Posts Tagged ‘Boston Celtics’

Throwback Thursday: First round series to go seven


VIDEO: The Bulls and Celtics square off in an epic 2009 first-round series

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: First round series to go seven games

The NBA Playoffs are a magical time in the basketball universe as every game matters and each player gives it their all.

To honor the playoffs, this Thursday we look back at the 14 first-round series to go the full seven games (the first round expanded from a best-of-five to a best-of-seven format in 2003). Hopefully this year’s playoffs provide similar dramatics.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: First Round Series to Go Seven

Which of these was your favorite series? Leave your comments below!

Rajon Rondo debuts as TV analyst

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As Celtics guard Rajon Rondo continues his comeback from last season’s knee injury, he still is building up his strength and endurance, so he still sits out the occasional second game of back-to-back games. Last night the Celtics had the second game of a back-to-back against Chicago. But instead of staying home, Rondo decided to try watching from the TV broadcast booth, as he spent the first half of the game working as a color analyst. (Benny the Bull was thrilled to see him.) Pretty cool to hear him explain plays and the thought behind the play design…


VIDEO: Rondo as analyst

(via SLAM)

Do Sleeved Jerseys Help Shooting?

Miami Heat  v San Antonio Spurs

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week, after the Miami Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James was not happy. He finished the game shooting 6-of-18 from the field, and he had one immediate suggestion for his poor shooting night.

“I’m not making excuses, but I’m not a big fan of the jerseys,” LeBron said. “Every time I shoot it feels like it’s just pulling right up underneath my arm. I already don’t have much room for error on my jump shot. It’s definitely not a good thing.”

(His teammate, Dwyane Wade, had a different response: “It ain’t the reason we lost. You’re just not used to it. They [the Spurs] didn’t have a problem with it. It is what it is. Let’s not make this about a jersey, please. We got our butts kicked. That’s it.”)

Ever since the NBA introduced sleeved jerseys last season, response seems to fall on both sides. Both players and fans have been vocal about their feelings — some love them, some hate them. Although as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at the All-Star Game, “From a fan standpoint, the greatest indicator is how are they selling, and I’ll say we’re having trouble keeping them in the stores. There’s enormous demand for those jerseys. Fans like them and I happen to like them, too.”

LeBron may not enjoy wearing them, but perhaps LeBron is the outlier here? While King James says he hasn’t been as successful in the sleeves, according to statistician Ed Kupfer, who works with the Houston Rockets, teams wearing sleeved jerseys have on the whole shot better than teams in tank tops.

Kupfer later clarified that this was eFG%, or “effective field goal percentage,” which basically factors in that three-pointers are worth more than two pointers. (Here’s an explanation.)

But even in raw numbers, three-point percentages seem to be up while wearing sleeves…

And sure, I understand that we’re dealing with a much smaller sample size here when it comes to the sleeved jerseys, but numbers never lie, right? Or maybe they do?

Either way, perhaps there are some players who are just beyond sleeves…


VIDEO: Bird in 1988

(via B/R)

No Garnett, No Matter to Kelly Olynyk

Even though Kevin Garnett couldn’t be in uniform as the Nets hit the floor of TD Garden tonight, it doesn’t mean his presence wasn’t felt. Thanks to the truculence of Kelly OlynykShaun Livingston found out how much of his teammate’s ghost still resides in Boston.

Livingston’s chagrin was palpable, but the fans paid praise to a familiar sight:


VIDEO: Kelly Olynyk channels his inner Kevin Garnett on Shaun Livingston

Was Tupac At Last Night’s Celtics/Warriors Game?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Short answer? No.

There was, however, a guy at last night’s Celtics/Warriors game in Boston who looked an awful lot like rapper/actor Tupac Shakur, who died in 1996. After the game, Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala posted a photo of the guy on Instagram, noting, “They sayin 2pac back, 2pac back! At the game tonight in Boston.”

It wasn’t just a thing that was noticed post-game. Late in the game, with the Celtics down 30, the Tupac doppleganger made an appearance on the scoreboard, prompting the crowd to chant their support…


VIDEO: Tupac at Celtics Game?

Ben McLemore May Attempt 720 In Dunk Contest

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — An oft-heard trope from people complaining about the dunk contest is that by now, every dunk has been done before. This is not verifiable, although it may seem to be true, if only because we’ve seen many of the same dunks performed over and over. But there are still dunks that have been performed in venues other than All-Star Weekend that have yet to be even attempted in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

Sacramento Kings rookie Ben McLemore is on the West squad for this weekend’s upcoming Sprite Slam Dunk Dunk Contest. We know he’s incredibly athletic, and from what we’ve seen in games and on social media, we understand he’s a high flyer. He also appears to have an understanding of what works and doesn’t work in dunk contests, as McLemore discussed with Celtics Blog after playing the Celtics this weekend…

“Not yet, I’m still working on it. Still planning. I still got time, I still got almost a little over a week to plan and get prepared for this great event coming up.”

He is known for his absurd vertical leap and ability to finish in traffic, but when asked if his style is more aerodynamic or high-flying, McLemore told CLNS Radio, “A little bit of both.”

“I’m definitely a high flyer. I can get high. I just want to show my athleticism out there on the floor and bring a lot of excitement out there.”

Being both aerially dynamic and a high leaper, the current holy grail of the slam dunk, the 720, has come under consideration.

“I was thinking about that, nobody has put that up,” McLemore told CLNS Radio. “But we’ll see.”

Now, the 720 dunk McLemore referenced has never been completed in an NBA Dunk Contest. But hardcore hoops fans may recall it being performed back in 2006 by former And 1 tour member Air Up There. We know McLemore can dunk. But can he do this? This just might be the game-changer the Dunk Contest has been waiting for…
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VIDEO: 720 Dunk

Throwback Thursday: Best Players To Wear No. 32


VIDEO: Best Power Forwards: Kevin McHale

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 TBT topic: All-time greats to wear No. 32

By Jonathan Hartzell, NBA.com

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Boston Celtics’ ceremony to retire Kevin McHale‘s No. 32 jersey. The Hall of Fame power forward spent his entire 13-year career with the Celtics, winning three NBA championships and making seven All-Star teams.

Surprisingly, McHale is not the only legend to wear the No. 32. In this week’s Throwback Thursday, we look at the best players to ever wear this historic jersey number:

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon in the gallery for details about each player.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: NBA’s famous No. 32s

Who would you say is the best No. 32 ever? Leave your comments below!

Horry Scale: Turner Turns Up


VIDEO: Turner Turns Up

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And we’re back again. While large swaths of the country still trying to thaw out from this bitter winter, Evan Turner turned up for his second GWBB this season — here’s the first — and cajoled us into firing up the Horry Scale tonight.

Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain why we’re here: What is the Horry Scale? For those who are new around these parts, the Horry Scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.

Got it? By the way, this is the twelfth GWBB this season, so we’re on a record pace. OK, let’s do this…

DIFFICULTY
Strictly speaking, this was not the most complex of plays. With Jerryd Bayless guarding him one-on-one, Turner went to his right with three dribbles, before crossing over to his left hand with one dribble, and then taking one more dribble with his left hand and taking the shot with his right. With those five dribbles, Turner was able to penetrate from the perimeter into the lane. Jared Sullinger (Turner’s college teammate at fellow former Ohio State Buckeye, by the way) stepped up for the Celts to play some help defense on the shot, and his minor collision with ET managed to make Turner’s release more awkward than it would have been otherwise. Still, Turner essentially had a 7-footer for the win.

GAME SITUATION
Coming into this game, both teams were riding three-game losing streaks, so you can argue that while the game may not have been a must-win for either team, both teams could have used the W. As for this particular play, the Celtics were sitting on a one-point lead with the game and shot clocks both running down. Kris Humphries missed a 15-footer from the wing, and Michael Carter-Williams grabbed the board with about 11 seconds remaining. After dribbling up court (and perhaps committing a palming violation, as you can might hear Tommy Heinsohn argue in the clip above), with about 6 seconds left, Carter-Williams handed off to Turner at half court, and everyone cleared out to let him work against Bayless. The story here, to me, is that even though the Sixers had two timeouts remaining, they elected not to use them, which gave them the chance to attack a Boston defense that hadn’t had a chance to set up.

CELEBRATION
In the clip above you see the Sixers involved all sprint to the their bench on the other end of the court, a perfectly acceptable reaction and celebration to a GWBB on the road. What you don’t see in that clip is an extended celebration at half court before they headed to the locker room. I also enjoyed the reaction of the folks sitting courtside next to the Sixers bench. It doesn’t get much more anguished than this, as you can hopefully see in my this screenshot below…

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 10.49.50 PM

GRADE
It wasn’t a wide open shot — Turner had to create that for himself and make something happen. And Turner did get bumped on the release, making him twist to get the shot off. I also did have to consider the reactions, from both the players and the fans. All told, I’m giving this a solid three Horrys…

horry-star horry-star horry-star

What say you? How many Horrys would you give Evan Turner’s GWBB?

Celtics Pay Tribute To KG, Pierce

By Jeff Case

One of the most anticipated homecomings of the season took place last night when the Boston Celtics hosted the Brooklyn Nets. It marked the first game ex-Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce played at TD Garden since being traded to Brooklyn last summer.

Both players have deep emotional ties to the franchise, with Pierce being drafted by the team in 1999 and playing 15 seasons there, helping the Celtics go from Eastern Conference afterthought to a title-winner (2008) and perennial contender. A big key to those contending days came via of the addition of Garnett in the summer of 2007. KG won Defensive Player of the Year honors in his first season with Boston (2007-08) and was arguably — with Pierce — the heart of those contending Celtics clubs.

None of those feats were lost on the Celtics as a franchise, as they had been planning a big video tribute for the duo for weeks, per the Boston Globe. Even before fans got to see those tributes, KG and “The Truth” got plenty of love from the hometown fans during the player introductions …


VIDEO: Garnett, Pierce introduced before Nets take on Celtics

Then came the in-game tributes for KG and Pierce, both of which stirred up plenty of emotion for Boston fans.

KG’s tribute was first:

And then, after the first quarter, Pierce was honored:

The reaction from the crowd was appreciated plenty by the duo, who saw the Nets win the game 85-79.


VIDEO: Garnett, Pierce talk about their return to Boston

(h/t to The Brooklyn Game)

Is Rajon Rondo Returning Friday?

Boston Celtics v Portland Trail Blazers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Boston point guard Rajon Rondo has always been a bit unconventional, both on the court and off. As a player, he consistently posts huge stat lines and eye-popping numbers, despite coming into the League without much a jump shot. And off the court, Rondo doesn’t seem to care much about managing his image the way many other athletes do — Rondo just wants to play ball and win games.

Rondo tore his ACL last season, and since then he’s been watching games from the bench, occasionally with eye-popping results. He’s also used Twitter, sparingly, until a tweet last night that set people guessing…

What was Rondo referring to? Well, if you do the math, 29,233,380 seconds works out to about 338 days. On Friday night, the Celtics host the Lakers, and if you count backward from tip time on Friday, 338 days is the length of time to when Rondo suffered his injury. According to ESPN Boston, it’s actually the exact amount of time from the actual surgery, which took place at 11:07 AM.