Tag Archives: NBA

Spurs Title Offers Celtics, Rest of League Hope

Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan

 

The San Antonio Spurs – much to the delight of the majority of NBA fans – dominated the Miami Heat for their fifth championship since 1999. Although it seems only national recognition has come in the last week or so, the Spurs have been professional sports’ model organization since Tim Duncan was drafted in 1997.

Duncan, along with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, formed their own “Big 3” that has somehow flown under the radar, despite now four championships won together. While Duncan was a No.1 pick and a once in a generation type of player, his play has declined in previous seasons. Notice that as Duncan’s age increased, San Antonio’s possessions, along with pace of play, increased as well.

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Top 5 Celtics Of This Millennium So Far (PHOTOS)

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Well, the NBA lottery has come and gone and the Celtics were left with the #6 pick. It may not be the top-3 pick many were hoping for, but in this loaded draft it’s still a very valuable asset and will have Boston fans excited about adding the next potential star to the Celtics’ roster.

In the spirit of rebuilding, however, it’s always fun to look back at what’s worked in the past! So before the draft speculation really heats up, here’s my look back at the Celtics’ best five players in this millennium so far.

 

Boston Celtics v/s Washington Wizards April 11,  2011

5. Avery Bradley

The Celtics have really only had four players with lasting offensive impacts this millennium, so my #5 slot is reserved for more of a “glue guy.” Sure, Antoine Walker could have been put here, and in another few years Jeff Green and/or Jared Sullinger could earn spots. But Walker’s best years were in the late-’90s and Green and Sullinger need more time to make their marks. Bradley grabs this spot ahead of fellow defensive specialists Tony Allen and Kendrick Perkins because he’s the best all-around player of the bunch. He remains one of the better guard defenders in the NBA, and has steadily improved his offensive game (admittedly, partially in the absence of Rajon Rondo or a go-to scorer on the team). Unfortunately, Bradley may have played himself into a contract the Celtics won’t be willing to pay.

 

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4. Ray Allen

Frankly, the #4-#2 slots on this list probably vary from fan to fan, and I realize the attitude toward Ray Allen has soured significantly since his obnoxious departure to Miami. The fact remains, however, that from 2007-2012, Allen never averaged fewer than 14 ppg (per Basketball-Reference) and shot over 40% from the 3-point line in three of five seasons. Allen’s easy to hate now—particularly after pretty much winning the Heat a title with his heroic shot in game 6 of the 2013 finals—but the Celtics wouldn’t have won the 2008 title without him.

 

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Celtics Hope For Reversal Of Fortune At Lottery

The lottery machine that decides the order of this year's draft.


10.3; 1997; 2007; these are the figures Celtics fans will have on their minds when Celtics Co-Owner Steve Pagliuca represents the team at the NBA draft lottery tonight.

Of course, 10.3 represents the percent chance the Celtics have to land the top pick, which hasn’t happened since 1950.

The year’s 1997 and 2007 represent ‘what if’s’ for Celtics fans. Coming off of a disastrous 15 win campaign from then head coach M.L. Carr, and with two lottery picks and a 36 Percent chance of winning the lottery, the Celtics were in line to nab Wake Forest center and future hall of famer, Tim Duncan.

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Celtics Recap: End of Season Grades

Brad Stevens

The Boston Celtics mercifully ended the 2013-2014 season on a low note, or a high note, depending on how your perception of the team may have fluctuated with every mock draft that was published. Regardless, the Celtics finished with a 25-57 record, their third 25 win and under season since the ill-fated M.L. Carr campaign of 1997. Danny Ainge will look to drastically improve the team through any means necessary, leaving no player untouchable.

Players

Joel Anthony  D

Good locker room guy, but his days of being an effective player have passed. Grade would not be so low if he didn’t possess a $3.8 million player option for next season.

Chris Babb  C+

I personally had higher expectations after he earned stellar reviews by the coaching staff during the preseason. Was called up from Maine late in the season after Gerald Wallace was lost to injury. Already has the body type and skill to be an elite defender, but was unable to find any sort of semblance of offense. With Chris Johnson already flashing skill as a wing off the bench, it makes it unlikely Babb will be on the big squad next year.

Brandon Bass  B+

The recipient of the ninth annual Auerbach Award, Bass finished the year averaging 11 points and just under six rebounds per game, carrying his typical work man like attitude in all 82 games this season. Bass was underrated on offense, shooting above league average on shots at or near the rim and on shots 10 to 16 feet away. He also earned the praise of Brad Stevens for his rotations on defense. Entering the final year of his deal, Bass may be an attractive trade chip in the offseason.

Jerryd Bayless  B

Poor Bayless has just not had any luck sticking with a team. The combo guard out of Arizona landed on his fifth team in six seasons when the Memphis Grizzlies traded him to the Celtics in exchange for Courtney Lee. Bayless brought stability and veteran leadership to the tune of 10 points per game in 41 games played in Boston. A free agent next season, the Celtics may look toward the draft next season for guard help.

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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 Beat: Green’s Inconsistencies The Norm

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When the Celtics brought over Jeff Green in the controversial Kendrick Perkins trade, the Thunder did not mind giving up an athletic wing in his prime years. That in itself should have told Danny Ainge to be wary of what Green may have promised – key word promised.

It’s clear now that judging just from a player to player swap (Perkins for Green), the Celtics won that decisively. Perkins is closer to the end than the beginning, and Green is averaging a career high in points this season as the de facto go to player for a lottery bound squad.

Often feeling the wrath of fans this season – deservedly and undeservedly so – the former Georgetown Hoya scored 39 points in an overtime loss to the Pelicans and followed that up the following night with a five point dud against the Mavericks. Jeff Green is consistently inconsistent. In fact, per NBC Pro Basketball Talk, he is the only player with more than a dozen 25+ point games, and more than a dozen single digit scoring games this season.

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