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Tag:Boston Celtics
Posted on: August 11, 2010 9:04 am
 

Shootaround 8.11.10: LeBron is watching you

Posted by Royce Young
  • Late yesterday, LeBron tweeted: "Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone! "
  • George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel on LeBron's tweet : "Cancel the NBA season. Now. Be done with it, Mr. Stern. Skip all the formalities. Let’s just have the ticker-tape parade now. Break out the party favors South Florida! Crank up Will Smith’s old-school hit “Miami”, celebrating the majesty and magnificence of the Miami Heat. “Bouncin’ in the club where the heat is on. All night on the beach til the break of dawn.” Yeah baby! Jeff Van Gundy says they are going to win every single game, or something like that. The Heat will be on TV 29 times this season, coming close to the number of times you can watch Law and Order on any given day. And King James sent out this defiant shout-out on Twitter on Tuesday: “Don’t think for one min that I haven’t been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!” Now we’ve gone and done it! LeBron James is mad! We are doomed! What’s the point of playing?"
  • Shaq says Kobe is the best he's played with: “A lot of people rank players from different opinions, but if you wanna go with ring standpoint it has to be Kobe,” O’Neal said. “LeBron is a great athlete, D-Wade is a great athlete, but it’s close. I’m lucky to have been able to play with both of those guys, but Kobe right now has had that eye for a long time. I’ve known him for a while. When he gets that eye there aren’t really too many people that can beat him.”
  • Rich Cho has added two assistant GMs . One is Bill Branch, Oklahoma City’s director of professional player personnel and Steve Rosenberry, who served as Atlanta’s director of pro personnel/college scouting.
  • Zach Lowe of CelticsHub with a lecture on expectations: "I have no clue whether the C’s will win 49 games or 60 games or 52 games next season, but I know for sure that 51 is a perfectly reasonable guess. And if they get 16 in the playoffs? Then we’ll forget the regular-season number pretty fast."
  • Isiah Thomas is taking part in a photo protest: "Another decision by Thomas — one made in concert with his son, Joshua Thomas — has drawn considerably less attention, and it's something of a groundbreaker, too: Thomas participated in the NOH8 Campaign, a "photographic silent protest" of California's controversial gay marriage ban."
  • Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Pistons have an edge with McGrady because of their trainer: "The Pistons truly believe that they have an edge with strength-and-conditioning coach Kander, who has been with the team since the spring of 1992. They think his methods are great at preventing injuries (last season notwithstanding) and helping players overcome previous injuries."
Posted on: August 10, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 5:58 pm
 

5 can't miss national TV games in 2010-2011

Posted by Matt Moore

The story of the 2010-2011 national television schedule is about what you'd expect. Lots of Heat, lots of Boston, lots of Lakers, and the rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Boston Celtics surprisingly lead all teams in national television appearances across NBATV, ESPN, ABC, and TNT with 33 appearances. The Miami Heat, no shock, are second, with 29 appearances, while the defending champion Lakers appear 27 times. That number is likely to increase signficantly with NBATV's fan night. The Orlando Magic also appear 29 times, compared to the East's three-seed Atlanta Hawks, who appear just 14 times. Of the 15 games on ABC, 14 feature the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, or Magic.

New York appears 18 times, while Phoenix has certainly earned some faith from the producers, landing 25 national appearances. Oklahoma City were the big winners, with 24 big-time appearances, and the first post-Christmas ABC game, facing the Heat at home. It's a big win for a small market club.

Of course, most other small-market clubs didn't fair so well. Indiana is without a single appearanc. Charlotte and Memphis have 6 each, New Orleans 7, and Milwaukee only has 8, despite being playoff or near-playoff teams. This is in contrast to the Clippers, the freaking Clippers, getting 12 appearances. Win total didn't have much to do with these decisions.

Your top five nationally televised games not on Christmas, Opening Night, or MLK Day:

  1. Heat at Magic, November 24th, ESPN: The Sunshine Massacre. The Heat's primary weakness, true size, is tested against Dwight Howard while Jameer Nelson could have a huge game against Mario Chalmers.
  2. Lakers at Thunder, February 27th, ABC: Welcome back, Lakers. They barely got out of the Sooner state with their playoff lives last April and the Thunder should be improved. Kevin Durant will likely take this one personally, while Kobe loathes challengers to his throne.
  3. Heat at Cavaliers, December 2nd, TNT: "Peace? Peace. I hate the word. As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee."-Cleveland
  4. Blazers at Jazz, April 7th, TNT: Let's imagine Greg Oden stays healthy. Let's imagine Al Jefferson stays healthy. Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap. The Northwest Division is a bloodbath.
  5. Lakers at Celtics, February 10th, TNT: It's refreshing when the networks give you two seldom-seen teams that never match up. It's a once-in-a-lifetime type game, really.

Posted on: August 9, 2010 9:10 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 9:18 pm
 

Rasheed Wallace to retire

Posted by Matt Moore

There was talk immediately following the Finals that Rasheed Wallace was considering hanging up the kicks and headband. Despite Shaquille O'Neal making a plea over the weekend for Sheed to come back for one more rodeo, his agent told the Boston Globe today that Wallace intends to retire.

Sheed walks away at age 35, after 15 seasons in the NBA, an NBA championship, and 14 NBA playoff appearances. For all the talk about Sheed's laziness and lack of focus and drive, along with his unpredictable behavior, Sheed visited the postseason every season since his sophomore year in the league. That ain't a bad run for a guy.

He'll also walk away with the record for most technicals in a single season and a leader in all-time techs. He gave us "Ball don't lie" and showed that a player considered out-of-control could harness his play while keeping his attitude and win a championship. The best news from all this is that as he matured, Sheed started to discover there were things beyond basketball, like family, that were important. We may miss Rasheed Wallace. I doubt he'll miss us.

Expect the Celtics to attempt to buy-out or trade the remainder of Sheed's contract.
Posted on: August 9, 2010 1:43 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 4:18 pm
 

Shaq will retire with the Celtics

"" Posted by Royce Young

The last stop in Shaqulle O'Neal's historic career will be in Boston. He told the Orlando Sentinel he has no plans to be a 40-year-old plus professional athlete, even joking “Brett Favre only plays 12 games.”

The Celtics are franchise number six for Shaq. He's spent 18 seasons in the NBA and is currently 38 years old, which makes him the oldest active player in the league. He signed a two-year contract with the Celtics.

Shaq made a countdown a few years back while he was in Phoenix counting down to his last days. When he finishes he'll have played 20 seasons in the NBA, which will still put him behind Robert Parish who holds the record with 21 seasons and 1,611 games. If Shaq plays in all 82 for the next two years (which is probably impossible), he'll finish with 1,334.

Currently, Shaq sits about 10,000 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time points record and about 3,000 behind Wilt Chamberlain for fourth place. If Shaq were to catch Chamberlain, he'd have to average about 17.5 points per game and play in all 82 games the next two seasons.

Shaq should pass Jerry Lucas and Buck Williams for 13th and 12th place and possibly Hakeem Olajuwon and Wes Unseld for 11th and 10th place in all-time rebounds however. Right now, Shaq has 12,921 rebounds, 21 behind Lucas, 96 behind Williams, 827 behind Olajuwon and 848 behind Unseld. Shaq would need to average 5.2 rebounds a game over the next 164 games to catch Unseld for 10th.

Shaq has been hunting for that one last hurrah the past few years. He knows his limitations and is looking to just find a spot on a roster. He played a role in Cleveland last season fairly well and he says he's willing to do the same in Boston.

“I’m not coming in to take over,” O’Neal told the paper after an Orlando charity basketball game. “At this point in my career I’m just a role player and I’ll do whatever it takes [to win].”
Posted on: August 6, 2010 11:37 am
Edited on: August 6, 2010 11:46 am
 

Of leadership, LeBron, and KG

Posted by Matt Moore

Kevin Garnett is one of the most respected players in the NBA, with good reason. No one has shown  more focus at both ends of the floor over the past decade than Kevin Garnett. Much of his trademarked intensity is show; the screaming, spitting, growling is revealed as little more than theatrics when you employ them as often as he has. But that doesn't change how he's constantly barking out defensive assignments, dressing down teammates, and blocking the ever-loving crap out of anyone that dares to challenge his authority (or dying trying). He's a 13-time All-Star, and has an MVP trophy, a Defensive Player of the Year trophy, and an NBA champion.

And with all that respect that he has earned comes a level of expectation, often unfair, mostly ridiculous, that he live up to what we believe is the model of a true NBA legend. Or at least, that's been the pattern for everyone except KG. And if you want proof of that, compare KG and LeBron James.

In 2010, LeBron James abandoned his team, the Cavaliers, and did it in a publicly humiliating and disgracefully opulent way on national television. Maybe you heard about it, here and there. Before we continue, let's be very clear on this point:

The primary reason for the backlash against James is the way in which he announced his decision ("The Decision"), the way he seemingly laughed and skipped out of town while the dreams he had given Cleveland fans burned to the ground. There is simply no way to defend or even deflect that criticism. You're not going to find anyone outside of South Beach who thinks this was in any way acceptable. KG has never behaved in such a way, nor did he embarrass Minnesota on the way out of town. The way the two left is simply not comparable. See, I put it in bold, just so we're all clear on this.

However, the secondary argument against James is that he has in some way compromised his legacy, lessened his greatness, by not being the sole elite player on his team. He is no longer considered able to reach the sport's summit because he has joined Dwyane Wade's team instead of building championship gold from the rubble he was drafted into. That by joining other elite players, he can no longer be considered elite.

Let's head on back to 2007.

Kevin Garnett has failed to reach the summit with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team that drafted him. Though there were a handful of very good teams, none of them even approached what you would call a "great" team. The Sam Cassell-Latrell Sprewell team rose and fell apart as fast as it came together, and Garnett has been losing consistently. It becomes known that he wants out, wants to be traded to a contender, does not want to waste his career any longer. He doesn't outright say he wants to be traded, after all, you're fined for such activity. But it's made pretty clear that his time with Minnesota is over. It's done. He winds up heading to Boston, joining Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, the captain, to form the first modern Big 3 and first relative superteam since the Lakers' 2004 crime against nature.

(It should be noted that the Spurs' combination of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili definitely constituted enough talent as to be considered a superteam, but more perhaps more impressively, they did it organically. They came to have three superstars by developing the talent they drafted. Not by acquiring the gold when the market was high on it.)

But KG was and is the leader, right? Well, I don't know. Paul Pierce is the captain, right? And the guy taking the game winning shots, most often? The face of the team? It's heart and soul? Isn't Pierce the one most often relied upon to rally the team? While Garnett is undeniably a leader on the Celtics, is he really considered the leader?

Oddly, what led me down this line of thought was a quote from, of all people, Rasho Nesterovic.

In an interview with rtvslo.com , and translated and brought forth by Project Spurs , Nesterovic talks about the difference between Garnett and Duncan. He discusses how Duncan won with the team that drafted him, and how Garnett made the smart move, but it was one to turn to the Celtics, who already had a leader in Pierce. This all leads to Nesterovic saying Duncan was the greater power forward of his time.

Huh.

Now, this is Rasho Nesterovic. We're not talking Bill Russell here. But the idea is one that deserves consideration. Did KG join the Celtics as a leader, or did he simply do the exact same thing that LeBron James did, only under better PR cover? The argument can certainly be made that James joined in free agency (which is apparently worse than bailing on your team while under contract with them), while Garnett was traded, so it wasn't really his decision. But if Garnett had told Minnesota management, "I don't want to be traded. I either win here, or I don't win at all," do you really think the Wolves would have said "No, no, Mr. Hall-of-Fame-Most-Beloved-Player-In
-Franchise-History, we want no part of you here"? Is that what you think would have occurred? Because I'm pretty sure Kevin McHale would have just gone back to figuring out ways to build the Wolves around KG (and failing miserably).

The argument could also be made that KG was on a "loser" while James was on a contending team. But there are two responses to that. 1. While this Cavs team was certainly better than any KG had, James has also been superior in terms of production (and playoff success if we're being honest) than anything KG had been. I'm simply pointing out that if you're going to say the Cavs were better, you also have to point out that James was better, and was a reason for the Cavs being better. And 2, is there really a difference between contender-but-not-champion and loser in our society? I don't subscribe to this. I think there are tons of brilliant players that simply were never fortunate enough to run into the blessed set of circumstances you need to win a championship (or play for LA). But if you're a results oriented person, KG and James had accomplished the same thing, and so to say that one needed to do what he needed in order to win a ring and the other needed to continue to struggle is a bit ridiculous.

We come to the crux of this, which is actually not that KG deserves more criticism or scorn for leaving Minnesota to fall into the void. Far from it. Garnett recognized that he needed to win a ring before his time was up, that it wasn't going to happen in Minny, and that Boston represented the best chance for him. He took it. He doesn't deserve to be slagged for that. Garnett has told other players not to let what happened to him in Minnesota happen to them. Now, that particular action is a little less likable. After all, there have been players that stayed "home" and eventually reached the promised land, and those championships are much more special to their small markets than the umpteenth championship for a storied franchise. This is nothing to do with the quality of the fans and just the simple fact that a lone championship means more than one of many.

But Garnett is simply passionate about being the best he can be. And for him, that meant joining a team with an established star, a veteran leader, along with another veteran leader, and winning a championship. That was his path. And it is not all that dissimilar from LeBron James' path (in terms of the end result; remember, the bold clause! The bold clause!). So if we're going to criticize James for not being "the man," we need to similarly disparage Garnett, Pau Gasol, and other players that did what they needed to in order to win a ring.

Garnett is no villain. He loved Minnesota. But in the end, he felt his best chance for achieving that ring was in Boston, alongside other stars. Those facts coincide with LeBron James' actions of the past three months. Even if you feel that Garnett was able to be a leader alongside Paul Pierce (the most rational and likely conclusion), you should at least recognize the same dynamic's likelihood in Miami. You don't have to like how James pulled off this career correction. No one does. But to question his legacy opens up a Pandora's Box that is linked throughout some of the greatest players in the history of the league.

Don't throw stones. The halls of NBA greatness are built of glass.

Posted on: August 6, 2010 8:27 am
 

Shootaround 8.6.10: Mason signs with NY

Posted by Royce Young
  • Tom Haberstroh for ESPN.com making a case that Carmelo Anthony is not a max player: "If the New York Knicks, rumored to be the favorites to land Melo if he decides to leave Denver, are expecting salvation from Anthony next summer, they're going to be very disappointed with their investment. It would be a much a wiser move to throw that cash toward the pursuit of Chris Paul, a real max player."
  • Ziller of NBA FanHouse has a set as well and the US comes in No. 2 : "That the United States is the overwhelming Vegas favorites at the Worlds is a sign the betting public has no short- or long-term memory. Hasn't Team USA already proven chemistry can't be conjured in two months? Remember, the first travails of the Redeem Team ended up defeat (and some would say humiliation): in 2006, when LeBron James , Dwyane Wade , Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant first got together, Greece knocked them out of contention in the semifinals of the World Championship."
  • Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook does a pretty outstanding job of breaking down a fast break: "In my opinion, a good outlet pass is the key to a fast break.  If the rebounder can get the ball out to the point guard on the run, you got the makings of a fast break because the point guard doesn’t have to slow down to make the catch and he can put pressure on the defense.  A bad outlet pass can force a point guard to break his momentum to make the catch, and that allows the defense to get back on defense."
  • Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game with a look at positional classification : "To those still clinging to what they know, I’d ask this: what’s a power forward? What characteristics link Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Rashard Lewis, Lamar Odom, Reggie Evans, Tyrus Thomas, and J.J. Hickson? Not rebounding. Not scoring. Not skill set. Not height relative to their teammates. Not even the spaces they occupy on the floor. I’m at a total loss as to the criterion that would group that bunch together, which makes the assessment “Player X isn’t a real power forward” pretty much worthless. I think I know what it means, but without the ability to define the contemporary power forward, how could I really know for sure?"
  • Shaq might be making just the veteran minimum but don't feel sorry for him too long. Last year, he generated $15 million in endorsements and experts say he should make more in Boston: “Shaq is a marketing giant,” said John Vrooman, a sports economist at Vanderbilt University. “He will benefit from the Hub’s strong media presence, where there’s money to be made on local endorsements.”
Posted on: August 5, 2010 3:43 pm
 

Free Agency Layup Line: Shaq, Weaver, Law

Posted by Royce Young

A couple quick hits to make sure everyone is up to speed on free agency:
  • Shaq has officially signed a two-year deal with the Celtics. Danny Ainge said in a statement: “It is not every day that you can add a player of Shaquille’s caliber to your team ... I remember in 1985, we signed Bill Walton, and his addition put us over the top. We feel that with the addition of Shaq, we’ll have one of the best front lines in the league, and, when Kendrick Perkins returns, the deepest. Shaq has made it clear that he would do whatever it takes to help the team raise Banner 18, and we look forward to working towards that goal together.’’
  • The Grizzlies are reportedly about to sign guard Acie Law. GM Chris Wallace said Wednesday the team intends to sign him. Law worked out for the Grizzlies earlier this week and evidently impressed. He'll be brought in to help in the backcourt with Mike Conley and rookie Greivis Vasquez. HoopsWorld reports it's a one-year deal.
  • Brian T. Smith of The Columbian reports the Blazers are still exploring options for possibly moving Fernandez. He says wide variety of deals are being considered, but nothing is pending. The Knicks were a candidate but if they are close to signing Roger Mason Jr., Fernandez would likely be headed somewhere else.
  • Larry Johnson - yes, Grandmama himself - is interested in joining Chicago's coaching staff. Johnson has a history with new Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau as he played for the New York Knicks from 1996-2001, while Thibodeau was on the coaching staff working under Jeff Van Gundy.
  • The Suns have signed sharpshooting summer leaguer Matt Janning to a two-year, minimum salary contract. A Northeastern product, Janning is a combo guard and at 6-5, should be able to to play multiple positions. "With his great feel for the game and his size, he can play two positions and come off screens and shoot and dump to screeners," said Suns Director of Player Personell Todd Quinter to AZCentral.com.
Posted on: August 5, 2010 11:59 am
Edited on: August 5, 2010 12:18 pm
 

Celtics, Bobcats eyeing Larry Hughes

Posted by Royce Young

Somehow, Larry Hughes continues to hang around. Reliable, veteran scorers seem to always have a place in this league. And as Marc J. Spears reported late Wednesday , both the Celtics and Bobcats have interest in the 12-year veteran.

If Hughes were to sign with Boston, all the Celtics could offer is the league minimum.

Hughes spent last season in both Charlotte and New York, appearing in just a total of 45 games. He averaged nine points a game and shot 31 percent from 3. The Bobcats are interested because they need more scoring punch off the bench, even if that means Hughes only plays 10 or 15 minutes a night.

The Celtics seem to be a haven for veteran players and even though they re-signed Nate Robinson, still have interest in Hughes. The reason is, Hughes is 6-5 and can move up to small forward and provide some depth behind Paul Pierce, something the C's don't have.

Spears said Hughes has been looking especially good in workouts and that's mainly why he's still drawing interest from teams. Though he's had some issues in the past, Hughes is still a guy that can score in his sleep. That might mean he takes 15 shots in 15 minutes, but if you're looking for added scoring help, Hughes can definitely help in that regard.
 
 
 
 
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