|Ainge: We like our talent||09.23.10 at 1:14 pm ET|
QUINCY — Speaking to reporters before the Celtics annual golf fundraiser to support The Shamrock Foundation, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge noted: “I think this is the most talented team we’ve had in quite a while. Now it’s just a matter of it all coming together.”
Never one to tip his hand, Ainge acknowledged that the team has been bringing in players such as Rashad McCants and Adam Morrison (who just agreed to a training camp deal with the Wizards), but said, “We may be all done, and we may not.”
Where the Celtics are thin is at the backup wing position behind Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Ainge brought in Delonte West and Von Wafer, and re-signed Marquis Daniels to primarily fill those roles. West and Daniels, in particular, seem to have the inside track.
“Had we not had the [Kendrick Perkins] injury, maybe our focus would have been on backup wings for Paul and Ray,” Ainge said. “It was still a priority. After we got our center positions filled, bringing in Delonte and Nate [Robinson], I think were huge just to take minutes off of [Rajon] Rondo and Paul and Ray. I think we have great depth now in bringing Marquis back.”
On the subject of Daniels, it hardly seemed a given that he would return to Boston after falling out of favor, and the rotation, following a mid-season thumb injury. Ainge, however, sounded an optimistic note about his contributions.
“It didn’t work out for him [last year],” Ainge said. “Tony [Allen] earned the minutes, but coming out of training camp Marquis won those minutes. Marquis outplayed all of our bench players throughout October, November and December until he had the [thumb] injury. We know what Marquis is capable of doing.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Celtics’ top pick Avery Bradley won’t be ready for start of camp||09.23.10 at 12:41 pm ET|
QUINCY — Speaking prior to his team’s kickoff golf tournament, Celtics‘ general manager Danny Ainge said that the team’s No. 1 pick, guard Avery Bradley, will miss the beginning of training camp, which begins Monday. Ainge surmised that Bradley — who underwent surgery on left ankle in the offseason — is still “a couple of weeks away, at least.”
The GM added, “We’re certainly not going to rush him.” The Celtics were aware of the ankle injury prior to drafting Bradley, who suffered the ailment while going through a pre-draft workout with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
For more Celtics news see the team page at weei.com/celtics.
|Celtics countdown||09.22.10 at 10:50 pm ET|
We’ve reached the end of our countdown of the 10 most important developments of the offseason, and not a moment too soon. The Celtics will officially put the summer behind them when they open training camp with their media day on Monday.
Here’s the full list:
|Paul Pierce gets high school jersey retired||09.22.10 at 9:44 pm ET|
Paul Pierce had his high school jersey retired in his hometown of Inglewood Tuesday. Pierce was a McDonald’s All-American at Inglewood High before going on to star at Kansas. He’s the second Celtic player to be given this honor this month as Nate Robinson also had his jersey retired at Rainier Beach in Seattle.
Pierce was asked about playing with Shaquille O’Neal, naturally, and he responded, “He’s one of my all-time favorite players, and now I have a chance to play with one of the greatest players to ever play the game.”
Seems like you can say that about half the roster.
Anyway, here’s video of him talking to reporters after the event:
|Report: Brian Scalabrine signs with Bulls||09.22.10 at 9:59 am ET|
After five seasons with the Celtics, Brian Scalabrine has agreed to a contract with the Bulls, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports. In Chicago, Scalabrine would be reunited with Tom Thibodeau, the former C’s assistant who is now the Bulls head coach.
Scalabrine, 32, has averaged 3.3 points per game in nine NBA seasons (his first four in New Jersey). His best season with Boston was 2006-07, when he averaged 4.0 points and 1.9 rebounds in 19 minutes per game. He averaged just nine minutes in 52 games last season, scoring 1.5 points.
|Rajon Rondo would like a new pair of shoes||09.21.10 at 10:16 am ET|
With the start of training camp less than a week away, Rajon Rondo has been making the rounds. He talked to Slam magazine for an interview that was posted on their website about his goals, buying groceries and his shoes.
“Actually,” he said. “I wear a new pair of shoes every game for the most part.”
Good to know.
Of more immediate concern, Rondo laid out his individual goals for the upcoming season: making the All-Star and All-Defense team. Rondo gave credit to his teammates for helping him achieve those milestones last season and then said something very interesting:
“I’m pretty sure that people who don’t like my game are waiting to see how I react when I don’t have the Big Three, but I don’t really care. I’m doing what I can do now for the team, and that’s why I’m in this situation.”
If you’ve paid attention to his career, then you know that Rondo is beyond intrigued about one day playing on a team without the veterans. That’s entirely normal for a young superstar. Beyond even acknowledging it, what makes Rondo unique is that he’s able to separate the here and the now from the future.
The only other player on the 2010 All-Star Eastern Conference team who couldn’t definitively be termed as a franchise’s signature player was Atlanta’s Al Horford. But, none of those other players have a championship ring.
Along those lines, Rondo’s team goals are to win a championship, obviously, but he also has goals for the regular season and there again, he’s a little unique among the current Celtics.
“As a team it’s to try to win 60-plus games and to try to stay healthy. As long as we’re healthy I’m pretty fine with what we do on the court. We don’t have to win 70 games, but it would be nice to get the first-place position and the home court advantage, because who can say? I never look back and say what if, but if we had the home seed then maybe the outcome would have been different against L.A.”
You won’t find too many Celtics worried about winning 60 games and playoff seeding. Their postseason success may have reinforced the notion that the regular season doesn’t matter, but it does in one very significant way: homecourt advantage.
That will be the largest theme of this regular season, along with health, and the two things are related. How much does Doc Rivers push his team, and how will they react? Rondo’s at the point in his career where he wants it all.
|LeBron James at the point?||09.20.10 at 10:46 am ET|
One of the persistent criticisms of the Miami Heat is that while they are overloaded with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, they are weak at point guard and center. That’s if they run a conventional lineup.
Here’s the key quote: “He will be a playmaker. But he has also been a scoring champ. He will be at the end of plays to finish them. He will be a facilitator. He’ll be so many different things. We want to take advantage of all his skills.”
This is smart. There is no reason for Spoelstra to use a regular lineup when he has such unconventional talent. James is one the best playmaking forwards in the league and Wade has also run Miami’s offense. Both James and Wade have played on teams that demanded they take a huge percentage of shots, but both are also excellent passers. The Heat don’t need conventional players. They need shooters on the perimeter and a compliment to Bosh inside.
A lineup with Wade, Miller and James along with Bosh and Udonis Haslem is probably Miami’s strongest and one that leaves the traditional positions all mixed up.
Coming up with counters for the Heat will be a constant challenge and the Celtics have options. Doc Rivers experimented with a backcourt of Rajon Rondo and Nate Robinson at times last season, but it didn’t really take. Perhaps with a full training camp at their disposal it could have time to jell.
That would be a serious speed advantage, but obviously a gamble in terms of height. But in spots, or with Avery Bradley in the mix, it could be an interesting way to change the tempo, especially defensively.
The Celtics also have numerous options up front with Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal and Glen Davis. Rivers said he prefers a set frontcourt rotation during the regular season, but he does have the pieces to play with in terms of matchups.
We don’t have much longer to find out. The Celtics and Heat open the season on Oct. 26.
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