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The Philadephia 76ers win The Jimmy Butler Sweetstakes in Blockbuster Trade   Leave a comment

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All Star Vet Jimmy Butler is heading back to the Eastern Conference.

The trade involving The Minnesota Timberwolves (4-9) and The Philadephia 76ers (8-5) was announced an hour ago. Here are the details:

 

  • Philadelphia receives Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton.
  • Minnesota receives Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and 2022 second-round pick.

 

The Butler trade was inevitable given Butler himself demanded to be traded during the offseason. The All Star was reportedly unhappy with the team and didn’t get along with fellow All Star Karl Anthony Towns. During the team’s training camp, Butler challenged the whole team on the court and destroyed everyone including the coach, screaming “You guys need me to win!” Prior to the trade, Bulter was sitting out game reasons most presumed to be related to his desire to be traded off the team.

…Now with the Philadephia 76ers, the Eastern Conference just got interesting. Prior to the trade, the Boston Celtics (7-5) were clear the favorites to run through the Eastern Conference to the NBA Finals. Now we can expect to see a thrilling rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals in which the Celtics won 4-1 before falling to Lebron and the Cavs 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics beat the 76ers in the season opener, which took place in Boston.

The 76ers and Celtics will play each other again on Christmas Day in Boston. Assuming both teams get there, the Eastern Conference Finals are sure to be alot more interesting! Jimmy Butler will get his first chance at revenge against his now former team January 15 in Philly. The teams will clash once more in Minnesota on my birthday, March 30. I would not be surprised at all if TNT or ABC pick up one or both games at this point.

 

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Kyrie Irving announces he will re-sign with the Boston Celtics   Leave a comment

Image result for Boston Celtics All Stars

 

 

This took place yesterday afternoon at the TD Garden in Boston.

Obviously the details will be ironed out after the 2018-19 season but there you have it it: Kyrie Irving pulled a Paul George and announced in advance he’s not leaving anytime soon. This definitive announcement from Irving comes admid speculation he would leave after this season to play for the New York Knicks.

I’m not even sure why folks would believe those rumors given he said early last month he would like to see #11 hang from the rafters one day. So, Uncle Drew himself made it known to all he plans to play in Boston for a while. Possibly for the rest of his career. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will both tell you: Win a title and you’re royalty in Boston.

The Eastern Conference runs through Boston now. It’s hard not to think that given how much media coverage the NBA PRE-SEASON–4 games total–has been getting. Of course, much of that has to do with Gordon Hayward making his return after missing the previous season + post-season after breaking his ankle in last season’s opener in Cleveland.

The Celtics’ 2018-19 season begins on October 16.

Image result for Boston Celtics Anthony Davis

Before I forget, it’s been reported Kyrie Irving has been talking to New Orleans Pelicans All Star Anthony Davis (Forward/Center) about coming to Boston. The Celtics had been eyeing him for a while but ended up getting Gordon Hayward and Al Horford via Free Agency instead along the way as well as the trade that dealt Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving.

If Kyrie and Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge can convince Davis to ship up to Boston, the obvious question is who do you give up for him? It would have to be either a midseason trade or a free agent signing and the Celtics blew up the team just to sign Hayward last year. I can only assume Irving plans to re-sign with Boston for less than his value so the Celtics can get Davis. That’s the first problem. The second problem is who do you give up to get him?

Weather it’s a trade or a sign and trade, you’re looking at giving up at least 3 players. The other 29 NBA teams want Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum or both BUT they know the Celtics will not give them up for any reason. For Davis, the Celtics would have to trade at least one of them. The Celtics just gave Marcus Smart a new contract so you know he’s off the table more or less.

If I had to draw up a trade for Davis, this is how I’d package it:

  • Terry Rozier (Guard)
  • Guerschon Yabusele (Forward)
  • Semi Ojeleye (Forward)
  • Future Draft Pick

 

That makes the most sense to me personally. The Celtics would likely have to add Terry Rozier (Guard) to sweeten the deal. They’d lose a core part of their reserve backcourt but now that we know Kyrie Irving is committing to be with the Celtics longterm, he’s the logical piece to move. The Pelicans can rebuild around Rozier or use him in a trade to get someone else. He proved his value last season so…yeah.

So, the Celtics’ starting lineup with AD would prettymuch guarantee a trip to the NBA Finals for several years in a tow. Brad Stevens would find a way to make the lineup work with four All Stars just like Doc Rivers did with Pierce, Garnett, Allen and Rondo. Even without Davis, the Celtics are guaranteed to go to the NBA Finals barring the unforseeable. If the Pelicans aren’t doing good by the trade deadline–and the West is already overloaded as it is right now–I wouldn’t be surprised if the Celtics come knocking!

The Boston Celtics report for Media Day poised to dominate the Eastern Conference in the 2018-19 Season   Leave a comment

Image may contain: 5 people, shoes

 

…Forget the Golden State Warriors: Imagine being one of the other 14 Eastern Conference NBA teams and seeing THIS lineup waiting for you on the court. Nevermind the bench:


B.W.A = Bench With Attitude

The Eastern Conference runs through Boston.

The Era of Big 3 started by the Celtics 30 years ago is dead: Now it’s about building a team that can make multiple championship runs like the Cavs and Warriors have been up to now. The Warriors sent 4 All Stars to the All Star game two years in a row (Curry, Durant, Thompson and Green). The Celtics last did it in 2010 (Pierce, Garnett, Allen and Rondo). This year both the Warriors and the Warriors could send at least 5. The Warriors signed DeMarcus Cousins over the summer and now have 5 All Stars in their starting lineup. Tatum and Brown could make the All Star game alongside Irving, Hayward and Horford.

The 2018-19 Celtics are here and this time, they are at full strength. A few games of interest this season:

  • October 16 vs, 76ers (Opening Night, on TNT)
  • Christmas Day @ 76ers (on ABC)
  • January 26 vs. Warriors (on ABC)
  • February 7 vs. Lakers (on TNT)
  • March 5 @ Warriors (on TNT)
  • March 9 @ Lakers (on ABC)
  • March 30 @ Nets (My Birthday)
  • April 9 @ Wizards (Season Finale)

All but the last two on the list are nationally televised games. There will be four preseason games. They will play the Cavs and the Hornets twice on the Road and at Home.

 

Update: LeBron James Signs with the Los Angeles Lakers   Leave a comment

Image result for Lebron James Free Agent

 

Given Paul George announced he will be staying in OKC two minutes before NBA Free Agency officially began, the LeBron James Sweepstakes just got more interesting. PG-13 will sign a 4-year deal with OKC, closing the door on potentially signing with the Lakers. Many speculated he might head to his hometown since he is a native of Los Angeles and expressed a desire to play for the Lakers at some point. Clearly it won’t be for at least the next four years.

Chris Paul (Rockets), Kevin Durant (Warriors) and DeMarcus Cousins (Pelicans) also got a new contract with the teams they currently play for. The last member of Lob City–DeAndre Jordan–became a Free Agent and quickly signed a 1-year deal with the Mavs. Blake Griffin was traded to the Pistons at the trade deadline midseason so…yeah.

According to the latest reports, LBJ has decided where he will play and will announce who won the LBJ Sweepstakes on Tuesday. The team everyone is assuming he’ll sign with is the Lakers even though it would mean he his NBA Finals Streak will end at 8. Let’s be honest, that will happen no matter who he signs with if it’s not the Rockets, Celtics or Warriors.

LBJ going West automatically means the Eastern Conference will go through the Boston Celtics. This would remain true even if he signs with the 76ers as some think he might. We will know for sure come this Tuesday, July 3. As a Celtics Fan, I don’t care personally though it would be fun to see the Celtics sweep the 76ers next year in the playoffs ^_^

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Breaking News:

It was just announced that LeBron James has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal is for $154 Million and for four years. Now that LBJ has made it official, let the speculation commence on which other NBA Superstar may join him in the Purple and Gold.

What this means is by default, the Boston Celtics owns the Eastern Conference now.

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Ok, I need to address these reports of LeBron James’ interest in the Boston Celtics   Leave a comment

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…There is absolutely NO WAY it can happen UNLESS LBJ agress to a playing for far less than he’s worth AND Kyrie Irving is ok with it. That second point is important BECAUSE playing with LBJ is why Uncle Drew asked the Cavs to trade him. So, they did. Playing with LBJ for 1 game is different from playing with him for a whole season + playoffs.

As a reminder, the Celtics blew up the team during the last offseason just to sign Gordon Hayward. Kyrie Irving came to Boston via the trade I just mentioned in exchange for Isaiah Thomas (Traded to the Lakers mid-season), Jae Crowder (Traded to the Jazz mid-season), Ante Zizic (Drafted by the Celtics but was never activated) and the Brooklyn pick. The Cavs just got swept by the Warriors in the NBA Finals so…yeah.

Only four players from last year’s Celtics team returned this season: Marcus Smart, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier. Everyone else was either drafted (Jayson Tatum, etc.), traded for (Irving, Marcus Morris, etc.) or signed (Hayward, etc.) to replace the liquidated pieces. The difference between this an what the Celtics did in 2007 and 2012 is the Celtics stayed competative. That’s why even without Hayward and later Irving, the Celtics were a game away from going to the NBA Finals without both of them.

It’s like I said before: Next season, the Eastern Conference goes through Boston. Period. Everyone except Greg Monroe (signed to replace Hayward for the rest of the season + Playoffs using the Disabled Player Exception and is automatically an Unrestricted Free Agent now) and likely Aaron Baynes (Unrestricted Free Agent) will be back next year. This isn’t like last year and 2008 when the Celtics had alot of expiring contracts and pieces to move to sign Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and more recently Al Horford and Gordon Hayward. The current squad is locked in for next year.

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Irving’s contract expires after next season and everyone knows this. If the Celtics seriously entertains signing LBJ knowing LBJ is why he wanted out of Cleveland…yeah. There’s also the fact the Celtics don’t have the money to pay LBJ what he’s worth anyway. There is breaking news Kyrie Irving announced he has not commited to resigning with Boston when his contract expires after next season. I would assume he is following the reports LBJ might try to cut a deal with Danny Ainge to sign with the Celtics this offseason. That would be a HUGE factor in weather he negotiates a new contract with Boston or not.

Obviously Ainge and Celtics owners would want to make sure LBJ would work with their system and LBJ would have to agree to that + taking a pay cut for a prettymuch guaranteed trip back to the NBA Finals. Let’s say the Celtics decide to take a serious shot at getting LBJ and Kyrie is ok with it as well. Obviously both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum would be moved. We already know the other 29 teams want both of them so…yeah. Don’t forget Marcus Smart will definitely be back next year as well.

So, the Celtics starting 5 would look something like this:

 

  1. Al Horford (Daniel Theis)
  2. Gordon Hayward (Marcus Morris)
  3. LeBron James (Jayson Tatum)
  4. Kyrie Irving (Terry Rozier)
  5. Marcus Smart (Jaylen Brown)

I put the reserves for them in parenthesis. It assumes the Celtics can figure out a way to sign LBJ without giving up Brown and Tatum. Not saying it would be impossible, just prettymuch impossible. LOL.

So, yeah. I think these teams are more likely to get LBJ for various reasons:

  • Cavs
  • Knicks
  • 76ers
  • Lakers
  • Rockets
  • Spurs

 

At the end of the day, LBJ will keep everyone waiting to know where he’ll go just because he can. He’s being coy but he knows everyone wants to know what team he plans to play on next season. He did it twice before. He could even sign with a team no one is even thinking about. He has strong ties to Los Angeles and Cleveland obviously so…yeah.

Relative to the Celtics…nah, it’s just not worth moving Tatum and Brown for LBJ. Plus Kyrie Irving’s decision next year will be a talked about until he makes up his mind. The Celtics will likely do the same thing Cleveland did with LBJ and plan for him leaving after next year until proven otherwise. It would be the smart thing to do. They certainly won’t make the same mistake OKC did with Kevin Durant and didn’t have a “What if he decides to leave?” Plan, which he obviously did. Plus unlike OKC and the Cavs, the Celtics will still have both Horford and Hayward regardless. Hayward will likely finish his career in Boston (Or at least as long as Brad Stevens is Head Coach) and Horford could probably be convinced to do the same without much effort (It certainly helps he is a close friend of Red Sox legend David Ortiz, who told him to sign with the Celtics two years ago).

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The Celtics continue to prove doubters wrong, take 2-0 series lead to Cleveland   Leave a comment

Image result for Marcus Morris yells at Tristan Thompson

 

The stat ESPN started throwing out there halfway through the 4th Quarter: The last time LeBron James was down 2-0 vs. the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, it was in 2008. The Celtics went on to win the series and the NBA Championship vs. the Lakers in 6 games.

…The difference is back then, The Celtics had 3 All Stars. This time it’s been their young players taking point in the absence of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward (as well and Daniel Theis). Now the pundits are rightfully saying what Celtics fans have been saying since Irving and Hayward came to Boston last summer: The Eastern Conference runs through Boston. Not next year but now.

Image result for Lebron James joins the Celtics

To say LBJ’s leaving Cleveland again goes without saying. As for where he might end up this time, he will likely want to join a contender again so that means it will likely be one of the following teams:

 

  • Cleveland: LBJ’s current team got the #8 pick in the 2018 Draft Lottery, which they received from the Celtics along with Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder (Both traded mid-season) and Ante Zizic in exchange for Kyrie Irving. The Cavs have clearly been making moves since the offseason independent of whatever LBJ decides so clearly the team is positioning itself to be in the playoff picture with or with him. LBJ reportedly asked that Irving not be traded. Irving reportedly threatened to have elective surgery if he was not traded, LBJ’s wishes be damned (LOL). It would be fair to say LBJ would stay with the Cavs as a last resort.
  • Boston: Let’s be real, the Eastern Conference runs through the Celtics now. Not next year but now. The Celtics can make that claim after they finish off LBJ and the Cavs but at this point it’ll be a formality. Next year the team will be at full power with the return of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Having said that, could LBJ pull a Kevin Durant and join the NBA’s newest Super Team just to play with Kyrie Iving again? Sure, but unlikely. For one, the Celtics don’t have the money to pay him after they signed Hayward and Al Horford. The Celtics blew up the team just to sign Hayward as a reminder. Plus, there IS the fact Uncle Drew didn’t want to play with him anymore. LOL.
  • Philadelphia: Many have picked the 76ers as the most likely team in the Eastern Conference LBJ would go to. LBJ going there would mean both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid would have reduced roles on the floor with him in the lineup. That would be a big X-Factor just to compete with the Celtics in the ECF.
  • New York: The Knicks haven’t had a deep playoff run since the 90s but then they ran into Michael Jordan and later the Orlando Magic before they fell off completely. It’s been far longer since the Knicks last won a Championship. Having just hired former Grizzlies Head Coach David Fizdale to coach the team, LBJ would be the star power the Knicks could use to Make the Knicks Great Again. LOL.
  • Toronto: What’s this? Go to a team you just swept out the payoffs?! Well, Kyrie Irving did it last year after the Cavs beat Boston in 5 games. It is a stretch though not improbable. More so givien after the Head Coach was fired, there is speculation DeRozan or Lowry or both could be traded during the offseason.
  • San Antonio: Experts don’t think LBJ will leave the Eastern Conference but if he does go West, the Spurs are believed to be one of two teams he’s most likely to go to. It would be as boon for the team given Kawhi Leonard is expected to be leaving for another team, likely East.
  • LA Lakers: Goes without saying this is the most likely team in the West for two reasons. One is he recently bought a house in LA. The other is Magic Johnson has been laying to groundwork to get LBJ, Paul George possibly Kawhi Leonard as well. The sad irony is a deal to bring LBJ to the Lakers could jeopardize Isaiah Thomas’ chances of getting a new contract. It could also mean Lonzo Ball and/or Brandon Ingram are kicked out of the starting five as well.
  • Golden State: See what I put for Boston. ‘Nuff said.

 

Image result for NBA Eastern Conference Finals 2018

The Celtics weathered the early storm in the first Quarter and dared LBJ to will the Cavs to victory. He could not. Now with the series shifting to Cleveland for the next two games, even LBJ’s biggest fanboy–ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith–plainly stated “If the Cavs lose Game 3 they’ll probably get swept.” He also plainly said the Celtics are the better team and would match up well against the Rockets or Warriors. Speaking of, the Western Conference finals is tied 1-1 with Game 3 on Sunday in Oakland (Golden State).

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If I’m a betting man, it will be Warriors vs. Celtics in the NBA Finals. Celtics will close out the Cavs in 5 or 6 if they don’t sweep. Warriors will beat the Rockets in 6 games. Let me tell you, this would be a MONSTER series in the NBA Finals. Draymon Green vs. Marcus Smart would be fun to watch as would KD and Tatum.

 

Celtics on the verge of sweeping The 76ers out of the playoffs   Leave a comment

Image result for Celtics vs Sixers Game 3

To say this Celtics team defied all expectations would be a MASSIVE understatement. They put down Giannis and the Bucks in 7 games in the first round of the playoffs. Now they’re on the verge of sweeping the very team everyone outside New England picked to go to the NBA Finals out of the playoffs.

Image result for Trust The Process 76ers

…Yes, THAT  team. “Trust The Process”? Process Failed. LOL.

Now, the obvious question to be asked is how did the Boston Celtics, who are without 2 of their 3 All Stars get to this point?

This is how:

Image result for Bill Belichick and Brad Stevens

…Great coaches think alike.

Local media spied Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens hanging out with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick in Foxboro last summer during the Patriots training camp. The NBA Summer League had ended, Gordon Hayward signing with Boston became official and the Isiaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving trade was about to go down. The Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last year but lost to the Cleveland Caveliers in 5 games (who themselves lost to the Golden State Warriors in 5 games in the NBA Finals). After the Celtics lost the series, Brad Stevens said in the postgame press conference he considered anything short of winning the NBA Championship a failure to be learned from.

Image result for Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward
Everyone knows Gordon Hayward went down with a ankle nasty injury in the season open against the Cavs. It was a season-ending injury but fortunately not career-ending. Everyone wrote off the Celtics’ season at that point. Then the Celtics went on a 17-game win streak. Kyrie Irving missed several games earlier in the season due to injury and is out for the postseason after having knee surgery in March. Everyone wrote off the Celtics getting out of the first round at that point.

…Big mistake.

The Philosophy in Boston Sports is and always has been “Next Man Up.”

Image result for Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum

Nowhere has this been more apparent than Celtics Rookie Jayson Tatum and Sophmore team mate Jaylen Brown. Both were drafted third by the Celtics, much to the surprise of everyone. Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball were both drafted Second by the Lakers.

…Who were drafted first?

Image result for Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz

These two.

Ben Simmons, who was drafted last year missed the whole 2016-17 NBA Season after breaking his hand during the Summer League. Markelle Fultzm who was drafted this year hasn’t played a single game this season because he doesn’t feel 100%. There’s nothing physically wrong with him. It’s all in his head. So, yeah.

The 76ers were overhyped and the Lakers failed to make the playoffs. LOL. As a reminder: Both teams–The Sixers and the Lakers–tanked HARD so they could get the top draft picks, ending up with Ball, Ingram, Simmons and Fultz respectively. The Celtics took the Nets’ future from them via the trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn back in 2012 and held it until they dealt it and Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland last year as part of the trade that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston. While the Sixers and Lakers tanked on purpose to get the first two picks, the Celtics could safely stay competative while the took the Nets’ picks.

…The Process is a failure. LOL.

The Sixers were able to hold off the sweep tonight but you can be certain the Celtics will close out the series in Boston on Wednesday. It will be a repeat of last year’s ECF between the Celtics and the Cavs, who could close out their series with the Toronto Raptors tonight. Or if the Raptors hold off elimination, the Celtics and Cavs will start on Sunday.

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