|Irish Coffee: Does Rajon Rondo guarantee playoffs?||08.14.13 at 12:00 pm ET|
In this golden age of point guards, a handful of guys have established themselves as perennial All-Stars over the past five years: Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker and Rajon Rondo.
Sure, there’s the old guard (Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Chauncey Billups), the new kids on the block (Kyrie Irving, Jrue Holiday, John Wall) and the occasional Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris or Mo Williams in the mix, but those six are consistently at the top. “What the hell is he getting at?” you ask. Well, for starters, this.
Each time one of those six guys submitted an All-Star season, their respective teams qualified for the playoffs in 18 of 21 opportunities. Those three exceptions: Paul missed the second half of the season with a knee injury in 2010, Williams was traded midseason in 2011 and then he coasted through a truly awful Nets season in 2012.
Of course, four members of that Nets team that finished 22-44 with Williams at the helm (Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans) are members of this year’s edition of the Celtics with Rondo, but still …
RAJON RONDO (2010-13 NBA All-Star)
2009-10 Celtics: 50-32 (NBA finals)
2010-11 Celtics: 56-26 (conference semifinals)
2011-12 Celtics: 39-27 (conference finals)
2012-13 Celtics: 41-40 (first round)*
*Rondo played just 38 games due to injury
CHRIS PAUL (2008-13 NBA All-Star)
2007-08 Hornets: 56-26 (conference semifinals)
2008-09 Hornets: 49-33 (first round)
2009-10 Hornets: 37-45 (did not qualify)*
2010-11 Hornets: 46-36 (first round)
2011-12 Clippers: 40-26 (conference semifinals)
2012-13 Clippers: 56-26 (first round)
*Paul played just 45 games due to injury
DERRICK ROSE (2010-12 NBA All-Star)
2009-10 Bulls: 41-41 (first round)
2010-11 Bulls: 62-20 (conference finals)
2011-12 Bulls: 50-16 (first round)*
*Rose suffered season-ending injury in playoffs
DERON WILLIAMS (2009-12 NBA All-Star)
2008-09 Jazz: 48-34 (first round)
2009-10 Jazz: 53-29 (conference semifinals)
2010-11 Jazz: 39-43 (did not qualify)*
2010-11 Nets: 24-58 (did not qualify)*
2011-12 Nets: 22-44 (did not qualify)
*Williams traded midway through 2010-11 season
RUSSELL WESTBROOK (2011-13 NBA All-Star)
2010-11 Thunder: 55-27 (conference finals)
2011-12 Thunder: 47-19 (NBA finals)
2012-13 Thunder: 60-22 (conference semifinals)*
*Westbrook suffered season-ending injury in playoffs
TONY PARKER (2006-07, 2009, 2012-13 NBA All-Star)
2005-06 Spurs: 63-19 (conference semifinals)
2006-07 Spurs: 58-24 (NBA champions)
2008-09 Spurs: 54-28 (first round)
2011-12 Spurs: 50-16 (conference finals)
2012-13 Spurs: 58-24 (NBA finals)
That .628 winning percentage (1,229-727) is hard to ignore, especially since it also applies to the old guard, whose teams owned a near identical 1,234-718 record (.632) and qualified for the playoffs in 21 of 23 chances.
JASON KIDD (1996, 1998, 2000-04, 2007-08, 2010 NBA All-Star)
1995-96 Mavericks: 26-56 (did not qualify)
1997-98 Suns: 56-26 (first round)
1999-2000 Suns: 53-29 (conference semifinals)
2000-01 Nets: 51-31 (first round)
2001-02 Nets: 52-30 (NBA finals)
2002-03 Nets: 49-33 (NBA finals)
2003-04 Nets: 47-35 (conference semifinals)
2006-07 Nets: 41-41 (conference semifinals)
2007-08 Nets: 34-48 (did not qualify)*
2007-08 Mavericks: 51-31 (first round)*
2009-10 Mavericks: 55-27 (first round)
*Kidd traded midway through 2007-08 season
STEVE NASH (2002-03, 2005-08, 2010, 2012 NBA All-Star)
2001-02 Mavericks: 57-25 (conference semifinals)
2002-03 Mavericks: 60-22 (conference finals)
2004-05 Suns: 62-20 (conference finals)
2005-06 Suns: 54-28 (conference finals)
2006-07 Suns: 61-21 (conference semifinals)
2007-08 Suns: 55-27 (first round)
2009-10 Suns: 54-28 (conference finals)
2011-12 Suns: 33-33 (did not qualify)
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS (2006-10 NBA All-Star)
2005-06 Pistons: 64-18 (conference finals)
2006-07 Pistons: 53-29 (conference finals)
2007-08 Pistons: 59-23 (conference finals)
2008-09 Nuggets: 54-28 (conference finals)*
2009-10 Nuggets: 53-29 (first round)
*Billups traded three games into 2008-09 season
Sure, plenty of other factors went into the success of their teams. For one, they often featured names like Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce or Carmelo Anthony. But the Hornets, Bulls and Jazz teams respectively led by Paul, Rose and Williams — or even Kidd’s Nets and Billups’ Pistons — didn’t feature another superstar talent.
Quite simply, based on recent history, if Rondo submits an All-Star caliber season, the Celtics have roughly a 90 percent chance of making the playoffs. Or they could just be the 2012 Nets 2.0.
|Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo loves him some Waffle House||08.12.13 at 3:03 pm ET|
How Chris Gilmartin only has eight followers after posting possibly the greatest tweet in history is beyond me.
According to his Twitter profile, he is an Indy born and raised insurance agent who loves him some Cubs and Colts, which explains the eight followers. But his hashtag genius here should forever change that (h/t @KWAPT).
‘ Chris Gilmartin (@TheGilley77) August 12, 2013
From what I can gather, Gilley is not as big a fan of Waffle House as he is Andrew Luck, so when he spotted a Bentley in the “Awful Waffle” parking lot in Franklin, Ind., his Sherlock Holmes-esque deductive reasoning led him to discover Rajon Rondo, who can afford a few All-Star Specials on his $12 million salary.
As for whether Rondo will serve up an All-Star special of his own for the Celtics this season, mum’s been the word from the point guard all summer. Outside of a few blips on the radar screen — dominating folks in Connect Four; telling Cedric Maxwell, “I am not a coach-killer“; hosting new coach Brad Stevens at his camp; and declaring, “I would never play for the Miami Heat” — little is known about Rondo’s status entering his eighth NBA season.
|Celtics honor 2012-13 Heroes Among Us||08.12.13 at 11:40 am ET|
Anybody who has attended a Celtics game in recent years can attest that the Heroes Among Us segment at halfcourt during a timeout is a guaranteed special moment for each home game in the Garden. The ceremony after the Boston Marathon was particularly heart-wrenching.
Last week, the Celtics honored all 250-plus extraordinary honorees from the 2012-13 NBA season at the State House.
‘On behalf of the entire Boston Celtics organization, I would like to congratulate all of this past season’s Heroes Among Us Award winners,’ said C’s co-owner Bob Epstein, who recognized the recipients alongside Celtics forward Jared Sullinger. ‘Each and every individual in this room is an inspiration to us all.’
‘It’s a pleasure to be here with you today, to recognize outstanding individuals for their bravery and their will to overcome obstacles in the face of adversity,” added Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, who served as the event’s keynote speaker and was also honored during the C’s post-Marathon Heroes Among Us ceremony.
Here is a list of 2012-13 Heroes Among Us as provided by the Celtics:
|Celtics waive Shavlik Randolph, trim roster to 15||08.02.13 at 10:14 am ET|
As expected, the Celtics waived Shavlik Randolph on the final day before his $1.1 million contract became guaranteed for the 2013-14 NBA season, trimming the current roster to the requisite 15 players.
After a monster season in China, Randolph averaged 4.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 12.4 minutes over 16 games for the Celtics last spring, leading many to hope the team could find space for him on the bench again this season.
However, even after second-round pick Colton Iverson reportedly committed to play overseas for a year, the Celtics still needed to trim their roster and salary by one man for the upcoming season.
As currently constituted, the Celtics now feature rookies Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani, sophomores Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo and veterans Brandon Bass and Kris Humphries in the backcourt.
Surely, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge isn’t done dealing yet, but Randolph’s departure could mean the trade market is a bearish one.
|Irish Coffee: How Celtics might manage minutes||07.31.13 at 9:05 am ET|
The Celtics still have one too many men on the roster, so a decision must be made.
Second-round pick Colton Iverson did them a favor by signing overseas for a season or two, allowing the C’s to maintain his rights while freeing a roster spot. And the writing is on the wall for Shavlik Randolph, who is due $1.1 million if he isn’t cut by Thursday and remains the lone non-guaranteed contract on the team.
Still, Shav proved worthy of a second look last season, producing 4.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in an average of 12.4 minutes. Plus, he has moves like Michael Jackson (see video, obviously). So, let’s take a look at how new Celtics coach Brad Stevens may manage his team’s minutes to figure out how they might keep Randolph around.
|18 things we learned from the Brad Stevens podcast||07.25.13 at 10:48 pm ET|
18. He’s not goal-oriented; he’s process-oriented: “My goal is to win the next game one possession at a time. That’s it. I don’t have any other goals. I’ve never been a goal guy. I didn’t have a goal at Butler. Our goals were always to get better every day and win the next game one possession at a time, and that was it. And so that’s what we’ll try to do.”
17.He really likes Phil Pressey: “Pressey is a guy who can affect a game. If a game is not really going your way, he can spark you. He can get inside the defense, he can make plays defensively. He can his hands on balls. He is a cerebral point guard. I like his game. I think he does a lot of good things.”
16. Danny Ainge inquired about his interest before the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade: “After Doc left, he had actually called me and talked about, ‘Are you interested in the job?’ And, ‘This is what I’ve got going on this week.’ It was draft week, and then he said there are some other things that may be coming down the pike as well, so it’s going to be a busy week for me, so we just agreed to talk later on.
“So, that’s when I saw and heard about Kevin and Paul, and obviously they did such terrific things for this place. It’s really amazing what they were able to do and what they were able to accomplish, and they’ll go down as two of the best that ever played here. But I knew that was coming when I accepted the job. I knew that it was a formality by the time I accepted the job, and so that didn’t have any impact on accepting it or not.”
|Celtics, Nets to face each other twice in preseason||07.25.13 at 5:47 pm ET|
Brooklyn will play host to the C’s at the Barclays Center on Oct. 15, but the real event takes place eight days later, when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (oh, and Jason Terry) don black and white for the first time in Boston on Oct. 23.
The regular-season schedule, which commences on Oct. 29, is scheduled to be announced on Friday.