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Showing posts from July, 2019

Kyrie Irving- Kemba Walker comparison - one factor stands out

There have already been a slew of Kemba Walker-Kyrie Irving comparisons, and that won't go away anytime soon. The basic stats for last season show Kemba to get the slight nod on minutes, points and free throw attempts, while Kyrie wins (slightly) on assists, rebounds and shooting accuracy. It gets real close on handles, with Irving coming out ahead, but once again, only slightly. They are both shifty as Hell.

It is the free throw attempts that stand out - 5.5 attempts/game for Walker and 3.7 for Irving. Kyrie avoids contact on his drives into the paint, while Walker absorbs the bumps and prods. But overall, on skills, these two guards are neck-and-neck. Take a quick look at Tomek Kordylewski's video below, as well as Barb's note about Timi and his job search.

This is amazing work as always by Tomek!!

(And he's looking for a job - with his talent there has to be a team out there in need of a video guy like him!) https://t.co/kFJd5AdE6i— Barb (@spozry_barb) June 30, 2019

Marcus Smart is emerging as a leader - may be Smarty Time in Boston

This is not about the Kyrie Irving saga that won't die. I promised to put that to bed. This is about Marcus Smart-as-potential-Celtics-leader. I will make no comment on Smart's 2-minute analysis of Kyrie's part in the frustrating 2018-19 season. The video speaks for itself.

You da real one, Smarty— chiΙ”inthegeɘk⨟ (@chicinthegeek) July 30, 2019
My point here is that I am a dyed-in-the-wool fan of Marcus. I have marveled at his transition from a reckless kid turned loose on the hardwood to a professional veteran who constantly makes winning plays. The theme of his analysis was that every part of the Celtics organization failed to meet their standards last season. He points no fingers at any specific individual - player, coach or exec.

Marcus Smart explaining last season in the best way possible. Smart is the leader that the Celtics need. pic.twitter.com/AlD2Rrt5qf— Dante Turo (@DanteOnDeck) July 29, 2019
As Chicinthegeek indicates in the top tweet, Smart is "da real one&…

Boston coach & former-Celtic, Nate Robinson, both showing love for Carsen Edwards

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I don't often get excited by small, second-round draft picks, but I am about Carsen Edwards. And it appears, I am not alone. According to Celtics Blog's Keith Smith, an anonymous Boston coach is really high on Edwards (per NESN's Chris Gernham):

“That’s a classic Danny (Ainge) pick,” they (Celtics coach) told Smith. “He loves those undersized guards who have a heart as big as this gym. Carsen is a killer. He’s strong too. We wanted to sit him a game out here and he looked at us like we took his world away. It will take a bit for him to adjust to the NBA, but we’ve got another good guard coming.”
“He’s got that little move all small guards need to create space. He gets a shoulder (truly a shoulder and not his arm) into the defender and steps back. He’s strong when driving. I didn’t see him get stripped once. Not a pure point guard by any means, but Boston has had a lot of luck with guys who are pure lead guards. Defensively he’s competitive, but his size hurts him there. Prob…

Call it Death Line-up, positionless basketball or Nellie Ball, Brad Stevens needs to go small at times

For those not around at the time, Don Nelson invented small-ball as a coach, thus it came to be known as Nellie Ball. When the Golden State Warriors employed it with much success, it was known as the Death Line-up. Celtics coach, Brad Stevens, would do well to lighten up his rather-predictable substitution patterns and follow suit at opportune times this coming season. Here's what Nellie Ball is all about, per Wikipedia:

Nellie Ball is an offensive strategy in basketball developed by NBA head coach Don "Nellie" Nelson. It is a fast-paced run-and-gun offense relying on smaller, more athletic players who can create mismatches by outrunning their opponents. A true center is usually not needed to run this type of offense. A large volume of three-point attempts is also a feature of Nellie Ball.
Critics of Nellie Ball claim it won't win Championships, and they re probably correct. But it can throw a big wrench into an opposing team's defense when used sporadically. The …

On the 26th anniversary of Reggie Lewis' death, I see his play in Jaylen Brown

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This marks the 26th anniversary of the tragic, and sudden, death of Reggie Lewis. He was the 22nd overall pick in the 1987 draft, one year after the Celtics drafted Len Bias, who died of a drug overdose before ever donning the Celtics uniform.

Reggie played very little in his rookie year under coach K. C. Jones, but started to flourish in his sophomore season. His career and his life ended on July 27, 1993, the apparent result of a heart condition. Some have proposed that drugs may have played a part in his death, but as far as I am concerned, that speculation has been laid to rest with Reggie's remains.

26 years ago @celtics lost a great one.

We remember. Rest In Peace, Reggie. pic.twitter.com/odVUaOEsgb— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) July 27, 2019


Lewis' sole All-Star appearance was in 1992, and for his career, he averaged 17.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.6 APG and 1.3 SPG. I have written in the past about the similarities in the play of Reggie and Jaylen Brown. With both listed at 6…

The transformation of Tacko Fall into a solid NBA center - where does he start?

No one ever knows what to make of the next NBA big man. As the seasons passed, the League welcomed George Mikan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - and now Tacko Fall. Mikan was big and talented, but no one ever called him super-athletic. Red Auerbach saw the potential in Russ, and it paid off with 11 Championships for the Celtics. For a player close to 6'10", Big Bill could run, jump, rebound, block shots and defend like no center before him. He was athletic with a Capital A.

Wilt came into the NBA at 7'1" and 250 pounds. His "Wilt the Stilt" nickname fit his physique. He later went up to roughly 300 pounds, and he was super-strong and tough to defend physically. Even Russell needed some occasional help from his back-up, Wayne "The Wall" Embry. Grinding in the paint with Goliath could take a toll. Jabbar brought a new challenge for opposing centers. He was tall, slender and graceful. His sky hook was virtually unstoppable.

All …

A perfect passing tutorial for 2019-20 Celtics - from the 1980's

The first lesson here is that the ball moves faster through the air than it does on the floor. And could I remind our readers that the two top assist guys from the 2018-19 Celtics crew are gonzo. Kyrie Irving averaged 6.9 APG and Al Horford passed off for 4.2 APG. Granted, Boston finished in 5th place in the NBA for assists per game (26.3), but 11.1 of those came from two players no longer with the Celtics.

pic.twitter.com/Yf2r5gvcMD— Josh Q. Public (@joshqpublic) July 26, 2019
The above video is a visual treat. Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge combined for 17.7 assists per game in the 1985-86 season. Yes, that's correct - Ainge the gunner averaged 5.1 APG. Even Kevin McHale, nicknamed "The Black Hole" by Ainge for his unwillingness to pass the ball, averaged 2.7 APG.

That team won a Championship, in large part to the unselfishness of numerous stars who tucked their egos away and just wanted to win. The 2019-20 version of the guys in green will be an improved r…

Jackie Mac: " (Celtics) not a Championship team as currently constituted"

When Jackie MacMullan speaks, I listen intently. She is a veteran and respected sports writer that is trusted by most folks associated with the NBA. On the Michael Holley podcast, Jackie had a few things to say about Kyrie Irving's disenchantment with the Celtics, but I promised I would put that to rest. Most of us agree that the current Celtics squad may possibly make it out of the East in the post-season, but Title hopes are few. MacMullan gave her view of the main reason for that.

πŸ”Š NEW MICHAEL HOLLEY PODCAST, presented by @NightShiftBeer πŸ”Š@MichaelSHolley talks to Jackie MacMullan about...

😲 The Celtics/Kyrie breakup
πŸ€ Player movement across the NBA
☘️ Are Jaylen & Jayson untouchable?

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE:https://t.co/7IW2gzbkmxpic.twitter.com/iANTJAq2g5— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) July 26, 2019
In the podcast, Jackie stated that she felt Al Horford's loss to free agency was the major change for Boston - and why they aren't Championship-caliber…

For pure fun, watch Jayson Tatum take on Chris Paul and Bradley Beal 1-on-1

Skills coach Drew Hanlen is well-known for his off-season work with NBA stars, present and future. He teaches the skills and puts them to the test against the League's best. Watch Jayson Tatum work against CP3 and Beal one-on-one - and be glad he is not being tutored by Kobe Bryant (as he has in the past). I found the video entertaining while waiting many more weeks for the season to begin.

Here are a few clips from yesterday’s 1v1 battle between @RealDealBeal23@jaytatum0 & @CP3! pic.twitter.com/4fWZYoLMET— Drew Hanlen (@DrewHanlen) July 26, 2019
Got to sit in on a @PureSweat workout with @DrewHanlen. It was amazing seeing some incredible NBA players up close. @jaytatum0@MeyersLeonard@RealDealBeal23. Thanks @Coach_Parker007 for the opportunity. pic.twitter.com/i5Oor0hHFN— Logan Phillips (@LSP_LHS22) July 17, 2019
And one other point. Jayson has indicated that he has put on roughly seven pounds of muscle in the off-season, bringing him from 203 pounds to 210. Don't fooled by …

Tacko Fall, after officially signing with C's, will spar with 76'ers Joel Embiid next week in Senegal

Don't get too excited by this, but the signings have become official. Per NBA.com, the Boston Celtics have signed Tremont Waters and Max Strus to two-way contracts, and Center Tacko Fall and guard Javonte Green have also been signed - with terms not disclosed. What does this mean? This has a lot to do with the still-available 15th roster spot. All four of these guys will battle for position in the Celtics training camp. The outcome will be determined there.

If Danny Ainge was direct, he would admit that he doesn't totally know what he has with this crew. Who does? Training camp should clear the air. Anige is not big on small point guards, and here comes 5'10" Tremont Waters. Real big guys that can't cover the perimeter or shoot treys? Doesn't care for those either - and enter 7'7" Tacko Fall.

Green is super-athletic, but his NBA potential is till unknown. Strus? Not particularly athletic, but he can shoot the ball and rebound. As I said, the higher…

My All-Time-NBA 3-on-3 team

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With Ice Cube's BIG3 League in its third season, and 3-on-3 play coming to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, interest in 3-on-3 basketball will surely increase. Having already broached my All-Present NBA, All-Time Celtics and All-Present Celtics squads, it is time for my All-Time NBA 3-on-3 team. Versatility is king here. Players need to have multi skills, and for this one, I have gone with mid-sized stars. Here are my troops:

Larry Bird
Magic Johnson
Michael Jordan
Lebron James (bench)
There is nothing Bird can't do - scoring in close and from distance, rebounding, defense, passing - he has it all. Magic isn't quite as good as Larry scoring far from the hoop, but he is good enough. And he does everything else well - very well.


Michael and Lebron may still be vying for Best-NBA-Player-Ever, so they needed to be included. We go from a height of 6'6" (Jordan) to 6'9" (Larry and Magic).

Among the missing by necessity are Lakers Jerry West and Kobe Bryant. Same for…

Celtics need a true hero to step forward - is it Jayson Tatum?

After the trauma of last season, the Boston Celtics need a genuine hero to step forward and take control. I am not talking about a gunner that that will try to take a game over by himself, nor a verbal leader to keep things in line. What the team needs is a guy that can be counted on to consistently supply what is needed to win games - a hero that can be counted on in the clutch to deliver. It is highly-probable that the hero Boston is waiting for is third-year man, Jayson Tatum.

Jayson Tatum = Mr. Franchise? pic.twitter.com/Z2wKLLk36c— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) July 24, 2019
Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens know what they have in Tatum. SB Nation's Keith Smith was apparently told by an unidentified NBA executive that the Celtics turned down an insane offer for Jayson, and added that Tatum was the franshise in Boston (per NBC Sports Darren Hartwell):

"We tried to get him. The price they asked was insane, as it should be," the executive told Smith, adding that…

Quick uplift for Celts fans - plus Marcus Smart & Boston's All-Intensity-Five

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There are times when a video speaks for itself, and Max Carlin's mixtape does just that. It is not just Marcus Smart's winning plays that are evident here, but also his intensity - and the uplifting play of Smart's teammates. But I will enlarge on the video with my All-Time-Celtics-Intensity lineup.

Important reminder: sound on pic.twitter.com/VueKmyJupR— Max Carlin (@maxacarlin) June 19, 2019

Intensity | Definition of Intensity by Merriam-Webster

Definition of intensity. 1 : the quality or state of being intense especially : extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling. 2 : the magnitude of a quantity (such as force or energy) per unit (as of area, charge, mass, or time)
The key word here is "extreme". That would be Marcus. There is nothing half-assed about what he tries to do. It is all or nothing. So who else can we add to our All-Intensity-Five? Here's my team:

Marcus Smart
Dave Cowens
Kevin Garnett
Larry Siegfried
Danny Ainge
I have Cowens at cent…

Report: Celtics quickly shut down an offer for Gordon Hayward this summer

According to Yahoo Sports' Keith Smith, one NBA executive made a call to the Celtics this summer seeking a trade for Gordon Hayward. That request apparently was quickly turned down by Boston (per Sporting News' E. Jay Zarett):

Boston "quickly" shut down an inquiry this summer from an opposing team about potentially dealing for the 29-year-old forward, a rival executive recently told NBA insider Keith Smith at Summer League.
The #Celtics reportedly "quickly" shot down a trade offer for Gordon Hayward during last season: https://t.co/LqkjgT2j1Fpic.twitter.com/pyeEPtqvCC— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) July 23, 2019

The executive that made the bid obviously felt that the Celtics would go into tank mode with the impending departure of Kyrie Irving, and possibly Al Horford. Both did end up leaving in free agency, but the exec doesn't know Danny very well. Ainge does not punt. He doesn't tank. Once again, per Keith Smith via Sporting News:

The executive tol…

3-on-3 basketball coming to Tokyo Olympics - choose your teams

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Three-on-three basketball is coming to the Tokyo Olympics next year. It is still unknown if current NBA players will get involved, but for the sake of discussion, what players from past Celtics teams would make up the optimum 3-on-3 team. The teams will have one substitute, so we need four players. Because of the nature of the game, and limited participants, versatility is key - ball handling, shooting, rebounding, passing and defense. Here's my All-Time Celtics 3-on-3 crew:

Kevin Garnett, Larry Bird, John Havlicek and Dennis Johnson. Where's Bill Russell you ask. He lacks outside shooting. Why Dennis Johnson? Because with his Celtics stint, he was under-rated - by a lot. He could do it all. And we needed more ball-handling and passing.


How about choosing four guys from the present Celts roster. Think versatility here, not just All-Star appearances, shooting expertise or defensive intensity. Here are my choices:

Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum. Yes,…

Breaking: Enes Kanter remains vocal after reports of Turkish president's death

Newly-acquired Boston Celtic, Enes Kanter, is not backing down from his continued criticism of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, even in the midst of circulating rumors of Erdogan's death from a heart attack. Kanter is obviously not totally buying the news of the death of his nemesis, as evidenced in the tweet below:

He can't have a heart attack.
He doesn't have a heart. https://t.co/QUgy86rwLF— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) July 22, 2019
#Celtics big man Enes Kanter continued his harsh criticism of Turkish president #Erdogan amid unconfirmed reports of the leader's death:https://t.co/wmVUoRkC6epic.twitter.com/NTtKebkrHh— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) July 23, 2019
Thus far, there seems to be no conclusive evidence yet of Erdogan's death by any means. Kanter has been extreme in his verbal and written attacks against the Turkish leader. The result was an arrest warrant for Enes (per NBC Sports Darren Hartwell):

Among the things for Boston Celtics fans to know abou…

Tacko Fall would be a very unique end-of-the-bench guy for Celtics

Don't get me wrong. I am not stating emphatically that Tacko Fall belongs on the Celtics final 15-man roster. But I will make an argument why he may fit at the end of the Celtics bench.

Danny Ainge on Tacko Fall: "We want to take his development very very seriously. He’s a high priority for us to try to really develop into a player.” pic.twitter.com/mwcbx0zu4o— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) July 17, 2019
Here's my point. The low-minutes guy for Boston last season was Guerschon Yabusele, logging 6.1 MPG - scoring 2.3 PPG and taking down 1.3 RPG. Nothing stands out there. Rob Williams averaged 8.8 minutes/game while scoring at a 2.5 PPG clip, rebounding at 2.5 RPG and blocking shots at 1.3 BPG. The rebounding for Rob Lob stands out a bit, but the blocked shots really get our attention. Rob's blocks project to 5.1 blocks/game over a 36-minute span.

So how does this affect Fall's chances at making the roster. Look at Danny Ainge's comments in the above tweet. …

Tim Duncan, the Celtic-that-never-was, returns to San Antonio as Assistant Coach

It had to be. Tim Duncan, alias The Big Fundamental, eventually just had to land in the NBA coaching ranks at some point. Returning to San Antonio, where he played for 19 seasons, just seems natural - as does Gregg Popovich's comment on Duncan's return.

The Spurs have hired Tim Duncan as an assistant coach, the team announced.

“It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor,” said Gregg Popovich. pic.twitter.com/DEVhxZyVn6— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 22, 2019
It was Shaquille O'Neal that gave Tim his nickname, The Big Fundamental. Shaq compared Duncan to former Celtic, Larry Bird, as a player that was not terribly athletic, but could destroy you with the basics - the fundamentals. Duncan averaged 19.0 PPG, 10.8 RPG and 2.2 BPG, and he used the glass much like another former Celtic, Sam Jones. Tim was a 5-time Champion, 3-time Finals MVP and 2-time NBA MVP.

Could he shoot 3-pointers? Nope! Over 19 sea…

Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart & Jayson Tatum set for FIBA Team USA training camp

With NBA stars such as James Harden, Anthony Davis and Bradley Beal continuing to withdraw from USA Basketball, Marcus Smart has now pledged to join Celtics Teammates Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum at training camp to compete in the FIBA World Cup set to start on August 31, 2019. Jaylen Brown is also rumored to be a possible addition to the squad as the dust settles from the All-Star departures.

Report: Marcus Smart will join Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum on Team USA's FIBA World Cup training camp rosterhttps://t.co/l7fI4Kde1mpic.twitter.com/11ajqFKALX— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) July 22, 2019
There are currently 15 players scheduled to battle for 12 roster slots on team USA. If Brown does join his comrades, and all four make the final squad, that would mean that one-third of Team USA would be composed of Celtics players. Here are the training camp members as of this writing:

Guards:
Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz

Grant Williams is a higher-skilled replacement for Guerschon Yabusele's joyousness

The Celtics waiving of the much-loved Guerschon Yabusele was a tough and emotional move, but it needed to happen. He was an absolute pleasure to be around for his teammates, but he just didn't project to be a solid NBA player. Now comes rookie Grant Williams, who always seems to be up emotionally. His verbal pleasantries never seem to end, even when the occasional teammate wishes they would.

Grant was sent by The Universal Spirits to fix the Celtics team culture and cameraderie https://t.co/U9ROB1s8An— LIFELONG PELICANS FAN MAN 69☭ (@Riffs_Man) July 22, 2019
Grant averaged 13.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG in Summer League . What is most-notable is the fact he scored a team-high plus/minus over the first four games. It looks like G-Will can contribute to winning right way when the regular season begins. An he brings some fun and joyousness that departed with Guersch's release.

.@Grant2Will was one of the best rookies in the Vegas with averages of 13/6/2, but his impact went far beyond the …

Is Tacko Fall potentially an NBA-caliber player?

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Tacko Fall's potential as a solid NBA player starts with his size. Anyone over 7-feet can be classified as a giant, but Tacko surpasses that. he is 7'7" with an 8'2" wingspan and a 10'2" standing reach. He can cover an 8'-by-10' wall just by spreading his feet and waving his arms. Shooting over him or passing around him will be a challenge for opponents.

But it doesn't end there. He doesn't run the floor like 6'9" Bill Russell did, but he is not far behind. He is smooth and fluid for a (very) big man. And he has soft hands to catch and retain a pass and place it (yes, place it) in the basket. Is he destined to become a true NBA player? A Celtics staffer thinks so.

Asked a Celtics staffer if Tacko Fall is an NBA player. The response: “I think he’s worth an investment for sure. If he improves this season anywhere close to his improvement the last few months then I think it’s hard to argue against him.” He’s been in Boston working al…

This is a rebound season for the Celtics in more than one way

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Last season for the Boston Celtics was a major disappointment, but I doubt we will have a repeat. Kyrie Irving has been ably-replaced by Kemba Walker, and the center position has taken on a whole new look. One positive factor for Boston for the coming season is as close-to-guaranteed as it gets. The quartet occupying the 5-spot will be a major improvement in the rebounding department, especially on the offensive end.


Last season, the Celtics finished the regular season ranked 22nd in rebounding, averaging 44.5 RPG. Al Horford is off to the rival 76'ers, and he was the Celts main board guy, averaging 6.7 rebounds per game, with 1.7 coming off the offensive glass. Al ranked 45th in the NBA in this specific category during the regular season. Newly-acquired Enes Kanter finished last season ranked 14th in rebounding with 9.8 RPG, 3.8 of which were of the offensive variety (per NBA's Taylor C. Snow):

In 20 career matchups against the C’s, Kanter has averaged 12.9 points and 8.7 rebo…

Which teammate joins Kemba Walker to make up Celtics Power Pairing

It is amazing how quickly the NBA has shifted from glorifying The Big Threes to touting the many Power Pairings that have taken place lately. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with the Clippers. Anthony Davis and Lebron James on the Lakers. James Harden and Russell Westbrook in Houston. Boston doesn't have that pairing yet. It seems solid that Walker will be half of any Dynamic Duo. Who joins him?

Jalen Rose on the Celtics with Kemba Walker this season:

“The Boston Celtics are going to surprise a lot of people this year.” pic.twitter.com/krnbORmYQe— Casey Baker - New Account :/ (@_CaseyBaker) July 19, 2019
Gordon Hayward absolutely NEEDS this coming season. He is set to earn $32.7 million, and 2020-21 is a player option. It also needs to be said that the Celtics, no matter what course they take with him, want to finally cash in on their investment. One wasted season (2017-18) due to injury and a disappointing campaign (2018-19) were not what was expected. I predict that Gordon will com…

Blake Griffin on why post-game interviews are stupid

I owe this one to Barstool Sports. I love their content versatility, and this is one of many. Their piece on the stupidity of post-game interviews is funny and right-on. I will explain.

Jimmy is put to the postgame interview test by @blakegriffin23. More with @blakegriffin23 on #FallonTonight! pic.twitter.com/cFyZaWSZqb— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) July 18, 2019
Blake Griffin is a personality with a Capital "P". Interviewing an athlete that has just worked out for two hours is a lost cause. Blake is right. It is stupid. So much of the blood nourishing the brain needs to go to the muscles being worked during exercise, and athletes (or Personal Training clients in my case), get stupid.

My clients need close attention after the first-half of the session is over. They forget my name after working with me for decades. They butcher the exercise. My clients tell me they stay with me so the workouts become mindless - and do they ever. I joke with them all the time. "Okay, t…

The Kyrie Irving saga began in the 2018 playoffs - time to put it to bed

As Kyrie Irving was openly cheering on his teammates in their long post-season run in 2018, a part of him was lamenting the fact that they were succeeding with him out of action with an injury. That is human, and no indictment of a supremely talented player with limited leadership skills.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge getting his summer workouts in 🐾

(via @danielrainge)pic.twitter.com/4ws2sNp0M7— ESPN (@espn) July 18, 2019
Then things really hit the skids during the early stages of last season. Boston got off to a 6-2 start, then started losing. They lost eight of their next 12 games, resulting in a 10-10 record on November 24, 2018. Jaylen Brown went from starter to second string, and Marcus Smart was placed into the starting back court. Boston went on an 8-game winning streak but then started to falter once again.

The fact that the team could come close to the NBA Finals without him, and lose so many games with him on the court leading the charge most likely took a toll on Kyrie's rat…

Report: Guard Javonte Green to be signed to partially-guaranteed contract by Celtics

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It is becoming obvious that the Celtics 15th roster spot is really being put up for grabs. Will it be Tremont Waters, Tacko Fall, a veteran - or Javonte Green. Danny Ainge is covering all the bases on this one. In Summer League, Green averaged 10.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG 2.8 APG and 1.8 SPG. He is a 25-year-old superb athlete who went undrafted in the 2015 NBA draft.


Javonte Green is planning to sign a 2-year deal with the Celtics, with a partial guarantee in year 1 and non-guaranteed year 2, per source. I've been told by multiple sources that the Cs plan to have several players, likely partial & two-way contract guys, vie for the last spot.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) July 18, 2019
The Celtics have offered a partially-guaranteed contract to Javonte, and it looks like he will be fighting for that final roster spot in training camp. Boston is still trying to lock in Tacko Fall, moving on from his Exhibit 10 contract, and Tremont Waters is another candidate for the 15th slot. And…

Enes Kanter wants to become a Splash Brother - good or bad?

It's true. Enes Kanter wants to be a Splash Brother. He wants to be able to nail 3-pointers like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson? Apparently, he meant like Al Horford, or at least like Aron Baynes.

nice nice but how is your defense? We need defense, my guy!— Brother Andrej (@BriGGySmaLLzb) July 6, 2019
So is this a good thing, or is it bad. Agreeing with Brother Andej, first of all, we need defense from Kanter. We also need his rebounding. The latter skill is fine. The former needs work.

There's an obvious push for Enes Kanter to start shooting 3-pointers. He said he wants to add that to his game this summer.

“Aron Baynes, Al Horford, they become a splash brother, so I think it could change for me too. I believe it.”— Jay King (@ByJayKing) July 17, 2019
Hitting the occasional trey when Enes is open makes sense, so practicing shots beyond the arc is fine. But sitting out there waiting for the pass to launch a 3-pointer too much of the time? I say nay. Kanter needs to work towards …

Enes Kanter takes a hit at Kyrie Irving and jokes with Kemba Walker

I knew I was going to love this guy. Enes Kanter may not be great at defense or hitting treys, but he is a lot of fun. On wearing #11 for Boston, he mimicked Kyrie Irving perfectly by responding, "I wanna be the reason no one else will (be wearing #11). I had to say it!"

“I wanna be the reason no one else will.”

Enes Kanter used Kyrie’s exact line on why he chose to wear No. 11 in Boston πŸ˜‚

(via @NBCSCeltics) pic.twitter.com/KZDkrneU1R— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 17, 2019
Kanter also switched over to his reporter-persona and asked Kemba Walker, "How much you gonna pass me the ball?" Walker gave it some quick thought and came back with "zero".

Enes Kanter hops into the media scrum with a super important question pic.twitter.com/sNMgTXHaJX— John Karalis πŸ‡¬πŸ‡· (@RedsArmy_John) July 17, 2019
Both Walker and Kanter were relaxed at the gathering today, and that bodes well for the season ahead. Good to see some humor back.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentin…

Danny Ainge said today what fans have been thinking - Tacko Fall can make the Celts roster

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During new-player intros, players, coaches and NBA execs usually say all the right things. A short while ago during the the introduction of Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter to Boston, Danny was asked if Tacko Fall had a future with the Celtics. Here is his answer, per NESN's Logan Mullen:

“I think that Tacko is going to have a chance to make the roster, but we’ll see,” the president of basketball operations said. “He’s here working out right now, brought him in for a few days just to have a place to work out before he heads back to Senegal — I don’t think he’s been back there for a long time, six years or something, so there’s some visa work to work out as well. But we see some upside there, we’re excited about him.”

My thinking is that Ainge may wait to fill that 15th roster slot. Fall's next move from his present Exhibit 10 deal may be to receive a cash bonus and head to the Maine Red Claws. That seems the safest route for Boston if that is agreeable to Tacko. Following that, an …

A reminder of Kevin Garnett's intensity - from Minnesota Coach Ryan Saunders

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ESPN's Zach Lowe had Minnesota Head Coach, Ryan Saunders on his podcast, and Ryan had a few memories of Kevin Garnett. According to Saunders, when he was a ballboy for the Timberwolves, prior to a game, Garnett took off his warm-up pants and tried to throw them down on the court. What Ryan didn't know at the time was that this was one of Kevin's pre-game rituals - the pants had to hit the floor. Saunders caught the pants in mid-air three times and kept throwing them back to The Big Ticket.


After the third catch by Saunders, Garnett walked over to him - grabbed the pants - and threw them to the floor. Lowe asked, "Was there profanity spewing out of his mouth the whole time." If you remember Garnett at all, you know Ryan's answer was a definite "Yes".

Saunders added that after the game, Kevin never realized that had happened, and this incident showed Garnett's level of intensity. We recall that intensity, and we miss it. We could use some of tha…

In a contract year for Jaylen Brown, first few months of the season will decide the outcome

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Both the Sixers' Ben Simmons and Nuggets' Jamal Murray are being extended from their rookie contracts for five years and $170 million. A third member of that same 2016 draft class, the Celtics' Jaylen Brown, can't expect the same from Danny Ainge - at least not yet. Extending players on rookie contracts is a rare occurrence for Danny. It could still happen, but not before Ainge gets to analyze Brown's play this coming season and how that performance meshes with the rest of the team.


Jaylen's minutes were reduced significantly last season from his 2017-18 campaign, and his numbers dropped accordingly. Still, on a per-36-minute basis, he showed 16.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.3 APG and only 2.0 TOPG, while hitting 51% on field goals, 35% on treys and 77% on free throws. With increased floor time and improvement in specific areas (read: passing), Danny may break down and lock him in long-term, maybe before he looks as old as this image projects.

🀣🀣 #IsItOctoberYetpic.twitte…

The center spot remains the Celtics biggest question mark

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The Celtics point guard position is secured with Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart in command, and Brad Wanamaker and rookie Carsen Edwards as backups. The wing slots are more-than-filled with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and draft pick Grant Williams. We might include rookie Romeo Langford in that group after we see him in pre-season play. Smart also can migrate to the wing position in certain matchups.

The 5-spot remains an issue. Danny Ainge has ably replaced Aron Baynes' grit and grind with the additions of Enes Kanter and European Vincent Poirier. Both can bump, rebound and score down low, but don't expect them to hit from any distance or defend on the perimeter - at least not yet. Those are two areas where the now-departed Al Horford excelled.


Is second-year man, Rob Williams, a solution. He can catch and finish with lobs, rebound and protect the rim, but he is still a work in progress. His 3-point shot? Doesn't have one - not yet. You may be noticing my &q…

NBA Summer League Teams are out - no Celtics made either team

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The votes are in, and no Celtics made either First Team or Second Team Summer League. Prior to seeing the results, I had Carsen Edwards on that Second team. But I was more disappointed than surprised when I viewed the voting results. They tend to be somewhat arbitrary. With first-round pick, Romeo Langford, out of action with a thumb injury, the other three Celtics draftees (Edwards, Grant Williams, Tremont Waters) performed very well and more-than-proved they have future value for Boston.


🌟 2019 @NBASummerLeague First Team 🌟@TheReal_NAW1@_bigjayy_@brandonclarke23@nunnbetter_@23savage____pic.twitter.com/k7UDjYnJhk— NBA (@NBA) July 15, 2019
🌟 2019 @NBASummerLeague Second Team 🌟@chrisboucher@rui_8mura@hayes_jaxson@AnferneeSimons@lonniewalker_4pic.twitter.com/7KLpWpoX02— NBA (@NBA) July 15, 2019
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Photo via AP