A Classless Bunch

Many people are talking about the Celtics game last night. Not about the Celts pulling off another W, but for how the Knicks are acting like children. They all planned to show up in all black outfits, with the idea that this was the “Celtics Funeral”. That’s ridiculous. Not even going to mention that it is right after the marathon bombings and how disrespectful that may seem. Even when they were talking in their post-game conference,  Even after a minor scuffle (mostly trash talking) between the two teams, the Knicks looked like spoiled brats. Carmelo Anthony chimed in during his press conference saying that the reporters shouldn’t waste time writing about Jordan Crawford.images

This irritates me because Carmelo is supposed to be one of the elite players in the league. As much as everyone hates Lebron James, he never did something like this. Most stars, at least I believe, should set a good example for their fans. This was not a good move by a “role model”. Especially when that very same person is shooting 18-for-59 in his last two games. They all followed suit after Kenyon Martin suggested it.

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First Gay Athlete

Jason Collins has come out to the public announcing just a few minutes ago that he is gay. He becomes the first active player in a major professional sport to announce this. As most know, the downloadCeltics had Collins on the roster this season before they traded him to the Wizards earlier in the year. Now, Collins is a free agent, and hopefully this will not deteriorate his value in any way.

He wrote the following for Sports Illustrated:

“Now I’m a free agent, literally and figuratively. I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball,” he wrote. “I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.”

It is great that he is the first major athlete to do so while still playing the game. I know there is going to be some bounce back from some players and organizations, but hopefully that is limited. It takes a lot of courage to do what Jason did. Congratulations

Celtics Playoff Preview

The Celtics begin their playoff series against the New York Knicks on Saturday at 3 P.M. at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks were real hot at the end of the season, winning 16 out of their last 18 games and clinching the Atlantic Conference for the first time in a long time. The Celtics, however, only won 4 out of their last 10 games. But if last year tells us anything, it’s that this team is built for the playoffs.

The following stats were taken from ESPN.com:

  Knicks Celtics
PPG 100 96.5
RPG 40.6 39.3
APG 19.3 22.8
FG % 0.448 0.465
FT % 0.759 0.776
3P % 0.376 0.358

I do not want to count the Celtics out, even if the Knicks have been playing extremely well, but if the C’s want to take this one, I am willing to bet that it’s going to go 6 or 7 games. Is this team built for that? The Knicks have many dangerous weapons, especially the scoring 1champion of the regular season—Carmelo Anthony. He is averaging nearly 29 PPG. They also have 5 others that average in double-digits, including J.R. Smith who is averaging 18.1 PPG and hasn’t started a game all season. Tyson Chandler is their big defensive presence who can out rebound us consistently, and Amar’e and Felton who can put home 12-18 points on any given night.

The Celtics were led once again by Captain Paul Pierce. Pierce had another great season averaging 18.6 PPG and logging over 33 minutes per contest. Jeff Green has really stepped up ever since he dropped 43 against the Heat. He also put in 34 against the Pistons, and over 20 in many other games. KG is still solid with his mid-range jumper and if he can stay healthy, he should be able to help with his 7.8 Rebounds per game. Avery Bradley has been off for about a month, but still tenacious on defense, and we need him to keep that up. The Knicks can shoot so we need to make sure that we are pressuring the ball enough to make sure they don’t feel comfortable. Let’s go Celtics!I do not want to count the Celtics out, even if the Knicks have been playing extremely well, but if the C’s want to take this one, I am willing to bet that it’s going to go 6 or 7 games. Is this team built for that?

The Knicks have many dangerous weapons, especially the scoring champion of the regular season—Carmelo Anthony. He is averaging nearly 29 PPG. They also have 5 others that average in double-digits, including J.R. Smith who is averaging 18.1 PPG and hasn’t started a game all season. Tyson Chandler is their big defensive presence who can out rebound us consistently, and Amar’e and Felton who can put home 12-18 points on any given night.

NBA: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks

C’s Drop Title

This marks the first time in the KG Era (formerly Big 3 Era) that the Boston Celtics did not win the Atlantic Division Title. The New York Knicks have carmelo-anthony-knicks-celticsclinched their first Division Crown since 1994. It looked like either the Nets or maybe even the Celts had a shot a few weeks back, but then New York went on their current 13 game win streak.

The last time the Knickerbockers won the Atlantic, Patrick Ewing was in his 9th season in the league. Ironically, Doc Rivers was also on that team. However, he only played in 19 games that season. On a side note, Carmelo Anthony passed Lebron James for most jerseys sold over the past year.

I know that the Knicks have been playing lights out, but I still don’t fear them as much as some other teams.  Carmelo can score, but typically (with the exception of one 28 point game) is quieter against us that other teams. The person I most fear on that team is sixth-man J.R. Smith. Smith is a spark off the bench and has already scorched us for 32 and 24 points. Do you think they are the favorites in the East to take down the Heat? Or do the C’s still stand a chance? After last season, I am done counting Boston out. The Celtics take on the Nets tonight.

Celtics Clinch a Playoff Spot

Boston Celtics F Paul Pierce looking for an open man against the Pistons
Picture Courtesy of csnne.com

Seventh Heaven: Following a 98-93 win over the Detroit Pistons Wednesday (April 3rd), the Boston Celtics secured a playoff spot and will likely be the seventh seed in this year’s NBA playoffs.

Despite an up and down month of March in which the C’s went 8-8 (including a six game losing streak, and losing Kevin Garnett for a few weeks), Boston has managed to will their way into the post-season once again.

Playoff Picture: With the NBA playoffs taking shape, here’s a look at what the Eastern Conference playoff seeding would look like if the season ended today (April 4th):

1) Miami Heat vs. 8) Milwaukee Bucks

4) Brooklyn Nets vs. 5) Atlanta Hawks

3) Indiana Pacers vs. 6) Chicago Bulls

2) New York Knicks vs. 7) Boston Celtics

Pierce guarding New York Knicks F Carmelo Anthony at TD Garden
Picture Courtesy of zimbio.com

The C’s would draw the Knicks as shown directly above and would undoubtedly have their work cut out for them. Boston has only played New York a total of three times this season going 1-2 for the season series.

In their win against the Knicks, Paul Pierce posted 23 points with six assists, three rebounds, and one steal, while Kevin Garnett added a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The C’s held Carmelo Anthony to 20 points (which was solid considering he averages 28 points per game) and caused the Knicks to only shoot 40 percent from the field.

In their two losses to New York, Boston allowed Anthony to score a combined 57 points while letting J.R. Smith drop 32 points coming off the Knicks bench. Granted, in both losses the Celtics had multiple players score in double digit figures, however, the scoring combination of Anthony and Smith proved too much in those two loses.

Celtics C Kevin Garnett fading away agains New York Knicks C Tyson Chandler at TD Garden
Picture Courtesy of celticshub.com

Keys to Playoff Success: Defense will ultimately decide the outcome of Boston’s potential opening round series with the Knicks. If Paul Pierce and company can contain Anthony, who by the way dropped a combined 90 points in his last two games (April 2nd and 3rd against Miami (50) and Atlanta (40)), and hold the Knicks to a low shooting percentage while contesting shots and controlling the boards, the Celtics will have a chance against New York.

If they can’t…it will likely be curtains for the Celtics who will see an early exit if they fail to contain Anthony and the Knicks.

Final Thoughts: In what has been a brutal season for Boston, the Celtics have found a way to overcome injuries and losing streaks to give themselves a chance at a championship. Though it may be a long shot with the Heat, Knicks, and Pacers all looking like NBA Finals champions, the Celtics are in it to win it like everybody else. And when your Boston, you’re never counted out. How do you feel the C’s will fair in the playoffs? Leave a comment below.

Celtics new additions

In case you missed it over the weekend, the Celtics made a couple of new acquisitions in order to add more depth to their bench. First, they added 6’9djwhite” Power Forward DJ White. White has played with both the Thunder and the Bobcats during his 4 years in the League. He was formally a 1st round pick out of Indiana and averages 6.8 PPG and 3.6 RPG during his career. He played the first part of this season in China where he averaged 21.6 PPG and 9.7 RPG on the season for the Shanghai Sharks. He has signed with the C’s for a 10 day contract.

Next, they went out and signed 6’10” Shavlik Randolph who shavlikplayed for Duke 5 years ago. I’m guessing we signed him to this 10 day contract strictly for his size. He has only averaged 2.4 PPG and 2.4 RPG over his career and has never racked up many minutes no matter where he has played. At least he can add some size to the line up after we traded Collins last week for Crawford. We don’t need him to score, just to clog up the middle a bit and maybe grab some boards in the mean time.

Most importantly, the Celtics offered hardworking guard/forward Terrence Williams to a multi-year contract. T-Will was on a 10-day contract with the Celts but will now be here to stay. Good for him! Even though he has only averaged 3.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and 1.5 APG, Terrence gives us a spark off the bench and has proven that he can score when he needs to. The Celtics will travel to Philly on Tuesday to take on the 76ers.twill

C’s make trade at deadline

The Celtics made a deal right before the deadline for Washington Wizards Guard Jordan Crawford. In return, the Wizards will get injured Guard Leandro Barbosa and Center Jason Collins. I like this trade. I feel bad that we traded another injured player who was actually playing well for us before the injury, like we did with Marquis DanNBA: Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizardsiels a few years back, but Danny Ainge knows that this could be our last shot at a title. At least we didn’t end up trading Garnett or Pierce! They deserve to retire in Boston, especially Paul.

Crawford, a 6’4” 2nd year player out of Xavier (27th overall pick in 2010), was starting for Washington while John Wall was injured, but his minutes were minimized once their star returned. This season, Crawford is averaging 13.2 PPG, 3.7 APG, and 3.1 RPG. Those are great numbers, but he will be coming off the bench, so the numbers are sure to drop a little bit. Hopefully, he can provide the same kind of spark that Barbosa did off the bench. On a side note, now that we don’t have a Center behind Garnett, the Celtics could bring up Fab Melo and give him some light minutes against the other big Centers in the league. Do you like this trade?

Possible Celtics Trade?

With the trade deadline looming (Thursday afternoon), all Celtics fans have the right to be worried. If it wasn’t for Danny Ainge trusting in Shaq’s deteriorating health and trading Kendrick Perkins a few years back for Jeff Green, the Celtics would have won another championship. At least that’s what most think. We needed a big guy to clog up the middle, and no one was afraid to run through Nenad Krstic, like they always were with Perk or Shaq in the paint.

However, this year, it is possible that we could lose the anchor of our team, who has been with the Green and White since we drafted him with the 10th pick in the 1998 Draft. I know all about how theimages league is a business, but sometimes I think you should stick with your own. And it’s not like Pierce is just some player who we can’t use and that just takes up Cap Space, he is still a solid contributor. Paul is averaging 18.5 PPG and grabbing 6.4 Boards (up from 5.2 last season). And with Rondo going down, he is the only one who is generating some assists lately.

Supposedly, they are in preliminary talks with the Hawks about bringing Josh Smith (6’9” Forward) to Boston in exchange for Pierce, and probably something else. Smith is averaging about the same assists as Paul (just over 4) but is averaging 8.6 RPG. He also drops about 17.4 PPG and has over 2 Blocks per Game over his career. He is younger and more of a “future” player for the franchise, so I can understand it. But to send away a guy who stuck with us when we were one of the worst teams year in and year out. I say keep him and let them make one more run. What do you think?

Beating the Odds: C’s Avoid Anticipated Collapse

Celtics Competing:  I’ll admit I was one of the many who threw their hands up and said, “What are we going to do now?” when I heard Rajon Rondo was out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Well, since then the Celtics have responded to everyone’s questions the old fashioned way…by simply winning.

The Celtics have won eight of their last nine games with impressive victories over the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and Chicago Bulls . More importantly, and surprisingly, the C’s have done so without the likes of Rondo, Jared Sullinger, and more recently Leandro Barbosa (all out for the remainder of the season due to injury).

Winning Ways: With the loss of Rondo and Co., Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jeff Green have led the team on the floor along with assistance from Jason Terry. Here are their numbers for the month of February:

Pierce: 17.1 PPG with 8.9 RPG and 7.3 APG

Garnett: 16.6 PPG with 10.3 RPG and 1.4 SPG

Green: 14.4 PPG with 4 RPG and 1.7 BPG

Terry: 13.1 PPG with 3.7 APG

Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Bass have also contributed, each averaging 8 PPG.

The Celtics have used a no “pure point guard” philosophy in their 8-1 stretch without Rondo, and so far it has worked well.

Playoff Probability: Although Boston is finding ways to win without a true point guard, they will have to add depth to their roster if they want to have a sure shot at the post-season. According to ESPNBoston’ Chris Forsberg, Coach Doc Rivers recently released his “shopping list” of what he felt the team needed to compete down the stretch:

“Well, I would say a ball-handling guard. It’s no longer a point guard, it’s just a guard. A guard that, if I had my perfect guard for this group right now, it would be a guard that can play multiple positions, that can shoot, and has some toughness. Then we need a big. You’re not going to find a center, so a 4. Obviously a 5 would be great, but a 4 that can stretch the floor, or a 4 that can rebound — just a great rebounding 4 that has skill. That’s the list.”

We’ll have to wait and see what kind of deals Doc and Danny Ainge can whip up in the weeks to come. As of today (February 15th) the Celtics are 28-24 overall and hold the seventh playoff spot/seed of the available eight in the Eastern Conference. Moreover, if the season ended today the C’s would make the playoffs. Of course, the season still has about 30 games to go and as we all know with any sport “anything can happen”.

Nevertheless, I whole heartedly believe Boston can continue their winning ways and place themselves somewhere between a fifth to seventh seed at seasons end. Honestly, at the rate the C’s are playing, they could even lobby for a fourth seed. We’ll just have to watch and see what happens.

Final Thoughts: With roughly 30 games left and only 10 healthy players on a 13 man roster, the C’s have their work cut out for them as they head down the final stretch. Will the Celtics make the post-season? If so, what playoff seed will they earn? Leave a comment below.

Celts Sign Swingman Terrence Williams

The Celtics have signed Terrence Williams, 25 years old, to a 10-day contract. After being picked by the Nets (#11 in 2009), Williams has been on a few different teams. He is a 6’6” Small Forward who can handle the ball. He is the only player in Louisville history to record two triple-doubles. He is known for his athleticism and defense, but can also score the ball.Terrence Williams

I like this signing , especially with Barbosa out. I mean, who knows if we will keep him, but it’s still a good plan to have someone who can handle the ball off of the bench. It’s becoming more obvious that this team is going to stay intact after this Thursdays trade deadline, so they need some inexpensive, outside help. After leaving the Nets, Williams signed with the Rockets. Houston then released him. This may scare some people. However, do you know who else the Rockets have released? Jeremy Lin. Then they realized they made a mistake and resigned him this offseason. I’m not saying Williams will cause some new-age Lin-sanity, but you never know. This guy also loves to dunk, and has won many contests in other leagues. He should be fun to watch, assuming the Celtics give him a chance.