Thursday, January 30, 2014

Will The Truth Return for Good?

via sportsinreview.com

Paul Pierce, The Truth, who spent his first 15 seasons in the NBA in Celtic green, will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2013-2014 year. The Truth matured as a person and player as he played in Boston. He went through ultimate low times in his life, like getting stabbed 11 times in a night club, and all-time highs like winning the 17th Boston Celtics NBA Championship. Paul Pierce means so much to the city of Boston, and that was apparent during his return to the Boston Garden, when the Celtics played his tribute video and the crowd reacted extremely emotionally.

Along with Pierce meaning a lot to the city of Boston, Paul Pierce resonates with me on a personal level too. Pierce, who is my favorite player ever, left Boston for Brooklyn in the off season with his best friend, Kevin Garnett. KG and Pierce will always be in my heart because they brought the only championship banner to Boston 21st Century and the only one in my lifetime. 

The feelings between Pierce and the fans is mutual, he said this after his return to the Garden. "I just wanna give a special thank you [to the fans]," Pierce said. "Through my bad times, through my immature times, through my growing up and becoming a man in this city, to winning a championship and everybody sticking with me and standing behind me, I'd just like to tell them thank you."

I'm convinced that Pierce, in his heart, will forever be a Celtic. As soon as he retires, '34' will be hung up in the rafters right next to the Big Ticket's '5'. Even though Pierce will always be in the Celtics' building, will he have the opportunity to retire in Boston?

The Boston Celtics, who have been labelled as a rebuilding team, would probably not sign Pierce to a legitimate contract. With that said, Danny Ainge is an unbelievable general manager, who has the reputation for making unbelievable moves in both free agency and on the trading block. If The Truth decides to not hang it all up, it is likely that his destination of choice would be the beloved Boston. 

Danny Ainge, who stuck with Pierce through the thick and thins of the early and immature parts of his career, probably has a little sweet spot in his heart for Paul, just like the whole city of Boston. I wouldn't be surprised if Pierce agrees with the Celtics to sign either a 10 day contract or a 1 year, 1 million dollar deal. Both of those deals would make sense because Pierce would be ecstatic to play for the team where his heart is, and the Celtics P-R department would blow up and they would sell a crazy amount of tickets. TV ratings for 10 games would be through the roof, and the The Truth could retire after a game in the Garden and give the Boston Faithful one of his signature bows. 

Even if Pierce retires after this season with Brooklyn, he and the Celtics organization has expressed interest in Pierce joining Boston as a coach or in management. After he was traded to Brooklyn, Pierce made a quick remark about his possible future role in the organization. "I may be working for Wyc Grousbeck or Danny Ainge".  It's also well documented that Pierce wants to at the very least open up a sports bar in Boston because he "still has relationships" in the city. 

So don't be surprised if Paul Pierce returns to the Celtics organization eventually as a player, coach, or in management. And at the very least, you can find him at his own sports bar in downtown Boston in 2015. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

#GoodinGreen: Part 2


In Part One of the #GoodinGreen series, I gave a scouting report on future lottery pick, Dante Exum, the combo guard from Australia. In this post, I will breakdown Jabari Parker, the highly touted swingman from Duke.

Parker, who grew up in Chicago, was named the "Best high school basketball player since Lebron James" in a 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine. But the title was stripped of his name like a WWE belt because Parker sat out his last season in high school due to injury. Andrew Wiggins, another coveted young star, overtook the #1 high school recruit.

Right now it's clear that Parker is a better player than Wiggins, for he's more developed offensively and physically. Parker is a natural small forward with outstanding athleticism and his post game is very impressive, so he can play small ball four in the NBA. Parker is the most NBA-ready prospect in the NCAA, but he probably doesn't have as much "upside" potential as Wiggins or Joel Embiid.

Any NBA team would be ecstatic to have Jabari Parker on their roster, but only one team can draft him. And that team might be the Celtics.

If the Celtics have a pick and Parker is still on the board, Danny Ainge would be quick to pull the trigger on the Duke star.

Jabari Parker and the Boston Celtics would go together like salt and pepper; their offense would thrive, Parker's game would further develop under great coaching, and Boston would return as playoff contenders if they make a free agent signing.

With Jeff Green being extremely inconsistent offensively and the current center situation being a mess, Parker could either play over Green or with him at the four position.

If the Celtics are fortunate enough to get the second or third pick and Parker is still available, the Celtics' rebuilding process would immediately be over. He has enough raw talent and athleticism to singlehandedly return success to TitleTown. 

Jabari Parker would definitely look #GoodinGreen. 

Reviewing the Tribute Videos

Big Ticket and The Truth gaze at the JumboTron
 via espn.go.com

Everyone in America has seen the videos, or at least some of them, but not everyone knows how a die-hard Celtics fan feels about them. My favorite basketball player of all time, Paul Pierce, returned to the Garden last night (My second favorite player is Garnett). I'm not going to lie, I almost cried during the KG video and I actually cried during the Pierce. I wasn't bawling or anything, but there was a tear or two running down my cheek. I wasn't the only one; former Celtic Kendrick Perkins shared some feelings with me.

Let's start with the reviews, shall we?

THE KG VIDEO TRIBUTE: 




This video wasn't as sad as Pierce's, for KG played for just 6 seasons and didn't quite resonate as much on a personal level with all the fans. Everyone loved him, but they weren't as attached to him as The Truth. With that said, I thought this video was done beautifully. It captured KG's intense nature and his role in the 2008 Championship. The music wasn't great, but it was still a wonderful tribute that definitely did its job.
B+

Paul Pierce Tribute Video:



Like I mentioned earlier, Paul Pierce is my favorite basketball player ever, with KG a step behind him. I was so sad to see him go to Brooklyn, and I was so sad to see him play against Boston last night. But when this video played again, I fell in love all over again with him. This man was stabbed in a club 11 times and didn't miss a game!!! He plays with so much heart and passion and he gave the city of Boston its only NBA championship in the 21st century. The video was excellent and the reaction from Pierce and the crowd was even better. He did a little bow just like the one after he hit the buzzer beater over Al Harrington after yelling at him for 15 seconds.  This was amazing and it make me think about if it's possible for The Truth to come back, which I will probably write about this Friday, so remember to check it out! I know how hard the video guys for the Celtics worked on these two videos from reading various stories on them, so I would like to personally say thank you to everyone behind the scenes who put together the montages. Anyways, the video was perfect,
A+

For some additional fantastic articles about the tribute videos, click here and here.

This is the post game press conference for Paul and Kevin....

Game Recap: Brooklyn @ Boston


Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce returned to Boston on Sunday, but that didn't seem to bother Brooklyn as they still won 85-79.
Pierce and KG each had 6 points. Pierce struggled from the field as he missed 8 of his 10 shots. Garnett had 3 rebounds including a steal from Rajon Rondo with 20 sec left that led to a uncontested bucket to close out the game.
Also returning to Boston was Jason Terry a.k.a JET. The sharpshooter spent 1 year in Boston. He finished with 3 points 33% shooting.
The Celtics have now lost 17 out of their last 20. They were led by Brandon Bass and Rajon Rondo. Bass had 17 pts and 8 rebounds while Rondo had 13 pts and 8 assists.
Game Leaders:
Pts: Brandon Bass- 17 Andray Blatche- 17
Rebs: 2 tied with 8 Linvingston- 8
Asts: Rondo- 8 Williams-7
Boston will take on the Knicks next on Tuesday.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Preview: Brooklyn @ Boston

Sunday will be an emotional day in Boston as it will mark Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce's return to Boston for the first time since the blockbuster trade that sent them to Brooklyn. In these 2 teams last meeting, Brooklyn came out victorious as they won 106-94.

 Starting Lineups: Boston/ PG- Phil Pressey SG- Gerald Wallace SF- Jeff Green PF- Jared Sullinger C- Kris Humphries

Brooklyn/ PG- Deron Williams SG- Joe Johnson SF- Alan Anderson PF- Paul Pierce C- Kevin Garnett

Brooklyn has been on fire as of late. They have won 4 out of their last 5 games and 9 out of 10. They are turning their season around. As for the Celtics, it looks as if their struggles will never end. They have lost 4 out of their last 5 including a 101-83 L to a Durant-less OKC on Friday. The return of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will be the most signifacant headline of the game, as the Nets will likely close out the C's for their 5th win in their last 6 games.

Predicted Final Score:
Brooklyn- 106
Boston- 92

Welcome Home! #CelticsForever


Top 10 KG and Pierce Moments



















KG and Pierce Return to the Garden

via thenosebleeds.com

For the first time this season, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will return to Beantown, the city where they both won their one and only blue chip. The two teams will square off in the Garden at 6:30 PM eastern time. For Pierce, it will be the first time ever that he will play in the Boston Garden while not wearing Celtics green. It will likely be an emotional night in the Garden. The Truth and KG will undoubtably get a long, loud standing ovation from the Boston Faithful.

Rondo spoke about the topic with ESPN's Chris Forsberg...
"Just like I played against [Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins on Friday] night," said Rondo. "There might be a lot of [expletive]-talking, but it’ll be fun. They are competitors, they compete. And I’ll do the same." 
It was announced that there will be two separate pre-game video tributes; one for Pierce and one for Garnett.

Thank you for everything you two have done for the Celtics organization and the city of Boston. Here is a tribute to the veterans careers as Celtics: 



Beantown Ballin' (1/20 - 1/26)

Photo Courtesy of ESPN

In a four game week, the Celtics struggled again only managing one win.  Although it was a widely negative week, a few positives can be drawn from this fairly negative week.

Orlando Magic

It was 19 days into January, and the Magic had still not won a game in the new calendar year.  Thankfully for the Magic, they were facing off against a suffering Celtics squad, and grabbed their first win of 2014.  The Magic can thank Arron Afflalo for their two point victory.  Afflalo had 20 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists.  Kris Humphries continued his string of successful games with a 18 point, 12 rebounds, and 2 block performance. Rajon Rondo struggled mightily this game only registering 6 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists on putrid 3-10 shooting from the field.  Jeff Green was a pure scorer this game going off for 22 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds. A heart breaking loss for the Celtics, but they simply could not contain Arron Afflalo. 

For game highlights, click here

Miami Heat

It is always tough to play the Miami Heat, and it is even tougher when you are playing in Miami.  The Celtics felt the wrath of LeBron James and co. in a 93-86 defeat. LeBron James dropped 29 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.  Again, Kris Humphries was the star of the Celtics recording another double double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Rajon Rondo struggled mightily this game, only putting up 1 point, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds.  Off the bench, Brandon bass led the Celtics in scoring with 15 points. The Celtics allowed the Heat to shoot over 50% from the field which is the biggest reason on why the Celtics got the L.

For game highlights, click here.


Washington Wizards

The Celtics were able to come away with a win in overtime over the Washington Wizards even though they were extremely undermanned.  In the 113-111 OT victory, the Celtics resorted to signing Vander Blue to a 10 day contract because they were so depleted.  Blue played for four minutes and tallied up 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist.  The real star of the game was Jeff Green who had his best performance of the season with 39 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals. Phil Pressey also had his best game to date with 20 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals.  This win took a little of grit and heart for the Celtics, but it was all worth it in the end.

For game highlights, click here.


Oklahoma City Thunder

This game was simply embarrassing, the Thunder were playing without Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, and the Celtics could still not manage a win.  Serge Ibaka led the way with 21 points and 7 rebounds for the Thunder with Reggie Jackson and Perry Jones starting in place of the injured stars.  Rajon Rondo found his passing ways again tallying 8 assists, but still struggled scoring the basketball.  Gerald Wallace was the Celtics top performer with 13 points 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.  That is how bad the Celtics played.  This team has no excuses to lose a game like this, and they need to pump up their energy for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce's much anticipated return to Boston. 

For game highlights, click here.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Project Boston: The Center Situation

(http://images.kpopstarz.com/data/images/full/136745/joel-embiid-monster-block.jpg)
Kelly Olynyk, Vitor Faverani, Joel Anthony, the Boston Celtics...What do those four have in common? The players all play on the Celtics as of right now. That needs to change. The first step to rebuilding is too get a strong big man who can create havoc.

Look back through history and you'll see faces such as Wilt Chamberlin, Willis Reed, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Moses Malone, Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and the Celtics very own Bill Russell. Taking a walk through history gives us the idea that big man change the game, though many had sidekicks such as Ewing - Starks, Reed - Frazier, Shaq - Bryant, etc big men can change the complexion of a franchise and that is where Danny Ainge and the Celtics need to start in order to reshape the franchise.

Through free agency not many young faces arise, but one player who may not live up to the superstar potential of a Patrick Ewing or Hakeem Olajuwon, but could be a viable starter is Greg Monroe. Monroe, currently a Detroit Piston, is currently averaging 14.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg, and 2.0 apg as the fourth scoring option in Detroit. Monroe is currently only 23, and would play a bigger role in Boston, but whether or not he could live up to some of the greats who have been forces in the interior is a stretch, especially when considering his lackadaisical low post defense.

The better rout for the Celtics would be to go through the draft. This years draft is expected to be one of the more star studded ones, and after the semi disastrous 2013 draft that has produced more busts than breakout rookies, I think not only do the fans, but the GM's deserve it.

This years draft will feature names such as Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Marcus Smart, and Julius Randle, but the there are only two players the Celtics should look into getting in Joel Embiid, and Noah Vonleh. Embiid, who many consider to be a "project player", has been a surprise to the NCAAM world as he has averaged a solid 11.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.8 bpg, and 1.3 apg while converting on a 67% clip from the field. He could be the big body who looks down the interior and plays the role of big body that the Celtics have lacked this season upon the departure of Kevin Garnett.

The other option for Boston is to go after the underrated big man out of Indiana in Noah Vonleh. Vonleh is a stretch five for the Celtics and possesses a strong three point shooting stroke as he is converting at a 55.6% clip from behind the arc while almost averaging a double double with his 12.4 ppg, and 9.4 rpg to go alongside his 1.3 bpg. Not only is he a big body on defense, but he can provide an offensive spark and in a fast flowing offensive system that Brad Stevens runs, Vonleh could thrive, potentially developing into Paul Gasol type of player.

The Celtics need to start the rebuilding process and depending on their long term goals, the decision on whether or not to get a center through the draft or free agency will differ, but there are ample options this offseason, and the first place to start for Boston is at the five. 

What will the Celtics Future Look Like?

via masslive.com
"I like to stick to the script. I don't like change much. I wouldn't mind staying here for the rest of my career. Things don’t always seem to go that way, but like I said before, it’s just a business. I wouldn't mind extending another 10 years in Boston." 
Those are the words that star point guard Rajon Rondo told reporters when asked about his future with the organization. Rondo and Ainge have expressed mutual interest to sign a contract extension for either two or three additional years. The point guard deserves and will get superstar money.

We all know that Danny Ainge (shown above), is open to any trade or free agent options, for he has traded young, talented players, transcendent, veteran players, and everyone in between. This year, he has traded away Courtney Lee, Marshon Brooks, and most importantly, leading scorer Jordan Crawford. In return, the Celtics received inferior players like Jerryd Bayless and Joel Anthony and potentially gold-value draft picks.

It seems like the Celtics have a few more trades in them before the February 20 NBA trade deadline. Ainge is probably looking to deal Gerald Wallace and Avery Bradley for various reasons. I truly believe that ultimately anyone on the roster besides Rondo and maybe Sullinger is on the trading block and Ainge would be willing to pull the trigger if the deal is favorable for the future.

Who will be the next Celtics player to go? It seems like nobody is safe besides Rondo and Sully, so I predict that either Gerald Wallace, Avery Bradley, Kris Humphries, Brandon Bass, or Jeff Green will be the next to go. They are all actually playing particularly well, which drives their trade value up tremendously.

Kris Humphries' contract expires after this season, so the Celtics are desperate to trade his 12M contract for practically anything. He's playing well, so maybe, just maybe, it's possible to get rid of him for more picks. Ainge really, really believes in rebuilding through the draft.

Avery Bradley declined the Celtics offseason contract extension and will become a free agent after this season. Rather than just watch him go for free, Ainge will likely try to trade him and get a pick out of him, just like Hump.

The Celtics, who will have loads of cap space for the 2014 free agent class if they make one or two more favorable trades, could shoot for a big name in the market. Names like Gordon Hayward, Greg Monroe, Paul Pierce, and maybe even my favorite player in the NBA, Lance Stephenson, who is restricted and will likely sign back with the Pacers. For more free agent options for the Celtics, click here, and for trade options, click here and here

The Celtics have two first round picks and a second round pick in the 2014 draft, due to the Nets and Joel Anthony trades. They will have one in the lottery and one outside of the top 14, but nonetheless are two very valuable assets. The Celtics will probably have around the fifth pick, so players like Dante Exum, Julius Randle, or Aaron Gordon could still be around for the taking.

In the next five years, the Celtics could possibly have over 9 picks because of various trades, the biggest one being with the Nets. The Celtics received four first round picks from the Nets in the KG and Pierce deal, a trade that proved Danny Ainge knows what he's doing to say the least.

Here is an estimate of what the Celtics 15 man roster will look like next year:

  • Rajon Rondo
  • Jared Sullinger
  • Kelly Olynyk
  • Joel Anthony
  • Jerryd Bayless (Resigned)
  • Vitor Faverani
  • Phil Pressey
  • Gerald Wallace (Sadly)
  • Chris Johnson
  • Draft Picks A, B, and C
  • Free Agent A, B, and C

It may be hard to imagine because of my stupid letter system, but if you replace the A's and B's with some players that were mentioned earlier or in the links, that is definitely a playoff team.

Brad Stevens, the coach of the Boston Celtics, has proved that it doesn't truly matter how much talent is on the floor; he can win with anyone. He has been winning games with guys named Vander Blue and Chris Johnson contributing legitimate minutes. He turned Jordan Crawford, a notorious ball-hog into a near 20 point scorer and eventually a bunch of draft picks. All coach Stevens does is win, even when the Celtics aren't trying to win. And that can be scary if he's suddenly surrounded by a ton of talent through the draft and free agency. The Celtics rebuilding process may not be so much of a process after all; maybe just a quick turnaround rebuilding season.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Preview: Boston @ Washington

via bostonherald.com
After an emotional loss to the Miami Heat the Celtics suffered last night, they hope to bounce back tonight against the Washington Wizards. They will have to do so with limited back court depth; here is the injury report for tonight's game:

Celtics:
Rajon Rondo, PG (Knee)
Avery Bradley, SG (Ankle)
Jerryd Bayless, PG/SG (Toe)

Wizards:
Al Harrington, PF (Knee)
Trevor Booker, PF (Ankle)
Without Rondo, Bradley, and Bayless, players like Phil Pressey, Chris Johnson, and Vander Blue will have to carry the load offensively, which isn't very promising. The Celtics are in a very tough position right now at the guard positions due to injuries and the Jordan Crawford trade, so this game is kind of like an experiment to see how good all these ├╝ber young players are.

Washington, who has won 4 out of their last 5 games, are very strong in the back court with Bradley Beal and John Wall. Look for them to score in bunches against the Celtics without Rondo and Bradley. The Wizards are fifth in the Eastern Conference and they recently beat the Heat; everything seems to be coming together with them because of the acquisition for big man Marcin Gortat, who anchors the defense and is solid offensively.

This game will be a tough one for the Celtics to win because it's on a back-to-back, they have a ton of injuries, and the Wizards are playing very good basketball right now. With that said, Brad Stevens and the Celtics will make it a scrappy, low scoring game which will give them a chance to win in the end. But their lack of depth and running out of steam late in the game is inevitable for this group, something we witnessed last night in Boston.

Predicted Final Score:
WAS: 96
BOS: 88

#GoodinGreen: Part 1

via craveonline.com

"With the fifth pick in the 2014 NBA draft, the Boston Celtics select.....DANTE EXUM!!!!"

I'm going to start off by saying that any doubters of Dante Exum have the same criticism of him and it truly isn't a valid point. That criticism is that the competition of play that he is up against in Australia, where he plays, is no match for the NCAA and NBA. While this is true, you can't downgrade Exum for being amazing in Australia, when he would be just as good playing in America. Just look what he did to the best NCAA players in his class in the Nike Hoops Summit: 


This 18 year old man led a team with Sergey Karasov, Andrew Wiggins, and Dennis Schroder to a dominating victory over Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh, Andrew Harrison, and Julius Randle. Exum ended the game with 16 points on 6-8 field goal shooting. This man was an explosive rim attacker, relentless defender, and smart play maker. 

The 6'6 combo guard is still improving and could easily fit on any team in the NBA, but he hasn't quite decided yet whether or not he will be going to college or the NBA next year. With that said, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that Exum recently met with "eight powerhouse player representation agencies and left them a strong impression that he plans to enter the June NBA draft."

If Exum decides to declare for the NBA and the Celtics drafted him with an early pick, many fans would be skeptical. But Exum is a prime prospect that would fit into the Celtics rotation beautifully with Avery Bradley likely not being on the roster next year one way or another. 

Who would you rather have if you're the Celtics? With the fifth pick in the draft, let's say that Embiid, Parker, Randle, and Wiggins are off the board, who do you take over Exum. Nobody. Not Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh. Nobody. 

Chad Ford, ESPN's NBA Draft expert has Exum exactly where I do: #5 on the big board right after the Mount Rushmore of Embiid, Parker, Randle, and Wiggins in that order. 

If the Celtics don't turn it around this season and they end up with a high lottery pick like it looks like now, Dante Exum would be a splendid choice by Danny Ainge and the talent scouts of the Boston Celtics organization because of Exum's raw talent/athleticism and massive potential. 

Dante Exum would look #GoodinGreen

UPDATE: EXUM HAS DECLARED FOR THE 2014 NBA DRAFT



Who is Vander Blue?

Photo courtesy of tk.reddit.com

Vander Blue, the physically gifted guard out of Marquette University was just signed to a 10 day contract by the Boston Celtics.

He will probably play a game or two in the D-League, where he is averaging 19 points per game. Ever since high school, Blue has been a more than capable scorer, one thing that the Celtics could use a little more of. Last week, Blue scored 35 in a D-League game so maybe Danny Ainge is just riding the hot hand.

Blue has bounced around from the Houston Rockets organization to the Memphis Grizzlies to the Philadelphia 76ers and then even to the Isreali Super league to play for Maccabi. From Maccabi, he was acquired by the Delaware 87ers of the D-League, where he averaged 19 points and earned a shot at the big leagues.

In college, this guy scored in bunches. He had range, he could drive and finish over bigger defenders, and he was the best defender on his team. He has a knack for absorbing contact in the lane and making spectacular AND-1s. Here is his draft day mixtape from Fox Sports:

 

It seems like Blue is a pretty good guy, for he has stayed out of trouble for all of his years playing basketball at a high level. It would appear that Blue has the potential to be a good teammate in the locker room and if he plays well like Chris Johnson just did, can earn a contract longer than 10 days. This is what Blue posted on Twitter after he knew the Celtics intended to sign him:


The signing is not official yet, but it's most likely going to happen because of what Yahoo Sports! reported and according to ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recap: BOS @ MIA: 93-86 L


Photo courtesy of nbablogstalk.blogspot.com

The Celtics lost a nail-biter the the kind-of-hated rivals, Miami Heat. As Rondo said before the game, "It's not a rivalry. But I still don't like those guys." It was clear that the two teams still don't like each other, but the Celtics just don't have the fire power skill-wise to compete with the best of the best. 

The Celtics were down 4 with 44.4 seconds left and Rajon Rondo at the line. Rondo missed the pair and the game was essentially over from there. After coming back from as much as 18 points, Rondo couldn't lead his team to the victory because of poor execution down the stretch. 

The devastating loss was definitely not ideal for the resilient Boston Celtics, but even though they lost the game and Avery Bradley, they may have found a hidden gem in Chris Johsnon, who was really, really hidden. 

Johnson, who was acquired by the Celtics from Memphis in the Courtney Lee deal, had averaged just 10.2 points in the D-League! He was only activated because of the injuries to back court teammate Jerryd Bayless and the limited minutes of Rajon Rondo. Johnsons' first NBA shot, a three from the corner, was true and that really gave him the confidence to have quite a nice Celtics' debut. His offensive rebounding and playmaking ability were key for the Celtics' comeback against Miami. 

Chris Johnson, who is signed to just a 10 day contract, ended the game with 11 points, 3 rebounds (2 offensive), and a key assist to Kris Humphries. He played very well for 25 minutes, but he wasn't the only Celtics player who had an outstanding performance tonight. Here are some standout players for the Green:

  • Kris Humphries -14 points, 13 rebounds; his second double-double in a row
  • Jared Sullinger - 12 points, 11 rebounds
  • Brandon Bass - 15 points

They lost the game, but gained a player. And with the impending signing of explosive offensive player Vander Blue, out of Marquette University, the Celtics may gain some more young, offensive talent. Blue dropped 35 points in a recent D-League game, which must have caught the attention of the Celtics' talent scouts, who are scouring for backcourt players with the injuries to Bayless and Bradley. 

The C's go on the road now to Washington, where they will play John Wall and the Wizards at 7:00 ET. 









Vander Blue photo courtesy of  host.madison.com

Breaking News: Avery Bradley Sprains Ankle

Photo courtesy of NESN.com

About 3 minutes into the second quarter, on the same play in which Gerald Wallace became hobbled, Avery Bradley took a fall at mid court while guarding the Heat point guard.

It was just announced that Avery sprained his right ankle and will not return to the game.

This is a low blow for a team that struggles offensively and especially from the shooting guard position. But it's not a huge deal because losing isn't a huge deal. The trainers better make sure Bradley is all healed before he comes back, for the longer he's out the less of a chance the Celtics have at winning games.

The injury will test the Boston Celtics' depth in the backcourt, for Jerryd Bayless is also dealing with an injury of his own. When Bradley went out, Chris Johnson went in and shot his first shot of his career. A three from the corner, got it! The Celtics will be forced to dig deeper into their D-League team, the Maine Red Claws, and possibly promote Chris Babb to the roster.

In the meantime, feel better Avery, but take your time coming back!

Preview: Miami @ Boston

Photo courtesy of celticslife.com


Rajon Rondo is back.
That name should ring a bell for the Miami Heat as Rondo has had some amazing performances against them in the regular season and playoffs. He is truly a Miami Assassin. The Heat will look to shut him down tonight as they will host the Celtics in Miami.



These 2 teams last met on November 9, 2013. Boston had the upper-hand as they won 111-100 on a last second 3 point shot by Jeff Green. Miami will look for payback tonight. This game also marks Joel Anthony's return to Miami. He was traded to Boston on Wednesday in a 3-team trade also involving the Warriors. Anthony played 6 seasons in Miami, while starting over 100 games. 


"The thing I already know about him is he is a great person to have on our team, " Stevens told the Celtics offical website. " I am thrilled that he's here. Practice wise in the locker room, personality. Clearly he's a person that trains and works the right way."



The Heat and Celtics are both struggling right now. Miami has lost 3 out of their last 5, while Boston has lost 9 straight on the road. The Heat, who are just 5-5 (.500) in 2014, lost to the Hawks, 114-121 on Monday. Their defense was the problem all game long.
"We scored enough points to win, so obviously it was defense," James said. "Especially in the first half."


Lebron had 30 points along with 6 assists and 4 rebounds.


Meanwhile, Boston has lost 9 straight on the road. They are 5-16 on the road overall. They will have to play nice competive basketball if they want to end that streak. This time around, they will have arugabally the best PG in the league back. Rondo came back on Friday against the Lakers. He scored 8 points and dished out 4 assists. Rondo will look to have a big game tonight as he has publically said that he hates the Heat, and would never play for them. This game will be hard fought, but I think Boston will come out strong in the end.
Predicted Final Score:

BOS: 104
MIA: 99

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t…

(http://sinbapointforward.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/rajon-rondo-knee-injury-2.jpg%3Fw%3D610%26h%3D407)
According to a recent report from NBC Sports, General Managers around the league have expressed interest in dealing for Rajon Rondo. He's supposedly expected to be traded before the trade deadline or at the 2014 NBA Draft. Will the Celtics trade him?


Yes, Rajon Rondo was made the fifteenth captain of the illustrious Boston Celtics. No, that does not mean that Danny Ainge cannot ship Rondo out of beantown come the NBA trade deadline on February 20th.

Rajon Rondo made his comeback after a torn ACL that kept him out for 7 months against fellow historians, the Los Angeles Lakers, and was better than expected as he produced 8 points on 4-9 shooting while also posting 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals in 19 minutes of action at the TD Garden. The effort was in vain as the Lakers won, but encouraging signs were taken out that are going to, once again, make him a target for viable suitors.

With teams such as Atlantic Division rivals, the New York Knicks, in desperate need of an explosive contract and possessing a set of expiring contracts, the Celtics should have no problem finding a trade partner, but the question remains on whether or not the stingy Ainge will budge from his fixated ways.

With many new stars in the faces of Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Andrew Harrison, Tyler Ennis, and Dante Exum rising through the draft ranks, the Celtics are going to have a lot of options to dip their toes into. While Rondo does remain as an all star caliber point guard, Joel Embiid could be the next Dwight Howard, Jabari Parker could be the next Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving is a free agent soon… See what I’m trying to get at?

The Celtics will have surplus options in the very near future, and could be competing for Larry O’Brien Trophy number seventeen by 2015 and one of the big ways of kick starting that pursuit is to deal Rondo.

Rondo is a facilitator, and can put up a solid scoring output, but the fact still remains that there are not only better options for the one in free agency, but also pieces that could expand the Celtics playoff potential, and could be instant impact players featuring in the 2014 draft.


TRADE RAJON!

Beantown Ballin' 1/13 - 1/19

Photo Courtesy of ESPN

This week was actually positive for the Celtics.  Boston won a game for the first time since December 28th against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately, the win came with two more losses in the week, but the Celtics ended their worst losing streak since 2007.  Whether positive or negative, the Jordan Crawford deal also took place this week.  The three team deal will definitely impact the Celtics in the near future. We can't forget that Rajon Rondo came back from injury either!

Houston Rockets

Even though this was such a lopsided loss, the Celtics can still draw some positives from this 12 point loss.  First off, Avery Bradley had a great game with 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.  Bradley took advantage of being matched up with James Harden and lackadaisical defense.  Another positive from this game was, Jerryd Bayless had his strongest game as a Celtic to date.  Bayless dropped 17 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals in 24 minutes of action off the bench.  A major negative from this game was Boston's interior defense.  Dwight Howard 32 points on 11-17 shooting from the field.  Not only was the interior defense bad, but all around the Celtics defense was bad.  Six people scored in double digits for the Rockets.  Houston also shot 42% from behind the arc.  Avery Bradley and Jerryd Bayless were both great, but the Celtics defense was simply not good enough to keep up with the Houston Rockets.

For Game Highlights Click Here

Toronto Raptors

The Celtics won!  Even being shorthanded because of the Jordan Crawford trade, the Celtics managed to win with Phil Pressey starting at point guard. You can thank Jared Sullinger for the W.  Sullinger dropped 25 points, 20 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.  Phil Pressey didn't manage to score a point, but he did have 10 assists and 3 rebounds.  The Celtics were lucky to come away with this victory because the shot 35% from the field, and 25% from behind the arc.  Avery Bradley also had another big game with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.

For Game Highlights Click Here

Los Angeles Lakers

This game was one of the best the Celtics have played this season.  Even though they lost by three, it was a great all around game.  In Rondo's return, he played 19 minutes and did alright.  Rondo had 8 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and only 1 turnover.  Rondo looked pretty good this season, and even did his patented "Rondo" move.  Rondo seemed to move fine and did not look winded at all. However, The real star of this game was Kelly Olynyk who exploded off the bench for 25 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block.  Phil Pressey came off the bench and had 6 points, 9 assists, and 2 steals. New addition Joel Anthony did not play this game.

For Game Highlights Click Here 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rondo Returns

Photo Courtesy of celticshub.com

Rajon Rondo returned to the lineup after almost a year away from the Celtics.  But unlike Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook Rondo's return went relatively under the radar.  His return was against the hated rival, The Los Angeles Lakers.  

Rondo had 8 points, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 rebounds in 19 minutes.  All things considered, Rondo had the best return other than Westbrook.  I'm expecting him to dominate the Orlando Magic tonight in his second game back.  He will get his first double-double.  However, I will refrain from saying his return will make the Celtics a playoff team until I see more games.

Los Angeles Lakers @ Boston Celtics: Recap

Photo Courtesy of lakernation.com
This post was written by Dontae Mifsud.


The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 107-104. Last night was the return of point guard Rajon Rondo who finished the game with 8 points with 2 rebounds and 4 assists in just 19 minutes of playing time. Forward Jeff Green had 12 points with 9 rebounds and 2 assists. Kelly Olynk had 25 points with 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Jared Sullinger had 11 points with 7 rebounds and 2 assists and guard Avery Bradley scored 12 points with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. 

Judging from last night's loss, Rondo was not totally himself, but will soon return to his normal playing style within the next few games. Kelly Olynk has also proven so far this year that he's worth starting and should be consodered for the starting role.

After the game, Brad Stevens explained his thoughts on Rajon Rondo's play:

"I thought he made a lot of plays down the stretch, [Rondo]just came up a little bit short. But I was glad he had the ball."

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Celtics Snap 9 Game Losing Streak


Photo via celtic-nation.com
After a brutal 9 game losing streak, the Boston Celtics, after trading starting point guard Jordan Crawford, got the 88-83 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Before the game, reserve guard Keith Bogans was excused from the team for reasons unspecified. Also, Rajon Rondo suited up and was activated for the first time in the 2013-14 season. The Celtics are 1-0 without Crawford, 1-0 with Rondo suiting up, and 1-0 without Keith Bogans on the team.

But those story lines were secondary to Jared Sullinger's performance. Sully had 25 points and 20 rebounds, a monster game that hasn't been done by a Celtics player since Kevin Garnett's first game in green.

Phil Pressey, now playing at the starting point guard position, had an excellent game. The little man played 26 quality minutes and he didn't score any points, but he only shot 5 times. Pressey facilitated the ball, dishing out 10 assists and really pushing the pace which resulted in easy baskets.

Even though the Celtics are in full-fledged 'rebuilding' mode, it was very nice to see them get the W. After the game, Brad Stevens discussed how he's handling the season:
"I want to win every single thing I do in life, but I’m not as concerned w/ breaking a streak per se, than I am playing good ball"
Another thing that was great about the victory for the Celtics, was the outstanding night from Team Give Her That Three, my fantasy basketball team led by Jared Sullinger.
This is for all the Fantasy Ball junkies out there:




Wednesday, January 15, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Crawford and Brooks Traded!

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Danny Ainge has made another trade to aid the Celtics and their tanking.  Here is the deal:

Celtics Receive: Joel Anthony (From Heat), potential lottery protected first round pick (From 76ers), 2016 second round pick (From Heat)

Warriors Receive: Jordan Crawford (From Celtics), MarShon Brooks (From Celtics)

Heat Receive: Toney Douglas (From Warriors)

This trade was obviously made to make the Celtics worse, making their path for the number one overall pick in the 2014 draft easier.  Trading breakout star Jordan Crawford, and long term project MarShon Brooks for a washed up Joel Anthony is not beneficial.  However, those two draft picks, especially the potential first rounder are definitely the main benefit for the Celtics.  The pick from the 76ers is lottery protected, and if the 76ers do not make the playoffs for the next two years, the first rounder will turn into two second round picks.  This trade marks the end of the Celtics ability to be successful this season.

This trade is also disappointing for Jordan Crawford who will likely be coming off the bench as a backup to Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson.  Crawford showed he is a starting caliber player in this season with the Celtics, but will likely be playing off the bench the rest of the year.  However, Crawford can choose not to resign with the Warriors and test free agency at the season's end.  Hopefully he can sign with a team that will give him big minutes if he opts to enter free agency  This is yet another chapter in MarShon Brook's career.  Brook's has still not received any significant minutes so far in his career, and I stand by the fact that he could become a valuable role player off the bench if given the minutes.  Unfortunately, in the Warrior's crowded backcourt rotation, an opportunity seems unlikely for Brooks to play significant minutes.

Let the tanking sweepstakes begin!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

All Signs Point to Friday!


Last week, I basically wrote that a Friday return for Rajon Rondo was official, but he immediately told reporters that those were false rumors. He's back at it again though, posting the above tweet implying he will play on Friday.

Brad Stevens, who is probably pretty anxious to get his star point guard back on the court, had this to say.
"We've got a day planned, some pretty strenuous activity planned [Wednesday] for him," Stevens said. "And then kinda go from there. But I don't think it's fair to put a day on it until he goes through everything he needs to go through. But, obviously, hey, we're nearing that time. No question."
All signs are pointing up and I, along with every Celtics fan, am absolutely pumped for #THERETURN!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Beantown Ballin' 1/5-1/12

Photo Courtesy of ESPN

A five game week led to five losses for the Celtics, in a truly ugly week of basketball. On the other hand, there were some impressive performances from unsung heroes like Kris Humphries and Jerryd Bayless. 

OKC Thunder

In a 23 point blowout, the Celtics fell to Western Conference superpower, Oklahoma City Thunder.  Kevin Durant only had to play 27 minutes in the game because the game was over in the first quarter.  Kevin Durant had 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists but the real star for the Thunder was Reggie Jackson.  Jackson stepped up in Russell Westbrook's absence and exploded for 27 points and 2 assists.  Jordan Crawford had 17 points, and 7 assists and commanded the offense well.  Avery Bradley and Jeff Green both poured in 19, and Kris Humphries had 14 points off the bench.  Boston allowed the Thunder to shoot 51% from the field, and the Celtics only managed to shoot 43% for themselves.

Denver Nuggets

Another game... Another blowout.  This time the Celtics lost to the Denver Nuggets in a 31 point rout.  The Celtics downfall this game was Denver's three point shooting.  Randy Foye made seven three pointers on his own, and as a team the Nuggets shot 14-31 (45%) from behind the arc.  No wonder they lost...  Jeff Green was Boston's best player, as he totaled 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.  Ty Lawson had a big game with 17 points and 13 assists.  Jordan Crawford's defense was exposed yet again.

Los Angeles Clippers

While this game, not a blowout, was still a loss.  Blake Griffin poured in 29 points, and Jamal Crawford dropped 26.  This dynamic duo proved too much for the Celtics, and they suffered a 111-105 loss.  Jordan Crawford had 24 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals.  Avery Bradley also had 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.  The Celtics played small this game, with Kris Humphries starting at center, and it did not pay off.  The athletic bigs of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan proved too much for the Celtics small front line.

Golden State Warriors

The Celtics missed out on their chance for a win, with 2.1 seconds left Stephen Curry hit the game winning jumper.  Although the Celtics lost by two, Jeff Green had one of his best games of the season with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 1 block.  Off the bench, Jared Sullinger had 21 points and 11 rebounds.  Andre Igoudala had 22 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals.  The Celtics had a golden opportunity to end their never ending losing streak, but Stephen Curry wouldn't let it happen.

Portland Trail Blazers

In this 112-104 loss, Jared Sullinger had another double double off the bench, with 14 points and 10 rebounds, but the Celtics still are not starting him.  The major killer for the Celtics was the Portland Trail Blazers starting unit.  Nobody in the Blazer's starting five scored under 15 points, with LaMarcus Aldridge leading the way with 24 points.  Even though the Blazers had under 35 points in the paint, they still prevailed for the victory.