Posts Tagged ‘Boston Celtics’

David Lee gives Warriors staff free burritos

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Throughout their run to the NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors coaching staff and players spoke over and over again about the importance of David Lee, a former All-Star who was willing to accept a role coming off the bench. While Lee did end up logging playing time in the Finals, his sacrifice was often identified as being symbolic of the Warriors’ one-for-all mentality and teamwork. A few weeks ago, in order to clear cap space and give Lee the opportunity to get more playing time in a contract year, the Warriors agreed to trade Lee to the Boston Celtics.

Before he moved coast to coast, Lee wanted to give a parting gift to the Warriors staff members, who showed up yesterday to find free lunch from Chipotle. AS Warriors’ social media coordinator Julie Phayer tweeted…

And as it turns out, it wasn’t Lee’s first time dropping off burritos…

Ray Allen got an awesome birthday cake

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBA great Ray Allen is turning 40 this weekend, so of course he’s having a party and a cake and everything goes along with a birthday celebration. But he’s not just having any old cake, as we see in the Instagram photo below, but instead a cake that incorporates every team he’s played for and uniform he’s worn…

MUSCLEWATCH 2015 (Summer Edition)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERMUSCLEWATCH traditionally makes its debut each fall as NBA teams assemble for training camp. But sometimes the muscles just can’t be ignored, as has been the case thus far this summer.

But first! What, you may ask, is MUSCLEWATCH? Basically, it began decades ago when my friend Matt and I noticed our local paper would always report that players had gained 15 pounds of MUSCLE in the offseason. No matter the sport, it was never 12 pounds, never 16, never 9, never 18, but seemed to always be 15 pounds of muscle. So we began keeping an eye on the papers looking for references to the magic 15 pounds of MUSCLE. Eventually, MUSCLEWATCH became about more than just the 15 pounds of muscle and more about guys who had either gained or lost a lot of weight. Previous winners include Thad Young and Rudy Gay.

Whenever you come across MUSCLEWATCH news, please let me know! You can either email me via the link in the header above, or you can send me a tweet, and make sure you use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH.

Anyway, with Summer Leagues happening around the NBA the last few weeks, I’ve been getting MUSCLEWATCH reports on Twitter, and I felt that today would be a good day to round them up for posterity.

Let’s actually begin a few weeks back, as prospects were preparing for the NBA Draft. Here we see Willie Cauley-Stein, days before being drafted by the Sacramento Kings, sit down for an interview with ESPN’s Henry Abbott. Early on in this interview, Cauley-Stein mentions gaining 20 pounds of MUSCLE since his college season ended, a staggering figure by any account. Ace interviewer that he is, Abbott seizes on this tidbit and tries to get some details from Cauley-Stein about this important MUSCLEWATCH moment…

My favorite moment of the interview? Probably when Abbott asks Cauley-Stein if he knows who I am, and Cauley-Stein responds with an actual shrug…

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 9.54.17 AM

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Celtics forward James Young has also made MUSCLEWATCH news, although he may be employing some fuzzy math. According to initial reports, Young had put on the magic 15 pounds of MUSCLE…

That’s when the controversy starts. One report says Young apparently gained 20 pounds over the last year, with a 10-pound burst of weight coming more recently?

Or maybe it’s 15 pounds plus 5 more?

Either way, Young is clearly aiming to make a MUSCLEWATCH name for himself heading into the season.

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An early MUSCLEWATCH championship candidate is clearly Oklahoma City’s Mitch McGary, who has reportedly shed 30 pounds…

According to McGary, the weight loss is a result of several factors…

McGary credits the weight loss to cooking classes, a healthier diet and rigorous workouts. By eating better and transforming his body, McGary believes he’ll put himself in a better position to stay healthy and play the best basketball of his life.

“I’m sick of being injured and not being able to play at full strength 100 percent,” McGary said. “So this summer was really key for me. I stayed in Oklahoma City and just been working my tail off to get into shape.”

“You were always eating at your parents’ house, and then you go and start living on the pizza and wings diet in college, man,” McGary said. “It’s not cool not knowing how to cook for yourself when you go home and you’re trying to eat out every night. I’d rather just stay home, cook myself up some chicken, some fish, and have a nice dinner at home.”

After only a few months trying his hand at cooking, McGary now proudly shares his creations with fans on social media and jokingly boasts of being a beast in the kitchen.

“Man, I’m nice,” McGary said. “They call me ‘Chef.’”

I think a Mitch McGary cooking show is something the world needs. Congratulations to Chef McGary!

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Down in New Orleans, we have a few MUSCLEWATCH notes. First of all, Tyreke Evans has allegedly dropped weight, according to new Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry

Also, guard Eric Gordon is just a few pounds behind Evans…

Also, as always, thanks to the Pelicans for using the proper #MUSCLEWATCH hashtag on their official Twitter account…

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The Timberwolves may be a young team still building, but forward Shabazz Muhammad is trying to grab a MUSCLEWATCH crown right now. According to the T-Wolves, Muhammad is reuniting with a legendary MUSCLEWATCH figure…

We first met “Crazy Frank” last season, back when he was referred to as “Hell’s Trainer.” Muhammad says he’s planning to lose more weight, which seems like a foregone conclusion.

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Some odds and ends…Bulls GM Gar Forman says Jimmy Butler has put on some weight…

Lakers forward Julius Randle is shedding bad weight while adding good weight…

Anthony Bennett has done serious MUSCLEWATCH work through the years…

Dante Exum is off to a promising start…

And finally…we don’t have any concrete figures, but Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo looks like he’s putting in time in the weight room…

Stephen Curry says goodbye to David Lee by reminding him he blocked his shot

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERStephen Curry is listed at 6-foot, 3-inches tall. David Lee is listed at 6-foot, 9-inches tall. So simple math tells us that Lee has a pretty big size advantage over Curry, who is half a foot shorter.

So I don’t think we can blame Curry for what he posted yesterday, after the announcement that the Golden State Warriors had traded David Lee to the Boston Celtics. As a means of saying farewell, Curry reminded Lee of that one time six year ago when he blocked his shot…

Throwback Thursday: Celtics Win Finals Thriller


Gallery: Celtics win 1976 Finals Game 5 thriller

What are your favorite NBA Finals moments? Leave your comments below!

The best NBA players to wear each number

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Mitchell and Ness is known for making throwback jerseys of some of the NBA’s greatest players, so we know that they know their NBA history. Mitchell and Ness put together a list of the best NBA players to wear every jersey number, from 0 to 00 to 99. from Parish to Mikan. There are some numbers that have never been worn, some worn by only one player, and then there are a lot of numbers worn by dozens of players, which makes selecting the best player to wear that jersey a tougher call. You can see the graphic below or go here to read their rationale for who made the cut…

MNN-Best-Players-By-Number

Throwback Thursday: Celtics win 14th championship


VIDEO: Celtics win Game 6 over Rockets to capture 14th NBA championship

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Celtics win 14th NBA championship

On May 14, 1981, Larry Bird delivered for the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the 1981 NBA Finals to score 27 points with 13 rebounds as Boston dropped Houston to win the franchise’s 14th NBA championship.

Bird, 24 years old at the time, was already a dominant force during his second season in the league. He averaged 21.9 points, 14.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.3 steals during the 1981 Playoffs and 15.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.3 steals during the 1981 Finals. His late 3-pointer during Game 6 was key to the Celtics’ winning their first of three championships in the 1980s, but Cedric Maxwell’s steady performance during the Finals was good enough for him to win 1981 Finals MVP. Maxwell averaged 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists to go along with stifling defense throughout the series. The Celtics’ acquisition of Maxwell along with Kevin McHale and Robert Parish during the summer of 1980 was critical to Boston’s success in the 1980-81 season and for years to come. That, along with the continued rise of three-time MVP (1984-86) Larry Bird.

This Throwback Thursday, we honor the 1981 Celtics by looking back at the historic career of Larry Bird.


Gallery: Larry Bird’s Career

What are your favorite Larry Bird and/or Boston Celtics memories? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: Jerry West


VIDEO: Jerry West was a legendary NBA scorer

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Jerry West’s Finals feat

Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West is associated with many feats in NBA lore, but on this date 46 years ago, he pulled off one of his greatest ever.

In Game 1 of the 1969 NBA Finals, West scored 53 points to lift the Lakers to a 120-118 win over the Boston Celtics. Although the Celtics would eventually go on to win the series in seven games, West held a place in NBA lore for many years to come. His 53 points stood as a Finals record until Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls broke it with a 55-point effort in Game 4 of the 1993 NBA Finals (a 111-105 Chicago victory over the Phoenix Suns).

In honor of West’s Finals feat all those years ago, we take a look back at the storied career of one of the best shooting guards in NBA history:


Gallery: Jerry West’s career

What are your favorite Abdul-Jabbar memories? Leave your comments below!

An inside look at Cleveland’s Game 1 win over Boston

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Cleveland Cavaliers were the Eastern Conference’s best team in the second half, posting a Conference-best record of 22-9 after February 2. So expectations were high yesterday when the Cavs hosted the Boston Celtics to begin their latest postseason run. The crowd was hyped, and LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were each special in their own ways, as they helped the Cavs to a 113-100 win.

Here are a couple of videos from yesterday in Cleveland. First, here’s a slow-mo look at the game…

VIDEO: Slow-Mo Cavs Game 1

Also, here’s LeBron James mic’ed up during the game…

VIDEO: LeBron Mic’ed Up

Horry Scale: Smart lifts Celtics


VIDEO:  Smart grabs a falling Thomas pass to score game-winning basket in critical victory.

On the road? Against a good team? On a basket by Marcus Smart? All on the second night of a back-to-back?

Of all the heroes in all the situations in all the places, it would have taken a lot of searching to find a more improbable outcome than Celtics 117, Raptors 116 in overtime Saturday night in Toronto, a huge development in Boston’s attempt to keep its grip on the final playoff spot as the least bad team among the Eastern Conference hopefuls for No. 8.

Smart made six of nine attempts on the night, including the buzzer-beating layup, but after shooting 35.4 percent in February and 32.9 percent in March. His rookie season was ending badly, even as Boston continued to give him big minutes. And then this.

DIFFICULTY

It was harder than it should have been. Smart was open under the basket, on the right side of the lane, thanks to Isaiah Thomas drawing the defense as he blew down the left side, but the dish-off was a little high. Smart grabbed it with his right hand, with no Raptor closer than a couple steps. Then he made an awkward plant to go up. At least the release was clean.

GAME SITUATION

The Raptors led 116-115 on a Lou Williams three-pointer with four seconds left. The Celtics called timeout and advanced the ball to halfcourt. Thomas was near the free throw line at the other end when the referee gave the ball to Evan Turner on the sideline. Advantage: Celtics.

Thomas, fast enough without a head start, had built to lift-off speed by the time he took the pass from Turner about 40 feet from the basket, then went through the Toronto defense. He created the opportunity that Smart finished.

IMPORTANCE

Large. Everything was a challenge except for the distance of the winning shot – the schedule, the location, the opponent. There has to be a special level of gratification. The importance in the standings is obvious. If the Celtics make the playoffs, this will be one of the nights that made it happen.

CELEBRATION

Eh. Several Celtics charged off the bench to embrace Smart. He got some hugs and smacks on top of his head, but there was no wild party.

GRADE

The Celtics get marked down only because the win came on a wide-open layup, without a higher degree of difficulty beyond catching the ball. Everything else was big, though, from the situation and the importance to Thomas’ work. Three Horrys.

 

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