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Showing posts from August, 2019

Boston Celtics Semi Ojeleye needs to become Dennis Rodman

Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye is about to enter his third season in the NBA - a critical one for his career. His contract is very team-friendly at $1.6 million this year and $1.8 million for 2020-21 with a team option.

A close look at his stats show that even with his minutes cut from 15.8 MPG as a rookie to 10.6 MPG last season, he still showed progress. His points rose from 2.7 PPG to 3.3 PPG (last season), mostly due to better shooting from the field. His rebounding dropped from 2.7 RPG as a rookie to 1.5 RPG as a sophomore. He needs to get better with that.

Semi was an elite defender right out of the gate in his rookie campaign. He was drafted to be a classic 3-and-D guy, but thus far, his offensive production has not blossomed. If he shifted from the 3-and-D mode for which he was drafted to R-and-D - the "R" referring to rebounding - his career in the League could be assured.

For the record, Semi Ojeleye is 6'7" and can't dribble, pass, or shoot but..…

Celtics fortunate they didn't "roll the dice on DeMarcus Cousins"

It was in the spring of 2015 that I heard the Boston's Globe's Bob Ryan emphatically state that he would personally pick up DeMarcus Cousins at the airport if Danny Ainge worked a trade for him. Cousins was with the Sacramento Kings at the time, and Ryan was among many others that wanted the star center in Boston.

That never happened, but the Los Angeles Lakers did take the bait and sign Boogie to a one-year deal this summer reportedly for slightly more than the veteran minimum. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski subsequently reported on August 15, 2019 that Cousins had suffered a third injury to his left leg - this time a torn ACL.

Test results are conclusive today in Los Angeles: Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins has suffered a torn left ACL, agent Jeff Schwartz of @excelsm tells ESPN— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 15, 2019

Now things keep getting tougher for the 4-Time All-Star. An arrest warrant has been issued for DeMarcus on a charge of domestic violence (per USA Today…

Why Boston Celtics fans and The Celtics Center love Brian Scalabrine

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Why the Hell am I writing about former Boston Celtics forward, Brian Scalabrine? I need to get this out of the way right from the start! I fully admit this is an unabashed attempt to get The White Mamba on our The Celtics Center podcast. Whew - that felt good - honesty first.

But Boston Celtics fans really do love Brian. So does Danny Ainge. No, Trader Danny didn't work a deal for him. He signed him as a free agent in 2005 for FIVE YEARS - yes, five whole years at $15 million. Scal best seasons were behind him, having averaged 6.3 PPG and 4.5 RPG during the 2004-05 season with the Nets. Despite five less-than-star-quality seasons with Boston, The White Mamba became a true fan favorite.

The Ultimate Brian Scalabrine Highlight Video https://t.co/w0nPWh1IOE via @YouTube — Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) August 28, 2019

Scal hails from Enumclaw, Washington. I had to check Wikipedia to determine if there is such a place. One has to check this stuff when the name of a town sounds like the dis…

Top 10 All-Time Boston Celtics - power forward

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In making up my list of Top 10 All-Time Boston Celtics, I found the power forward slot choice to be the most difficult. Picking between the two Kevins, Garnett and McHale, was a close one. I eventually went with Kevin Garnett as starter, backed up by Kevin McHale.


Kevin McHale played 13 seasons in the NBA, all with Boston. He is a 3-Time NBA Champion, 7-Time All-Star and 3-Time All-Defensive First Team. Kevin Garnett played 20 seasons in the League, six of them with the Celtics. He is a 1-Time Champion, 1-Time League MVP, 1-Time All-Star MVP, 15-Time All-Star, 1-Time Player-of-the-Year, 4-Time Rebound Champ and 9-Time All-Defense First Team.

Their stats are remarkably similar. They both were scorers from in close - having little-to-no 3-point shot. And add superb rebounding and tough defense to their repertoires. Assists? Give the slight nod to Garnett with 3.4 APG (McHale with 2.7). But with Larry Bird and Dennis Johnson around, there frankly weren't many assists available to Mc…

Jaylen Brown leads Team USA to an 84-68 win over Canada in World Cup exhibition

Kemba Walker and Myles Turner started the game along with Jayson Tatum, Harrison Barnes and Donovan Mitchell. The contest was never in serious doubt as Team USA led throughout. The final score was 84-68 in favor of Team USA. Jaylen Brown came away with a team-high 19 points in 19 minutes of floor time. Jaylen also tied with Harrison Barnes for plus/minus honors with a +16.

The first half ended with what turned out to be the play of the game. Marcus Smart initiated the action by diving on the floor and coming away with a loose ball and tap-passing it to a teammate while still floor-bound. A fast break ensued, ending in a lob by Kris Middleton to Donovan Mitchell for the slam. The score at the end of the half was 44-31 in favor of the USA.

Of course the play of the game so far was started by Marcus Smart doing Marcus Smart things pic.twitter.com/s847EhSY1X— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 26, 2019

The play of Brown keeps improving with each exhibition. He shot 8-of-11 from the field …

Boston Celtics Marcus Smart testing Auerbach's theory on shooters

Many critics of Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart still don't realize that his shooting percentages generally improved to a respectable level last season. For his first four seasons, his field goal percentage hovered between 35%-and-37%, and his 3-point average varied from 25% to 33%. Not so last season. In 80 games, his FG% went up to 42.2% and his accuracy on treys was at 36.4%.

In his bio of Celtics marksman, Sam Jones, 10 Times a Champion, author Marc C. Bodanza wrote the following quote from Red on his stance that shooters are born, not made:

It's like a Don Chaney or KC Jones. No matter how much we worked with them or how much they tried - and both of them had willingness to learn - there was no way in the world we could have made them shoot like Bill Sharman or Sam Jones. It simply wasn't there.
KC Jones was a good example. He shot 34.4% from the field (there was no 3-point shot then) in college and 38.7% in the NBA with the Boston Celtics. I watched KC perform at B…

Gregg Popovich's faith in Team Shamrock bodes well for Celtics season

Team USA Coach Gregg Popovich has made the final cut to the team that will head for China in FIBA World Cup competition. Kyle Kuzma was the final casualty, leaving the team reportedly because of an ankle injury.

So barring any injuries or unexpected occurrences, the Boston Celtics Kemba Walker, Jaylen brown, Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum, dubbed Team Shamrock, will represent the United States in FIBA competition. Many analysts felt that Marcus Smart would not make the cut due to his calf injury, but he was in action in last night's loss to Australia, scoring seven points in nine minutes, and adding one rebound and three assists. A little rust was evident as his moves appeared somewhat tentative, but his play was solid.

Jaylen Brown's status with USA Basketball seemed in jeopardy after his quiet showing in an intrasquad scrimmage, but he has looked good since, scoring eight points last night on perfect shooting from the field and beyond the arc. His size and versatility will be…

Breaking: All four Boston Celtics make Team USA's final roster - Kuzma cut

According to Bleacher Report, all four Boston Celtics have made the final cut and will be on Team USA's final roster for FIBA World Cup play. Kyrle Kuzma was the final player cut from the 12-man roster, reportedly for an ankle injury

Kyle Kuzma was the team's last cut with an ankle injury https://t.co/brqUHkvTaw— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) August 24, 2019

Jaylen Brown's quiet performance in Team USA's intrasquad scrimmage caused some to believe he would not make the final group heading to China. Marcus Smart's calf issue aroused similar thoughts on his status with the team. Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum both seemed like a lock for the China trip from the beginning.

Now it appears official. Boston Celtics Team Shamrock will remain intact. All four will be heading to China .

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and @_Celtics_Center

Team USA's "individual brilliance" loses to Australia, 98-94

Four Boston Celtics took the floor for Team USA against the Australian Boomers, but the Aussies used team play to come away with a 98-94 victory. Marcus Smart started this one and put the Yanks on the board with a nice 3-pointer. He came up with an assist soon thereafter, and he looked good out there.

Marcus Smart is already hitting threes 😍😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/FiHt4uLkxK— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 24, 2019

Kemba Walker wasn't in the starting lineup, but Gregg Popovich didn't keep him out of action for long. It was apparent from the start that the Boomers were not going to give anything away. The Australians play tough- and they play as a team. One of the announcers had this to say about both teams:

The Americans want to get it done with individual brilliance. They've got the ability to break their man down and score points on opponents. ... we see the the sort of ball movement (from the Boomers) - ball movement - man movement. They rely on each other.
Marcus Sm…

Boston Celtics Jay Team embracing the Dirk-one-legged-fadeaway shot

The Boston Celtics Jay Team of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are adding Dirk Nowitzki's one-legged, fadeaway shot to their offensive arsenal. Tatum used it quite a bit last season, but it may be new for Brown. Dirk invented the offensive move, and he used it often. It has been employed by stars such as Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant, and we may be seeing more of it this season from Jaylen and Jayson.

GET ME TO THE SEASON pic.twitter.com/GuNVczw0jU— Ev Singleton (@EvGuyBoston) August 21, 2019

The biggest advantage of the move it its ability to create space from the defender and make the shot almost impossible to block. During the Dallas Maverick's 2010-11 Championship season, Nowitzki used his 7-foot height and his patented shot to defeat the Miami Heat in the Finals and take the Title. No Miami defender could stop Dirk, and he averaged 26 points per game in the series.

How-to’s/Tutorials - Dirk Nowitzki's One Legged Fadeaway Basketball VIDEO! https://t.co/1WXjMfG9X0 via @YouTu…

Daniel Theis' strong FIBA play could land him the Celtics starting gig at center

Daniel Theis continued to impress in World Cup competition with Germany's 89-70 victory over Tunisia. Theis collected 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in the win.

What stands out in the highlights below are Daniel's four blocks. He rejects shots near the rim and close to the perimeter. He is moving fluidly, and any trace of his meniscus issue is completely gone

Daniel Theis Germany NT Highlights vs Tunisia (10 pts, 8 reb, 4 blk) https://t.co/HjzTA6PuB2 via @YouTube— Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) August 23, 2019

It also looks like the 6'8" German has added a floater to his offensive arsenal. He gets off two successful beauties over the opposition. His passing seems solid, and the eight boards speak for themselves. Put all of this together with his post game and outside shooting, and we are looking at serious versatility here.

In a previous article, I stressed the fact that the 5-spot was a major concern for the Boston Celtics, and with continued improvement over …

Boston Celtics Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart named Team USA Captains

The Boston Celtics Marcus Smart may not have played a game for Team USA, but he has now been named as a tri-captain along with Boston Teammate, Kemba Walker, and Utah's Donovan Mitchell.

The #Celtics already have 4️⃣ players on Team USA. Now they've got 2️⃣ captains. @ASherrodblakelyhttps://t.co/U0vZ6G5qtWpic.twitter.com/xr9N2c7eXN— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) August 22, 2019

There is no surprise with Kemba in this leadership role. He is a star, an NBA veteran, and a proven leader (per NBC Sports Boston"s A. Sherrod Blakely):

"We have a bunch of guys who don't mind being the underdogs,” Walker told reporters. “We are hungry, and we are going to go out there to try and win a gold medal...I take pride in being a leader and guys looking to me and I'm here to set the tempo and bring my experience and energy."
Mitchell is no major surprise. He seems to have it all - talent, maturity, team play. Marcus is the shocker. I have been pushing for his …

Boston Celtics Team Shamrock shines in 102-86 win over Australia

The Boston Celtics Marcus Smart did not play, but his three teammates truly shined in Team USA's 102-84 win over a determined Australia crew. Kemba Walker atarted the game once again and played a team-high 23 minutes, while putting up a team-high 23 points and grabbing six rebounds. No one apparently told the Australian Boomers that this was merely exhibition. The game was in doubt for the first two-and-a-half quarters.

The Aussies went on a 12-2 run to close the first half with a score of 44-43 in favor of the Yanks. Then things turned around with 2:10 left in the third quarter when the Boston Celtics Team Shamrock , along with Donovan Mitchell, took over. Team USA went on a 10-0 run, resulting in a 54-45 score and a nine point lead for the Americans.

The fourth quarter saw Team USA broaden the margin. Myles Turner was a powerhouse throughout the game, finishing with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Jaylen Brown, who started the game with Walker, played point guard on a few possession…

Did the Celtics Kevin McHale really have a wingspan of 8-feet?

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According to many sources, the Celtics Kevin McHale did indeed have an estimated wingspan of 8-feet. One of those sources is Wikipedia, as seen below:

Kevin McHale
American basketball player
DescriptionKevin Edward McHale is an American retired basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Boston Celtics. He is a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, and is regarded as one of the best power forwards of all time. He was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. Wikipedia
Born: December 19, 1957 (age 61 years), Hibbing, MN
Wingspan: 8′ 0″
Height: 6′ 10″
Spouse: Lynn McHale (m. 1982)
NBA draft: 1980, Boston Celtics (Round: 1 / Pick: 3)
Hall of fame induction: 1999
Number: 32 (Boston Celtics / Power forward, Center)
Kevin was listed at 6'10" tall when he was drafted with the 3rd pick in the 1980 draft. Red Auerbach, in yet another heist, brought in both McHale and center Robert Parish (via trade) prior to the Celtics' 1980-81 Championship season.…

Could Celtics rookie Carsen Edwards be the steal of the draft?

The Celtics Danny Ainge was busy as usual during the 2019 NBA draft as he maneuvered to grab Carsen Edwards in the second round. Ainge traded the 20th pick in the first round to Philadelphia in exchange for the 24th and 33rd picks. The latter pick was used to draft the 6-foot Purdue guard, and he could be the steal of the draft.

Steals of the draft?#Celtics teammates Carsen Edwards and Grant Williams garnered some praise in the latest NBA rookie survey πŸ‘€https://t.co/hLDuXqLRUcpic.twitter.com/i4ErdlCA3F— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) August 19, 2019

In a survey by NBA.Com, both Carsen Edwards and fellow-rookie, Grant Williams, tied for third place in the voting for Biggest Steal of the Draft. G-Will was taken by Boston with the 22nd pick in the first round.

Don’t sleep on Carsen Edwards πŸ‘€

(via IG/cboogie_3) pic.twitter.com/tqTs8QIZKU— Dante Turo (@DanteOnDeck) August 21, 2019

Carsen stands at 6'0.25" and 200 pounds and has a 6'6" wingspan. In the NBA, he really proje…

Gordon Hayward talks about his health and summering in Boston

NBC Sports' A. Sherrod Blakely got a chance to hear Gordon Hayward talk about his present health and conditioning in Boston over the summer. It has been roughly 22 months since Gordon's cringe-worthy left ankle injury in the 2017-18 season opener. He has worked with the Celtics staff over the summer, and it is very apparent that he is ready for a comeback season.

Nice to hear from Gordon Hayward on his health. There is nothing flamboyant about Gordon, so you can be sure he is working hard on conditioning and a new start for him.— Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) August 20, 2019

"Back to no restrictions. That was really nice. Being able to train the way I'm used to training. Not have to worry about surgery, too. It's been really good from that standpoint."- #Celtics Gordon Hayward on his summer getting ready for the season. pic.twitter.com/4ac0VLjJpD— A. Sherrod Blakely (@ASherrodblakely) August 20, 2019
Having no restrictions on his training and facing no further su…

Team USA faces Australia in World Cup competition on 8/22/19 - join our contest

As a writer for The Celtics Center @_Celtics_Center, I plan to run a season-long contest for our readers. It is a great way to get more involved with a very promising upcoming season. To get it started, we are looking for Team USA's matchup against Australia in a World Cup exhibition contest at 5:30 AM on Thursday, August 22, 2019. The Celtics Team Shamrock (Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart) will be facing former-Celtics Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills.

πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ΊπŸ€πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ @BasketballAus x @usabasketball
5:30am/et Thursday on @NBATV/@Twitchhttps://t.co/suLWKySCXD— NBA (@NBA) August 20, 2019
I am looking for the combined points of Team Shamrock in this contest. Ex: Walker (10 points), Tatum (12), Brown (9), Smart (6) totals 37 points. At this writing, whether Smart will play is up in the air, but I expect he will. List points for each player, along with total combined points.

Submit your guess in the comment section of this article. Ha…

The 5-spot is the center of concern for Boston Celtics

I have few worries concerning the point guard slot for the Celtics this coming season. Newly-acquired Kemba Walker is a proven star at the position, and I have total faith in Marcus Smart to play that role. And I would be surprised if we didn't see rookie Carsen Edwards pick up some minutes at the point.

How about wings? We have plenty of those - Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Daniel Theis, rookie Grant Williams and Smart in specific circumstances. The wing lineup should project somewhere between solid-and-terrific.

We know the players Boston has at the center position. What we don't know is how they project in Brad Stevens offensive and defensive schemes. None of the Celtics centers have Al Horford's package of 3-point shooting, defense, passing and overall versatility. If we watched highlight reels of Vincent Poirier, Enes Kanter and Rob Williams, we would see scores on lobs, dunks and put-backs - with an occasional block on opponents' shot attempts.

N…

Marcus Smart is practicing trick shots - and it may make sense

Has anyone else noticed that Marcus Smart is one-of-a-kind. I can think of no other NBA player quite like him. It is great to see him back on the hardwood with his Team Shamrock buddies in Melbourne, Australia. Taking a page right out of his Unusual Player book, Smart has been observed practicing some trick shots. He may be the only player in the League for whom it makes sense.

Marcus spends a lot of time on the floor, so practicing this shot makes sense.— Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) August 20, 2019
Hey, taking a shot from distance while lying on the floor? Why not? He does spend so much time on the floor, he may as well practice taking a shot from the prone position if the shot clock is running down.

It would be a long shot, but we may just see Marcus pull this one off at least once this season.— Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) August 20, 2019
Between his legs while facing away from the basket? I can't think of a situation where he might employ this shot, but he is one guy that can fin…

ESPN's NBA team projections are out - Celtics #2 in the East

I am still not sure ESPN has any affection for the Boston Celtics, but they did put Boston in second place to finish in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are surrounded by the Milwaukee Bucks in first place and the Philadelphia 76'ers in third spot.

.@kpelton projected every NBA team's win-loss record using real plus-minus. Here's how the postseason stacked up.

All 30 teams (E+): https://t.co/WqKIn1jLDBpic.twitter.com/9oNqcK0Zco— ESPN (@espn) August 17, 2019

ESPN's Kevin Pelton bases the predictions on a mathematical scheme referred to as Real Plus/Minus (RPM). Pelton rationalizes that the loss of Al Horford and Aron Baynes would put a damper on the Celtics defensive capabilities (and I agree), but the guys in green have enough defensive wings to create just enough havoc with opponents (per ESPN's Kevin Pelton):

2. Boston Celtics
Average wins: 47.4
Playoffs: 95%

The Celtics are one of four teams projected by RPM to rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive…

Celtics Daniel Theis continues strong play for Germany in World Cup exhibition win vs. Poland

Daniel Theis and Dennis Schroder excelled last night in Germany's 92-84 win over Poland in FIBA World Cup exhibition. Theis notched 17 points on 7-of-15 from the field, while adding four rebounds and three blocks. He and point guard, Schroder, have a lot of synergy out there on the floor as Dennis scored 33 points while handing out nine assists and grabbing five boards.

Daniel Theis Germany NT Highlights vs Poland (17 pts, 4 reb, 3 blk) https://t.co/4FdxNHrUCV via @YouTube— Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) August 19, 2019

That's your @celtics big @dtheis10 making plays like a guard. Another solid game for Theis who finished with 17 points, 4 boards and 3 blocks against Poland today. pic.twitter.com/vjGmAQ9yr5— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) August 18, 2019

Daniel was definitely off on his 3-point shooting, taking four attempts beyond the arc and missing all of them. But his post game was solid, and he did well from mid-range. What may be most-notable for Boston fans is watching Theis …

Marcus Smart is healthy, cocky and ready to practice with TEAM USA

Marcus Smart's calf issue seems to be a thing of the past. He had indicated that all of the tests by Celtics staff were exceptional, and he was ready to get out there. Team USA headed for Australia yesterday (Saturday), and they will face Australia in exhibition on August 22. Barring another mishap, Marcus should be on the floor for practice tomorrow and for the game on Thursday.

As they prepare to leave the country today, Team USA gets one roster boost to counter the unexpected departure of De'Aaron Fox: Marcus Smart, I'm told, has been cleared to make a full return to the court from the calf injury that has sidelined him for the past week-plus— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 17, 2019

Marcus Smart wanted some against the young guys at @USABasketball practice today pic.twitter.com/phMlRt39rz— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) August 16, 2019

Australia will put Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and tough Patty Mills on the floor against the Yanks. Look…

NBA's 6th-Man-of-the-Year award needs to be named after John Havlicek

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This is not the first time I have broached this subject. I am making it a campaign. John Havlicek may not have been the first well-known sixth man, but he is the most popular. For several years, Red Auerbach made Hondo the first player off the bench, although he would often have him start games in the post-season. Here are the results of my earlier April Twitter poll broaching having Havlicek's name on the award.

Should the NBA 6th-Man-of-the-Year Award be named after the late, great John Havlicek?— Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) April 28, 2019

John passed away earlier this year at the age of 79, and I am sad that he never got to present an award in his name while he lived. But it is never too late for the 8-Time Champion and 13-Time All Star to be recognized.

There is one problem. Two NBA awards are already named after former Celtics - The Red Auerbach trophy for NBA Coach-of-the-Year and the Bill Russell Finals MVP Award. I can hear rival general managers even now if this happens. …

We may be glad Danny Ainge rolled the dice on Theis

Frankly, I was not sure if Danny Ainge would ink Daniel Theis to a new deal, but it looks like a good move. Theis is signed for two years at a total of $10 million, with the second year non-guaranteed. With the departure of big men Al Horford and Aron Baynes, rolling the dice on Theis could work very well.

In his first season in Boston, Daniel just kept improving. For the pre-All-Star stretch, he averaged 14.5 minutes/Game, 5.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG while shooting 52% on field goals and 30% on treys. Post-All-Star his minutes increased to 18.4 per game, his points to 7.8/game and his boards to 5.3/game. And he shot 68% on field goals and 40% on 3-pointers. Then a meniscus tear shut him down. His minutes and production took a hit last season, in part most likely due to lagging recovery from the injury.

Right now he is playing on German's entry in the FIBA World Cup. In a game versus The Czech Rebublic, he scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds, passed off for three assists and blocked two s…

Top 10 All-Time Celtics - Part 3 - shooting guard - Jersey #17

Yes, I know John Havlicek, #17, played most of his career at small forward, but this is my article, and I am putting him at starting shooting guard on my All-Time Celtics Top-10 list. The 6'5", 205-pound super-athlete chalked up the following awards (partial list):

8-Time Champion
1-Time Finals MVP
13-Time All-Star
5-Time All-Defense First Team
4-Time All-NBA First Team

John was taken by the Boston Celtics and the NFL's Cleveland Browns in the 1962 NBA draft. He chose basketball and the Celtics over football, and we are fortunate for that. Bill Russell called Havlicek "the best all-around player I ever saw". Terrific accolade from a great man.

Jarrin' John (as announcer Johnny Most called him) played 16 seasons for Boston and averaged more than 79 games played per season. He was an iron man who averaged 47.2 minutes/game in the 1969 Championship season and 47.0 MPG in the 1972 playoffs. His stamina wore down so many of his defenders.

Hondo was one of the to…

The photo that unfairly labeled Red Auerbach-as-villain

Make no mistake about this. Success and the limelight bring jealousy and even hatred. One of the most successful NBA coach/executives in the 1950's and beyond was Red Auerbach. He was smart. He was shrewd. He took chances. And the Boston Celtics just kept winning.

To this day, I swear that the envy and dislike continues. Red's mortal self has left us, but the issue remains. I posted an article a few days ago focused on ESPN's projection of a starting USA Basketball lineup when the crew travels to China. Despite the fact that Kemba Walker started last night's game once again (versus Spain), ESPN's starting-5 did not include one Celtic. Yes, the envy and dislike persists. I believe the photo below is to blame.


Red is pictured smack-dab in the middle of villains from the Batman TV series. We have Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, Julie Newmar as Cat Woman, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Cesar Romero as The Joker - and Red Auerbach as - well, himself. Red doesn't bel…

Marcus Smart remains on USA Basketball roster - 100% confident he will stick

Gregg Popovich needs to cut two more players from his Team USA roster, and many analysts feel that Marcus Smart will be a casualty because of his calf injury. It appears that both Smart and Pop don't feel that way. After last night's 90-81 victory over second-ranked Spain, 14 players (two over the 12-man limit) remain on the roster, and all of them may make the trip to Australia later today.

NBA TV's Jared Greenberg interviewed Marcus last night in Anaheim The Cobra has no intention of going home. When asked about his calf issue, this is how Smart responded:

"Every test they've put me through have been exceptional. I'm ready to get back out there."
The outlook certainly looks good, at least from Smart's viewpoint. If the tests on Marcus' lower leg are truly revealing a minor issue that will be eliminated by rest and treatment, Popovich's stance would most likely be to keep the current 14-man roster intact for the next two weeks until Smart'…

Jaylen Brown may have secured a spot on Team USA in 90-81 win over Spain

In their 90-81 win over second-ranked Spain, Team USA battled frequent turnovers (23 in the game) but took the game with tough defense, strong rebounding (42 boards) and dead-eye shooting accuracy (55% on field goals, 58% on treys). The game was never in serious doubt, and though the offense was sloppy, the USA crew played unselfishly and with great chemistry.

Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell started the game, and it looks like they are a lock for starting back court in China. Kemba came away with 11 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals. Jayson Tatum racked up 11 points, five rebounds and a notable four assists.

But it was Jaylen Brown who came away with a Team Shamrock-high plus/minus of +9. He played only 10 minutes but scored nine points on 4-of-5 from the field and 1-of-1 from beyond the arc, while grabbing four rebounds. Both members of the Jay Team had great court-awareness out there, and it seems as though both have made strides in this portion of their games.

J…

Any reader info on Eastwood, Cousy, Heinsohn, Ramsey photo? - "Do you feel lucky?"

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Seeing the photo below for the first time, I did some research on its origin - and fouled out completely. Clint Eastwood with 60's Celtics Tom Heinsohn, Frank Ramsey and Bob Cousy was too interesting to let go. Anyone have any info, or at least ideas on the photo?

Some may call this off-season filler, but damn it - I am a true fan of all four guys in the photo. Clint Eastwood's portrayal of "Dirty Harry" Callahan is iconic. We all need some mystery in our lives, but I need to know. Why were these four men assembled? If I am able track it down, you will see it in my article. In the meantime, "Make my day." If you have info, let us know.

Do You Feel Lucky, Punk? https://t.co/oQ4aqQelh5 via @YouTube— Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) August 16, 2019

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and @_Celtics_Center

Good news for former-Celtic, Guerschon Yabusele - signs with Nanjing Tongxi

Guerschon Yabusele has found a new home after being waived earlier this year by the Boston Celtics. After being drafted with the 16th pick in the 2016 NBA draft, Yabu always seemed to be dealing with a conditioning issue and never seemed to be full locked in to a significant role with Boston.

Guerschon Yabusele to sign with Nanjing Tongxihttps://t.co/egBwr7RK1p via @Carchia— Sportando (@Sportando) August 16, 2019

The well-liked Frenchman averaged only 7.1 minutes per game in his two seasons with Boston, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.4 RPG. His lackluster performance in Summer League this past off-season made it evident that he was not an NBA-caliber player - at least not yet.

Yabu's stint with the G-League Maine Red Claws told a different story. In 17 games, he averaged 19.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.1 SPG and 1.4 BPG - while shooting 50% on field goals and 37% on treys. With NBA experience under his (hopefully loose) belt, he may thrive in China. We wish him well.

Follow Tom at @Celtics…

Lakers resurgence just took a hit - DeMarcus Cousins suffers torn ACL

DeMarcus Cousins has reportedly suffered a serious third injury to his left leg - this time a torn ACL. The two prior injuries, also on the same leg, were an Achilles issue and torn quad. This most likely means Cousins will miss the entire 2019-20 season, and it does not bode well for his NBA future.

ESPN story on exam results today: Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins has a torn ACL. https://t.co/HFnZO340RD— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 15, 2019
DeMarcus signed a $3.5 million, one-year deal with the Lakers, and he was slated to get a lot of time at the center spot, with newly-acquired Anthony Davis alternating between the four and five spots. That just changed.

The most-likely starting unit for the Lakers would be Davis at center, Kyle Kuzma at the four, Lebron James at small forward and Rajon Rondo and Danny Green at the guard slots. That depleted unit certainly has Championship potential, but a missing-in-action Boogie dims their hopes.

If Cousins had remained uninjured and retur…

USA Basketball takes on Spain tonight - decision time for Gregg Popovich

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Team USA will head to Australia tomorrow (Saturday) following tonight's contest against Spain's entry in the FIBA World Cup. Current NBA players, Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Willy Hernangomez and Juan Hernangomez will match up against a USA team that suffered an embarrassing 36-17 loss to the Select Team just two days ago.


Gregg Popovich currently has a 15-man roster that needs to be cut to 12 prior to tomorrow's departure for Down Under. As of this writing, these are the players for Team USA:

Kemba Walker
Khris Middleton
Harrison Barnes
Kyle Kuzma
Brook Lopez
De'Aaron Fox
Donovan Mitchell
P.J. Tucker
Mason Plumlee
Myles Turner
Derrick White
Marcus Smart
Jaylen Brown
Joe Harris
Jayson Tatum

The Celtics 4-man Team Shamrock remains intact, and it appears that Pop will certainly go with Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum. Marcus Smart has been out of action with calf tightness, but my guess is that Popovich wants Smart's versatility, defense, energy and intensity to lessen …

Team USA gets blown out in scrimmage - Marcus Smart calls it "embarrassing"

This could very well be a case of over-complacency. Anyone that has played the game of basketball knows it happens. You are on a team of stars and lose to a group of subs. That seems to be what happened to the USA Basketball squad in their 36-17 loss in a scrimmage against what-was-supposed-to-be inferior talent.

Should Team USA — and Team Shamrock — worry about a 37-19 blowout? https://t.co/LK369v34SD— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) August 15, 2019
This team just defeated the USA Basketball squad headed to China 36-17 in a scrimmage. Are we sure we're sending the right team? https://t.co/PhB2KakEpb— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) August 14, 2019
Marcus Smart did not participate as he is still nursing a calf issue, but he did call out his fellow-USA teammates for failing to deliver. "C'mon guys, this is embarrassing" is what he had to say to them.

All you had to was ask. FYI, why I’m a huge Marcus Smart fan: he was the only one willing to speak up and call it for …

Sebastian Telfair, part of C's trade package for Kevin Garnett, sentenced for gun possession

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The Celtics Danny Ainge always liked the idea of acquiring this kid and finally did via trade (big surprise?) in 2006. Sebastian Telfair was finally a member of the Celtics. It didn't last long. Telfair was arrested in New York in April of 2007 for gun possession and Boston took quick action (via Wikipedia):

On April 24, 2007, Celtics managing partner Wyc Grousbeck announced that Telfair's nameplate on his Celtics locker had been removed and did not expect him back for the 2007–08 season.
Telfair was a high school legend. According to many, he was destined to be an NBA star. He never was. He played for seven NBA teams, one of them (Minnesota) twice. Ainge made sure that Telfair was part of the trade package that brought superstar, Kevin Garnett, to Boston in July of 2007.

The bad news for Sebastian continues. He was just sentenced to three-and-one-half years in prison on another gun-possession charge out of New York. His in-court meltdown is difficult to watch.

NBA Sebastian Te…

ESPN's proposed Team USA starting lineup - NO Celtics

Did no one from ESPN watch the USA Basketball intrasquad scrimmage last week? Did they not at least read that the two stars of that game were Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum? Well, ESPN has released one possible starting lineup of De'Aaron Fox, Donovan Mitchell, Kris Middleton, P.J. Tucker and Brook Lopez. There is not one Celtic to be seen.

One possible Team USA starting lineup for the 2019 FIBA World Cup πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

(via @mcten) pic.twitter.com/g6RUQpDgUf— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 14, 2019
Realizing ESPN just put this out as one possibility, but this is a travesty. I am not alone. Kemba's veteran leadership and Jayson's skills need to be in that starting-5. Did I mention I am not alone?

Kemba, Mitchell, Middleton, Tatum, Myles Turner starring 5, Kuzma and Fox rotating in hella, those would be the 7 that play the most for me— Chadwick (@ChaddyDaddy_19) August 14, 2019
Nice one, Chadwick. And as a Celtics homer, I am far from ruling out Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown in the rotati…

"Who's gonna get 2nd place?" - Top 10 All-Time Celtics - Part 2 - small forward

If you don't recognize the quote in the title of this piece, you may not be a dyed-in-the-wool Larry Bird fan. In Part 2 of my series, we are evaluating the best small forward Boston has ever had on the roster, and the only question is, who comes in second. If you read Part 1, you already know Larry comes in first, followed by The Truth, Captain Paul Pierce. Here's a partial list of Bird's accomplishments, via Wikipedia:

3-Time NBA Champion
2-Time Finals MVP
3-Time NBA MVP
12-Time All-Star
9-Time All-NBA First Team
3-Time All-Defensive Second Team
3-Time 3-point Champ
2-Time 50-40-90 Club

Shooting, passing, defense, leadership, anticipation, basketball IQ, confidence, arrogance - he had them all. Here's the deal on Bird's "Who's gonna get 2nd place" challenge prior to winning the 3-point shootout.

“Who’s gonna get second place in the three-point contest?” πŸ˜‰

Larry Bird joins his former teammate Kevin McHale and tells the story of his three-point contes…