|Someone finally summed up Rajon Rondo perfectly||10.23.13 at 1:15 pm ET|
‘I knew from the first moment that I talked to him that he was going to be a person that would think not just about what you’re doing but why you’re doing it, and that’s a good thing,” Stevens told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in their SportsCenter conversation. “This is a great example. When you run a play, there are five guys in five spots, and most basketball players will go to their spot, they’ll do what they’re supposed to do, but they won’t know what the other four spots do, because they don’t understand why you’re doing it. He gets it all, and it’s no different in leading. It’s no different in how we’re coaching or running the organization. He understands the big picture, and I think it’s really important that we continue to share and talk about that, because he’s a big part of this.’
And let’s just say Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge looks at Rondo from a different angle.
“It’s hard to find the perfect situation for everybody,” he told CBSSports.com columnist Ken Berger. “It’s my job to build the Celtics, and Rondo is a big part of that. Will everything be as perfect as he would like it? I don’t believe so, but it’s not perfect for us, either, the fact that he can’t play. I think Rondo is with us. I think he likes a lot of the core guys on our team now, and I think he is optimistic and looking forward to a new chapter.”
Not everyone can capture the enigmatic point guard in words. Actually, nobody quite has. Stevens came closest.
|Stat man: More of this Celtics lineup, please||at 12:17 pm ET|
After Celtics coach Brad Stevens finally granted Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace extended playing time together, the media immediately jumped on its perceived success following Sunday’s preseason loss to the Timberwolves.
‘I’d have to look at the overall numbers on it, but I thought we were pretty good in that stretch — both in the first and second half,” Stevens told reporters in the immediate aftermath. ‘We played them together some in the first half, when we played big on the wings, and we played them some together at the start of the second half. It’s probably a 10- or 12-minute clip of that. And, based on how it went tonight, I would say that you’ll probably see that again.”
It was actually a 14:34 clip of the highly anticipated Green-Wallace combo, and it started wonderfully. The two combined for 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting over a 4:23 stretch in the first quarter, adding two assists, two rebounds, a steal and a block during a span that trimmed Minnesota’s lead from 11 to four.
Beyond that? Not so much. They combined for a total of 8:11 during the second and fourth quarters, scoring seven points on 1-of-7 shooting to go along with three boards, two assists, two turnovers and a steal for a minus-2 rating.
|Raptors CEO to Celtics: ‘How’s that preseason going?’||10.22.13 at 5:38 pm ET|
Let’s just say the Raptors didn’t enjoy having a Celtics fan wearing an outdated Ray Allen jersey and naturally double-fisting a couple Molson Goldens at their annual town hall event for season ticket-holders.
“Where’s that guy with the Celtics jersey?” said Raptors CEO Tim Leiweke. “How’s that preseason going for you?”
Toronto, of course, handed the Celtics two of their seven losses so far this preseason. Ouch. You know it’s bad when the Raptors started calling the C’s out. [Insert “The Raptors have season-ticket holders?” joke here.]
|Gerald Wallace loves calling out his teammates||at 5:11 pm ET|
‘We’re not playing with effort,” Wallace told reporters after Sunday’s defeat. “Guys are out there being selfish.”
Well, isn’t that nice. Despite skipping the introductory press conference upon being traded to the Celtics, reporting last to the team’s offseason workouts and then explaining on Media Day, “You never want to go to a team that’s starting a rebuilding process,” Wallace actually cares about the C’s performance this season. By all accounts, he’s a “110 percent” guy, offering Kevin Garnett-esque effort regardless of practice, preseason or actual NBA action.
As such, he’s comfortable questioning anybody’s lack of effort. Of course, that works when your an established Hall of Famer on a title contender. It may not go over so well when you rip a young team adjusting to a new coach.
I enjoyed Wallace’s explanation Tuesday: ‘It’s nothing critical toward my teammates. It’s for the whole team.” Well, then, that’s better. It’s not just one or two guys. It’s everyone. Except Wallace. And apparently Jeff Green?
|NBA GMs: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce trade a good idea||at 3:03 pm ET|
For the 12th straight preseason, the NBA surveyed all 30 general managers. Here are the Celtics-related results.
- While the Celtics-Nets trade tied with Golden State’s sign-and-trade acquisition of Andre Iguodala as the most surprising summer story lines, the C’s were among six teams receiving votes for “best overall moves.”
- A quarter of responding GMs believe Kelly Olynyk is the draft’s biggest steal — ahead of Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel, Steven Adams, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trey Burke. Likewise, 6.7 percent of the respondents think the Celtics rookie will be the draft’s best player in 2018. Only Victor Oladipo (40.0%), Cody Zeller (13.3%), Anthony Bennett (10.0%) and McLemore (10.0%) received more votes.
- Based on the GM votes, Avery Bradley, Kawhi Leonard and Iguodala are tied for the league’s fourth-best perimeter defense, trailing only Tony Allen, LeBron James and Paul George.
- Voters slot Rajon Rondo and Ricky Rubio second behind Chris Paul on the “best passer” scale. Paul also has the game’s best IQ, per votes, ahead of Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, LeBron, Kobe Bryant and Rondo.
‘I thought they made a great move because Garnett and Pierce only have another year or two of premium basketball left,’ he told the Boston Herald. ‘[Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] just pulled the plug while they still had something. It was inevitable. And, besides, I like the fact that when he moved them, he sent them to a contender. I really like that. Granted, they’re in the same division, but still I really like that it showed how he felt about Paul and Garnett. I like that.
‘As a player, you’re thinking, if you’re going to move me, at least send me somewhere where I can win a championship.’
|Bill Russell took different route than Wesley Snipes||10.21.13 at 10:54 am ET|
Celtics legend Bill Russell issued an apology through The Boston Globe following his arrest for carrying a loaded .38 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun in his carry-on luggage when attempting to board a flight from his adopted home of Seattle to Boston, where he is scheduled to be honored with a statue at City Hall Plaza on Nov. 1.
‘Before boarding my flight from Seattle to Boston, I had accidentally left a legal firearm in my bag. I apologize and truly regret the mistake,’ he said. ‘I was issued a citation by the TSA, whose agents couldn’t have been more thorough and professional when dealing with this. I really appreciate their efforts to keep air travel safe.’
Probably a lot smarter than the Wesley Snipes route: “My instincts are to wax your ass all over this floor!”
|Danny Ainge wanted Jimmy Chitwood role in Hoosiers||10.18.13 at 1:08 pm ET|
It’s almost impossible for the 1986 Celtics season to have been any better, but just imagine if they had Jimmy Chitwood on the roster as “Hoosiers” hit theaters that year. If Danny Ainge had his way, it would’ve happened.
“I loved the Boston Celtics,” Maris Valainis, the actor who played the iconic character, told the Beats & Eats podcast. “I remember we actually got to go to a preseason game when they were playing the Pacers. We were just getting started filming, the game was over and Danny Ainge was running off the court. We were kind of courtside, and he looks at me and pointed at me, and he goes, ‘I’m going to take your spot in the movie.’”
Seriously, just think of the added entertainment value of having Jimmy Chitwood calling the shots in the C’s front office. In 2010-11, they would have had Chitwood, Jesus Shuttlesworth and Neon Boudeaux all under one roof. All they would have needed was Scott Howard and Billy Hoyle for the greatest pickup game in basketball history.
Or, if Kobe Bryant hadn’t turned down the “He Got Game” role as he claimed to Sports Illustrated in the latest from the great Lee Jenkins, those 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals would have pitted Chitwood’s Celtics against Shuttlesworth’s Lakers. And my money’s always on Chitwood.
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