|10.22.08 at 11:37 am ET|
On Wednesday NBA.com revealed the results of the 2008-09 GM Survey. There were some expected predictions based on last season’s performances ‘ a second straight Celtics/Lakers Finals, the Miami Heat will be the most improved team, and Chris Paul is the fastest player with the ball. But there were also a few notable results worth taking another look at:
Which team will win NBA Finals 2009?
1. L.A. Lakers — 46.2%
2. Boston — 19.2%
3. New Orleans — 11.5%
4. Houston — 7.7%
San Antonio — 7.7%
Others receiving votes: Detroit, Orlando
The departure of James Posey caused many to doubt the Celtics chances to repeat, but this landslide victory was still surprising. Most of the hoopla surrounding the Lakers this season is the return of Andrew Bynum. Yes, he will make them better by giving them an inside presence and allowing Pau Gasol to move back to the power forward position (where he won’t get beat up by Kendrick Perkins). But can Bynum hold up for three postseason rounds? The Lakers starting five (including the hobbled Kobe Bryant) has not proven they can win it all as a unit whereas the Celtics are returning their entire starting lineup. While experience isn’t accounted for on the box score, it can affect the final outcome.
Who will win the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year?
1. Michael Beasley — 48.1%
2. Greg Oden — 29.6%
Which rookie will be the best player in five years?
1. Greg Oden — 30.8%
2. Michael Beasley — 23.1%
A year ago the race for Rookie of the Year was neck-and-neck between Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. One knee injury later, Oden has been edged out by Michael Beasley for the honors. But you’ve got to feel good if you’re Portland Trail Blazer GM Kevin Pritchard. His long-term vision for young talent will make his team a contender for several years down the road.
Who is the best head coach in the NBA?
Which head coach is the best manager/motivator of people?
1. Phil Jackson — 44.0%
2. Gregg Popovich — 28.0%
3. Doc Rivers — 12.0%
4. Nate McMillan — 8.0%
Others receiving votes: Rick Adelman, Jerry Sloan
Did you check that list twice? After winning an NBA Championship, Doc Rivers was left off the list of best head coaches. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich still reigns supreme in the eyes of GMs, also taking first place over Rivers for coach with the best defensive schemes. You would assume that Rivers would get at least one nod after transforming the Celtics from worst to first, but fortunately for Rivers the title of 2008 NBA Champions holds more clout than any preseason predictions.
As far as defense goes, Kevin Garnett was predicted to be the league’s best defensive player, best interior defender, and best leader. Rajon Rondo’s inclusion on the best on-the-ball defender list speaks volumes to the influences of Garnett and Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who was also predicted best in the NBA. To put things into perspective, Rondo was 10 years old when Bruce Bowen made his professional debut. Talk about a quick learner.
So how much stock should you put into these results? It’s up to you.
|10.21.08 at 6:46 am ET|
Tables are still available for the 2008 World Championship Celebration Gala to benefit the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. The annual gala will be held this Friday, October 24 beginning at 6:00pm at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.
This fundraising event raises money for an exceptional cause ‘ providing education and support for children in our community. All proceeds will go to benefit the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation.
This year’s gala will feature the unveiling of the 2008 championship rings as well as a roundtable panel discussion with last season’s starting five, moderated by WEEI’s Glen Ordway.
Members of the Boston Celtics organization in attendance will include All-Stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, members of the 2008-2009 Celtics team and coaching staff, Head Coach Doc Rivers, Executive Director of Basketball Operations and GM Danny Ainge, and Co-owners Wyc Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca and Robert Epstein.
The gala will also feature once-in-a-lifetime auction items, including a 2008 World Championship Executive Level Ring, Two Gold Level Seats to the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, a ‘Travel with the Team,’ and more.
To purchase a table contact Rebekah Splaine at 617-854-8090.
|10.20.08 at 10:45 am ET|
So, late last week I made a sort of half-ass case for keeping Darius Miles. I knew even as I posted it that things looked grim, but I was hoping that the old Darius would show up, and soon. It didn’t happen and today he got the axe.
It makes sense from the Celtics perspective because he was the only one without a guaranteed contract and Bill Walker (particularly) and JR Giddens have shown flashes of being useful NBA players sooner rather than later. Gabe Pruitt, obviously, showed what he can do if called upon, and there’s something comforting about keeping Sam Cassell around in case of an emergency. Read the rest of this entry »
|10.20.08 at 9:12 am ET|
Ever feel like the same teams roll through Boston year after year? Or wonder why the Celtics had such a demanding West Coast road trip last season? Mike Zarren, the Boston Celtics Assistant Executive Director of Basketball Operations, explains the thought process behind an NBA schedule on Celtics.com.
There are basic requirements for the Celtics, such as a home and away game against every Western Conference team. They also have to play two home and two away games against each team in the Atlantic Division. Then there are other factors, including coordinating their schedule with the Boston Bruins as well as boosting those ratings on national TV.
|10.19.08 at 3:42 pm ET|
A week after injuring his hand against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Leon Powe was sent back to the trainer’s room on Sunday. Powe was injured when he went up for a rebound and one of the New Jersey Nets landed on his left foot, hitting a nerve. Powe lost all feeling in his left foot for 30 minutes. After the game he said he can put pressure on it again and is not expected to have further complications. As for his left hand, it is still noticeably swollen but he is playing through the injury.
|10.19.08 at 2:56 pm ET|
The Boston Celtics defeated the New Jersey Nets 83-66 behind 44 solid minutes from Gabe Pruitt. Kendrick Perkins led the Celtics with 18 point and 9 rebounds. Ryan Anderson scored 20 for the Nets. A few postgame notes:
- Pruitt was the talk of evening as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce sang his praises. KG pointed out that Pruitt goes up against Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo every day in practice, naturally improving any player. “Playing against the Truth, giving him a good taste of what the Truth is all about will make you better,” he said.
- Nets head coach Lawrence Frank gave kudos to Perkins and called him “dominant presence in the game.” He also noted that his team got caught up in rotations, weren’t hitting their shots (31.9% FG), and failed at keeping the Celtics off the glass.
- On that note, the Celtics outrebounded the Nets 56-29. Pruitt (12 rebounds) grabbed more boards than Nets starting big men Bobby Simmons, Yi Jianlian, and Brook Lopez combined.
The Celtics will take on the New York Knicks on Tuesday night in NYC.
|10.19.08 at 2:50 pm ET|
Doc Rivers said he wanted to learn more about “3-4″ guys before he made cuts and today he’s taking a look at everyone but Sam Cassell. With four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Gabe Pruitt, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, Darius Miles, and Brian Scalabrine are on the court. This lineup is without a true center so they are pressuring on the perimeter to prevent a mismatch at the hoop. And just in case you thought anything has changed since last season, the fans are still chanting “Scal-a-bri-ne” every 30 seconds.