The first month of the season has been filled with streaks for the Boston Celtics. Currently, the Celtics own a 6-10 record, but they are just one game behind the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors (6-8).
After losing six straight games, the Celtics have won two consecutive road games over the Atlanta Hawks (94-87) last Saturday and the Charlotte Bobcats (96-86) on Monday. Also, the Celtics are 5-5 against Eastern Conference opponents.
While many fans may want the Celtics to tank, the Eastern Conference is so bad that the Celtics could make the playoffs. They sit in the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference, but there are only three teams (Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, and the Hawks) who are over .500. The Chicago Bulls just lost their MVP point guard Derrick Rose for the season after he underwent surgery for a medial meniscus tear in his right knee. Rose had torn his left ACL in April 2012 and sat out all of last season.
Here are tweets of interest from Celtics’ players:
Kris Humphries wanted to know a good place to eat in Charlotte on Sunday. This is shocking because this is Humphries’ ninth season in the NBA and he has spent the majority of his career playing for teams in the Eastern Conference (Raptors, New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, and Celtics). In Humphries’ defense, he may have not spent much time in Charlotte because his team was playing on consecutive nights or he may have not traveled due to injury. He may wanted to try a new place. Whatever Humphries ate, it seemed to work in his favor. Humphries was 2-of-4 from the field with five rebounds as part of a solid bench effort for the Celtics in their win over the Bobcats.
Jordan Crawford was not the only member in his family who had a good game on Saturday night. Jordan’s younger brother, Jalen, scored 27 points for Valdosta State University. Jordan Crawford didn’t score as many points as his younger brother, but he did pile 10 assists. Crawford helped the Celtics to a come-from-behind victory over the Hawks in Atlanta.
Gerald Wallace is entering a very important stage in his career. When the 31-year-old forward was traded to the Boston Celtics, he was seen as an asset in a future trade for the rebuilding Celtics.
Wallace was traded from the Portland Trail Blazers to the then-New Jersey Nets in March of the lockout-shortened 2011-’12 season for center Mehmet Okur, forward Shawne Williams, and a lottery-protected 2012 first-round pick. At that time, Wallace was seen as a starting forward for an organization who was moving to Brooklyn and looking to transition themselves into a championship contender. The Nets spent a lot of money in the summer of 2012 as they signed Wallace to a four-year, $40 million deal. Wallace was instrumental in helping lead the former Charlotte Bobcats into the playoffs in 2009-’10 when the Bobcats fell to the Orlando Magic in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
The Nets were forced to slightly overpay for Wallace because they sent their first-round pick to the Blazers and they were hoping to bring point guard Deron Williams back. With a core of newly acquired Joe Johnson, center Brook Lopez, Williams, and Wallace, the Nets felt like they could compete with the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. The 12-year veteran out of the University of Alabama struggled with injuries as he averaged 7.7 points per game and shot less than 40% from the floor. The Nets suffered a disappointing first-round exit at the hands of the Bulls in seven games.
The Boston Celtics began their rebuilding process by taking Kelly Olynyk in the NBA Draft on Thursday.
The Boston Celtics are clearly in full rebuilding mode.
On Thursday, the Celtics agreed to trade Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries’ expiring contract, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph, and three future first round picks according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Garnett agreed to waive his no-trade clause after the Nets guaranteed the final year of his contract in 2014-’15 at $12 million.Another reason Garnett waived the no-trade clause was to play alongside Pierce for the opportunity to capture another championship. Bogans would be a sign-and-trade player since he is a free agent. The first round selections will be in 2014, 2016, and 2018. The 2014 pick could become either the Nets or the Atlanta Hawks pick depending on whatever the worst selection is for the Celtics. In 2017, the Celtics will have the opportunity to swap picks with the Nets if the Nets hold the higher pick. There are reports from Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix that the Celtics could swap Humphries to the Charlotte Bobcats for Ben Gordon. This deal will become official on July 10th because the 2012-’13 season will officially conclude on July 9th.
In the first round of the NBA Draft, the Celtics opened the post-Doc Rivers era by acquiring the 13th pick from the Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics took Kelly Olynyk from Gonzaga. The Celtics sent the Mavericks the 16th pick and two future second-rounders. Then the Mavericks eventually shipped the 16th choice to the Hawks for the 18th and 44th picks in the 2013 NBA Draft.
The Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett (left) and the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (right) will build on the physicality from their first meeting this year.
The Boston Celtics have overcome adversity this year to find themselves in the NBA postseason for the sixth consecutive season. The Celtics lost their All-Star point guard, Rajon Rondo, to a season-ending torn right ACL in a January 25th double overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Rookie forward Jared Sullinger was forced to undergo surgery on his back in February that ended his season. Reserve guard Leandro Barbosa suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the third quarter of the 94-91 loss against the Charlotte Bobcats on February 11th. In a matter 17 days, the Celtics lost three key players in their rotation.
This season has been split into the team with Rondo and the team without Rondo. Prior to Rondo’s injury, the Celtics were 20-23 and they had lost six consecutive games. Then the team improved their play and appeared to rally around people calling for their demise. They won their next seven contests, including a 100-98 overtime victory over the top team in the NBA, the Miami Heat, and were 14-4 in their initial 18 games without their floor leader. The team played well defensively and they spread the ball around. Jeff Green became the player that Danny Ainge hoped he was getting when he sent Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2011. Green was more aggressive on the offensive end and his speed and length provided fits for the opposition. At one point the team was down to nine active players because of all the injuries. Ainge traded Jason Collins to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Crawford before the trade deadline ended on February 21st. He signed TerrPence Williams, Shavlik Randolph, and D.J. White. All three of these players came from the Chinese Basketball Association and had been unable to stick with a team in the NBA.
Kevin Garnett (left) cannot bear to watch his team’s lackluster play while Paul Pierce (right) looks on.
The Boston Celtics are in the midst of a four game losing streak and just came off a winless road trip through New Orleans, Dallas, and Memphis. The news got worse today when Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge announced that Kevin Garnett will be out for at least the next two weeks with inflammation in his left ankle.
Garnett missed the 105-88 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on March 16th with a left abductor strain and the 105-103 loss to the Miami Heat on March 18th with the flu. He returned last Wednesday when the Celtics traveled to New Orleans to take on the Hornets. Doc Rivers said Garnett aggravated the injury in the 104-94 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks on Friday. Garnett did not suit up in the loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. Then Garnett went for an MRI on Sunday.
With a hobbling Garnett, the Celtics suffered too many breakdowns against the Mavericks with Brandan Wright exploding for 23 points and eight rebounds. After the Celtics got off to a hot start, the Mavericks were able to control the paint and get important rebounds from Wright and Vince Carter when the Celtics pushed the Mavericks’ advantage into single digits. The Celtics’ pick-and-roll defense also suffered without Garnett on the floor.
The Celtics were also without guard Courtney Lee against the Grizzlies. Lionel Hollins and the Grizzlies coaching staff took advantage by inserting Jerryd Bayless with Mike Conley in the backcourt whenever Avery Bradley was on the floor. Bradley is more of an on-ball defender while Lee can cover the other guard. With two weak defenders in Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford, Bayless erupted for a career-high 30 points to lead the Grizzlies to a 110-106 victory over the Celtics. Rivers was forced to empty the bench with the Celtics facing a double digit deficit in the fourth quarter. The reserves got the Celtics back in the game, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
The Celtics are fighting for potential home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs while to trying to avoid getting the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference to face the Heat.They are four and a half games behind the fourth place Brooklyn Nets while only two games ahead of the eighth place Milwaukee Bucks. There is a crucial home game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday night. The only good news is that Lee is expected to be back on the floor against the Knicks.
While the team is already depleted by injuries, the last thing the Celtics needed was to hear that they will be without Garnett, who is their emotional leader and best defender while there is only 14 games left in the regular season.
The Boston Celtics like Terrence Williams’ court vision.
The Boston Celtics have continued to make roster moves after the trade deadline ended on February 21st. They signed Terrence Williams to a deal for the rest of this season with a conditional option for the 2013-’14 season and they brought in forwards D.J. White and Shavlik Randolph on 10-day contracts.
Since the Celtics were down to 10 players on the roster, including Fab Melo, they were relegated to taking players who were competing overseas or in the NBA Development League. Randolph, White, and Williams all played in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Williams was a lottery pick (11th overall in 2009) for the then-New Jersey Nets out of Louisville. The 6-foot-6-inch forward dealt with maturity issues and was sent to the NBADL by ex-Nets coach Avery Johnson. He was eventually released by the Nets in 2011 and he played sparingly for the Houston Rockets. Then the Sacramento Kings claimed Williams off waivers and he played in just 13 games for the Kings. The Celtics like Williams’ size at the guard position and playmaking skills. Williams has seen the court in five games for the Celtics since he was initially signed to a 10-day contract on February 18th. He has also missed two games because of a Coach’s Decision. Williams is averaging 2.6 points per game with 1.6 assists.
White saw four minutes of action in the 83-81 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. He contributed with two blocks and he attempted just one shot. The 6-10 forward out of Indiana University was also a first round selection (29th overall) by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. White has played four years in the league. After his minutes dropped off in his second and third seasons with the Thunder, he was let go. The Charlotte Bobcats scooped White off the waiver wire. He played in 24 games in 2010-’11 for the Bobcats where he averaged 19.4 minutes per game and 8.5 points to go with 4.4 rebounds. In 2011-’12, White played in 58 of the 66-game shortened season and he started 11 of those games. His numbers decreased across the board. The veteran can be a solid depth player with his athleticism and he can help the Celtics inside the paint. He played for the Shanghai Sharks after he was unsigned by an NBA team.
Randolph came from Duke University and he was undrafted. He has bounced around the league for five seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Miami Heat. The 6-foot-10-inch forward has not played in the NBA since 2009-’10. Randolph averaged 32 points and 14.5 rebounds in 28 games for the Foshan Long Lions of the CBA. Randolph has yet to enter a game for the Celtics because he was signed last Friday.
Williams could have an expanded role as he learns the Celtics’ schemes. He also practiced for the Celtics last summer. Meanwhile White’s mid-range jump shot could help the Celtics if Kevin Garnett or Chris Wilcox is out of the game. Randolph is another player whose size could be useful in case the Celtics need him. Both White and Randolph are trying out with the team.