Archive for the ‘Boston Celtics’ Tag

Gordon Hayward’s devastating leg injury shocks the Sports World   Leave a comment

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Dwayne Wade’s expression perfectly describes the shock and horror everyone unfortunate enough to see it felt and probably still feels almost 24 hours later. It was NASTY.  For that reason, I won’t embed the footage. If you want see it, here is the link. The injury happens at the very beginning of the video. That sound you hear when Hayward lands is his left Tibia breaking. In the next moment, everyone is shocked into silence at what they are looking at.

I’ve seen footage of basketball injuries. I always look at the reactions to it by those witnessed it. Paul George’s was pretty shocking even though it technically happened during the offseason. Kevin Ware’s was GRAPHIC and even caused some of the opposing players to vomit or cry in horror at the sight of the injury. Hayward, on the other hand…you could tell everyone FELT it and that’s what made it so devastating. I am pretty sure that if the game was cancelled right there, most would have been relieved. That’s how bad it was.

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This brings me to the obvious question I have seen get asked on ESPN all day: Does the injury deny them a return to the Eastern Conference Finals against Cleveland?

Not necessarily.

Make no mistake Hayward WILL be missed. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Celtics have no chance of making it back to the ECF this year. It will just be more of a challenge. We all saw what happened when Isaiah Thomas got hurt last year: Next Man Up. Marcus Smart will start for Hayward from now on as well.

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…As the Celtics have their home opener tonight, there is talk Gordon Hayward could recover in time to play as soon as after the All Star Game. It obviously wasn’t a life-threatening or career-ending injury. Just a horrible freak accident. Even so, you can’t help but feel for him and his family.

He will be back. Of that you can be certain.

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The Boston Celtics officially introduce new All Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to the media   Leave a comment

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It’s now official.

It’s easily the biggest press conference since the summer of 2007 when the Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. We know how the 2007-08 season ended so…yeah. Odds are pretty good we will see Banner 18 this coming June ^_^

 

BREAKING BOSTON SPORTS NEWS: Boston Celtics Trade Isaiah Thomas to the Cleveland Caveliers for Kyrie Irving   Leave a comment

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30 minutes ago, news of the pending broke the internet. 10 minutes ago, it became official: The Celtics and Caveliers Traded their respective All Star point guards for the other.

Here are the details of the trade.

Boston Gets: Kyrie Irving

Cleveland Gets: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the 2018 Brooklyn Nets 1st Round Draft Pick and a 2020 2nd Round Pick.

…All I can say is it’s right up there with the Brooklyn Trade involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett 6 years ago only the Cavs didn’t mortage their future for the next six years (LOL!). In other words, the Celtics got the better end of the deal long-term and short-term. We get Kyrie Irving for two years while the Cavs still have to deal with the real possability LeBron James could leave after this coming season.

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…As a Celtics fan, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to acknowledge all The King of the Fourth did for the Boston Celtics and all the Celtics did for him. As a reminder: He was picked last in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Sacremento Kings. He was a virtual nobody until he was acquired by the Celtics from the Phoenix Suns in 2013. IT4 later said after arriving in Boston Danny Ainge sat down with him and told him was would do great things in Boston.

By the end of his second year with the Celtics, people started to take notice. He has made the All Star Game the last 3 years as well. All the work he put in was certainly recognized. With Cleveland now, he will be the #2 after LeBron James. Everyone knows what he can do so…yeah. Depending on how he does this coming season, there is a chance he could get Cleveland to give him a max contract even if LBJ leaves. In that case, he could find himself in a situation similar to when he arrived in Boston where the team is rebuilt around him.

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October 17 and February 11. Save those dates. October 17 is the Season opener for both teams in Cleveland. The Celtics will retire Paul Pierce’s number on February 11 when the Cavs come to Boston. Both games just got a whole lot more interesting. Of course, it goes without saying the Celtics punched their ticket back to the Eastern Conference Finals. With Hayward, Horford and now Irving I maintain my position the Celtics are the best team in the East.

Boston vs. Golden State in the NBA Finals?! Sign me up!

 

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Breaking News: The Boston Celtics win the Gordon Hayward Sweepstakes   Leave a comment

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News revealed to be unconfirmed this afternoon is now official: Gordon Hayward is taking his talents to Boston. Hayward will sign a 4-year $128M contract with the Celtics, who were looking for a secondary scorer going into the offseason. The Celtics got just that when they drafted Jayson Tatum two weeks ago. With Hayward, it’s fair to say the Celtics are guaranteed to return to the Eastern Conference Finals this coming season.

…Mind you, the Celtics getting Hayward means they will have make room before he can be officially signed to the team. Minutes after the Hayward deal was announced, the Celtics announced they have released the rights to Kelly Olynik, making him an Unrestricted Free Agent. More players can be expected to be released, most of them draft picks from this year and last year currently stashed either overseas or in the D-League. Excluding Olynik and the draft picks stashed elsewhere, the Celtics have the rights to 19 players (!).

 

Most or all of the following players I expect to be either released or part of a trade to make room to sign Hayward:

 

  • Jae Crowder
  • Marcus Smart*
  • James Young
  • Terry Rozier
  • Gerald Green
  • Tyler Zeller*
  • Kelly Olynik*
  • Jonas Jerebko
  • Demitrius Jackson
  • Amir Johnson*
  • Avery Bradley*

 

Reports are coming in the Celtics are now fielding trade offers for Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart. Crowder’s name has come up as being part of a package deal. The 76ers announced over the weekend they signed Amir Johnson to a 2-year contract. Tyler Zeller was also waived over the weekend. The Celtics probably won’t have to give up everyone listed but at least half if I had to guess. The Celtics will likely part with either Smart or Crowder but I will not be surprised if they’re forced to give up both to make cap room.

It’s worth noting who I did not name in the above list. Isaiah Thomas will be an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season but in light of the Hayward deal, you can be sure the Celtics will negotiate a new contract with the King of the 4th. They’d be fools not to.  Al Horford and Gerald Green joined the Celtics during last year’s offseason. Jaylen Brown was drafted last year and will be joined by Ante Zizic, who was also drafted last year but played in Europe last season.

…Next year promises to be real interesting now that the Celtics, who are now a legit threat to the Cleveland Caveliers in the East. The Wizards and Raptors will no longer be a threat to the Celtics or rather, they shouldn’t. Paul George and Jimmy Butler going to the Western Conference means the only real threat to Boston is still Cleveland.

You now have the starting lineup of IT, Horford, Brown, Tatum and Hayward. The next thing the Celtics will need to work on during the offseason is making sure they have enough players who can come off the bench to relieve the starters. LeBron James commented after Game 1 of the ECF the thing that makes the Celtics a challenge is how many options they have to go at you. No doubt the Celtics will want to keep enough supporting players to keep the rest of the east on their toes.

Update 7-7-2017:

As of this morning, Kelly Olynik has signed on with the Heat and Avery Bradley has been traded to the Pistons. The Celtics have reportedly been “aggressively” shopping Bradley, Crowder and Smart in the last few days to make room to sign Gordon Hayward. They have also released Olynik, Amir Johnson and Tyler Zeller. The Bradley Trade creates enough cap space for Hayward to be signed though they still might have to deal Crowder or Smart, likely in a trade.

Bradley’s gonna be a core player in Detroit and could make the All Star team this season. Everyone knows what he can do so…yeah. It’s sad to lose him like this but he’ll flourish with the Pistons.

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…That brings me to the latest trade rumor: Now that Hayward’s a done deal, the Celtics are apparently very interested in getting NBA Veteran Marc Gasol from the Grizzlies. It would be a trade obviously and the Celtics can certainly trade for him. If the Celtics can pull the trigger and get him, it will be 2008 all over again. LOL. The Celtics could deal Crowder, Rozier and a draft pick for him. It would be win-win for both teams ^_^

 

 

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 ^_^

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.

 

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