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Showing posts from April, 2024

Celtics Brad Stevens named NBA Executive-of-the-Year

Yes, it's true. The Boston Celtics now have yet another mastermind tagged as the NBA Executive-of-the-Year . It is official, and Brad Stevens, true to his character, gives plenty of credit to virtually everyone in the Celtics organization, except himself. So well deserved, Brad! 

Many thanks to the "White Hot" Heat fans for solidarity behind Derrick White

 Particularly with the Boston-Miami rivalry in full swing, it was amazing to see so many Heat fans at the Kaseya Center in full "White Hot" garb (per ): "The coolest thing about White Hot is HEAT Fans understanding the power of their solidarity. When everyone dresses in white for HEAT Playoff games, they become a collective unit—one incredibly loud voice that creates the atmosphere and energy that can help make a difference in the outcome of a game.:"  There you have it. "One incredibly loud voice that creates the atmosphere and energy that can help make a difference in the outcome of a game" Those Miami fans   simply knew that that the Celtics Derrick White was going to have a career night, and the white shirts predicted that Derrick White was going to be "White Hot" and lead his team to victory. White finished Boston's 102-88 victory over Miami in Game-4 with 3 8 points - on 57.7% accuracy from the field and 53.3% from the hinterl

Defense is the key

  C's with a steady first half, their defense has been pretty damn impressive. If their offense has followed they could be up by at least thirty. Scary play with Porzingis, man can we ever catch a break. Injuries continue to attack us in the playoffs. Going to need Al to step up and maybe an unknown off the bench. Heck of a first half by Derrick White, that man is a beast. I expect to see even better defense here in the second half. Time to close this one out and say goodbye to the city of Miami for the year. Bring this home on Wednesday and call it a night! 3rd ☘️🍀☘️ C's force a bad shot to start things on D! JB opens the third with a deuce, let go fellas! JB for THREEEEEEE! Bam is a dirty son of an onion! Holding Tatum in a arm lock on the rebound. Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! I can't wait to be rid of the Heat if the C's do their job. Finish tonight like thunder and lighting, and rain down enough points to make em quit. I'm disgusted by how much Bam gets away with. JT f

Red Auerbach vs. The US Army: The drafting of JoJo White

 I can't relate it as well as Mark C. Bodanza, author of the JoJo White bio , Make It Count , but one of Red Auerbach's top draft conquests involved working to keep White out of the US Army - while keeping him in the Marine Reserves - and scooping him up as the ninth pick in the 1969 NBA draft (per Mark C. Bodanza): "Then a funny thing happened. Eight teams, many fearing the impact of a two year delay... in White's basketball career, passed on the ball-handling, talented point guard. Sitting coyly with the ninth pick in the first round of the NBA's 1969 draft was the cigar-chomping , cards-close-to-the-vest general manager, Red Auerbach." You see, JoJo had already been drafted into the Army , but subsequently enlisted in the Marine reserves. The machinations were complex, but while eight NBA general mangers were convinced that White would not be available to play in the NBA for at least two years, Red thought otherwise. "Red was very powerful" was

My thoughts on Jay Team assists, offensive boards and "mental discipline"

 I wrote recently on the low combined number of assists (4) by the Jay Team in the Game-2 loss to Miami - in addition to the need for improved focus on the offensive glass by the entire Celtics team. Well, in Boston's convincing 104-84 win over the Heat last night in Game-3, there is little doubt that improvement in both categories helped get the win . Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for nine assists (6 for Tatum, 3 for Brown) , and 10 of the Celtics 43 rebounds were off the offensive glass .  One of Jayson's assists stood ou t for me. At the 6:58 mark of the second quarter, Tatum whipped a pass to a cutting Sam Hauser under the hoop for the score. It brought back memories of Dennis Johnson repeatedly making the same pass to a cutting Larry Bird under the hoop. Derrick White led the way with three offensive boards . That guy never takes a play off. Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Payton Pritchard followed with two offensive rebounds each . Opponents never seem to no

The Time Is Now

  C's must bring everything to today's game. If they don't I'll be very disappointed. It starts on defense and then offense will follow. Time to man up! 1Q ☘️  KP opens up with the three, that's a good sign. Especially with how he played last game. Jrue to KP for the jam! KP for another three! Great players step up after bad games and that what KP is showing. C's must push the pace and make the Heat work on both ends. Run em into the ground! So far the Heat aren't playing above themselves, C's need to continue to contest every shot. No national broadcast for me as I enjoy Mike Gorman right now. Enjoy the greats while you still have them! JB with the loud follow up JAM! The offense has been slow up to this point. Gotta get settled and let everything flow. They need get Tatum going and allow him to facilitate. PP for the pure three! Sam needs to have a quality game tonight. C's with the lead but it should be more.  2Q 🍀🍀 I need a big C's run here

K C Jones and Bill Russell: The origin of the "alley-oop"

 The credit is somewhat dubious, but the origin of the alley-oop play probably started at the University of San Francisco with K C Jones lobbing the pass to Bill Russell for the slam (per Wikipedia): In the 1950s, some players began grabbing balls in mid-air and then  dunking .  K. C. Jones  and  Bill Russell  teamed up to perform the alley-oop several times while at the  University of San Francisco  in the mid-1950s. During their time with the Dons, Russell and Jones led the team to a then-record 55-game win streak  (including an undefeated 29–0 record during the  1955–56 season ) and helped pioneer a play that later became known as the  alley-oop . It makes sense. K C was an accomplished playmaker, and Russ was a leaper and amazingly athletic. Their USF teams were so powerful that it allowed experimentation without risking losses. It is notable that in the photo, K C is relegated to the back row - which brings me to the Basketball Hall of Fame ignoring this accomplished gentleman

A unifying message to Celtics fans

Guest article by "The Sports Machine with Slim"  HEY CELTICS FANS! All of you. Yes even the ones who come on here just to complain even when we win. I need all of your eyes here please. We all want the Celtics to win banner 18. We may argue about how to get there and whether or not Jayson Tatum can get it done in a close game. We might not agree on Mazzulla being a championship level coach. And we might actually not even really like one another in real life. But we have a common goal. Let's come together for the next two months. Please. Let's join as one to lift this incredible regular season team to new playoff highs. Honestly, I'm not sure this group of players can do it without us. Here are the facts: The Celtics were 6-3 on the road in the playoffs last year. They were 5-6 at home in those same playoffs. Now this year they are 1-1 at home against an 8 seed that is without their best player. These Celtics are immature and they need our help. This ain't the

A word on Jay Team's assists & who does Spoelstra try to rattle next?

 The reasons behind the Celtics unexpected loss to the Miami Heat in Game-2 have all been discussed. Stifling Miami defense and dead-eye accuracy from the hinterlands  and Porzingis having trouble receiving passes and getting open, etc. But how about only three assists from Jayson Tatum and a meager one assist from Jaylen Brown . Hell, Miami's Tyler Herro had 14 assists all by himself in the win - and s till managed a team-high 24 points - while hitting 7-of-13 from the field and 6-of-11 on threes. Let's go back to the 1986 Celtics post-season . Larry Bird, from the forward position, averaged 8.2 assists-per-game. Even Kevin McHale, alias "The Black Hole", averaged 2.7 APG.   This is hardly an indictment against The Jay Team. The point is simply that they have seasoned scorers on the floor with them, and as good as Jaylen and Jayson are, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White and Al Horford need more looks - even in clutch time. Miami Coach, Eric Spoelstra , may be trying to

The Journey Continues

  Tonight is the night for the chance to go up 2-0. My piece on tonight's game is going to be different. I'll give you my thoughts right now pregame and what I'm able to watch later tonight. I will be late to the watch party. Personally I think a lot of what the Celtics did Sunday was good, but not great. They had some lulls on D and even on O. I expect tonight to be a much more efficient effort on both ends. In regards to Martins blatant dirty hit on Tatum, I expected it. Miami is notorious for playing and being a dirty organization. What I'm most proud about is Tatum getting up going to the line and showing no interest in their cheap tactics. I am also very proud of JB basically saying I'll do what I have to for my brother. This group values each other and the mission for Banner 18. In all reality I expect the Heat to be even dirtier in both ends tonight, but the C's will counter with haymakers on the floor. The C's will play even more inspired D and bette

Miami defense and 3-point blitz defeat Celtics, 111-101

 It was apparent from the start that the Miami Heat were not giving away anything to the Celtics . Their defense was versatile and stifling.  But few expected their shooting display from the hinterlands in the Heat's 111-101 defeat of Boston . They hit on 23-of-43 shots from deep for a 53.5 percentage. In the regular season , they only attempted an average of 33.7 3-pointers per game, making 12.5 of them (37.0%) . What also didn't help the Celtics cause was Kristaps Porzingis having an off-shooting night . He was 1-of-9 from the field and 0-of-4 from long range for a total of six points . He did fine in the other categories, however, with eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. And give credit to T yler Herro and his 24 points, five boards and 14 assists. He lived up to his name . So it's on to Miami with the series tied 1-1. Home court has once again been negated versus the Miami Heat - in a series that many felt would be a sweep by Boston - particul

My focus on Martin's hard foul on Tatum differs from most

 Where do I start? Flashback to Game-5 of the 1991 Celtics-Pacers playoff series . Larry Bird spent the night before the game in traction with a spine ailment - was there for opening tap - and during one play, hit his head on the floor so hard, his head bounced. He was forced to head to the locker room with a fractured cheekbone, and possible concussion, but returned to the court with an astounding roar from the crowd . Boston took the game and the series as I watched every minute of the contest on TV. Now to the present. I have rightfully been critical of Jayson Tatum for his frequent complaints to officials . But after the hard foul on him by Caleb Martin in Game-1 of the Celtics-Heat series - and Jayson's quick bounce-back from the floor - and what could have been a serious injury - I saw a guy that is ready to be an on-court leader for his team. That is my focus. I am rightfully proud of Jayson - the entire Celtics team - and the coaches and execs. Not one of the folks conne

Are Celtics fans better than Knicks fans?

Guest article by "The Sports Machine with Slim"  Let’s Go Celtics FANS! I hear the chant in the TD Garden all the time.  “Let’s Go CEL-TICS!” It’s catchy. It’s easy to say. And it’s on the jumbotron with the accompanying drumbeat so we all know the rhythm to say it to. It’s also old and played out. So I’m gonna make a little alteration: “Let’s Go Cel-tics – FANS!” It is obvious to anyone with two eyeballs that the fans are making a difference in the NBA. Heading into last night’s games, the home team had been 10-0 in the playoffs. Home court matters. Boston fans like to feel as though our home crowd advantage is something special. That isn’t really the case though. The Celtics are 12-12 in their last 24 playoff games in Boston . #NotGoodEnough Do I blame the Boston fans for our home court playoff mediocrity? No. The players are the ones shooting the shots. But I will say this: The fans can make a difference. I saw it two nights ago. The New York Knicks fans 100% absolutely wo

Tatum's response to late-game foul is a turning point for Celtics superstar

  Jayson Tatum has a bad rap of complaining too much to the refs on call and non-calls. But a hard late-game hard foul on Tatum by Caleb Martin - and Jayson's (non) response - is a turning point for him in my mind. After being undercut by Martin in Boston's win over the Heat last night, Tatum hit the floor really hard - and I fully expected him to be injured or to dramatize it. Neither happened. Instead, the Celtics main star jumped quickly to his feet and walked away. No faking an injury. No complaining. No confrontation with Martin. No fisticuffs and an ejection. His (non) actions were so "Larry Bird-like". Could this be a turning point for Jayson Tatum? I think so. What we saw was a mature superstar reacting as such. He left the confrontations to his teammate, Jaylen Brown, who in turn picked up a technical foul - as did Caleb Martin. Congrats, Jayson, on all of that. Oh, and also on your triple-double.

Celtics Championship Journey Begins

  It's Go Time! C's open up their run towards Banner 18.  1Q ☘️  JB for three! JB spins and jams! Here we go! KP posts and scores! Run em off the floor! JT gets to the cup and the C's are the aggressor so far! So far we are watching the C's bring the fight to the bullies. Attack the rim and don't stop! Don't allow any defense to dictate your offense, attack attack attack! If the C's play D with all their heart and skill there's no way Miami beats them. This Celtics offense is rolling. Their D has been stout and very aggressive so far. I'm curious to see the referee bias in Miamis favor today. PP is the C's first player off the bench. Brown gets assaulted and no call. So it begins with the refs. PP for three! KP for three! Back to back Bing Bang Booms! I need to see this lead built up by the end of the half. Keep pushing the pace on offense and grind em on D. Let's go C's you got this! JT with the great D forces a turnover. Duncan Robinson

Celtics fans sit atop the franchise hierarchy. Let's act it!

Guest article by "The Sports Machine with Slim"  Celtics Fans - Let's Get Busy! Today the Boston Celtics kick off what should be an amazing playoff run. We are the most talented team in the league and we have gotten the benefit of an incredibly easy draw. Jimmy Butler is down, and after we beat the Heat, Cleveland or Orlando will await us. Please excuse me while I laugh. If the Celtics come with the right effort level, there is no way on God's green earth that any of those teams can beat us four out of seven games. Zero percent chance. But what if the Celtics DONT come with the right intensity and effort? What if Jayson Tatum doesn't hustle back on D and instead chooses to whine at officials like he has done for most of his career? What if Jaylen Brown chooses to dribble too much and makes untimely turnovers like he has done for most of HIS career? And what if Kristaps Porzingis turns into the soft unicorn that he has been for most of his career? What will happ

My 64th NBA Celtics Post-Season! Mental discipline is key for The Green.

  I started following pro basketball in 1960 . My next-door friend was from Lawrence, Massachusetts - and like most young guys from that city - he was a hoop fanatic . As a senior in high school, I quickly became one. These playoffs will be number-64 for me. The present version of my home team has been brilliantly constructed . They have been close to omnipotent in the regular season and should have corrected any weaknesses that have revealed themselves in the past several post-seasons. Physically, they really lack nothing . The starters - the bench - the role players are all there. Scoring? Check! Defense? Ditto! Luck? They have that. Unlike a few opposing teams, they are healthy.   My point here is that: "You can not tweak your little finger without your brain initiating the action". -- Tom Lane It seems the only thing that can get in the way of Banner 18 for the Boston Celtics would be mental lapses . Taking plays off - repeating bad habits - overreliance on 3- pointe

Here we go again. Celtics vs. Heat - Round One

 We read and hear repeatedly that this Celtics team is not what Boston fans saw last season - meaning not only are their new important additions - but this version of T he Green is not expected to wilt against the once-again eighth-seeded Miami Heat. The addition of Kristaps Porzingis gives Boston a third major piece on offense and defense. Jrue Holiday and Derrick White add toughness on the defensive end, coupled with the ability to score big points on any given night. Last night, the Heat - minus Jimmy "Playoff Machine" Butler and "Scary" Terry Rozier - eliminated the Chicago Bulls from the post-season. The Miami crew are major underdogs versus Boston, but as the Celtics saw last year, anything can happen in the playoffs . It all starts tomorrow (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET) in Beantown. Butler is not expected back for a couple of weeks, but any thoughts by The Green that this will be a cakewalk could be disastrous. Owner, Wic Grousbeck , chastised his boys when they

"Title-or-nothing" mindset of Celtics fans is disturbing

  "Anything can happen in the playoffs!" I like that quote better than the one in the title.  Flashback to Game-4, 1987 NBA Finals - Celtics versus Lakers. In the closing seconds, Magic Johnson goes to a sky hook to win the game - all the while i gnoring open teammate, Kareem Abdul Jabbar - he the of "Sky Hook" fame. A Boston win would have tied the series at 2-2 . The teams split the next two contests, meaning the series would have been tied at 3-3 as opposed to LA taking the series in six games. Meaning there would have been a Game-7. How about Don Nelson's "look-what-I-found" shot in the closing seconds of the 1969 Finals against the Lakers. Nellie's shot took a high bounce off the rim and settled right through the net. That sealed the win - and the Championship for the Celtics. The 2023-24 Celtics are the best team on paper - and the best in the regular season. They are favored to take the Title, but luck, good or bad, can intervene. It

Celtics could improve their offensive rebounding

 If's take on the importance of offensive rebounding is sound , maybe Joe Mazzulla should look into some improvement in that category ( per's John Schuhmann ): Three seasons ago, with teams prioritizing transition defense, offensive rebounding percentage hit its lowest mark (26.4%) in the 28 seasons for which we have play-by-play data (and likely its lowest in NBA history). But, with teams perhaps seeing extra value in second chances (which are more efficient than initial possessions), offensive rebounding percentage has gone up in each of the last three seasons Three seasons ago (2020-21), the Celtics were fourth in the League , collecting 10.6 offensive boards per game . This season they are pulling down virtually the same number off the offensive glass (10.7 ORPG), but they sit in 14th place - with five teams collecting more than 12-per-game. If Schuhmann is correct with his "second chances ... are more efficient than initial possessions" - and I

Mazzulla's defensive strategy on the "Cameroonian Colossus" if Boston meets Philly

  Joel Embiid is back in the Philly fold following recovery from a torn meniscus , and the 76'ers finished the season on an 8-game winning streak . Those two facts are totally related. If the Celtics spar with Philly at some point in the post-season, the question remains of how to defend the 7', 280-lb. "Cameroonian Colossus" . Joe Mazzulla's strategy of putting d efensive whiz, Jrue Holiday , on Embiid during the regular season worked quite well. Jrue Holiday defense ✅ Jrue Holiday offense ✅ — Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) November 9, 2023 Jrue did a commendable job on Joel on the perimeter and worked his butt off making it hard for the big man to gain ground in the paint. Holiday often had Kristaps Porzingis coming over as a second defender, but don't be surprised to see Xavier Tillman given the task of covering Embiid for limited minutes. As Joel Embiid goes - so go the Philadelphia 76'ers. Mazzulla will go w

Mike Gorman Day!

  GOT IT! Yes Mike Gorman you have always had it! I can't believe we are saying goodbye to you being on Celtics broadcasts. Plenty of beautiful memories during today's game. So much so that it choked me up. For multiple reasons today has been an emotional one. All I can say is Celtics games will never be the same. No more Tommy, and now no more Mike. Celtics need to send Mike Gorman out with a bang, bring home Banner 18. How many of those highlights with Mike did we all see. I know I've seen them over and over again. Yet it felt like the first time! Chills and emotions throughout the entire highlight real.  Today's game showed us yet again how deep this Celtics bench goes. I have full confidence in any one of these players with what is right on the floor. Payton Pritchard once again showed why he's a huge piece to Banner 18 coming home. That young man plays with heart, and is heck of a baller. The C's must put him in situations that will help him succeed in thes

Funny moment between Coach K C Jones and Larry Bird

The late KC Jones was definitely the right coach for Larry Bird and his cohorts in the mid-1980's. KC's fine manner and ability to handle men made him the right man to lead one of the most-talented, veteran teams in NBA history to success. Here is one interchange between Larry Bird and Jones - as told by KC himself - that illustrates the synergy between the two: (K C Jones): "Larry shooting a 3-pointer and then I call a timeout - and they didn't count the 3-pointer." "So he's pretty upset. So I (KC) diagrammed the play, and he (Larry) says "Heck with the play, Case, give me the ball and tell the rest of the guys to get out of the way." So I say, "shut up Larry, I'm the coach here." (KC than lays out the play)): "Okay, Dennis, you take the ball out - get it to Kevin - then throw it to Larry and everybody, get the Hell out of the way." K.C. Jones explains two Larry Bird stories . via @YouTube —

Subs Take Center Stage

  The C's have sat their Super Six tonight. Something tells me the NBA made an edict they play for both games on TNT. Tonight they are finally allowed to sit their guys for the rest they deserve. I do hope they take this time to refresh and mentally get ready for the playoffs.  ☘️ Nice to see the young pup Springer getting the start. Pritchard has quite the knack of finding guys where they can score easily. Great job with the penetration and finding Luke for the deuce! I love seeing him use his body to get space and free up his shot. Despite his smaller stature, he really uses his body well. PP with the three! I think he's gonna go off tonight! To be honest I don't really know anyone on this Hornets team. It's been a long time since they were relevant. Luke is a guy who just loves to play basketball. Off the Pritchard miss he follows up with the JAM! C's are scrappy tonight, playing their hearts out. PP is dominant in a very quiet way so far tonight. Gotta love him!

Going through the motions

  Celtics welcome the overrated Knicks to the Garden tonight. I'm running late for my quarter to quarter comments. It seems to me that the C's are yet again going through the motions. Finding a balance to keep guys in relative game shape, but also not risking injury. As Scal said earlier on the radio. When the C's played the Bucks they didn't give away their game plan. It seems the same is happening tonight. C's must keep their mental advantage vs these weaker Eastern Conference teams. That's why you don't unveil your game plan. Keep em guessing and on the fly come playoff time. False sense of confidence for the Bucks and now Knicks.  Not sure why the top dogs are still in this game, but it's boring to watch. I WANT THE PLAYOFFS! This Knicks team doesn't scare me at all. How they can be proud of themselves is a damn joke. C's dominated them in the regular season. As they did with every other Eastern Conference team. No one in the East scares me.

An argument for Jrue Holiday as vocal leader of Celtics

Guest article by "The Sports Machine with Slim" The 4 year/ $135 million extension for Jrue Holiday comes as a bit of a surprise to T he Sports Machine with Slim .  Why now? That is the first question I asked upon hearing the news. There are only 3 games left in the regular season. Why not just wait until the season is over and then give him the extension? Maybe the Celtics brass were afraid that Jrue would have a ridiculously good playoff run and then be in position to demand a much more expensive contract?  That seems unlikely. On this team, it will be hard for Jrue to stand out with huge numbers offensively. There are just too many scoring options. Maybe the Celtics leadership team needed this long to make sure they knew Jrue is a hard worker and a good teammate? I guess that's possible - but they weren't able to tell that a month or two ago? That gives me some concern, because it has been obvious to anyone watching the Celtics this year that Jrue Holiday is a st

Four more years!

  4 More! 4 More! 4 More!  Jrue Holiday is locked in for another four years in green and white. Matches his jersey number! I for one am beyond excited to keep him around. The man can do just about anything on the court! Defense is his specialty and his offense is as smooth as whiskey. I absolutely love this move and love watching him play! Great Job Brad!  Bleed Green! Celtic Pride!