|Would you take Paul Pierce over Kevin Garnett?||08.15.11 at 1:55 pm ET|
Every so often a question is posed regarding the Celtics‘ four All-Stars. In short: Which one is the most valuable/best/indispensable? What makes this question so intriguing is that there is a legitimate case to be made for all four.
Rajon Rondo is the playmaker, the only reliable point guard on the roster the last four years, and one of the few Celtics who can change pace and tempo with the flick of a switch. When Rondo has been out of the lineup — or gone through a prolonged slump — the Celtics inevitably struggle to score points.
Kevin Garnett is the defensive anchor and that doesn’t begin to do him justice. Simply put, when Garnett plays at the level he played at last season the Celtics defense is ferocious.
Then there is Paul Pierce, who does just about everything well and is the one player the Celtics reliably use to create his own shot when everything else breaks down.
You can go round and round in circles on this question and never come to a definitive answer, which is a large reason why this foursome has been so successful. Ubuntu may have been a clever rallying cry, but its tenets hold true for this collection of players. “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Take any one of these parts away and the whole suffers for it.
That’s why I watched with great interest as Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe unveiled his top 100 players list. One way or another Lowe would have to parse this group and assign a ranking. Lowe had Allen ranked 48th and Rondo 27th, which left the top spot to be decided between Garnett and Pierce. Read the rest of this entry »
|Celtics targets: Michael Redd, Grant Hill, Tayshaun Prince?||08.10.11 at 10:52 am ET|
Whether or not they can get a deal done after the NBA lockout, the Celtics will be in prime position this summer to encourage prominent free agents Michael Redd, Grant Hill and Tayshaun Prince to at least consider signing in Boston if and when the season begins.
I’ve heard Milwaukee Bucks management approached Michael Redd before the lockout about returning for another season, although my impeccable sources insist he’s going to wind up with one of the Eastern Conference’s title contenders.
Redd averaged 20-plus points for six straight seasons from 2003-08 before suffering a series of knee injuries that kept him from 185 games over the final three years of a six-year, $90.9 million deal with the Bucks. Playing the final 10 games of this past season, he averaged 4.4 points (40.0 FG%) and 1.2 assists in 13.4 minutes.
Assuming Redd targets legit Eastern Conference title contenders, that should limit his potential landing spots to Boston, Miami and Chicago. While the Heat and Bulls could offer Redd more playing time, no team would allocate much more than the veteran minimum to the almost 32-year-old shooting guard — and the Celtics have one appeal those other teams don’t: Redd’s old friend and former Bucks teammate Ray Allen.
During a Celtics road trip to Milwaukee in March, Allen and Redd shared dinner the night before the C’s defeated the Bucks, discussing their three seasons together from 2000-03. Here’s what Allen told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about that conversation: Read the rest of this entry »
|10 things I heard about Celtics||08.09.11 at 5:07 pm ET|
Even on a slower Celtics news day than normal, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 C’s links of interest we discovered over the past 24 hours …
10. Jeff Green‘s 26 points and last-minute 3-pointer helped seal the Nike D.C. Pro City championship in a 105-101, double-overtime victory on Sunday. Of course, his team also featured Pistons forward Greg Monroe (32 points), and their opponent was comprised of Georgetown’s incoming freshmen class.
As HoyaReport.com reported, “One of the best players in Pro City this summer, Green has had a penchant for playing well but not necessarily focused. He has used the league to work on his outside game and have fun. Sunday was different. It was clear he was dialed in.”
9. According to the Lawrence Journal, Paul Pierce is among a group of former University of Kansas players that could be playing in an NBA alumni weekend exhibition game in September. The other potential players: Grizzlies Darrell Arthur, Xavier Henry and Josh Selby; the Thunder’s Cole Aldrich and Nick Collison; Mario Chalmers (Heat); Drew Gooden (Bucks); Kirk Hinrich (Hawks), Darnell Jackson (Kings); Marcus Morris (Rockets); Markieff Morris (Suns); Brandon Rush (Pacers); and Julian Wright (Raptors).
“It’s something we’ve talked about,” Kansas head coach Bill Self told the paper. “That’s certainly something we’d consider doing. We have talked about a lot of things, and that is one of them. It’s certainly an option.”
Obviously, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has already signed for a similar exhibition game between the Dominican National Team and a bunch of University of Kentucky alumns (Rondo, John Wall, Tayshaun Prince, DeMarcus Cousins, Jodie Meeks, Nazr Mohammed, Eric Bledsoe and Keith Bogans). You can vote for Rondo as a starter for that team here.
8. A photographer recently captured a photo of Shaquille O’Neal and girlfriend Nicole Alexander. The 5-foot-2, 100-pound Hoopz really puts into perspective just how big the 7-foot-1, 325-pound former Celtics center was. Shaq’s jorts and slippers are a whole different matter. Here’s the photo: Read the rest of this entry »
|What’s up with all the bizarre courtroom drama involving Celtics Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal?||08.04.11 at 6:13 pm ET|
First, a group of Las Vegas casino security officers countersued Bobcats assistant coach Charles Oakley, claiming current Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal was present when the former Knicks enforcer threw one pool employee off a patio table to the ground, pushed a security officer, threatened others, kicked and punched a few more, elbowed a couple more in the face, spit on another one, swore and “threatened to knock people out.” So JO might have seen Oakley turn into the Incredible Hulk. No big deal.
Then, there was former former Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal‘s ties to a Los Angeles man named Robert Ross, who was allegedly kidnapped by the Main Street Crips and beaten over a non-existent sex tape of Shaq and his ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal. And the ensuing ridiculous Ross lawsuit that accused Shaq of ordering him to kill a whole bunch of people. And then another Shaq acquaintance’s lawsuit that alleges the surefire Hall of Famer planted tracking devices on Shaunie’s car, recruited law enforcement to help frame his former friend and covered up an affair with Newsweek reporter Allison Samuels (see photo). Who hasn’t been accused of kidnapping, murder and framing someone for possession of child pornography in the course of a single summer?
What the hell is going on here? Lawsuits are getting out of control, right? I mean, you can pretty much sue anybody for anything, and some judge will be like, “Sure, why the hell not, let’s take a look?” Can’t somebody just step back and say, “Well, Robert Ross appears to have less than zero credibility”?
And now it starts to get weird. Now, you say? Yes, now. In Seattle, Wash., during the murder trial of two men — Brandon Chaney and Bryce Huber — accused along with two other men of killing another man for revenge over the robbery of a drug dealer (got all that?), a witness detailed her experience on the night of the shooting (Super Bowl Sunday, obviously). She claimed one of the men she saw before and after hearing gunshots looked like Kevin Garnett. Not that he was KG. He just looked like KG. That didn’t stop the defense attorney from carrying on a conversation with the witness as if Garnett was actually present at the scene of the crime. Here are the details from WestSeattleBlog.com:
|Rajon Rondo can bend his elbow just fine||07.27.11 at 1:54 pm ET|
Two weeks ago, Rondo told Louisville’s FOX affiliate, “I’m still in a little bit of pain right now, but the swelling is down. The only thing is there’s swelling in my joint. I’ll be fine, it just takes time. I’ve got a couple more weeks that I’m off, as far as rest and the repetition of weights.”
Well, from the looks of it, Rondo appears to have full range of motion in the elbow. Rondo, teammate Kevin Garnett and Celtics Director of Basketball Development Tyronn Lue reportedly attended the Marquee nightclub’s BoomBox room on Friday night along with fellow NBA players Chauncey Billups (in Las Vegas to renew his wedding vows, according to The Detroit News), Amare Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin, Rip Hamilton, Rudy Gay, Chuck Hayes and … wait for it … Read the rest of this entry »
|Chris Mannix on M&M: JaJuan Johnson ‘could become a legitimate starter in this league’||06.24.11 at 12:17 pm ET|
SI.com’s Chris Mannix spoke with Mut & Merloni Friday morning about Thursday’s draft and the collective bargaining agreement negotiations. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
‘He is a big guy, a legitimate 6-foot-10 with that I think 7-foot-2 wingspan,’ Mannix said. ‘He’s a very good low-post player. ‘¦ I think with NBA coaching he can become an even more polished offensive player.’
Mannix also said that Johnson should develop well under the veteran leadership the Celtics have.
‘I think JaJuan Johnson is going to benefit enormously from playing behind Kevin Garnett for a year, and practicing against him for a year, two years,’ Mannix said. ‘I think having Garnett and having Ray Allen on the roster are invaluable assets, because guys are going to be able to learn from these two guys.’
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, the day after he selected two Purdue players in the NBA draft.
The C’s first-round pick was 6-foot-10 JaJuan Johnson, and Ainge sounded cautiously optimistic that Johnson can help the Celtics immediately.
“I think he can contribute,” Ainge said. “I always hate to put too many expectations on guys before the draft and after the draft. I think that sometimes we get all excited and get carried away on the draft. Historically, there’s just not that many guys that come in on a good team, on championship-caliber teams, that are able to contribute. Well have three or four young guys on our roster this year, and one or two of them might contribute day in and day out. The others will have to find their spots through injuries and opportunities in other ways.
“Size is hard to find. I think that his size gives him a little bit of an advantage. And his experience in college ‘ he was an All-Big Ten player, and he’s nearly 6-foot-10 and he’s long. There’s just not that many of those guys out there, so the competition is much thinner.”
Following a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Obviously, you’re happy with your guy. How long did you target this particular guy, JaJuan Johnson?
We started following JaJuan closely last year, trying to see if he should come out to the draft. He was counseled to back to school. We liked him some last year, but we did follow him closely this year.
I think the only minus, really, is just he’s very thin. But he’s multi-skilled. He can shoot, handle the ball, pass, block shots, rebound. He just needs to put a little weight on.
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