Monday, November 29, 2010
Antoine Walker will be signing with The Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League. This will be ‘Toine’s first professional basketball since March when he played in the Puerto Rican League. Antoine put up some decent numbers what didn’t quite look like he was the Walker of old.
After realizing in April that he still has NBA aspirations, Antoine called his former College and NBA coach Rick Pitino to personally work him out. The former Celtic Coach flew the former Celtic Captain down to Louisville and whipped him into shape. In 3 months Antoine worked off 35 pounds and was able to regain some of his game.
Walker is now hoping to get a second shot in the NBA, not only to make money, but to prove that there’s more to his story than lessons learned and punchlines. Antoine has said that he still loves this game and that he has left the game too early. He says that there’s still some game left along with that veteran experience, he could be an asset to a team in Championship Contention.
Friday, November 26, 2010
The Celtics started off hot and opened up a 14 point lead in the first quarter. They did it with explosive alley-oops to both Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O’Neal. Then after dropping to a 4 point lead they picked it back up by forcing TO’s and converting on the other end.
Rajon Rondo got 14 assists in his first game back, but seemed a little rusty as he was charges with 8 turnovers.
Notes: Paul Pierce played in his 900th Regular Season Game
Kevin Garnett had his 7th double-double of the season.
Ray Allen is now 79 Three Pointers from eclipsing Reggie Miller as the All-Time Champ.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Delonte just took a hard fall after a layup in the second quarter, he landed awkwardly on his right wrist. West appeared to be in agonizing pain as he let out a couple grueling screams. No word yet on the injury but it didn’t look to good.
Update: Broken Right Wrist.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Boston beats Atlanta 99-76 and it wasn’t even that close. The Celtics came out with a fire in their eyes and led from start to finish as Atlanta appeared to give up 15 seconds in the game. Paul Pierce hit his first shot of the game, and felt love from the away crowd, that basically summed up the mood of the building.
Shaquille O’Neal had 9 points, 9 rebounds in the first half and Al Horford was shaking his head in dismay. Garnett would perform in similar fashion against Josh Smith hitting 8-10 for 17 points. But the bigs didn’t just show up with points, KG and The Black Tommy Heinsohn would help Boston outbound their counterparts 50 to 30. Replacing Rondo, Nate Robinson would have a double double with 16 points and 10 assists. In response Atlanta’s All-Star Guard Joe Johnson would attempt his patented “everyone look out, i’m scoring” play early and often, the only problem is that he hit only 2 shots all night. Every Celtic player from one through ten did their part in building a lead and keeping it. The Hawks just walked into an ambush.
This win may come as a surprise to some, but i really don’t understand how it could. This Boston team has their eyes set on the finish line, and as a result they have a bad habit of underestimating inferior teams. But no one can doubt that when they’re facing a worthy opponent they can show up and show up big. With losses to Cleveland, Toronto, and Oklahoma without Durant some “experts” will make the mistake of saying that this team is old, or that they can’t keep up with athleticism. That’s just not the case.
Rookie Avery Bradley would make his NBA debut in garbage time scoring 2 points with 1 assist, and 1 rebound.
This is a huge win, and an example of how good this team really is when they actually try. The challenge continues as their next two opponents are the lowly Nets and Raptors. Maybe we can get a few more blowouts, but those huge wins don’t come when you walk in with your swagger in full effect, you still have to put in the effort.
Bill Belichick has shown over the years that his team can morph into whatever type of style it takes to defeat the opponent. From week to week you see completely different offensive strategies in order to combat what Bill views as the opponents fatal flaw. It has worked over the past decade, but you can see evidence in just the past two games alone.
In Pittsburg, The Patriots threw all over the Steelers and as a result it opened up the running lanes. Then at home versus The Colts, Tom Brady handed it off to Green-Ellis. Once the Law Firm proved that he could effectively run all over Dwight Freeney and that undersized front, Tom Brady used play action to nullified their All-Pro Pass Rush. And with that pass rush out of the picture (for the most part) Tommy Terrific threw quite effectively against the Colts’ secondary. He was a Julien Edelman drop away from having 3 TD’s.
Let’s see what Bill has up his sleeve for his Thanksgiving match against the lowly Lions.
Boston once again under estimates it’s opponent despite having to play without their All-Star point guard. Nate Robinson would provide plenty of scoring, but the team as a whole appeared to make no effort in the “hustle play” department. All the numbers show a fairly balanced game in every category but Boston was destroyed on the glass, Bargnani scored at will, and Toronto was twice as aggressive attacking the rim. Boston started off with a lead, turned it into a deficit, and then had to battle just to make it close. Another winnable game that was thrown away due to sleepwalking and missed opportunity.
Hopefully some looking in the mirror will help this team out, because turning that defensive switch on when you need it sometimes doesn’t work. The power has been out for the past to games, and if they perform lackadaisical against the Hawks tomorrow it could end up in a blowout.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Without Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, Boston should be looking at a 20 point blowout at home against The Thunder… right?
Looks like Boston has once again underestimated their opponent and thought they could just show up and win it. But as they learned earlier in the year against Cleveland, that’s not the way this league works. After giving the Thunder life in the first half with poor decisions, weak defense, and silly turnovers, Boston had a hard time shutting them down as they proceeded to hit just about everything. Russell Westbrook, who is known as a weak outside shooter, was hitting everything throughout the first three quarters. Even offensively challenged guys like Serge Ibaka and Royal Ivey got hot when it mattered.
In the fourth quarter Boston fought their way back into it. But with injuries to Rondo, missed free throws, and lack of ball movement, they just couldn’t get over the hump. Delonte would miss a wide open three pointer that would’ve sent the game to over-time, but he’s definitely not to blame with this loss.
Doc would go on to say after the game, “ The basketball gods just aren’t going to let you get a win when you approach the game like we did tonight.”
*Kevin Garnett pulled down just 2 rebounds.
*Ray Allen shot just 3 of 9, including 0 for 2 from deep. (8 points)
Rajon Rondo is listed as day to day with his strained left hamstring.
As strange as it is, most fans will be wishing that New York was as good as they were billed to be. Boston could have a hard time staying aggressive after winning the division by Christmas. Hopefully the Big 10 can sustain that eye of the tiger throughout the whole season. Injuries or not, this team should finish atop The Eastern Conference.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Possession by possession breakdown throughout the first three quarters against Pittsburg.
1st) 3 Yard Run- Ron Brace TKL
2nd) Incomplete Pass- Tipped at the line by Gary Guyton
3rd) Incomplete Pass- Broken up by Kyle Arrinton
1st) 3 Yard Run- Vince Wilfork TKL
2nd) Loss of 3- Jerod Mayo TKL
3rd) 17 Yard completion- James Sanders / Devin McCourty TKL
1st) Incomplete Pass- Bad Throw
2nd) Loss of 10- Garty Guyton SACK
3rd) Loss of 8- Mike Wright/ Shawn Crable SACK
1st) 3 Yard Run- Gary Guyton TKL
2nd) Incomplete Pass- Broken up by Patrick Chung / James Sanders
3rd) 7 Yard Completion- Patrick Chung TKL
1st) 3 Yard Run- Gerard Warren / Jerod Mayo TKL
2nd) 6 Yard Completion- James Sanders /Gary Guyton TKL
3rd) 3 Yard Run- Gary Guyton / Jerod Mayo TKL
1st) Incomplete pass- Devin McCourty Coverage
2nd) Incomplete pass- Devin McCourty Coverage (bad pass)
3rd) Loss of 8- Tully Banta-Cain SACK
1st) 2 Yard Pass- Patrick Chung TKL
2nd) 2 Yard Run- Rob Ninkovich TKL
3rd) 16 Yard Scramble- Patrick Chung TKL
1st) 1 Yard Run- Brandon Spikes TKL
2nd) 25 Yard Run- Brandon Meriweather TKL
1st) 19 Yard Pass- Out of bounds
1st) 3 Yard Run- Brandon Spikes TKL
2nd) Incomplete Pass- Broken up by Kyle Arrington / Brandon Meriweather
3rd) False Start Defense- Jermaine Cunningham
3rd) Incomplete Pass- Patrick Chung Coverage
4th) (Field Goal) – 22 Yards
1st) 3 Yard Run- Devin McCourty TKL
2nd) Illegal Formation Offense
2nd) Incomplete Pass- Sergio Brown Coverage
3rd) Incomplete Pass- Broken up by Devin McCourty
Sixth Possession (PREVENT DEFENSE)
1st) 13 Yard Pass- Jerod Mayo TKL
1st) Incomplete Pass- Thrown Away
2nd) 30 Yard Pass- Sergio Brown TKL
1st) Incomplete Pass- Jerod Mayo Coverage
2nd) Incomplete Pass- Broken up by Aaron Hernandez
1st) 3 Yard Pass- Rob Ninkovich TKL
2nd) Loss of 4- Mike Wright / Jerod Mayo TKL (Patrick Chung Blitz Pressure)
3rd) Loss of 9- Mike Wright SACK
1st) 4 Yard Run- Brandon Meriweather TKL
2nd) 7 Yard Run- Devin McCourty TKL
1st) 10 Yard Pass- Devin McCourty / Jerod Mayo TKL
1st) Defensive Pass Interference (35 Yards) – Brandon Meriweather
1st) 2 Yard Run- Devin McCourty TKL
2nd) Incomplete Pass- Gary Guyton Coverage
3rd) Incomplete Pass- Kyle Arrington Coverage (Bad Pass)
4th) (Missed Field Goal)- 26 Yards
Ninth Possession (Spread Offense from this point forward)
1st) Incomplete Pass- Thrown away
2nd) 20 Yard Pass- Brandon Meriweather TKL
1st) 6 Yard Pass- Patrick Chung TKL
2nd) 10 Yard Pass- Devin McCourty on the force out.
1st) 10 Yard Pass- Devin McCourty TKL
1st) Offsetting Hold Penalties
1st) 18 Yard Pass- Devin McCourty TKL
1st) 16 Yard TOUCHDOWN pass (Score is 23-10 Patriots in the 4th Quarter)
1st) 11 Yard Pass- Kyle Arrington force out
1st) Interception Return for TD- Patrick Chung deflection / James Sanders INT
Monday, November 15, 2010
After a horrific afternoon last week in Cleveland, Rob Gronkowski came into Pittsburg and put on a show. Rob had 5 grabs for 72 yards and 3 TD’s. The Polish Hammer now leads the team in Touchdowns with 6, Welker and Moss have 3 each.
The Patriots successfully protected Tom Brady as the offense ran on all cylinders. Tom was sacked zero times as he put up his best game of the year throwing 30-43 with 350 yards, 3 passing TD’s, and a rushing TD. Ben-Jarvis Green Ellis also successfully ran late against this famed Steeler Defense, Law Firm posted 87 yards on 18 carries.
The Patriots Defense on the other hand were all over Big Ben with 5 sacks on the night, including 2 from Tully Banta-Cain. And if Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t such a house they could have had even more. Also, don’t be fooled by the stats for Pittsburg. The Steelers were throwing against a prevent defense from late 3rd Quarter on, The Patriots dominated this game in every way possible.
*Pat Chung would leave in the 4th Quarter but only after playing another huge game. Pat had 10 tackles, along with some huge hits leading to interceptions and fumbles. Chung’s knee seemed to be acting up throughout the game, but ultimately would keep fighting through it to help his team win.
*James Sanders score on a 32-yard interception return, pass was initially broken up by Chung.
*Wes Welker seemed to be almost back to normal with 8 catches for 89 yards.
*Deion Branch also seemed to be in Championship form with 7 receptions for 71 yards.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
After missing two straight games due to a knee injury, Patrick Chung is still second on the team for individual tackles with 33. The second year safety trails only middle linebacker Jerod Mayo, who is also the NFL Leader with 65 solo’s and 30 assists. Just for conversation’s sake let’s compare Pat’s numbers with some of the elite NFL Safeties:
Player A: 32 Tackles, 12 Assists, 2 INTs, 0 Forced Fumbles, 2 Passes Def.
Player B: 22 Tackles, 4 Assists, 1 INT, 4 Forced Fumbles
Player C: 39 Tackles, 15 Assists, 0 INTs, 0 Forced Fumbles, 3 Passes Def.
Player D: 37 Tackles, 7 Assists, 1 INT, 0 Forced Fumbles, 2 Passes Def.
Player E: 33 Tackles, 14 Assists, 2 INTs, 0 Forced Fumbles, 2 Passes Def.
B: Roman Harper
C: Antoine Bethea
D: Antrel Rolle
E: Pat Chung (has played in 2 less games than the other four players)
Chung can tackle like a linebacker, run like a receiver, can cover like a corner, and is a special teams superstar, he’s a Bill Belichick guy. Despite the fact that he is in only his second year, he is undoubtedly a leader on this defense, the prototypical “Anti-Meriweather”, Chung talks with his performance, makes the smart plays, and can make huge hits without moving the chains for the other team. Start getting used to seeing 25 flying around the field because, along with Mayo, Spikes, and McCourty, he’s going to be here for a while.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Ray Allen scored his age tonight putting in 35 points, including 7-9 from beyond the arc. At one point Reggie Miller stated, “I’m just going to go over to the Celtics’ bench right now and give him my record.”
By the way the MVP-Caliber SG he was guarding went 2-12 with 6 turnovers. Just saying’
(PS Ray is 92 away from being the All-Time 3 point champion)
Monday, November 8, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
We all know the story by now. How the highly regarded Kansas Jayhawk dropped from the top 5 because of drafting for position, player promises, and that old luck of the irish. In head coach/GM Rick Pitino’s four years as Don of The Boston Celtics many would say he only made one good decision, and it couldn’t have been a tough one. Immediately after The 1998 NBA Draft reports were flying out that Boston caught the steal of the draft. Boston was buzzing.
Michael Holly reported:
"Lester Conner, the Celtics' newest assistant coach, had raved about Pierce to Pitino. He told the coach he and Magic Johnson -- who works out with Pierce in Los Angeles -- always said Pierce would be an All-Star. They said Michael Olowokandi, who was taken first by the Clippers, would be a fine pro. But Pierce wouldn't be far behind.”
On February 5th, 1999 --after four months lost to the lockout-- Paul Pierce made his grand debut in Boston. He scored 19 points on 7 for 14 shooting, including 2 for 4 from long distance. The rookie would stuff the line with 9 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 4 blocks. But despite the 21 Year-Old’s effort, Boston was embarrassed in a 11 point loss that was worse than the score would indicate. Vince Carter and The Raptors obliterated Boston on the boards 54 to 27. "I waited seven months for this season to start and I never thought it would get here,” said Pierce "I wish things were a little different, but it is only one game and there are 49 to go.”
Paul’s biggest game as a rookie would come nearly 3 months later. With Antoine Walker out, the rookie led Boston to a victory over the heavily favored Miami Heat. Pierce would lead all scorers with 31 points along with 3 blocks, 2 assists, and 5 boards. Despite being a sub. 500 squad for the year, the Celtics were 3-0 against The Miami Heat. Pat Riley’s team was known for it’s defense, and it’s defense was very good. Out of the 50 games played that year Miami had allowed over 100 points just five times, the top two of those came from Boston. The Celtics weren’t a playoff team, but the seeds were being planted.
After failing to make The Playoffs for the next 2 seasons, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics were starting to make some serious noise, and it was being noticed. Both Pierce and teammate Antoine Walker were selected as 2002 NBA All-Stars --an honor that Celtic Coach Jim O’Brien felt was deserved one year earlier-- nevertheless Paul was very pleased to be with considered among the NBA’s elite. "This is a place where I feel I belong,” Pierce said while addressing the media, “I hope this is just the first of many.”
On May 3rd, 2002 Paul Pierce would lead The Boston Celtics to the first playoff series victory since Larry Bird’s clutch comeback against the Pacers in ’91. Pierce would absolute destroy Allen Iverson and the 76ers to the tune of 46 points on 16 of 25 shooting, including a dazzling 8 of 10 from deep. The Celtics would go on to beat the Detroit Pistons in 5 before losing in the Eastern Conference Finals to Jason Kidd and The Nets. Despite not making The Finals, Boston had made it well beyond expectations. It was clear that Paul Pierce had grown into a superstar, and the 2002 NBA Playoffs cemented it.
Expectations were high going into the 2002 regular season, perhaps a little too high. Despite the presence of All-Stars Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker, Boston lost key veteran contributors like Rodney Rogers, Kenny Anderson, and Erick Strickland. With no real additions O’Brien was forced to spread minutes between a much weaker bench. The 02-03 Celtics were a much slower paced team than the year before, they also shot more three’s at a lesser percentage, simply put Boston just didn’t have the scoring to compete in the Playoffs against New Jersey. They were swept in the second round.
After a first round defeat in 2004, Doc Rivers was called in as Boston’s new head coach. The 04-05 season would see big changes made in Boston’s core. Rookies Al Jefferson and Tony Allen would see minutes along with veteran additions Gary Payton and Raef Lafrentz. Ricky Davis would finally find a home in Boston as he finished as one of the league’s top 6th men. But The Boston Celtics would still ride the back of their captain as Pierce would score 20 or more in 50 games that season, he’d finish with 17 double-doubles, and 2 triple doubles. General Manager Danny Ainge would re-acquire Antoine Walker at the trade deadline in an effort reload for the playoffs. But despite the addition of 3 time All-Star, Boston went on to lose in game 7 at home versus Indiana. The Pacers blew out Boston holding them to 39 percent shooting, It would be Antoine Walker’s last game as a Celtic.
Two years of disappointment would go by for Pierce and The Celtics. The combination of injuries and lack of experience would equal out to 57 wins over 2 seasons, Paul Pierce was starting to get sick of losing. After failing to get the #1 overall pick in 2007 the city of Boston was beginning to lose hope with it’s legendary franchise, but after a couple draft day trades Danny Ainge turned around the Celtics fortunes. Boston was buzzing again. The arrival of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett turned the Celtics into an instant contender, and Paul Pierce couldn’t have been happier.
The 2007 Celtics would complete the best turnaround in NBA history, going from 22 wins to 66 gave them the league’s best record. Paul Pierce was happy again, and despite sharing the rock, he still right at 20 points per game. In February ’08 The Celtics sent three players to the All-Star Game for the first time since Bird, McHale, and Parish in 1991. But the real fun would start in the playoffs.
On May 18th Paul Pierce would reintroduce his dominance to the NBA Playoffs. It’s game 7, in Boston, with one of the games best scorers lining up against him. Unlike Iverson’s 76ers six years prior, Lebron would compete. Paul and James would match each other shot for shot and it was close down the stretch, but with Pierce at the line late in the fourth quarter he’d clinch the game and his 2nd trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
After defeating Detroit, Pierce would finally make it to The NBA Finals. Facing the team he grew up loving, Paul would unleash his fury upon Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Averaging 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists per game, he would lead Boston to victory in only 6 games, including a comeback win from 24 points down. Following the 131-92 game 6 massacre, Paul Pierce would be name MVP of the 2008 NBA Finals. In his speech he would appear extremely emotional, shouting out to the city of Boston for sticking with him through all the hard times, “10 long years, blood, sweat, and tears!”
Over the past 3 seasons Boston has continued to be ranked as one of the leagues major contenders. With Paul’s 20,000th point on Wednesday night he would prove what was already known by most, The Truth is one of the greatest players in The Boston Celtics storied history. At 33 years old Pierce appears to be in the best shape in years, and with Rajon Rondo breaking assist records he’s getting more open looks than he’s ever seen. In all likelihood Paul will be selected to his 9th All-Star selection, and as he said back in ’02, that’s a place where he feels he belongs.
If all goes according to plan Paul Pierce will retire his #34 jersey in 2014. By that time he should be somewhere around 25,000 points, putting him as one of the league’s top 15 scorers… not bad for a kid that barely got picked in the top 10 of his draft.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Said Garnett to Villanueva,
“I am aware there was a major miscommunication regarding something I said on the court last night. My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact ‘You are cancerous to your team and our league.’ I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball."
KG has been known to talk more trash than anyone, but is this a little too far?
Via Charlie V’s Twitter:
Maybe he’s gone a little too far, and perhaps Charlie deserves an apology. But isn’t this the stuff that we’re not supposed to hear? Does anyone really think that Garnett is the only player who crosses the line? No players have ever made a joke about Glen Davis’ weight? Nobody dropped a line to Tony Parker about his wife? Not a single player has brought up Kobe’s bogus rape accusations? I’m not condoning what KG supposedly said, but maybe Charlie Villanueva is opening up a can of worms… what if all our favorite players are really just grown up bullies?