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Showing posts from November, 2021

The CelticsSentinel Citation award winner last night?

       Let us give you some context to start. Over his past six games these are the numbers. 15 points per game, followed by 5 RPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.2 steals and only 1.8 turnovers. In that six game stretch the Celtics are 4-2 . His shooting percentages have been 47 % from the field, 36 % from three and 82 %  from the line.      Last night he had 21 points on 7 of 16 shooting, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists . Not to mention many other plays that don't hit the stat sheet. With that said our Celtics Sentinel Citation Award goes to? The Wolverine! Marcus Smart!       We would like to give a shout out to honorable mention JRich. Dude gave it his all last night . He goes hard on every play. He had 18 points on 6 of 11 shooting along with a rebound and 2 assists. He to made plays not on the stat sheet.   

Marcus Smart as sleeper for Defensive-Player-of-the-Year/2022

  Bleacher Report's Dan Favale has broached the Celtics Marcus Smart as a sleeper candidate for the annual NBA Defensive-Player-of-the-Year Award .  Positionless defense is normally reserved for suffocating wings and bigs with fast-twitch feet. Marcus Smart doesn't just break the mold. He shatters it. Standing 6'4", he can just about guard all five spots on the floor. The Boston Celtics have no qualms about lining him up opposite quasi-bigs. The award normally goes to the defensive-minded bigs, and the last guard to take the award was Gary Payton back in 1996.  Smart marries his interior strengths with hyperactivity and a generally monstrous workload. Only  seven players average  more deflections per game, he competes like hell for loose balls and nearly two-thirds of his possessions are spent guarding opponents with top-three usage rates on their team, according to  BBall Index . Deflections, steals, in-your-shirt defense, taking on the bigs near the hoop - and gene

Celtics dispel SI's portrayal as "borderline-boring" with win over Raptors

  I wrote about this portrayal pre-season  when Sports Illustrated rated the Boston Celtics 14th in "watchability" , based on how entertaining their performance would be. Frankly, SI was not far off, but Boston's win last night over the Toronto Raptors was a team-generated victory - and a damn entertaining one. The Guys-in-Green did it the right way this time, starting with Jayson Tatum . He only took 16 shots in the game - making two of them . But he did his best Larry Bird impression on an off shooting night , handing out a team-high 10 assists , to go with seven rebounds and a plus/minus of +13 . The guy that publicly criticized the Jay Team for being selfish at times put forth a solid line of 21 points (team-high), 8 boards and six assists . Marcus Smart , often taking heat for his reckless shot-taking hit 44% of his field goals, 40% from deep and 100% from the foul line . Al Horford had yet another double-double consisting of 17 points and 11 rebounds . Grant Will

THE KNIGHT'S NOTES: Celtics advance to 11-10 with win over Toronto

      "We're going to figure it out, I'm certain of it," -- Jayson Tatum.         1st Quarter        Ball Movement Leads to Good O        Ball movement is the key to good offense , when we see this team move and make the extra pass we get what they can be as a team. Multiple possessions, found their way home in the bottom of the cup. What was a hair worrisome was some lax play on D against a team that is struggling. If they can clean up their D things will play out well.       Al brings the calm waters in the game      When Al Horford is on, he brings so much to this team . His leadership and play on the court bring a calm to this team . He does whatever is asked of him, His level of play is elite given his age. When the rest of the team follows his lead they are very successful.  Celtics lead 27-26.      2nd Quarter        More Ball Movement is twice as nice       We were able to see some more efficient and effective ball movement come the second quarter. As Celtics,

Golden State Warriors: Lessons on team construction, roles and hierarchies

 Interesting fact! The Champion 2007-08 Celtics and current Warriors team have something in common. They hold down the 3rd-and-4th spots, respectively for Largest Point Differential (since the merger) over the first 19 games of the season. That Boston squad had a PD of +265 , while Golden State had a PD of +258 . So what? Well, it's all about team-construction. The 2015-16 Warriors team holds the number-one spot in Point-Differential-Over-First-19-Games, and Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green headed that crew. That also holds true for the current, 2021-22 version of Golden State , although Klay has yet to play this season due to injury. NBA TV's Steve Smith and Greg Anthony discussed the Warriors 17-2 (best in the West) start this season, and Draymond was the focal point . As in the 2015-16 season he remains the "point forward" , leading the team in assists once again with 7.8 APG. As Greg Anthony put it, "They run most of their offense through

THE KNIGHT'S NOTES: Analysis of an "almost" comeback loss to Spurs

        1st Quarter        Cold As Ice To Start Again        Early on we saw a true lack of energy on both ends of the floor . Very slow defensively, hands were not active at all . On offense there were way to many one and done possessions. Shots were not falling at all, the frustration on that end led to lazy, effortless defense . It's early, but this is no way to start a long road trip. Currently speaking Celtics are playing mediocre ball at best. Until that changes it will be a long season.        Who Will Carry This Team        Calling Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum , what is with this come out with no energy on either end as a team? The true greats do not allow this kind of play to seep into any game . Even in games they struggle, they find ways to make things happen. Going forward tonight and next game we need to see that out of these two studs who are both capable of true greatness. Celtics trail 30-14 , how does an NBA team only score 14 points in a quarter. Truly this is u

Celtics need a third star or the Jay Team has to nurture one

 No, I'm not writing this because of the Celtics' loss to the Nets last night. The buzz around the League has been that Boston has two paths to get back to solid contention for Banner #18 . Either The Green have to land a third star to complement Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown , admittedly a long shot - or the Jay Team needs to "assist" a current teammate into that role. From : This team will go as far as Brown and Jayson Tatum take it. To get to that next level, they need to step up their game, and according to one NBA executive, they are just not doing it right now. “Jaylen and Jayson aren’t making anyone better,”  a Western Conference scout said . “I put that on them.” Note the emphasis on "assist" above! Jayson Tatum's assist numbers have dropped from 4.3 APG last season to 3.5 APG for 2021-22. Brown's numbers have dropped even more - from 3.4 APG in 2.0 APG this season. The two Boston stars have also seen their potential assists

THE KNIGHT'S NOTES: Celtics show fight-in-the-4th, but lose to Nets

      1st Quarter     Injury Report-   No RWill or JRich         Not The Best Start on O or D         Ice cold shooting to start offensively for the Celtics, they moved the ball but just couldn't hit their shots in the early going. On the defensive end, does anyone remember that Patty Mills is a shooter?! Midway through the quarter the Celtics ability to drive and score was a template to success. Seeing the Great Bill Russell in the crowd is a joy. It also begs the question how does he feel about today's game?       The Wolverine is on the prowl       Marcus Smart has found a hole in the Nets defense , and no, it's not jacking up three s. His ability to drive and score can be a key to victory. Dennis Schroder came in and followed suit . Smarts passing also had an impact on the over the shoulder to JT. Then he found a cutting Al for two. When Marcus drives and distributes he's at his peak on offense.    Celtics trail after the first 29-22 , despite the cold start they

The ABCs of the Celtics' part in the growth of the NBA

 I'm talking about Red Auerbach, Walter Brown and Chuck Cooper . We still hear and read a lot about the late Redhead, but little about his former boss, Celtics owner Walter Brown , and the first black player ever chosen in the NBA draft, Chuck Cooper . Brown signed Cooper to a contract with the Boston Celtics despite antagonistic reactions from around the League. Brown famously maintained that he would have selected Cooper even if the latter had sprouted polka dots. Sounds like something Auerbach would say . It is no wonder that Walter and Red got along so well as the NBA was in its infancy. Damn the torpedoes, and full-speed ahead . Cooper could play, and that was all that mattered. Brown took a man for who he was , regardless of race, color, religion or any other designation. He made deals with a handshake and stood by them . Drafting Chuck in 1950 in the second round opened the door for others of color seek fame and fortune on the hardwood. Several years later, Walter signed an

Envelope Please! We have a winner from last night's victory over Rockets

      The b iggest and brightest move of the off season was bringing back the great Al Horford . His presence, leadership, stability and play have been huge for this team. He does it all - rebounds, blocks, steals, he can score inside and out. He has a great connection with his teammates and they love him. Celtics fans love him , this writer does, and so does the Sentinel. His value to this team is infinite. He's been a huge piece of this 8-3 in the last 10 games.       With all that said, last night Al had 11 points, 11 rebounds,  4 assists, and 2 steals . He's like a swiss army knife, that can do everything. Due to his excellent play we are awarding him with our Celtics Sentinel Citation Award . 

Anna Horford let's fan know Al's value to the Boston Celtics

 Some fans of pro basketball just take the contrary view just to be...well - contrary , with no solid basis for their stand. Such was the case when when Al Horford's sister, Anna Horford, overheard an argument centered around the value of her brother to the Boston Celtics . No true Boston fan doesn’t love Al!! — Stephanie (@smars319) November 23, 2021 Al's value. Let's take a look at his team stats : Scoring: 4th at 13.1 PPG Rebounds: 2nd at 8.7 RPG Assists: 3rd at 3.5 APG Steals: 4th at 0.9 SPG Blocks: 1st at 1.9 BPG (tied with Giannis for 6th place in the NBA) Minutes: 6th at 29.4 MPG   One more thing about the blocks. That is new for Al . He is the only player over 29 years of age in the top-6 in blocks. Horford is 35. This gem-of-an-individual needs to prove nothing to Celtics fans, but I bet he needs to prove something to himself. Have I ever mentioned I love this guy?

THE KNIGHT'S NOTES: Celtics don't take foot off the accelerator in win over Rockets

       1st Quarter       Jayson Tatum Hot Start        Starting where he left off the last few games. Jayson Tatum has been nothing but the best player we have. He hit a fall away which is hard to defend. He went to the hole looking for contact . Nailed his step away - how can you block that? He doing himself for a nice dunk off an Al feed. Found himself at the line again. Keep going to the paint!       Defense Was Stout  - Offense hit or miss        Defense started out very strong, they blocked shots, collapsed on the ball when it hit the paint . There were plenty of active hands and contested shots. They had a few lapses, but overall solid defense. Offense was good and bad . A few nice moments where the ball was moving but some of the shot selection was terrible. Celtics lead 22-21 , need to see a better flow on offense, and better shot selection.      2nd Quarter       Playing to the level of your opponent is not a recipe for success        Lazy passes on offense are not the way to

WHAT IF: Marcus Smart was blessed with 4-or-5 additional inches of height?

 By his own admission, Celtics defensive whiz, Marcus Smart, has the most trouble guarding the small quick opposing guards. But at 6'3", he handles the big centers without any assistance - and does it quite effectively. So what if Marcus had an additional 4-or-5 inches to his frame? That puts him at 6'7"-6'8", just short of the former-Celtic I often use as a comparison to Smart's intense ferocity on the court - namely Dave Cowens . When Brad Stevens said about Marcus Smart "We love and trust him", it became a rally cry for those who understand what Smart brings to the Celtics. This play here exemplifies why Smart is Loved and Trusted. — Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 21, 2021  When it comes to voting for the NBA Defensive-Player-of-the-Year , the bigs often get the nod , thereby leaving the "little guys" in the dust . But imagine, just for now, a Cowens-size Wolverine manning the center or power forw

Our Award winner after Saturday's win over the Thunder is ...

        One if the best surprises of this season has been the play of Dennis Schroder . He's lighting quick at getting to the hoop - changes speed and direction like a squirrel - nails threes, and can hit a jumper or floater when hes got it going. His defensive intensity truly annoys and frustrates other teams. Next to star JT last night, he came to ball out.        DS shot 59.1 from the field, and shot 42.9 from deep . Talk about some beautiful numbers on offense. He scored 29 points, had 4 rebounds, and added 6 assists . With that effort and skill he's is the Celtics Sentinel Citation Award winner for the game vs the Thunder.   

THE KNIGHT'S NOTES: Solid win over the Thunder

        1st Quarter       Team was flowing on offense       On offense in the first we saw some well flowing offense. Ball movement was key to their success. Smart was distributing, Horford was his Amazing Al self . DS is so sneaky quick, getting a runner and multiple jumpers. GWill continued his sharp shooting. We even saw Romeo get a bucket .        Tatum Came To Play         JT was getting the rock to his teammates . Finding Smart for a three, then to DS for an open shot. The scorer he is found the cup hitting some pure jumpers . When he had the open three it was smooth as butter. Talk about his D - he stuffed Dort like a turkey.  Celtics lead 30-23 off a offensive driven first .       2nd Quarter       Offense continues it's flow like a smooth river .        Offensively they continued their pure passing, we saw Kanter get involved . JRich continues to prove his work getting assists and buckets. The Team D seemed to be a well oiled machine out there.         JT Smooth operator  

Grant Williams fulfilling the wish Celtics fans held for Semi Ojeleye

  Keith Smith just posted what so many Celtics fans have been thinking. Grant Williams has been working on his body and his game, and he seems to have transformed himself into the 3-and-D/rebounding forward that had been hoped for Semi Ojeleye . Random thought: Skinny Grant Williams is everything the Celtics hoped Semi Ojeleye would become. — Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 21, 2021 Last season, I felt that Boston could not hold onto both Semi and Grant, and that came to pass with Ojeleye heading to Milwaukee. Last season for the Celtics, Semi logged 17.0 minutes per game, averaging 4.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 0.7 APG, while hitting 40% from the field and 37% on 3-pointers.   This season for Boston, GWill is averaging 20.6 MPG - 7.5 PPG - 3.2 RPG - 1.0 APG, while shooting 51% from the field and 43% from beyond the arc . Last night, in the Celtics 111-105 win over the thunder, Grant came away with 14 points, 8 boards, one assist, one steal and two blocks. He was 56% on field goals and

Many Celtics played well vs. Lakers, but Marcus Smart nabs our award

     What exemplifies Celtics basketball? Heart, soul, bleeding green, or someone saying it's my life?! Well that's what you got out of the Wolverine Friday night. While you could say the whole team was worthy, we at the Sentinel went with the Wolverine, Marcus Smart!       Marcus Smart is awarded the Celtics Sentinel Citation Award . Scoring 22 points, securing 8 rebounds, dishing out 6 assists, and getting 1 steal . He shot 69 percent from 2 and 50 percent from 3. He also was just giving it his all out there. Communicating with his teammates on both ends . Congrats Marcus!        

Dennis Schroder: Keeper, trade chip or gone this off-season

 The Celtics owned the paint on offense in their 130-108 victory over the Lakers, and German import, Dennis Schroder , played a major role in that ownership. He and Marcus Smart, manning the backcourt for Boston, combined for 43 points on 63% from the field, 33% on 3s and 78% from the foul line. The pair also collected 14 rebounds, six of which were off the offensive glas s. Dennis and Marcus also shared assist honors with six apiece . At 6'3", they controlled much of what went on in the paint. Schroder has been criticized for his penchant for turning he ball over, But frankly, where would the team be without him? He is the Celtics third-leading scorer at 17.3 PPG and is logging a career-high 33.0 minutes per game in Boston.  Granted, he also turns the ball over more than any other Celtics (3.0 per game) , but he is not much more turnover-prone than Jaylen Brown (2.9 TOs/game) and Jayson Tatum (2.7 TOs/game) . He will never be a long-range marksman, but his ability to drive

THE KNIGHT'S NOTES:Celtics with big win over arch rival Lakers

      1st Quarter          Tatum Needs To Be The Catalyst       JT came out nailing his first three point shot. He used his quickness to get to the hoop but just couldn't finish. He did look to distribute during the first, on a nice offensive set found Al for a sweet three. Tatum's ability to pass is very underrated. His shot still isn't falling as regularly as it should. He will need to carry this team tonight.      Defense played by Celtics equals fouls?      Early on the Celtics seemed to be very aggressive on defense, yet for some reason the whistles didn't stop, it was a conga line of Laker free throws . Midway through the first, the D didn't look very good and the Lakers went on a run. The calls were not as plentiful for the Celtics on offense.  Celtics trail 38-30 , J osh Richardson came in and was a spark plug, getting into the paint , and nailing a huge three from the corner. Defense needs to play better or it could be a long night.         2nd Quarter   

Celtics vs. Lakers tonight - "Birthplace of Education" vs. lights, warmth and sunshine

       What is a rivalry? Found this definition,  "Competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field ." We all know that the Lakers objective has always been to beat the beloved Celtics even if it means using refs to do so.   Just look to the video evidence of game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals . The Celtics were robbed.  To this writer it seems the Lakers are always chasing the Celtics. One team does it the hard and right way, the other does it with lots of help, read: the Pau Gasol trade, plus many others. Players just gifted to them over the years.       The Celtics franchise is never gifted any players through trades or free agency. They always seem to be ahead of the curve and the architect of that curve was Red Auerbach -  outsmarting everyone, Then it was Danny doing the same getting KG, and Ray, thereby making every other NBA GM gun shy regarding any trades with Ainge.       Never in any game or series have the Celtics had the benefit of having the r

Jayson Tatum has received much criticism, but light shines at the end of the Garden tunnel

      While this season hasn't started the way Celtic fans expected, there is light at the end of the Garden tunnel . If last night's any indication, Jayson Tatum seems to be picking up his stride. In 38 minutes last night, he shot 54.5 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three . He scored 34 points, had 9 rebounds, and 5 assists . He even had a nice block, overall defensively he was hustling. One things for certain he needs help - cue JB on Friday .             JT has deserved the criticism he's received this year, but not to the extent in the media. From this writers perspective, he's still growing and learning as a player. He's only 23! Let's give this young man a chance. He will lead this team to glory once again. I know we all expect a leader who is loud and looks the part. JT is a different style of leader and player.       Watch him as he talks to his teammates in his own subtle way, working with them on the floor and during timeouts. Think bac

Did Trae Young Have Another Big Game Vs Celtics? Read More To Find Out

        1st Quarter        Defensively Hawks Lit Up Celtics     Trae Young was able to thwart what the Celtics did trying to trap him . While the Celtics did get a few steals, the Hawks had way too many open threes . Huerter looked like a HOF in the first. Knocking down everything he took. The D did force a 24 second clock violation but way to many open looks for the Hawks.       GWill The Starter Stepped Up       GWill received the call to start, and he didn't disappoin t. He hit threes from both corners , it seems he's found his stroke again. He had a nice cut while the Wolverine drove and got a deuce. Then he found the basket once again.       Jayson Tatum did not disappoint      JT came to play this quarter despite missing his first shot. He found his teammates distributing the rock. He got to the line off of going to the hoop! He had a few easy dunks, and he nailed a nice three! He's starting to look like himself ..  Celtics trail 30-29 , still within striking distance

You Have Waited All Day, and Here It Is - CelticsSentinel Citation Award

      It's been a few days since we saw a win, Celtics fans. How are we feeling after last night's win? Good, bad, or indifferent. There were plenty of positives in last night's game. One of which is who we chose as our CelticsSentinel Citation Award winner .         Grant Williams came through with 11 points, 4 rebounds,  1 assist, and 1 steal. He had a plus minus of 10! He also kept multiple offensive possessions alive. His maturation this season is something to watch! He continues to improve 

10 quick insights into Celtics season and last's night's win

Some pertinent, quick insights by Ty Ray on the Celtics season thus far. Little needs to be added, but I will inject a few of my own thoughts.  Celtics Monday Thoughts: 1. I miss Jaylen 2. JT's shooting will come around 3. Team needs another scorer 4. Schroeder is a steal 5. Schroeder's a great trade chip 6. Richardson is coming around 7. Smart doing Smart 8. Celts game ending o sucks 9. Beat Cle 10. I miss PP — Ty Ray (@coug88) November 15, 2021 1.) So do I. Jaylen seems to have added some additional quickness and trickery to his dribble work over the summer. This team needs him back to accomplish anything major this season. 2.) It didn't happen last night vs. Cavs (35% FG, 7-of-20), but the shooting slump will end for Jayson . And he played a team game in the Celtics win (5 assists, 8 boards). 3.) I believe there is another scorer on the bench. Brown's return will help, but one-of Pritchard, Nesmith, Langford, JRich or GWill may step into the role and take the added

Coach Udoka's comments registered with Jayson Tatum, at least for one game

 Lest we forget, rookie head coach, Ime Udoka, gently took Jayson Tatum to task , stating: "Jayson showed frustration on his shots (versus Cavs in the previous game), but you've got to play through that,'' Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. ''He had some turnovers late -- some sloppy ones -- but he has to find a way to affect the game in a positive way when his shot isn't falling.''  That seemed to have an effect on Tatum, at least for last night's 98-92 win over Cleveland . Jayson played 36 minutes, but his shooting slump continued. He took 20 shots but made only 35% of them (7-of-20 FG, 2-of-8 on 3s) . But he continued his strong board work, totaling eight rebounds for the game, but the major stats were his five assists (tying Marcus Smart for team honors in that category) and only two turnovers .And he got to the foul line seven times , making all of his attempts. Tatum added one steal and two blocks. It was only one game, but it was a win, and B

Specific thoughts on a come-back 98-92 victory over Cavaliers

      1st Quarter       Team Wise Thoughts from the First       We saw some pretty good ball movement in spurts, but no consistency . If we aren't executing on each offensive set to perfection, we aren't scoring. These slow offensive starts need to subside as well. Watching this quarter, Celtics fans saw some terrible turnovers . Defensively the heart and effort were not in it early which led to easy points for the Cavs. They eventually got their defense right and finished the quarter very well . Defense wins games!       Marcus Smart has value but with less shots.         When your point guard is over shooting there's a problem . Marcus misses more than he makes and that's what we saw this quarter. He did have an excellent steal which led to Tatum getting an easy hammer dunk. When Marcus over shoots, it's a sign that he's really doing way too much. If we get the Wolverine-who-passes as the distributor then we are in good shape.  End of the first Celtics trail