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KG’s Canadian Adventure: Celtics 99, Raptors 95

 
Boston Celtics 99 Final
Recap | Box Score
95 Toronto Raptors

Five Things We Saw

  1. Kevin Garnett got consistently great low post position in transition and off pick and rolls and punished the Raptors for 27 points and 10 rebounds in only 26 minutes. That’s ridiculous All-NBA-level production for KG, who will go over 25,000 career points tomorrow night against the Lakers. He can’t do it every night anymore, especially against committed defenses, but when he dials it up, you’d be forgiven for thinking he could play another five years.
  2. A bipolar second half. After a back-and-forth first half, the Raptors came out aggressive in the third quarter and took it to the Celtics, outscoring them 34-19 before Boston clamped down on defense in the fourth, turning over the Raps, forcing bad shots and doing to them, well, what most teams do to them. It’s comforting to see Toronto on the schedule, isn’t it?
  3. Only two guys on the bench showed up but they made serious contributions. Jeff Green had a bad shooting night (2-6) but was active off-ball (!) and on the glass, finishing with 6 rebounds in 21 minutes to go along with 3 assists and a steal. Leandro Barbosa worked his attack mentality for 14 useful points, making good on the time Rivers has given him in Rajon Rondo’s absence.
  4. At first glance it was an impressive Rudy Gay stat line (25 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals) that becomes far, far less impressive when you look closer (he shot only 8-24 and the C’s bottled him up in the fourth, when he missed 8 of his 9 shots). Pierce missed everything tonight but when it counted he did what he often does against athletic small forwards with limited handles. He out-clutched them.
  5. More tepid fuel for two of my least favorite current narratives, namely “the Celtics are better without Rondo” and “Danny Ainge can’t blow up the team because the C’s have won five games in a row.” Let’s bury this nonsense. They aren’t and he can. Over time, the Celtics will face more full-court pressure that will plug up the offense, the burden to score will increasingly rest on Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, who don’t have the kind of gas in reserve, the mid-range jumpers will fall short and as the schedule gets tougher, this team will be exposed. If Boston’s floor is at least temporarily higher, their ceiling is far, far lower. And Danny Ainge isn’t going to use tiny sample sizes against mostly terrible teams to make long-term strategic decisions for this franchise. That just isn’t how he operates.
  • Phil725

    Yuck, I just got hit in the face by a massive wet blanket by the name of 'observation #5'. Unfortunately, I agree with everything there. I think this offense is a little more sustainable than the point lets on (they were 27th before, getting shut down by good defenses will hardly be a new thing,) but the idea is sound. I'm a little surprised by how adamant everyone is on the 'no trades' front. I still expect Ainge to blow this up if he gets the right offer, and I don't think it's that unrealistic.

    This was actually the exact kind of game I feared after Rondo went down; an unsustainable reliance on PP and KG, a ton of 'bad' turnovers, and a reliance on guys like Jeff Green to score 15 points every night. They managed to pull it out though, so that's good. Still bares watching whether or not this becomes the norm though.

    This game was also the perfect representation of Rudy Gay. He scored 25 and got 12 rebounds and had Doc raving about how great he was after the game… yet he took 24 shots to get there, and barely had a positive impact on the Raps. He shot them out of the game late (why exactly is he taking seven 3s?) and couldn't do anything when it mattered. I feel kind of bad for Raps fans, because the organization has been close for so long, but they keep making the wrong move at the wrong time.

    • Ryan DeGama

      There's no vision in Toronto. Colangelo pinballs from one desperate gambit to another. Hitching your wagon to Rudy Gay in the new-CBA environment (along with DeRozan at $10M per season) is madness.

  • Phil725

    Yuck, I just got hit in the face by a massive wet blanket by the name of 'observation #5'. Unfortunately, I agree with everything there. I think this offense is a little more sustainable than the point lets on (they were 27th before, getting shut down by good defenses will hardly be a new thing,) but the idea is sound. I'm a little surprised by how adamant everyone is on the 'no trades' front. I still expect Ainge to blow this up if he gets the right offer.

    This was actually the exact kind of game I feared after Rondo went down; an unsustainable reliance on PP and KG, a ton of 'bad' turnovers, and a reliance on guys like Jeff Green to score 15 points every night. They managed to pull it out though, so that's good. Still bares watching whether or not this becomes the norm though.

    This game was also the perfect representation of Rudy Gay. He scored 25 and got 12 rebounds and had Doc raving about how great he was after the game… yet he took 24 shots to get there, and barely had a positive impact on the Raps. He shot them out of the game late (why exactly is he taking seven 3s?) and couldn't do anything when it mattered. I feel kind of bad for Raps fans, because the organization has been close for so long, but they keep making the wrong move at the wrong time.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Number 5; why do you have to keep shitting on the positivity with this team lately? Enjoy the wins!!! KG's 27 points tonight was his best scoring campaign in the regular season since March 2008, believe that or not. Come trade deadline when KG and Pierce are still here I won't have to listen to anymore of this pessimistic crap here on the Hub.

    • Josh_5

      Just took the words outta my mouth. I'm not saying were gonna finish top 3 in the East but how many games do we have to win before you damn negative nancys admit that over-achieving happens. Team gelling happens. Unselfish play leading to high percentage shots happens. This team has always had a grinder mentality. Anybody pick the Ravens to win the Superbowl this year? How bout Butler making it to 2 Championship games in a row? Sports don't "play by the rules" or by "what's supposed to happen". See Dallas vs Miami 2011.

      • CelticsBIG3

        How about Golden State (8 seed) taking out Dallas (1 seed) in SIX GAMES in 2007?

    • janos

      hi big3
      this guy very good web manger but is sometimes need leanrn nba only part head is most lyheart. maybe he go back watch playoff rondos miami learn heart post

  • CelticsBIG3

    Number 5; why do you have to keep shitting on the positivity with this team lately? Enjoy the wins!!! KG's 27 points tonight was his best scoring campaign in the regular season since March 2008, believe that or not.

  • joE

    Ok man, we get it you dont like the team & want to see it blown up ASAP cool.. just be careful what you wish for. I for one will be enjoying this nice win streak that's been filled with hard play & classic Cs D against the type of teams(very athletic) that have given us alot of trouble this season.

  • CelticsBIG3

    If I stop coming to this site it won't be because of the Celtics aren't playing well or they blow up the team. It's because we can't get through a win without having to be force fed negativity like "number 5". Enjoy a f'n win for Christ's sake.

    • jman

      I second that. I feel we could win 20 in a row and we'll still have #5. Face it Rondo's gone, the team is doin great with a few quirks here and there that can be fixed. It's been a great week for the games have been fun to watch. Keep the negativity away some of us are superstitious…lol

      • CelticsBIG3

        Your going to get the negativity here because if you look up at the top left of your screen above the nice looking "CELTICS HUB" banner you'll see an ESPN logo.

    • janos

      big 3 are you have the whiskys tonight you are so fire up i a m loveing your passions nba celtics one time all times

      • CelticsBIG3

        Nope, just pure Celtic fire

  • CelticsBIG3

    More like 5 things YOU saw. I saw a rag tag team working hard for a win. You saw another reason to blow it up; and get back what? Mediocre players and draft picks for a crappy upcoming draft for prideful workhorses in KG and the Truth? Sounds like Ryan DeGama wasn't around for the bad years.

    • Ryan DeGama

      We can probably just agree to disagree here.

      • CelticsBIG3

        There is really no good reason to trade these guys off. Whether you do it now or at the end of the season, this team is going no where for a long time after KG and Pierce are gone. So what's the difference?

        • Ryan DeGama

          I don't accept your assertion, the fait accompli, that "this team is going nowhere for a long time after KG and Pierce are gone." Can't imagine anyone in the front office does either.

          • CelticsBIG3

            Well you go up there and tell them what to do next. Because with money tied up in Jason Terry, Bass, and Lee for 3 years there aren't too many options.

          • Ryan DeGama

            And I'm the negative one!

          • CelticsBIG3

            I'm may not be expecting great things to come, but at least I can enjoy a great win without having to put together comment number 5.

          • Ryan DeGama

            Enjoy the win, then. Have a good night.

        • KillerGymRat

          I'm going to stand with you on this one CelticsBIG3. The C's floundered for 22 (largely insignificant) years after the last blow up of a championship team. And it wasn't blowing it up that brought us back to relevance. It was shrewdly positioning ourself to make league changing trades.

          That's not a possibility now…or in the next few seasons. So I would have to say history supports your argument.

          • CelticsBIG3

            Thank you much.

  • Sophomore

    I believe Danny is ready to blow it up. I don't know if he can get back enough to make that worthwhile.

    At least with the team winning a few games, the trade value of our key assets may rise. (Ducking brickbats…)

  • GowGow

    Man I'm done with this site.

    Sounds like if even the Cs won the championship, this site would come up with excuses on how the team still sucks. We beat the Knicks, Heat and Clips, go 5-0 without Rondo yet we have bullets like #5.

    Funny thing is yesterday they wrote an article explaining why the Cs are getting better (spread offense) which has nothing to do with Rondo being on or off. It's just the fact that the Cs play spread without Rondo. Had Rondo been playing spread all season long we would be talking about seed 2 or 3 right now.

    • janos

      hi gogo w is janos
      pleae do not leave site you are the great guy nba and am ask you please stay ok thank you your friend janos

  • GowGow

    Somehow people think being pessimist makes them sound smarter.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Or by making this comment – "I don't accept your assertion, the fait accompli, that "this team is going nowhere for a long time after KG and Pierce are gone." Can't imagine anyone in the front office does either. " – Ryan DeGama

      • CelticsBIG3

        I guess a few other people think you look like a big man when you talk like a cowardly frenchman.

  • CelticsBIG3

    As you can tell by my numerous postings here tonight, I am pretty peeved about the fact that we can't just enjoy wins while they come. When this website is a wasteland after KG and Pierce are gone and DeGama and the rest of the writers on this site are posting articles that no one reads (aside from diehards) the negativity will look even more foolish; by the way I mean no harshness towards the writers aside from my dislike of the negativity after nice fulfilling and fun to watch wins.

  • KillerGymRat

    Just 2 more weeks and people can finally shut up about trade talks.

    Ainge is going to do what Ainge is going to do…make bad decisions (all he pretty much does save for convincing KG not to retire) but after the still-lingering sting of the disastrous Perkins trade, losing Ray, and all the bad contracts he signed this year…he trades PP and/or KG and he's job hunting. Trust me.

    KG says he bleeds friggin Green and you even entertain sending him to Denver.

  • Phil725

    I don't really understand the massive wave of anger over #5. Is everyone really so over the moon about this win that we can't have some objective criticism of the team as a whole? They needed every bucket of KG's best regular season game in 3 years to beat the team 8 games out of 8th place in the East. Before the Rondo injury, they had a worse point differential than Detroit. If you care about banner 18, you need to question where this team is now and next year. If you care about PP/KG over 18, you're not alone, but it shouldn't be some slap in the face that people care about the latter.

    Is it that hard to separate the idea of the team blowing it up and how they're playing now? I've loved watching this run, but I'm also realistic about the road that lies ahead. You can both love watching the team now and consider what's best for later, it's not 'us' and 'them'.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Its because we can't just enjoy a win.

      • Phil725

        There's 21 hours before the next game. It's not the NFL where we have 6 days to be happy before we think about the next game. There will probably be two total articles on this game. If the goal is to break down the game/team as a whole in as quick of a manner as possible (which is what the rapid reactions are,) don't you need to point out some bad things? Should we ignore all good when the team loses? 1/5 points being negative isn't a very big percentage.

        I don't know about you, but I'm happy. I just got to watch vintage KG carry this team to a win. I don't need any website to point that out to cheer me up.

        • CelticsBIG3

          Me either; but we get it. The Celtics aren't better without Rondo. They probably should blow it up. I don't need to hear it in every f'n article every f'n time I read about the Celtics. "I just got to watch vintage KG carry this team to a win." And it was fantastic.

          Can't we just have that and not another rehash of the "Rondo = Not Better" and "Blow it up"?

          • Phil725

            The gist from #5 that I got was that people are watching games like tonight and saying things like 'this team is better without Rondo' and 'there's no need to blow this up', and that's not correct.

            I think a lot of people are saying those two things, don't you? I can't argue against your opinion if you want the reactions after a win to be wholly positive, but I think the point is still valid.

          • CelticsBIG3

            Its a valid, hung from a tree, shot fifteen times, beaten to death, and pillaged point. It's entirely unnecessary after watching a nice gritty comeback win tonight. All I expected to do here tonight was come and talk about how phenomenal KG was tonight; and enjoy that.

          • Phil725

            Why not comment about #1 then? It was all about praising KG. Ignore the negative stuff if you don't want to examine all things related to the team after the game.

          • CelticsBIG3

            #5 didn't have anything to do with the content of this evenings game. It's rehash. It's unnecessary. Aside from the fact that I'm not the only one on here tonight that finds it annoying.

          • Phil725

            It's relevant because the game fuels the narratives mentioned.

            You're not the only one who finds objective/negative points like that in the wake of a win annoying, but I do think it's being blown out of proportion; it's 1/5 of a quick recap. Sometimes points like that come up if the goal of the site is good analysis, rather than blatant homerism. There are other places to go for the latter.

          • CelticsBIG3

            Not mentioning a rehashed point and just praising a great performance from an aging star isn't homerism.

          • Phil725

            My original point was about allowing for both though. #1 praised KG. It was the leading point of the whole article. #5 doesn't make #1 any less true.

            If you want 5 completely positive points after every win, I'd argue that you do want homer analysis. This wasn't a great win outside of KG's performance. I was annoyed through most of the first 3 quarters (the 3rd especially.) And they were an embarrassing Raptors fumble out of bounds away from a bad team having the last shot with a chance to take it to OT.

            I just don't see what's so hard about selectively reading what you want.

          • CelticsBIG3

            I agree with all of this. Make a comment that the game was played poorly for most of it. Talk about how Pierce shot us out of the game nearly but made up big on the glass. But a rehashed point, as I have now stated several times, was unnecessary.

          • Phil725

            Unnecessary for you, but what about everyone saying the team is better without Rondo? I'm sure there are a couple hundred on the ESPN comment page.

            #4 was unnecessary for me. I know all about what Rudy Gay is. There were still people a few weeks ago saying that Trading Pierce for him would make this team better.

            That's what I mean by selectivity. Ignore the points you're already aware of if there's no reason for you to focus on them.

          • CelticsBIG3

            Fine with me. And I know all to well about Rudy Gay. I watched him live at UCONN many times. Still surprised he is as highly praised as he is.

          • Phil725

            My original point was about allowing for both though. #1 praised KG. It was the leading point of the whole article. #5 doesn't make #1 any less true.

            If you want 5 completely positive points after every win, I'd argue that you do want homer analysis. This wasn't a great win outside of KG's performance, I was annoyed through most of the first 3 quarters (the 3rd especially.)

            I just don't see what's so hard about selectively reading what you want.

    • jmei

      I agree 100%. I love watching the team win, especially in the face of adversity, but it takes a peculiar brand of self-delusion to think that the current Celtics team has a realistic chance at title contention this year. They can win regular season games against bad teams and good teams missing their key players, but they aren't beating Miami four out of seven times. I'd love to see KG and Pierce end their careers with the Celtics, but if Danny gets trade proposals with blue-chip rebuilding blocks (Bledsoe from the Clippers, Barnes from Golden State, Leonard from the Spurs), he has to seriously consider them.

    • Vincent

      Hey, they beat the Raptors! If they beat the Raptors, clearly they can sweep NY, MIA, and OKC in the Finals. LOL.

    • KillerGymRat

      I think the emotion is no surprise. The conversation isn't really about blowing up the team or not. It's really how does this organization treat two of the greatest players to ever wear green now that they are in the twilight of their remarkable HoF careers. Of course it's going to be emotional.

      If you love the Celtics, you love KG and PP. They are inseperable.

      I don't think "Team keep KG and PP" are ignorant about the future of this team. We all know this team is now trending down. But the disagreement is how best to handle that.

      Me being a huge "Team keep KG and PP" player, I personally don't think whatever assets you can possibly get in return is worth the value of what you lose. It would be heartbreaking to myself and the others who want to see them both retire Celtics to watch them get shipped off.

      I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I prefer the milder sting of losing games and maybe even the next two season to that devastation. So, yes, it's emotional.

      And I don't blame anyone who would rather see them both be traded in the hopes of rebuilding a winner sooner. I just respectfully disagree.

      #5 to me is in particular bad taste when you factor in KG just gave one of the best games of his career (considering the minutes played)…and the blog rather pessimistically presumes he can't continue to play that well and delves into trade talk. We all know there is trade talk. Why not celebrate the greatness of a player who bleeds green and at 36 can still put up All-NBA numbers and make it look easy (which he did)

      I don't expect you to agree and this is less pointed at you and more a genuine response to your inquiry.

      I'd say it's less about the persective then it is tough to stomache hearing we should trade KG for the good of the organization when you just played his best game in 5 years. How does anyone know what he can and can't do going forward. It was just a disapointingly bleak response to his effort.

      The win was crap. The team play was terrible. But I would blame everyone not named KG and Barbosa.

      • Phil725

        Well put, and I can't really disagree with anything you said, it's all a valid school of thought. I personally just didn't see #5 as a shot at KG or Pierce, but rather as an acknowledgement of a growing group of fans who think that this team is a legitimate championship contender. It's relevant to the post game discussion because this game is something that group will look at as evidence that they're right, when really it's the opposite.

      • CelticsBIG3

        "#5 to me is in particular bad taste when you factor in KG just gave one of the best games of his career (considering the minutes played)…and the blog rather pessimistically presumes he can't continue to play that well and delves into trade talk. We all know there is trade talk. Why not celebrate the greatness of a player who bleeds green and at 36 can still put up All-NBA numbers and make it look easy (which he did)"

        ^ What I've been trying to convey. Thanks GymRat. I've been watching Pierce since I was 13 years old the year the year he was drafted; I'm fully enveloped into him and KG. Sorry if I was not in the mood for some unnecessary pessimism tonight. I don't believe this team is a major contender. But I do believe they are playing hard to put the fear into Miami if they end up with that 8 seed. I watched Golden State back in 2007 upset the much favored 1 seeded Dallas. Stranger things happen in sports. Not saying it will so don't eat me alive here people.

  • GowGow

    I love Rondo and he's my favorite player in the whole league but we have to accept the Cs are playing better, PERIOD. Try to make any case or scenario where this isn't true and you'd be lying to yourself. The team is better, maybe not deep-run-into-the-playoff better, but better nonetherless. Even if we start losing and get eliminated in the first round, I'd be happy with the team because they are now using all their weapons. Everyone is getting a touch in almost every possession and that's the type of basketball I like watching. Not the one set by Doc five years ago that makes this team so difficult to watch. It isn't Rondo's fault and maybe his injury is what we needed to finally accept our identity. We are not 2008 Boston anymore and Doc, Ainge and CelticsHub writers should just give in and accept who we are and good things will happen.

    • jmei

      The problem with the spread offense is that it requires a lot of players to make quick, pinpoint passes around the perimeter– the exact kind that are easily picked off and turn into fast-break points for the other team, especially if your passers are not used to having the ball in their hands (Bradley, Lee, Green, Bass, etc). We saw a lot of that tonight. A better defensive team is going to take away the easy passes and force a bunch of turnovers. The free-flowing style won't be so fun to watch once they start losing games, and I don't think Doc, Danny, or many fans would be happy with an aesthetically-pleasing first-round exit, nor should they be.

      I understand the sentiment and embracing a rebuild is never easy, but the current team is trapped between a rock and a hard place. Hard decisions have to be made. We'll see how it plays out.

      • GowGow

        You said it right, they aren't used to it. So if they play 82 games, sooner or later they will get used to it and be ready by playoff time. The only hard decision we had to make THIS season (had Rondo not be injured) was to rip Doc's playbook and throw it down the drain.

        Hard decisions now? Ainge knows he just can't trade KG nor Pierce.This is business and trading one of them considering what's in to get for them is not worth even a look. I believe Ainge erases other GMs messages as soon as he hears KG or Pierce's name. Any of the remaining 13 pieces are all tradeable at any time.

      • GowGow

        You said it right, they aren't used to it. So if they play 82 games, sooner or later they will get used to it and be ready by playoff time. The only hard decision we had to make THIS season (had Rondo not be injured) was to rip Doc's playbook and throw it down the drain.

        One more thing, you mentioned the turnovers, but we were high on those even with the best passer on the league healthy on our side.

  • KillerGymRat

    #5

    Despite the overtly pessimistic tone, I actually agree with most of this point. BUT…

    it's absurd logic to say that the answer to that problem is to trade away the only 2 clutch players who can create offense consistently. For what? Role players with potential that didn't fit with other teams. So they can, what? Do what role players with potential do…make mistakes in big games…but yeah, they'll have fresh legs. None of these trades make sense in any shape or form to actually win in the post season.

    Yeah, this team will be great with Mozgov and McGee, because who doesn't want to see a Celtic jersey making a regular appearance on Shaqtin' a Fool.

    • GowGow

      I think we all agree that #5 is probably true. But it is unnecessary right now. Save it for when we lose.

      • KillerGymRat

        Couldn't agree more.

    • Phil725

      The goal if you trade KG/Pierce is to bottom out. No one's suggesting trading those two to try and go on a run this year. If you trade those two, you try to lose as many games as possible this year and next.

      Best case scenario of a blow up is you get a couple good young players this year, but lose and fall into the lottery this year and next and nail those picks. You also clear out some of the long term money tied up in guys like Bass and Terry, then you can add to the team in free agency in 2 years. Then you're left with a solid, young team and a big acquisition going into 2014-15. That's the quickest way to rebuild.

      The whole point of blowing it up is that you have no hope at all this year or 13-14. And no trade would change that.

    • CelticsBIG3

      "Yeah, this team will be great with Mozgov and McGee, because who doesn't want to see a Celtic jersey making a regular appearance on Shaqtin' a Fool."

      LOL man.

    • Anthony

      @KillerGymRat – Great point to lighten the mood on this post. Perkins made Shaqtin the Fool for 2 consecutive, does it still make the JGreen trade disastrous? Lol.

      I think anger over #5 is a bit much. After all, it's just another opinion with no right or wrong. I was and still enjoyed the win in spite of it. And with a solid effort tomorrow, Celts should extend the streak to 6 and I will continue to enjoy it.

      Whether I agree or disagree with anyone else's opinions, bottom line is I enjoy seeing the different, which can be pessimistic at times, perspectives on the Celts.

      Have a great nite everyone.

      • KillerGymRat

        Damn. Forgot about Perk on there. And twice.

        Danny is a genius :)

  • ghoulbuns

    Wow, thanks DeGama for the pessimism. Wish I had more hands so I could give Observation #5 four thumbs down.

  • tbunny

    How is he going to blow it up? He won't trade Pierce unless he gets great value he can build on, which is almost impossible. He can't trade Garnett. How is this blowing up thing going to happen?

    Answer: it's not.

    I'm laying it down: this team is making the playoffs and it won't be the 8 seed.

    • Ryan DeGama

      Yeah, I think you're right on all counts. No matter what I or anyone else wants, the likelihood is the deals won't be there for PP and KG, at least until the summer and we know if KG intends to stick around another year or not. As a result, they can slide up the ladder a seed or two for the playoffs.

      • janos

        thank you ryan replies to fan we are appreciates your time am now you are the busy guy even if you are make a bad one on ocasio n

    • janos

      i am suports you bunny and am tell you one things NOBODIES is want play us first round that is for goddam sure.

      • CelticsBIG3

        Stupid iPad I meant to up vote you janos

  • Tos

    Here’s my opinion, the team is absolutely NOT better without Rondo. However, I don’t want to see KG or Pierce traded, unless the return is heavily in our favor. And to be honest, I don’t even know what that would be. It would have to a combination of picks and young true talent at desired positions (not for trade chips such as Eric Bledsoe).

    Bottom line, no trades just to make trades and Danny has already said he wasn’t going to make a move just for the sake of making moves.

  • smalltownID

    It is not axiomatic that Boston could be better without Rondo. Although we would all probably put our money on it in Vegas, just because all of the pundits vomit how good Rondo is does not make it a fact that any team would be better with him. There is no one like Rajon Rondo: the good and the bad. However, I would bet huge sums of money that Boston will end up well over .500. With another sample of 40 games that record will shed light on how "valuable" he is. It is always a double-edged sword with Rondo, we went 7 games with Miami last year because of Rondo but we couldn't close game 7 because Rondo wouldn't shoot a 15 foot jump shot.

  • Josh_5

    I don't give a rat's @$$ about ceilings and floors with this team, I care about wins. Right now, that's all we're doing so you pessimists can have your "regression to the mean" and "small sample size" all you want. I'll take the WINS. #gritandballs

  • MSTRKRFT

    When was the last time you guys have put up grades? This "five observations we saw" just doesn't cut it like the grades.

  • fabzzz

    Oh my god Pessimism! Oh no! Well sorry guys but thats the way it is.

    Will this team win a championship as constituted?
    Does it have the talent to even compete against the durant/westbrooks, lebron/wades?

    Our 2 best players are on the bad side of 32. This team will be worse next year. Our best player is out for a year with a torn ACL. It would be blind optimism to believe this team can win, nay even compete. And I don't know about you but I'd rather begin the rebuild then lose in the first round of the playoffs for the next two years. And why play unless for the ring?

    Its pretty simple math. Not enough talent, try to get more talent. We probably wont get back equal value but we can accumulate young pieces, trade chips, and draft picks. Face it. We can be a contender in 2-3 years or out in the first round for the next 3 years and much worse after that.

    I'm a Celtics fan. I love pierce and kg. But time to recognize.

    I can enjoy wins, sure. But I enjoy championships more.

  • janos

    ok everybodies i am have go work soon for overnight shift and am get enjy game celtics win raptor but aam concern of all fight this site? thi s is place us come together talk all opinion so everybody is just have a relex and nobody is quit site ok please? i am learn ing all you guys from so there other thing on worth fight over like a politic, obama etc so if we can wait for a loose fight, better than talk about how spend wining lottos ticket like win tonight if that make a sense you?

    have a night to all i am check on thigs on morning times but more calm, friend needed of web manger, everyone.

  • http://www.greenheadzblog.blogspot.com GreenHeadz

    I posted this on another blog, but I felt like I needed to throw it out there again in light of #5 and everyone here. Every game, I try to just soak in what Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are doing and marvel at their ability to still put it on just about every up and comer around the league. Sure, the moments are fewer and there are also more instances than there used to be where they show their age a bit, but what they do for the team, for the fans, goes so much deeper than trading them for this scrap or that stud. These guys are Celtics and, yes, they bleed green and they should be allowed to wear the jersey until they don’t want to be here anymore. Certainly, Paul has earned it and Garnett, I think most would argue, has as well. No trade is going to make us better this year. We’re either winning this year with what we have or we’re not, and neither Dwight Howard nor Jose Calderon is going to make the difference up or down this year. Let’s just lay back, enjoy the ride and remember that anything is still very much possible.

  • ghoulbuns

    ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

  • greenboner

    these sports writers think it makes them look smart and sophisticated to be the anti homer.and because its espn they if they mention refs they are saying positve things about them lol.they are just another part in the dysfunctional machine that is the nba sports entertainment league.the worship of stars trumps everything else.the real negative of rondo being gone if they had the balls to say it would be that david stern will fix even less games for the celtics without the tv ratings draw of rondo.because they know the most powerful nba consumer is a young kid from somwhere with a shit team who roots for individual stars and beats off to lebron posters on the reg.

    • CelticsBIG3

      The same ppl who create the bs trade rumors work here.

    • Josh_5

      To piggy back on this topic:
      Why do you think Blake Griffin gets more attention and praise than Kevin Love? Why does Dwight Howard get more pats on the back for a good performance than David Lee? ESPN entertainment bias is bullshit. You can keep the flashy plays I'll take winning and hard work.

  • IBleedGreen

    Is this team going to win the championship? Mostly likely not (with or without Rondo). Is this team playing better without Rondo? Hell YES! Is this team more fun to watch without a pg pounding the ball for 20 seconds? Hell YES! Is this team winning ball games without Rondo? Hell YES!!!!! Rondo please never come back.

    • Josh_5

      I don't blame this winning streak on Rondo as much as I do Doc Rivers not adjusting his offense. I think next year we can really raise some hell if Doc learns to adjust to his personnel better.

  • elroz

    KG played 32 minutes…not 26 as said in the report above…..

  • swissflix

    In a weird way Barbosa is both the nerdiest dribbler and the smoothest scorer ever….those high arching layups make me think of some softly splashing waves at the beach of copacabana….
    ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Make it 6 tonight.

    • Josh_5

      Love this comment.

  • CG12

    You know what one of my least favorite narratives is? "Of COURSE, the Celtics aren't better without Rondo, you silly ignorant fans." Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. For every "teams will press the C's more and they won't be able to handle it" I've got a "the C's are running more and playing much faster now, which will make it far harder to press them" or a "Paul Pierce, Leandro Barbosa, or Jeff Green are perfectly capable of bringing the ball up the floor." You think "Pierce and KG will be forced to carry to much of the scoring load and will wear down"? Well, I think "we have a stable of 2nd banana scorers for exactly that reason. JET, Lee, Green, and Barbosa can and will shoulder an important part of the load. This is what we are actually seeing happen." I have very mixed feelings about Rondo being out, but the one thing I know for realsies is that I enjoy watching the team much more now that Rondo is out, and they are playing basketball the way I think it should be played. That's good enough for me to ride it until the wheels fall off.

  • Danny

    Blowing it up isn't a some bonafide solution, youre going to lose casual fans, TV money, and a host of other things. Basketball is a business, stars make money, Forbes rated the Celtics the NBAs fourth most valuable franchise. No way the owners give up our star power for role players and mid first round picks in a weak draft. Groubeck would fire Danny before he allowed that to happen. Losing KG and Pierce alienates your casual fan base and potentially drops you into another 10 year abyss of irrelevance where nobody wants to come here and nobody gives a shit. The owners are not going back to the days of free ticket giveaways, and 2/3 empty home games.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Exactly the issue here.

    • Danny

      I believe the owners would rather ride out with pierce and KG, make some more playoff money, continue to sell out games, and when they retire go after a big name free agent with the freed cap space. Yeah they may not win any championships but the ownership would rather be decent than bottom out. Bottoming out on the hope that you can rebuild what you already have is bad business sense. You don't go into the red if you don't have to.

    • Phil725

      The issue here is that you're going to lose that star power/TV money/etc in 2 years either way. The group who would leave because they trade PP/KG is smaller than the group that's gonna leave when the team starts to lose anyway. Winning sells, and this team is currently headed for NBA hell. It's easy for all of us to clamor to keep the group together now, but a lot of those people will just stop watching in 3 years when it's Rondo passing to Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and a 38 year old Jason Terry on a 32 win team.

      That 10 year abyss that you mention? That's what will happen if you keep the band together. In 3 years, you'll have one asset (Rondo, and he won't be as big of one as a 28 year old on a max contract. Bradley will be on a bigger contract then and won't be as good of a piece either,) no cap room, and no plan. How do you improve that team to a championship contender?

      There is no opportunity to get an early start if you don't trade now; you'll draft outside of the lottery every year, and there's no cap space for anything that will actually help. It's going to require being proactive and risking those 2 years of money/job security. I know Ainge understands that, and I think the ownership group does at well; they've shown a willingness to spend money in the past that you have to appreciate when you see teams like Memphis selling players.

      • Danny

        See this is where I think we are going to have to agree to disagree. I think they are better off standing pat making a playoff run and letting the chips fall where they may. Pierce and KG are more valuable to the Celtics than they are to any other team and I don't think you are going to get the return for them to justify moving them. We have already started are build toward the future and 4 years down the road a core of Rondo, Bradley, Sullinger, and Green might not be a bad team plus another big name free agent like maybe a Kevin Love or someone else you can sign in 2014 or 2015 when KG and Pierce are long retired and off the books. You never alienate your fan base you continue to stay somewhat relevant and on national TV now and again as opposed to joing the likes of the Charlotte Bobcats competing for who Nerlens Noel? Im not that enamored with this years draft class to considering bottoming out this year.

        • Phil725

          Well it's already too late to bottom out this year. If you trade KG/Pierce now, you probably end up around the 10th pick. That might be good enough to get a good player, but certainly not guaranteed. There is no argument against not wanting to alienate the fanbase and wanting to watch KG/PP retire as Celtics, there's a large group who thinks that, and I respect that. I do think you're underrating how much that would hurt the long term though.

          They can't sign anyone after this year because they're already over the tax, let alone the cap. They can't sign anyone the year after that because they're paying Rondo/Bass/Green/Terry/Lee and a (probably) retired KG 45m. That's getting up near the cap before we even factor in the rookie deals of guys like AB and Sully. Things get a little clearer after that, but Rondo's contract will be up then (and he'll get a max deal,) and you still have Lee/Green making 15m, plus rookie deals and AB's first real contract. You can squeeze out max cap space, but there's no room to build around that guy.

          If you pick outside of the lottery every year, which you will with KG/Pierce/Rondo, you're probably not going to find more than one other solid player in the draft.

          Even if you think Rondo's a true superstar, he can't do anything with Green, Lee, Sully, Bradley and a couple free agents (just getting max cap room doesn't accomplish anything, they still need to choose Boston.) You're just looking at a middling core that will keep you in NBA purgatory. By adding an extra legitimate piece and getting rid of a contract or two, you might be able to cut a few years off of that rebuild. Mechanically, it's the right decision. 'Sports fan' is hardly a heartless activity for most people though.

          For the record, I agree with your first point. I don't think Ainge is going to find a suitable offer for Pierce, and thus, KG won't waive his no-trade clause, and the status quo will stick for better or worse. I also think this team is as good as nuked if Ainge does get that offer for Pierce though.

  • Danny

    I get we’re you’re coming from Phil I just see it a different way I suppose. You seem to have a mch better understanding of salaries and the caps than the average fan myself included. My belief just comes from the idea that in order to attract free agents you have to be relevant. And as I posted before as I right now the celtics are relevant valued at over 750 million dollars and overall the leagues fourth most valuable franchise behind only the Knicks lakers and bulls. Ultimately it is the ownerships decision as to what they want to do and I personally feel they don’t think it’s in their best interest to blow it up right now hence why it won’t happen. I’m not saying they won’t make any moves to clear space but in this league stars make money and we are one of the teams that have stars even if they are old. I don’t think the celtics will just give them up in the spirit of rebuilding for better or worse. That said I’m on the side of the fence that says the future for this team can be bright if they play their cards right. Between Bradley and rondo you have one of the best young backcourt a in the league. If you could pair them with a true allstar front court player i belive you have a championship team. Green for as much a Hes been bashed continues to improve and who knows what you have in Sully. I say remain relevant for now. u might just be one Kevin love or josh smith away. Remember unlike football and baseball in basketball sometimes all you need is one guy to push you over the edge anything can happen.

    • Danny

      sorry for all the spelling errors, typing on my phone on the T

      • Phil725

        It's perfectly readable, props for typing up long posts on a phone, I'd break something if I had to :P

        There's certainly an argument for staying relevant; the biggest argument that I would make against blowing it up from a strictly business (so taking fandom out of it,) is that blowing it up so rarely works. I don't know the exact numbers, but teams that finish with a bottom 5 record average something like 10 years before making the playoffs again. It's not the sure path to success that the Thunder make it seem; you still have to hit all of your picks 'and' be very smart capwise in the mean time. Ainge made some big time cap lapses with the long term deals he handed out last offseason, and that will be a big issue going forward.

        In the end though, I have my doubts about Boston's ability to attract a true difference maker in free agency, and even then I wonder how a 28/29 year old Rondo and that one guy will be as a core. Just two guys isn't enough. That's why trading now for proven lottery talents is appealing to me. I'll also happily sit and watch KG and Pierce for the next few years if that's how it falls though, and I'll be there for the eventual rebuild process too, regardless of how well it's planned for and how long it takes.

  • Danny

    Agreed regardless of what they do we both bleed green and that’s obvious. It’s been a great five years. The majority of my life the celtics have sucked. I was born in 89 I don’t remember a day of birds career I started watching during the Antoine walker Ron mercer chancey billups pitino era and continued the first blow up raef lafrentz jiri welesch fiasco and then the Gerald green Ricky Davis tony Allen days. It’s been a long road haha. Bringing me to my main point I’ve always been of the belief it takes money to make money. We had a mediocre team that overachieved in 02 with walker n pierce that made it to the eastern conference finals when ainge blew it up and we sucked for years before the big 3. Rondo right now is in almost the exact same position pierce was in back then. The young some would say almost immature franchise best player who isn’t quite ready to be leader of the team. Remember back then it was walker who gave interviews talked to the media and was the leader in the clubhouse. I know ainge remembers those days and I feel like he may take a different approach this time given he has more to work with. Back then we blew it up and had infinite cap space but nobody wanted to come here. Players were too young or too indifferent to the celtics history did it care bout a team that hadnt won in 20 years. This time we do have a known winning tradition people aren’t as quick to dismiss boston as a destination. Josh smith wants to come here Howard said he’d think bout it. Kevin love said something similar once too. People weren’t saying that 10 years ago.

  • Danny

    Anyway long story short point is I feel in today's NBA you have to stay relevant. You have to keep you're stars. It's hard to build through the lottery, damn near impossible, that's why its called a lottery you're not even guaranteed the best pick as Celtics fans know all too well and even if you do get it you still might end up with a Kwame Brown, Greg Oden, or Darko at number 2. The Thunder are the exception not the rule. Todays pro sports are built through free agency like it or not. The heat the Lakers, us, all built through free agency. Free agents only go to relevant teams. The owners stand to lose too much money to advocate to blowing it up and returning to 2006 even if it's only for 2-3 years I don't see them wanting to do that.

  • Danny

    The one and only caveat to that is what you said, "proven lottery picks". That is a different story if you could land a proven young asset, a la Kyrie Irving (even though we already have rondo im just naming him), Anthony Davis, or someone of that ilk than go for it. But KG for caron butler and Bledsoe, or timothy mozgov or whoever else you want to put in as people they are likely to get. I don't think its a good business move. Play with what you have try to get it to attract more.That you're opinion is well formed and totally valid, we just view it from opposite ends my friend. And when it all comes down to it neither one of us has a say so might as well enjoy the ride. Always enjoy your comments Phil. Part of the reason I started commenting her myself.

    • Phil725

      I would consider guys like Irving and Davis no doubt/untradeable by their current team, assets. I can't see the Cs (or any team) landing anyone like that, that's another level up. Those are the guys you need to get lucky and win the lottery to score. By proven lottery talent, I just mean guys on rookie deals who you know can play in this league. Everyone always talks about getting into the lottery, but there are tons of Hasheem Thabeets and Derrick Williams, even as high as the first few picks. Guys like Kawhi Leonard, Harrison Barnes or Eric Bledsoe aren't stars like the guys you would be trading, but they would have a place on the team in 3 years and beyond. Rondo/Bradley/Bledsoe/Barnes/Sully makes something like 20m total in 3 years (40m to spend on free agents!) and that's a very nice foundation. Max out Kevin Love or whoever (Boston's an upgrade on Minnesota, right?) and the rebuild's over.

      For the record, I'm still wishy washy on what my opinion actually is. I understand the upside of making a move now, and I wouldn't be as outraged as some people, but I'd have a really hard time pulling the trigger from Ainge's seat, even if I got the type of haul that I would consider best case. What you say is probably the best move; just sit back and enjoy the ride. Big game tonight. I appreciate the compliment as well, I always enjoy good conversation. I like the comment sections here because I like talking about the Cs as much as I like watching them, and I need a place where I can type in multiple paragraphs :P

      Edit: Missed your post one above, you beat me to the Kwame Brown/Thabeet point. It's definitely a tough road ahead, regardless of how the next few weeks go. All the more reason to enjoy now.

  • Danny

    No worries man same. Yeah Davis and Irving are untouchable I just named them there’s more just he ones I thought of who are stars yet but will be someday. The optimist in mean says this team has a great ownership group who cares about winning and isn’t afraid to spend (unlike that asshole gaston) a solid gm and a coach players want to play for an we will be ok. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think so. Anyway should be a fun game tonight always nice to beat la. Enjoy the game.

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