Saturday, November 30, 2013

Potential Celtics Trades (November, 2013)

The first trade I propose the Boston Celtics inquire about is one that would send 28 year old big man, Brandon Bass, to Charlotte in exchange for Kentucky product, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Brandon Bass has been a consistent big man for the Boston Celtics this season, but he is bound to fade out of the picture once the rotation consists of Vitor Faverani and Kelly Olynyk racking up the majority of the minutes. In a way to avoid a dramatized event where Bass makes it publicly known that he is unhappy, it is better to deal him early for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Kidd-Gilchrist can play the two and the three so partnering him with Rajon Rondo in the backcourt would allow for Jeff Green to play the three and Vitor Faverani and Kelly Olynyk to form a formidable front court in the present and the future, which would allow for the Celtics 7-11 record to potentially become one that is over .500.

This deal could potentially require a second round pick to get Phoenix to agree, but Channing Frye is worth it. Frye is currently averaging 10.4 ppg, and 5.1 rpg, but those stats don't tell the whole story... Frye is efficient this season shooting 45% from the field and 38% from behind the arc and would allow for himself to be a stretch four. Channing Frye is not the best defender, which is where Gerald Wallace is allowed to capitalize the trade where his tenacious perimeter D could allure Phoenix into agreeing the deal. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Danny's NCAA Big Board

Courtesy of Bleacher Report 

Off to an expected poor start, the Boston Celtics, sitting at 6-11 in the awful Atlantic Division, will most likely be rewarded with a high lottery pick. In my opinion, Andrew Wiggins is not the only future star in this league, but there are students playing at a higher level than the Kansas forward. If I put on my GM hat on at draft day in New York and I had the number one pick, I would bring the 6'8 Duke forward, Jabari Parker or the Oklahoma State floor general Marcus Smart. Here is my college basketball big board 1.0:
Honorable Mentions: These players just missed the cut Adrein Payne, James McAdoo, Joel Embiid, Andre Harrison, Le'Bryan Nash, Wayne Seldon, Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III,  and Willie-Cauley Stein 
10: Creighton: Doug McdermottAlthough Creighton competes in the now terrible Big East, McDermott's 27.4 PPG has been impressive in helping his team become 20th in the nation. McDermott is also a rebound machine, grabbing over 7 boards per game. 
9: North Carolina: Marcus PaigeAfter sliding from point guard to shooting guard, Paige has thrived as a Tar Heel as PJ Hairston has been struggling. Marcus Paige is averaging 22.4 PPG as the two-guard. 
8: Indiana University: Noah VonlehThe double-double machine is taking over the Hossier state and is projected by Bleacher Report to be drafted by the Boston Celtics. 
7: Michigan State: Gary HarrisThe sophomore guard has average 17. PPG and over 4 RPG in 5 games, but he has been plagued with an ankle injury. Harris is a freak athlete with an ever-improving jump shot. He has an NBA-type body that really helps his draft value.  
6: Arizona: Aaron GordonIn a class full of fantastic Freshman, Gordon would be much higher any other year, but he's just barely impressive compared to the likes of the top-five. The unbelievably athletic small-forward is struggling to score efficiently, his athleticism on both sides of the court more than makes up for his lack of scoring ability. His 12.5 PPG is not very impressive, but his defense and rebounding are astounding for his position. He's averaging almost 10 boards per game, 2 blocks, and a steal. 
5: Australia: Dante ExumThe 6'6 scoring point guard is lighting it up overseas. Every analyst swears that he's just as good as anyone in the NCAA. Last year at the NIKE Hoops Summit, where Exum played with Wiggins and Parker, Dante scored 16 points and hung tough with the big boys. The 18 year old is still unsure if he's declaring for the draft in 2014.  
4: Kentucky: Julius RandleThe freak of nature big man out of Kentucky is just as skilled as he is physical; a winning combination. Randle is averaging a high double double with 19 PPG and 13.1 RPG.  
3: Kansas: Andrew WigginsWiggins was everyone's favorite prospect going into the season, but he hasn't lived up to expectations quite yet. The forward is averaging just 16.8 PPG and he's not a great passer at all.  
2: Oklahoma State: Marcus SmartI've always had very high praise for this point guard, but I seemed like the only one heading into the season. Smart somehow flew under the radar for the for the first month of the season. But he's averaging almost 23 PPG, 4 RPG, and 4 APG. Smart leads the Big 12 in scoring, but I would like to see his assist numbers go up. From watching the OKState games, he actually passes very well, but his team is not very good on the offensive side. He needs to continue to score at will for his team to do well.

1: Duke: Jabari Parker
In 2012, Sports Illustrated called Parker, "The best high school player since Lebron James". They were right, but the next year, Parker sat out the season with an injury and everyone seemed to forget about the Mormon freak. Andrew Wiggins impressed the scouts in 2013 and surpassed Parker for the number one prospect in America. Parker is averaging almost 24 PPG and 9 RPG. Right now Parker is the best college basketball player in the world. 

With the _ pick in the 2014 draft, the Boston Celtics select...........

It all depends on the way the ping pong balls roll. I would love any of these players on my big board,  but I'm honestly most scared of Andrew Wiggins. I honestly think he may disappoint the team that drafts him. I'm not saying it will be as extreme as Cleveland's Anthony Bennett, but I don't think Wiggins will be a Hall of Famer in 25 years and I'm not quite sure he's an automatic all star.

The Celtics will probably pick anywhere between the 5 and 10 slot, so on my board, I think the best fit for Boston would be either Noah Vonleh or Doug McDermott. If we hold on to Rondo, which looks to be the case right now, Ainge will look to improve the front court. Vonleh can pound the ball inside and McDermott can stretch the floor as a small-ball four if he gains some muscle mass or he could play the traditional small forward.

It depends on their pick, but the Boston Celtics look to be in a pretty good spot for this year's NBA draft. Best possible case scenario, Ainge trades up or steals Marcus Smart or Jabari Parker.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Preview: Grizzlies @ Celtics

Tonight, the Boston Celtics will take on Mike Conley and the Grizzlies in the Boston Garden at 7:00 PM Eastern Time. So far this season, the Western Conference is 44-17 against the East in inter-league games. Look for the Grizzlies to continue the trend tonight vs the Celtics.

Although the Grizzlies are depleted with Marc Gasol out because of an injury. The Grizzlies are 0-3 without their star center.

On the other hand, the Boston Celtics are on a three game winning streak, benefiting from the recent play of Phil Pressey, Courtney Lee, and Jordan Crawford. Those guards have really had the hot hand as of late.

Although the Celtics will probably drop this one because they just don't have nearly as much talent as Memphis, star point guard Rajon Rondo's return is looming in the near future. It was announced today that Rondo has set an appointment with Dr James Andrews for early December. A source that saw him practice today said, "It can't be very long before he's back".

Also in NBA news today, it's rumored that Dion Waiters is being shopped out of Cleveland as his teammates Kyrie Irving and Tristian Thompson refused to pass the ball to him. Cleveland has been in serious talks with the New York Knicks. Also in the NBA today, Kwame Brown was cut from the 76ers. He was one of those "keep gettin' them checks, boy!" players.

Taking all of the Jews into the holiday, here's the Houston Rockets: (thank you
Tonight's the first night of Hanukkah and tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so Happy Holidays to all, even those who don't celebrate.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Celtics contain Bobcats in Charlotte

Celtics contain Bobcats in Charlotte

The Boston Celtics defeated  the Charlotte Bobcats 96-86.  They were lead by Jordan Crawford, who had 21 points, Gerald Wallace put in 17 points.  Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, and Courtney Lee were the other Celtics in double figures.  The Bobcats were led by Kemba Walker, who put in 28 points.  This makes two straight wins for Boston, who are now 6-10.  The six straight losses made the fan outlook on the team very dark.  But like the start of the season, they put together a win streak to answer a long losing streak.  Boston has a Wednesday matchup with Mike Conley and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Who is Gene Conley?

Courtesy of

Do you know who Gene Conley is? If you don' should.

Conley was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma but his family moved to Washington when he was young. Gene was a world-class athlete in high school; he played basketball, baseball, and ran track. Conley was all-state in baseball and basketball and he was the state champion in the high jump. While scoring over 20 points per game in the winter, Conley was an honorable mention for the All-American team twice.

After high school he became a  6 foot 8 pitcher for the Boston Braves, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies. He was an amazing player on the mound, being a four-time all star and winning a World Series with Boston. Conley played in the MLB for 11 years and retained an ERA of 3.82. But Gene didn't only play baseball.

Conley was drafted in 1957 by the Boston Celtics. He played power forward and center for the C's and he won 3 NBA Championships. In the NBA, Gene Conley assumed the role of backup big man as he was a very strong rebounder. He averaged 6.3 rebounds per game in 4 seasons with Boston and 2 with the New York Knicks. In the middle of his career, Gene agreed to sign with the Hartford Capitols, the ABA team. Gene Conley continued to play on the Capitols and ended his career in 1968 after 16 seasons of basketball.

Gene Conley juggled two careers for 11 years, playing both professional baseball and professional basketball at the same time from 1952-1963. He then proceeded to continue playing only basketball for 5 more years! How did he do it?
"When I look back, I don't know how I did it, I really don't," Conley said. "I think I was having so much fun that it kept me going. I can't remember a teammate I didn't enjoy."
When you think of the greatest multi-sport athletes, names that come to mind include Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, and Michael Jordan. But Gene Conley was arguably the greatest and most successful athlete that played multiple sports professionally.

Bo Jackson played football and baseball for a total of just 8 years because of a devastating hip injury. ESPN named Bo the greatest athlete of all time, and I agree. But Bo didn't necessarily have a full career because it was cut short by his injury. The Heisman trophy winner left a lot of potential on the table when he retired from the MLB and the NFL. Gene Conley didn't. Conley played for double the years that Bo did, but not at as high of a level.

Gene Conley was not a better athlete than Bo Jackson. But I could argue that he had an overall better career than him. Bo never won any championships in either sport, when Conley won 4 in total. In a time when winning is everything, I'm surprised that not many people know who Gene Conley is. Conley won the team awards, when Bo won the individual ones. They were both elite athletes, but I believe that it's possible that Conley was more successful overall.

After Gene Conley retired from basketball, he started working for a duct tape company in Boston, Massachusetts, where the owner eventually passed away. Conley later opened up his own paper company in Boston. He owned that company for 36 years until he retired. Today, Gene Conley is 83 years old and he lives in New Hampshire with his family.

This autographed picture displaying Gene Conley as a baseball and basketball player is sitting in my room over a basketball signed by Kevin McHale, Larry Bird, and Robert Parish

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Beantown Ballin' 11/16-11/23

Photo Courtesy of ESPN

Can a six game losing streak ever be looked at as positive?  Well in the Celtics case, it can!  The Celtics are currently riding a six game losing streak, and in the grand scheme of things, this is a positive thing for the franchise.  While most Celtics fans will look on this losing streak with distaste, I look upon it as the future.  The Celtics losing means they have a better shot at one of the franchise changing talents in this year’s loaded draft class.  Jabari Parker, Andre Wiggins, Dante Exum, or Julius Randle are all up for grabs, and with the Celtics losing like this, it is much easier to picture one of these four talents in a Celtics jersey.  In summary, Celtics fans do not worry about the losing streak, this is a rebuilding season.  Lets take a look at an in game breakdown of each of the Celtics three contests against the: Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and the Indiana Pacers in the past week.

Houston Rockets

The Celtics lost on the road to a tough Houston team by a staggering margin of 109-85.  What went wrong?  Offensively, Avery Bradley went wrong.  Bradley took 22 shots in Houston and only made 5.  Yes that is right.  The Texas product shot 5-22 (22%) from the field.  Celtics fans watching this game wanted to claw their eyes out every time Avery Bradley shot the ball.  Every player, no matter how great, has off nights and only the truly great players realize when they are having a bad night and they adjust their game accordingly reverting to distributing rather than scoring.  Bradley didn’t...  The Celtics also allowed Terrence Jones to score a career high 24 points, to go along with his 9 rebounds.  This was simply an ugly game played by the Celtics.

San Antonio Spurs

Another game... Another blowout.  This time the Celtics lost to the ever immortal San Antonio Spurs 104-93.  This game was not as ugly as the Celtics previous game and in fact, it did have his upsides.  Jared Sullinger had an electrifying performance with 19 points and 17 boards.  However, this performance is not as perfect as it seems.  Sullinger shot with a reckless abandonment from behind the arc going 1-5 on the game.  Since when is Sullinger a three point marksman?  Sullinger, a career 23% three point shooter, should not plan to take 5 threes a game throughout the rest of the season, and if he does the Celtics are guaranteed Andrew Wiggins...

Indiana Pacers

Do I have to say it again? Another game... Another blowout.  The Indiana Pacers won by 15 points in the Garden with a 97-82 victory over the Boston Celtics on their home court.  This game was much better, than the Celtics two previous stints in Texas, and Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford emerged as a dynamic duo against the suffocating Indiana defense.  Crawford had 24 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals when shooting a terrific 10-12 (83%) from the field.  Jeff Green had 20 points and also shot the ball well, shooting 8-13 (62%) from the field.  There is not much to complain about this game.  It simply comes down to the fact that the Indiana Pacers are arguably the best team in the NBA right now, and the Celtics simply do not have the firepower to beat an elite team like Indiana.

I may be a little harsh on the Celtics as they did face three teams that are contending for a Larry O’ Brien trophy this summer, but the bad shooting from the Celtics is a major issue that must be fixed if the Celtics wish to contend within the next few seasons.

To Dump Or Not to Dump?

The Boston Celtics are in a situation where rebuilding is the only thing that should be on their mind. Having a solid roster with tradable pieces, is a blessing in disguise for Boston, but who exactly should they keep hold of or dump off to another team? Lets break it down for Jordan Crawford, Gerald Wallace, Avery Bradley, and Rajon Rondo.

Jordan Crawford - Don't Dump

Jordan Crawford is the type of players most elite teams hope to have coming off of their benches. He is a pure shooter, but due to injuries this season, he has been asked to do much more than shoot for the Celtics and the transition has been seamless. He is averaging 12.1 ppg, 4.4 apg, and 2.9 rpg with a PER of 18.84. He has been one of the few standouts for the Celtics and he is one of the players that is sure to make an impact even when everyone becomes healthy. Trading him away would mean trading away a future sixth man of the year, and much like J.R. Smith to the Knicks, Jordan Crawford should be considered indispensable to the Celtics.

Gerald Wallace - Dump (if possible)... 

Well this one is an obvious one, after a disastrous 2012 - 2013 campaign, Wallace is back at it again this time in Celtic green. He is being paid over $10 million to do close to nothing and should be one of the first Celtics to be traded this season, but with that massive contract hovering over him, it would be extremely hard to find an ideal suitor. Getting into the twilight part of his career, Wallace is losing speed and his defense is not what it used to be. Unless the Celtics pay off some of his contract in a trade, there aren't any plausible trade partners that will want Wallace in the foreseeable future.

Avery Bradley - Dump 

Avery Bradley is one of the best defenders in the NBA, he is a solid shooter, but he is not anything special offensively. He should be regarded as a role player and nothing more. Playing at the two, he is manning one of the deepest positions in the NBA with many superstars to grace the modern generation of the game having spent a bulk of time manning the two guard, Bradley should not be expected to start on a contending team. But that does not mean he would not be able to contribute. He is young, and he is cheap. If the Celtics can manage to get another prospect along with some picks in return from the services of Avery Bradley then they should go all out of and look for potential trade suitors, because once the Celtics get good, the coaching staff will struggle to find the right role for Bradley.

Rajon Rondo - Dump 

Do you know how many teams would kill to have a point guard like Rondo? Probably most of the association... Rajon Rondo's trade value is high and with all the attention currently surrounding him, Danny Ainge, may be forced into a trade to get rid of his superstar guard, though that might not be as bad as the Celtics think. Rajon Rondo is a superstar in this league, he is a triple double machine and the Celtics could easily forward their rebuilding process by a year or two if they get some picks and prospects in a trade similar to the one that got Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks where Boston would play the role of Denver and the suitor would play the role of New York. Getting rid of Rondo now, while he is worth more than he could be if he were to have an unsuccessful comeback, could be one of the smartest decisions the Knicks could make. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Trade Rumors Surround the Atlantic Division


Boston Celtics 

Rajon Rondo's name has been swirling around in trade rumors since 2009. The most current one is Rondo to the Knicks for Amar'e Stoudemire. When this rumor was leaked I could hear the collective screams of Celtics fans desperate to hold on to some semblance of their 2008 championship team. But just like every time Rondo's name has come up, Boston president Danny Angie has stood by his point guard.  But that doesn't mean Stoudemire to the Celtics is a fantasy. While Boston is against trading Rondo, they are looking to trade the large contracts of Gerald Wallace and Courtney Lee. This deal will free up some cap room for the giant free agent class if this summer. Other names that may be involved in the trade are Iman Shumpert, Tyson Chandler, and Raymond Felton.

NewYork Knicks

Carmelo Anthony has expresses his wishes to test the free agency waters. This might sound crazy, but I think this could be a good thing for NewYork. But the Knicks want to keep their star, so the only other move is to trade veteran Amar'e Stoudemire. The Celtics are not the only team that NewYork wants to ship Amar'e to.  The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to trade their two time champion Pau Gasol. Another big trade piece is 6th man Iman Shumpert, who is also a part of the Gasol deal. Just like Boston, the Knicks are poised to make a run at a big name free agent this offseason.

Brooklyn Nets

The Nets are an interesting team when it comes to trades. They are willing to go through this season with the same roster, and who could blame them. This team has the most talented starting five in the NBA. With Pierce, Garnett, Johnson, Lopez, and Williams are looking for an NBA tittle.

Philadelphia 76ers

One trade rumor really surprises me as it pertains to the Sixers.  They are one of the teams in the hunt for Rockets center, Omer Asik. Asik, however is not interested in Philadelphia.  Also, one name is being put on many team's trade board. That player is Evan Turner, the forward is very young and looks promising (like the whole Sixers team). With that being said, I don't expect them to pull the trigger on any of these trades.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors are in a full scale rebuild. It has been rumored that Toronto is willing to part with everyone except Jonas Valančiūnas. That includes star Rudy Gay, who is rumored to be in the mix to go to teams such as The Lakers, Cavaliers, Thunder, and several others teams.  With the fire sale going on up north, you have to wonder if anyone is safe.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What To Do With Rajon Rondo?

We all know that superstar point guard Rajon Rondo is out due to a torn ACL. Rondo is still recovering from his injury and there is no set date for his return. As of right now, there is no urgency for Rondo’s return as the Celtics are in a rebuilding season. The question is: Should the Celtics keep Rondo or trade him?

When Rondo returns, he could possibly lead the Celtics to a 8th or 9th seed with Jeff Green and Avery Bradley by his side. Do the Celtics want to become the next Milwaukee Bucks or Atlanta Hawks in recent years and just get into the playoffs year after year, but then lose to more talented teams like the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers?  No. This is why the Celtics should trade their superstar point guard Rajon Rondo.

Player Analysis: Boston @ Minnesota

The Boston Celtics fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-88. Although they fought hard, the Celtcs couldn't get the job done in Minnesota because of the lack of transition defense. Boston truly had no answer for the Timberwolves run n' gun offense, but some Boston individuals like Avery Bradley really stood out in the tough loss.
  • Guard Avery Bradley scored 27 points with 3 rebounds in 36 minutes. His point total was a career high for the young defensive specialist. (See other post) 
  • Forward Brandon Bass scored 15 points with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 30 minutes of play in Saturday nights loss. Bass continued his solid play in this game while being a strong presence down low against the highly skilled Minnesota frontcourt of Love and Pekovic.
  • Vitor Faverani had nine points and 14 rebounds. Brad Stevens penciled in Vitor's name in the starting lineup today, and Faverani really was up to the challenge; he played great. His standout play was his chase-down block in the second quarter.
  • Power Forward Jared Sullinger had just three points in 14 minutes. His performance was very disappointing because he had such a great game yesterday against the Magic in his first game back from a minor back injury. Sully had 26 points and 8 rebounds in that contest.
  • Small Forward Jeff Green did not play well only scoring 2 points with 7 rebounds and a assist and making 0/6 field goals in 30 minutes of play. Boston's 22 turnovers led to 28 points for the Timberwolves.
The Celtics have lost three in a row following a four-game winning streak. Courtney Lee, sore right wrist, and Keith Bogans, illness, missed the game for the Celtics. With the loss, the Celtics now fall to 4-7 and have fallen to fourth place in the Atlantic Division behind the Brooklyn Nets.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bradley has Career Game in Loss to the T-Wolves

Although Boston lost to Minnesota tonight, they got massive production from shooting guard Avery Bradley. In his career, Bradley is a bad 3-point shooter has a streaky mid-range jump-shot. But during tonight's game in Minnesota, Bradley's shot was definitely on and he was aggressive in getting to his spots, unlike Jeff Green, who is unstoppable when he's aggressive but disappears when he's passive. (future post).

With a career-high 27 points, the defensive specialist Bradley carried the load offensively for the green. Bradley had 27 points, Brandon Bass had 15 points, Jordan Crawford had 10, and no other Celtic had double-digit scoring. But there was a Marshon Brooks sighting! He got his first legitimate minutes of the season and he made a very good first impression with 8 points in 17 minutes. It's still a mystery why coach Stevens hadn't played Brooks earlier. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Pickup Team>>>MJ's Pickup Team

[Courtesy of]

Today, the G.O.A.T Michael Jordan announced what his 'unbeatable' pickup basketball team would be. On his team, he selected Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Scottie Pippen, and James Worthy. I definitely don't believe that this is the best possible team of basketball players in different eras you could team up, but Jordan has a soft spot in his heart for James Worthy and Scottie Pippen. Pippen helped MJ win 6 NBA titles and Worthy played with Michael in college and they won a NCAA Championship together. No doubt, this team's chemistry would be off the charts. Jordan's pickup team would look like this:

PG: Magic
SF: Pippen
PF: Worthy
C: Olajuwon.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Has Crawford Made His Point At The Point?

With superstar point guard Rajon Rondo, out for the foreseeable future, the Celtics have had to resort to unorthodox players to run the point. With Phil Pressey, the rookie out of Missouri being the only true point guard on the roster, the Celtics have called on the notorious ball hog, Jordan Crawford, to put the team needs over his own stat-line.
Jordan Crawford has spent the majority of his career as a pure scorer off the bench in Atlanta for the Hawks, in Washington for the Wizards, or in Boston for the historically renowned Celtics. (I use the term scorer loosely). Jordan Crawford reminded me a lot of New York’s JR Smith, he would shoot with reckless abandonment.  During his first four years in the league, Crawford never shot above 42% from the field.  This year, the Celtics have asked Crawford to reinvent himself  to fit the role of a point guard and he has slid into the role with relative ease, which is something most Boston fans didn’t expect.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Grading The First 8 Games of Brad Stevens:

Grade: C+

Now I know this isn't the best grade, but the Celtics aren't the best team. The celtics rank 20th in points scored, 23rd in assists, and 25th in rebounding. But for Stevens, I can't give help but grade on a curve. Let's start with the obvious, he's a rookie head coach. This plays a part in the grade, but it cannot be ignored that Boston has major issues to fix. 

This is the most important factor for this Boston team.  This factor has derailed Celtic championships since 2009.  With Rondo, Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and others have missed significant time since the last championship.  With all the veterans gone, and all-star point guard Rajon Rondo out until Christmas, the Celtics can't afford any more injuries.

How Are the Celtics Winning???

After their win against the 120-105 victory over the Orlando Magic, the Celtics have improved to 4-4 on the season. The Boston Celtics, who were supposed to be the worst team in the NBA, would be the 4th seed in the playoffs if the postseason started today. That's crazy. How are they doing it? I'll give you a clue; it's not because they have more talent than other teams.

Reason #1: They're running. 
With 13.2 fast-break points per game, the Celtics are 15th in the NBA in that category after 8 games. Easy baskets have sparked runs for Boston this year and it has given confidence to some of their young players that may be offensively challenged like Avery Bradley and Phil Pressey. Although they're only 15th in the NBA in fast-break points, their overall offensive pace is very fast compared to previous years under coach Dic Rivers. In their win against the Heat, the C's outscored the Heat 15-5 on the break.

Reason #2: They're buying in to Stevens.
Brad Stevens has basically instilled a college-style offense to a NBA team but modified it a little. The very simple offense consists of dribble handoffs, pick and rolls, and back door cuts. Somehow, he found a way to include all three of those basic basketball concepts into one continuous motion offense. The Boston Celtics are 16th in overall offensive efficiency.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Vitor Faverani or Kelly Olynyk?

The Celtics and rookie head coach Brad Stevens have a GOOD problem on their hands. They have two talented big men who both make valuable cases to becoming the starting center in Boston.  
The question is: Vitor Faverani or Kelly Olynyk?

Vitor Faverani came out of Spain and made a big impression in the preseason.  Over the course of this young season, Faverani has averaged 6.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, and 1.6 blocks per game. Faverani had a huge game in the Celtics home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks. He exploded for 12 points, 18 rebounds, and 6 blocks in 37 minutes of play. What I find puzzling is after that game, Brad Stevens progressively played him less and less after the season opener. With his minutes being dropped, Faverani's production dropped. Excluding his first two games, Faverani has averaged 3.6 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, and 0.4 blocks per game. Not as impressive... Faverani is a great shot blocker and he uses his big body to clog the paint and driving lanes. The Spaniard has his starting role revoked in the latest game against the Heat and he only played 3 minutes totaling 2 points in the game.  Was this the right decision by Brad Stevens?
Kelly Olynyk is considered a cornerstone for the Celtics in upcoming seasons after he dominated at Gonzaga.  Olynyk played off the bench for the Celtics' first six games and was relatively effective off the bench. His averages while serving as a bench scorer were 9.8 points per game, and 5.6 rebounds per game. Pretty Good. Contrary to Faverani, Olynyk played more and more minutes as the season went on. In his first career start in the NBA against the Heat on Saturday night Olynyk totaled 7 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Most people look upon this performance as one of his weaker ones, but I look at it from a different perspective. Olynyk may not have scored many points, but he didn’t need to, Jeff Green (24 points), Avery Bradley (17 points) and Jordan Crawford (15 points) all had big scoring nights.  What Boston needed was rebounding and passing.  Olynyk led his team in rebounding with 8 boards, and had a three way tie with Jordan Crawford and Phil Pressey with 4 assists to lead the team.  Olynyk is not as effective as a defender as Faverani but he can still hold his own.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

This Is Not How To Tank

The Boston Celtics were supposed to be in competition for the popular #Tank4Wiggins trend that included division rivals, Philadelphia 76ers, along with the Phoenix Suns, but it has instead been the polar opposite. While the 3-4 record that the Celtics currently present is below .500, they are doing better than the newest super team and Atlantic rival, the Brooklyn Nets, and one of their arch rivals in the New York Knicks (both 2-4).

With the Celtics currently on a three game win streak, with wins against the Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, and most notably, the Miami Heat, it seems as though things may be picking up in bean town, but the question I have for Boston is whether or not to put their future on the line in a season where they know that they are not bringing the Larry O'Brien trophy back to Boston.

With talent such as Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, and Jabari Parker, all probable to feature in the upcoming draft, it makes a lot more sense to tank for a high draft pick rather than a low playoff seed. Brad Stevens is proving he can compete at the highest level after making the switch from the college game to the pro game, but his focus should be on fielding a competitive team in the near future rather than playing for a first round playoff exit at the hands of the Heat, Pacers, or Bulls.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Celtics Stun the Heat

I'm just so pumped up and hyper right now to describe the game and recap it in words. Oh. My. God. That just happened. Boston won the one game that I actually cared about this season and doing so, they strung together a three-game winning streak. Somehow, they look half-decent. The players are buying into Stevens, their hustling on both ends of the court, and their scrapping for points. On their road trip they just kept finding ways to win. Here's how they won the game tonight #beattheheat

As much credit as Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, and Brad Stevens should get, the Celtics only had the opportunity to win the game because Dwayne Wade made a bonehead mistake by intentionally missing his second free throw so badly, it was a violation. That gave the Celtics a glimmer of life and they took that glimmer, and made it into a W in 0.6 Celtics.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bass Leads C's Past Magic

With 16 points and 7 rebounds, power forward Brandon Bass lead the Boston Celtics to a 91-89 nail-biting victory over his former team, the Orlando Magic. Bass also helped the team with a key late block in the fourth quarter. 

But it wasn't just Bass who played well for the Green. Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, and Jeff Green had very efficient offensive games while providing great defensive play. Avery Bradley, the defensive-minded guard for the C's, had a very important steal on rookie Victor Oladipo which resulted in an "and-one" dunk. Bradley's full court pressure really harassed and bothered Victor Oladipo for much of the game. Avery Bradley's stats included 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block. 

Jordan Crawford, one of Boston's many "wild card" players, really showed up in a positive way in the game. The guard who is known for having turnover problems played a very clean game and even showed some signs of life defensively for once. His hands looked quick, for he had quite a few deflections which resulted in turnovers. The Celtics scored a season-high 25 points off of turnovers and a lot of that was in part because of Jordan Crawford.

Jeff Green also played very well, even though the stat sheet doesn't really stick out to you. He only had 10 points, but he sparked the team's momentum at times with his ferocious slams; most notably the dunk on Jason Maxiell. 

During the late fourth quarter, Orlando was clawing back at the Celtics lead. In fact, Arron Afflalo's jump shot that was just inside the three-point arc cut the lead to one point! If Afflalo shot the jumper about 6 inches farther from the basket than he did, the game probably would have had a different outcome. The game would be tied with under a minute left and coach Stevens would be forced to prove that he can coach effectively in tough situations.

But the shot was a two-pointer. And the Celtics hung on to their lead for the win. Although we are currently still in full-tanking mode, Boston's record improved to 2-4 on the season and under Brad Stevens. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stevens Leads Celtics to First Victory

The Boston Celtics were able to hold on to the win tonight versus the Utah Jazz with the help of Brandon Bass' timely, clutch shooting in the fourth quarter. Brad Stevens got his first win as a NBA coach with a victory over a team led by Gordon Hayward, a player whom he coached at Butler University just a few years ago.

Brandon Bass led the Celtics in scoring with 20 points and Jeff Green, who didn't play in crunch-time yet again had 18. Gordon Hayward carried the load for Utah with 28 points and 9 rebounds, but it obviously wasn't enough.

Boston Celtics: 97
Utah Jazz: 87

This is Why Basketball is More Than Just a Game

This is Kevin Ware last March:

Kevin Ware, the guard for Louisville University suffered one of the most gruesome injuries any sport has ever seen. Today, during the first exhibition game, this is what happened:

His first shot since his terrible knee injury, he take the three ball from the wing. Splash! The Louisville crowd goes wild and Kevin acts like it's nothing. He just simply takes a few hops and gets back on defense into the full-court press to help his team. What a kid!!
After the game, Kevin spoke to reporters, "I was a little nervous," Ware said. "I didn't expect to get in so late. Me and Coach didn't really talk about it."

Monday, November 4, 2013

NBA Power Rankings: The Boston Celtics

The Celtics have started off their season 0-3, and their performances have been anything but inspiring. They have proved nothing to any fans who were cynical of them in the beginning of the season. Somehow, they have proved even less to the big shots in sports media...

ESPN: #30

Not surprisingly, the worldwide leader in sports ranked the Celtics dead last on their weekly power ranking.

CBS Sports: #30

Although CBS has the Celtics 30 just like ESPN, I really enjoyed this power ranking better. It was easier on the eyes and the blurb about every team was just plain better. My compliments go to NBA writer, Matt Moore who put the rankings together. For the comments on the Celtics, Moore wrote, "Remember, they don't rebuild. They reload." Even though Boston got the last spot on CBS' power rankings, they achieved the #1 spot on the power tanking list. #tankforwiggins

Yahoo Sports: #30

Yet another hater. But maybe rightfully so.

NBA.COM: #30

Maybe everyone is overlooking Boston. They can't get any worse, maybe Brad Stevens will start winning some games. Maybe Gerald Wallace will actually help the team. Nah. Who am I kidding?

Sports Illustrated: #30

I'm just about done with this. It's getting really frustrated. I'm used to rooting for good teams. Boston fans have honestly been so lucky. We are so spoiled.


WE'RE NOT LAST!!!! LETS GO!!! This was actually my favorite ranking. Not only because the Celtics weren't dead last, but also because the overall post was cleaner than all the others. The analysis for all 30 teams was solid and two teams were awarded "biggest rise" and "biggest fall" in the ranks.

So it will only get better for the Celtics. They play the Cavaliers tonight and hopefully they will achieve their first victory of the season versus Uncle Drew and company. Brad Stevens hasn't been very impressive so far compared to my high expectations, but hopefully he realizes he's not coaching college anymore and he starts stringing together some W's.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Russell Westbrook Back?

The star point guard for the OKC Thunder who tore up his knee last year in the playoffs and wasn't supposed to be back for another two weeks is apparently in TONIGHT'S lineup versus the Phoenix Suns. He has reportedly passed all of his rehab benchmarks and is all set to go. He continues the trend that Adrian Peterson set of recovering from devastating knee injuries abnormally quickly. How are they doing it? Did Westbrook make a quick trip to Germany?

I'm sure Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City's face of the franchise, is happy to get Westbrook back. Although everyone at ESPN bashes Russell Westbrook for his shot selection, Russell is a valuable part of the Thunder's offense. Without him, KD has had to shoulder the load offensively, scoring 27.5 points per game through the first five regular season games. But it's obvious that he and his team miss Russell Westbrooks explosive offense, tenacious defense, and all-around amazing athleticism, for OKC has just 2 wins on the season. In their three losses, the Thunder have put up 81, 95, and 102 points on the board.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Aftermath of the Celtics Collapse

Although it's only the second game of the season, it's never good to surrender the game after leading by 22 points in the third quarter. It was eerily similar to game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. The Lakers were down 13 to the Celtics and they tore the hearts out of everyone in Boston by coming back and winning the game.

In the aftermath of blowing the huge lead against the Milwaukee Bucks, veteran forward Gerald Wallace, who has bounced around the NBA in his career and is now on the Celtics, had some thoughts about his team's performance. “We got selfish,” Wallace said. “Instead of worrying about winning the ball game, we were more worried about our stats and getting points. It showed. We went from a team that was together and moving and playing together in the first half to a team that was five individuals out on the court, everyone playing for themselves, and it showed on the defensive end.”