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.

Trade Update

There has been a new breakthrough in the potential Celtics trade with the LA Clippers. Since the Clips were not gonna let Eric Bledsoe come here, we have decided to go another route. We want them to take the contract of either Jason Terry or Courtney Lee (both are owed $11 Million over the next two years). We would now trade Garnett and Doc Rivers and one of those two to them for Deandre Jordan (solid player and fun to watch, but not someone you build your team around) and a future first-round pick, and maybe even another role player. They are saying that the deal, if it goes through, will be done later today or Tuesday the 18th.

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.

The Post Paul Pierce/K-G Era

Picture Courtesy of setevintecinco.blogspot.com

It’s the Summer of 2014…Danny Ainge sits in his comfy office chair smoking a Cuban cigar, attempting to do his best Red Auerbach impression. Papers are scattered on his desk listing the players who need to be cut and the available free agents left on the market to pick up. His phone lines are ringing like crazy, on the other end waits a number of teams looking to trade for Rajon Rondo and draft picks. He just lets them go to voicemail. He puts out his cigar, sinks his head into his hands, and lets out a breathe of concern.

A Few Months Earlier: The Boston Celtics have been knocked out of the NBA Playoffs in the first round yet again. Celtics great Paul Pierce retires from the NBA a few days later at the age of 36. A few weeks before Pierce’s announcement, Kevin Garnett publicly states he is retiring after the C’s season is over. Doc Rivers, who was coerced to coach for Boston for one more season, calls it’s quits a few days after Pierce, and just like that…an era is over.

October 2014: The 2014-2015 regular season is about to get underway for the Boston Celtics, it’s opening night at the TD Garden, but the seats aren’t quite as full as they normally would be, the Celtics are about to be introduced by the PA announcer, but something’s missing. The announcer goes through the starting lineup, but there’s no mention of Pierce or Garnett, and instead of Rivers, someone else is on the sideline going through the game-plan with the team before tip-off.

The referee brings the ball out to the middle of the court, lobs it up for the tip, and without a second thought, the post-Paul Pierce/K-G era has begun.

Picture Courtesy of celticshub.com

The Truth Hurts: The paragraphs above are not something straight out of a science fiction novel, they are harsh realities that will come to light over the next two seasons, maybe even sooner depending on how this year’s off-season goes. The fact is, Pierce, Garnett, and even Doc Rivers will all be gone at some point, between now and the 2014-2015 regular season.

How the Celtics will prepare for this post-Paul Pierce/K-G era has yet to be seen. Replacing the likes of Pierce, Garnett, and Rivers will be nearly impossible from a character standpoint. Pierce has been everything Boston could have ever wanted out of a player since the C’s drafted him back in 1998. Garnett has been a key cog in the Celtics machine since 2008. Rivers has coached the Celtics through the best of times and the worst of times.

Boston can however, draft or add players who will provide the kind of production that Pierce and Garnett have for so many seasons. As for the next bench boss of the Celtics, only time can tell who will fit the bill for Boston.

In the meantime, here’s a look at what the Celtics roster will likely look like in 2014-2015 (minus draft picks, free agent signings, and trades) in comparison to their current roster.

Current Roster (when fully healthy)

C Kevin Garnett, Chris Wilcox, Fab Melo

PF Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, D.J. White, Shavlik Randolph

SF Paul Pierce, Jeff Green

SG Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, Jordan Crawford, Terrance Williams

PG Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jason Terry

2014-2015 Roster (some of the players listed above were removed due to the likelihood of being cut, Terrence Williams, Shavlik Randolph,  or potential retirement, Jason Terry.)

C ?, Fab Melo, Chris Wilcox,

PF Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, D.J. White

SF Jeff Green, ?

SG ?, Courtney Lee, Jordan Crawford,

PG Rajon Rondo (if he hasn’t been traded away), Avery Bradley

(The question marks above resemble open spots on the roster that can be filled by draft picks or free agent acquisitions/trades)

Picture Courtesy of boston.cbslocal.com

As you can see there will certainly be a few holes to plug up by the time the 2014-2015 rolls around. Upon review of that potential depth chart, some might say the Celtics need to prepare for the future right now. However, good things come to those who wait. So, before you decide that selling the farm by trading away either Pierce, Garnett or Rondo right now is a simple solution, consider some of these 2014 free agents:

Point Guards

Kyrie Irving

John Wall

Eric Bledsoe

Kemba Walker

Damian Lillard

Shooting Guards

Dwayne Wade

Jamal Crawford

Thabo Sefolosha

Klay Thompson

MarShon Brooks

Small Forwards

LeBron James

Carmelo Anthony

Paul George

Rudy Gay

Khawi Leonard

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Power Forwards

Zach Randolph

Dirk Nowitzki

Tristan Thompson

Greg Monroe

Kenneth Faried

Centers

Chris Bosh

Demarcus Cousins

Andrew Bogut

Andre Drummond

Now I’m not saying that LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh are all going to take their talents to Beantown, nor am I saying that Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving will leave their respective cities to play for Boston.

Because let’s face it, James, Wade, and Bosh are going to continue to shine in South Beach for at least another five seasons. Furthermore, Anthony will probably lure someone like Irving to play alongside himself and Amare Stoudemire, creating a “Big 3 in the Big Apple”

However, once you eliminate those top tier free agents, what your left with is a list of mid to high level guys who can help the Celtics compete for a championship well after Pierce and Garnett leave.

Final Thoughts: “The Truth” is, sooner than we would all care to admit, two “Big Ticket” names are both inching closer and closer to retirement. In a fantasy world the Celtics would have a roster consisting of Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Paul Pierce, and a few more Celtics greats every year. This, however, is the real world, and even the greats have to go at some point. A new era of Celtics basketball is on the horizon, one can only hope those running the front office are ready for it.

What should the C’s do? Who should they pursue once Pierce and Garnett are gone? Leave a comment below.

LeBron MVP

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 imagesGlobe’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.

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.

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.

C’s Top Heat

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 NBA: Miami Heat at Boston CelticsAll-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.

C’s Take on the Heat

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 indexlast 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?

Heat Celtics
W-L 28-12 20-23
Points Scored 102.8 95
Points Allowed 96.9 96.4
Rebounds 39.1 39.5
Assists 22.5 23
Turnovers lost 13.6 14.6
Turnovers forced 14.9 15.7