Why not take a chance?

Multiple sources have come out saying that the Boston Celtics will wait until the end of the summer to choose the right head coach for them. This way, Ainge can draft the players he wants, and he can get a chance to see assistant coach Jay Larranaga run the summer league team. By then, most of the top head coaches with experience should be gone. This could bode well for him. Why not take a chance on someone like that, like the Nets are doing on Jason Kidd? Clearly, we are not going to be a contender for a few years, at the very least, so we don’t need to waste money over paying an amazing head coach.

Better yet, why not try having a player coach? David Cowens and Bill Russell have done it. Yes, I’m being serious. Why not have Kevin Garnett try it? Pay him one salary, give him a few good assistant coaches, and who knows, downloadpeople may want to come play for him. He already came out saying he admires Bill Russell more than anyone and shapes his game to be like him. I mean, he’s the greatest champion in all of sports. He won two titles as a player-coach after winning 9 others. Clearly, the Celtics aren’t in the same position to win any titles but there are some pro’s to this extremely, extremely unlikely possibility:

  • KG is one of, if not the best, defensive mind in the game. He knows exactly where to be at all times, and often barks out orders to others so that they get their act together, and move around correctly.
  • Let’s face it, whoever coaches this team, is going to have to put up with Rajon Rondo, assuming we keep him. That’s no easy feat. KG already has been able to help mold Rondo into a better leader and this is someone who Rondo can respect. The last thing we need is someone like Stan Van Gundy coming in to ruin things (like he did in Orlando by driving out Dwight Howard).
  • KG probably does not want to play for anyone but Rivers due to his extreme loyalty, and that seems almost impossible now, seeing as the league vetoed it. He probably wouldn’t mind playing for himself though, and since we are not going to be in line to win a championship, he can decrease his minutes and mold the younger guys, like Sullinger, into a KG 2.0.
  • Everyone respects him. Most people have said that he is the best locker room presence there is. Why take that away? He brings the championship mentality to the court every night. Just because he can’t do it himself anymore, doesn’t mean we should allow that to get away.

Let’s get one thing straight: In no way do I think this will happen. I just think it is an interesting way to look at things. In a time where we are rebuilding, why not take a shot on someone like him. It could make Danny Ainge the smartest man around. Red Auerbach did it when he retired as coach and moved into the front office, and that played out quite nicely for the greatest coach this game as ever seen.

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Can you blame him?

If you haven’t heard already, Doc Rivers will be going to the Clippers. The Celtics will receive a 2015 first round draft pick for compensation in letting him out of his contract 3 downloadyears early. So far, we cannot trade Garnett there for Jordan, and it is widely assumed that the league will veto any trade between the two teams during the summer, stating that you cannot trade players and coaches together.

I don’t like the way this happened, but you gotta look at it from both sides. It is understandable that Doc Rivers didn’t want to go through the whole rebuilding process. Sure, it would have been better if he didn’t publicly come out saying he was ready for it when he signed the contract extension, but still. He was the greatest coach we could have had for these players. Everyone loved him, and until 8 days ago, so did you.

He brought the winning mentality back to Boston, and that is exactly why Danny Ainge kept him around after horribly-losing seasons, to work with the newly assembled Big 3. If we didn’t release him from his contract to go coach in LA, you can safely assume that he would have been taking a year or two off, and most likely broadcasting. This way, we at least get something for him, and he made sure of that. He still loves it here, he will admit that today in the press conference at noon. If only we could have gotten one of their draft picks from when they sucked. Right now, it looks as though they will be near the top of the standings, so their pick isn’t anything special. Two late round picks can be traded for a pretty penny though. No hard feelings Doc.

C’s Talking Trade

For most, they probably did not even hear about the possible cross-country change because the Bruins were busy evening up the series last night. Anyways, here’s the jist of it. The Clippers of Los Angeles want Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett. They want to do so by making a trade with Deandre Jordan and some other compensation. Jordan is a solid center and a lot of fun to watch, but the Celts want more. They want backup Guard Eric Bledsoe. However, The Clips want to use Bledsoe (and reportedly, Blake Griffin) to convince the Lakers, who share the same building with them, to sign-and-trade Dwight Howard to them. The Clippers-Celtics talk has fizzled a little bit since yesterday, and could be completely blown up if nothing happens by Tuesday or Wednesday.

A few opinions:

  • Doc Rivers has most of the power here. My guess is that he has not agreed to come back yet because he wants to make sure that Ainge wants to bring back KG and Pierce. He has one last chip to hold on to. He doesn’t want to rebuild yet.
  • The Clippers will not change their opinion on Bledsoe, they would rather use him to lure Howard in, not a coach.
  • The Lakers are not scared to do a sign-and-trade, even if it is to their counterparts, the Clippers. It’s better than getting nothing for them. The only way Howard will do this is if good friend, Chris Paul, agrees to stay in LA.
  • If the deal isn’t worked out, the only way we keep Rivers, is to keep all three. They believe in loyalty and want to stay loyal to each other.
  • The Clips will see that trading two solid players (or trade chips) for a coach is not worth it.
  • Pierce should retire a Celtic, and Garnett should too. Even if Pierce leaves, we should at least sign him for a day after and let him retire in the Green and White, and retire his jersey ASAP.

Garnett Going Away?

There is a rumor going around that the Los Angeles Clippers are very interested in obtaining Kevin Garnett to help them in a playoff run. With KG’s experience, tenacity, and outside jumpers, who wouldn’t want him on their team? He is still a solid player, even if he is just a fraction of his former self. It is great that Garnett always says he wants to retire aindex Celtic, and I think he should too, but if it is between trading him or Pierce, I’m letting go of Garnett. Pierce got stabbed a bunch of times, had to play alongside some of the worst Celtics ever (i.e. Antoine Walker after his “prime”), and stuck with the team throughout their down years. He holds many records in this storied franchise and I think he deserves to stay. But I digress..

It’s hard to keep Garnett with the season we are having. Yes, we have been playing a lot better since Rondo went down, but before that, it hardly seemed worth the two year, $23.5 million deal that he still has after this season. However, for what they are offering, at least what is rumored, is to trade him for Caron Butler (10 year veteran with 15.7 PPG in his career, most of which occurred a few years back), and 2nd year point guard Eric Bledsoe, who the Clippers are very high on, it is not worth it. Bledsoe is averaging just over 9 points a game this season, playing behind Chris Paul when he was healthy.

Danny Ainge went on the record saying that he really hasn’t talked about moves, but will take a wait-and-see mentality before the trade deadline on February 21. Anyways, KG has a no-trade clause in his new contract, and can veto any trade that we try to do. That being said, do you think he would go? In my mind, the Clippers have a lot better of a chance of winning than we do. However, he has been the harshest since the Ray Allen-to-Miami signing. Would it make him a hypocrite? What do you think?

Should We Worry?

Overall, the Boston Celtics are 12-11. They are right in the middle, sitting in 15th place overall out of 30 teams. This is not the Celtic’s team that we have come to know and love. Kevin GarnettThe season is just over 1/3rd of the way over, and we are not getting any better. The C’s, who are usually one of the better defensive teams, are allowing 97.9 PPG. This stat isn’t as bad as some, except for one fact:  We aren’t scoring. We are only averaging 97.4 PPG. I’m no math wiz, but I’d say those numbers are going to have to improve if we want any chance to beat the big teams of the East this season (New York, Miami, Atlanta).

We don’t have an easy schedule coming up either. We play the Bulls in Chicago on Tuesday, then come back home to play the Cav’s and Buck’s, both of which have shown that they can put up serious points. Then we take on the Net’s on Christmas, and the Clippers two days after that. Sitting just one game above .500, the C’s need to find a way to get some W’s.

The only consistMiami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Fourent scorer this season has been Captain Paul Pierce, who is averaging 19.7 PPG. Rondo is scoring lower and lower each game, but if he can keep getting 12-15 assists per game, they should be okay. Garnett is shooting around 50% lately, but doesn’t play enough minutes to put up any serious numbers. Meanwhile, Jason Terry has been big off the bench, but still has not found his stroke on the 3-pointers, something we have been lacking since Ray Ray took his talents to South Beach.

C’s Weekend Recap

The Celtics dropped two games this weekend, both against quality teams, and the games imagescat1wg6eweren’t that close. On Friday night, The C’s lost to the Rocket’s 101-89 behind Harden’s 21 points and bench player Greg Smith’s 20 points.  Paul Pierce played 41 minutes and was able to contribute 18 points, 7 rebounds, while everyone else seemed rather flat. Garnett put in 14, Rondo put in 15 and added 13 assists, but we were out played badly.

On Saturday night, they Green and White took on one of the best teams in the league, the San Antonio Spurs. For the first half, it looked like this would be a game. That ended about halfway through the third quarter. Garnett only put in 13, Rondo had 6 points, and failed to reach double digit assists with 9. Sullinger had a team Boston Celtics at San Antonio Spurshigh 7 rebounds off the bench, and Jason Terry had a huge first half and managed to score 18 points total, even though he slowed down significantly in the second half. Parker put in 22 for the Spurs while Gary Neal was able to score 20, as the Spurs improved to 19-6.

J.R. Smith: The Key to the NBA Season?

The biggest move that will happen before the March 15th trade deadline, barring any unforeseen major deal, will be the signing of J.R. Smith. Since his team has been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, Smith will be an NBA free agent on February 16th. J.R. Smith has averaged 12.5 points per game over the course of his career as he has developed into a top 6th man in the league.  Smith has been a member of the Denver Nuggets for the past few years, and when it looked like the NBA season would be cancelled Smith went over to China to play for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Chinese contracts have non-opt out clauses, so Smith was forced to play out the remainder of the season before he could return to the NBA.

Smith’s highlights from China are extremely impressive. He put up some ridiculous numbers in a few games (although against some less than stellar opponents, but nonetheless impressive). Playing against former Celtics draft pick Lester Hudson, Smith came off the bench to score 60 points while shooting 14-18 from 3. Just a few days later Smith would score 41 points as his team sneaked out a 122-120 win.

 

Most Likely Destinations

New York Knicks

Current SG’s: Landry Fields, Iman Shumpert

Ability to offer: Mid-Level Exception, pro-rated on Feb 10th

Analysis: The Knicks are in the lead mostly because they can offer him the most money. Instead of any of the other competing teams, the mid-level exception from the Knicks has been pro-rated since February 10th, not the start of the season. But the question that follows anyone who ever plays Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire is will there be enough shots? If they found a way to share the ball a starting lineup of Jeremy Lin, J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler would look as good as any other in the NBA.  But there were enough problems for the Knicks finding shots for everyone before the emergence of Lin. It might not be in Smith’s or the Knicks best interest to agree on an offer here. While the Knicks are one of the top choices with huge potential, I think it would be too big of a risk for Smith to take.

Los Angeles Clippers

Current SG’s Randy Foye, Caron Butler

Ability to Offer: Veteran Minimum Contract, pro-rated from beginning of season

In my mind, this move makes the most sense. Smith can slide right in to the starting shooting guard role, which fits with his desire for a bigger role. Smith would be the perfect complement to space the floor for high-flyers Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan. He has a tight relationship with Chris Paul from their time on the Hornets and has played with Chauncey Billups and Kenyon Martin (Nuggets). The Clippers have only one other true shooting guard right now. If J.R. came to the Clippers he would make them immediate title contenders. If the Clippers do strike out with Smith, they are presumed to use one of their trade exemptions to find a shooting guard to fill their problem.

Just for Fun

Boston Celtics

Current SG’s Ray Allen, Sasha Pavlovic, Marquis Daniels

Ability to Offer: Veteran Minimum Contract, pro-rated from beginning of season

This is obviously a long shot, probably fantasy for me, but would be a great fit for the Celtics. They cannot offer him a starting role or a warm weather climate. But they can offer him a chance at a championship and a future starting role with the Celts young players such as Rondo, Jujuan Johnson, Avery Bradley, and Jeff Green. This would allow the Celtics to stay competitive past the years of the Big 3. He would provide a scoring punch off the bench, a unit which does not have a dynamic scorer. He would be able to ease the legs of Pierce and Allen so they could save themselves for the playoffs. With a bench of Avery Bradley, Smith, Pietrus, Johnson, and Wilcox, the Celtics bench all of a sudden becomes a strength and not a weakness. The best part about this move would be that Sasha Pavlovic would probably not see the court in important minutes ever again.

Surprise Teams

The Pacers and the Timberwolves are also said to be interested, according to Marc Stein from ESPN. The Pacers have the most cap room in the NBA, which would allow them to sign him to an even bigger contract than the Knicks. The Timberwolves have been the surprise of the NBA this season with new players such as Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, and of course their All-Star Kevin Love.  The Lakers are the final team that is interested in J.R. Smith. I do not consider themselves as much of a contender but they could prove me wrong. While they are trying to make moves, getting a player to back up Kobe Bryant who needs the ball in his hands most of the time does not make the most sense to me. They are also working out Gilbert Arenas, who has been described as “slimmed down” and “explosive” by Dave McMenamin.

Check Out Some of My Older Posts

How Not to Treat a Legend

Top Five Moments of Truth

L.A. Divided

Sorry for a bit of an absence in my BSB presence, but I was taking some much needed vacation time out of the spotlight.

Anyway, looks like the Lakers may have a new rival in the cross-town Clippers. Finally emerging from the depths and putting together a formidable squad this year, the Clippers obviously have some serious talent on their roster. Last night there was obvious hostility between the two, led by none other than Ron Meta Worldpeace (or whatever his name is now). I still find his name a bit ironic for a person who is a pretty dirty basketball player, someone who answers interview questions with statements about baby teeth, yet changes his name to promote peace among men. Anyway, even Pau Gasol got into it a little last night with Chris Paul, which is flat out bullying if you ask me, even though I think CP3 could actually take him.

Regardless, the Lakers are proving to be a pretty serious squad this year, and Kobe is confirming he still has plenty left in the tank (even surpassing some of Jordan’s numbers in the beginning of 1996). Needless to say, this year’s NBA has some pretty fresh talent and a whole new approach to rivalries.

What are your thoughts on the new NBA balance of power?

(Fast Forward to 0:55 Mark)

 

Pre-Free Agents

The NBA is basically revolving around Chris Paul and Dwight Howard right now and where they will end up, either before the season (12 days away) or during the season.  Neither the Hornets or the Magic are willing to lose their stars after this season without getting something in return.  Negotiations have re-opened between the Clippers of Los Angeles and the Hornets, to send Chris Paul to LA.  The Clips have also won a waiver bid on Chauncey Billups.  Although Billups has gone on record to say that he will not report to any training camp of a team that is not in direct contention for a championship this season, so we will see how that goes.

The Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard may be able to stay together if they can show that they want to make the Magic a legitimate championship contender by signing more stars around him, such as Billups.  Might be kinda tough to get him away from the Clippers because they are looking to become the new number one team in LA with their young team.  They think that they can overcome the old age of Kobe, Gasol, and Fisher, and constantly injured Andrew Bynum (now that they lost Lamar Kardashian).  Even without Chris Paul, they are young and Mo Williams, Gordon, and Blake Griffin could spend a lot of years there.  But can they compete for a title? Could they even win their division?