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Showing posts from September, 2019

Tacko Fall's agent pushing for client to be signed to Celtics 15-man roster

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After Tacko Fall failed to be drafted in the 2019 NBA draft, Danny Ainge moved in to sign the 7'7" giant to an Exhibit 10 contract. That contract does not guarantee that the big man will remain in Boston. If he is not signed to the 15th-and-last Celtics roster slot, he has to be waived by Boston - at which time any other team can sign him to their own contract. He can be given a $50,000 bonus is he agrees to join the Celtics G-League affiliate Maine Red Claws, but his agent, Justin Hayes, is saying that may not be good enough (per Boston Globe's Adam Himmeslsbach):

The Celtics believe that with further development Fall could become an NBA contributor. But it’s unclear if they want to keep a development project on the roster. That’s where things become tricky. Fall signed an Exhibit 10 contract, meaning he will receive a $50,000 bonus if he is waived and agrees to then join the Maine Red Claws. But Fall’s agent, Justin Haynes has insisted that Fall will be picked up by ano…

NBA clamps down on listed heights of its players - the long-and-short of it

The NBA has decided to clamp down on the listed heights of it's players. The little guys have often been listed as taller than the reality, while bigs over 7-feet have have sometimes insisted that they are shorter than what the numbers indicate.

Start with Bill Walton. He played two seasons in Boston and was always shown to be 6'11", yet he clearly was taller than teammate, Robert Parish, who was listed at 7'0.5". Wes Unseld was listed at 6'7" but that must have included the height of his large Afro. Charles Barkley was alleged to be 6'6", but 6'4" may have been closer to his real height.

In the modern NBA, Isaiah Thomas comes to mind. He shows at 5'9" on paper, but my daughter stood next to him and told me that he was closer to 5'7"-5'8" in height. How about Kevin Durant? No way he is 6'9" tall. To get his actual height, add at least two or three inches.

For years some players have been listed as tall…

Boston Celtics second- unit pairing of Marcus Smart and Semi Ojeleye equals defensive havoc

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The Boston Celtics second unit this coming season will be probably see Marcus Smart at point guard and Semi Ojeleye at small forward. But don't expect to see them glued to those positions. Both players are physically powerful and can guard virtually any position on the floor. Marcus was needed in the starting five last season because there was little energy out of the gate from the appointed first unit. This season, he is needed to lead the second unit with his playmaking, defense and ferocious defense (per NBA.com's Taylor C. Snow):

The Celtics may have one unique asset that no other team in the league would: an All-Defensive First Teamer coming off the bench. Leading Boston’s second unit, once again, could be the one-of-a-kind defensive mastermind, Marcus Smart.

After years of wreaking havoc against opposing offenses, Smart finally earned his first All-Defensive nod last season, while also earning the most Defensive Player of the Year votes among all guards. One of the contri…

Boston Celtics:Kyrie Irving's reason for his behavior and departure is lame

Former Boston Celtics star, Kyrie Irving, had a lot to say at the Brooklyn Nets Media Day. I had previously vowed to leave behind Kyrie's part in the disruptions of his last season in Boston - barring any new happening or information. Well, Irving was verbally active during the media session, and I am not buying what he had to say on the major reason for his lackluster leadership or departure from Boston. Let me start with Tim Sheils' take on part of Irving's speech:

Isaiah Thomas lost his younger sister in a tragic car accident and he went on to put a team on his back on the way to an ECF appearance. Kyrie Irving’s grandfather died of old age and he gave up on an entire season and his team. Hardship truly shows a person’s mettle— Tim Sheils (@ReturnofTheBoi) September 28, 2019
Kyrie Irving explains in-depth what went wrong last year after announcing that he planned on staying in Boston pic.twitter.com/e3ybU2Y9be— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) September 27, 201…

Boston Celtics: Is Carsen Edwards the new Green Running Machine?

Boston Celtics rookie, Carsen Edwards, looks like he may be the next Green Running Machine. Celts legend, John Havlicek was the original never-ending runner on the parquet (per SI's John Underwood):

(John Havlicek): "I knew from the first time I played this game that the toughest guy to score on was the guy who kept after me all the time, nose-to-nose, basket-to-basket. The opposite is also true. The toughest guy to defend against is the guy who keeps running. Who never lets up. Never lets you relax. Who sneaks one in on you the first time you drag your feet. I never worried about the physical part, killing myself running or anything like that. I read once where a doctor said you'd pass out before you did any real damage. I never passed out."
There was no standing around on the hardwood for John. He moved all the time, wearing out opponent after opponent. I see a similar bent in Carsen Edwards. He almost never stands still. Edwards will never equal Havlicek's defe…

There is no way Danny Ainge agrees to max extension for Jaylen Brown

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When it comes to predicting whether Danny Ainge grants a max extension to Jaylen Brown, most analysts present comparisons to Ben Simmons, Jamal Murrary and Caris Lavert. Simmons and Murray each picked up $170 million/5 year max deals from their teams, while Lavert received an extension of $52 million/3 years.


Glancing at the stats for these players, it would seem that a projected contract for Brown would be similar to that of Lavert. At roughly $17 million per year, that would put Jaylen's future salary $5 million/year ahead of Marcus Smart's $12.1 Million deal for this season.

With the 2019-20 NBA Schedule now announced, Mon. Oct. 21 @ 6PM ET. is the deadline for a player to sign a rookie extension. There are 17 players eligible, headlined by Pascal Siakam, Brandon Ingram, Jaylen Brown, Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis, Dejounte Murray and Buddy Hield.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 12, 2019
History tells us that Ainge does not favor extending players from their rookie cont…

Boston Celtics sign Auburn guard Bryce Brown to 20th Training Camp roster slot

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The Boston Celtics have reportedly signed Auburn guard, Bryce Brown, to Training Camp with the 20th roster slot. Brown went undrafted in the 2019 NBA draft, and his signing by Boston would most-likely mean a G-League stint with the Maine Red Claws.


Boston was reportedly signing forward Yante Maten for the 20th spot, but never executed the signing.

The Celtics could still sign Maten, as end of roster maneuvering is common this time of year. Teams angle to get NBAGL rights for players as Affiliate Players. https://t.co/8EGbebPben— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) September 25, 2019
At 6'3" and 198 pounds, Bryce projects as a 3-and-D guard. In his senior season at Auburn, he hit 141-of-344 3-pointers for 41%. He also transitioned into a tough defender, averaging more than one steal per game while covering some of the toughest opponents. Yante Maten, who was reported to be taking that final Training Camp spot may still end up on the Celtics G-League affiliate.

Celtics have signed Bryce…

Boston Celtics: Gordon Hayward leaving last year behind

Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward is not fooling around. He is leaving last year's disappointing season behind and is ready to go. He spent the summer in Boston working on his rehab, conditioning and his game - all without what he calls the "fits and starts" in his recovery that he experienced last year (per Gordon Hayward):

I want to get this season going for two big reasons. First and foremost is the way that last season ended, with all the expectations we didn’t meet. That didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth, and that has driven me all summer.

On top of that, it kind of felt like my game had slowly progressed throughout the year. So having a full summer, being able to get ready for the season and get it going, it makes me feel excited.
The statistics bear out what Gordon states about his game slowly progressing throughout the year. His numbers in November and April of 2018 show:

(Nov.) 27.5 MPG, 10.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.9 APG, 42% (FG), 26% (3's), 97% (FT), plus/minus of…

Boston Celtics: My chance encounter on the river with Larry Siegfried

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Former Boston Celtics guard, Larry Siegfried was a 5-Time NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics in the 1960's, and like Gordon Hayward, he wore #20. I was always a fan of Siggy for his toughness and relentless defense. I never thought I would meet him in person, but that happened in the spring of 1972.

I had recently walked away from my career as a Research Engineer at National Research Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where my scientist partner and I developed the disposable foam ear plugs that are so common today. I took a temporary job as a Game Warden patrolling the banks of the rivers and streams of central Massachusetts.

While walking the along the banks of the Squannacook River in Townsend, I spotted a fly-fisherman mid-stream at a distance and recognized him immediately as Larry Siegfried. His fishing license was visible on his vest, so I told him he did not have to come out of the water. But he did anyway - he wanted to talk.

He had just retired from the NBA and w…

Boston Celtics: Kevin Garnett from superstar to movie star? We'll know December 13

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Former Celtics superstar, Kevin Garnett, is featured in an Adam Sandler movie titled Uncut Gems. Here is the synopsis via IndieWire.com:

“‘Uncut Gems’ is a crime thriller about Howard Ratner (Sandler), a charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score. When he makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.”
Garnett plays himself in the movie, and that figures. He is always himself whether playing on the hardwood or analyzing what goes on there. And now he is once again himself on the movie screen. The Big Ticket seems to be featured prominently in the film, as does a Celtics Championship ring. Take a look.

Kevin Garnett may have gone from superstar to movie star.

Uncut Gems | Official Trailer HD | A24 https://t.co/cGXMPn1xgF via @YouTube— Tom Lane (@CelticsS…

Is Andre Iguodala a savvy veteran the Celtics might acquire?

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The Celtics 15th-and-final roster spot remains open, and the addition of a battle-tested veteran to that slot must be somewhere in Danny Ainge's mind. Andre Iguodala was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies by the Warriors this past summer. The Grizzlies are in rebuild-mode and have little use for Iguodala or his $17.2 million salary.


The 6'6", 215-pound wing will be 36 years old in January. He has three Championships under his belt and a Finals MVP trophy to his credit. According to SI's Charlotte Carroll, Andre has been excused by the team from training camp and Grizzlies Media Day while the team seeks a suitable trade for him. The $17.2 million salary for a soon-to-be 36-year-old may be a turn-off for potential suitors, and a buyout is always a possibility.

The Grizzlies would love to have their 2020 draft pick (top-6 protected) back in their hands. The Celtics currently own that pick which becomes totally unprotected in 2021 if it does not convey next year. Ainge is n…

Boston Celtics future: Vision for the 2020's

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The Boston Celtics future is still looking bright, despite the team's loss of Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, Aron Baynes, Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris. This season will end in the year 2020, and the groundwork has been planted for the next decade. Let's take a look.

The Past:The 1960's resulted in nine Championships as Red Auerbach and Bill Russell formed one of the top coach/player duos in NBA history. Red ruled with an iron hand and sometimes with an iron fist as he decked a few opponents that crossed the line. Walter Brown, Red Auerbach and Bill Russell were one of the early owner/coach/star-player trios - and one of the best ever. After the retirement of Russell and Sam Jones in 1969, the Celtics did a quick, one-year rebuild, bringing Dave Cowens on board to pair with Coach Tommy Heinsohn. The 1970's saw two more Title flags go up to the Boston Garden rafters behind the strong play of Cowens, JoJo White and John Havlicek. Author, Marc C. Bodanza, gives some great insi…

Boston Celtics: Filling the void left by Irving-Horford-Rozier departures

Boston Celtics boss, Danny Ainge may be the hardest-working executive in the NBA. He certainly was busy the past several months! But how does he fill the void left by the departures of Kyrie Irving, Al Hordford, Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris. That foursome accounted for an awful lot of points, playmaking, rebounding and defense - and quite a bit of controversy.

Kemba Walker may not be quite up to Irving's level on skills, but his attitude may close most, or all, of that gap. Enes Kanter puts everything he has into his play, but it will never measure up to what Al contributed to the Celtics' cause. Look for Brad Stevens to institute a center-by-committee strategy and use Kanter, Vincent Poirier, Rob Williams and Daniel Theis in situations that utilize, and maximize, their individual skills. This season will be one of experimentation.

You want rim protection, get Ron in there. Inside scoring and rebounding? Call on Kanter and Poirier. For perimeter defense and outside scoring,…

Boston Celtics: The Sam Jones-Jimmy Walker-Jalen Rose legacy

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Virtually every NBA fan recognizes the name of former Boston Celtics superstar Sam Jones, and most know about former NBA player and current analyst, Jalen Rose. But they may not know about the late Jimmy Walker and his connection to both Sam and Jalen.


Most of the following information is derived from author Marc C. Bodanza's excellent bio of Sam Jones, Ten Times a Champion. Jones noticed budding basketball star, Jimmy Walker, when Jimmy starred at Boston Trade High School while Sam was playing for the Boston Celtics. Jones wanted better things for Walker and paved the way for Jimmy to attend Sam's alma mater, Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina, even paying his tuition.

Walker moved on to Providence College where he played under Coach Joe Mullaney. He had a stellar college career, setting a school record of 2,045 points-scored in three years, a record finally broken by future-Celtic, Ryan Gomes in 2005.

Walker was picked number one overall in the 1967 NBA draft by the Detr…

Is the perception of Tacko Fall as a heavy-footed plodder valid?

There is a perception by some NBA analysts that the Boston Celtics Tacko Fall is a heavy-footed plodder on the court. The "heavy" part is correct - he weighs 311 pounds. And at 7'7" in height, he is a legitimate giant. Don't expect him to run the court like Bill Russell, or even Robert Parish. And in the modern age, he certainly will never move like Jayson Tatum, who appears to run the court as though he is powered by some anti-gravity machine. He seems to literally float as he moves - one sign of true athleticism.

Tacko Fall Celtics Dunk Montage πŸ”₯☘️ pic.twitter.com/nEnlWwaZXQ— Celtics Direct (@CelticsDirect) September 18, 2019
Tacko certainly isn't a high-level athlete, but very few giants are. Heavy-footed for a very large center? I think not. His vertical leap won't break any records, but the total height reached on his leap certainly did.

Tacko Fall recorded a 26.5” vertical leap and reached 12’5” 😱 that’s the highest point recorded here at the #NBAC…

Report: Boston Celtics to sign power forward, Yante Maten, to Exhibit 10 contract

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According to the Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach, the Boston Celtics will be signing 23-year-old power forward Yante Maten to an Exhibit 10 contract. Maten went undrafted in the 2018 NBA draft and subsequently signed a 2-way contract with the Miami Heat.

According to a league source, the Celtics are signing forward Yante Maten to an Exhibit 10 deal.
Maten was a Heat two-way player last season and averaged 23.5 points and 9.6 rebounds for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) September 17, 2019

At 6'8" and 240 pounds, Yante appears to be yet another old-school addition by Danny Ainge. He projects as a small-ball center/power forward who will get most of his points close to the rim. He is not particularly athletic but can hit the occasional 3-pointer and take down his share of rebounds. Playing Brad Stevens' switching perimeter defense will probably be a challenge for him, and he will most likely end up with the Boston Celtics G-League affiliate…

Four Celtics target of Blame Game for Team USA's disappointing World Cup finish

The Blame Game is really underway for Team USA's disappointing finish in World Cup play. Team USA finished in 7th place, far worse than what most expected. The Boston Celtics' rivals and general haters are on a roll - taking shots at the Boston Foursome of Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.

Team USA really just lost to France. They’re now playing for fifth place. I guess that’s what happens when you depend on 4 Celtics to win you something— π™ƒπ™€π˜Όπ™ π™‰π˜Όπ™π™„π™Šπ™‰ (@HeatvsHaters) September 11, 2019
Celtics players couldn’t get the job done? pic.twitter.com/gVbz9vX8Fk— Lakers Empire (@LakersEmpire) September 11, 2019
No mention is made in the tweets about super stars such as Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis choosing not to participate. There is also no suggestion that international competition is new to the members of team USA who had very little chance to gel and come together as a team. FIBA rules, such as the 10-minute quarters and no 3-second defensive re…

Boston Celtics Jaylen Brown compares his talent to boss, Danny Ainge

When Boston Celtics guard, Jaylen Brown, compared last year's team to the 1986 Championship crew, it didn't end there. According to WBUR.Com's Shara Springer, Jaylen may have suggested that he was better a better player than Danny showed during that 1985-86 season.

Let me start by saying that the 85-86 Boston Celtics team had it all - talent, depth, length, scoring, rebounding, defense, passing - you name it. Don't immediately dismiss Ainge's contribution to the Title run just because he may have been the 6th-best player in that group. Playing alongside Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson and Bill Walton would diminish any player's perceived value (per WBUR.Com's Shara Springer):

(Springer): "What did you say when you were asked how last year’s team compares to 1986?"

(Ainge): "I asked him (Jaylen Brown), 'What do you think?' And I was like, 'Seriously?'"

(Springer): Well, wait, what did he think?"

Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart out of World Cup action with hand injury

Boston Celtics guard, Marcus Smart, did not participate in Team USA's 94-89 loss to Serbia on Saturday and will not play when the Americans face Poland on Saturday, a game that will decide 7th place. Marcus' X-rays on his left hand came back negative, but he is still experiencing calf and quad soreness - thus the decision to shut him down for the final two games.

Marcus Smart underwent X-rays on a left knuckle injury this week that came back negative, but soreness in the hand along with quad/calf soreness led to the decision to shut him down. https://t.co/bWfGsLBdqW— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 11, 2019

Smart's stats in five games for Team USA were not dazzling, but his numbers never jump off the page. He averaged 6.4 PPG on 48% from the field, in addition to 1.4 RPG - hardly the stuff of legend. But his defense was riveting. At times it seemed that he was covering all five opponents on any single sequence. And this last-second 3-pointer astounded everyone, in…

Boston Celtics: SI ranks Jayson Tatum (#35) and Kemba Walker (#20) in Top-100

Five Boston Celtics players made SI's latest Top-100 NBA players list for 2020, and in a previous article I wrote about Marcus Smart (ranked #82), Jaylen Brown (#68) and Gordon Hayward (#59). Jayson Tatum came in at #35 and Kemba Walker was ranked 20th in SI's analysis. This is what SI's Rob Mahoney had to say about Jayson and Kemba:

Jayson Tatum: #35: It might be helpful to compartmentalize the version of Jayson Tatum we saw last season from the player he could be one day. That isn’t to deny the existence of the former; Tatum’s mystifying efforts to become a mid-post specialist proved to be a failure on every level. If that is the crux of his game, he will level out as a player without so much as sniffing stardom. That said, cleaning up his shot profile even slightly would go a long way. The 21-year-old has a lot of the qualities teams look for in a centerpiece prospect: three-level scoring, strong defensive fundamentals, positional fluidity—Tatum even has an NBA proof of …

SI's top-100 NBA players for 2020 - Three Celtics ranked #51-100

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Sports Illustrated just came out with their Top-100 NBA players for 2020, and numbers 51-through-100 came out today. There are three current Celtics players in that number-range, and here they are - with analysis by SI's Rob Mahoney:

#82: Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart makes his debut in the SI Top 100 after his most impressive season to date—and his first in which he managed to shoot better than 40% from the field. Specialists are notoriously hard to rank, for the simple reason that they can provide different teams with dramatically different value. Smart simplified that analysis by more fully rounding out his game. Not only did he shoot 36% from beyond the arc, but he did so at volume, hitting just 11 fewer threes for the season than Kevin Durant did. Smart’s attempts obviously come much easier. What’s important, though, is that his career-best shooting wasn’t some fluke of infrequency. Smart is a better shooter than he was previously, and a more stable playmaker, and a better finishe…

Boston Celtics: Jaylen Brown excels at PG, center and wing in 89-73 win over Brazil

Boston Celtics wing, Jaylen Brown, isn't known for his passing skills, nor is he known as an able substitute at the center spot. But he played all three positions in Team USA's 89-73 victory over Brazil.

Jaylen Brown the playmaker in transition pic.twitter.com/AgFi2E7Ovi— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) September 9, 2019

In the first four contests in World Cup competition, all wins for Team USA, Jaylen totaled three assists. In the win over Brazil, he bettered that total in a single game with four assists. So what's the deal with Gregg Popovich using Brown at center in the fourth quarter? Here's MassLive's Tom Westerholm on that:

On Monday, for an important stretch in the fourth quarter, Team USA went to Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown at the five -- a hyper small-ball unit, but an intriguing idea.

The risk paid off handsomely. While former NBA center Anderson Varejao was able to take advantage of his height in the post against Brown on a pair of possessions, Brazil s…

Celtics trio of Walker, Smart & Brown lift Team USA to 89-73 win over Brazil

This game was close for the first three quarters, but Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown all made key contributions as Team USA extended the lead in the fourth quarter, with the game ending with an 89-73 victory for the USA over Brazil.

Starters for Team USA were Donovan Mitchell, Harrison Barnes, Joe Harris, Kemba Walker and Myles Turner. Jayson Tatum was forced to miss another game with a sore ankle. The score remained close for all of the first half, and Team USA's 55% shooting on field goals was much-needed, as their accuracy from beyond the arc was only 31%.

The first half ended with a score of 43-39 in favor of the Americans. As usual, Kemba Walker was the rock for the USA with 10 points and five assists. Marcus Smart was all over the court, coming away with his normal varied line of six points, one rebound, one block and one last-second steal to end the period. He displayed no indications of any past injury issues. Brown had three points and two boards. Former-NBA …

Boston Celtics: Kemba Walker's biggest challenge this season

Boston Celtics point guard, Kemba Walker, and former Celtic, Kyrie Irving, were both taken in the 2011 NBA draft - Irving first-overall and Walker eight picks later at #9. Kyrie has experienced both individual and team success, mostly with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kemba has had great individual success with the Charlotte Hornets, but team success has been elusive.

Irving is a 6-Time All-Star and 1-Time NBA Champion. He helped take the Cavs to four successive post-season appearances, with one (2015-16) ending in a Title. Cleveland was eliminated in the Finals the other three seasons. Walker is a 3-Time All-Star whose Charlotte teams went 263-377 (41% winning percentage) in his eight seasons there. The Hornets went to the post season twice during his tenure there, getting eliminated in the first round both times.

He's got that willpower. A cool 14 pts., 7 ast., 6 reb. for @KembaWalker in the win over Turkey.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ #USAGotGamepic.twitter.com/CFh2Gp6fck— USA Basketball (@usabasketball)

Celtics could easily be top-5 in rebounds this season

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The Boston Celtics lost three of their four top rebounders from last season this summer to trades and free agency. Al Horford (6.7 RPG in 2018-19), Kyrie Irving (5.0 RPG) and Aron Baynes (4.7 RPG) are gone. Jayson Tatum was the Celtics second-best board man with 6.0/game. Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown round out the top-5 at 4.5 and 4.2 rebounds per game last season.

Boston had no players in the top-50 for rebounding, and only two in the top-100. The team finished 22nd in that category, grabbing 44.5 per game. But help is on the way. Newly-acquired Vincent Poirier is averaging 5.0 RPG in FIBA World Cup competition with only 16 MPG of floor time. Daniel Theis is averaging 6.3 RPG for Germany in only 18 Minutes/game, while Jayson Tatum is grabbing 7.5 boards/game for the USA in 24.0 MPG.

Vincent Poirier (@viinze_17P) with two BIG dunks against Lithuania yesterday. He continies to show his incredible athleticism. pic.twitter.com/WSG66NzMVV— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) September 8, 201…

Marcus Smart's defense of The Greek Freak - a Dave Cowens comparison

Boston Celtics guard, Marcus Smart, was instrumental in Team USA's 69-53 victory over Greece on Saturday. Coach Gregg Popovich assigned Marcus to cover Giannis Antetokounmpo, and despite The Greek Freak's production (23 points, 13 rebounds), he was pestered by Smart for much of the game.

Instead of watching games, just focus on @smart_MS3.

It's 100% beauty. pic.twitter.com/PLIVZvROfJ— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) September 7, 2019
Giannis' length, mobility and frame make him a devastating inside threat, but most rival coaches are more-than-happy to give him the outside shot. At 6'11" and a solid 242 pounds, the initial take for most would be that Smart, at 6'4" and 220 pounds, would be over matched. Wrong! Marcus' coverage of The Freak is reminiscent of the 6'8' Dave Cowens defending the Milwaukee Bucks 7'2" Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But for frenetic perimeter defense on Oscar Robertson, and a diving-hit-the-floor-ball-retrieve by Dav…

Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart's Wolverine-like ferocity leads Team USA to 69-53 win over Greece

Boston Celtics Wolverine-of-the-Hardwood, Marcus Smart, not only played ferocious defense against Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo in Team USA's 69-53 victory, at times he seemed to be guarding every opponent on the floor.

Smart is guarding just about every player on the floor on just about every defensive possession.— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) September 7, 2019

The first half ended with Team USA up by 13 points, 38-25. Jaylen Brown was high man for Team Shamrock with eight points and an aggressive seven rebounds. Kemba Walker notched five points and three assists. Marcus Smart scored three points but gave Giannis Antetokounpo fits with his defense. Giannis had a first-half high of nine points for Greece. He also matched Brown on rebounds with seven.

Just watch Marcus Smart work on Giannis and then fly into a closeout. Great stuff. pic.twitter.com/4Vqe6NlP5h— Jay King (@ByJayKing) September 7, 2019

Just watch Marcus Smart work on Giannis and then fly into a closeout. Great stuff.