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Celtics-76ers: 2021 Edition

What to expect heading into the rivals' first matchups of the season this week It's pretty well documented that the current squads of the Celtics and 76ers aren't exactly buddy-buddy. This continues a storied rivalry between the two cities, with a long history of titans of our game matching up, such as Russell vs Chamberlain and Bird vs Dr. J. Now, we get the pleasure of watching Tatum and Brown take on Embiid and Simmons. The Celtics have had Philly's number the past few seasons, putting up a 15-6 record against them since Tatum's rookie season, which includes two smack downs in the playoffs (4-1 in the 17-18 season, and a 4-0 sweep in the bubble last season). You may remember the 17-18 series for Philly dropping confetti early (in a game that the Celtics won in OT), and Marcus Morris giving Embiid the "3-0" when the two started chirping at each other. These playoff losses lead to Embiid saying "This is not a rivalry... they always kick our ass"
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Stats and eye-test both show Rob Williams needs more minutes

Celtics backup center, Rob Williams III , is out of action right now due to COVID-19 protocol, but upon his return he needs more time on the floor. We see glimpses of stardom in him, but even with what he has shown in limited minutes, he may end up as Boston's best choice at the center slot. His field goal percentage ranks second in the NBA (8 games or more, 16 MPG or more) at 77.4% , just behind DeAndre Jordan at 78.4% . His per-36-minutes stats show: 14.8 PPG, 14.3 RPG, 2.5 SPG, 3.3 BPG, 3.0 turnovers/game, 2.7 fouls/game A quick look at the NBA Defensive Dashboard numbers shows that he holds the top diff% (percentage points difference) of the Celtics' three major weapons at the 5-spot, Tristan Thompson, Daniel Theis and Williams III. Thompson has the worst diff% of the three with a differential of 10.2. Meaning in effect, Thompson allows opponents to shoot with much more accuracy than he does. Theis has a diff% of 2.9% , meaning he still allows opponents to shoot a high

Sign the Petition! Let's honor Tommy Heinsohn

  No longtime Celtics fan can watch games this year without a somewhat heavy heart. For the last 50 plus years, we have been blessed as a franchise to have Tommy Heinsohn, Mr. Celtic himself, as a part of the organization. Whether it be as a player, coach, or commentator, Tommy has been an instrumental figure for the green, and his presence is missed on every broadcast. Nobody embodied what it meant to be a Celtic more than Tommy, and I know I miss his energy and ferocity every time Scal claims the refs "made the right call" against the Cs. While Tommy obviously belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Celtics, he is often overlooked in his place among the greats of NBA history. Looking back upon his life, one would be hard pressed to find someone with a bigger impact on NBA basketball than Mr. Celtic. For those who are unfamiliar, let's do a quick review. Tommy is one of 2 people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and coach (the other being the indomitable Len

Good news: Celtics aren't peaking at the wrong time

I'm serious here. Last night's 105-75 drubbing of The Green by the struggling New York Knicks is not such a bad thing. A 'bad thing" would be the Celtics peaking so early in the season, only to decelerate as the post-season approached. With COVID stubbornly refusing to go away, we have no idea what this season's playoffs will look like - or even if they will be played at all. Home court advantage may have no meaning this year. Danny Ainge seems to be moderately-content with the crew he has, but floor time for the youngsters is paramount, as is ending the regular season with a sufficient record to make the playoffs. As a worst-case scenario, ending the season and barely qualifying for the playoffs - and starting the post-season against the top team in the Eastern Conference - when the troops are fresh - is not totally negative. The key here is to make the post season with a complete and healthy roster, in addition to having an 8-or-9-man rotation that is prepared wi

Celtics Payton Pritchard takes 7th slot in Kia Rookie Ladder

Celtics rookie, Payton Pritchard, has landed at number-7 in Kia's Rookie Ladder , despite being the lowest draft selection (#26) of the top-10. 7. Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics Season stats:  8.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.1 apg Pretty high rung for the lowest Draft selection (No. 26) on our ladder, but hitting game-winners (Jan. 6 vs. Miami) will do that It is far too early to label the 6'1" point guard as the steal of the draft, but there is plenty of time left for him to climb the ladder. Here are the standings: 1.) Hornets LeMelo Ball 2.) Warriors James Wiseman 3.) Kings Tyrese Haliburton 4.) Wolves Anthony Edwards 5.) Bulls Patrick Williams 6.) 76'ers Tyrese Maxey 7.) Celtics Payton Pritchard 8.) Wizards Deni Avdija 9.) Magics Cole Anthony 10.) Pistons Saddiq Bey What is noteworthy is that Pritchard beat out nine (9) lottery picks, including the Celtics lone lottery pick (Aaron Nesmith at #14) who did not appear on the latest Kia Rookie Ladder.  https://www.nba.com/news/k

If any single Celtics star defined the term, "gentleman", it was K C Jones

Whatever you hear or read about the late K C Jones, the word "gentleman" is going to be in there. And he was far more than that prior to his recent death on Christmas Day, 2020.  K C was quiet and dignified, and individuals of that ilk often get lost in the shuffle of modern hype and over-reaction. How important was he in the world of basketball and the Celtics winning ways specifically? ( per Wikipedia ): Jones is one of only eight players in basketball history to have won an NCAA championship, an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal,  joining  Bill Russell ,  Magic Johnson ,  Michael Jordan ,  Jerry Lucas ,  Clyde Lovellette ,  Quinn Buckner , and  Anthony Davis . In NBA history, only his former teammates Russell (11 championships) and  Sam Jones  (10) have won more championships during their playing careers. I was fortunate enough to watch Jones on the parquet, starting in the early 1960's. He had taken up the unenviable task of point guard duties from the legen

Early death of two-consecutive first-round Celtics draftees hurt immeasurably

The pain of losing both Len Bias and Reggie Lewis will forever go down in Celtics history as a near-disaster that helped put The Green in a 22-year Championship drought. What could've been....sigh pic.twitter.com/ILDngfoBFW — Frosty Bias (@frostybias) January 15, 2021 Shortly after being taken second-overall in the 1986 NBA draft, Bias died of an apparent cocaine overdose. Boston had acquired the draft pick by means of trading Gerald Henderson to Seattle, and I not-so-fondly recall a cruel written comment indicating "the Celtics traded Henderson for a corpse."   Red Auerbach knew NBA talent, and Len had it big time. The 6'8" forward would have been a superstar in the League. The next year, Boston took 6'7" Reggie Lewis with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 1987 draft. If rival GMs could have a redoing of that draft, Reggie would have been snagged much sooner. He turned out to be that good.  But death intervened once again for Red and his team. Lew