Monday, September 30, 2013

What to expect from Jeff Green this season

Jared Wickerham/ Getty Images
We have been asking the question since the day the Boston Celtics traded the beloved Kendrick Perkins for him. What can we expect from Jeff Green?

There has been a lot of chatter this offseason about Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyc. The “core four” if you will, but with Rondo’s knee injury a lot of people forget that Green is going to be the best player on this team on opening night, and potentially a major building block towards the future.

Jeff Green clearly has All-Star potential; the fans have all seen it. Remember that 43 point game head to head against LeBron James? Green is an athletic 6’9 combo forward that can handle the ball, get to the hoop and shoot from outside. So what is it that separates him from the other stars in the league? There is one factor that defines individual success in the NBA, consistency, and Jeff Green lacks it.

For every All-Star type performance, there was also a six point game, but looking back, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Green has played behind Kevin Durant and Paul Pierce, not to mention an open-heart procedure that he probably just fully recovered from this past summer. Maybe the surgery is to blame for a scattered first year back on the court?

So lets wipe the slate clean for Jeff Green. This can be a fresh start for him, not to show us what he is capable of, but to show us he can do it night in and night out. It is not unreasonable to expect Green’s 12.8 PPG in 2012-13 to improve to 20 PPG this year. Under contract for two more seasons, Green needs to prove that he can be the 20 PPG scorer he was drafted to be.

If his consistency issues remain, Jeff Green could be a trade chip in the 2014-15 season that helps Boston further rebuild, or simply a player they let walk in the summer of 2015. Either way the time is now for Jeff Green, his play will determine how long his stay in Beantown will last.

Follow Julian on Twitter @BleedGreenBlogs

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

John Wall predicts playoffs for the Wiz... who finishes 6-8 in the East?

Red Hubard/ Orlando Sentinel
This is no crazy talk by John Wall; the Washington Wizards have as good a shot as any team in the East to head to the playoffs in April. Like Chris Broussard hints at in this video clip, there are five teams all but locked into a postseason birth: the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Indiana Pacers.

This leaves three seeds wide open for the remaining 10 teams in the conference to battle for. Take a glance at the teams and their rosters… can we really count anyone out? Well sure we can, we can count the abomination that is the Charlotte Bobcats out. But that’s about it! 

Unfortunately, the Boston Celtics have all the talent that it may require to grab one of those last three seeds (even if Rajon Rondo doesn’t debut until December). Looks like I gave away my stance on the 2013-14 season, get a top pick! Loaded drafts like 2014 do not come along often, let alone come on the first year you decide to go into a rebuild. I think Danny Ainge knows this, and will put the C’s in the best position he can for the future, and not for this season. Jordan Crawford at point guard? Why not.

With that said, in no particular order, here are the three teams out of the East that will prove they have what it takes to sneak into the playoffs… and who knows, maybe even make some noise:

David Liam Kyle /NBAE/ Getty Images
The Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavs are returning their entire young core, which even after only 24 wins last year, showed impressive flashes. They only got 59 games out of their superstar, Kyrie Irving, who was still able to average 22.5 PPG and 5.9 APG. Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, and Tyler Zeller round out the rest of the young studs that contributed last season. Lets not forget about rebounding machine Anderson Varejao either.

But the Cavs bulked up their roster significantly during the offseason; first by adding Andrew Bynum, a risky move. Personally I am not a Bynum backer, I do not think he can stay healthy nor do I like his attitude. Still, lets say he gives them 50 games at 80%... that will surely make a difference. On top of Bynum Cleveland also added Anthony Bennett with the number one overall draft pick in June. The 6’8 power forward has a lot of developing to do, but can at least be expected to contribute right away. And finally the Cavs reinforced their backcourt, bringing in the veteran Jarrett Jack to keep pressure on Irving and Waiters.

The Detroit Pistons: We have a completely unrecognizable team in the the motor city. So without getting too deep into it, let me just go over the roster the Pistons will be rolling out on opening night.
Getty Images/ NBA

Detroit has retained their two-headed monster in the frontcourt with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, the building blocks of this team. Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva have stuck around. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tony Mitchell have been drafted. Oh and Corey Maggette, Chauncey Billups, Brandon Jennings, and Josh Smith have all been added. Don’t worry about last year, this is a new team.

Mark Duncan/ AP Photo
The Washington Wizards: Ask and you shall receive, John Wall. But in all seriousness the Wiz are absolutely talented enough to go out and get it done this season. Last year they posted a 5-28 record without Wall and a 24-25 record with him. So we are already talking about a .500 team with Wall healthy.

Give me a healthy Emeka Okafor and Nene and now we’re talking. We will have to wait and see what Bradley Beal and Otto Porter turn into, but in the meantime Trevor Ariza and Al Harrington are there to cover for them. Glen Rice Jr. could be a sleeper on this team.

Although not as deep as our previous two teams, the Wizards seem top heavy enough to fight their way in when healthy.

Follow Julian on twitter @BleedGreenBlogs

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Training Camp Spotlight Sure to be on Pressey

With training camp right around the corner, a whole lot of fresh faces are going to get good looks at the Boston Celtics 2013 training camp. Legends will be replaced by kids fighting for roster spots - looking to become the faces of a new era in Boston.

One of those faces that could be called upon more heavily is twenty-two year old Phil Pressey. Pressey went un-drafted in 2013 despite leaving Missouri after his junior year. But Danny Ainge (a teammate of Pressey's father in Boston) had his eye on Phil for a while. Ainge called Pressey to bring him to Orlando to play for the Celtic's summer league team just moments after the draft ended.

In Orlando Pressey averaged 9.4 PPG and 6.6 APG, going over 10 assists in each of Boston's final two games - a nice surprise. With Rajon Rondo's return still uncertain, Pressey is the only true point guard that will be at Boston's camp. Assuming Pressey can make the team, his ball handling skills could play a big role to open up the regular season. Although Avery Bradley seems like the overwhelming pick to start at the point during Rondo's absence, Pressey is the dark horse.

Bradley has always been uncomfortable handling the ball, something that comes natural to Pressey since his days at Waltham High School. Despite being only 5'8, Pressey makes up for size with speed, court vision and a smooth jump shot. Click here to see Pressey's latest interview about making this Celtic's team.

In all likely hood Pressey is not going to be a long term star for this franchise. But it is not too much to ask of him to be a solid backup to Rondo, something the Celtics lacked in recent years. It's a long shot, but Phil Pressey may get a chance to be very important to this team very early.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

McCarty to Join Celtic's Staff

Former Boston Celtics forward Walter McCarty (1997-2005) will be re-joining the team for the 2013-14 season, this time as an assistant coach. McCarty will be able to provide valuable insight to head coach Brad Stevens who is brand new to the NBA scene.

It is also highly speculated that McCarty has been brought on to help bond with the difficult personality that is Rajon Rondo. Both are former Kentucky Wildcats, which figures to factor in. Walter was a fan favorite during his time in Boston, and should be welcomed back with open arms by the fan base.

Although this move does nothing to improve the Celtics gloomy potential short term success, this is a nice hire for coach Stevens down the line.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lots to Discuss

Bleed Green has been absent for a while, but it's back and we have plenty to cover before training camp begins... This happened:

Followed by this:

And now the Boston Celtics are in a full fledged rebuilding stage led by one of the hottest young coaches in the game, Brad Stevens. Rajon Rondo is now the familiar vet on the roster (for now), and continuing to rehab his torn ACL. 

The Celtics are shifting in new faces all over their roster, in the form of young players, high potential draft picks, and veterans who could be here for a short stay; and shifting out two hall of famers of course in Kevin Garnett and lifetime Celtic Paul Pierce... a burning image.

Rookie Kelly Olynyk looked fantastic in summer league and could be one of this season's top freshman. Olynyk played well enough for Danny Ainge and crew to ship off Fab Melo. We can't quite say the future is looking bright in Boston yet, but it certainly has the potential to if management plays their cards right. 

Bleed Green will have blog posts coming up about all of this and more and will be back to following the Celtics up to date. Times may get tough this year, but it will be as exciting as every for us diehards (maybe not 2008 exciting) as we keep our eyes on the future. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Game 6 Preview

The Celtics and Knicks will tip off game 6 of their best of seven series Friday night at the TD Garden in what has turned into the wild series we all expected from the start. All the pressure has finally shifted to the Knicks after guaranteeing a game 5 victory by wearing all black for a Celtics funeral. After that gutsy showing by Boston they will have the chance to even the series and force a game 7 tonight.

Even though the pressure may now be on New York, there are several keys to the game that the Celtics must control to win a trip back to New York. The first key has to be keeping Raymond Felton out of the paint. One of the biggest surprises thus far has been Avery Bradley's inability to keep Felton in front of him. Game 5 Felton was scoring around the basket at will. Maybe Terrence Williams will see some minutes on him, or even the rebirth of Courtney Lee as the Ray Felton stopper. Hopefully Doc figures something out by Friday night. 

Another key to this game specifically is going to be containing Carmelo Anthony to start the game. Jordan Crawford made stupid comments to Melo after game 5 which could potentially light a fire under Melo heading into tonight. The Celtics have handled Anthony well lately though, specifically Brandon Bass. Not a smart move by Crawford though, no reason to give the best player any extra motivation for a road closeout game...

Games seem to be changing when Jason Terry enters them. After a horrible start to the series, Terry has given a big scoring boost to the Celts. He has been infinitely more valuable than Bradley, especially if Bradley continues to have problems with Felton. Point here being get JET in early and often in game 6.

The final key is keeping Kevin Garnett as heavily involved as he has been. Garnett has been dominant in all phases of the game. Although Paul Pierce and Jason Terry have been contributors Garnett's rebounding, defense and low post touches remain the most important part of the Celtics game plan. 

Hopefully the three vets combine with Bass' defense on Anthony and the wildcard we know as Jeff Green can rise to the challenge and get this one done. Boston is playing with house money in their own building. The Knicks scare me, but I don't think Celtics fans are nearly as worried as Knick fans as game 6 approaches. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013


This was the gutsy performance green teamers have been waiting for. We all thought they were done, including myself, just keeping their heads above water in game 4 for pride. But game 5 proved the Celtics are playing for far more and truly believe they can win this series. Just click here and ask Kevin Garnett (video at bottom).

What a balanced effort from the Celtics in a game where Doc Rivers cut the rotation to seven players, one of which was Terrence Williams. Brandon Bass kept Boston in the game early after going down 11-0. Bass finished with 17 points, Jeff Green had 18, Paul Pierce 16 and Jason Terry 17 including some clutch second half three pointers. Kevin Garnett (despite STILL only getting up nine field goals) had his game of the series again; he totaled 16 points to go with 18 boards, five assists and two blocks. Garnett now has 52 rebounds in his last three games.

On the other end of the ball, the Celtics limited Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith to 38 points (a couple garbage time threes by J.R.) on 11-for-38 shooting. The result will be a pressure filled game 6 at the TD Garden for the Knicks.

Don't think we will be seeing the Knicks in all black arriving to game 6 in Boston. Keep in mind the Knicks did dominate a game this series in Boston, but the Knicks will be showing up with a much different feeling in their stomach to this game I'm sure.

The Celtics have a golden opportunity to send this series to a seventh game, playing with all the momentum, in their home building on what will be a rowdy Friday night at the Garden. And the saying is true, anything can happen come game 7. We all remember what happened game 6 of the Eastern Finals at home against the Heat last year, win and earn a trip to the Finals... although the stakes are not as high, the Celtics need to win this one to even stay alive.

Keep an eye out for Bleed Green's game 6 preview, how can we keep Ray Felton out of the paint? And be sure to follow on twitter @bleedgreenblogs  - click here for a link to our twitter feed.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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What's Going on with KG?

Despite some of the numbers you may see in the box score, Kevin Garnett has not been himself in the series against the Knicks. His scoring is primarily where the problem lies - 11.3 points per game. Down from 14.8 in the regular season; this is a number we expect to grow in the playoffs. If not for rising his level of play, simply for the fact that Doc Rivers saves many of Garnett's big minute games for the postseason.

Lets examine KG game by game:

Game 1: eight points (4-12 FG), nine rebounds, and four assists in 37 minutes. This is his worst game of the series to date. We gave him a mulligan on this one but KG clearly was not ready for the big stage. Only 12 shots was of concern.

Game 2: 12 points (4-9 FG), 11 rebounds to go with an assist in 24 minutes. Foul trouble plagued KG throughout this contest. Doc made a point of going to him early on offense, but the fouls made it impossible for him to find a rhythm. You would just like to see Garnett play a little smarter after having five fouls in game 1 to pickup two fouls in the first four minutes of game 2.

Game 3: 12 points (5-13 FG), 17 rebounds, two assists in 34 minutes. Garnett was complimented for playing hard and not giving up on this game. That is how he plays every night. None of this is a play hard issue, but a productivity issue. The FG attempts are up, but still not where they need to be. If they were with higher assist numbers it would be more clear he was getting his touches, but used more as a distributer.

Game 4: 13 points (5-7 FG), 17 rebounds, six assists in 37 minutes. This was KG's best game of the series... BUT seven shots attempted! This is Hall of Fame Kevin Garnett, too selfless at times. I've always said you can tell when KG is at his best (post knee operation) when he is rebounding. Well he pulled down 34 total boards in the two games in Boston, but he still was not himself. 13 points on seven shots is more than efficient, so why would that player not take 15 shots?

Averages: 11.3 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 3.3 APG in 33.0 minutes...10.3 FG attempts per game.

More simply put, if Garnett is healthy (he may not be), he NEEDS to be taking more shots for the Celtics to be successful. If he truly is the ultimate team player, he will realize his own personal production is sometimes most valuable to the Celtics' winning.

His rebounding is there which means he seems to have his legs under him, and Doc will certainly give him the minutes if KG is not in foul trouble. He needs to play smart and look for his shot. A little less fading away in the post and a little more attacking the basket could mean the difference. Catching the ball deeper in the paint could be the difference. Garnett is a tremendous jump shooter, but at 6'11 needs to establish his paint presence.

Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin clearly are not going to back away from the challenge of getting physical, so KG is going to have to rise to the challenge himself. Accepting that Chandler and Martin share that same intimidation factor that he does despite being smaller names may help get him there.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Celtics Force Game 5

The Celtics came out and started game 4 just like fans wanted them to. They showed emotion and played with Celtic Pride. Until Boston faltered and found themselves in a familiar second half slump. The Celtics were pummeled in the third quarter (outscored by Ray Felton alone), watching a 20 point lead fall to three after Felton beat the buzzer from downtown.

It was happening again. The Knicks were going to sweep after the Celtics blew their third halftime lead of the series and didn't even bother to show up game 3.

Then the elders finally showed they still had a pulse (it only took going to overtime in game 4 down 0-3), and were able to keep New York from taking out the brooms. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry were terrific. Pierce kept them in it the whole game (played 50 minutes), KG provided timely scores while hauling in 17 rebounds and setting up teammates with six dimes. There was actually a JET sighting as Terry scored the last nine points of the OT period to put Boston ahead for good.

It was a nice win, and like I said, if there is a team and a city that deserves this comeback, it is the 2013 Boston Celtics. Now back to reality.

The Celtics really JUST played well enough to win. Felton was fantastic, but J.R. Smith sat out (suspension) and Carmelo Anthony shot 10-for-35 on FG attempts. Really nothing too impressive by the Celtics that should indicate any concern for the Knicks in game 5. The Celtics should win that game without a need for overtime. Heck they should have won while resting their starters the last five minutes.

What's even scarier is when thinking about if Boston does win game 5. The hype would normally be about Boston's chance to even the series, and nationally would be. Many locally would find it hard not to think about how the Celtics got throttled on the last Friday night game when the series shifted to the TD Garden. Not to get too far ahead, but it is telling how much trust this team has lost.

Every game is game 7 for Boston and the Celtics showed that they know that now. The Knicks have yet to feel any pressure in the series, a Celtics game 5 win would change that. Doc Rivers will have them preparing one game at a time; so far watching them cling on to life was not pretty. We'll see if it's any prettier Wednesday night in New York.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Down But Not Out?

WARNING: This is more of an angry rant than a column... but I can't help myself at this point. We are the Boston Celtics and we are being brutally embarrassed. The first possession of the game told the whole story, missed layups by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, symbolic of the Celtics effort in the entire series.

Now if you ask me I say the Knicks will be sweeping things up Sunday afternoon at the TD Garden, but can we at least have some pride? If there's a team that deserves to comeback in a series like this it's the Celtics. If there were ever a city at the perfect time that deserves a comeback, it's Boston. Unfortunately just showing up and jogging up and down the court for 48 minutes won't get that done.

I want to make myself believe. With J.R. Smith out maybe they can finally win a low scoring game and get some momentum right? After that elbow to the face they are going to come out angry shouldn't they? There is no way Pierce doesn't finally step up and throw this team on his back, he has to? Questions just keep coming up, then I remember what I have seen in the first three games and realize that they have no chance.

Becoming the first NBA team to ever dig themselves out of a 0-3 hole by rallying around the "Boston Strong" motto, just feels stupid to mention when you consider the effort being given on the court. All I ask is in game 4 we see Celtic basketball being played, not whatever product we have gotten recently.

If you are looking to have a little bit more positive of an attitude heading into the game try Marc D'Amico here:

C's still believe

Can't break KG

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tale of Two Halves; Game 3 Preview

Just when we felt things couldn't get any uglier... YIKES. The Celtics were once again very competitive, proving that they can indeed beat the Knicks... in a 24 minute game. Boston followed up game 1's 25 point second half (eight in the fourth quarter) with a 23 point second half in game 2! The Celtics shot a laughable 19% in the second frame, after shooting 56% before the break.

The game-plan was clearly to get Kevin Garnett more touches, but foul trouble followed KG throughout the entire game, until it got to the point on the scoreboard it was not even worth putting him back in. Although it was nice to see KG so heavily involved in what Doc Rivers wants to do on offense, it didn't work.

There were numerous problems in game 2 for the Celtics; here is what stuck out. Garnett is not healthy. Even though we only saw him in limited minutes he does not seem comfortable attacking the rim, too many fade aways from him. On top of whatever previous injury is nagging him, KG was also holding his stomach area a lot late in the game, potentially suffering another injury. Garnett is a warrior and will play as hard as he can through it all, but Boston truly needs 100% of his capable production more than anything to turn this series around.

The other major issue is the point guard position, it is non existent. Now I have been one of the Rondo haters all year long, but I'm sticking to my guns and saying that this is not a "no Rondo problem", this is a "no point guard problem". Avery Bradley looks like a deer in headlights handling the ball. He is having issues with turnovers, and besides being a good cutter to find around the rim has provided nothing on offense. Rondo certainly would have shined in the pace of game 2, but Boston is not finding a true PG before Friday night.

So how can Doc Rivers stop the bleeding? I see two ways to fill the void and Courtney Lee is not one of them (although Lee should be getting Jordan Crawford's minutes - smaller issue). The first, and most likely, is to give Jason Terry a big bump in minutes. He played 34 minutes last game without turning the ball over, and seemed to find a bit more of a rhythm. Maybe coming back home he can improve even more off his game 2 performance. Getting Terry off the bench early for Bradley could be a good boost, especially going to him early (or even starting him) in the second half where Boston has seen their problems.

The more unlikely option is to have Paul Pierce play the point guard spot. Bradley would be the two guard (and I would still get Terry in there early), but Pierce would be the prime ball handler and decision maker. Now Pierce has been turning the ball over a lot himself, but Doc trusts him, maybe turning the rains over to him gives Pierce more confidence. If the Celtics were ever in need of a classic Paul Pierce playoff performance, Friday night is the time.

IF the Celtics can get Garnett going and solve the lead guard crisis, who is to say they can't make a series of this? But that is a big if that we will see play out on Friday night at our Garden. The Knicks will be hungry and would love to get the brooms out in Boston. Hope for some home cooking in the first game at the TD Garden since Patriots Day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Game 2 Preview

The Boston Celtics find themselves in a frustrating 0-1 hole heading into Tuesday's game 2. It was a frustrating loss after the Celts put their best foot forward in the first half, only to let a win slip away. If Boston is to even the score tonight on the road, there are some things they are going to need to do.

Stopping Carmelo Anthony is not a realistic option. Many defenders, ranging in size from Avery Bradley to Brandon Bass, will see time on Melo, but one way to take him out of the game may be on the other side of the ball. Anthony has never been known as a great defender, and will have to spend a lot of time covering Jeff Green or Paul Pierce. Both players are great at getting to the rim and drawing contact. If Melo is on Bass, set the screens and get the switches that are needed. Getting Melo in early foul trouble could put the Knicks offense in shambles for the stretches Anthony is on the bench.

Find Jason Terry some room to shoot, eventually he will come through. There is no way Terry is actually as horrific as he is playing at the moment. Although we are learning he is no Ray Allen, he certainly is a viable three point shooter that needs to gain the respect of Knicks defenders to open up the Boston offense. Look for Terry to get some open looks when he enters the game... and hope that he can make the most of them.

Kevin Garnett needs to be the most important player on the floor. Green and Pierce can carry the scoring load and play Melo as tough as they are able to, but Celtic playoff success has stemmed from The Big Ticket over the past six years. After sitting for a week, lets give KG a mulligan in game 1. But he is awake now and fully aware of the situation. All indications over his illustrious career point to Garnett being ready to roll in game 2.

Boston's ball handling in the fourth quarter NEEDS to be better. With no Rondo, all Celtics fans can agree the most safe place the ball can be down the stretch is in the hands of Pierce. Doc Rivers is too good a coach to let his team lose because of silly turnovers again. Look for some shakeups in late play calling if the score is close.

Prediction: Despite the ugly loss, the Celtics showed that they can beat the Knicks on the road. The score was right in the neighborhood the Celtics like it, Rivers and Co. will not let this one slip away. Expect more from Terry and particularly Garnett, expect Green and Pierce to try and force Melo to the bench, and expect Pierce to control the tempo late. The series heads back to Boston tied.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Gearing Up For Game 2

Game 1 against the New York Knicks already feels like ages ago with the ups and downs Boston has been through lately. Not only that, but it almost feels like it was two different games.

The first half Boston showed us why they are considered one of the most feared seven seeds in recent memory. They outplayed the Knicks on both ends of the floor with moderate play by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Boston was led by Jeff Green's 20 first half points, and went into the locker room feeling good with a 53-49 lead.

The second half was another story. As Jeff Green faded Carmelo Anthony shined. Melo finished with a game high 36 points, consistently dominating the game as opposed to Green's tentative approach. Turnovers were killer for the Celtics down the stretch, particularly from Pierce, Green and Avery Bradley. Three players you certainly do not want to see turnovers from are you captain, your leading scorer and your starting point guard, but that was the scenario for Boston. Pierce and Green has six turnovers each, including a huge one from Pierce that led to an Anthony fast-break basket with 2:30 remaining. Bradley also had four turnovers, two of them on what should have been easy entry passes to the post that Avery simply did not throw high enough.

The bench scored four points for Boston in this game. Moving Green into the starting lineup makes a dip in production expected, but not this severe. Jason Terry went scoreless, the same guy that was the clear cut second option on the NBA champion two years ago. Celtic fans were missing Ray Allen (20 points off the bench in his playoff debut with Miami), Terry does not need to be Ray, but he does need to challenge the NBA Sixth Man of the year J.R. Smith in bench production.

Finally the Knicks won the fourth quarter 18-8 to seal the deal. Not much else to say about that, but here are the three most important things going into game 2:

1. Crunch time scoring. No matter how well Jeff Green plays, this is Paul Pierce's team. Although Pierce picked up his scoring in the second half, he needs to be the clutch scorer for this team even if Green carries them the majority of the way there. They can not count of stopping Melo, so they are going to have to counter with Pierce.

2. Sorry to be repetitive, but TURNOVERS! A stretch of the game looked like a youth league team that could just not pass the ball against high pressure defense. Bradley not getting the ball high enough, Pierce getting his passes tipped. These lead directly to Knick fast-breaks and three pointers. Lets hope this was a one time thing, otherwise it is going to be a quick series.

3. Eight points and nine rebounds from Kevin Garnett is not enough. Garnett is the force that must be present for this Celtic team to beat anybody and it was not there on Saturday. KG shot 4-12 in 36 minutes. Simply put, expect more from him or expect to lose.

Game 2 is Tuesday night at 8 PM, lets hope the team that played the first half Saturday shows and up not the other one.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

4/16 Game Vs. Pacers Canceled

The NBA and the Boston Celtics have mutually agreed to cancel Tuesday night's home game against the Pacers. Here is the statement by the Celtics:

"The notion of playing a basketball game a day later didn't feel right. Some things are bigger than basketball. We didn't cancel this event out of public security fear. Our venue is going to be safe when we play our next game. The NBA and the Celtics were on the same page. There was not a debate about not playing this game."

Doc Rivers and many members of the team expressed that they felt this was for the best, and this situation is so much bigger than basketball. Great call by the entire Celtics organization here. The game will not be made up, but with both teams locked into their playoff seeds their was virtually nothing to play for.

We can all bicker about Danny Ainge and if he has held on to this team for too long, but when it comes to big calls like this, Celtics ownership and management gets it. This is not a time for basketball, especially for a game that has zero playoff implications. The first home game since the tragedy will now be game 3 of the first round of the playoffs against the Knicks. You can bet it will be an emotional and proud night for Boston.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayers to All Affected in Boston

Off topic, but much more important than anything else you will read here. What a tragic day in Boston. Why something like this would happen remains a mystery, but as Boston is evacuated please pray for everyone who lost their lives, were injured, and all of their families and friends as well as all the participants of the Boston Marathon.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Celtics News

With the sixth and even fifth seeds still potentially in the Celtics reach, it appears that Doc Rivers and company have decided to nuzzle into the seventh seed in the east. After Wednesday night's one sided loss to Brooklyn, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will both be traveling to Miami with the team, but neither will play on Friday night. This has already been confirmed by the team twitter account.

Rajon Rondo recently discussed his knee injury and said he is "in a place where [he's] OK with it", sitting down with ESPN to talk publicly about the ACL tear for the first time. Here is a link to the article on the Boston Celtic's website. Rondo still plans to be ready for training camp in October.

In other updates for fans, this weekend will be the Boston Sports Memorabilia show in Wilmington. Celtics legends like Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Sam Jones, Bill Walton and current Celtic Jared Sullinger will be signing autographs at the event. Many others will be there as well. Get all the info here about the event including the schedule.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Garnett Factor

Even with age Kevin Garnett continues to prove his value to the Boston Celtics. Most recently without even being on the floor. Fortunately Garnett, as well as Paul Pierce, returned to the lineup Sunday night and we were able to catch a glimpse of this season's full strength Celtics (keeping in mind Rondo and Sullinger are on the shelf for the year).

Boston has struggled to win what should be easy games, by letting up far too many points against subpar offenses. Since Jeff Green's game winner in Indiana on March 6th, two home wins against Atlanta are really all the Celtics have to brag about and that is not much to go on. Simple put this team is lost without Garnett. I wrote here why you should love this team so much, take Garnett away and all of that becomes worthless. It starts with his defense and trickles down to the emotion that he infects his teammates with. Garnett is the single most important piece to Boston's success.

After Sunday's victory  over the Washington Wizards (a team that has been over .500 with John Wall in uniform) teammates crowded around Garnett to photobomb his post game interview. Smiles on all their faces to have the veteran back in the lineup. It had noting to do with why they won the game, but plenty to do with why the Celtics will give the Knicks or Pacers a run for their money as first round underdogs in the playoffs. The kids on this team look up to KG, and his presence on the floor makes them better players.

Alongside a healthy Garnett, it's no secret that captain Paul Pierce will need to get his ankle healthy enough to put forward the clutch playoff performances his team is accustom to. Despite all the recent struggles, who is to say this team will not find themselves right back in the East Finals against Miami if they find good health?

Three things become vital outside of the obvious need for Pierce and Garnett for a shot at Miami to become reality. The first is some kind of emergence of Jason Terry. Terry has shown flashes this year, but is still yet to be a consistent contributor off the bench. If JET can put forward a strong postseason he could be a big shot in the arm for Boston.

The second thing is Avery Bradley handling the point guard role. No doubt Bradley is going to be key to success starting with his role to lock down a key perimeter opponent. But he also is going to be in charge of a lot of ball handling duties. He will get help from Pierce and Jeff Green, but Bradley is going to have to bring the ball up in some pressure situations that are normally overlooked as a problem if Rondo is around.

And finally there is Jeff Green. On nights he is the best player on the team... on one night he was almost the best player on the floor in a game that LeBron James played in. But then there are the inconsistent nights. He finally seems to be coming around though, the Wizards game was his first game in single digits in points since March 12th. In his last six games, four of them he has scored 23, 27, 27, and 34 points.

Doc Rivers has given in and now starts Green and has moved Pierce to the shooting guard spot. The playoffs are going to be Green's stage to establish himself as a star in the NBA, time will tell what he is able to make of it.

Now those are all the reasons the Celtics could fight their way back to the Conference Finals, but can they beat Miami? Highly doubtful. But last time they met Boston gave themselves plenty of reasons to believe they can without their centerpiece in the lineup, with Garnett back anything could be possible.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Garnett Spotted in Walking Boot

The Celtics are limping home from their West coast road trip, both figuratively and literally. After an encouraging two point loss to the Heat without Garnett, the Celts have gone on to drop three more games. Close losses to the Hornets, Mavericks, and Grizzlies are of concern, but not nearly as much as the health of the team.

Both Courtney Lee and Kevin Garnett missed Saturday night's game in Memphis with left sprained ankles. Lee is expected to bounce back in the next couple of weeks, but KG is the concern here. After just returning from a hip problem and the flu, Garnett now has been spotted with a limp and in a walking boot. Garnett is the single most important piece to this team, and FAR above playoff seeding is the importance of his health.

MRI results are expected to be released when Doc Rivers meets with the media after Monday's practice in Waltham. Both Garnett and Lee's status is unknown for Tuesday night at home against the Knicks.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jeff Green Shines, Celtics Come Up Short

There are so many ways to look at Monday night's contest between the Celtics and Heat, and so many things to take away from it, it is hard to pick a place to begin. Unconventionally, lets start from the end.

Jeff Green may have been the best player in the game, but LeBron James was the most dominant when it counted. When James reentered the game with nine minutes left, the Heat were down 10 and LeBron completely reversed the flow of the game. In the 105-103 Miami victory, James finished with 37 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds, a freakish dunk (over a helpless Jason Terry, pictured above), and the game winning jumper. A statement game for LeBron's MVP case while keeping the win streak alive on a night the Heat had no business doing so.

It was, in ways, a devastating loss. I can not remember being so into a regular season game, and wanting to win so badly. But put things into perspective and this will just go down as one in the loss column, but a potential huge boost in team moral... for a team that was not lacking any confidence to begin with.

Jeff Green was tremendous starting in place of Kevin Garnett (thigh/flu), stealing the show for much of the game and finishing with 43 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, and two steals. Both the emergence of Green combine with Garnett not even being in uniform should give fans a lot of hope about this team. I have been writing about why you should love this team (click here), and last night was exactly why. Rallying against the best team, without your own best player to give them one of the games of the year.

The only big mistake last night was when Doc Rivers decided to rest Green. Green had to ask to come out of the game for about four minutes until only 3:30 remained. He never scored again after that. Had Doc rested him to start the fourth, Green may have been able to keep his groove in the clutch. However it is hard to blame Rivers for trying to squeeze every second of court time out of Green that he could.

No question this Celtics team is 100% confident in their chances against Miami in a playoff series with KG around to have their backs and defend the rim. Jeff Green's expectations have clearly become higher, but he can live up to being a 20 PPG scorer for the remainder of the season. His other high game this year (31 points at Phoenix) also came while KG was out and Green slipped into the starting lineup. As I said after that game, Jeff Green NEEDS to start. Play him alongside KG and bring Bass off the bench. Yes it gives the bench a little less fire power but look what Green has done given the opportunity!

Green showed the ability to get to the rim at will and both draw contact and finish the plays. Something that he must begin to look for in his game every night, especially when his three ball is falling like last night. Hopefully this will be the boost Green needed for his own confidence going forward, because he now has fans around Boston talking about his "superstar potential".

So before I ramble on, there was a lot to learn last night. But the two most important things are what we learned about the two teams overall:

What did we learn about the Heat? That they are damn good and if they can withstand what they did in Boston good luck to their upcoming opponents trying to end the streak. They are the clear favorites.

What did we learn about the Celtics? That the heart of this team is going to allow them to rise to any occasion, and you do not want to meet them in a playoff series. They just may be crazy enough to see themselves as the favorites with Garnett, and that's dangerous.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Garnett a Game Time Decision

Kevin Garnett will be a "50/50 at best" game time decision on Monday night when the Miami Heat bring their 22 game win streak to Boston. Garnett sat out Saturday with a left abductor strain, a game against the Bobcats that KG frankly was not needed in. Garnett was not present at the shoot around in Waltham Monday morning.

Doc Rivers does not believe the injury to be long-term at all, but it would be disappointing not to have him in uniform to challenge the Heat's streak. Obviously the most important factor here is keeping Garnett both healthy and rested for the postseason.

If he does not play it is hard to imagine Boston's chances not taking a huge hit. But the Celtics are a team that plays for pride, and with or without their best player, they will be looking to kill Miami's 22 game win streak on the anniversary of ending the Rockets' 22 game win streak 5 years ago.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Gino and Celts Bounce Back

As expected the Celtics recovered from their loss to the Bobcats by beating down on the Raptors at home on Wednesday night. It was a historic night for both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett who go to celebrate achievements in front of their fans. KG passed Jerry West to move into 15th place on the all-time scoring list (25,192) and Pierce passed Charles Barkley to get into 20th place (23,757).

Garnett talked about all the records he and his teammate have achieved this season; "The joke around here is that every two days or something we're making history. It's not a bad joke to be a part of." Pierce had some fun to poke as well talking about passing Sir Charles on the list; "He always talks a lot of smack about us, so I'm happy it was him", he said while smiling.

Accomplishments aside it was another great team win, seven Celtics were in double digits scoring: Green (20), Pierce (15), Garnett (12), Crawford (12), Terry (12), Lee (11), and Bass (11). KG was enjoying Gino more than anyone, as he does during all home blowouts. The Celtics will host the Bobcats on a rare Saturday night home game. No doubt they will be looking for more revenge after dropping two games to Charlotte this year, including a blowout loss on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brief Road Trip Ends in Horror

The Celtics dropped a game at OKC on Sunday afternoon. The defensive effort was excellent, holding the Thunder to 91 points. But Boston was only able to post 79 themselves. Avery Bradley showed why he is starting to gain some national hype by shutting down Russell Westbrook, but Kevin Durant and his teammates were too much to handle.

Although disappointing, it was an understandable loss by the Celtics who had to falter at some point. But Boston came back out on Tuesday night looking completely drained and getting run off the floor by the Bobcats for that matter.

Paul Pierce was given the night off and Kevin Garnett was limited to 20 minutes, but the Celtics should still be the hungrier team. The Bobcats have nothing to play for but lottery position whereas Boston is battling for playoff position in a tight Eastern Conference (excluding Miami). The bench showed lackluster effort, so much so that Doc Rivers turned to D.J. White and Shavlik Randolph early in the game. White has shown signs that he deserves to be on the NBA level, but Randolph appears to really be struggling to fit in.

The Celtics will have a quick turn around and look to bounce back on the right foot on Wednesday night at home against the Raptors. Paul Pierce will be back on the floor to right the ship, look for a strong performance at the Garden.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Why You Should Like This Team

The Boston Celtics have been a tight nit unit ever since Kevin Garnett arrived in July of 2007. Garnett along with Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo are the only remaining players from the 2008 championship roster, but each year has still been special. However this season seems to carry a feeling of "Ubunto" that hasn't been felt since KG went down with his knee injury in February of 2009, drowning Boston's high chances of going back-to-back.

The run to game seven of the 2010 NBA Finals was close to that feeling. It is hard to explain because this team is far different from the championship team in so many ways, yet the same. Without continuing to bash Rondo, lets say Boston's season began January 27th with a home win over the Heat.  The Celtics are 14-4, so why is this?

Boston is back to the basics like they were in 07-08. Remember back then Rondo was not who he is now. He was a shy second year point guard who would often look to defer to his hall of fame teammates. When I say defer I do not mean my dishing assists, I mean by allowing them to be themselves. Although his scoring was only a few PPG lower than it is now, Rondo was only averaging 29.9 minutes and a mere 5.1 assists per contest. Those numbers pale in comparison to his 37.4 minutes and 11.1 assists per game while he was in the lineup this season.

The success the Celtics enjoyed when they won their championship is based off of the same thing that it is now, featuring the immortal Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Despite what you want to say about Ray Allen, this was Pierce and KG's team and now is again (part of the reason Ray left anyway). The effort to make the Celtics "Rondo's Team" failed miserably, and when Rondo got hurt is was back to Plan B, the old guys. The problem is Plan B should have been Plan A all along! Pierce (primarily) is still capable of carrying this team offensively, and Garnett (primarily) is able to do the same defensively.

Now yes, despite the two first ballot hall of famers still being superstars, they have lost a (small) step. But Rondo is not the missing piece to pick up the slack. In 07-08 the Celts were often much better off with Tony Allen hounding the opposing ball handler as Avery Bradley is doing. Bradley is probably doing an even better job of that and is surely a better shooter and ball handler than Allen was.

James Posey was key off the bench in 07-08, he was just as important on both ends of the floor too which is hard to find. Now one year after open heart surgery Jeff Green appears to be finding his stride and doing the same for his team. And much like Bradley, Green is probably doing a better job than his predecessor. THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKE UP FOR PIERCE AND GARNETT HAVING A FEW MORE MILES ON THE METER!

Now what they are missing is that Kendrick Perkins type presence. But in this era of small ball where Miami is the team to get through, that force is no longer required... until you face off against the west but lets worry about that later.

The bottom line is that this team has another month to maintain stride and learn what this new Celtics team is all about before they make another (and maybe their last) run at the finals. I don't want to make Boston out as favorites by any means, but this team is going to surprise people. My money is on them finding themselves right back in a game 7 in Miami... and this time with the much needed help of Bradley and Green.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pierce a Hawk?

The trade deadline came and went in Boston with no major deals being made... but that doesn't mean one wasn't close. Reports surfaced today that the Celtics were very close to moving Paul Pierce for Josh Smith in a three way deal that would have landed Pierce in Dallas.

The Hawks asking price on Smith was Pierce and a first round draft pick which Danny Ainge was unwilling to part with. Dallas would have been sending a first rounder Atlanta's way as well as some role players. Josh Smith would have been the only piece coming to Boston, but the deal fell through and Pierce is still in green.

Would have been interesting to see, but Josh Smith would have been tough to re-sign, and it may have been even tougher to see the captain playing in a Dallas uniform. But tonight Pierce and Smith will face off playing for the only teams they have ever represented in the NBA.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Back to Back Road Wins

The Celtics have had some impressive wins this year over the likes of the Heat, Thunder, Knicks and even this gutsy road win over the Suns that I wrote about. But Wednesday night in Indiana ranks up with all of them for a few reasons.

It came just one night after getting a win in Philadelphia, and doing it while playing Terrence Williams and Jordan Crawford down the stretch. Coach Rivers is certainly showing that he has confidence in his complete roster. Avery Bradley was the leading scorer with a season high 22, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were right behind him with 18 each. Pierce had a spectacular all around effort, adding on 11 boards and seven assists.

The bench was productive as well, led by Jeff Green's 16 points, and the newcomer Crawford had his best game in green with 12. But little was expected of the playing the very next night at the Pacer's building, against one of the hottest teams in the league.

After a quick start to the game, the scoring really slowed down and the Celtics found themselves down 10 in the fourth quarter. But they came to life ending the game on an 11-0 run, capped on a Jeff Green game winner. It was on a beautiful play by Doc Rivers, using Pierce as a decoy on a high-low pass from KG, check out the play here.

Much like playing Williams and Crawford down the stretch the night before, Doc proved his confidence in everyone by letting Bradley run the clock, and then going to Green for the kill when everyone expected the ball to go to Pierce. Garnett got the team going with a hot start, carrying much of the load (18 points 10 rebounds). With his effort, Garnett moved into 10th all-time on the rebounding list with 13,774 passing Wes Unseld.

Boston clearly has their sights set on home-court in the first round of the playoffs. They have a tough road ahead but at the rate they are going, the Celtics have a shot.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Back From Some Time Off

The Celtics have had a pretty easy schedule of late. After a close loss in Portland on February 24th, the Celtics got a win on the Jazz home floor the next night, led by Paul Pierce in overtime, to end their west coast trip.

The Celts then returned home and didn't have to play until March 1st, when they were able to cool Stephen Curry down after his 54 point performance at MSG, and collect another "W" in the process. Boston got another break after the win and have been off until they have to play in Philly on Tuesday night (3/5). It has been a relaxing stretch of games, especially for a team that needs the practice time to get all their new players up to speed. Here are some videos from Monday's practice from ESPN Chris Forsberg's piece.

This practice time could prove to be a key point in Boston's season, where the new players find their roles and learn the Celtics way that has been embodied by the team's stars. That's not to mention the post All-Star break rest for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett before the home stretch.

They will need the fresh legs going into a back to back tonight in Philly and tomorrow in Indiana.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Williams Signed for Season Plus

After Friday night's home game against the Warriors, Terrence Williams' 10 day contract would have expired. But the Celtics decided today to sign Williams for the rest of the season, with a conditional deal for next season as well.

Williams has been a great fit in his three games with Boston, and has already built chemistry with his teammates according to coaches. What has been most impressive has been Williams' ability to play the point guard spot. Despite his size, it is his natural position and he is a true pass first player amongst his other talents.

Not too far back Williams was a lottery pick and has posted a triple double on the NBA level. The talent is certainly there, and the Celtics seem to be finding a way to maximize it.

Shavlik Randolph Joins Celtics

The Celtics are getting all they can from the Chinese leagues. Both D.J. White and Terrence Williams signed 10 day contracts coming over from China, and now Shavlik Randolph joins the team on the same deal.

I would expect the Celtics to look to maintain the better of White and Randolph after there deals are up, it would be surprising to see both of them on the roster at the end of the year. Assuming one of them gets let go, another roster spot will open up for a signing.

Randolph has had a pretty shaky NBA career, with averages of 2.4 PPG and 2.4 RPG. Not much of a signing by Boston here, frankly they can do better.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Celtics Finally Clear to Sign D.J. White

D.J. White's clearance letter has finally arrived from China, allowing him to now sign with an NBA team. As has been rumored, Adrian Wojnarowski now tweets that White is expected to sign with the Celtics with in 24 hours. White will provide the big body up front Boston has been looking for. The Celtics have only been using three big men recently (Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, and Chris Wilcox), and often playing Paul Pierce or Jeff Green at the power forward spot.

Although White is not a huge name, he will allow Fab Melo, who never cracked the rotation, to be brought back down the the Maine Red Claws. White was a first round pick out of Indiana back in 2008 and has career numbers of 6.3 PPG and 3.4 RPG... not quite a savior of any sorts, but lets just say a suitable bench player. Hopefully White will be in uniform when the Celtics return home to play the Warriors on Friday night.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

C's Shine with Post-Deadline Roster

On a night that Kevin Garnett was out resting, Jeff Green stepped into the starting lineup an dominated. Yes it was against the Suns, but a 113-88 victory on the road without your best player speaks for itself. Green had his best game as a member of the Celtics, scoring a game high (by far) 31 points, to go along with a filled up stat sheet. Besides his 11-14 shooting, Green posted seven boards, four dimes, two steals and FIVE blocks, and it almost seemed like he was playing better than his stat line reveals.

Out of 10 Boston players in uniform NINE finished with six or more points: Green(31), Wilcox(14), Terry(13), Bradley (13), Crawford(10), Williams(9), Pierce(8; almost a non-factor... in a good way), Lee(8), Bass(6). And if you care Fab Melo, the odd man out, did score one point, but this was a complete team showing without their ultimate team player.

Show me one person that thought they would see the following sentence this season: The Celtics trio of Jeff Green, Jordan Crawford and Terrence Williams was terrific! We already went over Green, but Crawford posted 10 points in 17 minutes to go with three rebounds and two assists in his debut and gelled very well with the lineup. Williams was so versatile, playing positions 1-3, something Doc Rivers desperately needs of him. The main role he seemed to fill against the Suns was the backup point guard position when Avery Bradley was on the bench. Williams had nine points in 24 minutes but helped most with his four rebounds and four assists.

So here is what Boston needs to do from here to maximize their success:

1. Rest nights for Pierce and Garnett (particularly on the road against lesser opponents) are not a bad thing. The team can rally around that and get a win, not to mention a fresher KG or PP in the next game, and eventually in the playoffs.

2. Put Brandon Bass on the bench to maximize the size off the bench and more importantly to start Jeff Green. Sometimes seeing something once is enough to be convinced. Green should be a 35-40 minute per game starter the rest of the way. Every night won't be like Friday night, but expect a big bump in production from him.

3. Terrence Williams is the backup point guard. Yes he can still play other positions, but when Bradley is on the bench, leave Lee at the shooting guard. Williams is the answer here. He is a big strong ball handler with natural passing ability. He throws crisp passes and possesses impressive court vision. Boston may really be on to something here.

4. Run! Going small with a Pierce/Green/Garnett front court will help. But this team can really push the fast break, even on made baskets. Wilcox is surprisingly productive in transition as well, and clearly Bradley, Lee, Williams and Crawford are up to the task.

5. TRADE RONDO! I have been saying it for a while and it is too late now... But just one last time let me express that is you subtract an injured and selfish player from this team for a big deadline acquisition (Josh Smith) Boston would have a HUGE addition at NO cost for this season. Why not go for it all right now, open up a one year window and make a push against Miami? Ok, I'm done.

So not to put too much stress over a win against the Suns, but this was Boston's best win of the season. It was convincing, it was without Garnett, it opens up the door (hopefully) for Green to start and get serious minutes, it solves the backup point guard situation, it proves Crawford can fit and fit well. Now keep proving it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Celtics Acquire Jordan Crawford

It's 3 PM and it LOOKS like the only deal the Celtics will complete is a trade for Wizards guard Jordan Crawford. Although it is not a huge name, Crawford will be a very nice scorer coming off the bench in Boston. The Celtics gave up the expiring contract of Leandro Barbosa who is out for the rest of the year with a torn ACL and Jason Collins. A salary move here for Washington turns into a big plus for the Celtics.

Crawford has bounced around the league, but is only 24 years old and having a nice season. He is averaging just over 13 PPG in 26 MPG this season, a career average of 13.4 PPG. Crawford will fit nicely coming off the bench and gives the Celtics a nice young scoring guard. Nothing groundbreaking, but a great deal none the less.

Now the focus shifts to how Boston will fill the rest of their roster. Between Crawford and Terrance Williams they seem to have solves their backcourt issues, but they could still really use some size up front especially with Collins going. Look for them to ink a big man ASAP.

Available for 1st Rounders

All of the players above have been rumored to be obtainable for a 1st round picks. Although Mozgov is probably not of interest, Gerald Henderson and J.J. Hickson should be if I am Danny Ainge. The Celtics plan on making the playoffs and a very limited draft is ahead for 2013.

Both Henderson and Hickson could fit roles in Boston that are much needed and have plenty of years left in the tank. Although a deal for either is highly unlikely, but all three players could be moved in the next two hours.

Evans to the Celtics?

With just a few hours till the deadline the Celtics have been rumored to be perusing Kings guard Tyreke Evans. Until yesterday Evans and DeMarcus Cousins were told they were "untouchable", but it seems a day has made a difference.

Since cutting ties with Thomas Robinson yesterday in a deal that was clearly to save money before their move to Seattle, it seams Kings ownership is exploring this concept even further. Evans would be a huge boost for Boston who desperately wants to add young talent without parting ways with Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett.

Stay tuned for updates...

Celtics Rumors

Dwight Howard was dominant on Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics, putting forward what looked to be his best effort of the season. He finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, one of seven Lakers in double figures. So now at 0-2 out of the break does this increase the likely hood that Danny Ainge pulls the trigger on a deal? Don't be so sure.

It seems extremely unlikely at this point that any of Boston's star players will be included in a deal. Although a Rajon Rondo OR Paul Pierce for Josh Smith swap has been mentioned, Atlanta's asking price has been Rondo AND Pierce for Smith which is far too much for Boston to part with.

Jordan Crawford however is available on the Wizards roster. The Celtics are interested, and want to try to move Fab Melo for a player that can jump into the rotation at guard right now. This deal seems to make a lot of sense and would improve the team as it stands now.

Courtney Lee, Jeff Green and Brandon Bass appear to be the most likely players to draw interest outside of the big three, however no deal for any of them is on the horizon. Melo seems to be the most likely to go before the 3PM deadline.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

News and Notes

Terrence Williams, who signed a 10-day contract earlier this week, will be eligible to play tonight at the Lakers. The Celtics were waiting to receive a clearance letter from Williams' team in China in order for him to play, which they did this afternoon.

Despite what Danny Ainge says, ESPN's Chris Broussard tweets thats GMs insist that Rondo is available although it is unlikely he will be traded while injured. Even though this probably will not happen, Ainge is onto the right idea here. Rondo is not the long term answer in Boston so why not try to move him for a big name out there like Josh Smith from the Hawks, or Marcin Gortat from the Suns with some draft picks? Add value to an already hot team and go for it all this year.

C's Fall to Nuggets out of the Break

Boston played well most of the game, particularly Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee; but the Celtics fell short in the final minutes in Denver. This did not come across as a terrible loss to me. Although it would be nice to come out of the break as hot as they went into it, there were a lot of encouraging signs in Tuesday nights game. Denver was just better in the final five minutes and was able to pull away on their home floor, a place the Nuggets have lost only three times this season.

The Nuggets play an uptempo pace, and at their high altitude it makes it tough on opponents. Surprisingly the aging Celtics played well under those conditions, but couldn't get the stops when they needed them. Here's Paul Pierce on crunch time; "Every crucial possession that we needed a stop we didn't get the stop that we needed and they were able to pull away." Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson had game highs with 26 points and Kenneth Faried did what he does finishing with 16 boards.

Despite the loss, the encouraging signs were once again in the role players. Both Kevin Garnett and Pierce played poorly, but Green and Bradley stepped up with season highs in points: 20 and 17 respectively. Courtney Lee was hot early and dropped 15 despite sitting most of the fourth quarter.

The Celtics are back at it against the Lakers tonight in L.A. on the national scene on ESPN. Surely there will be a lot of trade discussion. Despite Danny Ainge claiming Rondo is unavailable, there are many mixed reports out there from other executives.