The NBA’s Coach of the Year, George Karl, of the Denver Nuggets has been fired, according to a source with ESPN. Karl had one more year on his contract and wanted to come back to the team, but after their GM left for Toronto, the team decided that they wanted to go in another direction. Karl led a team with absolutely no All-Stars to a 57 win season and a 3rd seed in the playoffs. Yes, they lost early again. Karl has only made it out of the first round once out of nine times. I get that part. But he hasn’t always had the best players. He had a young, more immature than now Carmelo (hard to believe after this, I know), and a bunch of below average players. Even this season, their leading scorer was Ty Lawson with 16.7 PPG (31st in the league).
The Nugs were 38-3 at home this season which was best in the league. They were also 24-4 after the all-star break. Karl has coached 25 seasons and has a 1131-756 record but can’t seem to get it done in the playoffs. You can bet that a team is going to pick him up for next season. He has already talked to the Clippers.
Well the Celtics season is over after a heart-breaking loss on Friday to the cocky and arrogant, New York Knicks. The next few months will really show where this organization is headed with the decisions they face with KG and Paul Pierce. However, this story is not about that. Lebron James won his 4th MVP this weekend. He became the second player to get 120 of 121 possible first place votes. Shaq did it 13 years ago. The lone voter, who decided to back Carmelo Anthony instead, was the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn.
To me, this is ridiculous. I know everyone in Boston hates LeBron, but the main reason why he wasn’t unanimous, was because everyone thought he would be. Just so happens that it was a guy from Massachusetts to snub him. We all know that he is the best player in the league and by far the most efficient. If he took as many shots as Melo, he would be the leading scorer, but he is more than that, clearly. Plus, Melo sucked against us during the last 3 games of the series and I really thought we had a chance to steal it from those scumbags.
Kevin Garnett did receive one vote for MVP, but not a first place one. This was enough to tie him for 12th in the balloting.
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 6’9” 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 played 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.
The Celtics were able to outlast the Miami Heat on Sunday in a double-overtime victory. Boston escaped with a 100-98 victory that few have thought much about. The reason is simple—Rajon Rondo is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. The starting All-Star Point Guard was averaging a league leading 11.1 Assists Per Game and recorded back to back Triple-Doubles before hyper-extending his knee on Friday against the Hawks.
The good news is, we beat the 1st place Heat behind KG’s 24 points and 11 rebounds and a Triple-Double by Paul Pierce. Even the struggling Jason Terry contributed with 13 points while Jeff Green added 11 of his own. Other than that it was a defensive matchup for the most part, until the two overtimes allowed the teams some more time to raise their scoring averages. LeBron James had 34 points and 16 rebounds for the visiting Heat. With this win, the Celtics break a 6 game skid and will host the 16-29 Kings on Wednesday.
The Celtics have yet another tough test on Sunday when the first-place Miami Heat come to town. Everyone knows that it is Ray Allen’s first game back in Boston since leaving, but we have a lot more on our plate than that. The Heat are in first place in the East once again. However, we always play them tough, and as of last game, they are the worst rebounding team in the NBA, we are second to last. I know it’s not much, but they need to cling onto anything that they can to beat this team.
It’s not Ray Ray that we have to worry about, as he is only averaging 11.4 points in 25.5 minutes per game, both significantly lower than the rest of his career. It’s another guy, named LeBron James, that is having a quiet but huge season. He is averaging 26.4 PPG (.7 lower than last season) but has raised his Assists per game up to 7.1 (from 6.2) and 8.1 Rebounds per game (7.9 last season). Below is a quick preview of how the teams match up. Who do you think comes out on top?
The biggest loss this past Sunday had to be the Celtics dropping a game against the Pistons 103-88 right? That’s the only game I am willing to remember. The C’s fell to 20-20 after losing their 3rd straight game. They also lost against the Bulls on Friday in overtime, but at least that was a hard fought game. We also got to listen to the ugliest player in the NBA, Joakim Noah, complain about how dirty of a player KG is again.
The C’s will look to bounce back against a struggling Cavaliers team on Tuesday night in Cleveland without one of their best players, Anderson Verejao is out for the season with a blood clot in his lung. However, they still have Kyrie Irving who is proving himself once again as one of the top players in the league, without a lot of help around him. The Green will also take on the Knicks on Thursday and the Hawks on Friday before hosting the Heat next Sunday. Should be a tough road ahead, but at least we have something to watch with no football!
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. The 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 consistent 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.
The Celtics dropped two games this weekend, both against quality teams, and the games weren’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 high 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.
Possible sanctions loom against the San Antonio Spurs. Head Coach Greg Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Danny Green back to Texas to rest for their game against the Grizzlies, rather than play them in a national televised game against the Miami Heat. Commissioner David Stern apologized to fans and said that sanctions will be forthcoming.
Lebron didn’t seem too upset about them not playing, as the Heat only won 105-100 on a last minute 3-pointer by Ray Allen. I can understand why Pop would do this, as his team played 4 games in 5 nights, and they are an older team, much like the Celtics. It’s just weird to think about the fact that the Grizzlies are scaring the Spurs more than the Heat. But they are playing unbelievable basketball over in Memphis.
Last week, we took a poll about who you guys think has been the biggest star of the pre-season for newcomers, and I included Jeff Green because he was injured last season. Jared Sullinger won with over 50% of the votes, and Jeff Green was tied for second with Courtney Lee and Jason Terry, all with roughly 12% of the votes. Everyone keeps going on about how good our team is going to be because of our depth but here are some reasons why each player will succeed in our system.
Jared Sullinger: Rookie that fell to us in the draft, should have been a high lottery pick if not for an injured back last season. Not too many rookies get minutes in our system, but Jared could be starting some nights. KG and Doc Rivers have both said that he has a very high basketball IQ and does not play like a rookie typically does. He has adapted to the Celtics’ system real quick, and is not timid out on the court. He rebounds consistently and shoots right when he gets the open look, rather than hesitate and up fake 15 times like a lot of smaller big men like himself. And good news for C’s fans: Garnett said he is “giving him the book, teaching him everything I know”.