I had a great plan to title this post “44 minutes of Hell” based upon the name of Nolan Richardson’s vaunted full-court press, which doubles as the name my intramural basketball team with fellow contributor Brendan Jackson. However the Celtics had to ruin that bulletproof plan by coming back from a 17-point second half deficit Sunday after night and taking home a 95-90 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Beyond that mild personal disappointment, there was plenty to like in this affair from a Celtics standpoint after an ugly first half where the visitors failed to show up on the offensive end. From that point, a combination of Jared Sullinger (21 points, 19 rebounds), Marcus Smart (impressive defense and some outside shooting off the bench), and Brandon Bass (hello, corner three-pointer) help the Celtics put together their second straight preseason win. Read the rest of this entry »
The Celtics were never likely to keep Will Bynum, given their massive logjam at the guard positions. Even if they waived Phil Pressey (which would have cost less money in the short term) to keep him, Bynum was going to be gone sooner or later.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and guard Will Bynum are expected to meet on Saturday, according to two NBA sources, and the team is likely to waive Bynum, who was acquired Friday from the Detroit Pistons.
Bynum, 31, is in Boston and will take his physical before he and his representatives meet with Ainge. NBA sources said the Celtics are content with their point guard lineup of Rajon Rondo, Marcus Smart, and Phil Pressey, leaving Bynum out of the equation.
No surprises here. The Celtics got themselves more comfortably under the tax with the deal that sent Joel Anthony to Detroit, but Bynum has absolutely no practical use for the Celtics. He’s certainly not going to earn a new contract sitting on the bench for the Celtics, so for both parties, it makes a lot of sense for this waiver to happen. Read the rest of this entry »
The end of the Joel Anthony era in Boston is upon us.
The Celtics will be clearing out some of their frontcourt logjam (and adding to their backcourt one) in a pending trade. Our buddy Chris Forsberg over at ESPNBoston.comhas the full scoop:
The Boston Celtics are working to finalize a trade that will send center Joel Anthony to the Detroit Pistons for Will Bynum, according to a league source.
The Celtics appear to be making the move with roster flexibility in mind. The Celtics have 16 fully guaranteed contracts on their books and must trim that down to 15 before the start of the regular season. Swapping Anthony, who is set to make $3.8 million this season, for Bynum, who will earn $2.9 million, will save the team $900,000.
We will have more on this one in the coming hours, but right now it’s safe to say Bynum’s stay in Boston may be a brief one, unless the Celtics have another move or two lined up. With 16 guaranteed contracts still in play right now, it’s safe to say we will see a trade or two before the regular season begins on October 30th.
The good news: Just four more games against the 76ers to go! The bad news: None of them have 11-minute quarters. What. A. Waste.
Three Things We Liked
1. THE 3-POINTERS! ALL OF THE 3-POINTERS!!
Earlier today, I wrote that this team might drive me nuts if they weren’t better at shooting from behind the arc. Tonight, the Celtics came out firing, hitting 15-for-37 from deep and looking confident. Jared Sullinger looked great, finishing 4-for-6 from downtown. Sullinger is now 10-for-21 in the preseason, which is obviously way, WAY more than acceptable.
2. Avery Bradley: One point per minute scorer?
Bradley finished with 20 points in 21 minutes. He knocked down a couple of early 3-pointers and seemed to get in a great rhythm, even knocking down a pretty step-back trey. Is Bradley en route to becoming an elite long-range shooter? Let’s overreact. Discuss. Read the rest of this entry »
In past episodes of the BS Report, Bill Simmons has made it abundantly clear that when he talks to Jalen Rose about the NBA, they are speculating, not reporting. This is not a sourced report, but just a pair of NBA people talking hoops.
Still, when probably the highest-profile Celtics fan in the world declares that Boston’s best player should be traded, it’s bound to raise some eyebrows.
For those of you who don’t have 15 minutes (or for those of you who are at work and don’t have headphones), here’s the relevant quote:
“I love Rondo. I want him to be on a good team. I don’t want him to be on a rebuilding team…He was a good Celtic. I think he has some prime years left, and I think it would be a waste to do them in Boston. I hope they trade him.” Read the rest of this entry »
Zeller has not had a good preseason so far. He’s looked lost in the shuffle, confused as to where to be when on both ends of the floor and uncertain around the rim.
For some reason, however, he looked considerably better last night in a lineup with Evan Turner. Turner is a good passer and is quickly demonstrating a solid understanding of the pick-and-roll — a crucial development if he is going to continue to play point guard.
I still don’t really think Zeller is going to help the Celtics win games, necessarily, but he looked a lot more like an occasionally productive Cleveland player yesterday than he has to this point. Just having a decently reliable PnR roll man coming off the bench for major minutes would be a nice upgrade over last year. Read the rest of this entry »
Preseason basketball just got a little more interesting today after the NBA announced the Celtics and Nets will be facing off in an experimental 44 minute preseason games Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn.
What does this mean exactly? How will it work? The NBA broke down the basics in a press release this afternoon, noting that quarter lengths would be cut from 12 to 11 minutes. Additionally, those pesky three commercial breaks in the second and third quarter every three minutes will be reduced to two. Here’s how those will time out, according to the NBA’s official release
During this 44-minute game, each quarter will feature two mandatory timeouts per quarter, with the first triggered at the first dead ball under 6:59 of the period if neither team has taken a timeout prior, and the second mandatory timeout will be triggered by the first dead ball under 2:59 if neither team has taken a timeout subsequent to the first mandatory timeout. In the NBA’s 48-minute game, the second and fourth quarters have three mandatory timeouts.
NBA president of basketball operations chimed on the process of how the NBA decided to start experimenting with game length:“At our recent coaches’ meeting, we had a discussion about the length of our games, and it was suggested that we consider experimenting with a shorter format,” said NBA President, Basketball Operations Rod Thorn. “After consulting with our Competition Committee, we agreed to allow the Nets and Celtics to play a 44-minute preseason game in order to give us some preliminary data that will help us to further analyze game-time lengths.
While it may seem like this development has come out of nowhere, former CelticsHub writer has actually been championing the case for a shorter game, laying out a argument for a 40-minute game last September on Grantland. I strongly advise you checking that out for more about the rational behind why the NBA is looking to trim.
For now though, look for this to be the start of a process that may lead to more widespread preseason experimentation next season, if the NBA likes how things go Sunday. Stay tuned.
Over at MassLive, Jay King has a nice roundup of why the Celtics are considering waiving Vitor Faverani, citing a Sportando report that says the Celtics — who currently have too many guaranteed contracts on the books — might eat the cost of Faverani’s guaranteed deal.
Let’s try to sum this up without plagiarism: Essentially, Faverani is a 26-year-old who can’t really do what the Celtics need him to do (protect the rim), he has unexplained swelling in his knee, he may or may not have gotten into a car accident while driving very, very drunk last season, and Dwight Powell looks really hungry to prove himself. To make matters worse, Faverani had surgery today in Spain that will hold him out for 6-8 weeks.
The Celtics are aware that they likely aren’t a playoff team this year, so they probably aren’t as concerned with filling every nook and cranny on their roster to perfection. Instead, they would rather stock up on talent and figure out how best to leverage that talent looking ahead to the future. Read the rest of this entry »
We’ll get back into grading player performances once the season starts back up. For now, let’s take a look at three things we liked and disliked from the Celtics’ 96-80 loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday.
WHAT WE LIKED
1. Marcus Smart’s pick-and-roll defense.
The NBA is still an extremely pick-and-roll heavy league, even if some of the most successful offenses have started straying from that most basic tenet of the game. Watch the San Antonio Spurs, and you’ll see a lot of passing and a lot less diving to the rim. Watch Kevin Durant, and you’ll see a lot isolations that are still fun to watch because, well, Kevin Durant.
Most offenses still use pick-and-rolls frequently however, and Marcus Smart is already a savant at navigating screens and finding his defender back on the other side. Often, he manages to avoid the screener completely — so much so that Jose Calderon, one of the greatest 3-point shooters in NBA history, couldn’t find enough space to get off open shots even when he got a good screen from Sam Dalembert.
Against the Knicks, it’s a helpful tool that comes into play occasionally. Against many other teams, especially squads like the Warriors, it’s going to set Smart apart from the pack as a defender. Want an entertaining one-on-one matchup? Wait until Steph Curry’s slithery ball-handling and lightning-fast release take on Smart’s physical, intelligent defensive positioning. Smart might get burned in their first matchup, but he’s got a uniquely high basketball IQ, and don’t be surprised if he’s better prepared the next time.
That’s a long way down the road, however. For tonight, Smart’s defense was a pleasure to watch.
With nearly one full week of the preseason calendar in the books, I was happy to join Adam Kaufman Saturday morning to discuss an eventful and encouraging week of developments for the C’s on “Celtics @ 7 on CBS Boston”
Here’s a full breakdown from CBSBostonsports.com what we discussed in the show, along with a mp3 link so you can listen into the podcast.
With Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, and rookie James Young hurt, it’s opened the door for coach Brad Stevens to get a deeper look at his bench and cast of role players heading into the new season.
Kaufman and Robb talked about Avery Bradley’s latest injury, the team’s new fast-paced offensive philosophy, Marcus Smart’s development, Evan Turner’s versatility, and a host of other topics, including how the NBA’s new television deal with ESPN/Turner could impact Rondo’s future with the Green.