Archive for November, 2011

Irish Coffee: Uno-Uno and Celtics number 11’s

Friday, November 11th, 2011

It’s 11-11-11, and it’s Day No. 134 of the NBA lockout. Hence, the analysis of the No. 11 as it relates to Celtics.

The results aren’t good. Since 1946, there have been 23 seasons when nobody wore No. 11 for the Celtics — and they won 10 titles in those years. While 22 players have worn the No. 11 for the Celtics, no one ever made an NBA All-Star Game in that uniform. Dana Barros did participate in a 3-point contest, but lost in the first round.

The most significant player ever to wear No. 11 for the Celtics is Chuck Cooper, who became the first African-American drafted by an NBA team when the C’s took him in the second round with the 12th overall pick in 1950.

The best player to ever wear No. 11 for the Celtics has to be Bob McAdoo, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee who played just 20 games in green after C’s owner John Brown pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Tom Barker and three first-round picks to the Knicks.  McAdoo, general manager Red Auerbach and player-coach Dave Cowens all learned of the trade in a newspaper, the ensuing resentment killed the 1978-79 season and they traded McAdoo to the Pistons for M.L. Carr and a pair of first-round picks in the 1980 NBA draft that eventually turned into Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. And the rest is history.

But which player enjoyed the best career in a No. 11 Celtics uniform? Let’s take a look at the 22 candidates.

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NBA players face stark choices

Friday, November 11th, 2011

The NBA lockout has come to down to this, apparently: The owners have made a revised proposal that offers a 50-50 split of the revenues and included minor adjustments from their previous offer, and the union will meet with player reps early next week to consider its options.

If the answer from the union is yes, then the NBA will go ahead with a 72-game schedule beginning on Dec. 15. The start of the playoffs would be pushed back a week, but considering the league would have already lost six weeks, a 72-game season in that time frame would be roughly similar to the 50-game sprint marathon of 1999. The Celtics, for example, would have played 20 games by Dec. 15.

If the answer from the union is no, then NBA commissioner David Stern indicated that the league will once again pull back the offer and revert back to a hard-line offer of a 47 percent split of the revenue and a structure the league calls a “flex cap” but is really hard a hard cap, and that’s a position the players won’t accept.

The key word is “apparently,” because throughout the process the NBA keeps issuing ultimatums and then backing off, but this time (really) feels different. “We have made our revised proposal, and we’re not planning to make another one,” Stern said.

It was clear Thursday night that the union wanted to keep negotiating because the owners’ offer is not an easy sell to its members. The details are important, and Ken Berger of CBS Sports outlined them here.

“I understand from the union’s standpoint it’s a difficult pill to swallow right now,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said. “But that, once again, over time, we’ll be proven right and this will be a better league for the players, the teams and the fans.”

Silver continues to try to frame the issue as one of competitive balance, even though it has been proven time and time again, that there is little, if any, correlation between payroll and success on the court. What it really comes down to is power and control. The balance of power shifted in recent years to the players, and the owners want it back.

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Irish Coffee: JaJuan Johnson ‘working out on his body’

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Any time the Celtics‘ first-round draft pick gets awkwardly interviewed by a hot chick, it’s Irish Coffee’s duty and honor to relay the conversation. That’s precisely what happened when BallersBlock.net’s Zuri Hall conducted a locker room interview with JaJuan Johnson.

Zuri Hall: What does it feel like with the NBA lockout kind of looming? You haven’t even be able to experience that rookie season yet. Are you getting advice from vets, like how are you feeling right now?
JaJuan Johnson: You have a lot of uncertainties, really, just because you really don’t know too much about what’s going on. I’ve never been through it yet, but all I can really do is work out and listen to the older guys. All they’re doing is just working out, too, so I’m just following their steps.

ZH: Now, have you entertained the idea of going overseas? What are your thoughts on guys who are thinking about that?
JJ: I think it’s just on that person. Me, personally, I really want to work out on my body and just get bigger and stronger. So, my focus is just in the weight room and on my game, but I can see why obviously people want to play overseas — for financial reasons or whatever it can be — but that’s just my focus.

ZH: Ok, I’ve got a few fun questions for you. I’m not going to ask all the hard questions. All right, here’s one: Hypothetically — it doesn’t matter if you’re married, single, babies, none — it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals, your wife goes into early labor with her first-born, where do you go — the game or the hospital?
JJ: You gotta go to the hospital. You’ve got to. I might try to leave real soon. As soon as it’s delivered, we gotta head out to the game.

ZH: Good answer. It was a trick question. You had to say the hospital. Ok, I have a few either/ors: love or money?
JJ: Oooh [rubs his chin]. Oh, God [smiles]. Naw, love, I’m just playing [laughs].

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Irish Coffee: The Doc Rivers coaching philosophy

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Appearing less as Celtics coach and more as parent/coach on behalf of the Positive Coaching Alliance, for which he serves on the National Advisory Board, Doc Rivers conducted an interview with WBUR’s Radio Boston program on Tuesday while sitting in I-93 traffic on his way to the Boston Garden.

While he declined comment on the NBA lockout, other than to say he hopes to coach the Celtics during a 2011-12 season, Rivers did offer a glimpse of the man who has accumulated a 336-238 record (.585 winning percentage) on Boston’s bench, trailing only Red Auerbach (795) and Tommy Heinsohn (427) on the team’s all-time wins list.

“I think you have to know people, and I don’t think there is a book on how to treat people,” he said. “I think to be a successful coach, you have to be a successful people person, not meaning that everybody has to like you — but you have to find a way to get to people. I have to find a way every single practice and every single day to get to a group of men, to motivate them to act as a teammate, not as an individual.

“To me, that’s an every day process, it’s a very difficult process, but it’s a process that you have to be willing to reach in and get your hands in there every day.”

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Paul Pierce gets Taiwanese animation treatment

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

It may not be as good as the Taiwanese animated portrayal of the Red Sox meltdown, but the latest NMA.TV effort involves none other than Celtics captain Paul Pierce and his leadership in the National Basketball Players Association’s decertification discussion. From what I can gather in this video, Pierce and a few Celtics teammates who look like Pierce literally smashed the union to smithereens with axes, causing one player with a nose ring to seduce a woman on a couch and leading to Michael Jordan getting shot in the head. Ok, then.

Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo ‘frustrating,’ says Shaq

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Jackie MacMullan’s latest, “Shaq Uncut: My Story,” co-written with Shaquille O’Neal, hits bookstores on Nov. 15. Excerpts about Shaq’s tenures in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Miami and Boston have already leaked.

We know about his claims that he told Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge he would never return from the Achilles injury, that he almost punched Glen “Big Baby” Davis for being selfish and that he believed Nate Robinson‘s obsession with Twitter put him in Doc Rivers‘ doghouse.

We also know that everything Shaq claims should be taken with a grain of salt, so keep that in mind when you read the following revelations, as relayed by the Herald’s Dan Duggan on Twitter.

  • Shaq said he was really interested in [Rajon] Rondo. Said Rondo was always a topic of convos. Very stubborn and won’t change.
  • Vets told Shaq how important but frustrating Rondo was. Vets liked when Rondo would get put in his place b/c he ticked them off at times.
  • Shaq did say Rondo earned the respect of the Big 3 by his defense and passing. Rondo and Doc had “respectful beefs” over plays/decisions.
  • Shaq said Baby drove Doc crazy. No surprise there. Said KG [Kevin Garnett] wouldn’t confront Baby; KG has mellowed later in his career.
  • Shaq said practices were very competitive. [Von] Wafer-Delonte [West] wasn’t the only skirmish.
  • Shaq said he told Danny not to do Perk [Kendrick Perkins] trade b/c he didn’t know if he’d be back. Said trade was strictly biz. C’s weren’t going to pay Perk.
  • Shaq said KG’s legs/knees were all screwed up last season. Said Ray [Allen] is a future GM, already like a front office guy. [Paul] Pierce is the leader.
  • Shaq had very high praise for Doc, positive memories of Boston.
  • Shaq also blatantly admits to manipulating the media/public. Says he made up a story about Bill Russell brokering peace w/ Kobe [Bryant] in 2006.
  • Shaq shook Kobe’s hand before the game and when asked said Russell told him to do it. Said he made that up to boost Russell’s legacy.
  • One last thing from Shaq’s chapter on Boston is how misleading the Celtics were on his injury.

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Irish Coffee: E’Twaun Moore or E’Twaun less?

Monday, November 7th, 2011

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

If you just watched this highlight video and knew nothing else about E’Twaun Moore, you might think the Celtics second-round draft selection is destined to become an NBA rotation player once the lockout comes to an end — especially when the announcer for his Italian club Benetton Treviso yells: “E-Twaun Moore-ah, alley-oop-ah!”

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

In four games and 26 minutes a night as a starter for Benetton TV (2-2), Moore is averaging 7.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocks per contest. Sure, he’s shooting 50 percent from the field, but he’s making just 30 percent of his 3-point shots and 50 percent of his free throws.

While Moore’s production in all phases of the game (10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block and 1 assist in 25 minutes) during a 72-55 blowout win on Sunday is encouraging, let’s put his performance into perspective.

Brian Scalabrine and Von Wafer, two players who could barely crack the Celtics lineup in the Big Four era, also play in the same Italian league. In fact, Scalabrine, plays for the same team, and he’s generating 12.0 points (71.4 FG%, 66.7 3P%), 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.8 steals in 32 minutes a night. Wafer plays Moore’s position for Vanoli-Braga Cremona, averaging 19.4 points (63.6 FG%), 3.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 1.2 assists and 0.4 blocks in 31.4 minutes over his first five games.

Moore’s ability to make the Celtics roster might depend less on his expected contribution and more on the team’s financial situation after a new collective bargaining agreement. (more…)