|Jackie MacMullan on OM&F: ‘The thing about the Celtics is they control their own destiny’||04.08.16 at 4:47 pm ET|
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan joined the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Friday and discussed the Celtics’ chances in the upcoming playoffs.
First off, she was extremely impressed with last week’s win over the Warriors.
“I thought it was incredibly meaningful, and I’ll tell you why,” he said. “They didn’t show up against the Clippers on that road trip. They have a really crummy practice in advance of that Portland game. And from what I understand, [coach Brad] Stevens called them all together and said, ‘You guys aren’t nearly as good as you make think you are. This is a good Portland team and we could lose to them tonight.’ And they went out and played pretty well in that game, but they lose anyway.
“Now, if they don’t come out of that road trip 3-2, we’re all going to say, ‘That was a disappointing road trip,’ right? So you know they’re going to beat the Lakers, or at least you hope they can. But that game, they’re the perfect team to play Golden State, because of the way they hawk the ball, the way they hawk those guards and pressure the ball defensively. They gave Stephen Curry trouble, there’s no question about it. To me, that win was more about the psyche of the team now going forward.”
|Introducing the official ‘Celtics are Wahlberg’ game||03.26.16 at 10:28 am ET|
When Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas found out Hollywood icon Mark Wahlberg was in the building on Wednesday night, he sent a message to the “Basketball Diaries” star at TD Garden.
“That was my first time ever seeing him,” said Thomas, “so once they showed him on the Jumbotron, I had to find out where he was. I hit the shot; I definitely had to point to him.”
Wahlberg pointed back.
“Yeah, he did,” added Thomas, “so we’ve got a little friendship brewing.”
Thus began the process of landing Thomas a role in “Patriots Day.”
“Something,” said Thomas. “I need something.”
Even better, the interaction between Boston’s best basketball player and the world’s greatest living actor gave birth to the “Celtics are Wahlberg” game on the WEEI Celtics Podcast, hosted by Sam Packard and Jared Weiss, featuring Ben Rohrbach (accepting five-star reviews now).
Basically, the gang broke down which Celtics player best matches various Wahlberg characters, and comedy ensued, including a potential “Truman Show 2” plot starring coach Brad Stevens.
Anyhow, you can now play along to “Celtics are Wahlberg” as you listen for the correct answers (and remember, please only vote for each Celtics player once throughout this important exercise):
|Kevin Durant on Boston: ‘I like the city a lot’||03.16.16 at 4:04 pm ET|
In Boston for a nationally televised showdown with the Celtics on Wednesday night, impending free agent Kevin Durant said exactly what every C’s fan wanted to hear.
“I like the city a lot,” the Oklahoma City forward told The Boston Globe from shootaround in the hours before tipoff. “It’s cold, but they love sports here. It’s a family atmosphere I feel when I walk around the city, so yeah, I like it a lot.”
As the Globe’s Gary Washburn noted, injuries have prevented the 2013-14 NBA MVP from playing at TD Garden since Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo were still starting for the Celtics during the 2012-13 season. But that hasn’t kept Durant from keeping an eye on the rebuilding efforts of coach Brad Stevens in Boston.
“I’ve been watching this team a lot,” he added. “They’re scrappy. They play hard. They love their coach. They love their system, and especially in this building, they play with a lot of energy. So it’s going to be a tough test.”
|Report: Celtics have interest in Brooklyn buyout candidate Joe Johnson||02.25.16 at 2:33 pm ET|
According to an ESPN report, Johnson and the Nets have begun buyout discussions that would free Johnson to sign with a contender, and the Celtics are among the teams interested in his services.
Johnson, 34, will be postseason season eligible as long he is released by Tuesday, and in a WFAN radio interview on Thursday, new Nets GM Sean Marks said he’d do his best to accommodate the former All-Star.
“I think he’s deserved the right to,” Marks said when asked if Johnson could join a team headed for the playoffs.
The Celtics will have a steep hill to climb to convince Johnson to sign, however, because if the veteran wants his first title, either Cleveland or Oklahoma City would seemingly offer a better chance of getting it.
Johnson is averaging 11 points a game for the Nets, down from his career mark of 17.0.
|Celtics reportedly unwilling to pay ‘premium prices’ on rentals like Al Horford, Dwight Howard||02.18.16 at 10:12 am ET|
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics have showed an “unwillingness to pay premium prices on rentals for Al Horford and Dwight Howard.”
Both players are set to become free agents this summer and will be demanding large contracts.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m.
Sources: So far, Boston’s showing unwillingness to pay premium prices on rentals for Al Horford and Dwight Howard.
‘ Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 18, 2016
For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.
|Report: Celtics have had ‘no recent talks’ with Hawks on Al Horford||02.18.16 at 9:48 am ET|
Will the Celtics swing a trade for Al Horford?
After there was a report Wednesday afternoon of the Celtics being the favorites to land Horford if the Hawks were to make the center available, hours later a report came out that there have been no recent talks between the two sides.
According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, as of late Wednesday, the Celtics have had “no recent talks” with the Hawks regarding Horford. Bulpett said the issue with Horford is the Celtics aren’t willing to pay him big money once he becomes a free agent after this season.
The NBA trade deadline is set for 3 p.m. Thursday.
For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.
|Jackie MacMullan on OM&F: ‘Danny [Ainge] is going to make another run at Kevin Love’||02.17.16 at 2:09 pm ET|
ESPN NBA analyst Jackie MacMullan checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming NBA trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
MacMullan feels the Celtics and Danny Ainge will make another run at Kevin Love. She feels Love has gotten a “raw deal” in Cleveland, but ultimately she doesn’t think Love will be dealt because of where the Cavaliers are at in the standings.
“I do believe that Danny is going to make another run at Kevin Love because we know that he’s coveted Love all along,” MacMullan said. “The one thing that I think is interesting about Love, everybody is down on him — well, he stretches the floor, which we know Brad Stevens likes, right? Well, he can’t defend and I don’t know how you guys feel about real plus/minus, I tend to be a fan and I am sure the Celtics have things that are much more sophisticated than what we use at ESPN for real plus/minus, but just for the heck of it, I looked it up this morning on Kevin Love. He’s 12th overall in the league. That is pretty good.
“His defensive numbers right now — his defensive plus/minus is better than his offensive plus/minus. I think Kevin Love gets a raw deal when it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers and maybe why they aren’t performing maybe as well as they should. In fact, we know Kyrie Irving is coming off some pretty severe injuries, look at his numbers, they are horrible. His defensive real plus/minus is minus 3.22. The only point guard who plays significantly in the league that is worse are guys like Brandon Knight and actually Derek Rose. I think Kevin Love gets a raw deal.
“I would be thrilled if the Celtics could bring Kevin Love here, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. If I am Cleveland, I’m the best team in the East and we all know every team — Golden State, San Antonio, they are one injury away from being vulnerable, I’m standing pat for the most part.”
To hear the complete interview, check it out below.
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