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Showing posts from July, 2021

Dear Jayson and Jaylen

      Dear Jayson and Jaylen, look at this year's NBA playoffs and Giannis as an example that loyalty and hard work can pay off. If you give your all to a franchise and they give back to you then you can achieve the ultimate glory on the hard wood. Look at how much that title in Milwaukee meant to those fans and that collective team. Ask any player from the Celtics what it means to win here - there is no better experience .       The culture of winning titles in Boston has been passed on from the 60s, 70s and 80s to the eventual 08 title team. There is a bond that is unbreakable when you win in Boston! Just ask KG or the Truth how much that title meant to them and the entire Celtics organization. Anything is Possible!       Look at the joy and exuberance that Giannis had by staying true to the team that drafted him. He didn't go and run away. He got down and dirty improved his game and dominated in the Finals. Look at Larry, Magic and MJ they all worked hard and climbed the mou

Ray Allen: Time heals all wounds

      Ray Allen was a player who was admired by Celtics fans. There were dreams of the young man who played at UConn in Celtics fans minds. In a steal of a trade by Danny Ainge, he acquired Ray and Big Baby Davis for Delonte West, Wally Z, and what turned out to be Jeff Green. Celtics fans will say Danny definitely won this trade.       Ray was a player who could score from  anywhere especially from three point land he was deadly out there. Ray also had a heck of a midrange game and could get to the hoop easily. An absolute complete player who, when teamed up with KG and The Truth, was a true threat to go off at any moment.       As a Celtic Ray had some memorable moments . During game 4 of the Finals vs the Lakers he played all 48 minutes scoring 19 points and had 9 rebounds. He was part of the 24 point comeback and even scored the clinching layup to put the Celtics up five. In the clinching game vs the Lakers. He had had a (then) record seven threes. He broke Larry Bird's conse

Back to basics on Celtics style of play?

      Where did we end up as a team this season in our style of play ? It all starts on the defensive end. Do we see that effort and fight on every play defensively! Can Udoka's defensive system motivate this core we have. Is it less complicated than Stevens system which gave other teams wide open shots on a lot of occasions. Let's get back to basics and work harder then any team defensively and let the Wolverine Marcus Smart lead us out there on the defensive end.       Offensively we need a team oriented system that gets everyone involved and leads to easy shots. No more just going one on one. Here's an idea how about we run more just like Tommy Heinsohn used to say! Imagine a team that works hard defensively and and runs the fast break flawlessly. We have the players who can do it. Imagine having Brown and Tatum just flying down the floor getting easy transition baskets.       Another offensive idea that should be encouraged is go to the hoop! We have all seen Brown

Giannis and the Bucks: No need for more super teams

      The Bucks winning a title proves that super teams are not necessary to win an NBA championship . Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks proved if you have a team that plays as a team, you can win it all. A team that believes in itself. A cohesive unit with one goal in mind. Giannis proved that loyalty to the team that drafted you is something special. They went through tough losses together yet he didn't pack up and join a super team. His team in fact beat a so called super team.       Super teams were a response to Danny Ainge, through shrewd trade, was able to put together a team that had Kevin Garnett , The Truth , and Ray . When they broke Lebron James in Cleveland instead of going back there, The King went and started a so called super team with Wade and Bosh.  And even though they won a few titles, they lost more than they won. What the Finals showed us is that a trio of superstars isn't necessary to go really far in the post-season. All that's needed is a super-T

Not drafting Gianni Antetokounmpo ranks second in Celtics misfortunes

 I don't label Danny Ainge taking Giannis Antetokounmpo 15th in the 2013 NBA draft as a blunder, or even bad judgement. No NBA coach, GM or analyst could envision what the now-League Champion and Finals MVP could be. So lets call it unfortunate that we won't be seeing a starting-5 of The Greek Freak alongside The Jay team, Marcus Smart and Al Horford this coming season. The Celtics slipping to number-3 in the 1997 draft and missing out on Tim Duncan won't be included in this rating. The Evil Emperor of Beantown, Rick Pitino , was in charge and would most-likely would have butchered his handling of such a fundamentally-sound talent.  So the greatest misfortune in Celtics history has to be the early deaths of Len Bias and Reggie Lewis , taken in successive (1986 & 87) NBA draft s. I lump the two players together since, had they lived, they would have paired to possibly prolong the careers of Bird, Parish and McHale in Boston, and perhaps add a couple of banners to

Kevin McHale: The Swiss Army Knife

           Kevin McHale was the man of many moves. He could fake you out of your jock in the low post. He had it all. He could go inside and destroy you or even hit that midrange shot and later in his career knocked down some threes. He out leapt, out spun, and out maneuvered all his opponents and that led Charles Barkley to say he was the best player he ever played against .       Drafted with the 3rd overall pick in that steal of a trade for Robert Parish by Red Auerbach . Kevin's impact on the floor came very quickly. In game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 1981 during their 3 to 1 comeback he rejected Andrew Toney to secure the win for the Celtics. In game 4 of the NBA Finals in 84 with the Celtics trailing in the game and series, he made the infamous Rambis clothesline play which not only spurred the Celtics to a win in the game but eventually a title!       A little known fact was in free agency Kevin signed with the Knicks.  So what was Red's answer - to go and

Robert Parish: aka The Chief

      Robert Parish also known as The Chief, had no ego when it came to playing for the the Boston Celtics. A versatile big who could run the floor and finish fast breaks. His longevity and dependability were very impressive for a big. His high arching shot was like watching rain fall down. He was a strong defensive player who always had the knack for clutch rebounds and blocked shots.       Starting his career in Golden State, The Chief was labeled with a bad reputation. You never know a player until he's on your team and when Red Auerbach went calling to Golden State and offered the number one pick for Robert and the third overall pick history, was made. At first he was surprised to be traded but he was jumping up and down for joy to have a fresh start. Chief loved that the Celtics were all about team. They played for the name on the front of the jersey not the back of it.        When Robert joined the Celtics they also used that 3rd pick to draft Kevin McHale and when they

Danny Ainge: Hard nosed as player and GM

      Danny Ainge the player could be described as hard nosed, brash, a pest that infuriated his opponents. He was also a legit three point threat and could he score! He was tough as hell, willing to go up against guys like Jordan and get in heated exchanges as he did in 93. Danny Ainge the executive could be described as shrewd, intelligent, probably brash! It got to the point where no GM wanted to trade with Danny in fear he would make them look like a fool.       Ainge was a three sport athlete playing baseball, football and you guessed basketball . He played three years of professional baseball with the Toronto Blue Jays. You could say his toughness on the court came from playing football. He won two titles with the Boston Celtics in 84 and 86. During one of his seasons in Bean town he had career highs in three point and free throw percentage. Danny made the All Star team in 1988.       In 89 Danny was traded to the Kings for Ed Pinckney and Joe Kleine . For some Celtics fans it

Dennis Johnson: "Best Teammate Ever"

      Dennis Johnson was a late bloomer in regards to his NBA career. Early on in his career he was known as a scorer and dunke r. Later in his career he was know as a defensive stopper and some say the most underrated player of all time. No matter where he played he left an impact on that organization.       Early on in his career he was coached by the great Bill Russell . Things didn't work out and eventually DJ was coached by Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkins who was able to maximize DJ and they went on to win the 1979 NBA title where he won the NBA Finals MVP . After maximizing his time in Seattle he ended up with the Suns where he never reached that title glory.       Then Red Auerbach came calling and traded for DJ. When asked about the trade DJ said " Dream Come True" and when asked about Red he said " living history" . When he came to the Celtics he was established as their point guard and boy did he flourish. He became the Celtics glue man!       In the

Steph Curry; He Makes It Rain Everywhere

      Steph Curry has become the deadliest outside three-point shooter of a generation , if not historically. No matter where he is on the floor, when he lets it fly, it's a thing of beauty. That release and follow through, the sound of an all-net swish - it's basketball heaven. His handles are impressive as anyone's on the floor and he can get to the hoop as easy as anyone. When he gets to the free throw line it's game over. This season showcased he could put a team on his shoulders and elevate them all.      Steph was the 7th overall pick taken by the Warriors. He's a three time NBA Champion winning in 15, 17, and 18. His game is transcendent and that's why he's won the MVP twice . He's a seven time All Star. Been named to the All NBA first team four times and the second team twice as well as a third team honor. He's a two time NBA scoring champ as well.       As all greats do,  Curry has gotten better in all aspects of the game each and every y

I miss my camps

  In northern New England  most of us call them camps, not cottages or cabins . I was  lucky   enough to have had two of them.  Sundown on the west shore of Aziscohos Lake My first camp was not really mine, but as a kid I felt that it was.    My grandfather built it in the    mid 1950’s by the shores of    Merrymeeting Lake  in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.  My   grandfather was an avid fisherman, and the area lakes, ponds and streams provided new    opportunities for him. However, he was not able to enjoy the camp for long. He died soon  after its completion. My mother named the camp  “Joe’s Haven”  in memory of her dad and   painted a sign with that inscription. The camp was a simple structure. It was small and had no insulation, running water or indoor   toilet facilities. We carried drinking water from a nearby spring, and we bathed in the lake.   For a 10-year-old boy it was better than a palace. The camp was only for sleeping, eating and   reading comic books.    The rest of

Reggie Lewis: Gone too Soon

      Reggie Lewis : What could have been. As his career and game were ascending,  suddenly, tragically he collapsed during a playoff game in 1993 vs the Charlotte Hornets which turned out to be his final game. His last moments in this earth were spent on the court during an off season practice. He was special and was going to be that next great Celtic .       How many players can say they were on a roster that consisted of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish and say they were becoming the best on the team well that's what was happening with Reggie. Lewis had some epic moments during his years and especially in the playoffs when the Celtics needed him the most.       Reggie could do it all and get to the hoop with ease. His midrange game was becoming unstoppable. He could even knock down an occasional three even though it wasn't as prevalent as it is in today's game. Defensively he was nasty! In a single game he blocked the great Michael Jordan 4 - yes 4 - times!

Any free agent wishing to be "THE GUY" in Boston need not apply

  Danny Ainge tried this, and it failed miserably . In  2017, he acquired Kyrie Irving (trade) and Gordon Hayward (free agency) , both of whom wanted to be "THE GUY" to lead the Celtics to Banner 18. Boston fans know how that went! The main point here is that the 2021-22 season will determine if Jayson Tatum will take control of on-court leadership of The Green. Damian Lillard's name has surfaced as a potential target for the NBA teams, including the Celtics, but there is no way he ends up in Beantown. Dame coming to Boston at the expense of losing Jaylen Brown or Marcus Smart negates any such deal immediately, but Lillard would take over the reins of the Celtics in a season that is do-or-die for Tatum-as-on-court leader . Jayson will be 24 mid-way through the 2021-22 season, and at that age Larry Bird had control of The Green quite firmly. And at that same age, Paul Pierce was well on his way to leading his crew, unfortunately as a one-man show. The Celtics fal

Bill Russell: The Greatest

      William Felton Russell aka Bill Russell aka The Greatest. What words truly convey this man not only on the court but off of it. Winner, fighter, class, leader, and so many many more. Not only did he accomplish a lot as a basketball player, he did so much as a civil rights leader which  the character of this great man. As a player, he did all the little things but did them with a greatness. He was a dominant defensive player, he could block any shot, play man-to-man D like you have never seen and could teach a master class in rebounding. He never averaged over 19 points in any season yet let's be real. He could have averaged whatever he wanted.       Talk about a winner in college! He led San Francisco to back to back titles in 55 and 56 . Following that he led the USA to gold in the Olympics. Selected by the Boston Celtics in the draft allowed history to write itself. Bill was an eleven time NBA champion winning in 57, then 8 titles in a row from 59 to 66, finishing with

Damian Lillard: No Moment Is Too Big

      Damian Lillard is a guy who any team would love to have, and each and every fan base as well. When you watch him play, you say damn he's got no fear at al l. No moment is to big for him. He's got it all.  He can drive and get to the hoop. He's good at the midrange game. When you talk about his three point ability, you know he can knock it down from anywhere.       Taken sixth in 2012 Draft out of Weber State, the sky was the limit and expectations were high. He did not disappoint in his rookie year where he captured Rookie of the Year honors . He also made the All Rookie First Team . He made the All NBA team in 2018. He's a four time All NBA second team and one All NBA third team as well.       He's a six time All Star and the only other Blazer to ever do that was Clyde the Glide Drexler  Talk about some amazing company. Especially given the players who have graced the Blazers organization over the years. Dame has won the J Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award w

Don't expect home-run deals with Brad Stevens at the helm

 Former Celtics GM, Danny Ainge , hit two home runs in three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays prior to joining the NBA in Boston. He also hit the same number as Celtics boss, luring Kevin Garnett to Beantown and working a heist with the Nets to eventually acquire Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum . I suspect that Ainge was looking for his second home run with the Nets deal because he realized he could not remain at the helm of the Celtics forever. With Brad Stevens at the wheel, don't expect any such blockbuster trades or free-agent acquisitions. Bringing in Al Horford for the 2016-17 season was significant, but not a blockbuster. Al left of his own accord via free agency, but he is back - and Boston is the right place for him. Effectively trading the injured Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving proved to be a bad move. Ditto for bringing in Gordon Hayward at the same time in 2017. Both stars wanted to be "The Guy" with the Celtics, and that was never going to work. Irving

Cedric Maxwell: Big Game Baller

      Climb on my back boys! No more infamous words then those before game 7 of the 1984 NBA Finals vs the Lakers. Cedric Cornbread Maxwell delivered after those impactful words. During that same series after James Worthy missed a key free throw in game 4 Max walked by him making the choke sign.       Cedric Maxwell lead his college team to the Final Four in 1977. A smaller college in UNC Charlotte not your typical big time college, pretty impressive and speaks to the talent and skills of Cornbread.       Cornbread had some of the best low post skills of any player ever to take to he hardwood. He had an uncanny ability to fake the defense into the air and score easily . Another skill of Cornbreads was to draw contact from his opponents and get to the line. He also had a pretty decent hook shot as well.       Cornbread was a two time NBA Champion winning in 81 and 84. Taking home F inals MVP in 1981. He was dominant and consistent during that entire series. As mentioned earlier, i

Sam Jones Greatness on the Court

           Sam Jones was an amazing player and winner on the basketball court. He was a part of the Boston Celtics when they were the most dominant team in basketball history . No team in the NBA had a run like they did, winning 8 titles in a row and no team will ever come close to that. Another measure of a man is his service to his country and Sam served the US Army for two years.       Sam was part of the the dynamic duo of the Jones boys alongside KC in Boston. Sam was there for ten NBA title teams from 59 to 66 as well as 68 and 69. His role on those teams was of huge significance during those magical runs. He was a five time All Star . He was named to the NBA's 25th and 50th anniversary teams. His number 24 is hanging in the Boston Garden. Sam "Mr Buckets" Jones is in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Jones was part of the first all black starting five in NBA history!       Sam's ability on the floor gave him the nick name Mr Buckets! He was incredibly quick on th

JoJo White, Celtics Iron Man

      JoJo White the iron man of the Boston Celtics. Another under-rated Celtics player in their long history. An all time Celtics player who played the game the right way with class and excellence.        JoJo was a 2 time NBA champion in both 74 and 76 . He was instrumental in both runs and was validated by winning the F inals MVP in 76 . He made the all rookie team when he entered the NBA. He was a seven time All Star. His number 10 hangs in the rafters where it belongs! He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015 and ask any Celtics fan. It was long overdue!       He was part of the 68 Olympic team . Did you know he served in the Marine Corps?! Talk about a tough individual. He played 82 games for 5 straight years - a total of 488 consecutive games for the Celtics. He was one of sports first Iron men. Little know fact about JoJo:  He was in two movies. He was in the 1980s film Inside Move and he was also in the The Game Plan in 2007. In 2012 JoJo started a foundation

Why these NBA Finals are good for basketball

     Bucks vs Suns is good for basketball and the NBA! While the main stream fan who is only into the big names will say this final doesn't have KD, Harden or LBJ so I'm not watching . Well there are plenty of reasons to watch. First let's start with the Bucks who have the Greek Freak leading them with other unheralded stars like Kris Middleton and Jrue Holiday . Hard nosed players like PJ Tucker and Bobby Portis Jr .      The Suns are lead by Chris Paul and a burgeoning star in D Book . A true big in DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges who can just about do everything. A blossoming coach in Monty Williams who has maximized this roster and they play as he did with heart and savvy.       Both the Suns and Bucks have had very long absences from the NBA Finals and both fan bases deserve to enjoy this ride to the fullest. These two teams represent the word Team . Basketball has and will always be a team game. Lead by stars but the pieces around them are more than just the ot

New Celtics additions don't necessarily have to be vets

 CelticsBlog's Jeremy Stevens writes about the Celtics having a clean slate and benefiting from adding some solid veterans .  A soft reset could benefit the Celtics, who could seriously use some bench depth this offseason. Nothing dramatic, but some solid veteran signings would go a long way. I won't disagree with that, but I might add that The Green already have some solid vets that can help set the tone in the regular season and playoffs. Marcus Smart , at 27 years of age, is the longest-tenured Celtic, and Al Horford , at 35 years, will be rejoining The Wolverine on the parquet. Add in Evan Fournier, age 29, if he and Brad Stevens can reach an agreement, and possibly Tristan Thompson , (age 30) if the Celtics retain him. It is likely that Jayson Tatum rises to the level of team leader this season, but veteran stability is always needed for any valid Title hopes. I constantly bring up the current Phoenix Suns roster, and the only "greybeard" in the mix is 36-year