Can Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley Coexist for the Boston Celtics? (Yahoo! Contributor Network)
The News COMMENTARY | Due to a Ray Allen injury late in the 2012 season, Avery Bradley was forced into the starting lineup for the Boston Celtics in the midst of a championship run. Bradley was a huge change of pace from the sharp-shooting Ray Allen, and the way the team played changed noticeably as Bradley took over as the starting shooting guard. However, the team had some success with Bradley in the lineup, coming one win short of reaching the NBA Finals.
The Boston Celtics’ Game 2 second-half shooting was historically awful (Ball Don't Lie)
The News The Boston Celtics went 7 for 36 from the floor in the second half of their 87-71 Game 2 loss to the New York Knicks on Tuesday night. That's 19.4 percent. That sounds bad. It looks even worse:
The misery was spread throughout the roster, with Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Jason Terry and Terrence Williams missing every shot they took after halftime, leading scorer Paul Pierce missing six of his nine tries, first-half spark-plug Jordan Crawford missing five of seven and Kevin Garnett missing four of six. All that red translates into a 23-point second half for the Celtics, tying the NBA record for fewest points in a half of a playoff game , held by the 1997-98 Utah Jazz (who scored 23 in the second half of their loss to the Chicago Bulls in Game 3 of the NBA Finals ) and the 1999-2000 Phoenix Suns (who managed 23 in the first half of a postseason-ending loss to the Los Angeles Lakers). And that translated into a deficit too large to overcome, a hole dug by a massive 24-4 New York run from the beginning of the second half through the 4:25 mark of the third quarter that permanently tilted the game away from Boston.
Tuesday's drought came one game after Boston put up just 25 points (including a dreadful eight in the fourth quarter) in Saturday's Game 1 loss , making the Celtics the first team in the shot-clock era to score 25 or fewer points in consecutive halves, according to Hoopsworld's Tommy Beer . We're guessing that stat won't be given too prominent a place in the annals of Celtic lore.
Avery Bradley Breaks Out of Horrible Offensive Slump (Yahoo! Contributor Network)
The News COMMENTARY | Without Rajon Rondo, the Boston Celtics have been relying heavily on Avery Bradley on both ends of the floor. The team started streaking without their star point guard, leading many to begin questioning whether they are actually a better team without Rajon Rondo.
Avery Bradley Proves His Potential, Worth to Boston Celtics (Yahoo! Contributor Network)
The News COMMENTARY | While the Boston Celtics were struggling early in the season, fans anxiously awaited the return of Avery Bradley as a partial solution. In his limited time in the league, his numbers have never stood off the page enough to make anyone claim that he could solve Boston's issues. As a matter of fact, he never got significant minutes until last season, when Ray Allen was injured.
The 10-man rotation, starring #TysonTapback (Ball Don't Lie)
The News A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C : The New York Times . "In the past 10 games, Chandler has attempted to tap the ball back to a teammate 27 times. Of those attempts, the Knicks have corralled the offensive rebound 17 times (63 percent). The Knicks have gone on to score 12 times on the second-chance opportunities." Ahead of the New York Knicks' Monday night matchup with the Boston Celtics, Nate Taylor's got a neat read on one of the under-the-radar contributions that's made Tyson Chandler such an important piece of the Knicks' rise to the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.
PF : The Point Forward . The San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers have all surprised NBA observers by making marked improvements on the defense end thus far this season. But how likely are these improvements to hold fast over the balance of the season? Rob Mahoney digs into the numbers and the tape in search of answers.
SF : CSNNE.com . Avery Bradley barely played as a rookie, became an integral part of the Boston Celtics as a sophomore, then suffered major injuries that required double shoulder surgery that kept him sidelined and largely immobile for months. Jessica Camerato went looking for what goes into making the kind of dude that can handle that kind of professional sturm und drang at the tender age of 22; changing high schools, mopping floors and doing your own laundry all factor into it.
SG : Heat.com . One big reason why the Miami Heat boast the NBA's third-most efficient offense: they take and make more corner 3-pointers than any team in the league, converting on the most valuable shot in the game at an absurd 45.9 percent rate. Against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, though, Miami went just 1 for 9 from the corners and saw some opportunities that would typically lead to high-percentage looks scuttled by characteristically brilliant Tom Thibodeau-coached defense, and the result was a big Chicago win . Couper Moorhead breaks down Thibs' strategy and, as always, teaches us a thing or two.
Keyon Dooling retires, leaving the players’ union with a big decision (Ball Don't Lie)
The News On Thursday afternoon, the Boston Celtics announced that they had waived veteran combo guard Keyon Dooling , who had re-signed with the club as recently as July 31 . Though Dooling was looking at reduced playing time this season, he performed admirably for the Celtics in 2011-12, providing key pressure defense when guard Avery Bradley had to sit during the bulk of their playoff run with a seriously injured shoulder. The return of Bradley and signings of Jason Terry and Courtney Lee indicated that Dooling would not have a huge role with the Celtics, but he was nevertheless a useful player given their needs.
It turns out that the Celtics might not have waived Dooling for purely basketballular reasons. As their official statement notes Dooling wants to focus on his life away from basketball:
Celtics' Offseason Shaping Up to Be a Success: Fan Take (Yahoo! Contributor Network)
The News The Boston Celtics entered the 2012 offseason facing an uncertain path forward. Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Avery Bradley remained under contract, but little else was known about the immediate future of the organization. From uncertainty, Danny Ainge and the Celtics once again reloaded and put together a deep talented roster that should keep them in the hunt for at least the 2012-13 season.
Courtney Lee heads to Boston, in a move that deserves polite applause (Ball Don't Lie)
The News When he burst onto the NBA scene as a rookie in 2008-09, a fully formed Courtney Lee bordered on being overrated by the media. In the years since that season, one that saw a Magic team Lee started for make the NBA Finals, Lee's play has stayed remarkably consistent in terms of points per minute, Player Efficiency Rating, and shooting percentage. And it's based on those consistent numbers, along with a more sober view of who Lee is as a player, that we applaud the Boston Celtics' machinations in acquiring the shooting guard.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported the sign and trade on Thursday and the terms on Friday : $21.5 million over four years, full guaranteed. That's basically the average salary for a starting quality player, one who will be locked up through his prime (Lee turns 27 in October), and one that fills a need for Boston in the wake of Ray Allen's defection to Miami. Poifect, Boston. Poifect.
The deal certainly won't put Boston over the top, or even guarantee this aging crew a spot in the second round. At times, though he may start, Lee might only be the team's third-best shooting guard, behind veteran Jason Terry and comer Avery Bradley. With Terry being perhaps better served coming off the bench, and Bradley potentially out for the first chunk of 2012-13 as he recovers from duel shoulder surgeries (to say nothing of the point guard height they both come to work with), Lee's a helpful option here.
As for Houston, it'll say goodbye to a player it really didn't need in Lee — with Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and Gary Forbes on the roster — and take a flier on big man JaJuan Johnson in his second season. Johnson and former Boston and Purdue teammate E'Twaun Moore (who was dealt in the sign and trade but soon to be released) disappointed in their first year in Boston, even by lower-round standards. Both have NBA talent and Johnson has NBA size, along with Kevin McHale in his corner and a year under his belt, so this could be the first step in Johnson's move toward working as a reliable NBA reserve center.
Sound work, NBA GMs. Club sandwiches for everyone.
Jason Terry has agreed to become a Boston Celtic, as Dallas’ shakeup continues (Ball Don't Lie)
The News Almost immediately following the Dallas Mavericks' triumph in the 2011 NBA Finals, the NBA locked out its players in order to ensure greater revenue sharing and a significant shift in income that would head the NBA owners' way. During this lockout, and possibly irrespective of its outcome, Mavs owner Mark Cuban decided to hold off on securing the futures of the veteran talents that helped his Mavericks take down the Heat in June of 2011. Tyson Chandler, the eventual Defensive Player of the Year, was the initial "victim" of sorts. Jason Kidd, potentially the next; as the Mavs look to hold on to a significant chunk of cap space during this offseason in hopes of either signing or trading for their next star to pair alongside Dirk Nowitzki.
Jason Terry has always given us the impression that he feels as if he's just a small step removed from being an NBA star, and this is part of the reason he's been one of our favorite players for years. Spurned by the Mavs, however tactfully and professionally by Cuban's club, Terry has decided to take his talents to Boston after a carefully considered decision. Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears was the first to report that the man we call JET will sign a three-year deal starting at the league's mid-level exception with the Celtics, at a salary of around $5 million a year.
Though Terry's position and shooting range would seem to serve as a substitute for free agent Celtics guard Ray Allen, who was coming off the bench for Boston when Avery Bradley was healthy enough to play during last year's playoffs, all indications point to the Celtics as still hoping to retain Allen's services for 2012-13 and beyond. Allen is being courted not only by the C's but the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies. Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo was an early target of Boston's, but entering his first free agency Mayo may have priced himself out of Boston's range. With Allen still in limbo, the C's made a fine move in grabbing the 2009 Sixth Man Award winner.