Avery Bradley usually isn’t compared to Larry Bird. During one shot tonight, that changed. The fourth-year guard was in the right spot in the first quarter on Tuesday night, rebounding a Jared Sullinger airball under the basket. Knowing he needed to get off a shot before the shot clock expired, Bradley hoisted up a prayer [...]
We’ve talked about Jared Sullinger quite a bit this week, but he has been playing intriguingly well, so forgive us for continuing the trend. The “Should Sullinger be taking 3-pointers?” argument continues to rage, but last night presented compelling arguments for proponents of the strategy. I wrote about these shots specifically during the preseason, and [...]
Only five NBA teams are humiliated by a less effective offense than the one currently deployed by the Boston Celtics. But being that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, here are a couple parts of that offense we should all be grateful for. (Most notably the fact that it’s run by Brad Stevens, a mastermind [...]
Last season, Jared Sullinger was whistled for 6.2 fouls per 36 minutes. In other words, statistically, even if the Celtics wanted to give him a starter’s minutes, he would foul out before the 36 minute mark. Some of that was on Sullinger — it takes a certain amount of time to adjust to the way [...]
In a playoff-less season, the Celtics really have only one thing to look forward to before lottery night: The return of Rajon Rondo. There are always a few indicators that a player is nearing his return, and one of the first ones is that he is returning to drills during practice. From Gary Washburn’s Twitter [...]
Trade talk hasn’t died down just yet in Boston. Days after Danny Ainge confirmed to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald that the team was engaged in discussions with other teams pertaining to their veteran pieces of the roster, we have another report surfacing today from Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report on potential talks between the Celtics [...]
I’m going to go out on a limb and say most fans were happy to see the Dallas Mavericks win this year’s NBA Finals. The Mavs are old school: one bona fide superstar (Dirk Nowitzki), a couple of guys past their prime (Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion), guys that have accepted their roles (DeShawn Stevenson, Tyson Chandler), and two exciting spark plugs (Jason Terry, J.J. Barea). They are the quintessential team.
Unlike the Miami Heat. The three headed superstar monster that have agreed to reject the notion of “team” for as long as they are together. Assuming the collective bargaining agreement somewhat resembles what it is now (or makes it even harder for teams to sign free agents) the Heat will be over the salary cap each of the next five seasons. In 2015-16, 65 million clams will be tied up in the three man “team” known as the Heatles.
Just because Miami’s front office decided to allocate their money in a certain way does not on its own explain the Heat hate. There’s the over-the-top celebrations of dunks and three point shots. Then there are the on-the-court moments that show a blatant disregard of a sound offensive strategy (hesitation/fake crossover dribble pullups for three don’t exactly whet a basketball fan’s whistle).
But for me, it’s been the constant theme of this team always counting their chickens before they hatch. Whether it’s LeBron James counting future championships before the season or Dwyane Wade and James engaging in a Championship-caliber embrace after they beat the Boston Celtics in five games. This type of attitude seemed to permeate everything about the Heat. It even got to their coach- the supposed level-headed, even-keeled, salt-of-the-earth-type guy. Here’s Erik Spoelstra giving advice to Craig Sager trailing the Celtics in the fourth quarter of Game 5:
To paraphrase The Big Lebowski, “You’re not wrong [Spoelstra], you’re just an asshole.”
I originally cut this in preparation for a “gotcha” post. And then the Heat won and I questioned the existence of “the basketball gods”. Instead of posting the video anyway, I tried to think of ways to emphasize the likeness to “-olestra” in Erik Spoelstra’s name.
One of the only redeeming qualities about this Heat team had finally bought into all their hype.
I’m not sure how long this feeling will last but I think it’s best if we use this time productively by dissecting the things we as Celtics fans hardly had a vested interest in.
Anyone notice the highlight of Erik Spoelstra’s postgame presser? “Dallas wasn’t known as a defensive team.” Whatttt? This could have been the single most revealing thing I have ever heard a losing coach say. Dallas not a defensive team? Tyson Chandler? Shawn Marion? Jason Kidd? DeShawn Stevenson? Were any of these names mentioned in a Miami Heat locker room these past two weeks? That’s a lot of question marks.
Is it weird that one of the first things I thought about following the game were the psyches of Udonis Haslem and Erick Dampier. Dampier, longtime Maverick, was not welcomed back to Dallas after the Mavs signed Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood. And then there was Haslem, who turned down a pretty lucrative offer from the Mavericks during free agency and took less money to stay with the Heat. Both of these guys could theoretically have a Championship ring right now. Haslem may never have injured his foot and he and Stevenson could have called people “studio gangsters” together instead of turning on each other.
And then there’s Mike Bibby. The 6 million dollar man. As in, the 6+ million dollars he gave up next season to sign with the Heat and not get a Championship. Ouch.
Chris Bosh’s reputation can not catch a break, huh? Maybe he knew the cameras were there and he’s just as much a showman as James and Wade, but to get caught going fetal in the tunnel after the game and balling his eyes out? That’s not going to play out well.
Aside from Dirk, so many awesome/deserving players won rings last night: Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Caron Butler, Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic….and those are just the players that either should have already won one or have been good enough to win one for a long time.
Lots of people are immediately saying “trade Bosh! Trade Bosh!” To which I say, “to whom and for what?” Rather than trade Bosh, I say trade James. Wade and Bosh make a much more natural match than Wade and James despite the collective talent begging to say otherwise. And then there’s the fact that Bosh has little to no value right now in terms of the Heat getting something in return. He has a maximum contract and he does not play like a maximum player. James, on the other hand, is the best player of bunch and could net a superstar and multiple first round picks in return. If Miami are going to blow it up, I say sell high. Get a superstar center or point guard, draft picks, and another piece. I welcome your trade machine attempts in the comment section…