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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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Celtics Tweets of Interest: Jared Sullinger Affected by Tragedy; Jeff Green Congratulates Kevin Ollie

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There are only four games left until the 2013-’14 season mercifully concludes for the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have lost nine straight games and they are currently tied with the Orlando Magic for the third worst record in the NBA.

The Celtics blew late leads in their last two games on the road against the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks. On Saturday night, the Celtics’ 19-point lead evaporated about five minutes into the fourth quarter and the Celtics fell, 115-111. Jerryd Bayless nearly hit a potential go-ahead basket in the final minute, but the ball went halfway down before bouncing out of the rim. The Pistons iced their victory with two free throws. In the Celtics’ 105-97 defeat to the Hawks, the Celtics let an 89-80 advantage slip when the Hawks’ sharpshooter Kyle Korver knocked down two consecutive three-pointers in transition. Korver is shooting 47.8 percent from beyond the three-point line this year.

Throughout this season, the Celtics have collapsed on both ends of the floor in the final 12 minutes because they are unable to close out games. They do not have a go-to scorer who can get to the free throw line late in close games. Their transition defense has been awful, especially in Wednesday’s loss.

The Celtics appear to be going through the motions in this final month of the season and they have lacked energy at critical times. This summer should be exciting and interesting unlike the end to the Celtics’ season. Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck has already promised “fireworks.” We will have to see whether Danny Ainge can rebuild the Celtics into an Eastern Conference contender.

Here are this week’s tweets:

Like most college basketball fans, Jared Sullinger watched the powerful story about Michigan State forward Adreian Payne and Lacey Holsworth. Holsworth, an 8-year-old girl from St. John’s, Michigan, lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday. The two struck up a friendship when Payne visited a children’s hospital in Detroit with his teammates two years ago. They sent messages to each other and Holsworth cheered for Payne while Michigan State made their run to the Elite Eight before they lost to the eventual national champion, the University of Connecicut. Payne told the Associated Press, “Please don’t let her love and smile fade.” Lacey’s memory will live on with Payne and his Spartans teammates as they follow their future endeavors whether they play in the NBA or they go into another line of work.

Green played with UConn head coach Kevin Ollie with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009-’10. Ollie helped lead UConn to their fourth national championship after a 60-54 victory over Kentucky. Point guard Shabazz Napier of Roxbury, Massachusetts, scored 22 points and was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. The Celtics forward sent a congratulatory message to his former teammate.

Celtics Tweets of Interest: Rajon Rondo Promotes Bracket Challenge; Kelly Olynyk Follows Gonzaga

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As the Boston Celtics’ 2013-’14 season winds down, the team continues to play hard.

Since the 108-88 defeat to the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics are 2-2. In the 91-84 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics were fortunate the Nets struggled from the three-point line even when the Nets had open shots. The Nets missed their initial 17 shots from beyond the arc and they finished just 4-for-30. On March 9th, the Celtics beat the Detroit Pistons as the Pistons are struggling. The Celtics were at home and they took advantage of the free-falling Pistons. Rajon Rondo compiled 18 assists and Kris Humphries posted a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

The Celtics fell to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. After falling behind by 15 points, the Celtics sliced the deficit down to two at 77-76. The Pacers pulled away with a 6-0 run and held on for a 94-83 win. Then the Celtics lost to a red-hot New York Knicks squad who could not miss a shot in the first half.

Here are this week’s tweets:

Rondo is asking his fans if they have signed up for the Yahoo! Sports NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge. If someone picks a perfect bracket, then he/she will win $1 billion. Selection Sunday is on March 16th and the NCAA Tournament begins next week.

We continue with the March Madness theme as Kelly Olynyk sent his support for Gonzaga on Tuesday night. Gonzaga overcame a late rally from BYU in the West Coast Conference championship game. The Bulldogs received an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and they will wait to find out their opponent as well as where they will be playing on Sunday evening. Olynyk played at Gonzaga and I’m sure the former Bulldog was happy for his ex-teammates.

Celtics Tweets of Interest: Jared Sullinger Likes Marathon Tribute; MarShon Brooks’ Strange Tweet

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The Boston Celtics won their first game of the season last night against the Utah Jazz. Brad Stevens was victorious for the first time as a head coach in the NBA.

Last Friday, the Celtics blew a 22-point lead in the second half in their home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks. They nearly blew a 25-point advantage over the Jazz in the final 12 minutes. In the fourth quarter, the Celtics have been either tied or held the lead at some point, but they are unable to finish games down the stretch. Without Rajon Rondo and with Paul Pierce in Brooklyn, the Celtics are without players who can create their own shots or make plays for others in the final minutes. There is no defensive leader on the floor like Kevin Garnett.

Most Celtics fans and media personnel were aware of the Celtics’ shortcomings and believed that they would not be as successful this season. The toughest thing for Celtics fans is seeing the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns get off to good starts despite being in a rebuilding phase. The Red Sox just won a World Series with a team that was expected to finish at the bottom of the standings. Both the Boston Bruins and New England Patriots have winning records despite several key players suffering injuries.

Here are the tweets from Celtics’ players.

Jared Sullinger was among many Red Sox fans who witnessed the parade last Saturday. When the Duck Boats reached the Finish Line at the Boston Marathon, outfielder Jonny Gomes and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia placed the trophy on the Finish Line. They covered the trophy with the Red Sox jersey that had the area code of Boston (617) and the words Boston Strong. This was the shirt that had been hanging in the Red Sox dugout since the Marathon bombings on April 15th. This was a very touching moment for everyone who was affected by the bombings and people who live in Boston.

This appears to be a cryptic tweet from Celtics guard MarShon Brooks. Brooks has not received much playing time through the first four games. He played just seven minutes in the 87-77 loss to the Detroit Pistons on November 3rd. Brooks lost playing time with the Brooklyn Nets last year because he struggled with his defense. The Celtics have a logjam in their backcourt and they are having trouble finding minutes for Brooks. Perhaps

Celtics Circuit: 2013-’14 Season Preview

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens faces the challenge of rebuilding the organization into a championship contender.



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The Boston Celtics will begin their NBA season tonight in Toronto as they face the Raptors. The 2013-’14 Celtics look much different than last year’s team. Doc Rivers went to Los Angeles to coach the Clippers as the Celtics received an unprotected 2014 first-round pick. Then the Celtics sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry on draft night to the Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics acquired Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks,Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Gerald Wallace, and three first-round selections in 2014, 2016, and 2018. The Celtics can swap picks with the Nets in 2017 if the Nets finish with the higher choice. After the trade, the Celtics waived Joseph.

There was a surprise when the Celtics decided to replace Rivers with Brad Stevens as the head coach. Stevens led Butler University to consecutive NCAA Finals appearances in 2010 and 2011. He is only 37 years old. There are many questions whether Stevens can be successful in the NBA because he is taking over a rebuilding team and the recent failure of college coaches who transition into the professional ranks looms. Also, many fans are skeptical whether headstrong point guard Rajon Rondo can get along with Stevens after he had reported arguments with Rivers.

While the Celtics look toward the future, this season does not look promising. They will not be able to start the season with their most talented player in Rondo. Rondo is out after suffering a torn right ACL in a January 27th game against the Atlanta Hawks. He is not expected to return until at least December. The team has one true point guard (5-foot-11-inch undrafted rookie Phil Pressey) and one true center (the Brazilian Vitor Faverani). Both players lack experience as they have never played a game in the NBA. While Pressey played well in the preseason, he is undersized. Faverani can be physical in the paint and he can shoot from the outside, but how will he fare when he has to defend Brook Lopez?

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Celtics Circuit: Six Years After Big Three Formed

Ray Allen (left), Kevin Garnett (center), and Paul Pierce joined the Boston Celtics on July 31st, 2007.

Ray Allen (left), Kevin Garnett (center), and Paul Pierce joined the Boston Celtics on July 31st, 2007.


On July 31st, 2007,  the Boston Celtics changed the fortunes of their franchise when they acquired Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Celtics became immediate contenders with the trio of Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. On draft night in June 2007,  Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge shipped Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiack and the 5th overall pick (Jeff Green) to the then Seattle SuperSonics for Allen and the 35th overall selection (Glen Davis).

The Celtics had tried to make a deal earlier in the summer to bring Garnett to Boston, but Garnett refused to waive his no-trade clause. After the Celtics received Allen, Garnett changed his stance.

The new Big Three led the Celtics to a 66-16 record and clinched the top record in the NBA. The Celtics transformed from being one of the worst teams in the league during the previous season to having one of the best defenses in the NBA. Garnett and Tom Thibodeau were the anchors of the defensive turnaround.Second-year point guard Rajon Rondo was improving despite having an erratic shot. Kendrick Perkins became an intimidating presence in the paint with his ability to defend the post. James Posey and Eddie House were valuable contributors off the bench. The Celtics picked up P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell, who helped with their veteran leadership and clutch baskets in the postseason, during the season. Despite facing little adversity in the regular season, the Celtics were taken to the limit in seven games by the Atlanta Hawks (Eastern Conference quarterfinals) and the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers (Eastern Conference semifinals). Pierce (42 points) had the memorable scoring duel in Game 7 with James (45 points). The Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons (Eastern Conference finals) and the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA Finals) in six games  to capture the organization’s 17th banner. Pierce was named MVP of the Finals.

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