Tag: Boston Celtics

Celtics Show no Fight in Blowout to Toronto

With a month and a half left in the regular season the Boston Celtics continue to sit in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, they’ve dropped three straight and lost five out of their last 10 games. Last night was no different, the Toronto Raptors blew Boston out of their home court 118-95, at one point the Raptors were in complete control up 30.

The season has been repetitive up to this point, where the team wins a couple of games in a row and looks like they finally turned the corner on their inconsistent play. Instead of turning the page Boston somehow returns to their old ways and go on a losing streak, where it seems that the players don’t like each other.

Who do we Blame for the Celtics season?

We can point the finger at Brad Stevens for not switching up the lineups when the team goes through these losing moments, we can blame Kyrie Irving for his lack of leadership or we can point at Terry Rozier for his awful play off the bench. Regardless of whose to blame, this Celtics team with so much depth should not be in this position.

Some of it could be the injury to back-up center, Aron Baynes, who’s been sidelined due to a foot contusion. From late December until mid-January Baynes missed 13 games because of a fractured hand injury, he appeared in just nine games before going down again. With Baynes our, the Celtics lack a true big man off the bench once Al Horford takes a breather. Daniel Theis, Guerschon Yabusele and banged up Robert Williams get exposed inside against the opposing big men.

Toronto’s big men of Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam were just to much to handle for Boston’s undersized bigs. Gasol finished with five points, five rebound and eight assists, Ibaka had 14 points and Siakam killed Boston with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting and eight rebounds.

Irving Confident in Team heading into the Postseason

Irving made headlines on Sunday after the Celtics loss to the Chicago Bulls where he said he doesn’t believe anyone can beat Boston four out of seven games. “Like I said, I don’t get frustrated about this stuff anymore. It’s just part of the regular season. In the playoffs, when we can plan for a team, prepare for a team, I still don’t see anybody beating us in seven games,” said Irving.

Irving believes that once the playoffs comes around the Celtics will be a whole different team then what they’re showing. “No, we’ll be fine,” Irving then added, “Because I’m here.” He of all players has the right to be this confident based on his history of coming up big when the pressure is on. Irving hit one of the most clutch shots in Finals history against the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, which secured the Cleveland Cavaliers first championship.

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Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks Face Off For An Eastern Conference Heavy-Weight Match-Up

With the All-Star break now behind us the race for playoff positioning has begun. Teams in the playoff picture are heading into the final stretch with a winning mentality as the last month and a half of the regular season begins. It starts tonight as two of the favorites to make it out of the East in the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics face-off.

The Bucks currently hold the best record in the league at 43-14, while the Celtics are tied at the fourth seed with Philadelphia at 37-21.

Nikola Mirotic make Bucks debut

Head coach Mike Budenholzer and his coaching stuff get to unveil their newest toy in Nikola Mirotic tonight. Mirotic will take the court for the first time as a member of the Bucks after being traded by the New Orleans Pelicans before the trade deadline.

The Bucks have played in four games between the trade deadline and before the All-Star break, but Mirotic has been dealing with a calf injury that has kept him sidelined. He’s appeared in 32 games this season and is averaging 16.7 points per game (ppg) and 8.3 rebounds per game (rpg). MVP candidate, Giannis Antentkounmpo will have more help as the Bucks look to secure the number one seed in the East heading into the postseason.

Mirotic is an added bonus for Milwaukee, he’ll be able to spread the floor while Antentokounmpo draws in defenders inside the paint, which will free up shooters like Mirotic, Brook Lopez and Malcom Brogdon.

Jayson Tatum Predicts Boston to go all the way

After winning the Skills Challenge during All-Star weekend, second year player Jayson Tatum made an eye popping statement as to what he believes the future has in store for Boston.

“We’re going to win the Finals,” Tatum told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “February 16, mark it Jayson Tatum said we’re going to win the Finals this year.”

Tatum and the Celtics have a lot of work to do to get to that point as Milwaukee, Toronto and Philadelphia have added more weapons to their roster before the trade deadline.

Before the season started the talk around the league was Boston’s depth once Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward returned. Boston has about nine starting caliber players on their team, which was the main reason why many picked Boston to stream-roll through the Eastern Conference. But now it seems that the Bucks, the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers have caught up, if not surpassed the Celtics.

The Raptors added Marc Gasol from Memphis and the Sixers added Tobias Harris from the Clippers. But as anonymous scout said about the Celtics it will all come down to consistently and chemistry if Boston hopes to continue playing in June.

“This team can win the East or get beat in the first round. They have great talent but sometimes they have no chemistry,” said an anonymous scout.

Boston Celtics Are Still The Beast Of The East

The talk around the league after the trade deadline was the moves made by the Philadelphia 76ers and how they are the favorites to come out of the East. Last night, the Boston Celtics, without Kyrie Irving, faced off against the newly formed big four in Philly of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. Needless to say whenever Boston goes against a championship level team they bring their A-game, and last night was no exception. Boston overcame Philly 112-109, led by Gordon Hayward’s game-high 26 points, Jayson Tatum had 20 points and Al Horford chipped in with 23 points, five assists and eight rebounds.

The Celtics are the Sixers Kryptonite

In their last 19 games, including the playoffs, Boston has a 17-2 record against Philadelphia, their only two losses came on January 18, 2018 when they lost by nine and in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals when they lost 92-103.

Even with Irving, who’s out with a strained left knee, the Celtics played as perfect as they could against the 76ers. It helped a bit that Embiiid was in foul trouble throughout the game while shooting 9-22 from the field. Harris and Butler had better games as they shot a combined 11-26 from the field, Butler also missed important free throws in the fourth quarter that could’ve tied the game at 106.

With Embiid in foul trouble, Marcus Smart slammed down a vicious dunk through Embiid who decided not to contest with five fouls, which put Boston up 110-107. Tatum would ice the game with two clutch free throws to put Boston up 112-109, with no timeouts remaining Butler couldn’t get the shot up in time in hopes of sending the game to overtime.

Are the Celtics Better without Kyrie?

The numbers don’t lie, the Celtics have played better when Irving has missed games, they’re 8-2 when Irving’s out of the lineup. Last night, the ball moved around more then with Irving on the floor, Hayward had his best performance again a championship level team, Tatum reminded everybody why Danny Ainge wants to keep him in Boston and Horford had a big game on both sides of the floor.

With Irving in the lineup the team is 28-19, a small difference but we can’t deny what we saw from the Celtics young core last season in 60 games without Irving. Over the span of three rounds in the postseason, the Celtics went 14-8 and eliminated Philly in five games.

Boston is averaging 112.9 points per game this season in 57 games played, when Irving is out of the line-up the numbers jump to 113.5 ppg.

Irving will miss his second game tonight as Boston takes on Detroit at TD Garden, their last game before the All-Star break.

The Celtics win the Anthony Davis Sweepstakes

When Anthony Davis’ representative, Rich Paul, decided to announce that his client (Davis) was not going to sign the super-max extension New Orleans was going to offer him this summer and requested a trade, the announcement had a seismic feel around the league. Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks began to clear house and free up cap space to go after the Davis via trade or for the summer.

As the trade deadline approached the Lakers desperately tried to get their hands on the superstar, but never succeeded. As a result, with Davis still in New Orleans the Boston Celtics are now in the driver seat to acquire Davis this summer.

The Anthony Davis Circus

The Lakers offered a package of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo and two first round picks for Davis and Solomon Hill. Six players and two first rounders was still not enough for the Pelicans to part ways with Davis.

The Knicks on the other hand traded away Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr and Cortney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks for DeAndre Jordan, Wes Mathews, Denis Smith Jr and two first round picks. After buying out Mathews on Thursday, the Knicks now have enough cap space to sign two superstar free agents in the summer. They currently have the worst record in the league at 10-43, and if awarded the number one pick in draft, the Knicks can built a package around it in exchange for Davis, while at the same time having the ability to sign two max players this summer.

Before the trade deadline, the Clippers traded away Tobiris Harris to Philadelphia, who will be looking for a max contract this summer. They also traded Avery Bradley to Memphis, who had a $2 million partial guarantee in his contract. As a result of these moves the Clippers have also created enough cap space to sign two max players this summer.

They still have interesting pieces to flirt with New Orleans in a Davis deal this summer such as Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Shia Gilgeous-Alexander, a 2020 first-round pick and Miami’s 2021 first-round pick.

The Celtics pot of Gold

Somewhere in Boston Danny Ainge had a big grin on his face once the clock hit 3:00 p.m. on Thursday. New Orleans and The Lakers never agreed on a Davis deal, which means Ainge can open up his treasure chest to the Pelicans front office. Boston can offer New Orleans a number of interesting packages such as Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, Al Horford and two or three first round picks for Davis.

The toughest choice on Boston’s side will be if they’re willing to put Jayson Tatum into the mix. In his rookie season Tatum displayed his basketball excellence in the regular season and playoffs, helping Boston come one game shy of a trip to the Finals with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Irving and C’s still on board with Contract Talks

On Friday, Ainge silenced all the talk about Irving and his pending free agency by saying he still believes the superstar point guard will resign with Boston. “The way I viewed the situation is that I think a lot of people, because of Kyrie’s announcement at the beginning of the year, thought that it was a marriage,” Ainge said on Boston sports radio 98.5 The Sports Hub.

“And I think that it’s more like an engagement. And we’re going to get married on July 1st. I think that engagement is still on, as far as I know.”

“In my individual conversations with Kyrie, we’re still engaged but we really can’t make those vows, sign that contract until July 1st.”

The Celtics stay intact, While the East Stacks up

The trade deadline came and went without any moves from Boston as General Manager Danny Ainge and the rest of the Boston Celtics front office have decided to stick with the nucleus intact in hopes of a trip to the Finals.

With many speculations now in the rear view about whether or not Ainge was willing to deal Kyrie Irving before the deadline after his questionable comments about his commitment to Boston last Friday. The Celtics will now make a run at the top spot in the East with the same roster with less than three months remaining in the regular season.

Making a Run at the top spot in the East

We can’t say whether or not Boston has finally found some consistency, we’ve seen them go on a winning streak and then lose a couple of games to team not in the playoff picture.

Boston has won 10 of their last 11 games, with the only lost coming against the Golden State Warriors. They’ve shown us they can be a championship level team based on their brilliant performance against the Warriors and against Oklahoma City Thunder last Sunday. They outlasted the dynamic duo of Paul George and Russell Westbrook, who both have been in the MVP discussion this season.

Boston currently sits in the third seed in the East just three and a half games behind Toronto for second place and five and a half games behind Milwaukee for the number one seed. Milwaukee currently has the best record in the East and NBA at 40-13, and the Philadelphia 76ers can’t be slept on after making a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers for Tobias Harris, who’s averaging a career high 20.9 points per game this season.

Boston’s Marcus Morris Sr, isn’t sold on the new look Sixers, “Great pick up, not enough though,” wrote Morris on the comment section of a Belcher Report Instagram post.

Are the Celtics still the Clear Cut Favorite to win the East?

With the East as stacked as ever, do the odds still play in the Celtics favor to represent the East in the Finals. We can argue that the top four teams in the East, in the Bucks, Sixers, Toronto Raptors and Celtics have a shot at giving Golden State fits in the Finals, even potential push them to seven games.

Head coach of the Bucks, Mike Budenholzer has unlocked the Bucks offense with Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way putting up MVP numbers with 27 ppg, 12.4 rebounds a game and 5.9 assists per game. Before the deadline the Bucks added Nikola Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans. Mirotic was an important piece for the Pelicans during the postseason last year and has continued to play well this season averaging 16.7 ppg and 8.2 rpg.

The Sixers have formed their own big four of Harris, Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. General Manager, Elton Brand and the front office will stick with these four players alongside JJ Reddick for the foreseeable future, and will look to resign both Harris and Butler this off-season.

Just an hour before the trade deadline the Raptors landed Marc Gasol from Memphis, which improves their center position as opposed to having Jonás Valanciunas, who was included in the trade. A starting five of Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka and Gasol will be interesting to see as the goal for President, Masaji Ujiri, is to make the Finals in hopes of resigning free agent to be, Leonard.

As for Boston, chemistry and consistency is what’s keeping this team from competition night in and night out at a Golden State Warrior level. We’ve seen them pick up big wins against the Sixers, Raptors and even sweeping the Thunder this season, but it’s their inconsistency that’s kept Boston from being mentioned as a clear cut favorite from reaching the Finals. Gordon Hayward has yet to find his groove, but on the bright side Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier have found their role coming off the bench.

The Celtics play LeBron James and the Lakers tonight at TD Garden, and will test out the newly formed big four in Philadelphia on Tuesday the 12.

Irving, AD and New York shake up the NBA World during the Last Week of January.

Free agency does not start until July 1 and with the trade deadline less than a week away the final week of January has rocked the league with blockbuster trades, trade rumors and outspoken superstars concerning their future.

The New York Knicks shipped Kristaps Porzingis yesterday to the Dallas Mavericks, which freed room for two max contract spots on the roster heading into a loaded 2019 free agency class. The Memphis Grizzlies have made both Mike Conley and Marc Gasol available in trade talks for the first time, Anthony Davis has requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans and just this afternoon Kyrie Irving spoke out about his pending free agency this summer.

Should the City of Boston be Fearful of a Irving Departure?
Back in October 2018, during fan appreciation night at TD Garden, Irving said he planned on resigning with the C’s in front of fans, “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.” This gave General Manager, Danny Angie some comfort room as to how he can potentially team-up Irving alongside Anthony Davis this summer, using his treasure chest of draft picks and young talent. But things got cloudy in Boston this afternoon as Irving seemed uncertain about his future with the Celtics.
“At the end of the day, I’m going to do what’s best for my career, and that’s just where it stands,” said Irving ahead of the match-up between Boston and New York later tonight.
When asked about his decision on whether or not he’ll resign with Boston, “Ask me again on July 1,” he said. “Just do the best for me. That’s what it comes down to. Obviously this has become an entertainment thing for everyone… I’m not worried about a reputation, not worried about a legacy in the league. I’m just trying to be a human being, trying to make the best decision for my family.”
Championship or Bust
Irving’s mindset for this season hasn’t changed as the goal is still a to bring a championship to Beantown, “And my focus this season is winning a championship with the Boston Celtics. Obviously, we had goals coming into the season and the primary goals is to win a championship. So that’s where my focus is,” said Irving.
Throughout the year the Celtics have had a rollercoaster of a season with frustration bubbling between players. Both Irving and Al Horford have questioned the teams determination and hunger, Irving on the other hand called out the young players inexperience.
The questions that should be in the mind of Angie and the rest of the Celtics organization is, should they trade Irving before the trade deadline or be fearful of him leaving during free agency to a team like the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Lakers. Time will tell what the Celtics will do between today and the February 7 deadline.

New York Knicks and Anthony Davis Should Stay Far Away From Each Other

With recent news of Anthony Davis wanting out of New Orleans, many fans and analysts have put out trade destinations such as Davis going to the Lakers, Raptors, Celtics and even the forever struggling New York Knicks.

The Knicks should not look to entertain a trade for Anthony Davis as this would mean sacrificing talents such as Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Kristaps Porzingis and even potentially the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft which can turn into Zion Williamson or even R.J. Barrett. Two players who can elevate your franchise.

A core of Zion/Barrett, Porzingis and Knox would be a great core to build off of for the Knicks. It’s a core that could potentially be a big-time threat in a couple of years.

If you are the Knicks you have to ask yourself is Anthony Davis really worth giving up your future for?

The Knicks necessarily hasn’t been a winning situation for anyone and this should raise concerns on Anthony Davis’ end. What is the difference between the situation in New Orleans and the Knicks?

Trading for Davis would be a risk for the Knicks end as you would have to give up a lot of young assets for him. Davis would be paired up with no one once he gets there. The Knicks would have to pray to the basketball gods that a top free agent will come there in the summer.

The Knicks haven’t been serious contenders for a long time and is looked to be one of the laughing stock franchises in the NBA.

If a trade does go down and the Knicks land Davis, you are going to have to be 100% certain Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard will come to the Big Apple. If there are any uncertainties that with these players not coming, you are setting Anthony Davis up to fail.

Ultimately, the Knicks shouldn’t throw away the years they are rebuilding for Davis. From the history books, winning championships come from building through the draft and the Knicks have plenty of young players with upside. Don’t throw those years away.