|02.19.17 at 6:02 pm ET|
Another trade deadline, another week of DeMarcus Cousins trade talks.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Sacramento has been engaging in trade talks on All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in recent days.
Wojnarowski notes New Orleans and the Kings have had recent discussions, but the Kings are still debating Cousins’ future internally.
If they are inclined, the Celtics certainly have the assets to make a trade happen with all of their draft picks, but it’s a matter of would the Celtics actually want to swing a deal to land Cousins. Cousins does not have a good reputation across the league when it comes to his attitude.
The 26-year-old is signed through the end of next season and is averaging 27.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game this season with the Kings.
When it comes to the Celtics, this is certainly a player that is worth monitoring as Thursdays trade deadline nears.
For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.
|02.19.17 at 11:00 am ET|
Will the Bulls trade Jimmy Butler? If so, could the Celtics be able to land the Bulls’ star?
The answer could be yes, and yes as the NBA trade deadline fast approaches.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the two teams have engaged in preliminary talks on a potential deal, but “have not gotten far down the road on it.”
Wojnarowski notes the Bulls organization needs to be fully in agreement that they want to rebuild and thus trade such a good player in Butler.
If the Bulls do indeed want to trade Butler, the Celtics have a number of high draft picks, which is what the Bulls would want, but then it would be a question of exactly what picks it would take to get a deal done.
Butler is 27 years old and is averaging 24.5 points per game this season. The guard is signed through the 2019-20 season.
For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.
|02.17.17 at 12:22 am ET|
It was the former Celtics head coach who brought Davis into the NBA via the 2007 draft, and then brought him over to the Clippers for the 2014-15 season. Evidently, those turn of events don’t matter much to the current free agent.
There are definitely some hard feelings coming from Davis.
Appearing on Chris Broussard’s podcast, the former Celtic called Rivers “lucky as hell” and “overrated” when asked about his former coach.
According to FoxSports.com, this is how the exchange went …
Davis: Because what Doc had in ’08 was special and he was lucky as hell … Lucky as hell. The year before that they was wearing trash bags … But then the next year they win it, now he is one of the best coaches ever? I’m just not feeling that. You know what I mean? You give credit to KG. You give credit to Paul Pierce. You give credit to Ray Allen. Those are the guys who made sure whatever Doc needed to be done, got done.
And see now it’s easy for Doc to do his job. And then you give credit to Danny Ainge. That’s the one you give credit to. Because I know multiple times [Ainge] had to talk to Doc, just to say ‘Hey Doc, leave em alone. Hey Doc, ease up.’
“I’m off that Doc tip. He’s a great guy but as far as that basketball stuff but I try to …”
Broussard: Is he overrated as a coach?
Davis: I think so.
|02.16.17 at 10:32 pm ET|
Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart keep coming up huge when it matters most.
But unfortunately for the Celtics the officials decided Thursday’s game.
Jimmy Butler hit two free throws with 0.9 seconds left when Marcus Butler was called for grazing the right elbow of the shooter by referee Zach Zarba on the baseline. The two free throws were the difference in Chicago’s 104-103 win at the United Center. TV replays showed Smart didn’t make contact.
A brutal call by Zarba at the worst time. Butler and Thomas each finished with 29 points.
After a timeout trying to inbound, Al Horford missed a 16-foot shot at the buzzer as the Bulls were bailed out.
“We not going to be derailed by that,” a tight-lipped Brad Stevens told reporters after. Stevens was irate at the moment the call was made.
“Yeah, we thought we won the game,” said Kelly Olynyk, who had 17 points and seven rebounds. “A rollercoaster of emotions. It’s tough.”
Thomas and Smart stayed on the court for nearly a minute after the final buzzer and stared down Zarba. Before the call, the Celtics were poised for another clutch win in the fourth.
There was a mindset and thought as recently as three years ago in Brad Stevens’ first year in Boston that the Celtics still needed Rajon Rondo to be apart of their next charge at a title.
But in that 2013-14 season, he missed the first 40 games recovering from an ACL injury the year before. He was named the 15th captain in team history. One year later, the disenfranchised Rondo was traded away to Dallas and the Celtics haven’t looked back. The Celtics made the playoffs that year, Stevens’ second as head coach. After 48 wins last season, the Celtics are making a run at the No. 1 seed this year.
Rondo has played for Sacramento and now Chicago.
It’s somewhat appropriate that Thomas – the man that helped the Celtics move on from the Rondo era – set a new franchise mark with his 41st straight game of at least 20 points Thursday night in the loss to the Bulls at the United Center in the final game before the All-Star break. The Celtics head into the break with a 37-20 mark, three games behind Cleveland for the top spot in the East.
For a full box score and statistical recap of Thursday’s game in Chicago, click here.
Rondo twisted his left ankle badly with three minutes left in the second quarter but in the time he was on the court, he clearly was inspired to prove he could hang with and defend Isaiah Thomas. To an extent, he was successful, holding Thomas to just two points over the first 15 minutes of the game. Rondo, coming off Chicago’s bench, was held scoreless in 20 minutes, missing all five shots from the floor, dishing out eight assists with seven rebounds.
|02.16.17 at 10:36 am ET|
Danny Ainge watched this week as the Raptors made a big push to re-claim their position atop the Eastern Conference with Cleveland when they acquired forward Serge Ibaka from the Magic.
But what the Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations has also watch is the emergence of one of his own players into a legit force on the team that has pushed its way past Toronto in the East and sits just two games back of Cleveland in the East.
What Marcus Smart has done in the last two weeks has been eye-opening.
In Boston’s 11-1 run to second place in the East and first in the Atlantic Division, Smart is averaging 12.3 points, 5.4 assists, four rebounds and an eye-popping 2.3 steals a game. Of course, that last number got a huge bump Wednesday night with eight swipes against the Sixers in a 116-108 win at TD Garden.
A 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio is considered good, and that’s exactly what Smart is averaging in the 12-game run, with 2.7 turnovers per game. But throw in his steals and it’s nearly 3-to-1. That’s sensational. Consider that the OPS-plus of basketball.
“I’ve been really trying to elevate my game especially going into the second half trying to keep the momentum alive,” Smart said after Wednesday’s win. “I can honestly say this is the most comfortable I have been in a Celtic uniform. It feels good, not only for myself but to be able to contribute to this team in other ways. It’s definitely something I will continue to try and keep doing.”
If there was a singular play that defines Smart’s play over the last two weeks it was his jumping on Nik Stauskas when Stauskas lost his dribble 20 feet from the basket with three minutes left and the Celtics up, 106-101. He seized the opportunity to grab the ball, which he did for his seventh steal, and fed Jae Crowder for the game-sealing lay-up.
“I saw the ball and went after the ball,” Smart said. “He just happened to be in the way of it.”
“I thought Smart was fantastic. I thought Smart has really strung a bunch of games together here. Made big shots, made timely shots, but then defensively was terrific,” Brad Stevens said. “I think the last couple of weeks have been some of his best basketball. And we needed it. We’re down a couple of bodies and he is playing at a high level on both ends of the floor.
“I think the ankle sprain at the start of the year was kind of an unfortunate kick-off to the year; it set you back a little bit. And then in the last few weeks I just think, like, he’s really found a rhythm and a groove. And it started on the defensive end with guarding at a really high level. I think he’s guarding even better than he did at the start of the year and he’s been good. We need him to, again. We’re down Jaylen (Brown) and down Avery, you’ve got to have those perimeter defenders step up for you.”
With Isaiah Thomas setting all sorts of new franchise scoring marks (now averaging 29.8 points for the season), it would be easy to overlook Smart. But Smart’s efforts in the last week have been the backbone behind Thomas’ sensational season. With Smart locking opponents down defensively, Thomas has been freed up a bit to focus mainly on making sure the Celtics keep scoring at a frenetic pace.
Ainge has a decision to make. Does he want to make a deal in the days leading up to the Feb. 23 deadline to give the Celtics a better chance at making a run at Cleveland? What pieces on his current roster could help him make such a deal? Forgetting, for a moment, the first-round picks the Celtics have in their draft bank, there likely would have to be some legitimate talent swapping places.
|02.15.17 at 11:44 pm ET|
Isaiah Thomas became the second player in Celtics history to score 20-plus points in 40 consecutive games on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Thomas finished with a game-high 33 points in the Celtics’ 116-108 win over the 76ers. He is now tied with hall-of-fame legend John Havlicek, who completed the feat on Jan. 30, 1972.
If Thomas is able to score 20 or more points in Thursday night’s game against the Bulls, he will become first Celtics player to score 20-plus points in 41 straight games.
Can he make history on Thursday?
“I’m confident I can but like I’ve said, I’m not chasing that,” Thomas said. “Maybe it happens, maybe it doesn’t. I always say it — it doesn’t seem real for my name to be mentioned with certain greats and hall of famers, you know? It doesn’t seem like it should be like that but you know it means I’m doing something [right] and I’m just glad we’re winning on top of it.”
Thomas also made Celtics history from behind the arc in Wednesday’s win when he drained his 168th 3-pointer of the season. He’s now in second place for most 3-pointers made in a single season, tying Ray Allen who finished the 2010-2011 season with 168 3’s.
Antoine Walker holds the franchise record for most 3-pointers made in a single season, he drained 222 3’s throughout the 2001-2002 season.
|02.15.17 at 11:03 pm ET|
More Celtics history Wednesday night from Isaiah Thomas in a win over the Sixers at TD Garden. Mike Petraglia and Josue Pavon have the details.
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