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Showing posts from April, 2023

Thoughts from Philly on the Celtics-Sixers series

 The Celtics Second-Round series is against the Philadelphia 76'ers and starts Monday. Here are some tidbits from the City of Brotherly Love via's Kyle Neubeck :  " It is Sixers-Celtics in the playoffs for the 22nd time in the playoffs, the most meetings between a pair of franchises in the history of the NBA." " As it pertains to the big man,  Philadelphia has been guarded about Embiid's availability, with Doc Rivers coy about what he knows during sessions with the media. The overwhelming consensus, though, seems to be that Embiid should be ready to go at some point early in this series, with much of the reporting centered around nice words like "optimism" and "hope" rather than "crying in a corner" and "praying for a miracle from the flying spaghetti monster."  "If Philadelphia has to go into Game 1 next Monday without Embiid, it should be noted that the Sixers' record without the big man is up

Marcus Smart and Al Horford: Unheralded heroes as Celtics move on

 The Celtics Jay Team gets most of the attention - as they should. And relative new additions to the backcourt, Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon certainly get recognized for what they supply, as does Rob Williams. But it occurs to me that I have written little about Al and Marcus recently. In Boston's 128-120 win over the Hawks last night to end the series, this guard/center duo was suberb. It was clear from the opening gun that Smart was taking no prisoners . He had "The Look" . And the production - to the tune of 22 points, four rebounds and four assists . The Wolverine handled his point guard duties perfectly. Often maligned for his shot selection, Marcus hit 49.3% from the field and 38.5% on 3-pointers in the 6-game Hawks series, averaging 16.9 points per game. Horford was equally valuable in the victory, He finished with a line of 1 0 points, 12 boards, four assists, two steals and three blocks . He was everywhere on the floor, playing like a guy in his mid-20'

C's locked in?!

  C's coming out very focused and ready to play. If the C's play D like this they should win. JB and Marcus are lighting it up tonight! Will these C's keep up their intensity?! Al Horford defensive weapon!  Young flops and flails on every call he dupes refs into. Disgusting is what it is. JT gets in the middle and jams it home! C's are rolling offensively, now the defense needs to keep up. C's need to wake up and close this series out.  C's with a slim lead after one...  Time for a nice Cs run, DWhite for three!!! The Celtics need to grow up... Stop playing with your damn food! I'm disappointed and disgusted are we a championship team or not?! How they continue to allow this trash team to be in the game is super annoying. I'm tired of watching this team look like crap. Playing to the level of their opponent.  Has any of our readers noticed we make every NBA player look better then they are. The C's are just garbage lately. I don't feel good about

Post-season breaks are on Celtics side - the time is NOW

 The Celtics no longer have to worry about the Milwaukee Bucks who were ousted from the post-season bo the New York Knicks . And should they finally put away the Atlanta Hawks , they would have home-court advantage for the rest of the playoffs. Their second-round opponent would be the Philadelphia 76'ers and Philly is currently without Joel Embiid who is out with a right knee injury. Meaning, that Boston should do everything in their power to take Game-6 in Atlanta tonight and hope Philly's big man doesn't return, at least for the first two games in Boston. So the stage is set. Boston was not able to win their fourth game versus the Hawks with Dejounte Murray among the missing due to a one-game suspension. The Green have the talent, depth and synergy to end the series tonight and quickly move against an Embiid-less 76'ers crew at TD Garden.  They acquired a few breaks not of their own doing. The time is right to "take the reins" and finish off Trae Young a

Fry em up and eat em!

 Currently speaking the Hawks are playing above themselves. C's need to tighten up on defense. C's need to stop playing with their food! I've had my fill of Trae Young and all his whining. He has talent but complains way too much! He's just a player that rubs me the wrong way.  C's need to establish themselves in this second quarter and kick the Hawks a$#. An ABSOLUTE ATROCIOUS CALL on Smart. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! Refs are keeping them in this damn game. What a set by the C's, JT finds Al for three!  C's better wake up and put this team away. Where is the killer instinct?! JB just rocked the cradle and scores with the left. Love how he's attacking! We have a tie ball game as we speak. Now is the time to run! Run! Run!  C's are raining threes down tonight. Back to back by Brogdon and Brown! Malcolm Brogdon is a MACHINE! The Sixth Man of the year!!! DWhite for THREEEEEEEEE!!! Let's Go! C's are playing with that we are gonna close these guys

Rob Williams, "Space Commander" - always at his post

 Does anyone else in the league control as much space as Robert Williams III? I am not just talking about his vertical dominance as Boston's "Sky Lord" . His quickness afoot serves him well in covering anything occurring horizontally past the perimeter - all the way to the hoop itself. In last night's defeat of the Atlanta Hawks, Rob provided 13 points, 15 boards, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Opponents are used to getting their shots blocked by the superbly-athletic center/forward wherever they are on the court. And his 15 rebounds don't reflect the number of caroms he taps to his teammates - nor do the two blocks indicate how many shots he prevents simply by his presence in the vacinity of any opponent. Rob affects so much out there on the court that never shows up in the stats . Williams III uses his athleticism to the fullest, but he seems to have a bit of trouble keeping control of the ball in heavy traffic . It may be beneficial for him to st

Time to cook up the Hawks.

 Anyone else tired of hearing that stupid Hawk sound?! C's come out in the first and weather the Hawks storm. The passing was a little iffy, but they hit shots when they were needed. JT seems to be locked in despite not getting any calls. He gets no respect from the refs. When will they give this man some respect.  I absolutely love how both Malcolm and Derrick are playing tonight. Those two guys have been a joy to watch this season. This freaking Hawks team is absolutely annoying to watch. Trae Young is a pouty little baby who needs to be put to bed. Murray seems to be an overrated player in my opinion.  C's need to sure up their defense. JB lost the mask and the wrap and is stepping up now! I fully expect these C's to put the Hawks away either in this second quarter or in the third! I really want to see the D step up and send these mediocre Hawks home for the night. Rob Williams looks good tonight. Very active and spry on the offensive and defensive ends.  C's have pl

Taking the Hawks lightly.

What was up with the Celtics tonight?? The defense was non existent. How do you allow the Hawks to shoot so well? Did they forget how to actively play defense?! Normally I would be very annoyed and probably pissed. Yet this is the NBA, every blind squirrel finds a nut.  I truly hope we see a Celtics team that actually decides to play D on Sunday. If not this series will be tied. Now that will truly enrage me. Unnecessary games being played is what eventually cost them last season. It was nice to see GWill get called upon tonight, and for the most part played well.  Both Tatum and Brown need to lead by example and get dirty on defense. When you work hard on defense, the offense generally follows. I hope tonight was a hiccup and come Sunday we roll. Come home on Tuesday and finish the job.  Bleed Green Celtic Pride!   

Sixth Man of the Year!

 We here at the Sentinel called this earlier! Welcome your Sixth Man of the Year.... Malcolm Brogdon! He receives the John Havlicek trophy fitting isn't it! If this award had gone to anyone else I'd be sick to my stomach. What I love about Malcom is he was very thankful for the award, but said this isn't the trophy he came to Boston for. Gotta love that mindset!  Malcolm Brogdon has been a favorite of mine the day he was traded to the Celtics. I was on vacation when I heard the news and was pumped. He has not disappointed this season. Every time he enters the game, he brings a calmness. He's a smooth operator!  Whenever this team has needed a big basket he's right there. His ability to get inside and in the paint has been incredible. His three point shooting has been unreal this season. He's an assassin! Excellent passer, pretty solid rebounder and very stout on defense.  I fully expect him to win us a few games in the playoffs, by making big plays. The next tro

Give Rob Williams credit for turning Game-2 around

  Robert Williams III is such a damn delight to watch . And his entry into Game-2 versus Atlanta turned the contest in Boston's favor. The Green were stumbling until Rob entered the game at the 6:45 mark of the first quarter - with the score at 17-9 with Boston trailing. Here's what then took place: 5:04 - Williams III layup on a feed from Jaylen Brown 3:45 - Defensive rebound by Williams III 3:37 - Layup by Rob on feed from Malcolm Brogdon 2:29 - Another layup by Rob on feed from Brogdon The first quarter ended with Boston leading, 28-25 . The Hawks were flying high until the appearance of Boston's SkyLord into the fray . Rob finished the game with eight points, five boards, one assist and two blocks. The Celtics are now uo 2-0 in the Atlanta series, with Williams III doing his efficient and effective work close to the hoop.  Did I mention what a delight he is to watch?

Joe Mazzulla taking K C Jones path on veteran minutes

 Flash back to the 1988 Celtics post-season . Coach K C Jones had his starters on the floor for major minutes. Larry Bird averaged 44.9 MPG - Kevin McHale logged 42.1 MPG - and Dennis Johnson went for 41.3 MPG in the playoffs. Robert Parish and Danny Ainge averaged 36.8 MPG and 39.4 MPG, respectively. How about rookie Reggie Lewis? He only saw the floor for an average of a paltry 5.8 minutes per contest. K C once responded to a question about his use of big minutes for his vets by stating that a team can not allow the opposition to gain any level of confidence . It appears Joe Mazzulla is following that same line of thinking. In Boston's convincing 119-106 win over the Hawks in Game-2 of the series, no one registed 40-or-more minutes, but the five starters all played between 32.0 MPG (Al Horford) to 39.3 MPG (Jayson Tatum) and remained on the floor with the game totally in hand by Boston .  Whether Mazzulla will continue this non-substitution strategy remains to be seen, bu

Cooking up some fried Hawks!

First Quarter Moments Hawks come out throwing haymakers, shooting plenty of three point shots. Which leads to a pretty decent lead. The Celtics defense and rebounding have been lax. Need to amp it up and put the Hawks back in their place.  C's have started to put the clamps on these birds and are fighting back! You have to love this team falling back on playing D and not jacking up threes. Defense was their calling card last season and it's needed now.  C's finish off the quarter with a BANG! Malcom Brogdon hits the deep deep three! I absolutely love this man. He does everything you want a basketball player to do. He's so damn smooth!  Second Quarter Moments  Both Jays seem to have an edge to them so far. Not only tonight, but last game as well. I truly believe that finals loss has left a horrible taste in their mouths. The only answer is to win Banner 18 and I believe they will! Derrick White along with Malcolm Brogdon have been two of my favorites this season and in t

"Payton's Place" is on the parquet tonight

 In case we forgot, Payton Pritchard had a pretty good game versus the Atlanta Hawks in the regular season finale. His triple-double of 30 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists was extraordinary. The 6'1" combo guard never saw the floor in Game-1 of the Hawks playoff series, and tonight's Game-2 matchup reveals no sound reason for not playing him. His lack of size is not an issue against Atlanta . I have presented my "play-him-or-trade-him"  argument in the recent past, and whatever plans Brad Stevens may have for Pritchard, sitting him in the Atlanta series makes no sense. Payton is signed through next season on his original rookie deal and will earn $4.0 million in 2023-24. The Hawks series is a fine opportunity to either showcase Pritchard as a trade chip - or give him some post-season experience when  his lack of size won't be a detriment on the defensive end.

Celtics playoff rotation 90%-set for Hawks series

 Joe Mazzulla stuck with eight guys in the Celtics Game-1 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. At least for this series, we can expect Derrick White (24 points, 5 boards, 7 assists, 2 blocks) to continue in his starting role - with Rob Williams and Malcolm Brogdon coming off the bench. Sam Hauser saw11 minutes as the 8th-player, while Grant Williams, Payton Pritchard, Luke Kornet, Mike Muscala, Blake Griffin and newly-acquired Justin Champagnie were all "DNP_CDs" . It appears that Mazzulla is content to test the post-season waters with Hauser to determine if he can be useful in this - and subsequent - series.  Grant Williams is the question mark. His minutes had dwindled in the last several regular season contests, and he never saw the floor in Game-1 versus Atlanta.  Limiting Al Horford's minutes during the regular season may not be repeated in the playoffs. He was third in minutes (38 minutes) yesterday, behind only Jayson Tatum and Derrick White.  This is Joe Mazzull

Hawks fly into Boston

  Will the C's take the Hawks lightly?! The hope is they will kick the crap out of these Hawks!  First Quarter Moments Derrick White with a nice block to set the tone on Trae Young. We have baskets by both Jays getting inside! This crowd is fired up right now! C's are attacking the rim! Let's Go!  The Celtics clearly have the size advantage on these Hawks!! Anyone in the mood for some filleted Hawk?! Marcus going off glass is a good sign! C's should be able to run these Hawks off the floor!   Right not the C's are dominating in the paint! The lead is slim, but it's time to pour it on. DWHITE for Three!!! There's my guy! Expect a big game from him today!  RWill just sent out that weak Hawks shot! Need him healthy all playoffs! C's with a decent lead after one.  Second Quarter Moments The C's are crashing the glass well in today's game. That's a very good sign, it's the little things that matter. Malcolm Brogdon with some good passing so fa

Boston's barriers to Banner 18

Tom: The Celtics battle for Banner 18 starts tonight when the Heat take on the Hawks - with the winner facing Boston in the first round. Miami is favored to be the Celtics opponent in the first round of the playoffs, and The Green split the season series with the Heat this season at 2-2.   If Boston takes the Miami series, they move on to tackle (perhaps) the 76'ers and then (maybe) the Bucks. Per FanDuel , The Bucks are slated to come out of the East to face - and defeat - the Phoenix Suns. The odds and projected outcomes are shown below. That's what we see on paper, but Joe Mazzulla and his guys don't agree with that potential outcome . In the possible Eastern Conference clashes, the Celtics will have problems with Miami but should prevail. Likewise with Philly. Milwaukee? The Bucks are favored by many to take the whole package this year, so expect a battle if the two powers meet. Boston's biggest challenge, if they make the Finals, would be the Phoenix Suns . They