The following post is the partial regurgitation of a story so good, we wish we wrote it ourselves! Follow the link at the end to catch the full story where it lives.
(The Following Story Originated On ESPN's "Boston Celtics Report" And Was Written By Chris Forsberg)
Take 'em or leave 'em
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Each year after the Celtics' season ends, we play a game of Take 'Em or Leave 'Em to determine which players the team should retain -- and which ones should be sent packing -- for next season.
Below are longer explanations for our decisions (sometimes five words just isn't enough to elaborate in the main piece). For the purpose of this year's exercise, we ran with the idea that the Celtics would bring back veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. While many have expressed a desire for Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to dismantle this roster, we subscribe to the notion that the shred-the-team path won't be particularly easy to do. That's not to say that Boston won't explore trade avenues before -- and during -- the 2013-14 season, it just seems that one of the clearer paths to roster turnover, while still remaining competitive, actually involves keeping the veteran core intact for season seven of a three-year plan.
You can read the rest of this insightful article by clicking here.
And, when you're done with that, take the "Take Em' Or Leave 'Em" poll either at ESPN.com or by clicking here.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
It's not that I didn't know this was a possibility, even a probability. But, I'm just not ready to write about this at all.
There are stories about Paul Pierce having played his last game for Boston, Kevin Garnett maybe retiring...I'm just not ready to put it all into words right now, it sucks too much. How could we have lost like THAT to THIS team? I can't stand it.
"I told them after the game that I couldn't be more proud of a group of guys who went through a ton of adversity all year with all the injuries."Me, too. These guys have been through a LOT. No excuses. But, they SHOULD be proud of themselves.
- Celtics coach Doc Rivers
Look at that...am I really pulling for Miami now? Is that what it's come to?!?!
I really, REALLY don't want to write about this. I think I'm gonna need some time off before I clean out my blogging locker for the season.
Tale Of The Tape (Yes, it IS worth it just to see the rally...but if it's too soon...)
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Attention K-Mart shoppers...we are all out of funeral black clothing. Shoppers are advised to put on their regular clothes, shut the f**k up and play ball.
From Kenyon Martin and Co. wearing black to what turned out to be their own funeral; to J.R. (no-shot's-too-far) Smith talking his way into an excremental shooting night to the doomsday pundits all having to give respect to the never-say-die Celtics after doing everything in their journalistic (I say this tongue-in-cheek) powers to help shovel the dirt on Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the C's WAY prematurely. And even with all of THAT, the Knicks had the nerve to try and smacktalk the C's at the end of the game after getting served by them and thus providing their opponents with even more fuel to want to serve them even harder back in Boston (yeah, I know they say Jordan Crawford started it, but I watched the tape)! As the dearly departed 2-Pacalyptic one would say (even though he was born in the NYC) "Throw up the middle finger."
From Smith's punk-@$$ elbow to Jason Terry's face to his subsequent bullsh*t "I don't even know who I elbowed," to his laughably idiotic "If I played it would have been over" lead-in to a 3 for 14 crapfest of a game and then Martin's chalkboard choke telling his boys to "dress for a funeral" before not only eating his words and his feet, but eating his teammates as well who all followed dimwittedly along and dressed in black.
And...while I'm not buying the idea that's floating around out there that the Knicks "funeral" blunder was a calculated attempt to disrespect the City of Boston and its recent tragedies, I think the Knicks (K-Mart in particular) are a bunch of typically egotistical, self-centered and spoiled athletes who don't think past the tip of their own noses when they say anything not filtered by a publicist. They may not be malicious, but they sure are DUMB. It's almost as if they wanted the Celtics to come out with fire in their eyes. Well, mission accomplished.
It is exactly this kind of empty "Big City" hubris that reveals just how not-ready-for-primetime this squad is. I'm not saying that they're going to fold up and hide faster than a New York street vendor during a cop convention and lose to our beloved Celtics (which they very well might, though he odds are with them...for now), but it's clear that all of this self-distraction proves that they've got some serious growing up to do and, under the
As for the Celtics? Well...I think I'll just say it in pictures...
Brandon Bass has been a force on both the offensive end...
...and the defensive end guarding Carmelo.
Kevin Garnett has been nothing short of a revelation,
posting 4 consecutive double-doubles.
Captain Paul Pierce had started this series slowly, but he has come on of late to lead the team as the "point forward" filling in for the injured Rajon Rondo and still providing ample points (and just about everything else).
He does, however, have to begin respecting
the defense of
Houseparty 2 Iman Shumpert.
Jeff Green has begun to fulfill some of the promise he came to Boston with in the Kendrick Perkins trade with OKC. His heart and recent aggression have been key to the C's attack.
Bench players like Terrence Williams have proven to
be valuable playoff assets, both on offense...
And there are a whooooole lot of other factors contributing to this team's resurgence, but with any luck...we'll get to those.
NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs --
Round 1, Game 6:
Celtics vs. Knicks
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
@ The Boston Garden
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Initially, I had intended to do this post earlier and get more in-depth, but because we're less than an hour away from tipoff to Game 5, I am just going to throw this off as a true "Top-Ten" list and perhaps flesh everything out when (not "if") the C's win in New York tonight.
The Top-Ten Things The Celtics Must Do To Win This Series
10- You can't handle the truth, but The Truth MUST handle the ball -- put the ball back in Paul Pierce's able hands. I know he's had fumbleitis. Don't worry about it. Letting Avery Bradley be the point guard will help nail our coffin shut.
9- Da Do Run Run -- Get out and run. It's that simple. Advance the ball with the pass and everybody take off to the races. You CAN run in the Playoffs. Just ask the Celtics and Lakers of 1986.
8- Pass Me The Damn Ball -- Or should I say, pass each other the damn ball. The way that the Celtics were able to win the games after Rajon Rondo went down for the season was by playing a freestyle passing game that was more improvisational Hippie Ball than set plays. Pass it and you pass on through to the next series. And, if there's no good pass to be made...
7- Hold On! -- Do NOT turn the ball over. If there's nothing there, hold the ball and work short passes side to side. No more crosscourt, no more lackadaisical lobs...guard the ball with your Playoff lives!
6- The New Adventures Of Young Jeff Green -- Paul Pierce is the new Rondo. Jeff Green is the new Paul Pierce. Kevin Garnett? Just be you, big guy. Look, our only hope is with Paul Pierce at the Point-Forward position. He's found ample ways to score from that spot since back in February, so don't sweat it. Green? You do what Paul used to do: attack the basket on cuts and drives and spot up when it's open. You're the new "go-to" player. Get used to it. NOW.
5- You Don't Mess With The Zohan -- And by Zohan, I mean the lineup. Doc...I KNOW you always want to tinker with things in the Playoffs. Don't. The lineup you started last game is the one we had during the season and is also, coincidentally, the best chance we have at winning this thing. Save for injury...LEAVE THEM BE.
3- Hip Hop Is Dead. So Is The Halfcourt Offense -- If you're looking for our halfcourt game, the entire thing is sitting on the bench nattily attired in an orange blazer and sweater combo. Rondo is the beginning and end of any thought of a memory of a dream of a halfcourt offense. DO NOT TRY TO RUN ONE...WE DON'T HAVE ONE!
2- Carmelo Rhymes With "Fellow" -- As in, "a singular fellow" meaining one guy. This is how we should play him. DO NOT DOUBLE TEAM MELO!! If you do one thing, Celtics, it is this. He's going to take his shots. If he scores 70, WHOOPEE!! We'll win by 25. Guard him with single coverage and let him have a ball shooting. A) he's going to miss his fair share as we've seen and B) nobody else is involved in the offense. Not J.R., not
1- Have fun out there. Look, I know when your basketball lives are hanging in the balance, the last thing you want to do is smile and pat each other on the back. But I promise you, a game well played is played with love of the game. Enjoy each other out there...it could be the last time you do it with this group of guys.
That's it, folks. Oh, wait! I forgot one last thing...
Monday, April 29, 2013
Silly, Melo...Sweeps Are For #1 Seeds.
Okay, now veeeery slowly...put the brooms down and back away slowly...
Well...the Celtics may have lost a 20-point lead. They may have found themselves forced to go all the way to overtime in a win-or-season's-over game. And they may have done it with sharpshooter J.R. Smith out of the lineup for the Knicks due to suspension (in what amounted to a flashback to his former and frequent lapses into stupidity, Smith elbowed Jason Terry in the face at the close of Game 3)...but, dammitt...this one felt GREAT! Especially sweet was the return of The Jet getting revenge in the best way possible at a time when the C's needed him most.
With the Snickerbockers going ballistic on every form of social media available calling for GreenHeadz to roll in an effort to exact some measure of revenge for being swept in the first round two years ago by the C's, it was great to see so many Noo Yawkuz holding brooms and having no clue what to do with them (as usual. Haaaave you SEEN the city?).
This, of course, in no way diminishes the desperate situation in which the Green still find themselves in. It was nice to see Doc go back to the lineup that took 'em to the dance if for no other reason than continuity. The Celtics are going to be best with the lineup they played in Game 1 and Game 4 -- no question about it. It was also nice to see Doc letting Terrence Williams play significant minutes. He is as much a steadying force as Jordan Crawford is an offensive tempest.
I do still have a bone to pick with the coach about keeping the door locked to the doghouse that Courtney Lee is obviously residing in these days. I think Lee has a game waiting to break out of him and at worst, he's a legitimate opposing force that can help to keep Smith under control. We'll see if he gets some burn with the return of Smith in Game 5 on Wednesday.
Paul Pierce faking Jason Kidd out of his sneaks and flushing it as a too-late Prigioni whizzes by just in time to catch posterization.
One last note of discord between me and the coach...count me among the outraged believers that the "shortened playoff roster" is one of the most ludicrous artificial constructs in the game of basketball. Why in the world would a team with a possible contingent of ten legitimate offensive and defensive weapons cut minutes and even bench any single person who might help them in a game? Ludicrous.
Message to Doc and the fellas for Game 5 in MSG? You know what you did there for most of Game 4?
Keep doing that.
Tale Of The Tape (Now Isiah Thomas fresh!)
Jason Collins, a Wizard now, but who until just this past trade deadline was the first Celtics center off the bench, has just come out and revealed to the world that he is gay.
First, let me say "Congratulations, Jason!" Others have come out after their careers were all said and done, but you took an unprecedented risk by throwing it out there in the midst of a career, leaving yourself completely at the mercy of public opinion and potential controversy in the locker room to champion your cause.
Kudos to Britney Grenier as well.
The former Baylor University star came out before ever suiting up for her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury, just after college.
And as large as her announcement was, however, the stigma that exists in men's professional sports is magnified times 1,000 with respect to being openly gay.
Both are heroes and both deserve all of the positive attention and support that they've been getting from the likes of fellow athletes like Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and others in and out of the professional sports world.
May this be the beginning of the end of any controversy over sexuality in the locker room so folks can be free to just be who they are and play ball.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Okay, let’s start right off by addressing the 500 pound green elephant in the room so that we can move on: The Celtics Miss Rajon Rondo.
Did anyone in their right minds think any differently when news that he was gone for the season spread that fateful day against the Heat?
As annoyed as I was at the end of Game 2 when Tommy Heinsohn kept waxing on about how it was a “Rondo-type game,” and “If Rondo were in this game, he’d…” even as our guys in green were getting their shamrocks handed to them, he was indisputably correct. It just didn’t feel like the appropriate time to throw it out there, because our guys were struggling and to mention Rondo felt like an excuse for poor play. And it was poor play, Rondo or not.Look, as I said back then after it happened and the Celtics went on a great run with ‘Hippie Basketball” sharing the wealth and running free and loosey-goosey which led to the inevitable but horribly ill-informed and naive proclamation by the casual fairweather that “the Celtics are better without Rondo!”
Without going into full-rehash mode, the Celtics team, that came together and rallied without their most vital piece was a running, passing pure-basketball team that traded in set plays for this basic basketball truth – if you play defense and get out and run, good things will happen.
The team you’ve seen over the last two of the three games has been the team that I feared would enter the playoffs – a walk-it-up, play-calling half-court-offense team with changing faces based on the current needs and matchup problems presented by their opponent. We all know that in the playoffs, things slow down and the game moves deeper into half court sets. The more successful teams are the ones that can rebound and run on misses attacking the opponent’s basket before they get set. Either that, or they possess a talented point guard who can steer them through the intricacies of breaking down the half-court defense. Obviously, everyone knows which team the Celtics had to be.I lay a fair portion of the blame on the players for not taking better care of the basketball in the first game, but I must include Coach Doc Rivers and even single him out for some of the failure of the second and third games.
Doc has a penchant for changing things up in the playoffs at the most inexplicable moments. The Celtics would and should have won Game 1, but for some horrendous unforced turnovers by Green,
Pierce and a couple of others in the 4th quarter. Why try to fix what ain’t really broke? But he put the ball more completely in Avery Bradley’s hands (a huge mistake, since he is essentially a shooting guard in a point guard’s body) instead of keeping Paul Pierce as the the point forward role that he had assumed from the moment that Rondo went down. He started a different lineup in game 3 in the hopes that it would rejuvenate the offense and provide more scoring punch at the outset, but it did neither. In fact, it quite possibly disrupted any continuity we might have had from Game 1 to Game 2 and it may have undermined the confidence. He has relegated Courney Lee to the bench at a time when the defense could clearly use a strong defender with length at the shooting guard/small forward position for the J.R. Smith’s and Ray Felton’s of the world, not to mention an aggressive offense off the run, which he has shown is his strength. We’ve seen only sneak-peaks of Terrence Williams who is probably the 3rd best ballhandler on the team at this point, and there has been scant floor time for our only solid big, Shavlik Randolph.
There are a host of other questionable turns that I can go into more fully maybe at the postmortem of the season, but, to quote a friend and fellow GreenHead, “You don’t make changes to your lineup in the postseason, only adjustments.”We know that today’s game could very well be the last one of the season for the Celtics. If it is, it will obviously be disappointing, but they should be proud of what they WERE able to accomplish this season: They began the season with an almost completely new roster and set out with the goal of pursuing that elusive 18th title in spite of the fact that two of their three main stars were on the downslope of hero’s mountain. They dealt with adversity when their best player, the pilot of their ship – the head of their Voltron – was lost for the season. They soldiered on even when another of their team, a rookie who hadn’t been counted upon initially but then seized his opportunity to contribute, was taken away with back surgery. And they continued marching ahead when yet another of their team, a proven scorer, was stricken down with the same injury that took their leader. They had two others returning from what was, evidently, life-threatening heart surgery attempting to become comfortable just running and taking contact, let alone resuming their high-level of play. There were trade rumors swirling amidst the team’s two best remaining players which could have damaged the morale and drive of this team. Instead, they pushed ahead further and entered the Playoffs as the 7th seed, underdogs against the Atlantic Division winners.
No, the Celtics have nothing to be ashamed about, no reason to hang their heads. If this is, indeed, the end of the season – and perhaps even the end of the era of Pierce and Garnett – then at least the Celtics can rest assured that their future will be competitive. Coming next season, we’ll have the services of Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullenger back. Jeff Green, who finally began the journey of coming into his own, will also return. The young and talented Terrence Williams and Jordan Crawford will be back, as will Shavlik Randolph and the potential of Fab Melo. The chorus of questions will become louder as the season ends and attention turns to whether Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry return, either of their own volition or by the hand of General Manager Danny Ainge, who may opt to begin the rebuilding process in earnest now that it has become clear that the Celtics are no longer the title contenders that they were from 2009 through last season.
There will be much to say at the close of this season, whenever it comes, but I’ll save it. I’ll save it because as long as there is a game left to play, there is hope that these Celtics come together, stand as one, and keep fighting on.
As one sage and still fierce warrior once reminded us…
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE