Posts Tagged ‘Boston Celtics’

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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Kevin Garnett took a rookie shopping

New York Knicks v Boston Celtics  - Game Four

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERKevin Garnett wasn’t doing all that much with the Brooklyn Nets this season — he’s been in the NBA 20 years, and was averaging about 7 points and 6 rebounds a game. Still, the Minnesota Timberwolves wanted to trade for KG, because they have a young team and KG is known for being a terrific leader and teammate.

But what does Garnett do that makes him such a great teammate? Jessica Camerato from BasketballInsiders.com caught up with Lester Hudson, the journeyman guard who just signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. When Hudson was a rookie with the Celtics back in 2009, he was teammates with Garnett, who took Hudson under his wing.

As Hudson explains to Camerato, in a really fun story

“He was like a big brother,” Hudson told Basketball Insiders. “I felt it was genuine. You’ve got to respect him; he’s one of the greatest players in the league. I was focusing on what he was saying, I didn’t care if it was bad or good.”

Garnett referred to Hudson as “Train,” a nickname demonstrative of the strength Hudson used driving to the basket.

In December of that season while the Celtics were in Chicago to play the Bulls, Hudson received a directive from Garnett. It wasn’t the first time Garnett made a request – as a rookie, Hudson often ran errands for him and other veterans. This one was vague, though.

“‘Train, come to the store with me,’” Hudson recalled. “‘Meet me downstairs at this time.’ You can’t be late with KG. I was probably 10 minutes early. He was like, ‘Come on let’s go.’”

Hudson left the team hotel with Garnett, not knowing where they were headed. As they walked down the street, Garnett filled the conversation with more words of encouragement. The talk ended as they approached the destination.

Hudson gazed upon the building: the Louis Vuitton store.

“He told me to pick out whatever I wanted,” said Hudson. “I was like, ‘Are you serious right now?’ He said, ‘You work hard and I respect you. You help me out a lot.’”

Hudson was shocked. Soon, Garnett began making recommendations. Get a scarf, Garnett offered, it’s cold in Boston and Chicago. (Garnett often wore a designer scarves in his postgame interviews while on the Celtics). The store was Hudson’s for the picking.

“I got a couple scarves, skullies, a backpack, shoes, belts,” Hudson said. “I think he just got me everything.”

(via BasketballInsiders.com)

Blake Griffin shows off crazy reverse block


VIDEO: Blake reverse block

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Blake Griffin goes and pulls off something like this. My favorite part of this play might be the way Boston’s Jonas Jerebko responds, with his hands out in almost a shrug, as if to say, Did that really happen?

ShockedSaneGoldfish

(GIF via r/NBA)

Celtics fan takes LeBron dislike seriously

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERLeBron James understands it well: As one of the best players in the NBA, he not only has a lot of fans, he also has a ton of haters. Which may mean he gets anti-LeBron signs at a game, or maybe some mean tweets.

But this may be a first: A Jeep in the Boston area not only supports the Celtics, with a collection of stickers and a vanity license plate, but it also advertises hate for LeBron with a spare tire cover featuring a lifelike painting of a crying LeBron James. It’s like a rolling anti-Bronmobile.

(via @CelticsBlog)

Throwback Thursday: Larry Bird


VIDEO: Larry Bird scores 60 points on the Atlanta Hawks in 1985

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: Larry Bird drops 60 on Hawks

Few players in NBA history are more associated with the word clutch than Boston Celtics great Larry Bird. Over his 12 NBA seasons, he was an All-Star 11 times, won three NBA championships, was a three-time MVP, a two-time Finals MVP and created memory after unforgettable memory in the regular season and postseason.

On this date in 1985, though, Bird accomplished one of his best games ever, torching the Atlanta Hawks for 60 points before 10,079 fans. He was 22-for-36 from the field and 15-for-16 from the free throw line and, shockingly, nailed just one 3-pointer. (You can check out the box score from the game here.) But the memories of that game live on 30 years later.

With that in mind, we take a look back on the career that helped earn Bird the nickname “Larry Legend”.


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Larry Bird’s career

What’s your most lasting Bird memory? Leave your comments below!

Brandon Bass loses his shoe

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Say this for Brandon Bass: He just won’t quit. Take this play last night in the Celtics/Heat game. Somehow, after making a wild shot, Bass lost a shoe. As everyone ran to the other end of the floor, Bass went with them, shoe in hand, playing with one stockinged foot. Luckily for Bass, the Heat didn’t really take advantage of this, and Bass almost grabbed a one-handed rebound in the process.


VIDEO: Bass loses shoe

The New Orleans Pelicans pump up the jam

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Tonight in New Orleans, for their game against the Boston Celtics, the New Orleans Pelicans will celebrate ’80s Night. I’m not sure how this will be manifested during the game — slower tempo? worse statistical analysis? — but they Pelicans are getting people fired up for ’80s Night with this video showing some of the players, including Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis, getting their ’80s on to the smooth sounds of Technotronic’s “Pump Up The Jam”…


VIDEO: Pelicans 80s

Larry Bird can’t stop talking trash to Dominique Wilkins

Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERLarry Bird was known for not only being one of the greatest players of all time, he was also known as one of the greatest trash talkers to ever play the game. Back in his day, Bird would talk trash to anyone he had to square off against. In fact, just a few weeks ago, Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins told a funny story about Bird talking trash to him…

“One of the first times I ever played against him, I went out for the opening tip and I went to shake his hand. He just stood there and looked at me stone-faced with his hands behind his back,” Wilkins said recently.

“I was like, ‘Whoa.’ Then we were getting ready for the tip and he says to me, ‘You don’t belong in this league, Homes.’ I couldn’t believe it, but it happened so fast, I didn’t know what to think.

“Then they had the ball and I was on him and he said, ‘I don’t know why they got you guarding me, Homes. You can’t guard me.’ Then, whap, he hit a 3. Then he came down again and said, ‘They made a mistake putting you on me, Homes,’ and he took another 3.”

Getting into the story, Wilkins began to act things out with his facial expressions.

“So now I’m hot,” he said. “I’m hot. I mean, I’m steaming.

“Then a little while later, I came down on a break and he was backpedaling. I just went right after him. I jumped up and he tried to challenge, but I took that right through the rim. He fell and hit the basket support.

“He got up and said, ‘I like you, rookie. You’ve got(guts).’ I was happy for a second, and then he said, ‘But I’m still going for 40 on you tonight.’ ”

He then paused the story, stepped back and smiled.

“But I got him,” Wilkins said. “He only scored 39.”

So it was only fitting that yesterday, as the Atlanta Hawks unveiled a new statue in honor of Wilkins, Bird was involved. Bird was unable to be there in person, but he appeared via video and couldn’t help but take another poke at Wilkins…

Throwback Thursday: Cousy Tallies 28 Assists


VIDEO: Best Point Guards: Bob Cousy

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: Cousy Tallies 28 Assists

On February 27, 1959, Boston Celtics’ legend Bob Cousy dished an NBA-record 28 assists in an 173-139 win over the Minneapolis Lakers. To go with the record, Cousy added 31 points and five rebounds during the high-scoring affair.

This single-game assist record was later topped by Kevin Porter with 29 in 1978 and Scott Skiles with 30 in 1990.

To honor Cousy’s historic game, this Throwback Thursday we look back at his Hall-of-Fame career.


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Bob Cousy

How would Bob Cousy fare in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!