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Showing posts from June, 2023

And the Celtics most-impactful free agent signing since 2010 is .........?

 Yes, ESPN's Tim Bontemps voted the Celtics signing of Al Horford in 2016 as their most-impactful free agent signing since 2010. And Bontemps makes a good case for the positive impact the "Dominican Gentleman" has had on the franchise. Boston Celtics Al Horford , 2016 Four years, $113 million It's easy to forget now, but in 2016 after Durant signed with the  Golden State Warriors , Horford was down to two choices to sign as a free agent: with the  Washington Wizards , or the Celtics. His decision to sign with Boston helped tip the balance of power in the East for years to come, as he has become a fixture of Boston's many deep playoff runs since then, while the Wizards failed to beat the Celtics in the second round in 2017 and haven't been back to the playoffs since.  -- Tim Bontemps Sending Horford back to Philly would be nasty work — Cameron Tabatabaie (@CTabatabaie) June 30, 2023 The Green may not have Banner 18 flying in the rafte

Kyrie me no Irvings!!!

 This attains (degrades to?) the level of absurd. Hardwood Houdini's Josh Cornelissen has broached the possibility of the Celtics signing Kyrie Irving in free agency. Danny Ainge's additions of Irving and Gordon Hayward  proved a disaster. Hayward had a season-ending injury minutes into his Celtics career, and Kyrie was a disruptive influence. The Celtics may still be recovering from that debacle. In Cornelissen's proposal, Brad Stevens picks up Irving on a sign-and-trade and sends Derrick White and Grant Williams (S&T). I am feeling ill! Let me see if I have this right. Boston picks up the "Logo Stomper" and all of his mental baggage - and sends away one of the most-likeable (and capable) Celtics players (White) - in addition to a guy that has the toughness lacking in some of his teammates (Grant). So Kyrie me no Irvings. Out of the question. Can't somebody just launch Kyrie into outer space with enough supplies to last past the trade deadline so h

Brad Stevens misread the title of my article

This is the correct title of my article from  June 13: Celtics need to focus on size, smarts and synergy in any transaction. I can only guess that Brad Stevens , with all of the hubbub of the impending draft, misread that title as something along these lines: Celtics need to focus on size, "Smart" and synergy in any transaction Brad added size in the form of 7'3" Kristaps Porzingas and traded away Marcus Smart. He obviously didn't read the article. So how about the "synergy" part? Well, Hardwood Houdini's Dylan Thomas has broached the possibility of a rift between Smart and Brown .  Though no direct information has surfaced about such a rift, there was clearly some discord on the court in the Eastern Finals versus the Miami Heat. Dropping the first three games with home court advantage - and then winning the next three (proving they had the ability to do so) - indicated something was not right within the ranks. So will the trade of Marcus lead t

A humble plea to a welcome pair of newcomers to TD Garden

 My followers remember this well. My simple plea to the Celtics Carsen Edwards for a card to be sent to my grieving great grandson, Carson Thomas Lane . - who had recently lost his 25-year-old mother to Cystic Fibrosis.  The response was staggering . Carsen Edwards, Marcus Smart and the entire Celtics organization stepped up.  It all made a huge difference. Carson turns 11 years old today , and I love this kid. His teachers label him as a "leader" and "kind" to others. He tells me, "I love my life!" (Excuse me as I wipe away a few tears). I am humbly making another plea for a 19-year-old youngster - Damien Merchant . Like Carson, his mom died when he was very young , and his father all-but abandonned him soon thereafter. Ironically, and tragically, he suffered a horrific, life-threatening accident on Father's Day, June 18, 2023 . Damien is now in his ninth day of hospitalization at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon , New Hampshire and

Celtics finally have "shooting with size" Danny Ainge wanted

  Danilo Gallinari at 6'10", was supposed to  fill that "shooting with size"  role voiced by Danny Ainge two years ago. That is, until the Italian import tore his ACL prior to ever taking the court for Boston. Danny Ainge on 98.5 on what @Celtics need.... "I would say maybe shooting, with size. ... We could use shooting, we could use passing. But you always need defense. ... I think that shooting at the big position is something we haven't had." — Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) February 4, 2021 Now comes  7'3" Kristaps Porzingis to Beantown. Make no mistake, this guy can shoot the ball from anywhere - under the hoop, mid-range, beyond the arc - and from the charity stripe .  I vividly recall Dirk Nowitski's performance in the 2011 Finals versus Lebron James and the Miami Heat. No member of the Heat could stop the 7-foot German . He seemed to hit almost every shot, despite an injured hand. The Mavericks took the series, and Dirk took the Fi

Why does Bob Ryan dislike Celtics' addition of Kristaps Porzingis?

 I have always been a fan of Bob Ryan, but apparently, Bob is not a major fan of the Boston Celtics new addition, Kristaps Porzingas . Ryan made his dislike of the Porzingis acquisition on his podcast. Here are a few excerpts: "I'm not a fan of this guy (Porzingis)" "He's 7-3, going on 6-2" This guy is 7-3 and he plays small. He always plays small"\ "Why is he on his fourth team in seven years?" "The last thing I needed in my Celtics life is another guy cranking up big, stupid threes" So why the dislike? Is it Porzingis and the way he plays? Or is it the modern NBA game itself . Ryan goes way back to the 60's when Bill Russell manned the middle for Boston. And then it was Dave Cowens in the 70's and Robert Parish in the 80's.   Russ and Dave played before the trey came to the NBA, but neither fired from long distance, although Cowens occasionally threw up a long ball. When Parish arrived, the 3-point shot had ben instit

Lessons in survival, awareness and bravery. The Damien Merchant story.

 One lesson learned from 20-plus years in law enforcement is - Your life can change in a heartbeat, often in devastating fashion. Such was the case on Sunday, June 18, 2023 - which just happened to be Father's Day. My wife, Linda, and I were at home in Errol, New Hampshire that morning while a 2-man crew from Brad's Tree Service were grinding stumps in our front yard. All Hell broke loose as Brad Montague ran to our front door yelling, "Call 911. Call 911!" . The next thing I saw was Brad's worker, young Damien Merchant , l ying motionless next to our driveway . I raced to Damien's side as Linda called for an ambulance - and as Brad had wisely requested - a lifeflight helicopter . Damien had accidently walked past the stump grinder too closely, and the grinding wheel had latched onto his lower-left leg. The damage to his leg was profound . The "lesser" damage had been done to Damien's lower-left knee. There was a very-deep laceration, and the

There will be Tony Allen comparisons with Jordan Walsh

 Picked early in the second round of the 2023 NBA draft, Jordan Walsh is bigger (6'7", 205 lbs.) than former-Celtic, Tony Allen (6'4", 213 lbs.), but their games appear to be similar. Expect the newly-acquired Arkansas product to be compared somewhat with "The Grindfather" . Danny Ainge openly admitted regretting letting Tony get away in free agency - and for good reason. Allen never averaged more than 11.5 points per game in his career, but he was a lock-down defensive ace. He was a 6-time All-Defensive player. And despite his height, he often shifted from the SG slot to small forward. Walsh averaged a mere 7.1 points per game in college, but his defense was stifling. That should translate well to the Big League, and I think the rookie will see at least small minutes during the regular season in 2023-24. Both T ony and Jordan possess that fierce focus on covering their man , and both have more-than ample wingspans . We look forward to seeing Tony Allen

Celtics replace Marcus Smart's defensive intensity with Pick #38

 The Celtics Marcus Smart has only been gone (to Memphis) a day or so, but Brad Stevens didn't waste any time trying to replace part of what The Wolverine brought to the court. With the 38th pick in the draft, Boston chose Jordan Walsh. The 6'7", 205-lb. Arkansas product is a defensive whiz with the size and physique to guard multiple positions ( per The Athletic's Kyle Tucker ): “ You want a high-ceiling, switchable wing defender in an NBA-ready body? Meet Jordan Walsh, the 6-foot-7, 215-pound former McDonald’s All-American with a 7-2 wingspan, 8-11 standing reach and an aggressive disposition who was selected No. 38 overall by the Celtics. He’s raw (at best) offensively and his stats don’t sing — 7.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, less than an assist per game and 28 percent 3-point shooting as a freshman at Arkansas — but he absolutely impacts winning. The Razorbacks scored nine more points per 100 possessions with him on the court than when he was off, which led the team.

Marcus Smart was all Heart

  I went to sleep believing there was still work being done on this trade. Little did I know the Celtics would trade the heart of the Celtics to the Memphis Grizzlies. Originally it was centered around Malcom Brogdon heading out. Instead it's Marcus Smart who has a one way ticket to Memphis.  Personally I was high on the drafting of Marcus Smart. His defense and fire in college told me he was gonna be good. From day one he showed he wasn't afraid to get dirty on defense. Defense was his calling card and no one worked harder. As the years progressed his defense never waivered. Even to the point of winning defensive player of the year when the C's made the finals and lost.  His work ethic on the offensive end showed improvements. He had a knack for posting up smaller guards, driving to the cup and eventually a decent three point shot. His decision making would always keep Celtics fans and myself shaking our head. Yet some way he made some epic key plays through his career her

Celtics have dealt Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies

 This reported pre-draft deal can certainly NOT be referred to as one of the : "tweaks to the roster" that Brad Stevens had mentioned. Marcus Smart is destined to join the Memphis Grizzlies in a 3-team transaction and the Celtics will, in turn, acquire the Wizards Kristaps Porzingis and the 25th overall pick in today's NBA draft.  Boston will send both Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala to Washington - to be joined there by the Grizzlies Tyus Jones . The Celtics will also receive Golden State's protected first-round pick in the 2024 draft. Porzingis will alomst-certainly have an immediate positive effect for his new team, but the hurtful part of this deal is the departure of Smart , the longest-tenured (9 seasons) Celtic. He was also the heart of the team and the pace-setter. This will be a blow to so many Boston fans that idolized The Wolverine's dedication to in-your-shirt defense and extraordinary hustle.   And thank you, sir, for what you did for my family

Breaking Breaking Breaking NEWS

 It's NOT OVER!!!! 

Breaking Breaking News


Breaking News

  Is this happening? More to come!  Also C's hire Tatum's good friend Amile Jefferson as an assistant coach. 

NBA Draft Thoughts

  As a kid growing up the NBA draft brought me so much excitement. I was usually at UMass basketball camp and spent time at my grandparents. I can vividly remember sitting on the floor or couch and writing each draft pick as it came in. I would go back during the season and see who was successful and who wasnt. I would also go back and see who the Celtics missed out on.  I feel the draft no matter what sport is the luck of the draw. Yet so many times the Celtics have plain fallen flat on their face. That doesn't mean they haven't hit the ball out of the park. Historically early on the Celtics were a team that could do no wrong in the draft. You just think about what could have been. Imagine if they drafted Giannis like I wanted them to.. Instead we end up Kelly O who I never cared for.  Imagine if they took Joker instead of James Young?! What a bust he was, Joker and Giannis would be quite the frontcourt. With that said as we enter into the draft tomorrow night, will the C'

NBA superstars want no part of coming to Boston

  The list is long - NBA superstars that have spurned Boston . Hell, even Jayson Tatum didn't want to be drafted by the Celtics . He preferred tha Phoenix Suns and the Arizona sunshine.  Kevin Durant wanted no part of Boston. Ditto for Anthony Davis. Now it's Damian Lillard expressing no desire to travel to Beantown. And perhaps soon-to-be-bought-out Chris Paul may follow suit in discarding Boston as a destination. NBA superstars seem to want the sunshine, warmth, beaches and "Party City" environments. They flock to the Lakers and Clippers in California, and Miami seems to draw a few. I personally think that the elite players don't shun the Celtics for any real-or-perceived flaw in the team's structure. I honestly think these superstars visualize a solid five months of cold weather - driving in snow - and not having the party atmosphere they can find in Miami or California .  We can't finish this piece without mentioning the bright lights and endorsem

Another Assistant Added

 C's add former player as an assistant more to come as we learn more. ☘️🍀🏀

Quite a haul!

 Michael Jordan has sold his majority stake of the Charlotte Hornets. Quite a haul for what he paid. Unfortunately Michaels run as owner hasn't panned out. Yet he still comes out on top financially. Personally MJ is my favorite non Celtic.  Michaels story always motivated me, cut from his sophomore high school team and never gave up. That led to playing for the great Dean Smith at North Carolina and we all remember what he did there. No biggie as a freshman he hit the game winning shots to help Coach Smith win his first title. He dominated in the 84 Olympics to help lead the USA to gold!  He burst onto the NBA scene and showed how special he was going to be. In 86 vs the Celtics in the playoffs he scored 63 in the Boston Garden. Quite a feat given who he was playing against. His competitive will, was second to none. From my perspective...  The road wasn't always easy especially facing those Pistons teams. Yet once he finally broke through, it's was pure beauty. He lead the

Celtics "elephant-in-the-room" is lack of a reliable center

 The issue with the Boston Celtics that is not often discussed is - how much longer can the team rely on a 3-headed big man at the center spot? T he Green really have not seen that since the 1969-70 season when Red Auerbach and Tommy Heinsohn were forced to go with Rich Johnson, Jim Barnes and Hank Finkle sharing the 5-spot. The 6'7" Johnson jumped center - Barnes came in when muscle was needed - and Finkel racked up the most minutes (23.3 MPG) following the retirement of Bill Russell . Boston fans now see the aging Al Horford, the undersized Grant Williams and the oft-injured Rob Williams filling that role .  We read about Boston having a plethora of guys at the guard position and needing another wing to hopefully cut the minutes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown . But not much is seen or heard on finding a long-term remedy at the center slot.  There is general agreement that Nikola Jokic and his Denver Nuggets could very well have another two or three Titles in their futur

Celtics path forward: (A) Beal? (B) Brown supermax or (C) trade to Portland?

  Let's get the Bradley Beal-to-Boston out of the way . The Wizards' guard is owed an average of roughly $52 million per year for the next four seasons - the last one being a player option. Sending Jaylen Brown or other players to Washington and taking on that kind of money is exactly what the Celtics don't want. Beal could end up in Boston with his long-time pal, Jayson Tatum , but the oft-injured Beal would have to arrive via some other path. Now to Brown's potential supermax deal. Should Brad Stevens go with that option, at best, that would reduce the team's wiggle room to roster an effective supporting cast . At it's worst, that move might cripple Boston's ability to remain truly competitive in it's quest for Banner 18. Now I present Option C . The NBA draft is one week away, and Stevens needs to consider sending Jaylen Brown to Portland for Anfernee Simons and the third-overall pick in the draft. Portland would have to send another player over

Is there a "core" problem?

 At their core, the C's have been led by JT, JB, and Marcus Smart. Is this trio the issue?! Are they the wrong mix of players? Does one or more need to go? Or should there be patience for a team that is still relatively young NBA wise. We see most players don't win their first ring until about that 27 year of age. There are some exceptions but realistically it does take time.  With that said does there need to be a shake up... I'll be honest I love JT and want him to become an all time Celtic. Trading him or letting him walk as a free agent should never, ever happen. JB I love in moments yet I could see them moving on from him. Do I want them too, no I really don't. They need a coach who will use his skill set the right way. Don't let him dribble the damn ball, have him become a cutter! Find a guy who can get him the rock in the right places with minimal dribbles.  Marcus Smart who I've loved since he was drafted... I'm torn, he brings a lot on the defensive