Tag Archives: National Basketball Association
by PATRICK OWENS
NEW YORK — The latest edition of the New York/Boston rivalry kicks off in the opening round of the National Basketball Association playoffs this afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
It is a rivalry that has been building over the last couple years, even more than in the past. The bad blood between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett will likely be a story line all series long.
For the Knicks’ Anthony, it is his time to show the basketball world he is ready to carry regular season success over into the postseason, especially for a team that has lacked postseason success in recent years. New York was easily ousted by the Miami Heat just last year and swept by the Celtics two years ago.
The feeling around New York is this is the year for the Knicks as they finished second in the Eastern Conference and with Anthony playing perhaps the best basketball of his career, thrusting him into MVP talks. In addition, the team is aided by the steady veteran presence of 40-years-young Jason Kidd, Sixth Man of the Year candidate J.R. Smith, and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler.
The Knicks will also have the benefit of home court advantage over the seventh-seeded Celtics, as the Knicks finished with their best home record in years and Boston was a lowly 14-27 away this year.
As for the Celtics, it is the sixth year of what was thought to be a three-year plan when the original “Big 3″ were brought together way back in 2007. However, the Celtics will go to battle without All-Star point man Rajon Rondo, who went down with a torn ACL – an injury that many thought would end the season the Celtics, especially in a year that he was expected to play a major leadership role.
The Celtics, like so many times they have before, rallied behind their losses. Combo guards Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley have upped their play to make up for the loss, forming perhaps the strongest defensive front court in the NBA. General Manager Danny Ainge also added guard Jordan Crawford to bolster the depleted back court after the loss of Leandro Barbosa.
A strong bench had also kept the Celtics in playoff position as forward Jeff Green has really come out since the All-Star break providing bench scoring, along with veteran Jason Terry. Green has also helped in the limiting the minutes of aging Paul Pierce. Even still, the Celtics find themselves in unfamiliar territory coming into the playoffs as a No. 7 seed.
Coach Doc Rivers made the choice to value health and rest for core veterans over playoff seeding. Kevin Garnett averaged his fewest minutes since his rookie season, but the team has almost come to embrace it. It is the kind of spirit they may need to pull off the “upset.”
by TREY ADELL
Have you ever watched a player and say “Man, this team would be so much better if this guy never played.” If you have, then you know how most Celtics fans feel about Brandon Bass.
It has gotten to the point where I cringe everytime the ball is in his hands or he takes a shot. My faith in him is completely gone. He’s been routinely outplayed by an overweight rookie and a guy coming off of open heart surgery, which begs to ask the question “Why is he still starting?”
It seems weird for me to be writing this, especially since last season Bass was such a breath of fresh of air when Ainge traded him for Glen Davis. While I loved Davis, his maturity was definitely an issue and Bass’ quiet demeanor (while still producing) was great for the team. This season has been completely different as his defense, rebounding and overall production have been dismal, at best. This season, Bass has been like a kid who sits with friends at your lunch table and never talks. He will occasionally laugh at a joke or two, but for the most part, you do not really know he is there and he never really contributes much to the group. That is basically the season in a nutshell for Bass. You really do not know he is out there on the court, but when you do is usually because something bad is happening.
His one redeeming quality is that he is a very good mid-range jump shooter. His rebounding is sub-par for a big man, his post game is among one of the more uglier things I have ever seen and his defense is awful. On defense, he looks like a stubborn tourist in a foreign country who refuses to ask for directions. He is lost and I really do not know if he will ever find his way.
At this point in the season, when the Celtics are making their last push to move up in the Eastern Conference, it seems prudent of head coach Doc Rivers to put their best five players out on the court at much as possible. So far, Bass is not one of those five players. Jeff Green has proved to more impactful than the floundering Bass and I am wondering why Rivers has not made this adjustment yet. According to NBA.com, Bass has the worst plus-minus out of any of the Celtics’ rotational players (-4.4). Green sits at a +1.2.
The growth of Green has made it easy for people to ask this question lack of a line-up change. The offense is completely different with him out on the floor. Everything opens up since Jeff is able to score in so many ways. Bass’ one dimensional scoring ability hinders a lot of opportunities for this team and leads to a lot of scoring droughts.
He really just needs to not play. I am not “bagging” on him. He is just useless.
By DANNY JAILLET
BOSTON– According to a report from Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com, the Celtics have signed another big man, with the hopes of adding another formidable presence inside the paint. Boston is set to sign power forward Shavlik Randolph to a 10- day contract according to team sources connected with Forsberg.
The Raleigh, North Carolina native has played in 95 games over an NBA career that has spanned five years. However, he has not played in the league since the 2009-10 campaign in which he split time with the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers, appearing in six combined games that season.
Randolph spent the start of this season with the Foshan Lions of the Chinese Basketball League. This makes him the third Celtics signing in 10 days who has come out of China. He played very well while there, averaging 32 points and 14.6 rebounds in 28 appearances for the Lions.
As noted in the article, he is a ferocious rebounder. In the minimal NBA action that he has seen, he has posted an offensive rebound rate of 15.1%. His rebounding skills will be very beneficial for Boston especially rotation-wise, as now they have multiple big men that can come off the bench. The Celtics have appeared to address their rebounding needs, and that is a good sign as the team gears up for a playoff run.
CELTICS EXTEND CONTRACT OF WILLIAMS
According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski the Celtics have signed guard Terrence Williams for the remainder of the season and conditionally for the 2013-14 campaign. His original contract was a 10-day agreement. Williams has put up respectable numbers during his time with the Celtics so far. In four games, he has averaged 4.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 14.1 minutes. His versatility and his ability to get teammates involved will be key assets as the playoffs approach.
By DANNY JAILLET
BOSTON– The NBA trade deadline may have passed yesterday, but that has not stopped the Celtics from trying to make moves. According to a tweet from Fred Kerber of the New York Post, Boston has called the Brooklyn Nets with a potential deal involving 10-time All-Star Paul Pierce. Kerber tweeted this bit of information earlier this afternoon.
“Source sed #Celtics called #BrooklynNets re PPierce & asked 4 lots: MBrooks, MTeletovic, KHumphries & two future 1st rounders”
“MBrooks” is in reference to shooting guard/small forward MarShon Brooks, who was drafted by the Celtics with the 25th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Brooks is averaging 5.1 points per game to go along with 0.9 assists per game and 1.1 rebounds per game in 47 contests this season. The Long Branch, New Jersey native played collegiate basketball at Providence.
Mirza Teletovic played the first 10 years of his basketball career overseas. On July 3, 2012, he agreed to a three-year contract with the Nets. This season the power forward has averaged 3.0 points per game, 1.4 rebounds per game and 0.4 assists per game in 32 games this season.
The last current player involved in the deal is Kris Humphries. He is in his eighth NBA campaign after being drafted in 2004 by the Utah Jazz with the 14th overall pick. This season, he is averaging 6.0 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game and 0.5 assists per game. He was involved in a scuffle with point guard Rajon Rondo back on November 28, which added more tension to an already budding Celtics-Nets rivalry.
Whether this deal will get done remains to be seen. If it is in fact completed, this would benefit the Celtics immensely. Boston would acquire two “big men’ to take up space in the paint, and a quick shooting guard in Brooks. The combination of size and speed would be tremendous assets to Boston as they try to capture Banner 18.
By DANNY JAILLET
BOSTON-- According to a report from CBSBoston.com, the Celtics appear ready to make some moves before Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. Earlier this morning, ESPN’s Chris Broussard tweeted that Boston was interested in Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford. In addition, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that rookie Fab Melo would be made available by the Celtics.
“With Fab Melo as the bait, Celtics looking to add perimeter scoring. Wizards’ Jordan Crawford available @ on their radar.”
Crawford played one season at Indiana appearing in 30 games, starting eight of them. He averaged 9.7 points per game to go along with 2.3 assists per game and 3.4 rebounds per game. The Detroit, Michigan native transferred to Xavier in 2008, but did not play for the Musketeers until the 2009-10 season as he had to sit out a year in accordance with NCAA rules.
In his first full season (2009-10), he averaged 20.5 points per game to go along with 4.7 rebounds per game and 2.9 assists per game in 25 overall contests, 24 in which he started. That year, Xavier went to the Sweet 16 where they lost to the Kansas State Wildcats in the West Regional Semifinal.
Crawford has played three seasons in the NBA after being drafted as the 27th overall pick by the New Jersey Nets in the 2010 NBA Draft. During his three seasons, he has averaged 13.2 points per game. This season, he has performed admirably well, shooting 43-percent in 43 games, 12 of those in the starting role.
If Boston were to acquire Crawford this would give them depth at the guard position. He would also fit well within Boston’s system as their style of play affords them many opportunities at the three-point shot. It should be interesting to see what additional players the Celtics might pursue as time ticks away.
by DANNY JAILLET
BOSTON— According to a report from CBSBoston.com, the Celtics have signed former Sacramento King Terrence Williams to a 10-day contract. This move was first reported by the Boston Globe and CSNNE.
Williams played for Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals for four seasons. His best season came in the 2008-09 campaign when he was a senior. That year as co-captain of the Cardinals, he averaged 12.5 points per game to go along with 8.6 rebounds per game. His success in college led to him being taken as the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets.
In 2009-10, his first NBA season, Williams averaged 8.4 points per game, playing an average of 22.6 minutes per game. He spent one more season with the New Jersey Nets and then was traded to the Houston Rockets on December 15, 2010. He spent two seasons with the Rockets before signing a 10-day contract with the Kings on March 21, 2012. Then on March 31, it was announced that the Kings had signed Williams for the rest of the season.
In October, Williams joined the Pistons for their training camp, before being waived by Detroit on October 22. He then went to China and played for the China Basketball Association’s Guandong Southern Tigers. Now, he looks to write a new chapter in his NBA career as he waits to make his debut in Celtic Green.
This gives the Celtics some much-needed depth. He can play both the small forward and the shooting guard position, which is a major asset for the Celtics given Leandro Barbosa’s injury. With the Celtics (literally) limping into the All Star break, acquiring a fresh, healthy body should help Boston immensely as they begin their final push for the playoffs.
by TREY ADELL
Intensity, heart, and fire. If someone looks any of those words in a dictionary, a picture of Kevin Garnett’s screaming face would follow along side. Since he first donned a Boston jersey, Garnett has been undeniable driving force behind the Celtics. Whether it’s blowing up a pick and roll, calling out defensive rotations or locking down the team’s opposing big man in the post, Garnett has been the epitome of “Celtic Pride.”
Since 2007, it is been highly apparent that Garnett has been their most reliable and unflappable player. His attention to detail is what has made this team so great on the defensive end over the years. The communication that he provides is invaluable and is apparent when he is on the bench.
According to 82games.com, the defense had never allowed 100 points over a 48-minute basis with Garnett on the floor since 2007, with the exception of 2009-10 and this season. Since then, the Celtics’ defense has fallen off by an average of 5.5 points when he sits. His presence as a Celtic has also been pivotal in mentoring young, up-and-coming guys like Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Jared Sullinger – a testament to the immense leadership he brings to the table.
Coming into this year, many people wondered whether or not Garnett would retire or come back as a Celtic. The man has poured his heart and soul into this game for 17 years, but it would have been completely reasonable for him to hang it up this summer.
Lately, the prospect of Garnett retiring has become all too real. With the Celtics spiraling towards a rebuild, it seems unfair to make him endure such a long and arduous process. His name has been unfairly floated around in trade rumors, but Garnett has made it clear that he wants to remain a Celtic, stating “I bleed green, I’ll die green.”
Garnett is not the same dominant post threat he was in 2008, but every once in a while he will amaze with his shimmy turnaround jumper. He lingers around perimeter a little more than some would like, but his mid-range game is still as good as ever. There will be nights where he doesn’t have quite the right lift in his jumper but that just comes with the territory of being a 17-year vet. There will also be nights where like last night against the Raptors when he has a signature flashback game.
Whether KG hangs it up this year, or he rides out his contract, fans should all appreciate the fact of seeing one of the greats go out as a Celtic.
by DANNY JAILLET
BOSTON– According to a tweet from Sean Deveney of SportingNews.com, the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in Kevin Garnett. Deveney tweeted earlier this afternoon about the potential deal:
“Sources tell Sporting News that the #Clippers have contacted the #Celtics about Kevin Garnett. Offer would include Caron Butler and Bledsoe.”
The player Deveney cites as “Bledsoe” is Eric Bledsoe, a 23-year-old point guard who played basketball at the University of Kentucky. He played one season with the Wildcats and performed well, averaging 11.3 points per game to go along with 2.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. The Wildcats finished 35-3 that year, and notched an impressive 19-game winning streak along the way. They were poised for a deep postseason run, and made it all the way to the East Regional Final, where they lost to West Virginia by a score of 73-66.
Butler played college basketball at the University of Connecticut for two years (2000-2002) before being selected by the Miami Heat as the 10th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. In 11 NBA seasons, he has averaged 16.1 points per game to go along with 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He is a two-time NBA-All-Star, and he won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.
This would be a great deal for Boston. Garnett is aging and although he can still be very productive, he does not have the same bounce in his step that he used to. Caron Butler is in his prime at 32 years of age, and is particularly effective on the perimeter. Bledsoe is a quick, speedy point guard who is very versatile. The combination of those two would bring balance on the court for Boston, something that the Celtics have struggled to accomplish this season.
In what has been a whirlwind of a season, the Celtics appear ready to start rebuilding and reloading again. A Kevin Garnett trade is not the end of this long process, but it is a good place to start as the team looks towards the future.
by DANNY JAILLET
BOSTON– According to a report from Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com, the Celtics met with former Ohio State Buckeye Greg Oden on Saturday. Oden has plans to play in the NBA in the near future, with his goal being to return to basketball in the 2013-14 season.
There were rumors that he was at the Celtics practice facility this morning, and the Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed the report. Several teams are said to be interested in Oden’s services. Eastern Conference foes Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers are said to be the fronunners for him. On January 17, ESPN’s Greg Payne reported that the Celtics were “monitoring” Oden and that Boston was in the running for his services. Saturday’s meeting between the two parties suggested that there is some truth to those rumors.
The Indianapolis, IN native played one season at Ohio State. He made the most of his time there, averaging 15.7 points and 3.3 blocks per game as the Buckeyes put together an impressive season, finishing with a record of 35-4. At one point, they won 22 games in a row before losing in the National Championship game to a gritty and physical Florida Gators squad anchored by Joakim Noah. He was then taken as the #1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft but has had his career derailed by injuries.
Playing in 82 NBA games total in a career that has spanned two seasons, he has been a disappointment thusfar . In that span, Oden averaged 9.4 points per game to go along with 2.3 blocks and 8.9 rebounds. This would be a great signing for the Celtics. Chances are that he will not put up big numbers, but he would fill the void left by Jared Sullinger. If he came off the bench, he would provide shot blocking, and his solid rebounding ability would give the Celtics more opportunities for second chance points.
It is possible that a change of scenery could rejuvenate Oden and maybe revitalize his career. This signing would be a low-risk, high reward type for the Celtics. With both sides hungry for wins, and both parties having something to prove, this could be a very good match indeed.
by DANNY JAILLET
BOSTON— In what has already been a tough season for the Celtics, the team received some more saddening news today. Just five days after it was announced that point guard Rajon Rondo would miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, Boston received more bad news on the injury front earlier this afternoon.
According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of YahooSports.com, rookie Jared Sullinger will miss the rest of the season, as he will undergo surgery on his injured back. His back has been troublesome for him the past couple of weeks. Most recently, he had to leave in the first quarter of Wednesday’s game against Sacramento due to his back issues, and according to the report, missed the Celtics practice on Thursday when the back pain became worse.
The Ohio State product was an asset on the hardwood this season. In 45 games, he averaged six points per game in addition to 5.9 rebounds per game. He had been moved into the Celtics starting lineup recently, and was in a prime position to make an big impact.
The reoccurring back troubles were a part of the reason why Boston was able to take him with the 21st overall pick in this past June’s draft. Pre-draft concerns about his health scared many teams away. It did not deter the Celtics though, who were eager to find a young, dominating presence inside the paint.
For now though, the Celtics and their fans will have to wait another year in order to see what one of the NBA’s brightest young stars can do at full strength.