Friday, August 17, 2012

Jason Terry: The Boston Celtics are "going to win again"

Jason Terry, Boston Celtics, Celtics News, State Of The Celtics

Who am I to argue with Jason Terry, the man who got a tattoo of the Larry O'Brien Trophy on his biceps eight months before his team won the actual, real-life Larry O'Brien Trophy?

You could say that Terry got the tattoo back in 2010 as some sort of guarantee that Dallas was going to win the NBA championship that season. In hindsight, it looks pretty good. But I'd like to think of it more as Terry's sign of confidence about what his team had and what he thought they could do with that talent.

Fast forward to the present. Terry is now a member of the Boston Celtics and he has signified what he thinks of his new team by getting a tattoo of Lucky the Leprechaun holding the Larry O'Brien Trophy on his left biceps. According to Terry, he feels that this version of the Celtics is comparable to his title-winning Mavericks team of 2010-11. (Boston Herald)

“I started, well, what happened was, preseason, I felt like, two years ago, before (the Mavericks) won (the NBA title), in preseason I felt like we had the team,” said Terry, who bears a similar trophy tattoo on his right biceps. “I looked at our roster, looked at the players we had, and I just knew. I had the feeling.

“So this year it’s nothing different. After the conversation I had with KG (Kevin Garnett) after I signed with Boston, I felt something and I knew. I knew with the players we had, the roster that Danny Ainge put together, Doc Rivers guiding us, we’re going to win again.”

Terry could quite possibly be the most confident person on the planet, right next to the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man In The World, and it has so much more to do than getting tattoos and talking about how good his team is. You see it every time he steps onto the floor. The man is cold-blooded and without a pulse. He has no fear of taking or missing the big shot. He brings energy and consistency to Boston, a couple of things that Doc Rivers has never simultaneously had in a bench player.

Could the Celtics win another championship this season? Sure. Could Bill Gates knock at my front door later this afternoon and offer me $2 billion? Who knows? Maybe I'd feel a little better about the latter if Jason Terry got a tattoo of me swimming in a pile of cash, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. I love JET's confidence. I love the personality that he brings to this team. More than anything, however, I love the skills and the intangibles that he brings to the court, which are the important things that will help the Celtics in their upcoming run at a title.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jared Sullinger understands his role with the Boston Celtics

Jared Sullinger, Boston Celtics, Celtics News, State Of The Celtics

Jared Sullinger decided to reward those of us who thought that watching the NBA Summer League for two weeks would be riveting television by revealing to us his full arsenal. He showed that his low-post moves and his ability to put the ball in the bucket were suited perfectly for the not-so-bright lights of the Summer League, a league that is notoriously filled with a few first round studs, some first-rounders from previous years that haven't seen enough time in actual NBA games to improve, a couple stiffs that never panned out but are looking to reclaim their "glory days" and a bunch of guys most people haven't heard of. In short, the Summer League is more D-League than NBA.

Sullinger knows this, which is why he isn't getting too high off the fact that he had a fantastic summer. He realizes that he will soon share the court with proven NBA players, players that have won MVP awards, been to All-Star games and won NBA championships. He realizes that his chances of showing off those smooth moves in the post this year will be few and far between, which is why he's already looking for other things to do to help out the Celtics this fall. (CSNNE)

While some rookies enter their first year determined to establish themselves as an offensive presence, the Boston Celtics forward is prepared to make the necessary adjustments to fit into the team’s system.

“As long as we get a number put on to the left side instead of the right side, I’m going to be happy,” Sullinger told CSNNE.com in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

“[The coaches] just said I played really well and there are certain things I’ve got to get better at,” Sullinger said. “Pick-and-roll defense, understanding the offense a little more, understanding that there’s a lot I’m not going to be getting due to having Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo out there on the floor, and obviously Jason Terry. There’s a lot of shots I won’t be normally taking, so I’ve got to get used to it ASAP.”

“I’ve got to find other opportunities to score,” said Sullinger. “Like I tell everybody, rebounding is one of my strong suits of basketball. I’ve got to get ready for rebounding. Hopefully you don’t miss a lot, but if you do, hopefully I’m there to clean it up.”

The Celtics now have a second unit that can actually put the ball in the hoop and aren't reliant on offensive monstrosities such as Ryan Hollins and Sasha Pavlovic to solely be the fourth and fifth guys out on the floor, which means that Sullinger will most definitely be deferring to guys like Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Jeff Green. The good news for Sullinger is that Doc Rivers doesn't want his team to play "hero ball" and the chances of him actually getting some looks in the post should be pretty good. He just won't be the first or second option on his unit.

If Sullinger can prove that he can rebound at this level — something that was questioned due to his lack of height for a big man — he could be a vital member of the C's. Rebounding has been the Achilles' heel of this team since, what seems like, the post-McHale days. The Celtics are far from a big team and -- like I mentioned earlier — they were relying on Ryan Hollins off the bench, partly because they were hoping he could actually rebound.

Sullinger seems to understand his role and what he was brought in to do — initially, at least. He could be one of the centerpieces that this franchise builds around down the road, but for now he's a rookie who has a job to do. He knows that his job doesn't involve shooting repeatedly.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Report: Boston Celtics showing interest in Jared Sullinger


When news broke on Monday that Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger had been medically red-flagged with a back issue, you could pretty much hear the footsteps of numerous NBA executives running away from drafting him. At the same time, you could only imagine the smiles of other team execs sitting outside of the lottery hoping that the All-American falls to them. According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Boston Celtics are one of those teams licking their chops for Sullinger.

Jared Sullinger has been red-flagged by NBA doctors, who cited concerns with his back, and most GMs feel that it will, in fact, cause his draft stock to slide. Sullinger’s lack of overall athleticism already had created some doubts, and perceived medical issues certainly won’t help. That said, the Celtics reportedly wouldn’t mind giving him a shot, and might look to trade up (if necessary) to do so. Right now, they own the Nos. 21 and 22 picks in the first round.

Amico mentions that the last player to get red-flagged before the draft like this was San Antonio's DeJuan Blair, who dropped to the second round, has had little to no issues and has been a contributor to one of the best teams in the NBA since entering the league. I'm not saying that Sullinger is going to end up the same way, but it's just something to think about.

Regardless, Sullinger is someone that Danny Ainge should be looking at and doing so very closely. He's a strong, smart player that has an extremely good post game and has improved his game outside of the paint. He's a good rebounder and a decent defender. He might lack the explosiveness and ridiculous athleticism that guys like Anthony Davis or Thomas Robinson possess, but Sullinger still finds ways to get the job done.

Just about every mock draft had Sullinger going in the top ten before news of his medical issue came out. It's now likely that he'll fall to the second half of the first round, which is exactly what the Celtics would love should Ainge feel that the injury issue isn't that serious and that Sullinger's game would fit with what the Celtics are trying to do. If they wanted to package both the 21st and 22nd picks to move up a few spots and ensure they got him, I'd be okay with that. Although Doc Rivers doesn't normally play rookies significant minutes, Sullinger could be a guy that could come in and make an immediate impact.

(h/t to Celtics Life)

Boston Celtics work out Joey Dorsey

Joey Dorsey, Boston Celtics, Celtics News, State Of The Celtics

According to a report from the Greek website Red Planet, the Boston Celtics brought in power forward Joey Dorsey for a workout. If you love the Greek language and speak/read it consistently, you can go ahead and click on the link to see for yourself. Otherwise, you'll have to take my word for it.

For those of you who forgot, Dorsey was a key contributor to the 2008 Memphis Tigers team, which included the likes of Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts, that destroyed their extraordinarily weak conference competition and glided to a National Championship appearance before the entire team started missing a ton of free throws and eventually lost to Kansas. Then again, it's not that big of a deal if you forgot about it because Memphis has since vacated all of their accomplishments from that season due to Rose's ineligibility, so you really didn't miss anything.

Anyway, that was pretty much the greatest basketball success in the not-so-storied career of Joey Dorsey. Since then, he's played in a grand total of 61 career NBA games with Houston, Sacramento and Toronto — where he accomplished pretty much nothing — and spent this past season in Greece playing for Olympiacos.

If the Celtics decide to bring Dorsey aboard, it will probably only be for insurance purposes. Yes, the guy can rebound, which is the major weakness of this team. Sure, he has a body that I can only dream of having. But he hasn't proven that he can hang with the big boys in the NBA. He's only 6'8", so he'd just be the next undersized big man that Doc Rivers would have to utilize.

Still, he probably wouldn't garner anything more than the league minimum and with Boston's salary cap situation in limbo, it isn't a horrible idea to bring him in and see what he can do.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Report: Boston Celtics considering "strong offer" to Bulls center Omer Asik

Omer Asik, Free Agency, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Celtics News, State Of The Celtics

With the Boston Celtics looking to add size and improve their rebounding this offseason, Sam Smith of Bulls.com is reporting that the C's are going to strongly pursue Chicago's backup center, Omer Asik.

The Celtics are one the teams said to be considering a strong offer to Bulls center Asik. The thinking is it might help them retain Kevin Garnett, who though playing very well at center the second half of the season doesn’t want to return as a center.

While it sounds intriguing, just remember that Asik is a restricted free agent, meaning that the Bulls have the ability to match any offer from any other team in order to retain his services. We also don't know how much money the Celtics will have to play with since the salaries of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen from this season are being held against the salary cap until they sign new deals, retire, etc. Asik is a good defensive center who knows how to grab rebounds, block shots and isn't afraid to get his nose dirty, which is exactly what Boston is looking for from their big men.

Also, I'm not buying Smith's second sentence. I don't think KG's decision will have anything to do with whether or not he gets to go back to playing power forward. Instead, it will have everything to do with whether or not he feels he can compete at the same level he's been used to and his desire to get another ring.

Flip Saunders is "positive" that Kevin Garnett will return to the Boston Celtics

Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics, Celtics News, State Of The Celtics

Former Timberwolves and Wizards coach Flip Saunders, who spent this postseason as a consultant for Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics, seems fairly convinced that Kevin Garnett will be back in Boston next season. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

One reason Rivers brought in Saunders was his great relationship with Kevin Garnett. And Saunders said that KG played like he did with the Wolves in 2003-04, when he was named league MVP.

"I remember when we drafted KG [in 1995], we said to him his first year, we played him as a small forward and I told him you're going to be an All-Pro player as a power forward but you're probably going to end your career as a center," Saunders said. "And with Garnett playing center, the Celtics after the All-Star break had the third-best record in the NBA."

Garnett really showed great strength at center in the postseason, averaging 19.2 points -- his highest playoff average since 2007-08 -- and 10.3 rebounds per game.

Saunders is positive Garnett, who is a free agent, will sign for another year with the Celtics, who have some rebuilding to do.

This is the first hint we've heard from anyone who was with the the Celtics recently about what Garnett might do. It just so happens that the person revealing it has been close to KG since he entered the league and seems to have his love and respect.

Still, this is just another case of the "Boston or bust" mentality that anyone and everyone believes is going through Garnett's head. He's not going to San Antonio or Miami or Los Angeles to play basketball. He might go to Los Angeles to lounge on the beach or play shuffleboard or something if he decides to hang them up, but if he wants to continue playing basketball, he's going to play basketball for Doc Rivers and the Celtics. The more I hear people talk about it, the more I think that KG will be back next season, which differs from my thoughts last week when I was thinking that he was done. So I pretty much have no idea what he's going to do.

By the way, for anyone who thought that the Celtics might try to lure Saunders onto their staff as an assistant coach for next season, he said that he has no interest doing so. Sorry, don't kill the messenger.