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.

Who had the Better Night Rondo or Williams?

Rajon Rondo had a night for the ages yesterday against Linsanity, as he became only the third player in NBA history to have over 15 points, 20 assists, and 15 rebounds. Then not to be outdone, Deron Williams had a game for the ages. He scored 57 points and went 21 from 21 from the foul line. So here comes the question. Who had the better night?
















Rajon Rondo, PG















Deron Williams, PG
















Rondo’s stats were obviously helped by the extra overtime period. As that’s when he came up with some of his best play scoring 5 points, 2 assists, and grabbed 5 rebounds. He could have easily had 5-10 more points as he missed 3 free throws and a few easy layups throughout the game. But time and time again whenever the Celtics needed some points, Rondo found the basket or the open man. He was huge for a team in need of a big lift.

Williams had 17 points at the half and then exploded in the 3rd quarter for 22 points. Williams is the total package as a point guard, quick, strong, with great vision, and a great outside shot. He absolutely dominated the two smaller Charlotte Bobcat point guards, Kemba Walker and D.J. Augustine in the paint. He bullied the two point guards until the Bobcats were forced to put Gerald Henderson on him down low, and then Williams went to work on him. The Bobcats decided to not double team off pick and rolls and it came back to bite them hard.

I have to give the edge to Rondo here, as the competition for the Celtics was a whole lot better than the Nets had last night. Other than the Heat it’s hard to find a hotter team than the Knicks right now, and Rondo clearly outclassed the Knick team last night. Deron had an unbelievable game, but it came against a team that has 4 wins on the season and is already looking towards next year. It’s hard to pick against him, but you don’t see nights where a player finds himself alone with Wilt Chamberlain and the
“Big O” Oscar Robertson too often.

Edge: Rajon Rondo

J.R. Smith NY

With the emergence of Jeremy Lin, the Knicks have been on a seven game winning streak. Now it looks like their getting some more help. All signs point to J.R. Smith signing with the New York Knicks over the Clippers and other teams in contention. The Knicks can offer him the most money 2.5 million dollar mid-level exception pro-rated from February 10th. As of last week it was looking like Jeremy Lin was going to be the cut to make way for Smith but we all know now that isn’t happening. All signs point to Mike Bibby as being the cut for the Knicks. If he signs then the question goes to where does J.R. fit with the Knicks. Is he their starting shooting guard or does he come off the bench as a 6th man. He would be replacing Landry Fields in the starting lineup. This presents a challenge for all teams in the NBA east as the Knicks now have a top five guys as good as any. People know about J.R. Smith’s ability to shoot and score, but when motivated he is one of the premier defenders in the NBA. The only question is whether or not they can find enough shots for this many shooters. Look for Lin’s points per game to take a major dip but assists to rise to 10-15 area. Time will tell if this is a good fit, I always thought he should have gone to the Clippers.


A New Tebow?

Well hello again everyone. Sorry I’ve been a little absent this month, and by absent I mean non existent, but the real world is upon me. Don’t worry, I’ll still sprinkle some articles in here and there, but I’ll sadly be the background of BSB as we emerge as one of the leading blogs in our field.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand, there may be a new Tebow among us. Jeremy Lin, the Harvard economics grad and new Knicks sensation, is currently the trend on ESPN and Twitter (see #linsanity). This guy is playing absolutely out of his mind and he’s on a team dominated by two prima donnas. With Melo out, this guy has taken the reigns and has totally overshadowed his only healthy counterpart, Amare Stoudamire. In his first five games, he’s accomplished something that no other player has ever done (average 20+ points and 7+ assists in his first five starts), and oh by the way, this guy is averaging 26.8 ppg and 8.5 assists in the last 6 games, all of which have been wins. In a season that was supposed to be a real breakout year for the Knicks (although I think the last 7 seasons were defined as that, too) it’s incredible to see a guy from the Ivy League put the team on his back.

This guy is solving the Global Debt Crisis by day and hitting game winning tres by night. God shouldn’t create people like this, it’s not fair. Either be incredibly athletic or extremely smart, not both (Shaq and Sir Charles Barkely being the ideal examples here).

Anyway, there has been rumor that this guy is the new Tebow because he is a new sensation who is winning. Floyd Mayweather made some pretty ignorant comments on twitter about Lin, only to be ripped by Spike Lee the next night – who I normally can’t stand but was 100% right. The big difference between Tebow and Lin is the fact that Lin is truly winning these games for his team. Tebow had the crutch of the defense to lean on and The Holy Spirit, meanwhile Lin has an injury riddled Knicks squad and lives in a city ruled by Satin.

Either way, this cat can ball. 6-0 in his first six starts, and he’s playing the same amount of minutes as Kobe and more than Lebron. Jeremy Lin is on the cusp of becoming the new Prince of NY (Jay Z is still the king, common son) and has given hope to the Madison Square Garden faithful.