May 17, 2013 by
Boston Celtics guard Terrence Williams showed Carmelo Anthony flashes of his skills.
When Terrence Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics on February 18th, he was seen as just a warm body off the bench for the injury-ravaged Celtics. The Celtics were depleted by injuries without their All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, rookie forward Jared Sullinger, and reserve guard Leandro Barbosa. With no clear backup for Rondo, the Celtics believed Williams could fit the bill.
Williams displayed an array of skills while he was at the University of Louisville. The 6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound swingman could set up shots for his teammates as well as himself. He showed strength inside with his size and speed. Head coach Rick Pitino called him “a freakish athlete.” This led to the then-New Jersey Nets using their 11th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft on Williams.
Since Williams has entered the league, he has been unable to showcase the skills that led him to the NBA because of his immaturity. He had bouts with former Nets head coach Avery Johnson that led to him being sent down to the NBA Development League in 2010. He was eventually released by the Nets. The four-year veteran bounced around the league with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings before he was cut by the Detroit Pistons last summer.
In the 2012-’13 season, Williams played overseas in China. He averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals while playing for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association. Williams was on the court for 29 games for the Tigers before he was replaced by Donald Sloan in the final two games of the regular season.
His performance in the CBA and the Celtics’ need for a reserve guard led him back to the NBA. Despite the limited time he spent on the court, the Celtics liked his potential to sign him to a multi-year contract in March. Williams played in 24 games in the regular season with the Celtics and he shot 49.5% from the floor. In the Celtics’ first round loss to the New York Knicks, Doc Rivers gave Williams a few critical minutes in the fourth quarter of Game 5 when Williams replaced Kevin Garnett. He was able to allow the Celtics to regain a double-digit advantage at 80-67. Williams scored four points, collected four rebounds, and dished out two assists in less than 17 minutes of action.
After the Celtics season ended, the future of the team is up in the air whether the Celtics will keep Paul Pierce and Garnett or if they will rebuild. Williams has shown he is capable of producing on the biggest stage and the Celtics hope to see more of Williams’ instincts when training camp arrives in the fall.
May 07, 2013 by
Paul Pierce (left) and Kevin Garnett (right) may have played their last game in a Celtics uniform.
As the Boston Celtics head into the off-season, they have many questions to answer. The first is whether they should retain captain Paul Pierce?
Pierce could make $15.3 million this season unless the Celtics buy out Pierce for $5 million. If the Celtics choose to buy out Pierce, they will have to do it by June 30th. The issue is that the Celtics are already committed to $76 million for next season. If they buy out Pierce, they still do not have a lot of money to spend since they save just $10 million and they are already over the salary cap (likely to be in the neighborhood of $59 million). If the Celtics do cut ties with their franchise cornerstone, this could lead to Kevin Garnett also leaving the franchise. Garnett said after the Game 6 loss to the New York Knicks that his future is tied with Pierce. Head coach Doc Rivers left the door open to the possibility of leaving the Celtics in his postgame press conference on Friday.
The free agent and draft class is very weak this summer so it will be tough to rebuild this off-season. This leaves trades as the only potential avenue to upgrade the 2013-’14 roster. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge was unable to ship Pierce or Garnett off at the trade deadline because he was asking for a significant return.
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April 25, 2013 by
Celtics forward Jeff Green has been unable to get past Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks.
Is the debate about the Boston Celtics being better without Rajon Rondo this year over? Whether or not the Celtics are a different team for better or worse without Rondo is irrelevant because the Celtics have played like a mediocre team throughout the 2012-’13 season. They have been particularly poor on the road.
Bill Parcells used a line that fits the predicament well, “You are what your record says you are.” The Celtics finished the season just one game above .500, which means they are capable of playing well, but they are not a championship-caliber unit. They finished with the worst road record of all the teams who reached the postseason with a record of 14-27.
In the first two postseason games at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks, the Celtics’ holes have emerged. They have scored a combined 48 points in the second half of Games 1 and 2 because they rely too much on Paul Pierce to break down the defense to create his own shot. Even when they were 14-4 in the first 18 games without Rondo, the Celtics would give up big leads in the fourth quarter because they would just believe Pierce would save them on offense. The Celtics are shooting jumpers, turning the ball over, and suffering defensive breakdowns.
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April 20, 2013 by
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.
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April 04, 2013 by
Avery Bradley’s broke out of his shooting slump on April 1st against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The calendar has mercifully turned to April as it appears that March was purely a dreadful time for Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley.
On Monday night, Bradley was 8-of-14 from the field and he led the Celtics with 19 points in the 110-100 loss to the host Minnesota Timberwolves. The only negative aspect of Bradley’s performance was that he shot 1-of-5 from beyond the arc. In the thirteen previous games, Bradley shot just 31% from the floor and he averaged 7.2 points. Bradley fouled out with just two points in the final minutes of the 108-89 blowout loss at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks on Sunday night, which happened to be the final night of March. Doc Rivers tried to restore Bradley’s confidence by putting him on the court in the final minutes. Bradley finished just 1-of-5 from the field.
During the slump, Bradley missed layups in the half-court offense and he failed to hit open three-pointers in the corner. This could have just been a slump or perhaps the absence of Courtney Lee affected Bradley on the offensive end. With Lee out with a sprained ankle, Bradley’s on-ball defense was even more important. The Celtics were forced to use weaker defenders like Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford alongside Bradley. This allowed opposing teams (like the Memphis Grizzlies did with Jerryd Bayless) to utilize younger and quicker scoring guards to blow by Terry and Crawford.
Granted, Bradley’s struggles began before Lee went down, but Lee’s absence may have extended the shooting woes for Bradley. Also, the Celtics have asked Bradley to share more of a point guard role since Rajon Rondo suffered a season-ending torn right ACL on January 25th against the Atlanta Hawks. All of the increased responsibility and lack of depth may have piled up on Bradley throughout March.
Since Lee came back in a win over the Hawks last Friday, Bradley has appeared to be rising out of the doldrums. Lee’s minutes have increased and this has helped lift the load off Bradley’s back. In the 98-93 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, Bradley had another efficient performance as he shot 5-of-8 for 11 points. He nailed his lone three-point attempt.
Now, Bradley needs to stay out of foul trouble even though there have been some questionable calls from the officials. On Wednesday late in the game, Bradley appeared to get all ball on a strip, but the officials whistled for a foul and the Pistons were able to go to the line to cut into the Celtics’ lead. Bradley’s aggressive defense can make officials believe there is more contact. There hasn’t been a defender in recent times as relentless as Bradley.
The Celtics will need Bradley to perform on both ends of the court in the postseason. There is no better time for Bradley to regain confidence with his shot than with less than two weeks left in the regular season.
March 28, 2013 by
Celtics forward Brandon Bass (left) was fighting for loose balls with Cleveland Cavaliers players such as Luke Walton (right).
The Celtics were able to snap their five game losing streak with a 93-92 win at the buzzer over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. This brings the Celtics’ road record to 13-23, which is the worst in the NBA for teams who would be in the playoffs right now.
The reason why the Celtics inability to win on the road is so significant is because the Celtics may have to begin their playoff series on the road. Currently, the Celtics are the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. If the postseason began today, the Celtics would be slated to play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Those two teams played on Tuesday night with both sides without their frontcourt stars as the Celtics played without Kevin Garnett and the Knicks were without Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire. The Celtics were also playing without guard Courtney Lee. The Celtics fell at home, 100-85, in a listless performance.
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