Archive for October, 2011

Avery Bradley’s Israeli halfcourt alley-oop dunk

Monday, October 31st, 2011

As discussed in this morning’s Irish Coffee, here are two of Celtics second-year guard Avery Bradley‘s 21 points for Hapoel Jerusalem over the weekend (h/t The Score) — on a halfcourt alley-oop, no less.

Recent reports indicate that Bradley could be on his way out of Israel, and Celtics anti-legend Marcus Banks might be his replacement. Considering Bradley’s effort in his most recent game, such a decision would appear to based more on Bradley’s ability to contribute post-lockout than Bradley’s on-the-court performance.

Irish Coffee Archives: Celtics Halloween

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

What a difference a year makes. Three games into the 2010-11 NBA season, Ray Allen‘s party and Shaquille O’Neal‘s tour of Boston dressed as a woman last Halloween set the tone for what appeared to be a likable Celtics group that seemed destined for a third Finals appearance in four seasons.

That optimism soon devolved into a succession of injuries, the trade that shall not be referenced, another late-season slide,  a playoff beatdown courtesy of the hated Heat and the ongoing misery that is the NBA lockout.

Still, we’ll always have the legendary Top 10 Celtics Halloween photos from 2010 — featuring a cameo by Red Sox slugger David Ortiz (followed by a handful of links, including Avery Bradley‘s status overseas) …

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Irish Coffee: The NBA CBA, the Celtics and the future

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

By now, you’ve probably heard the NBA is on the precipice of a collective bargaining agreement that would end the lockout. Good news, obviously. How such a deal would affect the Celtics is an entirely different matter, so let’s examine five issues that could impact the team this season.

Issue: Scheduling

  • Pro: TrueHoop’s Kevin Arnovitz makes a compelling case for a 44-game NBA schedule, with teams playing twice weekly. Needless to say, that would be welcome news for Jermaine O’Neal‘s knees, among other various body parts on these old Celtics. But it’s a pipe dream.
  • Con: The NBA is already making plans to ensure the full NBA regular-season slate remains intact — starting a month late on Dec. 1 and ending in late April, according to The New York Times. As Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe notes, such a schedule could mean eight games — give or take — would be crammed into an existing schedule that already features 18 back-to-backs for the C’s. In other words, goodbye No. 1, 2 and possibly 3 or 4 seed!

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A brief reminder of where the Celtics roster stands

Friday, October 28th, 2011

While we have been down this road many times before, it’s finally looking like there will be an NBA season. Maybe.

At the risk of jinxing what has been a process loaded with pitfalls, here’s a look at where the Celtics roster stands if/when the lockout ends and peace is at hand.

With only six players under contract before the lockout, team president Danny Ainge will have his work cut out for him as he attempts to build the Celtics roster this season, without cutting into the team’s anticipated cap space in 2012.

PLAYERS UNDER CONTRACT

Rajon Rondo: The point guard is in the second-year of a five-year, $55 million contract and if Rondo can either continue to improve, or reach a level of consistent play, this will be one of the great bargains in the league. It could also make him a valuable trade piece down the line, but that’s getting too far ahead of the game.

Ray Allen: The 36-year-old picked up his $10 million option before the lockout. This may not be the end of the line for Allen in a Celtics uniform because his shooting ability has aged as well as he has.

Paul Pierce: The franchise cornerstone has another year left on his deal after this season with options for the following seasons. It’s hard to imagine him in any other uniform.

Kevin Garnett: This is the big decision for next season when Garnett’s $21 million contract comes off the books. Any guesses as to what the future holds for Garnett are premature, but his expiring deal is the key to the Celtics cap space in 2012.

Jermaine O’Neal: With one year and $6 million left on his contract, O’Neal represents great value at the center position. If, and it’s a big if, he can stay healthy.

Avery Bradley: The rookie season was a wash, but he and the team are expecting much bigger things in the future. Carving our a role in the rotation would be a positive development.

THE ROOKIES

JaJuan Johnson: The first-round pick provides height and youth, two areas the Celtics desperately need.

E’Twaun Moore: The other Purdue product will get his opportunity and the Celtics have not been shy about giving experienced second-round picks a chance to contribute, but he’ll have to earn it.

Gilbert Brown: The Celtics have no rights on Brown, but the undrafted free agent is clearly in their sights.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENT

Jeff Green: The best-case scenario for the Celtics is if Green signs his one-year tender offer and either shows that he can be a valuable part of the next generation or become cap space in 2012. A long-term deal at a reasonable rate is another possibility.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

Glen Davis: There have been times when Davis has been a valuable member of the rotation and a quasi-starter. There have also been times when he hasn’t delivered. There’s a place for Davis on this team for the right deal, but both parties could seek a fresh start.

Delonte West: It’s not a foregone conclusion that West returns, but this is a great fit for him and his abilities.

Nenad Krstic: The veteran center signed a two-year deal with CSKA Moscow and the Celtics do not expect him to return.

Troy Murphy, Sasha Pavlovic, Carlos Arroyo: It’s anywhere on the scale from maybe to doubtful that any of the other three free agents return. That will depend entirely on the market and where Ainge chooses to direct his resources.

Irish Coffee: Manny Pacquiao loves the Celtics

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

When Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao plays basketball, he wears a Kevin Garnett Celtics jersey — and drops 15-foot buckets like No. 5. Maybe Garnett should implement the old bounce-the-ball-off-the-defender’s-knees move from the embedded video. If only the 5-foot-7 Pac-Man were a foot taller.

Pacquiao’s man love for KG & Co. — and vice versa — has long been publicized. Soon after the 2008 NBA title run, a bunch of Celtics attended the southpaw’s victory against David Diaz in Las Vegas and celebrated with him afterward. In March 2009, Pacquiao sent a bunch of autographed boxing gloves to the Celtics prior to a game. And last summer, Paul Pierce called Pacquiao the “best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.”

Pacquiao’s next fight just happens to be against Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on Nov. 12. I’m guessing it’s no coincidence that Allen Iverson‘s Las Vegas Superstar Challenge is scheduled for Nov. 12-13, and Pierce is involved. Let’s just say there could be a few players battling hangovers in the championship game of The Answer’s two-day tournament. Good thing Iverson has no distractions during the showcase.

Maybe Garnett, Pierce and Rajon Rondo could also link up with Pac-Man when they visit Macau — about a two-hour flight from the Philippines — during the All-Star World Classic tour that begins in Puerto Rico on Sunday. All three Celtics are scheduled to participate in the exhibition along with Kobe Bryant and 10 others.

Or maybe the NBA lockout will end by Sunday, and Pacquiao can watch all 82 Celtics games on TV.

(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’s Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach on Twitter.)

Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo’s NBA lockout ‘just boring’

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

Rajon Rondo granted interviews to a number of reporters after participating in an exhibition game in Kentucky on Monday night, which is more than can be said about plenty of Celtics games.

Among his comments was this gem on the NBA lockout (via The Kentucky Kernel): “It’s just boring.”

Tell me about it, bro. Why I else would I be combing the interwebs for anything interesting about the Celtics, like this youth football photo of you? (By the way, I’m 92 percent certain Rondo could start for the Oakland Raiders this Sunday and be better than the Kyle Boller/Carson Palmer Soup du Poop.)

At least NBA owners and players will resume collective bargaining negotiations on Wednesday, according to Newsday. Can’t they just agree on a 50/50 split and end this boredom?

Moving on to a few other Rondoisms (via Kentucky Sports Report and WHAS-11):

  • On losing: “I don’t like to lose. I missed a free throw, so I was pretty pissed off a little bit. I compete to win, and I don’t like to lose. I never like to lose, even a game like this.”
  • On mentoring: “I had a couple of mentors I looked up to and was able to talk to about what I was going through when I was young. That is what I’m doing for those guys. When I’m around, I am showing them positive things to do and how to handle themselves as young men, because I have been through what they are going through. They all want to be in the league and want to win and be the man, but there are certain steps you have to take. They are all very young. Just be patient. I try to tell them not to be in a rush to grow up and get this life so fast.”
  • On playing: “I’m ready to get it going. I’m excited about the season this year. I’m just trying to stay healthy, most of all, and try to get back to the championship and win.”

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Rajon Rondo schools Villians like the Green Lantern

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Rajon Rondo highlights from the Big Blue All-Stars vs. Villains game referenced in this morning’s Irish Coffee, complete with jump shots and everything (via Celtics Town). The behind-the-back inbound pass is ridiculous.