2014 not so kind to Celtics

Since the Calendar changed to 2014 the Celtics are still in search of their first win. What looked like a promising beginning to a season that began with very low expectations , our beloved Celtics are now struggling and looking like the squad many predicted them to be when this season began. At 0-8 on the year and losers of 12 of their last 13 , they now find themselves with the 3rd most losses in the NBA and well on their way to a high lottery pick (hopefully). It’s very difficult as a lifelong diehard fan of this team to watch them losing game after game , while in the back of my mind i know its probably the best thing for them in their rebuilding process.  With our all-star PG returning within a week , will the team continue on this spiral of losing or will he be the spark they need to push them back up the standings and into a playoff spot? Will Danny continue to make moves as the trading deadline approaches and help them clear future cap space for a run at some free agents? Will Rondo be available to teams? It will certainly be fun to watch as we get into trade season. Stay tuned Celtics fans as this will surely be an interesting month or so even if the losing continues.

 

 

 

Biggest surprises so far this season

As we pass the quarter mark on this season lets take a look at some of the biggest surprises so far from our beloved Boston Celtics. Raise your hand if you thought the Celtics would be atop the Atlantic Division standings as we approached Christmas? Anyone? I was all for the “Riggin for Wiggins” and the extremely talent rich draft ahead. It appears however that this group of players has a different plan. They have embraced their new young head coach and he has the team playing at a level higher than most of us could have expected. His brand of inside-out drive and kick offense seems to be perfect for a team with an abundance of talented wing players and spot up big men. They are rebounding a lot better on the defensive end of the floor and seem to want to make a point that there will be no tanking in Boston this winter.

Jared Sullinger. When the Celtics drafted him 21st overall I was fairly optimistic that he would be a decent NBA big with a fairly long career ahead of him. He had himself a decent rookie season ( 6ppg and 6rpg ) until a back injury that required surgery ended his season after 45 games. I was worried a bit as back injuries can always bring a quick end to an athlete’s career but fast forward to this year and “Sully” has emerged as one of the Celtics best players. He currently leads the team in rebounding ( 6.9) , is third in scoring at 13.5 ppg and is tied for 4th in assists per game. His touch around the basket and ability to make clutch shots from as far out as the 3pt line has made him a fan favorite and a vital part of this teams success going forward.

Jamal Crawford. Not bad for a guy who we acquired for Jason Collins and the expiring contract of Leandro Barbosa. He has proven himself to be a lot more efficient running the offense than we could have imagined and his ability to make tough shots as he contorts his way through the defense is always something fun to see. He is currently second on the team in scoring behind Jeff Green and leads the team in assists at 5.5 per game for an almost 3-1 assist to turnover ratio. Mix in the steals and the fact that he leads the team in PER ( Player Efficiency Rating) at 18.5 and you have yourself a steal for the price we paid and a bona fide 2nd option.

This team is currently without its best player and floor general and its managed to be 4-0 in games decided by 5 points or less , not to mention its 4th in points against in the Eastern Conference and always seems to fight back any time they are behind by a wide margin. The heart they have displayed so far this season has helped them become a much better team than we could have imagined in early November , and it would appear that with their leader coming back in a month they will only get better. Stories are now popping up about them being in on trades for players such as Omer Asik and Austin Rivers as well as people questioning if they should be sellers or buyers at the trade deadline. One thing is for sure , this has turned out a lot more interesting so far than we could have thought.

Rob Carbone – Celtics Beat Writer

Celtics Forward Jared Sullinger Arrested On Domestic Assault Charges

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Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger was arrested on domestic violence charges stemming from an incident on Saturday night according to Waltham police.

The incident occurred on Saturday evening and sullinger turned himself in on Tuesday around 6 a.m. ET Sullinger is charged with assault and battery, malicious destruction of property and witness intimidation.

Media reports indicate that Sullinger appeared in Waltham district court on Tuesday and entered a plea of not guilty and was released on $5,000 bail and is scheduled to appear back in court on September 19.

After being a highly touted draft pick in 2012 Sullinger had seen back problems cause his draft stock to drop and so much so he fell to the Celtics who selected him with their 21st pick in the 2012 draft. Entering the season Sullinger looked like an odd man out but quickly emerged himself as a key player for the Celtics and played his way into the starting lineup but back issues forced Sullinger out of the lineup and out for the season.

For the Celtics this comes as no good news with the rebuilding phase among us and a new era ready to begin and Sullinger being a big part of it this is a tough position for the Celtics on the court and off with Sullinger being a fan favorite and popular amongst his teammates but now we must wait and see what will happen next.

Adam Rioux – Celtics Insider  –  TitleTown Sports

Host of “The Jungle” at TitleTown Sports Radio Network

The Legacy Of Paul Pierce and Why #34 Will Live On Forever

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15 seasons ago we as Celtics Fans sat back and after years of uncertainty and losing season’s headed into the 1998 draft with the 10th overall pick and with a solid draft class looked to capture someone that could help get the Franchise back on the right foot, and boy that’s what they did.  The Celtics selected with their 10th overall pick Paul Pierce who was highly touted in that draft and was expected to be a top 5 pick but slipped into the Celtics arms and hit the ground running and used the fact that teams ahead of Boston passed up on him as motivation that made Pierce a lethal force in the NBA.

Growing up in Inglewood California the last team Pierce was excited to play for was the Celtics and was quoted as saying he hated the Celtics growing up Pierce grew up rooting for the Lakers the Celtics arched rival. But early on in his career he learned the reason why the rivalry was so rich on the Celtics side meeting guys like Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Red Auerbach, John Havlicek  and an assortment of others who instilled what Celtic pride is all about and what it really means to embrace the Celtic Jersey and its heritage. From that point on Pierce played with the Passion that came with wearing the Green and held the responsibility that came with it as well.

After coming out of the gate and scoring over 18ppg in his first two seasons the potential for Pierce was there for and he used it to the best of his ability Pierce became one of the most feared scorer’s in the league, going toe to toe night in and night out with the league’s best and cementing himself as a future hall of famer. Along the way the Celtics had minor success and made the playoffs but never had the talent to make serious headway in the pursuit of a championship in Pierce’s early years.

Aside from his stellar play on the court Pierce showed extreme loyalty to the Celtics by sticking it out through the rough years and turning down the opportunities to flee Boston and cash in and have a better chance to win a championship Pierce stayed and vowed to be a Celtic for life. That statement in itself is a testament to Pierce’s character in a nutshell. For 15 seasons we watched him gut out games and sacrifice his mind and body night in and night out.

After a wretched 2006-2007 campaign where the Celtics went 24-58 and it looked again like Pierce would go another year without attaining the ultimate goal all NBA players wish to accomplish and win a Championship. Heading into the offseason GM Danny Ainge was pressed to make changes and changes is what he did.

Ainge went ahead and orchestrated two trades that brought in sharp shooter Ray Allen. Then Ainge’s biggest move of his career was next acquiring MVP and perennial all-star and star of the league Kevin Garnett setting up for an epic season and that is what the Celtics did.

Coming out of the gate with blazing force setting the league on fire with its new found Big 3 and leading the charge was the Captain Paul Pierce though notching his lowest ppg in his career Pierce offensively carried the Celtics with his aggressive scoring and willingness to sacrifice everything for the Celtics like he has his entire career inevitable leading the Celtics to the NBA finals after recording the best single season turnaround in NBA history going from a wretched 24-58 and doing the unthinkable and bouncing back to a 66-16 record and punching a ticket to the NBA finals where again Pierce showed his worth scoring at will in an NBA finals for the ages where the Celtics dominated Franchise rival the Los Angeles Lakers.

In a 6 game trumping  of the Lakers the Celtics rose victorious and with the Boston faithful and Captain Paul Pierce rising to the occasion and doing what he has done his whole career and exemplifying what it means to be a Celtic stood upon the podium after the game 6 win in which he averaged 21.8 PTS 6.3 AST and 4.5 REBS and in his home arena in front of the fans that backed him and honored his loyalty through the good and the bad watched their champion the heart and soul of the Celtics for the previous 10 years reach his ultimate goal of becoming an NBA champion and earning the NBA Finals MVP for those finals dominating from start to finish Pierce officially became what we all knew he was a Champion. With Pierce reaching this level now becoming a true champion he now was with the Celtics legends and cemented himself as a Hall of Famer and one of the true greats of the game.

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When we look back on the career of Paul Pierce as a Celtic one thing we will always remember is his loyalty with numerous times where he could have walked away to greener pastures he stuck it out and was the consummate professional and from the 1998 draft to that final buzzer this summer in the Celtics playoff exit Pierce showed his true colors as a player and as a human being. Coming full circle in his career from the skinny kid on draft night to the Celtic legend hoisting a championship trophy above his head we all will look back someday at his jersey in the rafters among the greats and remember what Paul Pierce really was about and that’s  being   A CELTIC FOR LIFE!

 

Adam Rioux – Celtics Insider  –  TitleTown Sports

Host of “The Jungle” at TitleTown Sports Radio Network

5 Questions.

What will Danny do next?

What will Danny do next?

Besides Dwight Howard, the Boston Celtics have probably been the biggest story-line this offseason.  They traded away Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and Doc Rivers.  They made a big splash and hired Brad Stevens to be their head coach.  Will they trade Rondo? Will they hold onto Rondo? In this article I answer some of the questions I received on Twitter and try to answer some of the more pressing questions surrounding the Celtics.

Should the Celtics trade Rajon Rondo?  Danny Ainge has said that he isn’t looking to trade Rondo. That doesn’t mean he isn’t listening to offers.  Brad Stevens in his introductory press conference did nothing but praise Rondo.  I doubt a move happens, but, remember this is Danny Ainge we’re talking about.  Ainge is about as predictable as a teenager going through puberty.  What if the Pistons come calling and are offering Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe or Andre Drummond and picks. Who says no? I’d hate to see Rondo go, but, he is coming off a major knee injury.  I think Rondo will be wearing Celtics green when the season starts and I believe he can lead this team to the playoffs.

What’s the biggest need for next season that hasn’t been approached yet? A big body or backup point guard.  Who will play center for this team the way it’s currently put together? Sorry Fab Melo, but, I don’t think you’re the answer.  Who will back up Rondo? Right now I think the backup point guard position is the biggest need. Rondo is coming off a major knee injury and we need to have a serviceable backup for him.  As for the center position the Celtics can always slide Olynyk down to the five spot and play him there.  If all else fails I heard Dino Radja is looking to make a comeback.

How does Kelly Olynyk fit with the current Celtics roster? Right now he has to be the starting center.  He could be a very nice big man coming off the bench.  He has a good offensive game, but, he needs to get stronger.  Will he ever be an all-star? I seriously doubt it, but, if he starts I could see him putting up 15-16 points a game.  He looked good in the first summer league game, but, lets remember it’s summer league.  It will be interesting to see how he fairs against Andre Drummond in today’s game against the Pistons.

Should the Celtics try and sign Greg Oden? Yes. As I stated earlier, the Celtics need a big body. Greg Oden is that big body.  Yes he is injury prone, but, he’d be cheap. I’d rather see Greg Oden sign with the Celtics than sign with the Miami Heat.  His career averages are 9 points a game along with 7 rebounds.  What IF (big if) he stays healthy? If I’m Ainge I’m willing to take a risk on him.  He’d be cheap and the benefits outweigh the negatives by a ton.  This past season they missed out on signing Kenyon Martin and Chris “Birdman” Anderson.  I’d hate to see the Celtics miss out on Oden.

Is Danny Ainge done dealing? I don’t think Danny Ainge even knows the answer to this question.  I’m sure he is listening to all the offers he receives.  I’m sure he is trying to unload Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass, Kris Humprhies and Gerald Wallace and his bloated contract.  If he can’t unload these players, I’m sure he’d be fine with that.  All four of  these players are nice bench players.  Courtney Lee struggled on the offense, but, was a fine defender. Brandon Bass had a good playoff series against the Knicks. Kris Humprhies, well nobody likes him, but, I think he could be fine bench player for the Celtics.  As for Gerald Wallace, well can things get any worse? He had a terrible season last year, hopefully a change of scenery is beneficial for him.

Thanks for reading, follow me on Twitter @Agent_rupp

Brennen Rupp- NBA Contributor- TitleTown Sports

Boston Celtics: Summer League Preview.

After watching the Boston Celtics organization introduce Brad Stevens I can tell you that I wish the regular season started on Sunday.  I’m sure I’m not the only one that is very excited for the new Era of the Boston Celtics to begin.  For those that need their Celtics fix, no worries, the NBA Summer League kicks off this Sunday against the Orlando Magic.  The next chapter of the Boston Celtics starts this Sunday and here are some things that I’ll be keeping my eye on this upcoming week:

Kelly Olynyk: The Celtics traded up to draft Olynyk.  A lot of the “experts” are calling it a bad move.  I like Olynyk’s game, not sure how it will transition to the NBA game though. I like his offensive game, but,  his defensive game, well, as Charles Barkley would say “turrible”.

The point guards: The Celtics have two point guards on their summer league roster you’ve probably heard of and one that you’ve probably never heard of.  The known: Phil Pressey from Missouri and Nolan Smith from Duke.  Pressey left school early, a decision he is probably regretting and Nolan Smith was part of the 2010 National Championship team.  The Unknown: Jayson Granger out of Uruguay. I know nothing about Granger, but, after reading his draft profile  and watching a short video clip, I’m excited to watch him play.  The Celtics are in need of a backup point guard and it very well could be one of these three guys who end up getting the gig.

Fab Melo: It’s no secret that Fab Melo is a project.  The question is: How much has he progressed? If Fab Melo can avoid those darn doors he may be a vital asset for the Celtics as a bench player.  He’ll more then likely never be an offensive force,but, if he can come off the bench and play some solid defense and grab some rebounds the Boston Celtics should be happy.  I’m just not holding my breath for any of those things to happen.  Have you ever just looked at a player and asked yourself: “How in the world is he in the NBA?” Yeah that’s what I get when I look at Fab Melo. Here’s to hoping that I’m wrong and Fab Melo pans out!

If you want to check out the rest of the summer league roster just click here!

Thanks for reading! Stay Strong Boston. Follow me on twitter @agent_rupp

Brennen Rupp – Boston Celtics Contributor – TitleTown Sports

Celtics Hire Brad Stevens as New Head Coach

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The Boston Celtics and Brad Stevens have come to an agreement for him to become the 17th head coach of the team. He will be leading the charge as the Celtics embark on their current rebuilding phase.

Stevens is 36 years old, and has served for the past six years as the head coach of Butler University. Along the way he lead the Bulldogs to two national championship games against Connecticut and Duke. He was the youngest coach to reach the Final Four since Bob Knight in 1973.

GM Danny Ainge has released a statement on the hiring of their new head coach.

“Brad and I share a lot of the same values,” said Ainge. “Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic. His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him towards Banner 18.”

Not a huge surprise that the Celtics went with a coach like Stevens, but someone with an impressive resume at his age is a huge pick up, and it is all apart of the Celtics rebuilding the team.

Stevens will be introduced to the media at 11 a.m. on Friday.

 

Mike Molyneaux – Multi Sport Contributor  – TitleTown Sports

Host of “The Jungle” at TitleTown Sports Radio Network

Follow Me @Mr_MikeNice

Rajon Rondo is Ready to Take the Helm of the Celtics

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Over the last couple of weeks, the Boston Celtics have been through many significant changes. Doc Rivers left town, Kevin Garnett and the 15-year Celtic Paul Pierce were traded away, and now instead of easing into it,  the Celtics are in the midst of a full-blown rebuilding phase. And while there may be some uncertainty with the team at the moment, one aspect remains set in stone. This is Rajon Rondo’s team now.

Rondo has been the center of trade talks over the last couple of seasons, and while there are many different reasons as to why his name kept coming up, all that matters is he is still currently a Boston Celtic and will remain that way for the foreseeable future, according to GM Danny Ainge.

The question that was being asked years ago and still is today is when the “Big Three Era” was over, could the Celtics build a contending team around Rondo? Well that time has finally come, and all signs coming from the Celtics organization say they are sticking with their All-Star point guard. There are even reports that say Rondo is on board with the rebuild and he has advice for Danny Ainge on moves to help the roster.

You would think a player like Rondo who has enjoyed playoff runs and contending for titles pretty much since the start of his career, wouldn’t be so quick to jump on board with a rebuilding phase. He might even request a trade into a better situation, but it seems that Rondo is all for taking on the challenge of guiding the new-look Celtics.

He is the perfect player to start to put pieces around, a pass-first point guard. That mentality will help develop any players Ainge puts around him. At the same time, we all know Rondo is capable of putting points on the board himself as well. In the past he has be criticized for looking to assist too much instead trying to score, but now couldn’t be more of a perfect time for him to go on another assist streak.

Help Jeff Green continue to ride the wave from the success he had coming off of last season. Help Jared Sullinger rebuild his confidence on the offense end. Please help remind Avery Bradley of his role as players who can attack the basket. Help the Celtics rebuild and play as a contending team.

Rondo is in full control now, and I get the feeling he likes it a lot. Does he miss his older brothers in KG and Pierce and a head coach like Doc? I fully believe so. But Rondo is an All-Star and when he’s healthy he’s capable of being the top point guard in the league. If he can take charge and lead a rebuilt Celtics team back to being contenders in the Eastern Conference, one day we will be looking up into the rafters and seeing #9 right next to #34.

 

Mike Molyneaux – Multi Sport Contributor  – TitleTown Sports

Host of “The Jungle” at TitleTown Sports Radio Network

Follow Me @Mr_MikeNice

In Ainge we Trust: Free Agency is Among us

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With free agency and the trade rumors flying everywhere the Celtics have been a team that has attracted some attention since they agreed in principle to trade away its two veteran leaders to the Brooklyn Nets for a package of players with expiring contracts and 3 first round draft picks you’d think after this there wouldn’t be much to talk about. Think again Boston has been linked to such names as Josh Smith, Monta Ellis and even for a few seconds Dwight Howard making you think maybe Danny Ainge isn’t thinking rebuild and maybe thinking retool?

After reports surfaced that the Celtics had reached out to the Dwight Howard camp to ask if he had any interest in coming to Boston his response  “no” so the Dwight Howard to the celtics saga lasted a whole 21 hrs. As for Ellis his emergence to Boston is very unlikely to happen with a lot of other teams frankly can financially offer him more and be in contention and not in the middle of a rebuild. That leave good old Josh Smith the high octane power forward who in his time has been considered an elite all star caliber player , sound familiar? But smith has been under the scope with his attitude and leadership skills coming into question am I sounding more familiar to you yet?

Sounds like a familiar borderline perennial all star with a high celling who has been questioned about his ability of leading a team. Fact of the matter is Josh Smith and our own Rajon Rondo are two of if not the exact similar players in the fact of they both have been questioned about their leadership skills and willingness to be the go to guy for their respective teams.

If there is anything id like the Celtics to do this summer is find a way to get Smith here pairing the two high caliber players together would be just what Boston needs to get back on the right track to being a top tier team in the league. Most do not know that Smith and Rondo played together in high school and have had a close relationship since both of their entrances into the league. That same duo could translate into something real serious along with Green Bradley and a mixture of youth and core veterans Boston could be poised for a comeback to the top of the Eastern Conference.

With a new era upon us in the City of Champions and the most storied franchise in NBA history heading into a future that is unknown as a fan id feel more content to have a core of Rondo Smith Green and Bradley rather than tanking this whole season and acquiring nothing but rental players and hoping that you can get a #1 overall pick or at least a top 5 pick. The Celtics either way have an interesting few months ahead of them here with what they will do with everything they receive from the Nets trade and what they will do with their current roster as is it’s shaping up to be a summer for the ages, or a summer that feels like ages.

 

Adam Rioux – Celtics Insider  –  TitleTown Sports

Host of “The Jungle” at TitleTown Sports Radio Network

Celtics and Nets Agree in principle to Block Buster Trade

 

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Within minutes of the second round of the Nba Draft getting under way ESPN’S Chris Broussard has confirmed from multiple sources that the trade we have heard all day between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets has been agreed to in principle on both sides and will be able to be finalized on July 10th when the free agency period begins. With the last trade coming down to the same stages as this it leaves you to wonder the seriousness of it this time? If so this will mark the absolute end of the big three era in Boston with not one remaining member of the big 3 no longer on the Celtics and marking the end of the era that catapulted the Celtics back to an elite team in the League with this trade it is all in for a rebuild and Danny Ainge has made it no secret that he will not do what Red Auerbach did and hold onto his aging stars too long and cripple the franchise for years to come.

Now we are left with the supposedly agreed on trade here which will send The current version of the deal will send Celtics veterans Pierce, Garnett and Jason Terry to Brooklyn in exchange for three future first round picks, Gerald WallaceKris Humphries‘ expiring contract, Reggie Evans, Kris Joseph and do a sign-and-trade with Keith Bogans to finalize the financials of the package. The two teams will also have the option to swap picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. Essentially sending Pierce and Garnett on their way out of Boston and onto a Nets team that will be much improved leaving the celtics ready to get down to a rebuild with the faces of their Franchise chase a championship.

With this deal Danny Ainge again takes a gamble and from the looks of the deal is not clearing any cap space and taking on useless players ,yes we are not looking to pick up guys to compete “now” I know this but to go out and get assets you need worthy pieces to attain them and what Ainge is getting in this trade is nothing of the sorts the Celtics will have one expiring contract of Humphries that’s not really that much and Gerald Wallace is owed $30 million over three years along with Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, and Rajon Rondo is putting you financially right back where the Celtics were yesterday the only enticing offer here is the three first round draft picks and that has some faults to it as well when the Nets acquire Pierce,Garnett and Terry they will automatically bring the Nets to being a contender in the East essentially setting those picks to be hig in the draft order essentially setting you up to draft crappy players.

At the end of the day we knew this day would come and all Celtics fans can say is that it was a fun ride and we got to watch three of the best players in the past 10 years and one of the better coaches as well lead the most storied franchise in the NBA to a title two finals appearances , being in contention every year as a Celtic fan I am blessed and as a writer all I have to say is it’s time, it’s just time to move on.

 

Adam Rioux – Celtics Insider  – TitleTown Sports

Host of “The Jungle” at TitleTown Sports Radio Network