Category Archives: Boston Celtics

Celtics Circuit: Rajon Rondo Traded To Dallas

Rajon Rondo will no longer be the floor leader for the Boston Celtics.

Rajon Rondo will no longer be the floor leader for the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics shipped out their final piece of a golden era on Thursday evening as Rajon Rondo seems to be headed to Dallas to join the Mavericks.

The deal is not yet completed, but it appears both sides are close with just the final pieces being discussed. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Celtics will send Rondo and Dwight Powell to the Mavericks for point guard Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, a 2015 first-round pick, and a future second-rounder.

Rondo delighted Celtics fans for the past eight-plus seasons with his precision passes. The mercurial point guard reportedly clashed with former coach Doc Rivers. He is the final member of the 2008 championship team. Rondo said that he was interested in testing free agency next summer.

The ninth-year veteran will join Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, and Chandler Parsons. Rondo can afford to take more chances on defense with Tyson Chandler roaming down low. The Mavericks already have two pick-and-roll guards in Ellis and Jose Juan Barea. Dallas is the best offensive team in the NBA, but they are currently sixth in the loaded Western Conference.

Nelson, who is 32 years old, has struggled in 23 games this season for the Mavericks. The six-foot guard averaged 7.3 points per game with just 4.1 assists. He is shooting just 37% from the field this season. The Celtics could trade Nelson before the deadline since Nelson has just a year and a half on his contract.

Wright is a unique talent with his size and athleticism. The seventh-year veteran had trouble finding a place with the Golden State Warriors early in his career, but he really came into his own for the Mavericks. The 6-foot-9-inch forward is shooting about 75% from the field through 27 games off the bench. Wright’s specialty is scoring off of pick-and-rolls, which would have helped if Rondo was still with the Celtics. Since Wright has an expiring contract at $5 million, the Celtics could flip Wright before the trading deadline in February.

Crowder brings energy on the defensive side of the ball and Brad Stevens could use Crowder to trap opponents. If Crowder can display the talent he showed at Marquette, Celtics fans will be pleased. Despite being undersized, Crowder can ignite the crowd with his athleticism.

The Celtics now have three first-round selections in 2015 and 2016. Although two of those picks in 2015 will come later in the opening round, Danny Ainge has a solid history with those higher picks. Players such as Kendrick Perkins (27th pick, 2003) and Tony Allen (25th, 2004) were part of the rebuilding process and they developed into valuable contributors during the Celtics’ title run in 2008. Also, the Celtics picked up a $12.9 million trade exception, which they have a year to use.

Even though this doesn’t look like a strong move for the Celtics, they added more assets to use in their rebuilding project. The Celtics were able to get something in return for a player who may not be with the team next year.

Celtics Late Game Struggles Continue

As one famous Bostonian put it: “It’s the same old story, same old song and dance, my friends.”

The Celtics can’t seem to snap out of their late game woes, as any win-able game has seemed to slip out of sight. The way they have played, they’ve found a ton of different ways to lose in the fourth quarter of games. Honestly, it wouldn’t be too far off to call them choke artists.

How brutal has the late game play been? Over the last 9 games (1-8), the Celtics have been outscored by 76 points in the fourth quarter alone. In comparison, during the first three quarters the Celtics have outscored opponents by 11 points.

A combination of bad team defense, and careless, sloppy and unexecuted offense plagues this team at the most critical points. You could peg this on inexperience in late game situations (duh). You could make the case they run out of intensity and energy late in games too, sure.

Losing close games is much better for this team compared to last year, when the Celtics would not even be in close games. Still, it is very frustrating to watch games lost so dramatically and so pitifully in the fourth quarter. Tough times are bound to happen when in rebuilding with a young team and second year coach. They should not however, lose large 4th quarter leads in 6 out of the last 9 games. Needless to say, if I am Brad Stevens I am going to back to drawing board.

From this rough patch, the season could play out one of two ways. Before you learn how to win, you need to learn how to lose.. yadi yadi yada. The more close game situations this team faces, the more opportunities this team work out the kinks and find ways to win games. The team will find out their best go-to-players, late-game lineups, out of bounds plays, etc.

Or, they’ll continue to flail down the stretch of games. They won’t figure out how to win close games, which will hurt their confidence, and more so, their record. Marquee players like Green, Bass and Rondo will look to be shipped out of town. Rumors are already surfacing – don’t expect them to go away anytime soon if the Celtics continue to hand over games.

I’m not convinced the 4th quarter woes will subside. The team has not found a go-to player, which is a huge issue. The closest thing they have is Jeff Green. If I were Brad Stevens, I would integrate and test out a few different bench players to play with the starters down the stretch. Particularly shooters and play-makers on offense, like Marcus Thorton, Marcus Smart or even someone like James Young. If they hit a big shot or play well down the stretch, try them out again and see if they can come through for the team.

 

Marcus Thorton Shot

The Celtics desperately need clutch 4th quarter play. Could a guy like Marcus Thorton be the answer?

 

The Celtics are a young team, and because they are young, they lack leadership and go-to clutch playing down the stretch. These things need to be a priority for the month of December for coach Stevens.

The schedule gets easier for the C’s in the month of December. That, and the addition of Marcus Smart will solidify this team on both sides of the ball. In short, the Celtics have to dig themselves out of a hole and get close to .500 by the new year.

We will learn a lot about what this team is in the coming month. Their resiliency and mental toughness is being challenged after to a dreadful, heartbreaking month of November. How they play in December will be an indication as to what kind of team they will be for the rest of the regular season.

 

Twitter: @reelbigfish10

 

Celtics Tweets of Interest: C’s Inconsistent Play Continues

celticsThe Boston Celtics followed up their best win of the season to this point with back-to-back home losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Such is the fate of a young team who cannot play consistently from quarter to quarter.

On November 8th, the Celtics traveled to Chicago on the second night of a back-to-back and held onto a 106-101 over the Bulls. Both teams were without their star point guards. The Celtics’ Rajon Rondo had to get a screw removed from his surgically repaired left hand. Meanwhile, the Bulls’ Derrick Rose sat out with a sore hamstring that has forced him to miss several games early in the season.

In the 109-94 loss to the Thunder, the Celtics jumped out to an 18-3 advantage over a shorthanded Thunder squad. Reggie Jackson and Anthony Morrow (both players scored 28 points) led the Thunder backcourt in a second-half comeback to wipe out the Celtics. The Thunder shot 14-of-19 from the field in the fourth quarter. This was the most frustrating loss of the season because the Thunder have been reeling without Kevin Durant (fractured foot) and Russell Westbrook (broken hand). After a strong first quarter by the Celtics, their play fell off and they failed to show much effort in the second half.

The Celtics fell to the Cavaliers with another poor fourth quarter performance. The Celtics held a 19-point lead in the third quarter, but the Cavaliers were 13-of-17 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Kyrie Irving nailed three straight three-pointers to cut the Celtics’ lead to 10 and LeBron James posted 40 points to give the Cavaliers a 122-121 victory. The Celtics had a chance to win the game on their final possession, but Rondo was unable to get a shot off before the buzzer sounded.

The Celtics are 3-5 and the schedule does not get any easier. Their next game is at home on Monday against the Phoenix Suns, who just missed the playoffs last year in the stacked Western Conference.

Here are the notable tweets from this week:

The country celebrated Veterans’ Day on Tuesday. Rondo sent this tweet in support of the United States’ military who protect Americans and the world everyday.

ESPN had another great documentary on Randy Moss on Tuesday. The documentary depicted Moss’ upbringing in Rand, West Virginia. Moss reached stardom at Marshall University as a wide receiver, but he dealt with off-field problems throughout his college and early NFL career. The 6-foot-4-inch wide receiver is considered one of the best players of all-time. He broke Jerry Rice’s single-season record for touchdown catches (23) in 2007 with the New England Patriots. Celtics guard Marcus Thornton was one of the viewers for this special on Moss.

Celtics Tweets of Interest: C’s Unveil Alternate Jersey

boston-celtics-logo (2)The Boston Celtics have endured a long week. When the Celtics defeated the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, the celebratory mood was subdued over the left ankle injury to Marcus Smart. After the game, the team announced that Rajon Rondo would miss Saturday’s game in Chicago against the Bulls because Rondo needs to get a screw removed from his surgically repaired left hand.

Also, the Celtics dropped three straight games during the week. The Celtics went 1-for-25 from beyond the three-point line against the Houston Rockets. On Monday, the Celtics fell behind as many as 30 points in the first half in Dallas. Despite a late comeback, the Celtics lost 118-113, to the Mavericks. Then the Celtics blew a 16-point advantage before falling, 110-107, when they hosted the Toronto Raptors.

Danny Ainge said Smart will be out at least two to three weeks with a left ankle sprain according to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. The rookie guard was showing promise as a tenacious defender who could guard multiple positions. He showed an improving shot from the perimeter through the first five games.

Here are the tweets:

Emily Austen of celtics.com sent this tweet on Thursday night when the Celtics displayed their gray-sleeved uniform. I am not a big fan of the sleeve jersey and the color of this shirt. The Celtics should just stick to “Green Runs Deep.” The picture shows guards Avery Bradley (left) and Smart (right) showing off the alternate uniform.

Smart was able to play in front of family and friends in Houston and Dallas this week. The Celtics top draft choice thanked all of his supporters, including posting a picture of this young Celtics fan wearing his jersey. Smart was born in Dallas and there were dozens of family and friends to cheer for the rookie guard.

Celtics Circuit: Not Many Changes From 2013-’14

Boston Celtics

Brad Stevens won’t be giving instructions to Rajon Rondo for too long.

The Boston Celtics come into the 2014-’15 season with similar questions from the end of last year. Will Rajon Rondo, who is a free agent next summer, still be with the team at the end of the season? How will Marcus Smart fare in his rookie season?

The Celtics did not improve their team from the 25-win 2013-’14 squad. Many prognosticators are predicting the Celtics to finish with a similar record this year.

When the season starts on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets, Rondo might be on the floor. The All-Star point guard broke his left hand on September 26th. He has missed all of training camp and he just went through his first full-contact workout on Friday.

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