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Showing posts from October, 2021

Putting Marcus Smart's one-game suspension into context

 The Celtics Marcus Smart will be suspended for tonight's game versus the Miami Heat for a violation of a rule specified by Coach Ime Udoka . That violation is supposedly for missing the team's flight to Orlando for Wednesday night's game. The alleged infraction did require consequences, particularly for a key player that seems destined for co-captaincy this coming season. Udoka is not fooling around with his newly-acquired and talented squad. But the suspension is for a pre-season game where the win-loss status means little. Coach Udoka has set the tone for the season! Join in - follow the rules, and we should have a successful season. All is well in Beantown!

Random thoughts on Celtics 103-102 loss to Orlando Magic

    Random thoughts on Celtics 103-102 loss to Orlando in pre-season play        It seems that lulls in offense are something this team will need to improve on. Too many turnovers are also leading to this lack of offense. When the extra passes are made, it usually ends up with the Celtics scoring. It creates open shots and the motion on offense is something to look at next game.       Before getting hit in the nose we are seeing what Payton Pritchard can do. Knocking down threes, getting the ball to his teammates, and hitting the mid range jumpers. He can legitimately be one of your bench scorers. Kid has no fear and up in basketball heaven Tommy Heinsohn is pleased .             Rob Williams hustle and moto r are huge to this teams success. He worked hard on all ends of the floor tonight. His passing was efficient, and he hit some shots tonight. Wait till he and The Wolverine get their alley oops going this season.          Romeo Langford made some nice cuts tonight , He had a nic

Interesting game tonight for a short-handed Celtics team.

      So we have no Al Horford or Jaylen Brown due to Covid protocols. Pile on to that where Josh Richardson, Dennis Schroder, The Wolverine and Jayson Tatum are getting a day to rest. Who do we see tonight make the most of their minutes? The assumption would be that Payton Pritchard and 3Smith should be major contributors tonight. Do we see some of that summer loving where they go off?       Will we get more minutes for Hernangomez who appears to have a motor that goes hard. Do we see Rob and Grant a lot on the floor together? We know what we have in Kanter, with that incredible running style up and down the floor. Is this a Romeo game filled with loving threes?      Ultimately tonight's game could give us insight into who takes that final roster spot? Is Jabari going to bring that talent and show why he was a top draft pick? What about Sam Hauser  - will he light it up?  Garrison Matthews anyone.  Let's see what he's got in the tank from deep! Do we get a Theo Pinso

Prediction: Kyrie Irving will get vaccinated within the next week

  Kyrie Irving was never going to be a team leader in Cleveland with Lebron James at the helm, and Boston fans saw what happened with his dream to lead The Green to Banner #18 . And seeing that Kyrie's present Nets teammate, Kevin Durant , remains the top player for Brooklyn (and maybe in the NBA), no leadership role will open up for Irving there. So now, it appears that the restless point guard wishes to make a statement for the hoards of individuals losing their jobs over COVID vaccine mandates. Multiple sources with direct knowledge of Kyrie Irving’s decision have told The Athletic that Irving is not anti-vaccine and that his stance is that he is upset that people are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates. More from @ShamsCharania : — The Athletic (@TheAthletic) October 13, 2021  Now the Nets leadership has taken a strong stand on Irving's refusal to be vaccinated . There was really no other logical course to take. Br

Grant "The Man" Williams in Preseason Game 2 vs. Raptors

      Some random Celtics thoughts from Celtics 113-111 victory over the Raptors. Refs suck even in preseason, Tatum goes to hoop no call, Drajic gets barely hit it's a foul! When will the scales ever be equaled out with calls for the Green? Never!       Romeo is building confidence! Will he stay healthy, does his impact carry into the regular season?       Marcus can drive, shoot and get to the hoop! He can also get the rock where it needs to be. A Junior DJ in the making?       Grant can do it all! Threes! Drives! Defense! It's preseason so let's see how he carries everything into the regular season.          So far no Jaylen - no hierarchy? JT has to assume that leadership role on the floor without the other half to the Dynamic Duo       Al is back and it feels so good to be reunited! We have missed everything you do Al. The Jedi Master to this Celtics team.        Payton chipped in with 11 and 5 . If he bumps that up he will be one of the first calls off the benc

Al Horford back where he belongs in 113-111 win over Raptors

  Al Horford was back where he belongs in Boston's 113-111 win over the Toronto Raptors . He was the starter at power forward, supplying a bit of everything to the victory. Here is his production summary: 24 minutes - 16 P - 3 R - 2 A - 1 S - 2 B - 6/9 FG - 4/4 on 3s The numbers don't tell the whole story. The stability Al transmits to his teammates can not be minimized. I suspect he leads his life like he plays on the hardwood - never too high or too low. Horford will never be labeled a superstar in this League, but he brings exactly what the relatively-young crew has needed all along - a quality and seasoned vet with high character . Can you tell I love this guy? Al Horford’s now 4-for-4 from three @Wendys — Celtics Lead (@CelticsLead) October 10, 2021 How much did Al's team and fans miss that reliable shot from long distance? His return to Beantown was not accompanied by bright lights and huge fanfare , but we are thrilled to have him back

The movie, NBA Lane, is magical perfection

  You just knew the premier of NBA Lane was going to be special right from the start when the overhead cloud formation is that of the NBA logo. Masterful stuff! Then, unbelievably, it got better. Once I got over the fact that, at 77 years of age, I am two years older than the League I write about , the film was absolutely charming. 'Bout time I've been recognized for my 6-plus decades of following the NBA. — Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) October 5, 2021 NBA Lane has it all. The old guys - the youngsters - the rivalries - but most of all, the memories and the hope that the young guys bring to a League that has entertained us for 75 years through tough times and joyous seasons ( per ):  • The morning clouds look like Logoman • Magic Johnson’s street address is 32 NBA Lane, Larry Bird’s is 33 NBA Lane – they (obviously) live across the street from each other on NBA Lane • Dwayne Wade lives at #3 NBA Lane • Oscar Robertson lives at #181 NBA Lane –

It's on the Big Dawgs to score

      Jaylen Brown  scored 25 points while Jayson Tatum scored 18. A sign of things to come this season. They will be the Celtics Big Dawgs on offense this year. There should be no surprise there given how each guy can go off and dominate. It's gonna be nice to see them dominate together on a regular basis. With that said they will need to trust other guys to step up. Roles need to be defined and taken.       Calling PP, 3Smith, along with an Al/DS combo! Clearly PP and 3Smith can hit the deep one, both players give their all out there. Sacrificing their bodies for the team. Each player is an assassin that Brown and Tatum can kick out to. Both players can get to the rim. With Al and DS I see the pick and roll, and pick and pop bring very useful between them. Dennis Schroer is another baller with no fear .       Or is there another player who will step up? The Wolverine when he isn't distributing the rock. He does have a decent post up game and can get to the rim off the dribbl

Seven former Celtics indicted in alleged fraudulent NBA health care scheme

 At least seven of the 18 former NBA players indicted in an alleged scheme to defraud the NBA health care plan played for the Boston Celtics. Ronald Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Sebastian Telfair and Milt Palacio. were all members of the Celtics at some point and now face charges in the $4 million scheme (per Yahoo Sports Liz Roscher): Jonathan Dienst of NBC New York reported on Thursday that 18 NBA veterans were named in the indictment, and all are facing a count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud. These are the names reportedly in the indictment, which was unsealed Thursday: According to Dienst,  who reviewed the grand jury indictment, the three-year scheme allegedly involved the former players submitting fake reimbursement claims for exams and procedures that were never done. The indictment alleges that they took in around $2.5 million from a total of nearly $4 million in fake claims Alan Anderson Anthony Allen Shannon Brown William Bynum Ronald Glen Davis Chris

Al Horford, Rob Williams as "SKY KING" and the "over-coaching" trend

 I am sticking to my preferred Celtics starting-5 of Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Rob Williams and - yes - the veteran, Al Horford . Ime Udoka starting newly-acquired Juancho Hernangomez at power forward versus Orlando in exhibition is simply early roster-tinkering. That's what coaches do in exhibition play. Expect a different look in the starting quintet on Saturday, and I have no idea what that "new look" will resemble . I expect a different face at power forward, and Jabari Parker may get a look as a starter. But when the real battles begin in the regular season, expect Horford to be out there for the starting gun. Ime Udoka seems to be in a "switch everything" defense mode , having sufficient youth, depth and size to make it work - but the question is - would this be the best defensive strategy. Pro basketball is more a game of instincts than long-thought-out strategies more-conducive to winning at chess. With a premier shot-blocking center l

No sign of lasting effects from wrist surgery for Jaylen Brown vs. Magic

 We didn't hear much of Jaylen Brown during the off-season, but we are used to that. He is coming back from wrist surgery , but you couldn't tell by his stellar play in Boston's narrow 98-97 win over the Magic in Exhibition play. In 26 minutes of action, Jaylen poured in 25 points from everywhere - and in many ways. Turnaround fade-away, corner 3-pointers, several catch -and-shoot scores, full-court driving layup. He did it all on the offensive end. He also compiled four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block . Brown had a beauty of a driving, behind-the-back pass to Al Horford for a corner trey, and his on-target lob pass to Jayson Tatum was perfection. Despite recovering from wrist surgery, Jaylen Brown excelled in Boston's 98-97 victory over the Magic. Jaylen Brown 25 pts 4 threes 3 asts vs Magic 2021 Preseason via @YouTube — Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) October 5, 2021 Wrist surgery?   That apparently w

Random thoughts on Celtics 98-97 win over Magic

          First quarter thoughts , Jaylen Brown looks slimmer yet his shot is just as sweet. No fear going to the hoop. Jayson Tatum looks bigger, ready to go at his opponents. We saw some good ball movement. Good effort on the defensive end. Juancho isn't afraid to bang . We saw some fight on going after the ball and extra passes. Shroeder and Al Horford have a nice connection and good pick and roll. J Rich getting a block, a reminder of his defensive pedigree. The Wolverine showed his willingness to be the facilitator. There were some defensive breakdowns and a few bad turnovers.        Second quarter thoughts , JT used his new frame and massive shoulders to post up and get buckets. We see that P ayton Pritchard has no fear, willing to take and make 3s. The Wolverine showing us he can get to the hoop with his strength, plus the ability to drive. We saw more of Juancho's energy on that offensive rebound. Al making plays, setting screens, playing tough D and hitting a thre

Rob Williams projected for breakout season

 Having already labeled R ob Williams as the most-physically-gifted big man since Bill Russell , with a healthy season, this could be a breakout season for the 23-year-old phenom ( per's Zachary Hanshew ): Robert Williams III (C – BOS) Didn’t we just witness Time Lord’s breakout? Not quite. In 2020-21, Williams averaged just 18.9 minutes per game while posting some strong numbers. The scary part? He’s got a lot more room to grow. Williams wasn’t played consistently, but when given the minutes, he showed out. In 11 games with at least 25 minutes, Williams averaged 11.5 points, 9.3 boards, 3.6 dimes, 2.5 blocks, and 1.0 steals across 26.7 minutes per contest. It’s a small sample size, but Williams has been a productive per-minute player throughout his career. With a new contract and additional opportunities for minutes, the sky’s the limit for the 23-year-old big assuming he can stay healthy. Williams III, with sufficient minutes, can easily lead his team in rebounds, blocks

The Boston bench may be the difference-maker this season

 My readers know the starting-five that I feel is the best mix of offense, defense, seasoning and overall skill. That would consist of Al Horford, Rob Williams, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart . I think the "two-bigs-won't-cut-it" argument has no basis. Rob is 6'8" tall, the same as Tatum, and he can play as a mobile center or a wing. Admittedly, questions remain on the composition of the second unit, but to start the season, I like Dennis Schroder, Payton Pritchard, Josh Richardson, Jabari Parker (if he makes the team) and Enes Kanter coming off the bench.  Granted, that leaves Aaron Nesmith, Grant Williams, Bruno Fernando - and several new additions of whom we know little - as contenders for the back-up quintet. So why did I put Parker into that second unit when we are not sure he will even make the team? My position is - if he ends up on the roster, he needs sufficient minutes to prove, or disprove, his value to the team . This could be a make-o

Which major trade target is the best fit with The Jay Team?

      Celtics fans, we have heard the moves this off-season are leading to a big trade? Names of guys like KAT, Bradley Beal, and Dame Time , just to name a few. Is there a sleeper out there? Honestly you have a great duo in The Jay Team! From this writers perspective, I'm only looking at wanting to add a player of their caliber but not looking to ship JB out. I mean other teams like the Fakers rip off most teams for their stars.       Now the question is which star best fits with what the Celtics have? I'd say KAT does . He's a modern big, but has the skills to post up or stretch the floor. Having him along side Tatum and Brown would scare both the Fakers and Nets. Offensively they could kill you inside or out!        Not that Beal or Dame wouldn't fit either because they could run your point of a three headed scoring monster alongside JB and JT. Not to mention both are offensive juggernauts!       Or is there a sleeper we don't yet know that Brad or Ime covet. Ho