Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Green’

Flying the Green skies


VIDEO: Jeff Green’s dunks

As NBA legend Tommy Heinsohn called the Celtics-Suns game last night, one could argue that he might have caught a slight glimpse of Celtics past. Now, in no way are we comparing this current Celtics group to that of Heinsohn’s championship heyday. But, as was prevalent during those winning days of the 60s, the Boston fast break (23 points on the night) was in full effect.

And Jeff Green was the man with the finishing plan.

His fast break dunk package had it all: soaring grace, a two-handed slam off a sweet Rajon Rondo feed and a DIY facial on Marcus Morris.

Although Phoenix picked up the 118-114 win, the sky had quite a Green tint to it.

 

MUSCLEWATCH 2014 (Update 2)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s a Friday in the fall, which means it’s time for…wait for it…MUSCLEWATCH!

What, you may ask, is MUSCLEWATCH? I really hope by now you’re not still asking that question. But basically, it stems from my friend Matt and I noticing years ago that 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, never 16, never 9, never 18, always 15 pounds of muscle. So we began keeping an eye on the papers looking for references to the magic 15 pounds of MUSCLE. I started chronicling this each season in my blog over at SLAM, and 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.

If you see MUSCLEWATCH info, please tweet it and use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH to help us keep all this info straight.

One question I saw on Twitter that’s worth addressing…

No. Despite my best efforts, it’s impossible to tabulate a precise number. Has anyone counted all the stars in the sky? Do we know how many broken dreams line Broadway? No, no we don’t. It’s better to just understand that there are thousands if not millions of pounds won and lost out there and keep it moving.

WHEN WE LAST LEFT MUSCLEWATCH, there was a lot of sound and fury and MUSCLE, but not a lot of detail. Let’s get into the MUSCLE…

• Once again, actual NBA teams are using the #MUSCLEWATCH hashtag, as we saw in this tweet from the Toronto Raptors regarding Terrence Ross

That tweet was welcome, if a bit vague, so we also appreciate this clarification from Holly McKenzie, from which we learn Ross actually put on the MUSCLEWATCH gold standard of 15 pounds…

HOWEVER! Nobody actually specified if it’s 15 pounds of MUSCLE. And it matters, believe me, it matters.

• Last week we saw a few MUSCLEWATCH names in Minnesota, and we get more detail this, as Anthony Bennett, Ronny Turiaf and Shabazz Muhammad got into some, frankly, really weird workout stuff. Just read the beginning of this story

The children are slipping down Shabazz Muhammad’s back, inches away from falling into a pit of whitewater rapids and fire.
As Muhammad gropes for another handhold, his entire weight and an additional 100 pounds of helpless youth suspended above the perils below, he falters. A pair of guiding hands help steady him but only for a moment. Regaining his balance and summoning some interior-laden surge of strength, he climbs his way to safety while the kids on his back remain unharmed.

They worked out using HELPLESS YOUTH! Children were SLIPPING DOWN HIS BACK INTO A DEATH TRAP WHIRLPOOL! OK, OK, this was all imaginary, but still, this is extreme MUSCLEWATCH. No wonder they call their guy Hell’s Trainer.

Despite the insane workout, Muhammad said he came into camp at 224, which is two pounds more than he supposedly weighed a year ago before the draft. And Bennett, according to the story above, lost “about 10 pounds.” So while they each may be in much better shape, for MUSCLEWATCH purposes they still have some work to do.

Kobe Bryant has had a love-hate relationship with MUSCLEWATCH through the years, and this year is no different. A few months ago, paparazzi photos seemed to suggest that Kobe had put on, well, a few pounds. But then Kobe showed up in camp looking svelte, and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak suggested Kobe had lost 10-12 pounds.

How did Kobe do it? By eating “clean.”

I guess that means a lot of hand washing?

• We need to send a shoutout to Utah Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy from the Deseret News, who has been all over MUSCLEWATCH, including several tweets…

And since we’re talking Jazz, we’ve had our first-ever announcer appearance on MUSCLEWATCH, as Jazz radio voice David Locke was reported to be in phenomenal shape…

I caught up with David this week and he confirmed that he is feeling good, although he noted that once the season begins his bicycling regimen will likely fall by the wayside. Still, a terrific showing all around in Utah. We salute you!

• Bonjour, Monsieur Diaw! Spurs forward Boris Diaw has had some ups and downs with his weight through the years. At Spurs media day this season, coach Gregg Popovich acknowledged Diaw’s struggle…

Boris used social media to respond, as one should, with the following photo and this caption: “No worries pop only one glass of wine and daily workouts!”

No worries pop only one glass of wine and daily workouts!

A photo posted by Borisdiaw (@diawboris) on

Also, thanks to the San Antonio Express News, which put together a 117-photo gallery about which players are and are not arriving in shape in San Antonio.

• WE HAVE A CONTENDER! Add Kendrick Perkins to the long list of guys who have dropped weight this summer, and with Perk, unlike with LeBron and Melo, we actually have a concrete number…

• Up in Boston, Celtics forward Jeff Green has put on some MUSCLE…

And Kelly Olynyk is “definitely stonger,” with a #MUSCLEWATCH in the story!!

• And finally, in Phoenix, Alex Len has apparently added “10-15 pounds.” Of MUSCLE? Well, that’s unclear.

See you next week. Keep MUSCLING!

NBA players from Georgetown give back in big way

Rockets v Grizzlies

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The list of NBA players who played their college ball at Georgetown University is long and impressive: Ewing, Mourning, Mutombo, Iverson, Hibbert. And that’s just for a start. The common thread for most of those guys, besides the University itself, is longtime coach John Thompson Jr., who coached many of them (or did his son, John Thompson III).

In the spring, Georgetown announced that it would break ground on a state-of-the-art athletics facility named for Coach Thompson. Since the announcement, several former Hoya basketball players have announced they would be donating money to help make the facility a reality. Last week, Jeff Green kicked in a million dollars, and Patrick Ewing and his longtime agent David Falk joined together to give over $3 million. And then yesterday, it was announced that Pacers center Roy Hibbert would be kicking in a million dollars as well. As Hibbert told the Washington Post, “It’s important for me to give back as much as possible. I actually gave [Thompson Jr.] a call, and then we talked for a little bit today, wished him happy birthday. He was a big part of my development at school. He always said what was on his mind. He was out pushing me to be a better player. Obviously he’s a legend.”

Nice to see these guys willing to give back in such a substantial way.

Clippers Cap Sunday’s Bona Fide Jam Fest

Every night, the NBA yields a jaw-dropping play, or 10. But certain nights give you more. With “only” eight games on Sunday’s slate, the leapers — particularly in Brooklyn — loosened their limbs and decided to occupy more space on the Dunk HQ and Top Plays Theater. From All-Stars to bench warmers to the guys in L.A., many hoopers around the Association ascended high and crashed hard:


VIDEO: Poster dunks abound from a eight-game Sunday in the NBA

The All Ball Posterized Poll (Vol. 1)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’re into the NBA’s most devastating dunks, we’ve got you covered over at the new and improved Dunk HQ. But because we’re the All Ball blog and we like to look at the NBA from nontraditional angles, we will focus on the flip side of the NBA’s best dunks: Who got got?

So welcome to volume one of The All Ball Posterized Poll. We will check in from time to time and examine the worst of the best, and use a highly scientific polling method to determine which NBA player got dunked on (a.k.a. posterized) the most egregiously. And at the end of the season we will determine who it is that most belongs on a poster.

To start us off, we have four nominees from the first few weeks of the season, and we checked in with NBA.com’s own slam dunk specialist, LeMont Calloway, for his informed perspective on the matter. “What I’ll say most about these defenders is that at least they’re trying to show help-side D,” LeMont notes. “There’s a defender or two around the league who wouldn’t even dare, let alone probably couldn’t even make the proper rotation. (Calling you out Boozer!) But, it’s like Bill Walton used to say: What are big men doing trying to take charges anyway?”

1. Marvin Williams (as nominated by JJ Hickson)
LeMont’s Take: “Personally, if you ask me, is this the one? This is the one! The way Marvin falls reminds me of a video game animation. Hands down, one of the nastiest falls after getting dunked on that I’ve seen in a while.”
-

VIDEO: Hickson dunks on Williams

2. Jason Maxiell (as nominated by Jeff Green)
LeMont’s Take: “Jeff has had a knack for kicking off seasons lately with a poster. Remember, he got Al Jefferson good last November.”
-

VIDEO: Green dunks on Maxiell

3. Jeff Withey (as nominated by Xavier Henry)
LeMont’s Take: “I’m always going to be a fan of any dunk where the ball is cocked back. Like LeBron’s go-to dunk from his Cavs days. Whether with one or two hands, it doesn’t matter. Those dunks always signify bad intentions to me. Especially with a defender in the way. But what sets Xavier’s apart from the rest is he’s a lefty. It just gives it that added unusual flair and bang to it.”
-

VIDEO: Henry dunks on Withey

4. Ryan Hollins (as nominated by his own teammate, Blake Griffin)
LeMont’s Take: “Blake’s just running out of league casualties that he’s got to turn to his own team now? Hilarious!”
-

VIDEO: Griffin dunks on Hollins

Now, we need your vote! Who has been dunked on the worst so far this season?

The Posterized Poll

Horry Scale: Dre Day


VIDEO: Iguodala’s Game Winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And now the Horry Scale nominees will come fast and furious. After Jeff Green’s game winner just a few days ago, last night’s late TNT game gave us our second nominee of the season, on a last-second shot that didn’t exactly go as planned.

Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain. 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.

With the rules in place, let’s check out last night’s game-winner from Golden State’s Andre Iguodala at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. (By the way, we will not call him Iggy, because he hates the nickname Iggy.)

DIFFICULTY
In terms of basketball fundamentals, Iguodala was able to take a relatively normal jumper — he was moving toward the baseline with the ball in his right (shooting) hand. But we should note here that the play we saw executed was not the play Mark Jackson drew up, according to Iguodala.
Dre said he was supposed to get the ball, fake a dribble handoff to Klay Thompson, who was inbounding, and then look for his shot. And when they lined up for the play, Kevin Durant was assigned to Iguodala. But the Thunder were switching on the play, and when Thabo Sefolosha switched onto Iguodala and basically overplayed as Iguodala cut toward Thompson, Iguodala make the executive decision to cut backdoor — “I took a page out of Kobe’s book,” said Iguodala — and he found room to receive the pass. If nothing else I just love this play as an example of how much happens in an NBA game that is unplanned — these guys are constantly making plays that are based on reads and reactions, and when multiple players are in sync on something like that, it can be a beautiful thing. Sefolosha defended the shot pretty well and recovered enough to get up in Iguodala’s release, but Dre put enough arc on the ball to not only clear the defender, but also take pretty much the entire clock before it splashed home.

GAME SITUATION
It’s worth noting that just seconds before Iguodala’s shot, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook drained a long three-pointer on a broken play to give OKC the temporary 115-114 lead. And frankly, I was a bit surprised Iguodala’s shot was a game-winning shot, because when the ball was inbounded there were 2.3 seconds left. And in the NBA, 2.3 seconds can be an eternity — enough time to catch the ball and run a quick play, or make a few moves even. As the Warriors were inbounding the ball, TNT’s Reggie Miller noted, “A lot of time left for a dribble or two for the Warriors, to get this shot off.” Watching the replays, I’m still not convinced there shouldn’t have been a few tenths of a second added back on after this shot. That is barely any time, I know, but hey, Derek Fisher is on the Thunder, isn’t he?

IMPORTANCE
Let me say this here: I am not perfect. In my breakdown of Jeff Green’s game-winner, I discounted my rating of the shot because I felt like it was such an early-season game that it wouldn’t really have ramifications down the line. And in the comments, you guys upbraided me for not accepting that for the Celtics, beating the defending champs at home was a big deal. Looking back, I probably should have given the Green play a 4. There, I said it. But we don’t choose these things, they choose us, and we just have to move on. So before I go and discount this shot for taking place so early in the season, let’s realize that beating Oklahoma City meant a lot to the Warriors, regardless of the point in the season.

CELEBRATION
Hitting a dagger at home means built-in celebratory upgrades, such as confetti and a raucous crowd. After the shot connected, Iguodala instinctively sprinted to halfcourt, and the Warriors bench rushed the floor. We also got a shot of a calm, grinning Jermaine O’Neal, surveying the action from the sideline like the old man who’d seen it all and felt proud for these kids. And you think the Warriors weren’t excited? Check out the celebration from owner Joe Lacob

LacobGoesNutsGSWOKC

Fist pumps in a blazer, you guys.

GRADE
As stated earlier, I caught flack for giving Jeff Green three Horrys, and I have publicly reconsidered my position on that one. For a while I wondered if my legacy here at All Ball would be as the Simon Cowell of the Horry Scale, the tough judge nobody could impress. But nobody likes a meanie, and it’s no fun to have a heart two sizes too small. So for this shot, for reasons outlined above that go above and beyond what was basically a fadeaway jumper, I’m going with four Horrys.

horry-starhorry-starhorry-starhorry-star

That’s my take. How many Horry’s would you give Andre Iguodala’s game winner?

(GIF via @CJZero)

Horry Scale: Green’s The Thing


VIDEO: Jeff Green’s Game Winner

And so we have our first. The season is barely a week old, but the Horry Scale has been broached. You want a surprise? It came in Miami, which may not be that shocking, but it came from a team that was not expected to contend this season, much less notch a win in Miami.

Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain. 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.

With the rules established, let’s check out tonight’s entry, when Jeff Green of Celtics delivered a knockout punch on South Beach to the reigning champions, the Miami Heat. Uncle Green ain’t new to this. But how do we rank it? Let’s break it down…

DIFFICULTY
The old saying goes you play to tie at home and play to win on the road. And in this case, the Celtics played to win. I’m not sure how much more difficult this shot could have been. First of all, shoutout to Gerald Wallace for the inbound pass — he pump-faked to a completely covered Avery Bradley and got Birdman Birdman to briefly jump to his right, then tossed a two-hand, over the head strike to the far corner to Green. This was like Tom Brady throwing a perfect corner fade. Worth noting: Green was being defended on the play by LeBron James, an All-NBA defender. And when James turned his head for just a moment, Green took off for the corner, where he was met by Wallace’s pass and got off a shot without even setting his feet. Did this matter? Nope, not at all, as Green drained a fadeaway corner three over King James to give the Celts the road win. It was actually remarkably similar to Ray Allen’s three from Game 6 of the 2013 Finals. Still, in terms of difficulty, it’s hard to top this one.

GAME SITUATION
Up two, with 0.6 seconds left to play, Dwyane Wade went to the free throw line with a chance to ice the game. His first shot rimmed out. His second shot, still with 0.6 remaining, was missed intentionally. BUT HE MISSED THE RIM. If Wade’s shot had simply drawn iron, the clock would have started, and even if the Celts had grabbed the board, there would have been perhaps 0.3 seconds left to get off a shot, which would have required something going to the rim or an alley-oop. But Wade whiffing on everything meant a violation, and the Celts were able to take the ball out of bounds on their end with no time ticking off the clock. As important as Jeff Green’s shot was, Wade not being able to draw rim was equally consequential in this instance.

IMPORTANCE
Yes, we’re still early in the season, and some may argue that winning in general isn’t that important for the Celtics this season. So really, the Celtics probably didn’t need to win this game. And for the Heat, OK, sure, it’s just another early season game. The loss knocked Miami to 4-3, but three seasons ago they began 5-5 and still made the NBA Finals, so if anything we understand that a game this early in the season doesn’t carry that much weight.

CELEBRATION
Considering we’re early in the season and there was little at stake in terms of postseason standings or placement, the celebration was pretty fiery. Kelly Olynyk gave a 360 chest bump, and Wallace and Bradley were right there to give hugs. Bonus points to the coaching staff and bench players for their quick arrivals, as well.

GRADE
3 Horrys. It was a ridiculous shot, there’s no denying that. And while the shot rated highly in most Horry Scale categories, we have to dock it a bit due to the game being relatively inconsequential. It was a nice win for the Celts and a tough loss for the Heat, but there’s a lot of NBA left to play. So we’ll give this one three Horrys.

horry-starhorry-starhorry-star
-
What sayeth you? Give us your vote below…

Brandon Bass Is Learning To Swim


-
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBA players are for the most part in superhuman shape — superhumans who can run and jump and seemingly do almost anything. Except, for some guys, swim.

In this story in the Boston Globe, Celtics F Brandon Bass explains that he never learned how to swim as a kid, and it’s a skill he’s just never had the chance to pick up. (In the same story, Jeff Green says he, too, can’t swim.) This despite Bass owning a home on a lake and using a Jet Ski with his son, who is apparently a great swimmer…

“I can tell he’s having the time of his life, and he doesn’t have a worry in the world,” says Bass. “But I’m a little worried.”

His son senses it and says: “Dad, you can’t swim!” Says Bass: “I just feel as the man of the house, I need to learn to swim.”

Even at 28 years old, Bass has figured you’re never too old to learn something new, so he’s partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs. So Bass is taking swimming lessons along with a bunch of Boston-area kids, both to learn how to swim and raise awareness of the need for kids to learn how to swim. From the looks of the video, he’s off to a great start.

Green Compiles Different Hat Trick

by Zettler Clay IV

In the battle-torn world of the NBA, certain teams bring a certain grit out of each other that transcends records. The Boston Celtics are currently seventh in the East, but that doesn’t matter to the Miami Heat. Their games are going to be physical affairs with both teams jabbering and tussling throughout the 48 minutes.

Last time these two teams met, LeBron gave fans a giddy highlight and Jason Terry a strong headache.

Tonight in a rematch, Terry’s teammate Jeff Green took it personal.



Not once…



Not twice…



And yes, good people, the trifecta.

Green did eventually get up from that last jam and finished with 23,432 dunks for the game 25 points, giving him a combined 68 points in his last two contests versus the Heat.

Horry Scale: Jeff Green Drops The Cavs

by Zettler Clay IV

a

a

Last offseason, Jeff Green failed his physical, had his contract voided and underwent heart surgery. He missed the whole lockout-shortened season.

This year he is back, giving us enough doses of throwdowns and highlights to provide some glamour in an injury-riddled season for the Celtics. Since lighting up Miami for 43 points a couple of weeks ago, he has scored 13, 10, 12, 19 and 21 in five games following. In the latter performance, he granted us another highlight: a game-winner at the rim as time expired to lift the C’s 93-92 over the Cavs.

With a head start because of sagging defense, Green knifed his way into the paint with a nifty up-and-under, giving the struggling Celtics a breath of fresh air for the moment. Boston was on its way to six straight losses before Green’s shot. With Kevin Garnett hobbled, Green’s offensive punch is needed now more than ever. And he delivered, sending the Cavs to their 48th loss of the year and closer to another top lottery pick (and more Cleveland luck).

For those that 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.

How does Green’s finish Wednesday night stack up? Without further ado…

Difficulty

Well, this wasn’t the most complicated of shots. The Cavaliers are no strangers to the scouting report and defended accordingly, blanketing Paul Pierce like he was a nugget during the Gold Rush. With 10 eyes on Pierce, Avery Bradley found an unmolested Green at the top of the key. Armed with a head of steam, he used his long strides and took advantage of lax (read: very lax) resistance. His finish was reminiscent of a first-quarter blown defensive assignment than a typical last-second contested shot. Excellent concentration by Green at the cup with time against him.

Game Situation

The Celtics were down one with 2.1 seconds left. Prior to the last play, Alonzo Gee knocked the ball out of Pierce’s hands out of bounds. This was a blessing in disguise for  Doc Rivers, who used the official’s replay to concoct a last-gasp scoring set.  A miss would’ve given the Celtics eight losses out of their last 10 games.

Importance

This was another high in a season full of highs and lows for Green. He can tantalize with his end-to-end athleticism, but can befuddle with his tendency to disappear at times. In March, he is posting over 15 ppg on 47 percent shooting (37 percent from land of trey) and becoming a go-to scorer down the stretch. Recovering from aortic surgery, he continues to show that once fully activated, he is a force.

“Jeff wanted the ball at the end. He asked for it by the way he was looking at me in the huddle,” said Celtics coach Rivers. “He clearly wanted the basketball. I sensed that and everybody sensed that, so I called the play for him.”

For the Celtics, the playoffs are approaching. They are currently seeded 7th, 2 1/2 games above the Milwaukee Bucks (who are also struggling). Neither team desires a first-round series against the Heat — though I’m sure Boston would give them every thing it has. Wins like this on the road aren’t the easiest to come by, even if the decimated Cavaliers are the opponent. Cleveland receives another heartbreak in a history season full of them.

Celebration

The backdrop of Green’s chest thump clashed against the dejected home crowd perfectly. With colorful personalities like Jason Terry, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett as teammates, Green is blending in well in the celebration department, giving yells and staredowns with the best of them this season. Against the Cavs, he didn’t spare the (minor) histrionics. Very definitive in the face of 17,000 silent fans, yet not over the top.

Grade

3 1/2 Horrys. As for as difficulties go, this was the easiest GWBB this season. Though Boston was down prior to the play, Cleveland’s matador D made this play more smooth for Green than it should’ve been. Credit the Celtics (Rivers, especially) for finding the seam in the defense and having the guts to use their Hall-of-Famer as a decoy. This trust in his team could go a long way come May.

What sayeth you?