Archive for the ‘ Boston Celtics Blog ’ Category

Clippers, Paul Pierce agree to deal

Now this is the kind of signing that is worth paying attention to. A move where a really good team that has a realistic eye on the NBA championship adds a key veteran who could mean the difference in a tightly-contested playoff battle against another really good team. Paul Pierce to the Clippers. Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting:

Clippers, Paul Pierce agree to deal

The Clippers gained a giant lure in their pursuit of DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with Paul Pierce on a three-year, $10.5-million contract that will reunite the veteran small forward with Coach Doc Rivers.

Pierce and Rivers won an NBA title together with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and will almost surely try to pitch Jordan on their collective potential with the Clippers, who will get the last word in the bidding for the free-agent center Thursday.

The Clippers will sign the former Inglewood High star with their so-called mini-midlevel exception, their primary financial tool in free agency, and will likely slot him into the starting small forward spot vacated by Matt Barnes, who was traded last month.

Pierce, who turns 38 in October, is a 10-time All-Star who gives the Clippers some championship experience in their starting lineup and a clutch presence who hit a game-winning shot in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season for the Washington Wizards.

I support pretty much any free agent move that shakes things up in an interesting way. This gives us one more thing to look forward to next season.


Celtics 2015 Draft results

The Boston Celtics selected guards Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter, forward Jordan Mickey and guard Marcus Thornton in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Rozier, a 6’1” sophomore guard, was selected with the 16th overall pick. He ranked fourth in the ACC in scoring and was selected to the Second Team All-ACC. Rozier was also named to the ACC All-Rookie Team as a freshman. Rozier was named one of 17 watch list finalists for the 2015 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and a Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 candidate for the nation’s top player.

Hunter, a 6’6” junior guard, was selected with the 28th overall pick. He was a two-time AP All-American Honorable Mention. Hunter was the first player in school history to earn conference player of the year honors twice and three straight First-Team All-Conference honors. In just three seasons, he became Georgia State’s all-time leading scorer with 1,799 points, while also topping career lists for three-pointers made, three-point attempts, free throw percentage, free throws made and free throw attempts.

Mickey, a 6’8” sophomore forward, was selected with the 33rd overall pick. He led the NCAA D-I in blocks per game (3.64) and led the SEC in rebounding (9.9 rpg), while being selected First-Team All-SEC by the coaches and media. Other than Shaquille O’Neal, he was the only player in LSU history to block more than 100 shots in a season (106 in 2014, 113 in 2015).

Thornton, a 6’4” senior guard, was selected with the 45th overall pick. He was the CAA Player of the Year and AP Honorable Mention All-American. Thornton finished as William & Mary’s career leader in points (2,178), three-pointers (325), games played (127), three-pointers made per game (2.56), minutes played (4,328) and minutes per game (34.1).

Latest on Celtics and Kevin Love

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting the latest on possible Celtics target Kevin Love — if he enters free agency:

Latest on Celtics and Kevin Love

According to all sources, Danny Ainge still has affection for Love, but it’s not nearly the borderline obsession that was in play last summer.

Times change. Rosters change. The old flame doesn’t necessarily burn as brightly.

While all Celtics/Love talk may be rendered moot anyway if the Cavaliers present him with a big-money extension, the general circumstances here make it perhaps even more of a longshot that he plays his 2015-16 home games in Boston. The major difference is that last year Ainge was doing everything he could to avoid the deeper rebuild that came when he didn’t get Love and was fated to trade away Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green. (And as it turned out, the Celtic president of basketball operations was in many ways fortunate to be able to find palatable deals for those two.)

Celtics assistant headed to Pelicans

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting some assistant coaching job news:

There are comings and goings on the Celtics staff these days, with assistant coach Darren Erman set to leave to become associate head coach for New Orleans under new leader Alvin Gentry. Also, Alex Barlow, who just completed a four-year playing career at Butler, is joining the C’s as assistant video coordinator.

Said director of player personnel Austin Ainge of Erman, “I know they are in discussions. I don’t know if anything’s final or what, but Erman’s a great guy, and if he does leave, we’ll miss him.”

Erman spent four years with the Celts as a coaching assistant before leaving to work for Golden State as an assistant under former coach Mark Jackson. The Warriors fired him in April 2014 for “violation of company policy.” It was later reported that he was secretly taping conversations between players and coaches.

Boston Celtics playing October preseason game in Milan, Italy

Here’s the WEEI blog reporting on the Boston Celtics, who are playing an international exhibition game in October:

The Celtics will be going international to open their preseason this fall.

The NBA, in conjunction with Euroleague Basketball and RCS Sport, confirmed Wednesday that the Celtics will play a preseason game on Oct. 6 against Olimpia Milano in Milan, Italy, as part of NBA Global Games Europe 2015.

The 17-time NBA champion will play the three-time Euroleague champion and 26-time Italian League champion Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan.

“On behalf of the Celtics organization, we are proud to return to Milan for NBA Global Games 2015,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement. “I have particularly fond memories of playing in Europe almost 30 years ago, and I am sure our current players will relish this unique opportunity.”

Hopefully people can handle the truth

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on Paul Pierce, who as a member of the Washington Wizards is currently making life difficult for the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs:

Paul Pierce plans to stay in basketball after playing days end

Someday, Pierce may have to deal with deals of his own. He won’t be through with basketball when he’s through playing, and, yes, he’d very much be interested in returning to the Celtics to work and learn under Ainge when he’s done bedeviling younger opponents.

“Truthfully, I love the game,” he said. “I want to have my hands on some aspect of the game, whether it be management, ownership. I don’t know right now about coaching. I’m not sure yet. But I definitely want to be involved with the game in some form or fashion.

“It’s definitely a tough business,” he added. “It’s definitely hard work that Danny has to do. He has to think about so many things that come into play when you’re a GM. It’s the relationship you have with the players, it’s the future, it’s about the money and the salary cap. You’ve got to make difficult decisions all the time. And as bad as he wants to win, he understands it’s a building process also, until you can make your move.

“It’s like playing chess. You know, sometimes you’ve got to play your pawns, like he did in ’07, until he made his big move to make the trades. . . . Sometimes it works, and sometimes it don’t.”

Asked if he could see himself in that job, Pierce grins. “I think I’m a fairly good chess player.”

Kevin Love thinks Kelly Olynyk injured him on purpose

Here’s the blog reporting on Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who suffered a dislocated shoulder at the hands of Celtics big-man Kelly Olynyk during a play that looked like pro wrestling just as much as it looked like basketball:

Kevin Love thinks Kelly Olynyk injured him on purpose

Kevin Love was not in a celebratory mood after the Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Celtics out of the postseason on Sunday afternoon. Following the game, Love made it clear that he blamed Boston’s Kelly Olynyk for a dislocated left shoulder he suffered in the game.

“I thought it was a bush league play,” Love said of Olynyk’s foul. “I mean I was out there and Olynyk was in a compromising position and had no chance to get the ball. It’s just too bad he would go to those lengths to take someone out of a game and do it to someone. I have no doubt in my mind he did it on purpose.”

Love suffered the shoulder injury midway through the first quarter after getting tangled up with Olynyk as both players attempted to rebound a loose ball. Olynyk was whistled for a foul on the play, but Love was forced to miss the remainder of the contest with the injury.

Derek Fisher a fan of Celtics coach Brad Stevens

Here’s ESPN New York reporting some praise for young Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who continues to make the most of a fairly limited roster. The Celtics are in big trouble in their first-round playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers but they’ve still played well and put up a good fight:

Derek Fisher a fan of Celtics coach Brad Stevens

If you’re an NBA fan who appreciates how well Brad Stevens has the Boston Celtics playing, you’re not alone.

New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher is also a big fan of Stevens’ work.

Fisher mentioned Stevens’ named fairly frequently over the course of the season when talking about coaches he appreciates. There are aspects of Stevens’ approach that Fisher wants to emulate.

“I think Brad kind of has that feel where most of the work is already done and he’s allowing the guys to go out and play the game,” Fisher said of Stevens’ “quiet” sideline demeanor. “That’s kind of the way I feel. That will be my style going forward.”

Isaiah Thomas hates coming off the bench

Isaiah Thomas hates coming off the bench

Here’s NESN reporting on a key Boston Celtic:

Isaiah Thomas hates coming off the bench

Isaiah Thomas won’t sugarcoat it: He hates coming off the bench. Hates it. If given the chance to start, Thomas would take it in a second.

That’s not going to happen anytime soon, though. The Celtics point guard has been too valuable to his team in a reserve role, and the team itself has enjoyed too much success for coach Brad Stevens to mess with a good thing this late in the season.

So, for now, Thomas is stuck. But as the Celtics prepare to begin postseason play, he’s not going to be one to complain.

“Nobody’s sold me on no sixth man role,” Thomas said before Tuesday’s 95-93 win over the Toronto Raptors. “I’ve only had a few talks with (president of basketball operations) Danny (Ainge), a few talks with Brad. This is the role for the team right now, and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

More overseas games for Celtics next season

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics, who are already one of the most famous basketball teams in the world and will get even more live-and-in-person overseas exposure next season:

The Celtics might not be among the better NBA teams in the United States these days, but the franchise continues to be a major brand beyond the borders.

As such, it will soon be announced that the club is playing a third international game outside of the league’s footprint. It was reported here in November that the Celts will play preseason games in Milan and Madrid against local teams next October, and sources now say they will play a regular-season game against Sacramento in Mexico City in late November or early December.

The Kings will be the home team in that game, meaning the Celtics still will have 41 dates at the Garden, not including the preseason and playoffs.

Danny Ainge happy with Celtics playoff push

To make the playoffs or not? If a team has a chance to go far in the postseason, of course they should want in. But if they’re going to be lucky to even be there, and will quickly be sent home, and will receive a lower draft pick as a result? Tough to say what’s better for an organization. Because money is made on home attendance for a couple playoff games. But money also gets made from drafting a better player who helps the team win more and draw more fans and attention. Have fun analyzing all that. Anyway, here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the Celtics:

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge admitted Thursday that he sees value in his team getting a taste of postseason experience and would be disappointed for his players and coaches if the Celtics were to come up short in their quest for a postseason berth.

Ainge, who as overseer of the team’s rebuild must balance a desire for optimum draft position with the benefits of his current players getting big-game experience, has been leery at times of simply sneaking into the playoffs in a lowly Eastern Conference. But with his team playing far more inspired ball in recent months, the possibility of an extended season seems to have grown on him.

“I probably would be [disappointed if the Celtics missed the postseason], just because our guys have worked really hard and our coaching staff. I know how much they’re focusing on getting into the playoffs,” Ainge said Thursday during his weekly call to Boston sports radio 98.5 the Sports Hub. “They’re working, they have goals, and I’d like for them to accomplish the goals that they’ve set. So, yeah, I’d be disappointed for them.”

Marcus Smart suspended for striking Matt Bonner

Marcus Smart suspended for striking Matt Bonner

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been suspended one game without pay for hitting San Antonio Spurs center/forward Matt Bonner in the groin, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, which resulted in a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejection for Smart, occurred last night with 8:56 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ 101-89 loss to the Spurs at AT&T Center.

Smart will serve his suspension tomorrow when the Celtics host the Detroit Pistons.

To view the play, click on this link.

Hassan Whiteside suspended for elbow to Kelly Olynyk

Hassan Whiteside suspended for elbow to Kelly Olynyk

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has been suspended one game without pay for elbowing Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk in the back of the neck, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 2:45 remaining in the third quarter of Boston’s 100-90 win over Miami on Monday, March 9, at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Whiteside will serve his suspension tomorrow when the Heat hosts the Brooklyn Nets.

To view the play, click on this link.

Isaiah Thomas, Damian Lillard named Players of Week through March 1

isaiah thomas

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, March 1.

Thomas helped the Celtics to a 3-1 week, which included wins over the Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Hornets. He placed third in the East in scoring (22.0 ppg) and tied for seventh in assists (6.5 apg). On Feb. 27, Thomas scored a season-high 28 points and dished out seven assists during the Celtics’ 106-98 win over the Hornets.

damian lillard

Lillard led the Trail Blazers to a 3-0 week, which included wins over the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. He averaged 26.0 points (third in the conference) and added 5.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds. Lillard capped his week with a 31-point, seven-assist, four-rebound performance on March 1, during a 110-99 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Mo Williams, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, Indiana’s George Hill, Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, New Orleans’ Tyreke Evans, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, and Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe.

Warriors give credit to Celtics

Warriors give credit to Celtics

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the Celtics, whose effort is winning them some respect even in losses:

The Boston Celtics already had overhauled their roster twice before visiting the Golden State Warriors in late January. The Celtics still looked a bit different to the NBA’s best squad on Sunday because of two more swaps at February’s deadline.

The Warriors showered the current version of the Celtics with praise after rallying from a 26-point deficit for a 106-101 triumph at TD Garden.

“We studied them [this weekend] and the trades they made, obviously they’re not as familiar with each other but the talent they have and the pace that they try to play at now is tough and they showed that obviously in the first quarter,” Steph Curry said. “We had to make adjustments, we didn’t want to be down 26.”

Echoed Splash Brother Klay Thompson: “[The Celtics have] improved since the last time we played them. They play real well together, I’m just happy we grinded it out.”

Isaiah Thomas playing well for Celtics

Isaiah Thomas playing well for Celtics

Here’s the Blog reporting on the Celtics, who are having fun lately:

The Isaiah Thomas era continued its promising start on Friday night.

Boston’s new point guard scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half, enabling the Celtics to fight back from a 16-point second half deficit against the Charlotte Hornets, and pull away for a 106-98 win.

Avery Bradley added 19 points for the hosts, and Jonas Jerebko chipped in with 16 points off the bench for the Celtics, who have now won three straight games and seven of their last ten overall. Mo Williams had a game-high 31 points for the Hornets in the setback.

Evan Turner gets triple-double vs Knicks

Evan Turner gets triple-double vs Knicks

Wednesday night in Boston, the Celtics beat the visiting New York Knicks 115-94, hitting 14-of-31 from three-point range in the win. The Celtics are now 22-33 for the season. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Evan Turner gets triple-double vs Knicks

The Knicks, a league-worst 10-46, allowed Evan Turner to go for a triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds. The other Celtics to accomplish that against the Knicks were Larry Bird (three times) and Rajon Rondo (three times).

The Celtics finished shooting 50.6 percent and went on their blitz after going to a small lineup, using 3-point sniper Jonas Jerebko, who nailed the momentum-boosting buzzer 3-pointer to put the Celtics up 90-72 after three.

“They went small and we weren’t as organized as we should’ve been,’’ Knicks starting center Lou Amundson said. “It’s disheartening. We felt we put up a good effort in the first half.’’

Jared Sullinger vows to get into better shape this summer

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on Celtics big man Jared Sullinger, who needs to be a bit less of a big man and trim down a bit. And he knows it:

Jared Sullinger vows to get into better shape this summer

Boston Celtics big man Jared Sullinger said he’s unhappy with the way he looks on film and pledged to use his rehab from a left foot fracture and the offseason to transform his body.

Sullinger’s season ended Sunday when tests determined he has a stress fracture of the fourth metatarsal.

“Freak accidents happen. I just have to come back better,” Sullinger said.

Pressed on what he hoped to get out of recovery, Sullinger added: “A little bit of everything — change the physique, change the way I look. That’s the biggest thing, I think. I’m tired of looking on camera and just seeing how I look, seeing how I play during extended minutes. Conditioning is going to be a big factor. Conditioning is going to be hard because all I can do is ride the bike. We’re going to find ways, we’re going to find ways to get me in the best shape possible.”

Jared Sullinger out for season with foot injury

jared sullinger

The Boston Celtics announced today that, following further medical evaluation at the New England Baptist Hospital, it was determined that forward Jared Sullinger has sustained a left metatarsal (foot) stress fracture and will be out for the remainder of the 2014-15 regular season.

In 51 games played this season, Sullinger averaged 14.4 points and 8.1 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per outing.

According to ESPN Boston, “the loss of Sullinger leaves Boston thin up front. The Celtics were hoping to get second-year big man Kelly Olynyk back shortly after the All-Star break, but he remains sidelined by a right ankle injury that has caused him to miss 12 straight games. The Celtics will get some help up front after recently acquired Jonas Jerebko joined the team Saturday.”

Celtics roster changes this season

Boston Celtics roster changes this season

The Boston Celtics have made a ton of roster changes this season as they rebuild for the future. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

In the days before the All-Star break, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens was asked if his team’s recent success could be traced in part to roster continuity. Stevens chuckled at the suggestion, but later admitted that three weeks without a roster move might truly have represented a lengthy period of time for a team that’s seen its player swap uniforms more frequently than famed halftime act, Quick Change.

The Celtics have employed a staggering 38 players since the formal start of the 2014-15 season. You could fill three NBA teams (or maybe two NBA teams and a D-League squad) with players that have been on the roster.

Just look at the list of players that are gone but not forgotten (in alphabetical order): Joel Anthony, Chris Babb, Keith Bogans, Will Bynum, Andre Dawkins, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jarrell Eddie, Vitor Faverani, Tim Frazier, Kris Humphries, Chris Johnson, John Lucas III, Rodney McGruder, Erik Murphy, Jameer Nelson, Dwight Powell, Tayshaun Prince, Austin Rivers, Nate Robinson, Rajon Rondo, Malcolm Thomas, Christian Watford, and Brandan Wright.

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