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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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.

C’s versus Knicks

The Celtics will take on their division rival tonight when they host the New York Knicks. gadThe Celtics topped the Knicks a few weeks ago 102-96, and Melo wasn’t happy after that one. There is footage of him screaming at KG through the locker room door after Garnett supposedly said that Melo’s wife tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios. Classic.

The Knicks are leading the division and are 2 games behind the Heat for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are currently on a 4 game losing streak after winning 6 straight and are sitting one game below .500.  Below are some stats of how the teams match up. Everything is close except for the points scored and turnovers lost. Celtics are last in the league in rebounding. Knicks are favored by 1.5.

Knicks Celtics
W-L 25-14 20-21
Points Scored 101.1 94.9
Points Allowed 96.3 96
Rebounds 40.5 39.1
Assists 19.9 23
Turnovers lost 11.1 14.5
Turnovers forced 15.4 15.9

C’s Streaking

What a great weekend for Boston sports fans. Pats win, Peyton loses, and the Celtics extend their win streak to 5 games with a win over Houshi-res-6928264_crop_650x440ton, 103-91, on Friday night. For now, let’s just focus on the C’s. When I wrote this article a little over a week ago, we were on a 4 game losing streak and playing some of the toughest teams in the league.  Now the Green and White are riding the hot hand going into a game against a 9-27 Charlotte Bobcats team on Monday night.

On Friday, the Celtics were ready to play. Garnett scored 17 points and grabbed 8 boards. Pierce shot lights out for 23 points while Courtney Lee dropped 14 of his own. Once again, Jared Sullinger came up huge, scoring 14 points but grabbing 11 boards off the bench. He only missed 1 shot and is developing into an amazing role player. Sullinger is leading all rookies in +/-.

Rajon Rondo has been a little off recently. I mean he is playing great basketball for anyone else, but according to his high standards that we have come to know, he isn’t that great. He only had 8 assists last game and 8 the game before, bringing his league-leading average down to 11.1. Once he gets going again we should be able to put up some serious points. The return of Avery Bradley on the defensive end has been huge as well, as he covers the opposing teams best player in every game.

C’s Top Knicks

For those of you who decided to look at other channels after the blowout in the National Championship Game last night, may have caught a glimpse of a Celtics team that we have learned to love. The C’s won their third straight, and this one was against the division leader, the Knicks. The Green and White traveled to Madison Square Garden and came out on top 101-96, with 5 players scoring in double digits.avery-bradley3

With Rondo suspended for a game for bumping into a ref, like an idiot, the Celts had to play with Avery Bradley at the point. Bradley, Garnett, Sullinger, Pierce, and Green all scored in double digits. Pierce led the way with 23 points. The Celtics held Carmelo to only 20 points, which was huge.

The scary part for me is that Terry only had 2 points on 1-7 shooting. He has failed to reach double digits in the 4 games that we have played in 2013, after doing it for most of the season prior to the last four games. Although the Celtics were outrebounded as usual, most of our players still finished in the + column. Boston is 3-1 since the return of Avery Bradley

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.

NBA Round Up

Jeremy Lin

The Knicks have until 11:59 tonight to match the Rockets offer to new sensation Jeremy Lin. Many Imagefans would probably say that New York would be crazy not to sign Lin after last season, but there’s a lot more to the story. They were ready to match the $25.1 million offer until they saw that the third year offer was worth $14.8 million. This would mean that they would have been over the line for the luxury tax and would have to pay an excess of $43 million dollars for the 2014-15 season. This isn’t bad for Lin seeing as he made under $800k last year.

The Knicks have now signed Raymond Felton who was part of a deal that brought Carmelo Anthony to New York just a few seasons ago.  So it seems as though Lin will be going back to the team that only kept him around for two weeks of training camp last season.

Howard talks Getting Annoying

There has been speculation that Dwight Howard’s agent and the Lakers have been talking about a trade that would bring the big man to Los Angeles, while Andrew Bynum goes to Houston, and Orlando gets some young players and picks.  However, Howard said that he would only sign with the Nets for a long term contract, so that might change the Lakers minds.

Jason Kidd fitting in in The Big Apple

ImageAfter leaving Dallas where he could probably drive around in fields and not be seen, Jason Kidd has been charged with refusing a breathalyzer at the scene of a crash and failure to stop, just days after being traded to the New York Knicks. His escalade hit a telephone pole and ended up in the woods. Probably should have called for a cab and paid the 10 bucks after you just inked a deal for over $10 million.

The Mavericks Sign Mayo

O.J. Mayo, who averaged 12.6 PPG off the bench last season with the Grizzlies, has signed a contract with the Mavs. He will most likely be the starting Shooting Guard for them, seeing as he averaged over 17 points in both seasons as a starter before moving to the bench the last two seasons.  If not, he can have Jason Terry’s old role as the sixth man now that Terry has signed with the Celtics.

Celtics Weekend Review

The Celtics came out of the Weekend back over .500 as they won both games over the Nets and the Knicks. The Celtics beat the New Jersey Nets 107-94 and the Knicks 115-111 in overtime. Pierce was the leading scorer in both games as he scored 27 and 34 points. Kevin Garnett had double-doubles in both games as shot over 50% for the weekend in total. But the weekend belonged to Rondo. Rondo had 14 points and 13 assists in the first game, and then exploded Sunday for 18 points, 17 rebounds, and 20 assists. This was the third game in the last three weeks where Rondo had a triple double, and his fourth of the season. According ESPN Rondo joins Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson as the third NBA player in history to have over 15 points, 15 rebounds, and 20 assists.

Player

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Rajon Rondo

18

17

20

Wilt Chamberlain

22

25

21

Oscar Robertson

32

15

20

Add in all the missed layups Rondo had in the game and he could have easily had 25-30 points. Rajon also became only the 3rd player in the last 25 seasons to have over 15 points, assists, and rebounds in a single game, joining Jason Kidd and Magic Johnson. Shout out to my friend Cody for this stat, the NBA has had 10 triple-doubles this season, and Rajon Rondo has four of them. He has been the only player with more than one triple-double on the season.

Ever since the Jermaine O’Neal has been out with his injured wrist, KG has slid over to the five position. It has been huge for the Celtics. The rebounding has been better, and KG’s defense on the 5’s has been great. He has also been able to get his shot off better as the 5’s do not want to come out as far to defend KG and let him drive by for the easy two. If or when O’Neal comes back, the Celtics should stick with KG at the five and have Jermaine come off the bench. Bass and Wilcox are playing too well at the four to have both of them come off the bench for the rest of the season.

The Celtics play next on Tuesday at the Garden against the Houston Rockets at 7:30 PM.