Category Archives: Celtics

Dreading It

mlb_g_brsts_600x400

Listening to sports radio as I’m prone to do, I heard a very scary realization.

Should the Celtics and the Bruins miss the playoffs, all we’re going to have to talk about starting around mid-April is going to be the Red Sox.

I’m being 100% honest, they aren’t even on my periphery at this point. I don’t really pay attention when they talk about the Red Sox during the updates. I know a bunch of the roster, but don’t know how anyone has really done this spring.

Oh this is going to suck. With no deep playoff run by either of the Garden teams, it’s going to be a ton of baseball and not much else.

This is going to suck.

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Pushing For The Playoffs

Jonas Jerebko

It drives my wife crazy, but I watch a bunch of Celtics basketball. Even if it’s just a quarter or two, I try and catch a little bit of every game.

It used to be I’d watch it to make sure they lost. Last year especially, I was pushing for that top spot in the draft. This year started the same way. As they traded off pieces I figured it would be easier to tank away their season and get that next piece near the top of the draft lottery.

But this team started winning. I’m not saying they’re surging to the top of the division or anything, but they are in a position where they’re definitely not going to finish the season near a top three pick in the lottery.

So if they’re not going to have a shot at a top three pick, I say why not make the playoffs. Is it really that much of a difference in drafting at 17 than at 10? Yeah, didn’t think so. Outside of that coveted top three, the chances of getting a franchise player drop significantly.

So I’ve done a 180 on the Celtics. From wanting them to tank away their season, I now want them to make the playoffs. I understand that comes with getting swept out by Atlanta but I think it’s good for the younger guys to experience the post season.

I think it will bolster Brad Stevens confidence too. Maybe they solidify a rotation and can start next season a step ahead of this season.

It’s a slow rebuild and I understand that now. But I’m pulling for them to make the playoffs.

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Trader Danny Strikes Again

ithomas

The reports yesterday were bleak. The Celtics were essentially staying pat. They were going to keep their veterans and ride out the season with them.

Then shortly after three o’clock the first trade broke. The Celtics had acquired Isaiah Thomas from the Suns. But we didn’t know what they’d given up. It took a little while but the return was finally announced as Keith Bogans and his expiring contract was on his way to the desert along with the Cleveland first rounder you’d gotten for next year.

So a high impact scorer, under a very manageable contract, can play off the bench or start at either of your guard position, in exchange for an expiring deal and what amounts to the last pick in the first round (very late to say the least).

I absolutely love this deal.

The team has been lacking a scorer for a while. Sure the team as a whole scores, but not like Pierce was their scorer. Not like Kobe and Lebron are their team’s scorers. I’m not putting Thomas in that category, but he certainly can score points.

But Thomas, Turner, Smart, and whatever bigs you want on the court. Seems like they could really generate some offense.

The team also dumped Tayshaun Prince (who last longer in Boston than any of us had expected) sending him back to Detroit in exchange for Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome.

I don’t think this move really has an impact on the roster too much. It frees up minutes (I hope) for James Young by not having Prince taking those 15 minutes a night but we’ll have to wait and see.

Pay attention Chiarelli. This is how it’s done.

Bruins, you’re on the clock.

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Now What?

bruins-and-celtics

As the confetti from the Patriots Super Bowl win is being swept up, we try and look ahead to what’s on tap besides more snow. Sure spring training opens in 10 days, but I’m not all too excited about the Sox. But before we jump to them, let’s take a look at the Garden.

We have the Bruins who are skating towards another first round loss should they squeak into the playoffs. And if somehow they miraculously sneak through to the second round, Montreal is going to stomp all over them.

They wrapped up their season series with Montreal on Sunday night with another Tuukka loss to the Canadiens. Tuukka now stands at 3-13-3 against Montreal in his career. A great stat for a goalie you’re paying $7 million a year and a team you’re forced to play in the playoffs almost indefinitely thanks to the new format.

So I’ll keep watching, but they certainly won’t be hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup anytime soon. Chiarelli screwed the pooch with the cap and the team isn’t recovering.

So we turn to their Garden tenants the Celtics. Fresh off their lottery pick last year, we were rooting for the same this year. After trading Rondo and Green we were even more hopeful that the team would go all Tankapalooza again and get into the lottery. But a funny thing happened on the way to the lottery; they started winning.

So while teams like Philadelphia, New York, the Lakers, and Minnesota are in full on tank mode, the Celtics keep winning games. Enough games now that they’re nipping on the heals of the eight seed in the Eastern Conference.

That’ll push them certainly out of the lottery. But their winning isn’t helping their chances to get a high pick either. As it stands right now they have a 1.1% chance at getting that top pick. And they don’t have the Cleveland “luck” to snag that #1 overall pick year after year even from the 10 spot.

So really we’re in that sports black hole that we usually have to wait till baseball’s All-Star break to find. We have our winter sports teams set to go no where and then a baseball team with no pitching come the spring.

At least we have the NFL draft to look forward to.

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Trader Danny On A Roll

nate-robinson-celtics

Jameer Nelson, we hardly knew you. The second piece in a week from the Rondo trade is on his way out of town. Nelson is heading to Denver in exchange for Nate Robinson.

The rumors had started to come out earlier yesterday that the Celtics were working on a buyout with Nelson. I’m guessing that Denver got wind of that saying “we could use Nelson” why don’t you trade for Robinson and buy him out. The move saves the Celtics $1.2 million in the process.

That’s the way it looks too. Robinson will be bought out and like the Austin Rivers rumors, will be free to sign with Doc’s Clippers or the Cavs with LeBron.

The Celtics are just clearing roster space to bring back expiring contracts in moving Rivers to LA. Thus the buyout of Robinson and the expected buyout of Tayshaun Prince.

Lots of moves in a few days but not many players in green. Like I said yesterday we’ll continue monitoring it.

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Green Trade Done

jeff green

After Rondo was traded the rumor mill was in full force saying that Danny Ainge was pushing for a first round pick for Jeff Green. Many people laughed and said that he’d be lucky to get a second round pick for him and thought a first was out of the question.

I think a first was always on the table so long as you were willing to accept a first round pick towards the end of the first round. Enter the Grizzlies and the expiring contract of Tayshaun Prince. The Celtics may not get that pick till 2021 (six years from now) but that adds to their ever growing draft stockpile.

I think it’s now 24 picks over the next five drafts.

Then the Pelicans entered the trade as well sending former #10 overall pick Austin Rivers to Boston in the trade. Rumors have persisted all weekend that Rivers would be traded to the Clippers where his dad, Doc, coaches and Boston would get back a second round pick. That would be 25 picks in the next five drafts. Rumor is they’re looking to add a third team so Boston can get back another expiring deal.

It seems like the never ending rebuild at this point. All the late first round picks and second round picks don’t get you a top pick in the draft. No team would trade your five crappy picks and Sullinger (for example) for the top pick in the draft. You need to tank to get in that position, and the Celtics can’t seem to tank hard enough (winning against the Pelicans last night).

I’m interested to see the additional trades but nothing has me excited at this point.

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2015 Boston Sports Preview

2015

I remembered that last week I promised a 2015 sports preview column and instead wrote about the Pats yesterday. So here it is, your Boston sports preview for 2015.

This year, we’ll break it down by teams.

Patriots
The Pats are going to host the Ravens this weekend. The game will be close in the first half before they go complete eff you mode in the second half in a commanding, statement win. They follow it up be embarrassing the Broncos next week before traveling to the desert to exercise the demons from 2007 and win the Super Bowl over the Dallas Cowboys (huh?).

The don’t dazzle by drafting an offensive lineman in the first round in the draft which pisses off the fans. He ends up solidifying the offense line next season as Tom Brady has a career resurgence and breaks the now retired Peyton Manning’s TD record in the regular season. They end up going 13-3 behind a healthier tougher defense and lock up the #1 seed in the AFC again.

Red Sox
The Sox stumble out of the gate. They lose Sandoval early to an injury that pretty much keeps him sidelined to the All Star break. That combined with the fact that Hanley Ramirez is abysmal in the field and batting .230 make the signings look really bad. Still without pitching they limp into the All-Star break still in the hunt because the division is so bad.

They end up fading in August and the infighting becomes headline worthy by the beginning of September. They end up finishing a game out of last place and Uncle Larry goes crazy with the checkbook after the season handing out ridiculous contracts to guys just to try and fill seats.

Bruins
The outrage reaches a fever pitch as Peter Chiarelli doesn’t do anything to address any of the team needs. The team fails to reach the playoffs and the fans are screaming for his head. He signs Milan Lucic to an absurd $7 million a year deal despite the fact that he finishes the season with only 12 goals.

They swing and miss again near the top of the first round and are already seven games out of the final playoff spot by December. Neely still doesn’t fire Chiarelli but raises ticket prices again.

Celtics
Despite the fans rooting very hard for a lottery pick, the team manages to snag the last playoff spot on the final game of the regular season. They’re immediately swept out of the playoffs and take solace in their multiple first round picks. They too swing and miss in the draft and end up with four more power forwards that further clog up their front court, but they’re not worried because they can all shoot threes.

By Causeway Day next year they’ve already lost seven games and look to be a lottery winner but they traded away their 2016 first round pick on draft night when they were able to get another pick in the 20s in the 2015 draft. Danny Ainge, like Peter Chiarelli, isn’t fired but instead applauded for his efforts in rebuilding the team.

So needless to say, I’m not very optimistic on the Boston sports front. The Patriots seem to be our only bastion of hope.

Here’s hoping I’m wrong on so many levels and we’re living the high life all 2015.

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