Saturday, August 31, 2013

Reliving the 2002 Playoffs: The Emergence of a Superstar

In the the early 2000's in the NBA, it was no secret that the West was clearly the more dominant conference. Shaq and Kobe in LA, Duncan and Robinson in San Antonio, along with extremely talented teams in Portland, Sacramento, and Houston, it was clear that the NBA Champion was coming from that side of the country. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pierce believes Rondo can lead Celtics into next Era

Rajon Rondo's season ending ACL injury was the beginning of the end. Celtics struggled without its point guard in the playoffs, and lost in the first round of the to the New York Knicks. The offense struggled and it was evident that the team missed Rondo.

Then, it all came down. Doc Rivers headed out to Los Angeles to coach the Clippers. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry were traded to the Brooklyn Nets, ultimately leaving Rondo as the lone all-star in Boston.

Many have questioned Rondo's leadership in the past. There have been rumors that he had problems with Rivers and ex-teammate Ray Allen. Some reports say that the problems nearly escalated to a physical altercation in both instances and that Rivers wasn't excited about rebuilding around Rondo.

While many consider Rondo to be a headcase, his ex-teammate Paul Pierce says Rondo is up for the task of leading the Celtics into the next era. He recently told the Boston Globe that he has no doubts in Rondo and thinks he will surprise his critics.
"Without question [Rondo can be the man in Boston]," Pierce said. "I've already talked to Rajon; Rojon's mature. People talk about the relationship he had with Doc [Rivers], and they probably had their best years over the last two years. So I don't think that was a reason for Doc leaving. I've heard that, but that wasn't a reason for Doc not coming back" [Boston Globe]
It wouldn't mean much for Pierce to say these comment if he were still in Boston. As the captain you're suppose to defend your teammates, but he's a Net now and is still defending Rondo. Pierce not only cosigned his former point guard, he added some praise.
"Rondo is one of the best players in the league," Pierce said. "He's a guy who can be the face of a franchise. He's won a championship, he's been an All-Star. There's a lot of organizations who don't even have a face of that caliber. I definitely think the's matured and can handle a lot. I talked to him and he's ready for the challenge. He knows that it's his team. He knows he has to be a leader, and from being around me and Kevin [Garnett] and seeing how we work" [Boston Globe] 

With Pierce and Garnett gone, Rondo will have to not only assist but score too. Pierce went on to say that Rondo needs help from his teammates whom will have to fill the empty void of Pierce and Garnett.
"Rondo's got to understand he's got to put responsibility on some of the other guys," Pierce said. "Maybe like a Brandon Bass or some of the older players. It's hard when it comes from just one guy. There's got to be other guys who command respect on the team, that help out with that role" [Boston Globe]
Although these comments from Pierce breathes a little hope for Boston's only point guard, the bigger question may be how will he return from his ACL injury.

No one knows for sure if Rondo will be himself when he returns to the floor. In the past there have been athletes that come back from an ACL injury but few return at a high caliber. Celtics hope its point guard will be the triple-double machine he was when he was healthy. And if he does make a great comeback, and becomes a great leader we will remember who told us so.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Paul Pierce: A Loyal Celtic, underrated player

In 2002, Paul Pierce and the Celtics were two wins away from making the NBA Finals. It took the Celtics six years to make it to the NBA Finals after its deep run in 2002, making it that much sweeter for captain Pierce who stuck with his team through the tough times and never left. He never even talked about leaving.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tribute to 'The Truth': The Early Years

In the 1998 NBA Draft the Boston Celtics landed Paul Pierce with the 10th overall pick in the draft. I was 10 years old when they drafted 'The Truth. Understandably so, I was absolutely overtaken by Jordan Mania prior too the 1999 lockout shortened season, and was crushed by the retirement of the Greatest Player of All Time. It didn't take very long for me to latch on to Pierce as as a preteen NBA junkie, and soon the posters of MJ were soon replaced with ones of 'The Truth'.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Walter McCarty added to Brad Stevens' coaching staff

Former Celtic Walter McCarty is the latest assistant coach to be added to Brad Stevens' coaching staff.

After reports that the Celtics were deciding between McCarty and former Celtic James Posey for a spot on the bench alongside Stevens, Celtics announced Wednesday afternoon that they've decided to add WALTAH. McCarty was an assistant coach for the Pacers in 2010 but was let go the following season when Fran Vogel took over as head coach.

Also joining the team are Ron Adams and Micah Shrewsberry.

Adams was an assistant coach for the Bulls for the last three seasons. He helped former Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau in Chicago and hopes to be an asset for Stevens this upcoming season. Shrewsberry spent three seasons as an assistant at Purdue and worked with Stevens at Butler.

McCarty played eight seasons for the Celtics. He retired in 2006 after playing 10 seasons in the NBA.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Paul Pierce Tribute

I was born on July 12th 1989. I'm 24 years old. I have no memories of the Boston Celtics that do not revolve around Paul Pierce. A lifelong Celtics fan, I have little to no recollection of watching or rooting for a Celtics team that did not include # 34.

That may be why I developed such an emotional attachment to Pierce. Growing up watching him, having him be the driving force behind my own desire to play basketball, and effectively bearing witness to his entire career (both the ups and downs)- all of those factors combined made his recent trade to the Nets the most painful departure of a Boston athlete I have ever endured.

Many older Boston sports fans claim that my generation is spoiled, and they are probably right. I have experienced the Golden Era of sports in this city right in the prime of my life, 18-25, and I'm really lucky for that. That being said, there have been some painful moments in that era. Paul Pierce leaving the Celtics sticks out to me as the most difficult to process.

I don't know how to feel about the Celtics anymore. Their championship season was one of the most thrilling things I've ever been a part of- and the culmination of an improbable run brilliantly crafted by Danny Ainge, directed by Doc Rivers, and executed by the Big 3. But Pierce was the leader, the driving force of that team, the NBA Finals MVP.

But all that is foreign now. The Celtics as we know them have been demolished, Rajon Rondo being the only pillar of the past that remains. Around him is just rubble, with the earliest stages of rebuilding set to begin next season. But nothing can erase what Paul Pierce did for the franchise.

He is one greatest to ever don Celtic green, and is a lock for the Hall of Fame. It will be difficult for me to watch the Celtics as they are currently constructed, but the most difficult adjustment will undoubtedly be the absence of Pierce.

I am an unabashed Celtics homer, and Pierce is without a doubt my favorite player of all time. Yes, I have a sentimental connection to him as a player, but I think he deserves recoginition as one of the all-time great offensive players in the NBA.

Thank you Paul, for everything.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Paul Pierce to skip Celtics-Nets preseason game at TD Garden

When the Brooklyn Nets come into town to face the Celtics, one of its newest members of the squad will not be suiting up to play his former team.

Future hall-of-famer Paul Pierce told ESPN NY Radio that he will skip the preseason showdown at TD Garden and will only suit up in Boston during the regular season.
"I'll (visit the TD Garden) just one time next year," Pierce said Thursday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's The Michael Kay Show.
Not sure if Pierce noticed when he looked at the schedule but um, he's slated to come to Boston two times next season, once on Jan. 26 and again on Mar. 7.
"You just want to get (the emotions) out of the way. When you gotta go through something tough, I've always been a guy that just wants to get it out of the way. It's gonna be in the back of my mind," Pierce said. 
Moving on from Boston, Pierce also talked about the Knicks and his dislike towards them. He also went on to say that, get ready Celtics fans, he said this Brooklyn team's the most talented he's ever played for.
"What team in the NBA can say they can put a starting five out there with all the guys have been all-stars?" Pierce said. "That's tough. It's definitely the most talented team, but come the end of the year -- June, July -- when I'm out there on the beach, I want to say this is the best team I've ever played on, and the only way we can do that is to win a championship." 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Celtics 2013-14 Regular Season Schedule

2013-14 Celtics Regular Season Schedule

30th @ Raptors

1st Bucks 
3rd @ Pistons 
4th @ Grizzlies 
6th Jazz
8th @ Magic
9th @ Heat 
11th Magic
13th Bobcats 
15th Trail Blazers 
16th @ Timberwolves 
19th @ Rockets 
20th @Spurs 
22nd Pacers 
23rd @ Hawks 
25th @ Bobcats 
27th Grizzlies 
29th Cavaliers
30th @ Bucks 

3rd Bucks 
6th Nuggets (ESPN)
8th @ Knicks 
10th @ Nets 
11th Clippers 
13th Knicks 
16th Timberwolves (NBATV)
18th Pistons 
21st Wizars
22nd @ Pistons 
28th Cavaliers 
31st Hawks

2nd @ Bulls
3rd Pelicans
5th @ Thunder 
7th @ Nuggets 
8th @ Clippers 
10th @ Warriors 
11th @ Trailblazers 
13th Rockets 
15th Raptors 
17th Lakers 
19th @ Magic
21st @ Heat
22nd @ Wizards 
24th Thunder
26th Nets (ESPN)
28th @ Knicks
29th 76ers 

2nd Magic 
5th @ 76ers 
7th Kings 
9th Mavs (NBATV)
10th @ Bucks 
12th Spurs
19th @ Suns 
21st @ Lakers (ESPN)
22nd @ Kings 
24th @ Jazz
26th Hawks

1st Pacers 
5th Warriors 
7th Nets 
9th Pistons (NBATV)
11th @ Pacers 
12th Knicks
14th Suns
16th @ Pelicans 
17th @ Mavs 
19th Heat 
21st @ Nets 
26th Raptors 
28th @ Raptors 
30th Bulls 
31st @ Bulls

2nd @ Wizards
4th 76ers 
5th @ Pistons 
9th @ Hawks
11th Bobcats 
12th @ Cavaliers 
14th @ 76ers
16th Wizards