I was talking to Lex the other day about Celtics books and the books we were reading. I love reading about the history of the Celtics. There's so many great stories that both players and coaches have to tell. One day I'll probably run out of books to read and then, I'll just have to start over again. I have a whole bookshelf dedicated to books on the Celtics and their history. Training camp is awhile yet and we are getting into the slow part of the offseason and this would be a great time for Celtics fans to dig into a few good books on the Celtics. Many of these give you a background glimpse of the franchise and players you couldn't get otherwise. Here are a few that I have read and recommend. Learning about the history of the Celtics and the players is a great way to fill in the time until training camp.
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY by Red Auerbach and John Feinstein, Little, Brown and Company; 2004.
In more than 50 years with the green team, Auerbach collected countless friends, admirers and stories. At 86, when he wrote this book, he had forgotten nothing and had an opinion on everything. These great stories make this book so fascinating to read that you can almost hear Red reciting them and smell him lighting up that famous cigar.
DYNASTY’S END – Bill Russell and the 1968-69 World Champion Boston Celtics by Thomas J. Whelan, Northeastern University Press; 2004.
Thomas J. Whalen chronicles Bill Russell's memorable last season and the Celtics' incredible triumph. Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1960s and Boston's own turbulent and bitter struggles with race, he tells the fascinating story of how an improbable championship team overcame poor health, indifferent fans, disruptive personnel changes, and internal morale problems. Whalen recounts how Russell transformed the game of basketball during his remarkable career and revisits the outspoken superstar's conflicted relationship with Boston. He also tells why the Celtics, the first team to break several NBA color lines, failed to attract a loyal following among the city's largely white sports fanatics and press corps. This book is very special to me since it was this team that won me over as a lifetime Celtics' fan.
Jessica Camerato has a great interview with Celtics rookie, Jared Sullinger in her Beyond the Arc series over on CSNNE. In the interview he reveals that Craig Brackens gave him the nickname "Smokey the Swag Bear" during Summer League. He's not really sure where that name came from but seems to like it, and would name his signature shoes Swag Bears. Not sure if the nickname will stick, but Swag Bear seems like a really cool nickname that might hang around.
Another thing that stood out to me in the interview was this quote.
“You’ve got to hate losing more than you love winning,” he said. “So that’s the motto that I live by.”
I can see that he and KG will get along just fine as KG hates losing more than just about anything also. Now would be a good time to watch this I Hate to Lose KG mix and remember that no matter who else the Celtics signed this season, KG is the heart of this team. And.... he hates to lose!
First of all, I think it bears repeating that the Celtics have 22 back to backs this season. Eighteen of those back to backs end up on the road. That wouldn't be so bad in itself if it wasn't for the fact that it seems rather unbalanced when I counted the back to backs for other contenders. the Heat have 16, the Lakers have 16, the Thunder have 15, the Spurs have 16, the Knicks have 19. Only the Nets, among the top teams, matches the Celtics at 22.
Both of the Celtics games vs the Lakers are the second game of back to backs. There is a home and home vs Philadelphia. Their game at San Antonio is the second of a back to back set. The Celtics' two road games vs Atlanta are the second of back to backs. Other than that, the teams the Celtics face on the back side of the sets are WAS, MIL, BKN, DET, CLE, SAC, CHA, UTA, IND, MEM, MIN, and ORL.
Last year, back to backs were very tough and usually meant a guaranteed loss, especially on the road. This year, though, the Celtics are a much deeper team. And, more importantly, they are a much younger team. Doc can afford to limit minutes for the older players (Pierce, KG, and Jet) and still expect to win games. The Celtics should be able to win a majority of these games in spite of them being back to backs. It still doesn't sit right that the number of back to back sets for the Celtics is at least 6 more than the other title contenders, though. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
In looking at this season's schedule, the first thing I did was to circle a few dates of key matchups. Of course, there is the Celtics at Heat opener at 8:00 PM on TNT. Ray's first visit back to Boston will be on January 27. Miami visits the Garden again on March 18 and the Celtics finish the series at Miami on April 12.
Perk and the Thunder visit Boston on November 23 and The Celtics with Jeff Green visit OKC on March 10. The Celtics and Lakers clash in Boston on February 7 and in LA on February 20. Jason Terry's first trip back to Dallas will be on March 22. Dallas visits Boston on December 12.
December seems to be the Celtics toughest month. They have 9 games on the road vs 5 games at home during that month. They also have 4 back to back sets. Speaking of back to back sets. The Celtics have a total of 22 this season, 18 of which close out on the road. On the other hand, the Heat have 16, the Lakers have 16, the Thunder have 15, the Spurs have 16. Doesn't seem fair, does it? But the Celtics will be much younger this season and should be able to handle back to back games better than they could in the past. The back to backs are spread out with 4 each in November, December, February, and March and 2 each in January and April. Three of their last 4 games are on the road including the final game vs Miami. The last 2 games are the final set of back to back games.
The Celtics will be on National TV 26 times total this season. 8 games will be on TNT. 9 games will be on ESPN. 7 games will be on NBA TV. 2 games will be on ABC. By comparison, Miami will be on National TV 31 times. The Celtics will be on ESPN on Christmas Day with a game vs the Nets at noon to start a full day of games. A fun note is that both the Lakers and Clippers are playing on Christmas Day. Lakers play at 3:00 ET and Clippers at 10:30 and in between there are going to be some very busy people switching out the floor.
The Celtics West Coast swings will be a 3 game trip through California (LAC, GSW and SAC) from December 27-30 and a 5 game trip including DEN, LAL, PHX, POR, and UTA from February 19-25.
They had Jason Terry on the NBA-TV schedule talking about playing for the Celtics and what he's doing in the offseason to get ready. He sounds really excited to be a Celtic and he also talked about the unique new tattoo he's planning to unveil in Training Camp. Some really good stuff!! You can listen to the interview HERE.
A.Sherrod Blakely has a good piece over on CSNNE about Danny's thoughts on the current roster and what may or may not be his next move. Both Doc and Danny have expressed how happy they are with the current Celtics roster. Danny has gotten kudos from all over on the job he has done this offseason. But Trader Danny is never completely satisfied.
"I'm always looking for ways to improve the team," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "I like our team; I like our guys. But I'm always looking. You're never going to hear me say, 'I'm done.' Because you never know what may open up down the road or in the near future. I'm not desperately looking (to add players). It's going to be tough to find players I want more than the players I have. But I'll always keep an eye on what's out there, for sure."
Once Jeff Green signs, the Celtics will have 16 players signed. Doc and Danny will, at least, need to decide on which player(s) gets cut. The choice is likely to come down to one or two of the non-guaranteed contracts that currently belong to Jamar Smith, Dionte Christmas, and Kris Joseph. Smith appears to be the odd man out in that group.
The Celtics may also sign a camp invite or two to foster more competition, but there is going to be fierce competition as it is with 3 players vying for one or 2 positions and players working for a starting spot. Danny's also always on the lookout for a player who becomes available through buyout or who is waived. He can never pass up a good deal. On another subject, is it me, or has Danny really aged since he took this job?
We are approaching the slow, slower and slowest times for the NBA. Most of the big moves have already been made. Training camp is a couple months away. For the next couple of weeks, we'll have the Olympics to keep us busy. Then it will be quiet. But, it seems that we will always have Dwight Howard to fall back on.
This is the story that never seems to end. First, he wanted a trade. Then he didn't want a trade. Then he did want a trade. Then he decided he was a loyal guy and he picked up his option for next year with Orlando. And all of us thought that the drama was over. We could only be so lucky.
Next thing we knew, Stan Van Gundy was spouting off at a press conference about how Dwight wanted him fired and Dwight coming in with a Judas-like embrace saying it wasn't true. But, Stan was fired and so was GM Otis Smith. And once again, we all thought that Dwight would be happy with his lot in Orlando. Not so fast. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
In a basketball game, two factors determine who wins: how many points you score and how many points the other team scores. In an era when it's easier to score than to defend, a guy who can stop the other team from scoring is often more valuable than someone who can put the ball in the basket. Danny made that decision last season and reinforced it in the off season.
My favorite scene in a movie comes from "The Air Up There" where Kevin Bacon plays a coach who goes to Africa to recruit a player for his team. While there he ends up teaching a group of natives how to play basketball. In explaining the importance of playing defense, he tells them, "Defense is more important than breathing!" at which point one player holds his breath until he falls over. I just love that scene. But, there is a lot of truth to that phrase as well. The old saying goes that offense sells tickets and defense wins championships. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
As I've said before, I let my Insider subscription lapse last season because I was really upset with the NBA for the lockout and all of the games they were playing. But this year, I'm very excited about the roster Danny has put together and re-upped my subscription to Insider and I'm glad I did. There are great tidbits about the Celtics like the one I found in David Thorpe's article on the Summer League Rookies.
David Thorpe is well respected around NBA circles. He is the Executive Director of the Pro Training Center in Clearwater, Florida and also works for Scouts, Inc. At his Pro Training Center he has helped to train pro athletes including Udonis Haslem, Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee, Luol Deng, Jrue Holiday, Joakim Noah and many more. In his article on the rookies in Summer League, he breaks the rookies into 4 groups: Rookie of the Year challengers (The players who will give Anthony Davis a run for his money), The disappointments (Players who will get lots of playing time despite what they did in Vegas), Next in line (NBA rotation players, sooner rather than later), and Biggest surprises (Might not make rotations soon, but showed real potential). Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
When last we saw Avery Bradley, he was leaving the court in agony after injuring his shoulder for the umpteenth time last season. Over the offseason he has had surgery on both shoulders to not only repair the damage, but to insure that this doesn't happen again.
CSNNE reports that since the surgeries, Bradley has regained some of the range of motion that he lost with the injuries to his shoulders during the season. He doesn't, however, have any timetable as to when he will return to the court.
"I don't know anything," Bradley told CSNNE.com in a phone interview. "They just want me to get healthy. That's all they really tell me. They don't really give me time frames."
Here's Danny Ainge's thoughts on Bradley's return:
"We know there's a possibility that Avery won't be able to play the first month of the season," Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com. "So we have to be prepared for that. You never know how these things play out; will it be a month? Or two months? I don't think it'll be much longer than that, or he could be back sooner. You try to build a roster where you can get by with any injury, that can sustain you through a short period of time."
Even with the loss of Ray Allen, the Celtics are very strong at the 2. In Courtney Lee and Jason Terry, the Celtics have two quality players who can not only fill in for Avery, but challenge him for his spot in the starting lineup. They also have Dionte Christmas and Keyon Dooling who can also play the position and give the Celtics good minutes off the bench. My guess is that, with competition for his spot very stiff, Avery will be back sooner, rather than later.
[Discuss on CG Forums!] Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
I love that Jared is excited by being a Celtic and said that if he had it to do over again, he would want to end up with the Celtics. Being Green is so much better than being in the green room. One is a lifetime. The other is just a brief moment in time. As the Celtics' patriarch, Red Auerbach, said: "The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life." Welcome to the Boston Celtics Jared!!!
And from Courtney Lee, he picked number 11, which isn't a surprise, since he wore 11 in Orlando. Very classy move to wear 11 in honor of his friend. He wore #5 in Houston, but that's kind of busy right now.
Just picked out my jersey# seen 11 was available so had to get. Was one of my bestfriends jersey # that passed away. R.I.P Danny Rumph🏀👼🙏
And my personal favorite comes from Fab Melo. This is an older tweet but I love it. When a girl wearing a Heat jersey wanted to be his fan because they share the same last name, Fab set her straight. Ray could learn a lesson from Fab - the Heat are the enemy.
@Anais_Awkk yea it is and u can't be my fan with a heat jersey.
The Rockets have announced the signing of Omer Asik on NBA.com. As almost an afterthought, at the very bottom of the article is this little tidbit.
In a non-related move, the Rockets also announced that the team has waived guard E’Twaun Moore.
I feel bad for E'Twaun. Everything seemed to be going his way. He was playing very well in Summer League and had expressed his optimism that he would win a spot on the roster. After all, he was impressing everyone with his ability to run the team and also to score the ball. Then in one moment, while he was standing on the court waiting for the team to warm up for a game, it all came crashing down. He was told that he wouldn't be playing as he was just traded to Houston.
As if that wasn't bad enough, he then had to learn that the Rockets didn't even want him and now he's a free agent in search of a team. There have been reports that former Celtics assistant and current Bulls coach, Tom Thibodeau is very much interested in signing Moore. I really hope he does because Moore deserves better than to be cast aside and forgotten. He averaged 12.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in his 5 games in Orlando and then did even better, averaging 17.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in two games in Las Vegas. That deserves a shot on a team. Hopefully the Bulls, or some team, gives it to him.
In a press release, the NBA has announced that the schedule for the 2012-13 season will be released tomorrow night at 7:00 PM ET with a one hour special on NBA-TV.
NBA TV's NBA 2012-13 Schedule Release Special will exclusively announce the 2012-13 NBA regular season schedule on Thursday, July 26, at 7 p.m. ET. The one-hour show will highlight the season's most-anticipated games including those scheduled for Kia NBA Tip-Off '12 (the opening week of the season), Christmas Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The show will offer immediate reaction to those matchups and many other marquee games and top storylines for the upcoming season.
We already know from a leak in the Sun Sentinel that the Celtics will visit Miami on opening night. Will the Celtics play on Christmas or on Super Bowl Sunday? When will the Celtics face the Lakers? When will Ray Allen's first visit to Boston be? When will the Celtics meed up with Perk and the Thunder? All these are games I'm going to circle on the calendar. One thing I'm happy about is that hopefully we won't see back to back to back games on the schedule this season.
Chad Ford has posted his grades for all 30 teams on ESPN's Insider. I dropped my subscription to Insider last season because I was just so disgusted with the NBA and the games they were playing with the lockout, etc. I really didn't feel like even writing that much. Now, I'm re-energized about the Celtics this season and I'm ready to go.
Chad Ford hasn't always been very pro-Celtics in the past but he likes what Danny did this offseason and gave him a grade of A for his roster moves. He didn't give A's out freely, either. Only the New Orleans Hornets scored better with an A+ for their big draft and luring Ryan Anderson away from the Magic. The Lakers were also given an A for their big score of Steve Nash. The Heat were given an A- for coming up with Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
Seven teams (Hawks, Nets, Mavs, Nuggets, Warriors, Jazz and Wizards) came close with a B+ grade for their moves. The Magic were the only team to net an F because of the Dwight Howard mess and losing Ryan Anderson in particular. The Bulls was another team that came close to flunking out with a D+. The Rockets received the only incomplete since they obviously have an endgame with all their moves but aren't there yet.
Here's what's impressive about Ainge's moves the past few years. He has maintained his veteran core while still putting in place a group of young players -- Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Green, Lee, Sullinger and Melo -- that could become the core of the future.
Few teams have the opportunity and ability to eat their cake and have it too. Ainge has found a way.
And now, as Ford notes, it's time to stop talking about the Celtics closing window. It appears wide open to me.
Now that the dust has settled on Danny's roster moves and signings, it's time to take a look at the state of the Celtics, where the roster stands and where they stand in regard to the salary cap and payroll. First, salary cap is set at $58,044,000 this season. The tax threshold is $70,307,000 and the Celtics must stay within $4 million of that threshold in order to use the $5 million MLE to sign Jason Terry. So, in effect, the Celtics have a hard cap of $74,307,000 that they must stay below.
Now, let's take a look at the Celtics roster and salary for 2012-13. With the signing of Keyon Dooling today, the Celtics now have 16 players on the roster. This includes 3 non-guaranteed contracts. Second round draft pick was signed to a 2 year non-guaranteed contract at the rookie minimum. Dionte Christmas also was signed to a 2 year contract at the rookie minimum but reports are that his is partially guaranteed. Finally, Jamar Smith has a 1 year non-guaranteed contract at the rookie minimum. Here is a run down of the salaries on the Celtics books as of now for the 2012-13 season. The numbers for the new signees are estimates as the exact numbers haven't been released as yet. Also, the Celtics are only responsible for $854,389 of each vet minimum contract. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
The Celtics owned Dooling's rights, but will re-sign him at a one-year, minimum deal. Dooling, who will earn $1.35 million (of which the Celtics are responsible for only $854,389) is taking a pay cut (he made $2.2 million last season), but clearly enjoyed his time in Boston and wants to be part of another title quest.
Again, the value of Keyon Dooling can not be underestimated for his locker room presence and his ability to continue to mentor Rajon Rondo. Chris also reminds us of his ML Carr level of support on the sidelines when he and fellow reserve Marquis Daniels started the Flexing craze where the players on the sidelines enthusiastically pumped their fists to celebrate their teammates play on the court.
Keyon wasn't near as vocal as Pietrus about wanting to come back but his actions, in signing for the vet minimum speak louder than words. Welcome back Keyon!!!
Keyon Dooling has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Celtics, per a league source.
— Paul Flannery (@Pflanns) July 24, 2012
According to Paul Flannery on Twitter, the Celtics have re-signed Keyon Dooling to a one year deal, most likely at the vet minimum. This makes a lot of sense. Although Jason Terry can play some point on the second unit, this gives the Celtics a second pure point guard as insurance against possible injuries.
Also, Dooling is a great locker room guy. He occupied the locker next to Rondo last season and the two bonded as Dooling took the younger point guard under his wing. Perhaps Dooling's influence helped in Rondo's maturation process. Speaking fluent Rondo is a rare trait and Dooling seems to have it down. Solid signing and should pay dividends both on and off the court.
Mickael Pietrus often stated his feelings about the Celtics over the course of the season. He loved being a Celtic. After the season, he expressed his desire to return and said he wanted to help raise Banner 18. But it appears that he only wants to come back if he gets well paid to do so.
According to a report on WEEI's Green Street, Pietrus' agent, Bill McCandless, has stated that he won't play for the veteran's minimum.
“MP will not play for the veteran’s minimum. Period,” said McCandless. “It’s not happening. That’s the beginning, middle and end of that. … He is not a veteran’s minimum player. There’s no chance he’ll ever sign for that.”
McCandless also stated that he's gotten several offers of the vet minimum for his client as well as an offer overseas for 3 times that and offers from other teams as well. With the Celtics edging closer to that tax threshold that they must stay under, it appears as though Peaches' happy time in Boston must come to an end. It may be that this is agent speak and maybe Mickael will overrule his agent and sign for the vet minimum in the end, but it doesn't seem likely at this point.
The Celtics do have the bi-annual exception but only being able to use that every other year, and the possibility of needing that to pick up a waived player who could put them over the top, it might be smart to hang onto it. Pietrus signed with the Celtics for the vet minimum last season, but he had just been bought out of his contract with the Suns and was paid over $4 million by them last season.
He had also been turned away by the Raptors because of concerns about his surgically repaired knee that was still not healed. The knee did limit him to 42 games last season and affected his play in the playoffs. He also underwent another surgery on his knee after the season so once again, his health will be a question mark. But, even with that, if he has offers over and above what the Celtics feel they can offer, he may have to leave the team he loved last year for greener (no pun intended) pastures elsewhere.
I"m very grateful to the Celtics and the City of Boston, but I'm very excited to be the newest member of the Minnesota Timberwolves!
— Greg Stiemsma (@gregstiemsma) July 24, 2012
Greg Stiemsma had bounced around between Europe and the D-League before getting his big chance in the NBA with the Celtics. In 2008, he played in Turkey. In 2009 he played in Korea. Between 2009 and 2001, Stiemsma bounced around between the Dakota Sky Force, a couple of 10 day contracts with Cleveland and Minnesota, and Turkey. He finally landed with the Celtics in 2011 on a rookie minimum contract. In his Celtics debut, he recorded 2 points, 6 blocks, and 4 rebounds. His 6 blocks was a Celtics franchise record for a player's debut. In February, the Celtics guaranteed his contract for the rest of the season. He even got a contract with Nike out of his success in Boston.
Now, the Wolves, who had signed him to a contract in April of 2010 and then waived him in September without playing in a single game, want him back and signed him to a 1 year contract at $3 million, just enough that the Celtics couldn't match. Greg, for his part, is happy to be closer to home, and I'm sure he's happy with the extra money. But he is thankful for the Celtics for giving him his big chance to make it in the NBA. While it would have been nice to have him back in Boston, I wish him the best. Maybe after a year with the Wolves, he'll relish the chance to come back to Boston for more tutelage from KG.
Since learning that the Celtics will open in Miami this season, I've been thinking about how awkward this will be for Ray Allen. Picture the Heat players all lined up and each one going up for his ring. And there is Ray. He was on the team that Miami had to beat to get to the Finals. His team certainly had reason to believe that the officiating had something to do with their loss. They also have good reason to believe that Ray himself had something to do with their loss.
Over the course of the 2011-12 season, Ray shot 46% from the field and 45% from beyond the arc. That kind of shooting makes up for Ray's usual shortcomings on defense. However, in the ECF vs Miami, Ray shot just 37% from the field and 35% from beyond the arc, while being an even bigger liability on defense than usual. His free throw percentage was down from a career 91.5% to 71% in the playoffs. In spite of this, the Celtics took Miami to 7 hard fought games. Maybe the Heat should give Ray a thank you note when they give out the rings.
So back to the awkwardness of the moment. There is Ray standing with the enemy as they get the rings that his poor performance in the ECF helped them to get. And on the other side are the players that he went to war with for 5 years. The players he, himself, won a ring with in 2008. The players that he left and, in effect, thumbed his nose at to take less money to play with the enemy. On the other side will be KG, Pierce, Bass, and Rondo who know that if Ray had played better it might be them getting their rings, knowing that if they had Avery Bradley, instead of Ray, starting they might be the ones getting the rings.
Yes, I think it should be a very awkward moment for Ray. He won't be standing with his Celtic brothers. At that moment he will be the enemy. And even though he said that he would forever be a Celtic, it should sink in at that moment that he is no longer a Celtic. He is the enemy.
A couple of days ago, one of my favorite sites, Lex Nihil Novi, had a post about Pistol Pete's retirement. Even though he only spent half a year with the Celtics, Pistol Pete was one of my basketball heroes. I think of him often and wonder what it would be like if he played today. I really think he was way ahead of his time and way ahead of his peers. There never was and never will be another Pistol Pete Maravich. For the many fans who never had the pleasure of watching Pistol Pete, here's my tribute to one of the game's greatest players.
Pistol Pete Maravich would have turned 65 this year if he had lived. Watching him play was always an amazing experience. He finished his career as a Celtic and I was so excited that finally Pete was on my favorite team. Even though he was far being in his prime, he was still such an exciting player. One of the biggest disappointments for me as a fan has always been the fact that Pete retired after that half season with the Celtics. If he had only come back one more season, he would have finally gotten the ring that he wanted so much from the time he first picked up a basketball. I think about Pete every time I hear players today talk about their dedication to the game, but they can not come close to Peter Press Maravich in that area. Pete wasn't just dedicated to basketball. Basketball was his life. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
According to the Sun Sentinel, the Celtics will open the 2012-13 season on the road vs the hated Heat. Won't that be fun for the Celtics to watch the Heat raise the banner and get their rings? I'm not sure what could possibly be a better motivation for the new look/old look Celtics than that. Watching the Heat players get their rings should light a fire under the Celtics that only Banner 18 can put out.
Opening night will be Tuesday, October 30. Mark that date on your calendar as the start of the Celtics' Banner 18 season. The league appears fully ready to televise the drama of Ray Allen against the team he turned his back on. We can pretty much pencil in his return to Boston on national TV as well. The preliminary schedule has been distributed to teams and has not yet been released. Hopefully we will get some leaks on key dates for the Celtics. When it is, we'll be sure to let you know.
Rondo showed up in Vegas and hung out with the players on the Celtics' Summer League entry there. He joined in the huddles and sat behind the bench and cracked jokes with the coaches. He even added some input on the plays in the huddles.
Rajon Rondo here again. He's been pulling individual Celts aside to give advice during some timeouts.
— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) July 22, 2012
Here is Coach Tyronn Lue's take on Rondo's presence on the bench:
"It was good for Rondo to come in and support the young guys. Guys have been playing hard, playing great, for him to come around & encourage guys, speaking up at halftime & time outs, it’s good for them.”
Adam Morrison (yes, THAT Adam Morrison) made a very effective argument for a return to the NBA as he buried the Celtics with 26 points and 6 rebounds. It was his day as the crowd showered him with cheers of MVP. The Celtics for their part, looked tired and just couldn't seem to score with any consistency. Playing in 10 games in 14 days, along with the shock of losing 3 players from a team that was playing like a well oiled machine proved to be too much for them as they dropped their 3rd game in a row.
Dionte Christmas struggled in this game shooting 1-4 for 6 points to go with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. However his steady play in the rest of the games won him a spot in training camp and he found out just minutes before the game that the contract had been agreed upon. He was one of the big surprises and his signing is a feel good story to end the two weeks of Summer League. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
Dionte Christmas works out deal to be in Celtic camp.
— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) July 22, 2012
As expected, the Celtics have signed Dionte Christmas to a contract that will bring him to training camp. The contract is partially guaranteed. From there, he can try to lock down one of the few roster spots that will be open going into the season.
A little about Christmas. First, he has an awesome last name that will give bloggers any number of great headlines. He is 6'5" tall with a 6'9" wingspan and 8'6" standing reach. He lead the A-10 in scoring for 3 consecutive seasons. He's the only player to accomplish that feat.
After leaving Temple, he has played overseas for the past 3 seasons. Last season in the Greek league, he averaged 18.6 points. 4.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He shot 57% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
vs Boston Celtics (2-2) vs Los Angeles Clippers (1-3)
Sunday, July 22
6:00 PM ET
NBA-TV, CSNNE Game Thread
The Celtics close out their two weeks of Summer League action with a game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Both teams played last night but Boston played in the late game while LA played at 8:30. Also, this is the Celtics 10th game in 14 days while the Clippers have just played 5 games over 6 days. Fatigue could have an impact on the game.
The Celtics roster was down to 9 players but somehow they added a couple more after the trade in Othello Hunter, previously of the Bobcats, and Garret Stutz, previously of the Timberwolves. The Clippers have 14 players at their disposal.
Players to watch for the Clippers include 6'11" F/C Hilton Armstrong, who has 5 years of pro experience and will match up with Jared Sullinger at PF. Armstrong is averaging 7.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. Another player to watch is 2 time NBA Champ Adam Morrison who will likely match up with Dionte Christmas. Morrison is averaging 18.5 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Celtics players to watch are Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith, both of whom have earned a camp invite, and in the case of Christmas, maybe even a spot in the roster. Both teams will play hard and try to end their Vegas experience with a win. This should be another entertaining game. Once again, the game will be televised on both NBA-TV and CSNNE.
In a game that had a little bit of everything, including bad calls by the refs, double technicals, and a half court shot at the buzzer, the Celtics fell to the Bucks 88-87. This was an exciting game with 12 ties and 19 lead changes and it came down to a last second shot by Jared Sullinger that rimmed out at the buzzer.
Dionte Christmas solidified his bid for a camp invite with a solid game all the way around. He finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. He ran the offense and showed solid decision making. Let's hope Danny locks this kid up for training camp. He's earned an invite. Jared Sullinger had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Kris Joseph, Jamar Smith, and Craig Brackens all played well in this game also. For the Bucks, Harris and Henson both scored 22 points.
Christmas showed some toughness when Doron Lamb gave him a little push after a foul and Christmas wasn't having any of it. The pair received double technicals. Olu Ashaolu, who is averaging 2 points a game in SL hit a half court shot that was well defended to end the 3rd quarter. It was a very entertaining game.
To add to the entertainment, Rajon Rondo was in attendance and sat behind the bench. He seemed to be enjoying the game and was seen laughing with Celtics coach Tyronn Lue and the players on the bench. He also signed autographs at halftime.
With this loss, the Celtics have dropped to 2-2 in Vegas and 6-3 overall in SL play. They close out their Summer League play Sunday night vs the Clippers at 6:00 PM ET, televised both on CSNNE and NBA-TV. The Clippers have a 1-3 record and feature 2 time champion Adam Morrison.