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Marcus Smart's contract - lessons learned from the Allens (Tony and Ray)

  Marcus Smart will go into the final year of his 4-year deal next season, earning a team-friendly $13.8 million . Both Allens from the 2008 Championship team left the Celtics of their own accord, and there may be lessons there from the departures of Tony and Ray Allen that Danny Ainge may take into account in dealing with any new contract for Marcus. Ainge openly lamented that he let Tony Allen walk away in the summer of 2010 to join the Memphis Grizzlies. The "Grindfather" , as he was later known, admitted that he left, in part, because he felt overshadowed by Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.   Ray Allen left the team in 2012, rejecting a 2-year, $12 million deal from the Celtics to accept a 3-year contract for $9 million with the Miami Heat. He, like Tony Allen, may have felt less-than-appreciated in Boston ( per Sporting News' Sean Deveney ): Perhaps that’s where the problem started, then. In the book, Allen seems genuinely unsure of why Rondo turned on him so complet
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Danny Ainge got more than "shooting size" with Evan Fournier

 Celtics boss, Danny Ainge , said it a while back - that the Celtics needed some "shooting with size" . Well, he may have accomplished that goal by trading for 6'7" Evan Fournier . Danny Ainge on 98.5 on what @Celtics need.... "I would say maybe shooting, with size. ... We could use shooting, we could use passing. But you always need defense. ... I think that shooting at the big position is something we haven't had." — Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) February 4, 2021 In last night's runaway 132-96 win over the Orlando Magic ,  the French import contributed 18 points, five boards, four assists and two steals in 29 minutes of action . Evan started the game at the forward spot in place of the ailing Jaylen Brown. .  Fournier hit 8-of-14 shots from the field and 2-of-5 beyond the arc. His shooting and scoring were expected. But his other contributions are a bonus .  His size allows him to play at least two positions on the court and makes him effective de

Quick look at Celtics dubious Title hopes

 Few expect the Boston Celtics to walk away with the NBA Championship and Banner #18 this season, but here is what things look like right now. The Green's odds to win the 2021 Title stand at +5000. There is little more to say here. Feel free to read my first sentence. Celtics currently the 7th seed in the East with 34-31 record. If the Play-In tournament started today, Boston would be in it and taking on the Charlotte Hornets . The good news is that Boston will most-likely finish the regular season in the top-10 in the East. The bad news is that they really need to avoid the Play-In tournament and reacquire at least the 6th seed . Moving up to #4 or #5 would be a really tough road, but a better situation for a still-inconsistent crew. The 76'ers, Nets & Bucks have all clinched playoff spots and would be heavly favored to take out Boston in a 7-game series. Nothing to add here. The West presents a much-tougher challenge for Celtics The Suns, Jazz, Clippers and Nuggets have

Without "Green Light", three Celtics newcomers light it up

 The 129-119 loss to the Blazers last night was a tough one, but three newcomers to Boston lit up the score board, despite not having the "Green Light" mentioned by NBA analyst, Candace Parker. Rookies Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard, in league with newly acquired French import, Evan Fournier , supplied 39% of the Celtics points on 78% shooting from the field and 75% from 3-point-land. In reference to Parker's "Green Light" comment, a guest had broached a supposed sign Doc Rivers had posted in the locker room for the 2007-08 season , reading "No Dancing With The Ball" - obviously meaning that he didn't want to see iso-ball on the floor. Candace responded that the game had changed - Paul Pierce and Ray Allen had the green light to isolate at any point in the game - and that practice has become more common. Well, Payton, Aaron and Evan had no such liberty, but in the flow of the game, they put up 50 points on the board, hitting on 18-of-2

Aaron Nesmith's offense reminiscent of Reggie Miller and Rip Hamilton

 There is more to Aaron Nesmith's game than outside shooting. He hustles, rebounds, blocks shots and racks up steals . But it is his constant motion offense that opens up many opportunities for him and his teammates, and it is something that was somewhat lacking within the Celtics lineups. Prior to last year's draft, I projected Aaron Nesmith as my sole choice for the Celtics at #14. I felt he was the "constant motion" shooter Boston needed. https://t.co/iPZiPOliG4 Aaron Nesmith Highlights vs San Antonio Spurs (16 pts, 6 reb) https://t.co/PX3KpLs2xH via @YouTube — Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) May 2, 2021  The Vanderbilt product has blossomed in The Green's last two games, averaging 15.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.0 SPG and 1.5 BPG . The only question from many Boston fans is - why have we not seen more of him previously? With Brad Stevens' unpredictability in putting out lineups , Aaron could melt back into the fog from whence he came. But expect to see more of this ro

What will become of Kemba Walker?

 This is difficult to write. Kemba Walker is a fine citizen of the world and a cherished teammate in Boston, but his stay in Beantown has not worked out as planned. He is an undersized shooting guard who relies on speed and quickness to make an impact. But injuries and age have limited his ability to do that. Pegged as a big-minutes starter, Kemba has only participated in 39 games thus far this season. His average points (18.2 PPG), rebounds (RPG), field goal percentage (40.9%) and 3-point accuracy (34.8%) are all lows since his 2015-16 season with the Charlotte Hornets . Next season will be his third with the Celtics, and he is slated to earn $36 million . He has a player option in 2022-23 at $37.6 million .  Walker is the fourth major acquisition by Danny Ainge that has not worked out. Al Horford, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward all chose to head elsewhere, and rumors abound that Danny Ainge desperately tried to shed Kemba's large contract in the past off-season. As skilled

Jayson Tatum heading to future Top-5 and MVP consideration

 Having watched all of the Celtics superstars perform over the last 60-plus seasons, I tend to be restrained when I compare the rising youngsters. But last night's 60 point explosion by Jayson Tatum in Boston's OT 143-140 win over Gregg Popovich's Spurs was nothing short of spectacular . Down by as many as 32 points in the second quarter, Tatum simply took over the game and proved to be literally unstoppable. In an article prior to the game, I wrote the following : : Jayson Tatum-as-offensive coordinator  also seems to fit nicely. He is a deadly closer for the Celtics in the final minutes of a tight game, and his passing skills - and willingness to do so - gives him the nod. My label of Tatum as "offensive coordinator" was certainly restrained. It can no longer be denied. Jayson Tatum is one special player. His 60 points match Larry Bird's output on March 12, 1985 versus the Hawks , and here are the stats from both superstars - yes, that is my current labe