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Showing posts from May, 2024

Jaylen Brown wins ECF Most Valuable Player Award

Jaylen Brown has taken a number of hits from some Celtics fans over the years, but he didn't falter . He kept on plugging - learning - fitting in - and getting better and better . Now, after winning the series against the Indiana Pacers, his work and progression have been recognized.   Jaylen Brown wins the Larry Bird Trophy for 2024 Eastern Conference Finals MVP 🏆 — NBA TV (@NBATV) May 28, 2024 We sometimes forget that Jaylen is the "senior" member of the Jay Team, but still has to play "second fiddle" to Jayson Tatum . That has to be difficult. But holding the Larry Bird Trophy in the hands that have been so productive getting his team back to the NBA Finals most-likely erases the verbal attacks by naysayers. Jaylen has been indispensable to his team, and the Larry Brown Trophy is in sight.  

ECF Game 4

Tonight can be the night the C's punch their ticket back to the NBA Finals. Close out games are usually the hardest, but these C's can pull it off! After what we all witnessed on Saturday night, this team can do it all. Go out tonight and seize the day! Before the game starts, Rest In Peace to Bill Walton. An incredible player, great announcer and huge part to the 1986 team. Memory Eternal Bill... 1Q ☘️  JTs first three is nothing but net! JB drives through Nesmith for his first bucket! The studs will have to lead them in finishing off this series. I need to see the C's commit on D all game. What a sweet three by Jrue from the top of the key. DWhites first shot is a pure three point shot over Siakim. Keep making the Pacers work on D. Jrue gets another one! DWhite with yet another block! Sends the rookies shot back at em! So far the C's start has been very good. As was their start last game in the first. My hope if they build and keep the lead tonight at the end of the f

ECF Game 3

  So here we are game 3 of the ECF. C's will face a short handed Pacers team and I hope they don't have a let down. I see Rick has laid the foundation about the discrepancy in calls... Let's see if the NBA gives the game to the Pacers. The C's will be missing Luke Kornet tonight.  1st Q C's are in their traditional green uniforms and I love it! JB opens up the scoring with a lefty layup! I expect him to be very aggressive tonight. Good first defensive stand by the C's. Al opens up his night with a beautiful three. JT scores on his first attack of the rim, plus the And One! JT for three, good to see him coming out hot. JT with a sweet jumper over the rook. DWhite for three! Let's Go! DWhite BLOCKs Turner! That's the way you play D! The Pacers are hand checking and pushing off on the offensive end. C's must continue to treat this game as if they were down 0-2. Attack the rim and work hard on D. I need to see the C's locke em down to finish off this

ECF Game 2

  C's start slow but pick things up in the first. C's have made the lead grow here in the second. C's are losing pieces of their lead. JB is looking amazing so far tonight! Going to need a full team effort come the second half. Jrue and Jaylen played superb and I expect them to continue at this level.  3rd Quarter  JB opens us up for the deuce! JB gets to same spot and scores again! Play some freaking D! DWhite for three, the ball movement is looking solid. I need to see JT attack the rim going forward, his shot is off. I love seeing JB attack Siakims, he can't keep up on D. C's get called for an absolute garbage travel call. DWhite gets inside so smoothly and scores. DWhite jams it home and should have gotten a call. Another bogus call with Nesmith jumping over Tatums back. This needs to be overturned, or I might lose it. Al needs to dig deep on Siakim for the rest of this game. C's win the challenge good job Joe! jT with the JAM! DWhite for another three great

At age 32, Kyrie Irving has finally matured into leadership

  "Leadership"? "Kyrie Irving"? In the same sentence? Yup, I said it. Former-Celtic, Kyrie Irving, has found a secure home with the Dallas Mavericks and basketball fans have never seen the level of maturity the "Master-of-handles" has displayed in the "Big D". So, no longer will my readers see headlines such as what I wrote a year ago: "Kyrie me no Irvings" -- Tom Lane It starts with his stats, but that is only part of the story. In last night's win over the Timberwolves in Game-1 of the West Finals, Irving came away with 30 points, five rebounds and four assists. He continually wormed his way through the Minnesota defense, hitting on 12-of-23 from the field. His scoring and efficiency were critical in the Dallas victory. "We had a lot of long meetings with J-Kidd… Once I saw we had a chance, I was like well I’m not going to take this for granted, so every single day I remind those guys what it’s like to fail, what it’s like

Jay Team dimes and the board game are key

 We are talking assists by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown - and winning the rebounding battle, particularly off the offensive glass . I have broached this previously. If The Jay Team gets the ball to their teammates in sufficient numbers - and the whole team hits the offensive glass - good things happen. In Boston's close win over Indiana in Game-1, Jaylen and Jayson combined for nine assists, five for Tatum and four for Brown. And the team came away with 13 offensive boards . Jrue Holiday alone had five of those. Jayson and Jaylen have both matured - now realizing that they have some real sharpshooters in their present starting-5. At least one-of-Horford, Holiday and White can have a 20-plus game , and last night it was Jrue with 28 points on 62%/50%/100%, from the field - deep - and free throw line, respectively. In the end, offensive boards are pure hustle , and assists by the team leaders display team play . Both can be critical against an Indiana team that doesn't appea

The importance of Jrue Holiday - the "ASSASSIN"

  It certainly showed last night in Boston's close win over the fast-and-furious Pacers. Jrue Holiday was once again in his playoff mode. His stats for the game were: 28 points - 7 rebound (5 offensive) - 8 assists - 3 steals - 10-of-16 FG - 4-0f-8 3s He logged a team-high 48:19 minutes , a clear indicator of his importance to the Celtics cause. Jrue's always-intense defense was also on display, helping Indiana lose control of the ball for a total of 21 turnovers. Jaylen Brown called his teammate, Jrue Holiday, an "assassin". He is just that, but a quiet one - the most-dangerous kind for an opponent. What a great pickup by Brad Stevens.

ECF Game 1

  At the half the C's and Pacers are tied, C's have way too many turnovers. Their defense wasn't up to par in that second quarter. It would be nice to see the C's move the ball as they did earlier in the game. Lock in on D in the third and good things will come. If the C's do that I'm confident they will win.  3rd Quarter  Al plays great D and blocks Siakims shot. That's the kind of D that needs to be played. Al is the first to score for the C's with a three. JB uses the euro step and scores. Off the steal JT scores and should have gotten the and one. These Celtics really need to lock in on D. Or it's not gonna end the way we want. Jrue with a big three early on. JT with a nice fall away. I like JTs willingness to get in the post and back guys up. He should be able to do this at will this entire series. I also feel Jrue has that same ability vs these Pacer guards. JBs D leads to a steal and he's going to the line. He may not have made the all def

Jrue Holiday and Derrick White make All-Defense Team

 No surprise here. Two Celtics players have made the NBA All-Defense Second Team , and their names are Jrue Holiday and Derrick White . Boston lost a former Defensive-Player-of-the-Year in Marcus Smart, but these two guys have filled in admirably. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porzingis when he's healthy, may get most of the headlines, but the White-Holiday backcourt has played a major role in The Green's success this season. The NBA is going to announce the all defense team this afternoon at 2pm. We have 4 guys who have a strong case for being named. — Boston_Die_Hard (@NbaSwingPass) May 21, 2024 Congrats to Jrue and Derrick. They do their jobs quietly - with no fanfare -  but Boston fans know what the have in these two stars.    

Jayson Tatum, among other qualities, has developed "poise" - on-and-off the court

  Poise: definition Merriam/Webster: :  easy self-possessed assurance of manner  : gracious tact in coping or handling. also : the pleasantly tranquil interaction between persons of poise. no angry outbursts marred the poise of the meeting. b. : a particular way of carrying oneself : bearing, carriage "Easy self-possessed assurance of manner". "Gracious tact in coping or handling". "No angry outbursts". That describes the Jayson Tatum fans have seen and heard throughout the 2024 playoffs. I started noticing the change in the 26-year-old superstar when he took a hard foul by Miami's Caleb Martin . Tatum hit the deck hard, but bounced right back up with no verbal explosions or physical reaction, He simply walked away. #Celtics brothers and sisters all we heard for the last couple of weeks was how Tatum was underperforming. Check out the graphic below. ESPN showed this last night on Sportscenter, but you won't here achievement coming out of the mo

Close em out!

Time for the C's to send the Cavs packing! This team isn't that good and I expect the C's to close em out. Defense is the biggest key to winning tonight's game. After that everything falls into place.    1st Quarter  Back to back three from JB and DW! DW drives and scores and the C's are up by a small margin early. C's need to blow these guys off the floor! Al for three! Finally he gets one! Early on DWhite looks locked in baby! JT mans it up and dunks on the entire Cavs D! Go get em JT no fear! Morris pushes off and gets the call. JT just nailed a pure three in Mobleys face. It would be nice if the C's can grab a big lead going into the second quarter. It's gonna take effort on D for the C's if they want this win. Right on cue DWhite draws the charge from Mobley. Joe calls the timeout as the C's D is very lax. They need to step on their throats and send em packing to Ohio. JB drives and kicks to PP for three! Now play some freaking defense pleas

Groundwork laid: Celtics as 2024 NBA Champs would be simply luck?

 It's already out there. The vibes are resounding that the Boston Celtics , mostly due to key injuries to members of opposing teams, have had - and will have - an easy path - at least to the NBA Finals ( per ): "Boston faced a  Miami Heat  team without  Jimmy Butler . Now, it’s facing a  Cavaliers  team that misses  Jarrett Allen  and just had to sit Mitchell because of his knee. Also, this is a Cleveland team that gave away  the worst t-shirts ever  used as promo. Assuming the Celtics take care of business in the next game or two ( they beat Cleveland 109-102  last night to move to 3-1 in the series), they will face either a  young, inexperienced Pacers team  with one of the worst defenses we’ve ever seen, or an  extremely banged-up Knicks squad  missing at least two starters." No kidding! Since when has good luck not been a requirement for bringing the Championship Trophy back to your home city? Granted, Butler's absence didn't hurt the Celtics

C's come up big...

  Our Boston Celtics took on a short handed Cavs team. Kudos to how hard the Cavs played but the C's were just better. Donovan Mitchell is dealing with a calf strain. I believe a similar injury to what KP is dealing with. Let's talk about JT, thank you national media for attacking our guy. Tonight he had 33 points, 11 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. He set the tone early on and despite a few too many threes he did attack the basket tonight. His ability to see the floor was damn good and played excellent defense. His brother in arms JB also had a great game. Tallying 27 points and 8 rebounds. What is becoming evident with JB is his vocal leadership. He's always encouraging and helping pick up his teammates and he did that tonight.  Let's talk about Jrue Holiday... The man just knows how to deliver and make huge plays. 16 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Tonight he made shots that a former point guard we had would not. You can't leave anyone open o

Larry Bird and the positive effect sports stars have on society

  The female victim was young when she was forcibly raped by a big, athletic - but maniacal - attacker . I took over the case as police investigator and prosecutor. The victim was fearful of the defendant and the entire court proceedings . She openly expressed her thoughts to me as the case progressed. The victim happened to be a basketball player, and Larry Bird had already established himself as a superstar in Boston. That was my key. I explained my total respect for Bird, and stressed his work ethic, mental fortitude, dedication to the task at hand - and his ability to fight back from adversity. I further explained that I considered her attacker to be a dangerous individual that needed to pay for his actions - and hopefully to be removed from society, at least for a period of time, for the safety of the public. It worked. This young lady was on her game the rest of the way . Her testimony was solid, and she never backed down. The defendant was found guilty and sentenced to prison,

Jrue Holiday moves into the spotlight with Banner 18 in sight

  Jrue Holiday doesn't have to prove anything to anybody. Despite his less-than-expected stats in the regular season, in last night's Game-3 in the East Semis, he showed his bosses and Celtics fans just how valuable he is. Holiday inked a 4-yeat/$134.4 million deal recently, which means he will be 37 years old in the final season of the contract if he picks up his player option . Brad Stevens knows what he has in the 2-time All Star, 1-time Champ, 5-time All-Defense and 3-time Teammate of the year. Boston truly needed last night's win in Game-3 against the Cavaliers, and Jrue expressed himself on the court from the start, defending, rebounding and scoring almost at will. He came away with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists . He was dead-on in his shooting, hitting 7-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 on 3-pointers. The focus will always be on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown , the two main stars for Boston, but Jrue Holiday's credentials are solid . I am most moved

Time to Work

  The Celtics enter Cleveland all nodded up. They better not lose tonight or I may lose it. Go out there and work hard on defense please! Move the ball on offense and go get the W.  1st Quarter  C's must attack the cup tonight, nice to see JT hit his first shot. Jrue has gotten in the paint twice already which is great. JT with another three, maybe he's gonna go off tonight. JT to the cup for the lay in! He's going to need to keep this kind of effort and pace going all game. C's need to figure something out on D with Mobley. Not sure if it's the switches but Al needs to be on him. Great job by JT forcing him to travel, maybe that will work. C's offense seems slow at the get go. JB hits a big early three, followed up by a corner bomb from Sam I Am! The threes are falling early which should be a good sign. Last game they sucked from deep. I'm not sold on the C's defense right now, but I expect them to play much better as the game progresses. It would be ni

It's wild food time

 The fiddleheads and orpine are out on the banks of the trout stream bordering my property in Northern New Hampshire. I will have to wait a bit for the wild blueberries, blackberries, high bush cranberries, wild lettuce and the various edible mushrooms . Fiddleheads I have always had an interest in wild foods, but lately I have tried to learn more about them. It is not about the fact that they are free, since locating and foraging for them can take time and effort. But their nutritional value makes it all worthwhile. Orpine That wild blueberry that you pick has "learned" to survive on its own against insects, disease and fungus. Particularly i n its blue-colored skin there are organic chemicals, including polyphenols, that produce that color - protect the berry - and possibly protect the person that consumes it from disease. Wild Blueberries So learn about wild foods, They are all around you. And look for color - red, green, yellow, orange, purple, blue . But be cautious .

"Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans". Ease up on Jayson Tatum.

 I can't believe I am resurrecting the much-despised Rick Pitino's rant skewering Boston fans, but I felt it necessary (Pitino) “Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through that door, they’re going to be gray and old. ....the only thing we can do is work hard, and all the negativity that’s in this town sucks." In his rant, Pitino was shielding himself from criticism coming from Boston sports fans, and it failed - as did Rick with his stint in Beantown. Now we have a mastermind at the helm in Brad Stevens and a young, somewhat-inexperienced, but focused, coach in Joe Mazzulla - trying desperately to nail Banner 18. This present Celtics team is good - very good . But they just can't seem to get the job done when that Banner 18 seems within their grasp. Right now, with one exception (Kristaps Porzingis) , they are healthy .

Don't blame Tatum. Why LeVert explodes in Boston. Where are the rebounds?

  Don't blame Jayson Tatum for Boston's 118-104 debacle last night versus Cleveland. He is the only one that should not have fingers pointed at him in the Celtics loss in Game-2. Jayson constantly took it to the hoop, finishing with 25 points, seven boards, six assists and one steal . And he hit on 9-of-11 on his free throws. Isn't it ironic that LeVert translates to "The Green" from French to English . Two of Caris LeVert's scoring epics have occurred in Beantown . He must think his last name portends an explosion at The Garden ( per Steve Aschburner ): "Two of Caris LeVert’s most explosive games ever have come on Boston’s parquet floor. He scored a career high of 51 points against the Celtics while with Brooklyn in March 2020. Then in October 2022, by then with Cleveland, he went for 41. He has only two other 40-point performances against everybody else, in all other buildings." Now where were the rebounds from Boston last night? The Celtics were

Craptastic Celtics

 I honestly don't know what to say about tonight. Where was the energy and effort in the second half? They clearly didn't pay attention to last series in game two. Brown and White who were awesome last game kinda stunk it up. The bench didn't bring the same spunk to tonight. Tatum played better but they just couldn't put anything positive together. Sometimes I wonder the validity to this league. These are professionals and the best team in the league and that's their performance... Maybe that's the key word performance, like going to a movie or concert. Sometimes you go away feeling fulfilled other times you go away disgusted.  Part of me wants to not believe in this team anymore, but I can't allow myself to get too low after a loss. I also should have packed myself in regards to how I felt after game one. The window for this team is still there, but the time is now. Stop screwing around and letting inferior teams beat you. My hope is this group goes into Cl

Potential Celtics-Knicks East Finals: Floor time could be a factor

 The Knicks lead the Pacers in the Eastern Semis 2-0, while the Celtics are 1-0 versus the Cavaliers. Should Boston meet New York in the Eastern Finals, fatigue may be an issue for Tom Thibodeau's crew, while Joe Mazzulla's team should be just fine. It all comes down to minutes . Thibodeau has J osh Hart, Jalen Brunson and OG Anunoby all logging more than 40 minutes-per-game in the post season, with Hart playing almost the entire game at 46.6 MPG. Not so the Boston Celtics. Mazzulla has Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday and Derrick White all playing more than 30 MPG, with Tatum leading the pack at 37.5 minutes/game. If Indiana bounces back and forces the series to six-or-seven games, fatigue can quickly become a major factor if there does, in fact, end up being a meeting of Boston and New York. The Knicks play tough with plenty of intensity . Couple that with their stars logging big minutes in every game, and it doesn't bode well for their energy come Eastern Confe

Cavaliers have a "color barrier" in the form of Brown and White

 The Cleveland Cavaliers never rally got anything going in Game-1 of the Eastern Semis versus the Boston Celtics, losing by a score of 122-95. T he Cavs simply don't have the horses to contend with Boston's potent offense, and their toughest barrier last night was the scoring blitz by Jaylen Brown and Derrick White. Brown came away with a team-high 32 points, hitting 12-of-18 from the field and 4-of-6 on 3-pointers . White followed with 25 points on 9-of-16 from the field and 7-of-12 from the hinterlands. Nothing that Cleveland could do to stop the barrage from the potent duo. Derrick does everything quietly, and this time he has picked up the scoring lost with the injury to Kristaps Porzingis . He is having a career season in Boston. Jaylen has taken some flack occasionally from Celtics fans this season, but he is playing like a champ. He certainly was on his game last night. One more point in the Celtics win. The Green pulled down 13 offensive rebounds to only seven by Cleve

Celtics Welcome the Cavs

  First let me say the officials screwed the Pacers out of a win last night. NBA once again has their refs rear their ugly heads.  Our Boston Celtics have welcomed the Cleveland Cavs to Boston by whooping them up and down the floor tonight. JB led the team with 32 beautiful points tonight. Followed by DWhite with 25 and his excellent three point shooting. JT had 18 and both Jrue and Pritchard had double figures. C's outclassed the Cavs on both ends of the floor. Luke Kornet was absolute huge in this victory. He had 10 rebounds and affected things on the defensive end. What I loved about tonight was the C's didn't force their offense. They let it flow and moved the ball well. They were always looking to make that extra pass.  What can I say about DWhite, that young man has been a favorite of mine since the day he was traded here. His game continues to grow and blossom. His three point shot was simply spectacular tonight. His defense was stellar and he came up big for the C&#

Celtics versus Cavaliers: The backcourts will determine the outcome

 In Game-7 of the Cavaliers-Magic series, I became a believer in what the Cavs' Donovan Mitchell can accomplish on the court. It looked like Orlando was going to run away with the win - that is, until Mitchell decided to take the game over. Cleveland took the game, and Donovan took the honors with 34 points, nine rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. He repeatedly took the ball to the hoop, getting the score or picking up the foul. And he hit 15-of-17 of his free throws. He was terrific. His fellow backcourt mate, Darius Garland had an off night, hitting on only 3-of-13 from the field and 0-of-4 on 3-pointers . I doubt he will have many more of those games in the East Semis against Boston. The Celtics should be heavily favored in this matchup, particularly if Jarrett Allen remains out of action. Mitchell and Garland will be defended by Boston's Jrue Holiday and Derrick White , who seem more-than-capable of handling the Cavs backcourt duo.  Boston took the Celtics

Two warm, favored destinations for "Ring Shoppers" out of playoffs

 I'm talking about the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers . The Lakers camp has been favored by NBA stars for decades , with the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal and Lebron James ending up there. The sun, warmth, bright lights and chances for off-court stardom beckoned. And both Shaq and Lebron also played for the Miami Heat . The warmth, beaches and night life were calling. And I almost forgot they played together for Cleveland, forgoing the warmth and beaches for a bit. Well, it's 2024, and both teams have been eliminated from the post-season, and I love it . The Lakers won't acquire their Banner 18 prior to the Boston Celtics doing the same, and apparently the sun and nightlife of Miami wasn't enough to cure the ailments of Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier . The current Celtics team doesn't have any classic "Ring Shoppers" in the fold. No member of The Green is known for constantly seeking supposed greener pastures.  Ok

Lisa Lane McCarty: Weathering the storms of life and law enforcement

 As a toddler just learning to walk on the lakeside beach in Western Maine, my wife, Linda, and I had no idea how our daughter, Lisa Lane McCarty, would adapt to a near-wilderness environment - or for that matter - how she would navigate a world filled with severe challenges. Lisa has done well on both fronts - and more. The jokes abound relative to her height , which she swears is 5'1". "Have you grown any since that photo on the beach" is representative of the humor - all in good fun. You know cops and their humor. But as a woman of small stature, she has weathered the many storms of life in the 21st century and fits into the very-unique world of law enforcement like a glove. The photo above is of Lisa's first graduating class of the Central Massachusetts Police Academy at Boylston with her as Director. We are truly proud of what she has accomplished. And it does appear that she has grown slightly from the times in the early 70's on the beach of Azisco