was having fun on the court. In the meantime, Rondo went from being a virtually unknown point-guard to one of the brightest young stars in the game. As a team, the Celtics achieved their ultimate goal: winning an NBA title for the first time in more than 20 years.

Although that will probably be the only championship they win as a group, they still won plenty of key basketball games, capturing one more conference title and four other division titles. In the process, Rondo gained even more experience, and as he matured, so did his game. The rapid growth that he experienced on the basketball court was astounding, and throughout the season, he showed that, if needed he could be Celtics’ leader of the future.

Much of the credit in that instance goes to the “Big Three.” They helped the young point guard grow and prepared him for the opportunity of becoming the face of the franchise. More importantly though, they reestablished the winning culture that the Celtics had lacked for so many years. Now, the younger players are accustomed to winning, and will (hopefully) have the same desires to win as their predecessors did. From a business standpoint, this will make the Celtics more attractive to free agents as they can look at the Celtics’ continued winning tradition and the fact that young stars Rondo and Bradley are the leaders of the future. None of this would be possible however without the “Big Three.” When Danny Ainge acquired the trio, I guess he was not only building for short-term success. You could say that in a way, he was also building for the future.

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Heats Success Means Big Changes For NBA

By:Russell Simon

All together now “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.” Yes the hated Heat are going to the NBA Finals one step away from forever silencing the haters and vindicating Lebron, from the hatred he got for joining a super-team in Miami. However regardless of the outcome of the Finals, the Heat’s success means that the damage has been done, and may just be the start of a new era, one step cleaner then the steroid era in baseball. Lebron and Bosh may have successfully ushered in the era of the three superstars meet up, form a Miami Heat like dominant team, and vie for the championship. While this may be good news for teams like the Knicks, it kills the small market teams, with the lone superstar, who will be out of luck trying to land the players who will try and fit the Lebron mold in switching squads.

Consider in the next two years, the list of restricted, and unrestricted free agents in the NBA is filled with All-Star caliber talent who you can bet will try and team up Heat style in order to win. Star players that could be on the move include Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Marc Gasol, Deron Williams and Steve Nash. Plus these two free agent classes are filled with the type of role players who can go in for mid level money and thrive alongside the stars who have teamed up. I’m talking about you Jamal Crawford, Glen Davis, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Matt Barnes, O.J. Mayo, and Rudy Fernandez. You can bet that most of these players will be looking to team up, or go with a team that already has an established superstar.

While some teams will probably gain from this, think big market, already with a superstar, like the Knicks whose fans are already clamoring for CP3, this type of switching kills the majority of the NBA. With all of the stars teaming up a majority of the NBA will be unable to contend. Sure there will be six great teams, and the playoffs will be spectacular, but for teams without three stars they will have no shot, and if the team is in an undesirable place to play, how will they ever contend. Will Dwight Howard ever want to go play in Minnesota? Lebron has created a system in which the teams are at the mercy of the players. Every summer will just be a feeding frenzy of free agency in which the small teams watch as their star departs for the bright lights and the near guarantee of playing for the NBA title. If Lebron can do it, why can’t CP3, Dwight Howard, and a host of other big name players do it too? It’s a question that will change the NBA and it all happened because of one man and his “Decision”

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Celtics Journal: Rivers, Pierce back for one last hurrah; Boston interested in center Brad Miller

Celtics captain Paul Pierce and head coach Doc Rivers are officially back with the team for one more run at an NBA championship. (Paul Sancya/AP Photo)

Celtics captain Paul Pierce and head coach Doc Rivers are officially back with the team for one more run at an NBA championship. (Paul Sancya/AP Photo)

By Gethin Coolbaugh

What once seemed like a bitter end has been put off for at least one more year.

After the Celtics’ disheartening Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, it appeared as if the band was splitting up.

Coach Doc Rivers, along with veterans Ray Allen and Rasheed Wallace, were uncertain if they wanted to return to TD Garden.

But Rivers made a surprising decision to honor the final year of his contract and will stay on as the Celtics coach.

That welcome decision was followed by a bit of surprising news when team captain Paul Pierce opted out of the final year of his contract, leaving Celtics fans holding their breath.

Celtics fans were able to breathe this morning when The Boston Herald reported that Pierce had agreed to sign a four-year deal worth $61 million to remain with the only team he has ever known.

With both Rivers and Pierce back on board, it is expected that free agent guard Ray Allen will rejoin the group to keep the Big Three together.

Allen is very friendly with Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge and has been a critical component to Boston’s success in the past three years.

Despite retaining Rivers, Pierce and possibly Allen, the Celtics will be losing back-up forward Rasheed Wallace, who has announced his plans to retire.

In addition, Boston will be without starting center Kendrick Perkins until at least February after he suffered a right-knee injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Lakers.

Brian Scalabrine, Marquis Daniels, Tony Allen and Nate Robinson are among the players that may not be wearing Celtics green come next November.

Once Ainge can secure Allen or a shooting guard of equal value, the Celtics can pursue their other needs on the free agent market.

But before all that can be done, they have to take care of their recent draft picks.

CELTICS SIGN 19TH OVERALL PICK BRADLEY

Boston officially announced the signing of Texas guard Avery Bradley, the 19th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, on Friday morning.

Bradley put up solid numbers at the university of Texas, but is considered by many to have too many flaws.

The Celtics won’t have the chance to see Bradley early on in the Las Vegas Summer League, as he underwent ankle surgery that will keep him sidelined for 6-8 weeks.

With Bradley signed, Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody, the 52nd overall pick, remains Boston’s only unsigned draft pick.

MILLER TIME FOR CELTICS?

With the knee injury to center Kendrick Perkins that will keep him out until February, Boston is left with an opening in the big man department.

Rumors have indicated that the Celtics are interested in signing former Kings and Bulls center Brad Miller.

According to Miller’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, the interest is mutual.

“The Celtics are a great franchise,” said Bartelstein in an interview with Boston.com. “It certainly a team when they are interested, you’re crazy not to listen. Danny and Doc do a great job. Brad loves the way the Celtics play. That’s why they get into it all the time. They’re very competitive; he’s very competitive. We’ll certainly talk to them and see what happens. It’s a real interesting fit. We’ll talk to Danny and see what happens here.”

Gethin Coolbaugh is the Associate Editor of Boston Sports U18. He can be reached at 774-279-1995 or at gethin.coolbaugh@bostonsportsu18.com. You can also visit Gethin Coolbaugh’s official website and follow Gethin Coolbaugh on Twitter.

(Quotes from this story were used from Boston.com’s Celtics Blog, which can be read by clicking on this link)

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Celtics captain Paul Pierce will opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent

Celtics captain Paul Pierce has opted out of the final year of his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Celtics captain Paul Pierce has opted out of the final year of his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

By Gethin Coolbaugh

BOSTON – ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that Celtics captain Paul Pierce will opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

Pierce will join the likes of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Dirk Nowitzki as one of the biggest names on the market in the most anticipated offseason in NBA history.

By opting out, Pierce will not receive the final $21.5 million he is owed under his current deal. However, his decision to opt out makes it possible for Pierce to sign a maximum deal with the Celtics of up to four years and $96 million.

The most that Pierce can receive from any other team is $93 million over four years.

Stein’s sources indicated that Pierce will begin negotiations with the Celtics once free agency begins on Thursday. The sources also stated that Pierce will field offers from other teams.

In an interview with WEEI, Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge said that he didn’t know if the team would be able to bring Pierce back because other teams may offer him a better deal.

By the league’s rules, the Celtics can offer Pierce a better deal than any other team, but that doesn’t mean that Ainge is willing to give the 32-year-old a maximum deal.

In 12 seasons with the Celtics, Pierce has amassed 19,899 points, 5,417 rebounds, 3,401 assists, 1,349 steals and has a lifetime field goal percentage of 44.5%.

In addition, Pierce has averaged 22.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 884 career games. Another impressive fact is that Pierce has only ever come off the bench three times, starting 881 games.

Celtics fans should not be panicking, as Pierce has stated numerous times that he wants to remain in a Celtics uniform for the remainder of his career.

But Pierce did say that, if head coach Doc Rivers decides to retire or if the Celtics begin a rebuilding stage, he would consider playing elsewhere in an attempt to win more championships.

One possible destination for Pierce should he sign elsewhere is the Los Angeles Clippers.

Pierce grew up in Inglewood, California and was a childhood Lakers fan. While the Clippers are not on the same tier as the Lakers, they are in need of a proven veteran and would offer Pierce a chance to play in his hometown.

Free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday morning, and we will keep you updated on Pierce’s negotiations with the Celtics and any other teams as they occur.

Gethin Coolbaugh is the Associate Editor of Boston Sports U18. He can be reached at 774-279-1995 or at gethin.coolbaugh@bostonsportsu18.com. You can also visit Gethin Coolbaugh’s official website and follow Gethin Coolbaugh on Twitter.

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The Celtics Give a Vintage Performance in Game 5

By: Alex Reimer

In what was possibly the last home game of the “big 3” era, the Celtics put forth a vintage performance. In the 92-86 win over the Lakers in a pivotal game 5, four Celtics (Rondo, Ray Allen, Pierce, and Garnett) were in double figures. The starting lineup needed to come up big, and they sure did.

It got close at the end, but the Celtics pulled away. Phil Jackson exclaimed on the Los Angeles sideline that the Celtics “know how to lose games in the 4th quarter.” That may have been true from October-March. But doesn’t Phil know that the “switch has been flipped?” From the start of the postseason onward, this Celtics’ team has been as resilient a bunch as any. They simply know how to win.

Here the Celtics are, 1 win away from the franchise’s 18th championship banner and 2nd title in 3 years. This most recent resurgence of Celtics basketball has had everything to do with team and a little something called “ubuntu.” It was on full display in game 5.

From the spectacular help defense, which shut down everybody not named Kobe Bryant, to the offensive end, the Celtics once again won with a full team effort.

It was time for Paul Pierce to perform like a captain, and he did with 27 points. Kevin Garnett chipped in with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Rajon Rondo had 18 points and 8 assists, and Ray Allen contributed with 12 points. There wasn’t a historic shooting performance on this night, nor 30 combined points from Glen Davis and Nate Robinson. This win was anything but “fool’s gold.”

Kobe scored 19 points in the 3rd quarter, and finished with 38. However, the Celtics still outscored the Lakers 28-26 in the 3rd.

That was because the Lakers reverted back to the team we saw in 2008. Pau Gasol shrunk at the feet of Garnett, and the bench did not contribute. Ron Artest continues to struggle mightily offensively (2-9 from the field), and Andrew Bynum played 31 minutes without grabbing a defensive rebound.

It takes a village to win. Whether it’s the bench stealing game 4, or Paul Pierce and the starting lineup leading the way, the Celtics can win in various ways. They are far from a on- man show, and haven’t been the past 3 years.

This might have been it for this crew. It could be the last home game for Ray Allen, who is a free agent at the end of the season. It will be the last home game for assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who will coach the Bulls next year. Doc Rivers may not be back.

But this isn’t the time for that. The Celtics know it too. They have a flight at 9:45 AM tomorrow, heading straight for LA.

The focus shifts to Tuesday’s game 6, where the Celtics head into the Staples Center with the 3-2 series advantage. The Lakers’ backs are against the wall, and it is unsure how they will respond. Especially because we know that the Celtics will not give them any breathing room.

Come playoff time, complacency is not in this team’s vocabulary.

Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs every Saturday from 4-6 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. Alex can be reached at, Alexredsox076@aol.com.

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