The first domino to fall this offseason is Paul Pierce’s contract. Until Danny Ainge figures out what he’s doing there, little else matters. As we wait for this decision, we also must face the rest of the offseason, which means it is also rumor season. With that time of year, comes plenty of information floating [...]
In his third year in the league, in which promising players often make brash leaps from benchwarmer to starter, from starter to star, Avery Bradley took a big step back. But his regression might be deceptive. When he returned to the Celtics’ lineup on January the 2nd after two in-season months recovering from offseason shoulder [...]
A long, challenging offseason awaits Danny Ainge this summer. Before he dives in head first, he joined Salk and Holley on WEEI-FM 93.7 to discuss the multitude of decisions facing him this offseason, as well as the progress of Rajon Rondo in his rehab from ACL surgery. A few of the notable highlights from the interview. Ainge [...]
In one way or another, there will be change this offseason in Boston. That process started in the past couple days, with the first piece moving out coming as a name most C’s fans might not be familiar with. Yet, it was Celtics’ assistant general manager Ryan McDonough, one of Danny Ainge’s top lieutenants, who [...]
It was a tough season for the Boston Celtics, and that includes for head coach Doc Rivers. The long-time coach battled to find the right fit for a lot of new pieces that were both underperforming and/or failed to pick up his schemes on both ends of the floor. Naturally, an unfortunate plethora of injuries [...]
It seems like every offseason since 2010 we’ve been through this: a myriad of questions and concerns about the Celtics’ roster that usually involve the possibility of the core of the team being dismantled. As we head into the summer of 2013, we’ve got a whole batch of questions, many of which will be familiar. [...]
The last time the Celtics faced the Spurs was my favorite game of the season. It was only three months ago, and yet to read the recap it’s hard to connect that Celtics team with this one. Shaq, Marquis, Von Wafer, and Harangody all played. Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic were chilling in Oklahoma not bothering anyone. Glen Davis took over the game at times. And Rajon Rondo was nothing short of a different player: 12 points, 10 rebounds, 23 assists. That was his last game over 16 assists this season.
Still, like the last four, this is a game the Celtics can win. San Antonio is about as beaten up as Boston is; you just don’t hear about anything that happens there because it’s more important what Bosh, Wade, and LeBron each have to say about Derrick Rose’s MVP candidacy. This game could, could turn out to be a sloppier, shorthanded version of the last one against the Spurs. That would be nice, because Miami’s only one game back in the loss column.
WHAT THE SPURS DO WELL
Shoot three-point basketballs. Because they’re boring and sanctimonious, casual fans tend to think of the Spurs as a defensively-oriented team. But the truth is that they’re an offensive juggernaut thanks to how well they shoot from long range. Between New Hampshire Matt Bonner, Richard Jefferson, Gary Neal, Tony Parker, George Hill, and Manu Ginobili (actually not that great percentage-wise, but pretty amazing considering the kind of shots he takes), this team can go on runs. The C’s have defended shooters better than big men in the last few games, but it remains to be seen how they’ll do against the league’s best-shooting team.
WHAT THE SPURS DO POORLY
Pretend that the stretch run matters to them. In their recent loss to the Blazers, Gregg Popovich sat Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Antonio McDyess. He’s known for benching his stars at the end of the season, and this year in particular he really doesn’t seem to care whether his team hangs on to the top seed, as long as they’re healthy once the playoffs get going. Fans complain about this because it punishes people who buy tickets early and, they argue, demonstrates a lack of competitive intensity. Gregg Popovich does not care. He spells him name with an extra “g” just to upset people. Here’s what he does when he sees somebody crying.
Duncan and Ginobili are both probably out tonight.
PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY
Dejuan Blair and Tiago Splitter. Check the box scores of the last three losses. The top scorers in all three games were bigs, and in two of them they were scrubby backup bigs (DJ White and Leon Powe). Those two along with Roy Hibbert did most of their damage against Glen Davis. The interior defense is not getting it done. Jermaine O’Neal should improve matters tonight, even by just standing around like he probably will.
Plus Blair has no ACLs and he still kills it on the autotune.
PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY
Richard Jefferson. You might still think Richard Jefferson is having a good year. There was a lot of press coverage surrounding his improved three-point shooting at the beginning of the season, and it’s true that he’s inexplicably gotten much better from distance. But all other aspects of his game are still in decline, and his overall stats have dropped marginally from last season when Spurs fans tried to bury him in the desert. Without Ginobili or Duncan, Jefferson will probably see a decent amount of ball tonight, but Pierce’s defense has been tight in recent games and Jefferson’s not that good anyway.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE
Rajon Rondo do what he did on January 6, 2010. Jermaine O’Neal do what he did in 2002.