Tag:Boston Celtics
Posted on: July 12, 2011 1:52 pm

Paul Pierce eliminated from WSOP

Posted by Matt Moore

All good things must come to an end. All good poker runs, too. Paul Pierce has been eliminated from the World Series of Poker main event.  From ESPN: 
With only 20 minutes to go in Level 9, Paul Pierce made his exit from the WSOP main event. The NBA All-Star had been the attention of all at the secondary feature table, even players like Dennis Phillips who asked him for an autograph during play. Pierce played a patient game, but seemed to get active after dinner and would ultimately find himself in a rough spot with 2-2 all-in preflop against the J-J of Allan Vrooman. The board ran clean for Vroonman (K-8-5-4-K) and Pierce stood up from his chair, grabbed his backpack and walked out the door with spectators and players giving him a round of applause as they announced his departure.
via 2011 WSOP Main Event Blog: Paul Pierce eliminated - ESPN.
  Ducks, Pierce? (Pair of twos equals "ducks" by the way. Named so because of how twos look. Also because they fall out of the sky every time you try them.) Really? Not even connectors? It better have been in position at least. If Vrooman slowplayed the Jacks first-round and you were on the button trying to steal blinds, maybe. But even then I'd go with a hopeful 9-7, even off-suit, before I'd roll the dice with ducks. Least a high pair of connectors you've got a decent shot at it being a race. 

Going in with ducks? That's like bringing a poodle to a.... nevermind.

To be fair to Pierce, he did last as long as Johnny Chan and Andy Bloch, which isn't bad company. Way, way short of the money though, since this thing takes forever. 

We should totally organize some NBA Celebrity Poker. That would be really entertaining.


It's going to be a long lockout. 
Posted on: July 9, 2011 12:17 am
Edited on: July 10, 2011 10:21 pm

What teams risk in a lockout: Atlantic Division

Posted by Matt Moore

Talk of losing an entire season is a bit ridiculous to us. There's just way too much at stake. Money, momentum, fan support, money, loyalty, money -- it's just hard to imagine losing any games much less a whole season.

But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise. We continue with the Atlantic Division.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics have already started keeping an eye on the future past this core. Their trade of Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green and the Clippers' draft pick were both aimed at the future. In 2012-2013, the Celtics have less than $30 million comitted. But their best shot at a title is now. Losing 2011-2012 ends the Big 3 era in Boston. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen's contracts would expire just as their ability to anchor a championship team also goes the way of the dodo. Losing next season means they wind up with a single championship for all that money invested, all that excitement created. 

On top of that, no city needs the current structure to hold as much as Boston. The ability to outspend the small markets under a flex-cap, using its big market status combined with its superiority as a historical powerhouse are both tied to the current luxury-tax system. Savvy spending, reasonable contracts, creative maneuvers? Does any of that sound like the team whose current core is the product of Kevin McHale pitching his old team a favor?

New Jersey Nets

Mikhail Prokhorov did not get into this business to lose an entire season, the last he has Deron Williams under contract before an extension he hopes to sign him to, and then begin to build a contender under a system which negates every advantage moving his team to Brooklyn provides. But that's the reality that faces the Russian mogul.

Deron Williams is the big key for the Nets. They sent a fortune in the trade for Williams, with the understanding they would convince him of their grand vision and build around him on his next contract. It was a gamble. But they need the 2011-2012 season to convince Williams that the plan works, that the vision is in place, that they can succeed as the team Williams wants to commit to. Without the 11-12 season, Williams will end up entering free agency with his only time as a Net filled with failure. He may wind up with more wins with his team in Turkey than he won with New Jersey.

From there, Prokhorov would actually be better suited to a system that allows for overspending. If small market teams succeed under the new CBA, his advantage is leveraged. And in such a scenario, New York's power would be amplified within the market. If you're getting paid the same amount regardless, going to the team with the most cache is the best idea.

New York Knicks

Speaking of the Knicks, they have quite a bit to lose in this scenario. A harsher cap drives up the likelihood they won't be able to build effectively around Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, if at all. They're already struggling to fill in the gaps (as Donnie Walsh put it in his conference call after stepping down), with a lower spending ceiling that job only gets more difficult. Dolan has failed to succeed when he's broken the bank open. What happens when he can't spend his way out of a problem?

Bigger than that, however, are the risks of the actua lockout. Amar'e Stoudemire is an injury risk. Despite the fact that he's had no problems since microfracture surgery five years ago, scouts and execs are still hesitant about him. Stoudemire is talking about heading to Israel to play during the lockout. Any uninsured play could wind up wiping out time for Stoudemire which devastates the Knicks' prospects for contention. They need to have the stars available so build around, and another year to see what direction they need to go to build a complete team. Losing the season is a disaster. 

Philadelphia 76ers

Hey, look! They could spend a whole year thinking more about whether to trade Andre Iguodala! They haven't really done enough of that so far.

The lockout could actually help the Sixers on two fronts. First, their attendance was terrible again last season despite making the playoffs. They need the kind of financial overhaul the lockout aims to create. Second, losing the 2011-2012 season means they lose out on a year where they are on the books to pay Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, and Andres Nocioni (remember him?) over $37 million next season. They can probably do without that with a fanbase that still hasn't bought in.

Elton Brand has an early termination option for 2012-2013, but he is unlikely to exercise it. Instead, the Sixers will be hoping for the amnesty clause to allow them out from under that final year of Brand's contract.

If any team could use all of the ramifications of the lockout, it's the Sixers, big market or not.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors won't be winning the title any time soon. Their huge contracts won't be moving off the books any time soon. Their fanbase is still angry over giving Andrea Bargnani his extension and the damage done by Chris Bosh's departure.

So pretty much the Raptors are fine with however the lockout works out. Lose the season, they get Jose Calderon into a contract year, and have more time to come up with inventive ways to ditch Andrea Bargnani, plus Jonas Valanciunas is available to come over from Europe. A new salary cap may mitigate the uphill climb they face with their market and location.

They're pretty much fine with however this shakes out.
Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:36 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 7:56 pm

Antoine Walker pleads guilty in Vegas debt mess

Former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker pleaded guilty in a Las Vegas gambling debt mess. Posted by Ben Golliver. antoine-walker

The trials and tribulations of Antoine Walker have added yet another chapter.

On Tuesday, the Las Vegas Sun reported that Walker, a former NBA All-Star who played for the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, among other teams, pleaded guilty to felony charges in Nevada over unpaid gambling debts reportedly totalling more than $750,000.
Professional basketball's Antoine Walker pleaded guilty to felony bad check charges Tuesday morning in Clark County District Court.

“Being put on probation, he’ll have a court order to pay the restitution to the casinos,” said Deputy District Attorney Sam Bateman.

The criminal complaint was filed in the summer of 2009, when Walker failed to pay back gambling debts at Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood and the Red Rock Resort. He pleaded not guilty to six felony counts related to drawing checks without sufficient funds with attempt to defraud in June 2010, before changing his plea Tuesday.
In November, word surfaced that Walker, 34, was headed to play for the Stampede, where he averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 43 games this season.

His expressed goal of playing in the D-League was to hook on with an NBA team for a final run. He last played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2007-2008 season and was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies in Dec. 2008 without appearing in any regular season games. Since then, he played professionally in Puerto Rico.

Walker was known for his extravagant spending during his NBA career, reportedly amassing a large collection of automobiles and multiple houses.

This is how the decade-long party ends. With lawyers vacuuming up every last dollar bill.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:38 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 9:53 am

Report: Atlanta Hawks consider Josh Smith trade?

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly considering trading forward Josh Smith. Posted by Ben Golliver. josh-smith

Finally, someone other than Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala is involved in a trade rumor!

Yahoo! Sports reports that the Atlanta Hawks and forward Josh Smith might be headed for a break-up.
The Atlanta Hawks have started to gauge trade interest on forward Josh Smith, and Smith isn’t averse to ending his seven-year stay with his hometown team, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.

Smith hasn’t requested a trade, but has privately told league friends that the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic are his preferred destinations should the Hawks decide to move him.

“The relationship has run its course,” said a league source with knowledge of the dynamic.
Smith is on the books for $12.4 million next season and $13.2 million in 2012-2013. Those are hefty numbers but his versatile game is probably worth it.

At 25, Smith has flirted with figuring it out over the course of his NBA career, but always seems to revert back to his bad habits: poor shot selection and moody behavior. An exceptional athlete and game-changing defender, Smith is at his best when fully motivated and engaged, attacking the basket and using his leaping ability to play above defenders.

He stuffs the stat sheet, averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals in 34 minutes per game in 2010-2011. Smith has never been selected as an NBA All-Star, but he's been on the fringes of the discussion in recent years.

Smith should be able to produce those numbers, or similar, for at least the next three to five seasons. One factor for teams interested in trading for him: He will likely command a sizable contract when his current deal is up, as he will be hitting free agency at the age of 27.

Of the teams listed, the New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic jump out of the group in terms of having a specific positional need. In Orlando, Smith would be paired with childhood pal Dwight Howard to make the best four-five combination in the league. Houston would be an intriguing option too, and the Rockets, with two first round picks and lots of young talent, might very well be able to present the Hawks with the best offer.
Posted on: June 19, 2011 3:51 pm

Len Bias video highlights -- 25th anniversary

Video highlights of basketball star Len Bias who died of a cocaine overdose 25 years ago. Posted by Ben Golliver.

June 19, 1986. 25 years ago on Sunday, Maryland basketball star Len Bias, who had just been selected by the Boston Celtics with the No. 2 pick in the 1986 NBA draft, passed away due to a cocaine overdose.

Here's a look at his video highlights.

A 6'8" forward with an explosive, versatile all-around offensive game, Bias never suited up for the Celtics. His death is considered one of the greatest tragedies in NBA history and is said to have impacted the Celtics franchise for at least a decade.

To watch his highlights is to see an intelligent, quick, powerful player, who is equally comfortable hitting a mid-range jumper or throwing down over multiple defenders. His vertical leap is excellent and his timing superb, making him a natural for finishing plays with alley-oop dunks or forceful two-hand slams. Watch the tape and an All-American jumps right out at you.

Bias passed away at the age of 22. When he died, Maryland coach Lefty Driesell told the Washington Post that Bias was "the greatest basketball player that ever played in the Atlantic Coast Conference."
Category: NBA
Posted on: June 17, 2011 12:06 am

Report: Dwane Casey is favorite to coach Raptors

Dwane Casey is reportedly the favorite to coach the Toronto Raptors. Posted by Ben Golliver. dwane-casey

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Until now?

Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Dwane Casey has had his name floated many times in recent years for head coaching positions, but he's never been able to seal the deal. Most recently, the Golden State Warriors elected to hire Mark Jackson after giving Casey consideration.

Casey's luck could change in the near future. ESPN.com reports that Casey could be at the front of the line to take over as head coach of the Toronto Raptors.
Mavs assistant coach Dwane Casey has emerged as the clear favorite for Raptors' job and is on course to be hired next week. Raps had narrowed search to Casey and Boston Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank but have zeroed in on Casey after interviewing both men this week.
Former Raptors coach Jay Triano was shifted into a consulting role by GM Bryan Colangelo a few weeks back.

According to recent odds from Bodog.com, the Raptors have the worst chance to win the 2012 NBA title in the entire league at 150:1 odds. Poaching from the coaching staff of the 2011 champions, then, makes a lot of sense. 

Going from first to worst would seem like a rough transition, but Casey has dealt with struggling teams in the past. His only head coaching experience came in the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons, with the Minnesota Timberwolves, when he went 53-69. 

In Toronto, Casey would inherit a mish-mashed roster with some young talent that has yet to fully form and has struggled mightily on the defensive end. With young pieces like DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis, Jerryd Bayless and whoever the team takes with the No. 5 pick in next week's draft, though, the Raptors have potential. A solid, smart, dedicated coach with a ring could help accelerate that ascent.
Posted on: June 9, 2011 12:09 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 1:03 pm

Report: Nenad Krstic to sign with CSKA Moscow

Posted by Royce Young

Three years ago, Nenad Krstic left Russia to re-join the NBA, signing a contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was his second stint in the NBA after leaving the Nets -- where he was a borderline All-Star -- to play in Europe for half a season, rehabbing a surgically repaired knee.

Now he's going back.

According to Interbasket.com, Krstic has signed a two-year deal with Euro giant CSKA Moscow.
The Serbia national team centre agreed to a two-year deal worth six million euros with the reigning Russian champions.  Despite being targeted by other European giants, such as Olympiacos and Barcelona, the 27-year-old opted for the Reds given the amount of money involved.
Krstic was a productive center for the Thunder, starting every game that he was healthy. He was traded to Boston in the deal that sent Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder and Jeff Green to the Celtics. He never was able to contribute much in Boston, more just finding a spot on the bench.

A lot of people see this as a lockout issue, but I don't think it's really related all that much. I'm sure it was in the back of Krstic's mind, but the fact he's had success in Europe and likely wants to play on a team where he's the focus once again pushed him toward going overseas.

It's only a two-year deal and I'd imagine there's a favorable buyout, so there's potential Krstic could return once again to the NBA. But at 27 and the fact his recent stint in Boston wasn't all that successful, it's hard to see a team making a play for an aging jumpshooting big man.

Last season Krstić averaged 8.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in the NBA with the Celtics and Thunder and completed one chair throw for his Serbian national team. 
Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 3:53 pm

Ray Allen exercises option

Posted by Royce Young

Celtics guard Ray Allen exercised his player option for 2011-12 today, the team announced. The option is for $10 million.

Allen, 35, just completed his 14th NBA season and shot a career-high 44 percent from 3. He averaged 16.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game for the Celtics, who were eliminated by the Heat in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Allen became the NBA's all-time leading 3-point shooter, breaking Reggie Miller's mark this past season as well. Allen is currently ranked as the 24th highest scorer in NBA history with 22,286 career points.

It was an obvious thing to do for Allen as he wants to stay on a contender and he's unlikely to find a new contract with a team worth that amount. Also, with all the lockout talk, Allen didn't want to be hanging in limbo trying to sort out a new deal with potentially new rules. It really was a no-brainer for him to exercise his option.

The question is though, what happens after this year? Allen seems ready to play well into his late 30s, but it's a possibility this could be his last season in Boston. Someone will pay him to stand outside and shoot 3s because he's still the best in the game at it. But will it be the Celtics?
Category: NBA
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