Tag Archives: Ray Allen

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 Circuit: Five Bold Predictions For Summer

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love will be the first chip to fall this summer.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love will be the first player to come to Boston.

The Boston Celtics finally finished their 2013-’14 season with a 25-57 record after their 118-102 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. The Celtics tied the Utah Jazz for the fourth worst record in the NBA. On Friday, the Jazz won the coin toss for the fourth spot in the NBA Lottery.

Before the season began, I predicted the Celtics would finish with 28 wins. There were many games where the Celtics had a chance to win. I also believed that the Celtics would look to trade veterans like Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace. They kept Humphries and Wallace, but the Celtics sent Courtney Lee to the Memphis Grizzlies and Jordan Crawford to the Golden State Warriors. I thought the team would play better when Rajon Rondo returned to the lineup in January, but the Celtics actually were better without Rondo in November and December. At the end of December, the Celtics were 13-18.

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said there would be “fireworks” this off-season. Danny Ainge will attempt to upgrade the Celtics roster. With the Lottery on May 20th, the Celtics will find out where they pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.



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Here are my bold predictions for the summer:

1. Celtics won’t get a top-5 pick in the Draft. The Celtics poor luck will continue in the Lottery. In 1997, the Celtics lost the Tim Duncan sweepstakes  Like in 2007, this misfortune will lead the Celtics to complete a trade.

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Celtics Tweets of Interest: Jeff Green Prays For Rich Peverley; Kelly Olynyk Enjoys St. Patrick’s Day

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The fans of Boston sports are enjoying a bountiful of riches. Currently, the Bruins are on a 10-game winning streak. The New England Patriots are reloading for another championship run with the signings of All-Pro cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner as well as wide receivers Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell. The Red Sox are preparing to defend their 2013 World Series championship. Then there are the Celtics.

At this point, Celtics’ fans are eagerly anticipating the NBA Lottery in May. Co-owner Wyc Grousbeck recently said,”there will be fireworks” in the off-season. Certainly, there will be fireworks on the Fourth of July, but there are many questions on how the Celtics proceed during this upcoming summer.

Jerryd Bayless, Avery Bradley, and Kris Humphries will become free agents. Bradley will be a restricted free agent, which means the Celtics have the opportunity to match any offer from another team. The biggest uncertainties will be whether the Celtics move point guard Rajon Rondo, who has a year left on his contract after the 2013-’14 season. Rondo stated that he is willing to test the market. Will Danny Ainge ship Rondo to another team or will the two sides come together on an agreement? Every player on the roster, including Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, could be used as trade chips. There are many high-caliber players entering the last year of their deals in 2014-’15, especially power forward Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers’ point guard Kyrie Irving. The Celtics will have the room both financially and roster openings to bring these stars to Boston. It already happened in 2007 when the Celtics acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

The Celtics also potentially have 10 first-round picks over the next five years. This year’s draft class is loaded with prospects such as Duke’s Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas. The Celtics own the sixth worst record in the NBA. The Celtics could hold onto these selections and rebuild with a young roster like the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

We do not know whether “fireworks” will explode in the Celtics organization, but the summer of 2014 will play a big role in the Celtics future.

Here are the tweets:

This was a scary incident that affected every sports fan, especially Boston fans. Peverley was a key player for the Bruins 2010-’11 Stanley Cup championship and Peverley nearly helped the Bruins beat the Chicago Blackhawks in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. On July 4th, the Bruins traded Peverley and Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars. Peverley’s collapse had an effect on Green because Green was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. The Celtics’ forward was forced to miss the 2011-’12 lockout-shortened season while he underwent surgery. While Green was able to come back to the court, it is unknown whether Peverley will be back on the ice. If Peverley is able to play again, he will have a huge fan in Green.

Olynyk wished his followers a Happy St. Patrick’s Day on Monday. The Celtics wore special uniforms this weekend for the occasion. They wore green-sleeved jerseys for three games during the weekend. The shirt had gold trim around the neck. Also, the team name on the front of the jersey and the players’ numbers were written in gold. While the players’ last name and the shamrock logo on the back of the shirt were designed in white. Meanwhile the shorts were green with gold on the sides and the shamrock logo was within the gold coloring. These jerseys were worn in recognition of the 1946-’47 team who wore similar-style uniforms.

Celtics Circuit: The Evaluation of Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley shows off his trademark defense against Dwayne Wade

Is Avery Bradley good?  Well, of course he is.  He’s been a starter and a contributor for an NBA team, but is he good as a long term commitment for the Boston Celtics?  That is the question Danny Ainge and Co. must face sooner rather than later.

The NBA trade deadline is only a few days away, but more importantly, Bradley is due to become a restricted free agent this offseason. That “restricted” tag does allow the Celtics to match any offer Bradley may receive elsewhere, but also puts the onus on the team to decide on if they feel Bradley is a worthwhile investment.

There was a reason Bradley slid to the nineteenth pick in the 2010 draft.  At 6 foot 2 and lacking the true decision making  and ball handling skills of a point guard, as well as the three point shot required for shooting guards to succeed, Bradley was caught in some sort of hybrid zone.  After barely playing his rookie season, Bradley finally was able to showcase his elite athletic ability the following season.  Due to Ray Allen’s injury, Bradley slid into the starting lineup amongst a group of players who would take the pressure off of him.  Rondo was there to handle and distribute the ball, while KG, Pierce and Bass were on the floor to score.

Fast forward two seasons later and a lot of the same questions still persist.  To his credit, Bradley has improved his entire game steadfastly since his rookie season and has to be considered one of the better players on a below average team this year.  He’s averaging 43% shooting, including, a respectable 35% on three pointers.  Asked to carry more a scoring burden, Bradley has responded with 14 points per game.  His defense is rightfully lauded by opponents to the point that opposing point guards dread taking the ball up the court against him, and his pure athletic ability remains on par with players of similar size.  He has also seemed to harness the ability to slow games down a bit after a disturbing showing in last playoffs Knicks series.

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With the recent explosion of advanced statistics in sports (particularly in the NBA), one has to wonder how “nerd” stats view an undersized two guard whose offensive pedigree is predicated on mid-range jumpers and backdoor cuts.  According to Basketball Reference, Bradley’s PER (Player Efficiency Rating) settles in at 12.3, oddly the same rating as Ray Allen, the guy he subsequently replaced.  PER is a bench mark example for just how efficient a player is on a per minute basis.  Kevin Durant is the league leader this season at 30.9, while the league average lands at 15.

Bradley’s true shooting percentage lies at 313rd in the league, while his usage rating is 81st.  True shooting measures a player’s efficiency in two point field goals, three point field goals, and free throw accuracy.  Usage rating simply estimates the percentage of team plays ran for a player when he is on the court.  A player doesn’t solely exist on a stat sheet, but briefing over Bradley’s case, it is clear that he must keep improving as an offensive player as the team relies on him more and more to be a consistent scoring threat.  He will also need to develop more of a dependable three point shot, as team personnel have slowly tried distancing their players from taking long contested two point shots – considered now to be the most inefficient shot in basketball.

Injuries have robbed Bradley in recent seasons, missing 31 last year, and eight this season.  The recent status on his right ankle is murky at best, indicating he may not be back when the Celtics resume play in Phoenix on Wednesday.  Celtics officials have to be frustrated with the inability of Bradley and Rajon Rondo (an oddly dynamic duo when healthy) to get on the floor at the same time.  Evaluating a player is difficult enough, but add in a bucket full of injuries, and the task gets that much more difficult.

Bradley will be dangled at the trade deadline for the right price, but expect Ainge to try to muster up a long term deal for the former Texas Longhorn.  He has a clear desire to improve, and by all accounts, appears to be a good locker room presence.  The question is, for what price?

Celtics Circuit: CSNNE Makes Changes To C’s Coverage

Danny Ainge will be watching the Boston Celtics from several seats this year.

Danny Ainge will be watching the Boston Celtics from a seat along the broadcast table during road games this year.


The Boston Celtics are not the only team who will see new faces this year as they usher in the Brad Stevens era.

Comcast SportsNet New England made some changes to their broadcast team for the  Celtics.

Boston.com’s Chad Finn wrote an article on Monday explaining the changes. Greg Dickerson, Donny Marshall, and Gary Tanguay are all out.

Dickerson worked as the sideline reporter.  Over the past couple of seasons, Dickerson has missed time due to his battle with Tourette’s Syndrome. He will still contribute to CSNNE and NECN. This is too bad because Dickerson was great at giving out reports from the assistant coaches coming out of halftime on adjustments and injury updates. Abby Chin will be the new sideline reporter.

Marshall played for UConn and he was once seen as a successor to Tommy Heinsohn. His commentary was too bland during the games. Also, there were too many times when Marshall would reference Heinsohn’s manner on controversial calls from the officials. He will replaced by Dave Cowens, Heinsohn, ex-Providence College coach Tim Welsh, and Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix.

Tanguay’s spot will be filled by Kyle Draper, who has worked as the sideline reporter when Dickerson has been out. Mostly, Tanguay was solid in this role. Although he did make a rude comment when Heinsohn was defending Kevin Garnett’s cold shoulder to Miami Heat guard Ray Allen during the season-opening loss to the Heat last year. Allen came over to shake hands with the coaches and players. When Allen went over to Garnett, Garnett refused to acknowledge him. After the game, Heinsohn was in the studio because the game was televised nationally since the Heat were the defending champions and getting their rings. He said that Bill Russell would do something similar. Tanguay said “That was a hundred years ago, Tommy.”

Heinsohn will remain as the color analyst for all 41 home games as he enters his 33rd year with Mike Gorman along his side.When the Celtics are on road trips, Heinsohn will be in the studio. The color analyst role for the road games will be provided by former Celtics players such as Cedric Maxwell (he currently is the color analyst on the radio with Sean Grande as they change from WEEI to The Sports Hub), Cowens, Chris Herren, and Danny Ainge. Ainge is the most interesting name because he is also the Celtics President of Player Personnel. While Ainge has served as the third man occasionally for a certain period during the game over the past decade, he has never served as a color analyst. Ainge will work with Herren. This is the first time that a team executive will be serving in this role in Boston.

Celtics Circuit: Paul Pierce’s Future in Boston?

Former Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce is considering coming back to Boston in his post-playing career.

Former Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce is considering coming back to Boston in his post-playing career.


Former Boston Celtics captain and current Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe that he would like to be a part of Boston when his playing career is over. Pierce said that he would like to either own a business such as a sports bar or be in the team’s front office.

Well, sports bars are difficult to run because there is a limited amount of real estate in Boston and it is expensive. In addition, Pierce would have to organize a staff. With the new casino proposals at Suffolk Downs or in Everett, perhaps Pierce can have a restaurant like Geno Auriemma’s Pub at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. Auriemma is the head coach of the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team. This is not an easy process because money is not guaranteed when owning a business just look at Curt Schiiling’s video game business. Pierce also mentioned that no great Celtics player have done this because most of the great Celtics remained in basketball in a coaching or front office position like Tommy Heinsohn (coach and analyst), Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, etc.

If Pierce decides to stay in Boston during his post-playing career, this could have an impact on major free agents coming to Boston. There has been discussion on local sports talk radio and television shows in recent years  about why Boston cannot attract superstar players like LeBron James and Dwight Howard. The main reason was Boston did not produce great teams until they traded for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join Pierce in 2007. Since that time, the Celtics have been over the luxury tax and had limited roster space. The Celtics are currently in a rebuilding process, but if the Celtics can prove they have a young core of players who can display their potential to compete for a championship and have the roster space along with money, they can bring in star talent.

With Allen, Garnett, and Pierce embracing the city of Boston, it does bode well for future free agents. The majority of current players don’t care about the past. Star players want money and the chance to compete for a title. The Celtics and Pierce could have a major challenge right now, but they could enjoy the fruits of their labor if they follow through on their plans.

 

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