Posted on: April 11, 2011 11:20 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 12:09 am
Boston Celtics guard Von Wafer makes the worst play of the 2010-2011 NBA season. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Congratulations Von Wafer. You've been known as a headcase ever since your meltdowns in Houston, but your play tonight will stand for enternity as the best representation of your frustrating, misguided NBA career. So many things go wrong here that it's worth the time to provide a proper accounting.
First, some context. The Boston Celtics, a top playoff team that's been struggling recently, decided to rest their players at the end of the season during a game against one of the league's worst teams, the Washington Wizards. Even though Boston's second string should still be able to beat Washington's starters, the game manages to go to overtime, surely a frustrating proposition for all involved.
With the Celtics up two with roughly two minutes to play in OT, Wafer takes the ball to the rack against some pathetic Wizards defense and attempts to power slam the ball with his right hand. He misses badly, but is so clueless that he doesn't realize it, instead gesticulating to the baseline cameras and road crowd. Did I mention this was a game his team should have won 20 minutes ago?
If the missed dunk and end zone celebration weren't enough for you, Wafer finally realizes that play is continuing, stopping his preening for just long enough to run smack dab into Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal, who was attempting a post move on the left block. Wafer contacts O'Neal as he's dribbling, causing the ball to hang up. O'Neal then attempts to dribble again, leading to the mandatory double-dribble call from the baseline referee.
Add it all up -- the missed dunk, the preening, the collision -- and Wafer made three ridiculous errors in less than five seconds. In overtime. Of a game with playoff implications. The best part? The Wizards came back to win, 95-94, sealing the Celtics as the Eastern Conference's No. 3 seed.
Here's a look at the sequence, which will surely become blooper reel fodder for years to come, courtesy of YouTube user Hiimyfriend.
Posted on: April 10, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2011 5:38 pm
Miami Heat forward LeBron James threw the basketball at Boston Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal after a flagrant foul. Posted by Ben Golliver.
On Sunday, the Miami Heat hosted the Boston Celtics in a must-win game with playoff implications. For once, they didn't completely wilt from the moment.
With 4:19 left before the end of an intense first half, LeBron James took off with the ball in transition with his Heat leading, 39-32. As James looked to attack the basket from the left, Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal committed a pretty thuggish foul, body-checking the All-Star forward without making any sort of a basketball play. James kept his balance and, realizing that O'Neal was trying to send a message, decided to send a message of his own by throwing the basketball at O'Neal's back.
The ball toss led to a little skirmish between the two teams, with plenty of jawing to go around. Once things settled down, O'Neal was assessed a Flagrant Foul 1 for his body-check, James was given a technical foul for his ball toss and Heat guard Dwyane Wade and Celtics forward Paul Pierce were each issued technical fouls for jawing.
Here's a look at the sequence.
Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:42 pm
The Boston Celtics have prided themselves on being bullies inside. The Bulls showed that identity may be in danger of losing its muscle.
Posted by Matt Moore
The entire time you read this, just imagine a big Kendrick-Perkins-shaped shadow cast over it. The trade is done and over. But that doesn't mean the unspoken question isn't going to be about the trade of Perkins to Oklahoma City. This Celtics team will be compared to the 2008 championship and 2010 Eastern Conference championship teams, and those teams were known for their tough play inside, thanks in large part but not entirely to Perkins. That trade will hang over the franchise should they fail to bring home No. 18. For now though, the trade is over, and the Celtics have to deal with what they have and who they are. Just know that it's there.
Against the Bulls Thursday night, the Celtics had the idea early. They moved Jermaine O'Neal into space, guarded by Carlos Boozer, and O'Neal converted. In the first quarter, the objective was clear. Boozer is the Bulls' weakest defender. That's where the Celtics need to hit them. But then, for the next two quarters, the Celtics moved away from it. They repeatedly went to unstable dribbles on ther perimeter, trying to find passing lanes through a defense that must have seemed very familiar for them, the hounding, relentless style. The result was turnover after turnover leading to fast break opportunities, especially for Derrick Rose who carved them into pieces.
In the third quarter, when the Celtics closed the gap aggressively, they went to Kevin Garnett in space against Joakim Noah. Garnett worked Noah in the post, nailing a turnaround baseline J, then a face-up jumper from mid-range.
And that pretty much sums up the Celtics' efforts to score in the paint.
Jermaine O'Neal, the biggest player the Celtics have active, played just 16 minutes and had no rebounds. But he was more active and physical, and wound up with two blocks. The Celtics will point out they were without Shaquille O'Neal, which is true, and O'Neal definitely would have made a difference. But the Celtics have to accept they can't rely on him. Either Nenad Krstic, Troy Murphy, or Jermaine O'Neal is going to have to step up, and if not, Kevin Garnett is going to have to put together a series of games we haven't seen since the middle of the 2000's.
Which is still possible. The Celtics can turn it on when the second season comes. They did it last year. But the difference is that they look significantly different as that tough, brutal team that punished teams inside. Forget about the offense. Derrick Rose had an open invitation to the lane, and instead of winding up on the floor headed to the line, sore from a border-line flagrant, he swooped on through. That's not the Celtics we've come know.
Derrick Rose put the finishing touches on his MVP season Thursday night. The question is if the game also served as a red flag that the Celtics' recent stumbles aren't a matter of effort and boredom, but legitimate issues with what they've come to pride themselves on. The Celtics have had a huge muscle advantage on the league for three years. The Bulls on Thursday showed that if you execute cleanly, the Celtics are no longer in a position to shove back. They have nine days to get that muscle back.
Posted on: March 31, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 11:25 pm
Boston Celtics center Nenad Krstic injured his right knee against the San Antonio Spurs. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Update: After the game, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that center Nenad Krstic will return to Boston where he will undergo an MRI on his right knee on Saturday according to NESN.com. Krstic will miss this weekend's game: the Celtics play the Atlanta Hawks on Friday and the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
Original Post: With a little more than two minutes remaining in the second quarter of a Thursday night game against the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics center Nenad Krstic suffered what the team called a "right knee injury."
The injury occurred when Krstic cut to the basket during a Ray Allen shot attempt and his knee buckled. He was immediately escorted from the court by Boston's training staff. Shortly thereafter, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that the injury "doesn't look good" and the team confirmed Krstic would not return to Thursday's game.
Here's a look at the play.
Krstic was acquired along with forward Jeff Green from the Thunder in a pre-deadline trade that sent center Kendrick Perkins and guard Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City. Krstic is averaging 9.9 points and 5.9 assists in 17 games since the trade, as the Celtics have relied on him to fill in a fair share of minutes due to the absences of Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal. Should he miss significant time, Boston's thin already thin and often undersized frontline will be stretched that much further.
Updates as soon as they become available.
Posted on: March 29, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: March 29, 2011 9:58 am
Posted by Royce Young
The Celtics are already anticipating getting one O'Neal back in the next week or so. But it sounds like they might have both available soon.
Jermaine O'Neal told the Boston Herald Monday that he wants to play as early as Thursday against the Spurs.
"I'm ready to go," O'Neal said. "It's been about a year, since I left Miami, that I haven't had any limitations. It hasn't been this year, for sure. I can't wait to get back in the mix. If we had a practice (Sunday), I would have tried to go (last night). Now I have to get up to speed with the new plays and the new guys. The speed of the game is what I'm worried about, but my body I'm not worried about."
Doc Rivers pumped the breaks on that a little saying he doubts O'Neal will play Thursday.
"That's just so quick," he said. "We get back and have one more practice, and just being around the team with the little walkthroughs will help him. The only way I see something happening is if we have another injury. But I doubt I would do it."
Rivers did the same thing with talk of Shaq coming back April 1. What you're probably noticing here is a theme. Rivers obviously doesn't care too much about rushing either back for a couple games in early April. His concern is late April. Then May. And then hopefully June. He needs his two fragile, old big men to be ready and healthy for the postseason.
O'Neal has been out since January with a knee injury that required surgery and while the Celtics could use him right now, once Shaq returns, ironically the thin Boston front line will likely be crowded. Between Nenad Krstic, Shaq and Glen Davis, minutes won't be all that available.
But having an extra big man like O'Neal is never a bad thing, especially when Shaq may or may not be totally healthy. The playoffs are going to wear on the older guys of the Celtics and they are already hurting inside without much size. So he'll definitely be a welcomed piece of the puzzle when he returns.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 1:34 am
Lakers take a big game from banged-up Celtics, prove the worth of Bynum.
Posted by Matt Moore
Come now, Boston. You didn't think it would be that easy, did you?
The Lakers did their part in furthering the drama towards the inevitable Thursday night, downing the Celtics 92-86 in Boston. Each team has a win on one another's home floor. Each has a championship over the other since 2008. Each features aging superstars trying to pull one more run out of the struggle of injury and the grind of the 82-game season. In Los Angeles, it was Celtics execution overcoming the one-man Kobe show. In Boston? It was Bryant, looping baseline, drawing the double and dropping off to Pau Gasol, then working Ray Allen over like he was some rook on his way to the dagger elbow jumper.
And now it's the Celtics left questioning themselves. Where is the offense going to come from? Why is Paul Pierce having so many turnovers in the clutch this year? How on Earth are the Celtics, even when Shaq and/or Jermaine O'Neal get back going to counter the Lakers' size, should they choose not to dish Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony?
And for the Lakers, the ultimate case of reassurance. They weren't just lost, just bored. They weren't out of sync, just lying in wait. This win, even over a banged-up Celtics squad proves that the concerns about the Lakers were unfounded. They're fine. They're focused, when they need to be, and they will be there in June, waiting for Boston to survive the Eastern Conference gauntlet.
If Jim Buss was searching for some sign to prompt him to move Bynum in the Melo deal, it did not come tonight. Instead he found a team that simply is taller, longer, and more obstructive to the opponents' efforts in the paint with Bynum, and that is their biggest strength. Kobe Bryant is a killer, there's no question about that. But the Lakers thrive on being able to capture offensive rebound after offensive rebound, like the one that lead to the reset and Kobe-elbow-jumper to end it. The highlight reel will show Bryant breaking Allen's ankles (while Rajon Rondo simply watches for some reason, instead of comitting to the help-and-recover). But the play was set up by the Lakers size providing them an offensive rebound.
Sure, there was some voodoo going on with L.A., the usual Phil Jackson mind games. But the aesthetics are just a backdrop to the cold hard truth. The Celtics have to try and overcome physical advantage with mental effort. And while a victory of that sort may feel better than the alternative, it is because it is so much more difficult. Shaq may have made an impact. J.O. may have made an impact. But we saw Bynum make an impact, and we saw a Celtics team that just ran out of steam, much like it did in Game 7.
The first game is not to be forgotten, however. In truth, these two teams are simply evenly matched. They are the best two teams, top to bottom, in the NBA. And once again, with their next meeting likely in June, these two are right back where they started. Even.
Posted on: February 5, 2011 12:09 am
Edited on: February 5, 2011 12:12 am
Boston Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Boston Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal has been dealing with knee pain for most of this season, as he first missed a stretch of 19 games in November and December and has now missed another 12 straight games with knee pain, making his last appearance on Jan. 10. O'Neal had been trying to manage a recovery and deal with the pain, however it now looks like that plan was scrapped in favor of surgery.
WEEI.com reports on Friday night that Celtics president Danny Ainge announced after Boston's loss to the Dallas Mavericks that O'Neal underwent arthroscopic surgery on his ailing left knee and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
"Surgery went fine and we're hoping that helps alleviates the swelling he was getting with extra activity," Ainge said.
O'Neal, who hasn't played since Jan. 10, was originally thought not to need surgery, but the problematic knee wasn't progressing in a fashion that was satisfactory for the player or team. "It didn't respond like we had hoped," Ainge said. "I think it could be something he could be dealing with next season," he said. "Whenever you have arthritis in your knee and there's bone on bone there's a long-term issue there. This surgery was not something to fix him long-term."The projected timetable would keep O'Neal out until at least late-March, but should have him back in plenty of time for the playoffs, which begin in late-April.
The news is by no means critical for the Celtics, who recently got starting center Kendrick Perkins back from a knee injury of his own. O'Neal would be helpful as another body to throw out there during the playoffs against teams like the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic, or the Los Angeles Lakers should the two teams meet in the Finals, but its not a rotation-killer in the short term. Indeed, his absence over the next two months should be fairly easily managed, as the Celtics are used to playing without him and are currently 37-12 on the season, the best record in the Eastern Conference.
O'Neal has averaged 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game during his 17 appearances so far this season.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 9:12 am
Posted by Royce Young