Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

On the eve of the NBA Draft, Trade rumors run rampant   Leave a comment

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As many of you know by now, the Celtics traded the #1 Draft Pick with the 76ers’ #3 Pick over the weekend for who knows what reason (LOL!). Assuming the 76ers take Markelle Fultz and the Lakers take Lavar Ball (the latest buzz is they’re undecided) with the #2 Pick, that leaves the Celtics with either Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum. As of two hours ago, the Celtics just got access to Jackson’s medical records for the first time.

To say the Celtics have positioned themselves to get prettymuch ANYONE via trade, draft or free agency would be a massive understatement. LOL. Here’s the short list of players who have come up in just the last 24 hours that may be wearing Celtics green next season:

 

  • Gordon Hayward: The player who many considered to be priority #1 for the Celtics. That was before the Celtics traded Draft Picks with the 76ers.
  • Kristaps Porzingis: ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith dropped a bombshell on this morning’s edition of First Take. According to sources close to The Latvian Unicorn, he’s trying to force Phil Jackson out of the Knicks organization. Porzingis hasn’t requested a trade but Phil Jackson said he is open to trading the team’s franchise player. For the right price, the Celtics would have the rim protector and secondary scorer they’ve been looking for to challenge LBJ and the Cavs in the ECF next year.
  • Carmello Anthony: You know the drill. LOL. According to the latest reports, ‘Mello might move this time with Cleveland or the Clippers being likely destinations should it happen.
  • Jimmy Butler: Here we go again. LOL. No more needs to be said. At last check, 4 teams other than the Celtics are interested in him including Cleveland, New York, the Lakers and Dallas.
  • Paul George: Same as Butler. The Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgof to the Nets for Brook Lopez to make room to sign Paul George. It’s believed to be the likely destination for PG-13, who the Cavs are also interested in. It’s certainly possible he might be willing to entertain the idea of heading to Boston, however.
  • Kevin Love: Any superstar Cleveland gets in this offseason obviously means one of their current ones will have to go. LeBron can do what he wants so he’s obviously not included in that (LOL!) so that leaves Love and Irving as the two odd men out. Many pundits believe Love’s run in Cleveland has run its course and he will likely be part of a trade to get Chris Paul, PG-13, Jimmy Butler or Carmello Anthony.
  • Kyrie Irving: Same as Love prettymuch though according to some reports, Irving himself may ask to be traded.
  • LeBron James: According to some reports, weather or not LBJ asks for a trade or not depends on how things pan out during this offseason. If he leaves Cleveland, The Lakers or Clippers are believed to be his likely destinations.

…This is aside from the usual Clippers trio of DeAdre Jordan, Blake Griffin and CP3 trade rumors you hear every year (LOL!). Just the other day, all star Center Dwight Howard was randomly traded to the Charlotte Hornets. Howard is basically Al Horford without range. Howard is also going to play for his third team in as many years (Houston, Atlanta and now Charlotte).

The Golden State Warriors might have the Western Conference locked down tight but the Eastern Conference is another matter. The Celtics are still the odds-on favorites to challenge LeBrom James and the Cavs in the ECF next year regardless of how the offseason goes. It’s just a question of how the team will look come the start of next season.

 

Boston Celtics return the ECF for the first time since 2012; Celtics get the #1 Draft Pick in the NBA Lottery   Leave a comment

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…The rich get richer as the Boston Celtics got the #1 Draft Pick in the 2017-18 NBA Draft. The NBA Lottery took place last night in New York. The Celtics went in with a 25% chance of getting the #1 pick. Not only are the Celtics back in the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF) for the first time since 2012, they will have the means to challenge LBJ and the Cavs next year in the ECF. The Celtics secured the #1 seed this year by luck. Next year will surely be different.

Last year’s draft was a 2-man draft (Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram). The Celtics lucked out when they drafted Jaylen Brown third: Simmons missed the season due to injury while Ingram and the Lakers tanked hard enough to get the 2nd overall pick in this year’s draft due to the very public Family Feud at the top.

Now the Celtics have the #1 Draft Pick which means they will likely go with the best prospect available: Markus Fultz. Speaking of the NBA Draft, everyone knows about LaVar Ball and his son Lonzo Ball. I’ll be blunt: Best-case scenario, Lonzo goes undrafted. That’s what he deserves no thanks to his outspoken father.

The 2017-18 NBA Draft will happen on June 22.

Let us all take a moment to thank the Brooklyn Nets, who we got us this pick from the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston to Brooklyn back in 2012. As of last night, history will probably record the trade as the worst trade in NBA history. The Celtics have had the rights to the Nets pick ever since.

Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Evan Turner (now with the Blazers), Jared Sullinger (now with Toronto), Terry Rozier, Jae Crowder and many others drafted since then. Would people be talking about them if they were drafted by Brooklyn instead of Boston? Nope!

 

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The other big Celtics-related news is of course, the ECF. Game 1 is tonight in Boston. As usual, the pundits say the Celtics have no chance. They said the same during the first round vs. Chicago. The Celtics won in 6 games. They said the Celtics had no answer for John Wall and Bradley Beal in the Second Round. the Celtics sealed the deal in Game 7.

This brings us to the Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics vs. Lebron James and the Cavs in the ECF. LBJ and the Celtics have quite a history going back to the 2008 playoffs that ended with the Celtics winning their last NBA Championship. The Celtics denied LBJ again the following year, leading to him taking his talents to the Miami Heat. Backed by Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, LBJ won two titles with the Heat before returning to Cleveland. He fulfilled the promise he made when he returned by leading the Cavs to the franchise’s first title last year.

The odds heavily favor the Cavs. Some even say the Cavs will sweep the Celtics. Many of the same chatter said the Bulls would win in 7 (Boston won in 6) and the Wizards would win in 6 (Boston won in 7).  Do the Celtics have a real shot at beating the Cavs? Yes they do but it will take a team effort. We saw Kelly Olynik step up and help get the Celtics past Washington when they shut down IT4 in games 3, 4 and 6. Gerald Green’s sure to see alot of minutes in this series. Possibly Jaylen Brown.

Boston getting swept? Not gonna happen. My prediction is this: Each game will be decided in the 4th Quarter. IT4’s going to remind everyone why he’s called the King of the 4th. I also see 4-7 other players having big moments, too. Among them Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Avery Bradley. I think the Washington series–and especially Game 7–was the confidence builder the bench needed to know they need to step up big time if they want a real shot at getting past the defending NBA Champions.

I know they can.It’s just about making it happen ^_^

The Boston Celtics end the 2016-17 Season on top of the East; Playoffs begin April 15   Leave a comment

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Here are the 16 teams that made the cut. The Heat became the odd team out in the East with the Pacers and Bulls both winning their final games of the season. The Celtics clinched the top spot in the East tonight after the Cavs lost their final game of the season (LBJ, JR Smith and Kevin Love all sat out the game). The Celtics, on the other hand won their last game and yes Isaiah Thomas played (LOL!).

Like the last two years, it’s question of who can upset the Warriors and the Cavs–the odds-on favorites to return to the NBA Finals for the third year in a row–which as of right now appears to be nobody. Remember: The Cavs went full-power and curb-stomped the Celtics in Boston last week just to assert their dominence in the East and remind everyone they are the defending NBA Champions. It quickly made you forget the fact the Celtics beat both the Cavs and Warriors on the road last season (Ending the Warriors’ then 34-game win streak in the process).

Speaking of the home team, at the very least they should make it out of the first round this year. It pleases me greatly to know the third overall pick of the 2016-17 NBA Draft–Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown–will be going to the NBA Playoffs while Brandon Ingram (LA Lakers) and Ben Simmons (76ers), who were drafted ahead of him will watch the playoffs from home. I delight in the irony given the 2016-17 draft was viewed as a 2-man draft in referral to Simmons and Ingram. Simmons got hurt during the preseason and missed most of the season while mismanagement within the Lakers front office ensured they would have a losing record once again. LOL.

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….Back to talking about Celtics Basketball though.

Despite the criticism the Celtics received for “only” getting Al Horford, keeping two of their six Draft picks (Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier) and stashing the three they kept in Europe or the D-League (Ben Bentil, Gerchon Jabusele and Ante Zizic) the Celtics are in the same position they were last year: Having the assets to literally get anyone they want.

Looking at the playoff picture (and assuming Avery Bradley doesn’t get hurt like he did the last two years LOL), they should get past the Bulls in 5 or 6 games. It helps they have Homecourt advantage. This will make it the first time the Celtcs get out of the first round since Brad Stevens became head coach of the team (falling to the Hawks the last two straight years).

The Wizards are predicted to advance to the second round so they would play the Celtics after their series with the Hawks. The Raptors and Cavs will have their rematch of last year’s ECF in the second round. The Celtics would be looking to get some revenge on John Wall and Bradley Beal in the Second round series. If the Celtics can get past the Wizards in the second round they’ll likely face the Cavs in the ECF.

…Celtics vs. Cavs in the ECF would be a huge draw =O

Once the NBA Playoffs ends, the big question to be asked is “Will the Celtics pull the trigger on getting a superstar this time?!” Only Danny Ainge knows. Many signs point to yes ^_^

New England Patriots make history at Super Bowl IL; Alot of Super Bowl Babies gettin’ made!   Leave a comment

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…The Revenge Tour is complete: Almost 2 hours ago, NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell handed Tom Brady his fourth MVP Trophy. Unlke Brady and Belicheck, Patriots owner Robert Kraft didn’t hold back in his comments on how sweet this Super Bowl Victory is. Non-Patriots fans be damned, the New England Patriots are America’s Football Team.

Damn those who had the audacity to compare the Patriots’ comeback victory to last year’s Presidential Election. The Falcons winning probably would have been best for business but in the long run, the Patriots ended up being the better team. There’s also this:
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As you know from my last post, the Celtics played Sunday afternoon in Boston. During last summers’ Kevin Durant Sweepstakes IT4 and TB12 met before they met with Kevin Durant. IT said in an interview in recent weeks he and TB have texted back and fourth since they met last summer. Isaiah Thomas is known as the King of the Fourth this season. He earned that title because he takes over the game in the fourth quarter. Brady was seen texting on the sidelines last night. I doubt either would make it public but I would not be surprised if the Brady took some advice from the King of the Fourth watching the game from Boston. As we all know, the Patriots won the game in the Fourth Quarter. It’s hard for me imagine the two didn’t exchange words before or during the game at some point ^_^

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…That brings me to this interesting statistic the NFL apparently started tracking two years ago (LOL!): There is a surge in births 9 months after a Super Bowl, most notably in cities and towns that are fans of the teams involved in the big game. In other words, some babies are gettin’ made!

All the more reason the day after the Super Bowl should be made a national holiday. LOL.

As Paul Pierce plays his final game in Boston, the future of the Celtics is bright   Leave a comment

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…Paul Pierce and Isaiah Thomas. One is sure to have his number added to the rafters after he retires. The other is primed to lead the Celtics to their 18th NBA Championship. This is the first time since the 1980s that the future of the Celtics isn’t in doubt.

Who could have imagined the Len Bias incident would have seen the Celtics drop out of the playoff picture for almost a decade? When Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish retired (1993, 1994 and 1996) and when Reggie Lewis died in 1995, there were serious questions as to weather or not the team could return to who they once were. The ill-fated Rick Pitino era–and then the now-imfamous “Larry Bird is not walking through that door” jab on his way out after failing to lead the Celtics back to the playoffs–made the possability of a 17th Championship feel more and more like a faraway dream.

Then the Celtics signed Paul Pierce in 1999. Three years later Danny Ainge hired Doc Rivers, who led the Celtics to the 2nd Round of the NBA Playoffs in his first year as Head Coach of the Celtics (2002). The untimely death of legendary Celtics coach Red Aurbach (8 Championships in 10 years) in 2006 reminded the team that although they were getting good, they weren’t good enough to contend with the then emerging superstar LeBron James or the favorite to return to the NBA Finals, the Detroit Pistons.

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So, during the summer of 2007 Danny Ainge pulled the trigger on a trade that brought Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Gerald Green (who is now back with the Celtics this year) and 3 other young players. A few weeks later, the Celtics signed Free Agent Ray Allen. Just like that, the Celtics were now contenders going into the 2007-08 NBA Season. 1 year later, the Celtics woyld raise Banner 17 to the rafters.

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As the last and most beloved member of what was then The New Big 3 prepares to retire, the Celtics firmly control their own destiny. Isaiah Thomas, who was drafted last in the 2nd round of the 2010 NBA Draft is 2nd in Points Per Game behind Russell Westbrook this year. He became the first Celtic since Paul Pierce back in 2006 to score 50+ points in a game in December. He has had SEVERAL 40+ games since mid-December including Friday’s win over the Lakers.

I haven’t even gotten to the supporting cast: You’ve got Al Horford (signed with Boston during the offseason), Avery Bradey (when he returns from injury), Terry Rozier and 1st Round Draft Pick Jaylen Brown (A workhorse with LeBron James’ basketball IQ). You also have Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, Jonas Jerebko and Kelly Olynik.

There’s also the Brooklyn Nets picks from the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston to Brooklyn. Looks like the Celtics are primed to hit it BIG in the next draft to boot: Last year’s draft was just about Ben Simmons (missed half the season with an injury) and Brandon Ingram but Jaylen Brown’s been having one hell of season. Don’t even get me started on the NBA Players who have come up in conversation for a possible trade to Boston before the deadline.

…Getting back to The Truth, he ended his final appearance in Boston with a streak that would remain unbroken: He has scored a basket in every game he’s ever played in The Garden. Fitting that Paul Pierce would score the final basket and his only basket of the game. It would not be enough as the Celtics would go on to win the game 107-102. The three-pointer was more of a token from the home team, who gave him the wide open shot. No doubt the “We want Paul Pierce!” chants during most of the fourth quarter will be a moment he will never forget. As many have said, you can be sure Celtics fans will see more of The Truth after he retires as a player.

 

Speaking of Basketball, let’s talk NBA All Star Weekend   Leave a comment

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It’s just two months away and is the second-biggest sporting event of the first quarter of the year behind the Super Bowl. All Star Weekend is both a celebration of the love of the game and the halfway point of the NBA season. It is also when the trade deadline expires. Although Charlotte was originally chosen to host All Star Weekend 2017, the event was moved to New Orleans in protest of North Carlolina’s controversial Anti-LGBT bill HB-02. Said bill will likely be repealed since the governor who signed it into law lost his job earlier this week. LOL.

Moving on.

Here are my picks for who I think will make Team East or should.

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Starters:

  1. C – Al Horford (Celtics)
  2. F – LeBron James (Cavs)
  3. F – Carmello Anthony (Knicks)
  4. G – Dwyane  Wade (Bulls)
  5.  G – DeMar DeRozan (Raptors)

Bench:

  1. F/G – Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
  2. F – Paul George (Pacers)
  3. C – Dwight Howard (Hawks)
  4. G – Isaiah Thomas (Celtics)
  5. G – Avery Bradley (Celtics)
  6. C/F – Andre Drummond (Pistons)
  7. F – Jimmy Butler (Bulls)
  8.  G – JR Smith (Cavs)*
  9.  F -Kevin Love (Cavs)
  10. G – Anthony Davis (Pelicans)

Alternates (due to injury, etc.):

  • G – Derrick Rose (Knicks)
  • F/C – Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks)
  • G – Rajon Rondo (Bulls)
  • C – Hassan Whiteside (Heat)
  • G – John Wall (Wizards)

* Out with an injury, may not be back in time for the All Star Game.

…Yes, I think 3 Celtics and 3 Cavs could make the East Squad this year. Horford or Drummond would start but Horford will likely start. The other four starters are pretty likely to happen exactly as shown. The Alternates are basically in the event someone gets injured. Both Wall and Davis are basically being held hostage by bad teams (LOL!). I just put them on the team out of pity.

Antetokounmpo is on the team in part to mess with the announcers and broadcasters who will have to learn to say his name (It’s pronounced “Ah-tee-toe-coon-po”). Seriously though he deserves a slot. IT4 will make the cut barring an injury. I also think Avery Bradley will make his All Star debut this year but could be replaced by D-Rose.

 

…Now, on to Team West.

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Starters:

  1. C – Karl-Anthony Towns (T-Wolves)
  2. F – Kevin Durant (Warriors)
  3. F – Kawhi Leonard (Spurs)
  4. G – Steph Curry (Warriors)
  5. G – Russell Westbrook (Thunder)

Bench:

  1. F – Draymond Green (Warriors)
  2. G – Klay Thompson (Warriors)
  3. G – James Harden (Rockets)
  4. F – Blake Griffin (Clippers)*
  5. G – Chris Paul (Clippers)
  6. F – Paul Pierce (Clippers)
  7. C – DeAndre Jordan (Clippers)
  8. G – Tony Parker (Spurs)
  9. C – DeMarcus Cousins (Kings)
  10. G – Zach LaVine (T-Wolves)

Alternates:

  • C – Andrew Bogut (Mavs)
  • C – Steven Adams (Thunder)
  • G – D’Angelo Russell (Lakers)
  • F- LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs)
  • G/F – Vince Carter (Grizzlies)

* Out with an injury, may not be back in time for the All Star Game.

 

…Not gonna lie, filling in the bench was much easier compared to the East. I threw in Paul Pierce since it’s his last season (according to him and Doc Rivers, anyway). Playing better than he has been so far would certainly help him get enough votes to make the team. The 5 starters felt pretty obvious to me but Jordan could start, too. I struggled a bit finding the Alternates though.

Overall, I would be very surprised if none of the listed players make the final cut. The starters are locked in for sure though. Green and Thompson are getting rubber stamped in of course. Same with Griffin and CP3.

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…Of course, I’m gonna end with my predictions for who will be in the Slam Dunk Contest this time around.

We already know Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon will be back. After the show they put on last year, expectations have been raised. Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown should be expected to make the cut as well: Brown has brought the dunking back to Boston and in a big way. Could this be the year we see LeBron James quit procrastinating and FINALLY enter the dunk contest? Or will we see former champions Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin or even Vince Carter return for another shot at the trophy? Let the speculation commence!

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Former NBA All-Star Ray Allen announces retirement   Leave a comment

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Then Free Agent Ray Allen’s surprise announcement caused a stir this past August when he announced he was returning after being away for two years. He last played in 2014 for the Cavs. Speculation ran rampant in terms of which team would be chomping at the bit to sign the two-time NBA Champion (won with the 2008 Celtics and the 2013 Heat).

…Turns out no one wanted the 41-year old despite his impressive resume. Upon hearing of his retirement, former Celtics teammate and Bulls Guard Rajon Rondo apparently said “I thought he already retired”. Allen, who owns several businesses in Miami never actually retired…until now. Clearly not the end he was looking for but it’s probably for the best.

Ray “The King of Threes” Allen is the ALL-Time Leader in 3-Pointers taken and made–2,973, Made out of 7,429 Attempts–a record Steph Curry would have to play AT LEAST another 10 years to threaten, let alone break (Curry’s record is currently 1,605). Allen was a member of the Celtics when he broke Reggie Miller’s record (2,560), which many thought would never be touched. As the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors proved last year, records are made to be broken. LOL.

Steph Curry is probably the only active NBA Player who as of right now could break Ray Allen’s record in about 10 years. Paul Pierce, who beat Ray Allen in the Three Point Contest when they were teammates (Celtics) is in third place.
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Speaking of The Truth. All three former members of the Celtics’ then New Big Three (Pierce, Allen and Garnett) will have retired come the end of the 2016-17 NBA Season. Pierce is retiring at the end of the Clippers’ Playoff run and will sign a 1-day contract with the Celtics so he can retire a Celtic. KG retired over the summer as well and seems to have already found work as a member of the NBA on TNT broadcast team. K.G. is a legend to both Celtics and T-Wolves fans for separate reasons (he is the best player the T-Wolves ever had and he won his only title with the Celitcs). Pierce will always be considered a Celtic despite ending his career with 3 other teams (The Nets, Wizzards and Clippers).

…It truly is the end of an era in Celtics history overall.

What I’m happy to say is unlike the 1980s with the disaster that was Len Bias (died from a drug overdose the night he was drafted), the Celtics have a bright future ahead of them. Like the experts have said, the Celtics could challenge the Cavs in the East. They are the 3rd-favorited team to reach the NBA Finals from the East behind Toronto and Cleveland.  Unlike the 90s where continuity was a problem after Bird, McHale and Parish retired (1993, 1994 and 1996) the Celtics are a piece or two away from dominating the East like they did from 2008 to 2012.

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