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Showing posts from January, 2021

Jaylen Brown as starter for Eastern All-Stars - Let's go!

NBA analyst, and former-Celtic, Kendrick Perkins thinks Jaylen Brown should be named as a starter for the Eastern Conference in the upcoming All-Star game. I totally agree. . @KendrickPerkins has given us his All-Star votes early 👀📝 — NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 29, 2021 This young man needs more credit. Jaylen's stats this season are very close to those of his partner, Jayson Tatum. The difference comes in the number of games each has played. Brown has participated in 12 contests, while Tatum has been there for 12. Jayson absolutely "held the fort" while Jayson was out of action due to COVID protocols. In addition, Tatum already has one All-Star appearance under his belt, and it's time for Jaylen to get recognized for his accomplishments on the hardwood.  Perkins has picked Brown to be alongside JB's former teammate, Kyrie Irving, in the back court. And Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kevin Durant make up his starting fiv

The "Wolverine of Causeway Street", Marcus Smart, won't be traded

Is it ever going to end? It seems a day doesn't go by that some NBA writer or analyst proposes a trade that would send Marcus Smart out of Boston. Unless Danny Ainge envisions a deal he simply can't refuse, Marcus sticks in Beantown. Please never trade Marcus Smart, thank you — Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) September 12, 2020 I doubt there are many NBA teams out there that would not love to have this determined-and-ferocious defender on its roster. But at what price? I sincerely doubt that Ainge would be offered any player or players with enough value to justify Smart's departure from Boston. Marcus just does what needs to be done to win games. This season, with Kemba Walker out to start the season, Smart has averaged career-highs in minutes (32.3 MPG), points (13.6 PPG), assists (6.2 APG) and steals (1.9 SPG). He constantly leads the League in floor burns, and many fans feel that, with him in the game, any contest is winnable. Why do Celtics fans

Loss to San Antonio showcases everything wrong with these Celtics

  Last night's loss in San Antonio was another typical, unnecessary Celtics loss. This team has the potential to compete for an NBA Finals, but there are some recurring issues that must be addressed if they want to achieve at the highest levels. This most recent defeat serves as a tidy microcosm for what the green must address Lack of Competitive Spirit Underwhelming losses have become a trademark of the Celtics in recent years. They routinely lose games for no reason other than a lack of execution and competitive spirit, and it's becoming a concerning pattern. While this team has plenty of talent, their ability to "flip the switch" is not there, and it's a cause for concern. Too often  they allow lesser teams to hang around, and are unable to finish them off. Championship level teams know when to engage that next gear, but the Celtics have yet to find that. They are still young and growing, but this has been a repeated theme since the ECF vs Miami. The Medium 3 (

Brad Stevens fear of major minutes for Rob Williams needs to end

Prior to the season, the Celtics Rob Williams projected that he would take a "great jump" in his third season with Boston. But it appears that coach Brad Stevens may be holding him back. Rob Williams has always been known as a leaper, but this season he plans to take a different type of jump on the court. — Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 8, 2020 In last night's 110-106 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Rob saw only 13 minutes of floor time. How did he do? He scored  six points on 3-of-3 from the field, while hauling down seven (7) rebounds, four of which were of the offensive glass.  He added one assist, one steal and one block, while committing only one turnover and racking up a single foul. I took the time to project what that may have meant had he been on the floor for 36 minutes: 17 points - 19 boards - 3 assists - 3 steals, 3 blocks - 3 turnovers - 3 fouls Yes, I know my 36-minute projection is pure fantasy! Or is it? Here are Williams III&#

How does Jay Team rate with Lebron/Davis and Leonard/George pairings?

I won't be overloading my readers with tons of statistics here, so don't leave me. This is simply a rough comparison between the Celtics "Potent Pair" of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown with the Lakers "Dynamic Duo": of Lebron James and Anthony Davis, in addition to the Clippers Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. All six players are regarded as high-level defenders, so I will stick to the 2020-21 offensive stats here. Here we go: Tatum/Brown:      53.9 PPG - 12.6 RPG - 7.3 APG - 2.4 SPG - 1.3 BPG James/Davis:         47.0 PPG - 16.8 RPG - 11.0 APG - 2.3 SPG - 2.3 BPG Leonard/George:  49.8 PPG - 11.6 RPG - 11.1 APG - 3.2 SPG - 1.2 BPG Not a lot of surprises here . The Celtics pair takes honors on combined points. Jayson and Jaylen are known as volume scorers this season. Lakers take it on rebounds and blocks, and with the size and athleticism of The King and The Brow, it would be expected. The Clips win on assists and steals (barely), and we see the assist category

My interest in basketball originated in Lawrence, Massachusetts - kind of

Bill Russell's former home, Reading, MA How the Hell did a 5'9" guy with limited athleticism get so involved with basketball? Well, I have to give credit to the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts. No, I didn't live there, but my high school friend did - until he moved next door to me in Reading, Massachusetts. As I learned later, it appears that every young male in Lawrence played basketball. My friend, Dick, did, and he got me interested. A hoop in the back yard was the start, even though it was a late one by most standards - with me as a high school senior. Then came college in Lowell, Mass. where most of my friends came from nearby Lawrence - and yes, played basketball. We played in the college gym constantly - between classes - during skipped classes - during any spare moments. Later in life it was pickup games at the YMCA and a few leagues, but nothing more organized than that. Early on, when I wasn't seeing the ball much, I learned from Bill Russell's book t

Celtics untapped talent pool - trade or development? Maybe a bit of both.

Many unknowns surround the Celtics young-and-untapped talent pool. Think about this! We have started to see rookie Aaron Nesmith emerge in the past two games, both wins for Boston. In the two contests, Nesmith logged a combined 35 minutes and scored 20 points on 7-of-11 (64%) from the field and 6-of-10 from 3-point land (60%). The 14th-overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft  also managed seven rebounds over the 2-game span and received some accolades on his defensive effort. There may be more to Aaron's game than sniper-level marksmanship. Aaron Nesmith showing off his defensive skills. #Celtics @NBCSCeltics — Celtics Updates (@allhailtacko) December 16, 2020 Fellow rookie, Payton Pritchard, is another story. He has looked poised (and been productive) since he first stepped on the parquet. Despite lacking elite athleticism, he is quick, decisive - and has terrific body control. He looks more like a 3-year vet than a raw, first-year guy taken late (26th) in

Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis perfect supporting cast for Jay Team

Upon Jayson Tatum's return from COVID protocols, he and Jaylen Brown combined for 50 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the Celtics 119-103 win over the Chicago Bulls. But it was the supporting cast consisting of Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis that assisted their star duo seal the victory. Smart and Theis shared team-high honors with plus/minuses of +21. Marcus had a double-double in 26 minutes (13 points, 11 assists), while Daniel garnered a line of 19 points, and three-each of rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in 28 minutes of action. Jaylen Brown is 7th in the NBA in scoring. Nearly half his assists have come from Marcus Smart. And the duo leads the league in field goals and points generated by any combo. “Me and Jaylen have had lots of talks about this year.” — Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) January 25, 2021 With Kemba Walker out to start this season, Marcus has really focused on his facilitation, and it shows. One of Smart's main targets

Isiah Thomas on Jaylen Brown: "One of the top 2-way players in the League right now"

To say that Jaylen Brown has found his offensive rhythm lately with his partner, Jayson Tatum, on the sidelines would be an understatement. He poured in 42 points in Boston's loss to Philadelphia on Friday, hitting 57% of his field goals and 62% of treys. In last night's 141-103 victory over Cleveland, he set an NBA record by scoring 33 points in 19 minutes of playing time in the game. He was 65% from the field and 75% from beyond the arc. That is offensive rhythm. Jaylen Brown's 33 points in 19 minutes tonight are the most by any player in fewer than 20 minutes played during the shot clock era (1954-55). @EliasSports — (@nbastats) January 25, 2021 Jaylen's superior play lately has caught the attention of NBA TV's Isiah Thomas. In this morning's broadcast, Thomas labeled Brown as one of the top two-way players in the League right now.  Over the last three games, Brown's 33.7 PPG rank sixth in the NBA despite only log

Will the remnants of the Irving-to-Boston trade add to Celtics losing streak?

This wasn't supposed to happen. The Celtics are on a 3-game losing streak and take on a Cavaliers crew that has won three games in a row. The Cavs sit in sixth place in the East with an 8-7 record, while Boston holds the fourth spot with an 8-6 record. The Cavaliers Collin Sexton, Larry Nance, Taurean Prince and Jarret Allen are all in Cleveland, at least in part, as a result of the Kyrie Irving-to-Boston trade. Sexton was drafted eighth-overall by Cleveland in the 2018 NBA draft using the Nets' first-round pick owned by the Celtics. Nance, Prince and Allen arrived directly, and indirectly, via the Cavs later trade of Isaiah Thomas to the Lakers. The Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto answered a few questions on the Irving deal between the Celtics and Cavs: Q: How can you say you’d rather have Sexton over Irving? A: Irving has had three knee surgeries. He’s had shoulder surgery. Over the last three seasons, he missed an average of 30 games per year. He’s missed 8-of-17 games this

Payton Pritchard with only a Grade 1 MCL injury. A sigh of relief!

Celtics guard, Payton Pritchard , has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 medial collateral ligament injury (MCL) and is expected to miss two weeks. Celtics guard Payton Pritchard has a Grade 1 MCL sprain in right knee and expected to return to on-court activities in two weeks. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 23, 2021 Pritchard suffered the injury in Boston's loss to the Philadelphia 76'ers on Friday night. The injury should heal on its own without surgery.  Types of MCL injuries MCL injuries can be grades 1, 2, or 3: A grade 1 MCL injury is the least severe. It means that your ligament has been stretched but not torn. A grade 2 MCL injury means that your ligament has been partially torn. This usually causes some instability in your knee joint. A grade 3 MCL injury is the most severe type of ligament injury. It occurs when your ligament has been completely torn. Joint instability is common in a grade 3 MCL sprain. Payton and the Celtics dodged a bullet on this one. Witho

It's anybody's game in the East - Time for Celtics to separate from the pack

If the NBA was looking to establish balance in the League, it seems to have found it, at least in the Eastern Conference. One month into the 2020-21 season, the Philadelphia 76'ers sit in first place in the East with a 12-5 record, followed by 12 teams with a .400 record-or-better.  Only the Washington Wizards (3-8) and Detroit Pistons (3-13) sit below the .400 mark. Here are the rankings for the top-10 Eastern Conference teams. TEAM W L WIN% GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD OT LAST 10 STREAK 1 Philadelphia 76ers 12 5 0.706 -- 12-3 4-1 9-1 3-4 1-0 6-4 W 3 2 Indiana Pacers 9 6 0.600 2 5-2 2-0 5-4 4-2 2-0 5-5 W 1 3 Milwaukee Bucks 9 6 0.600 2 7-4 5-0 6-2 3-4 0-0 7-3 L 2 4 Boston Celtics 8 6 0.571 2.5 7-6 1-4 4-2 4-4 0-0 6-4 L 3 5 Brooklyn Nets 10 8 0.556 2.5 7-5 3-0 8-4 2-4 0-2 6-4 W 1 6 Cleveland Cavaliers 8 7 0.533 3 7-5 1-2 5-3 3-4 2-0 5-5 W 3 7 Atlanta Hawks 8 7 0.533 3 5-5 0-2 4-3 4-4 1-0 4-6 W 3 8 New York Knicks 8 9 0.471 4 6-6 1-3 3-4 5-5 0-0 4-6 L 1 9 Chicago Bulls 7 9 0.438 4.5 3-3 0-