Monday, July 21, 2014

Evan Turner set to sign with the Celtics

This isn't a bad signing. Evans is a former No. 2 pick from the 2010 draft. But the 25-year-old Turner hasn't had the career as one. I think this is a low risk move that could result in a high reward. The deal will be half of the mid-level exception, which makes this a sound signing.

Turner has averaged 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists over four NBA seasons. This doesn't make Boston contenders, but the Celtics get a chance to revitalize Turner's career.

CSNNE

According to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett, the Celtics --using a portion of their mid-level exception. -- will sign Evan Turner.
Turner averaged 17.1 points per game with the Sixers last season before being traded to the Pacers, where he took on a bench role. He's a versatile forward, standing at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds. A former No 2. overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, at the very least he's a young talent that gives the Celtics another option at the small forward spot should Jeff Green be moved.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Celtics owner talks about being patient this summer, after failed opportunities




I think it's fair to say that some fans are upset with the lack of moves by Ainge. I'm just thankful Rondo is still around, but at the same time Ainge hasn't built a team around Rondo. Drafting Smart wasn't a great move in the sense you have Rondo. When the Celtics drafted the point guard that prompted the media and fans to hint about the Celtics want to move Rondo.

ESPN Boston

Grousbeck, who coined the buzzword "fireworks" earlier this year while citing a desire for rebuilding Boston to revert to contender status with impact moves, suggested the team explored potential deals, but couldn't find a willing trade partner.

“We had definitely hoped to try to make bigger moves this offseason, to be honest," Grousbeck told WEEI.com on Sunday from Fenway Park. "Having said that, it takes two partners to make a trade, so we focused on longterm, trying to build the club."

After Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love himself visited Fenway Park in early June -- crossing paths with Celtics captain Rajon Rondo while here -- some wondered if Boston could facilitate a trade to land the 25-year-old All-Star. The two teams reportedly engaged in trade conversations, though little came of it, with Minnesota seemingly more intrigued by other potential offers. Love, who has expressed a desire to become a free agent next summer, remains on Minnesota's roster.

Instead, Boston made a series of quieter moves this offseason. The Celtics drafted Marcus Smart and James Young in the first round of June's draft; re-signed guard Avery Bradley to a four-year, $32 million contract; and utilized a hefty trade exception to facilitate a three-way deal with the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers that brought back guard Marcus Thornton, center Tyler Zeller, and Cleveland's 2016 first-round pick.

"We think we’re a better team now -- positioned for the future -- [with] some new young talent and even more draft picks," said Grousbeck. "But it’s been a patient summer so far, and I'm not always the most patient guy."

The Celtics could be worse off, they could be the Lakers right now. Ainge has made some calculated moves when it comes to cap space and draft picks. Moves that show up years from now, and not right here in the moment. The Celtics have a nice core to build around, but not a title contender by any means. They have great role players that you can build around. The Celtics lack that other star, in which they've missed out on. The growth of three players keeps me intrigued. Will Bradley put together a healthy season, and will his offense reach even greater lengths?

Sullinger as well faces the same issues. Will he continue to grow on the offensive end, and can he remain healthy for the majority of the season. Olynyk is another player that I want to see grow. Will he become the complete player that many think he can be. The Celtics will start the season with Rondo running the show, so maybe the Celtics become a playoff team with the young guys growing up a bit more.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

NBA News and Notes: Irving feeling great about LeBron, and Bynum may sit out 2014-15 season



Andrew Bynum still has knees to go up and down a basketball court? I don't care for the former Laker. He doesn't put in the work, and he's an immature player that doesn't care about safety for others. Do I feel sorry for him about his injury plagued 3 years? It's a pity, but I don't feel for him. He's been quoted about his feeling about basketball. Basically if he wasn't 7 foot tall he wouldn't give a damn about basketball. So do I really care about the chance that he may not play this coming season? No, because I thought he retired already? Oh, that's right he played for Cleveland last year for a second, and he played for the Pacers for around .3 seconds. Just enough time for a tip shot or catch and shoot.

ESPN

The non-surgical procedure uses injections to help grow new cartilage, and requires an extra-long rehab.

Lee said Bynum is considering doing the program with German doctor Peter Wehling, who has worked with Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez in the past.

The procedure is not approved in the United States.

If Bynum successfully completes the program, he could return in 2015-16, according to Lee, who said the Knicks potentially would be interested in the 7-footer.

"If he's healthy, Phil (Jackson) will be interested," Lee told the Post, referring to the Knicks team president who coached Bynum while with the Lakers. "Phil knew how to tap into Andrew. They got along famously."

Bynum, a former All-Star, didn't play in 2012-13 because of bad knees. Last season, he played in 24 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who then traded him to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls eventually waived the one-time All-Star, and he signed with the Indiana Pacers, playing just two games for them.

In 2011-12, Bynum's last full season, he made the All-Star team, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.

Phil Jackson can have him back. How did bringing in Odom workout for you Phil? Not very well.. Bynum was lucky to put together a good two year stretch for the Lakers when they won back-to-back titles a few years ago.

So how about the new dynamic duo in Cleveland? James and Irving should have some fun in Cleveland this season. For the first since James was there in 2010. The Cavs are among the elite in the East again. So how does he feel? It's not very shocking.

"It's an exciting time, I can tell you that," Irving said, according to Fox Sports Ohio. "Everything is happening."

James announced on July 11 that he would return to Cleveland after four seasons with the Miami Heat.

"I was excited," Irving said. "You have to empathize with the guy. I think we all felt his emotions with his essay (on SI.com). ... I found out like everyone else found out."

Who wouldn't love playing with LeBron? Not a shocking answer by last years All-Star game MVP..

Rondo to Sacramento is Real?


KHTK in Sacramento, apparently a CBS (radio) affiliate, is apparently tweeting that Sacramento is deep in talks with the Celtics and Detroit, and that offers are on the table, and that the two deals are dependent on each other.

Was told by a lower management Kings official, talks regarding Pistons F Josh Smith are on hold as of now, due to SAC/BOS Rondo negotiations

Was told reasoning behind slow process, due to Kings wanting both Rondo & Smith. Unlikely one comes without the other.Kings torn on Mclemore

Am being told Kings staying put with both offers. SAC offering G Ben McLemore, 1st round pick, & Jason Terry to BOS for G Rajon Rondo.
Kings also staying put with offer to Pistons. SAC would send F Jason Thompson , PG Ray McCallum to DET for F Josh Smith.
https://twitter.com/KHTK1140Callers

I don't know how legit these reports are, twitter being what it is, and rumors being what they are, but it sounds legit to me.  I think that this is the deal that needs to happen, one that will help everyone.  I think Sacramento needs to figure out a way to sweeten its offers a little, but Danny also has to get real about the leverage he no longer has.  Other teams know that going into the season with both Rondo and Smart will be a mess, one way or another.  Danny has to make a move.  This sounds like the move to make.  Rondo has to get real too, I think.  He has to recognize that he is not now, and possibly never was, part of Danny's plan.  He has to recognize that, while everyone wants to go to a major market, the most important thing is to be on a team that wants you, playing with people you want to play with.  As Durant has proven, being in a major market isn't everything.  Ditto Lebron.


I wanted Rondo to be a Celtics legend and I thought he could be one of the greatest.  I think the shabby treatment of Rondo, as I see it,  by Ainge has been a big mistake by Ainge.  But now it really is time for both sides to move on.  Hopefully Rondo can begin to build a new legend in Sacramento.  Hopefully Smart can do the same in Boston.

------------------------

Apparently the Detroit Free Press (via Pro Basketball Talk) says there is no there there...

http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/07/19/report-no-legs-to-trade-talks-between-pistons-and-kings-involving-josh-smith/

Sacramento was looking to send nothing of value in return for Smith, which almost seems fair when considering he’s guaranteed $40.5 million over the next three seasons.
But there’s a new regime in Detroit with Stan Van Gundy acting as head coach and president of basketball operations, and he obviously wants to see if he can properly utilize Smith’s talents before shipping him out in exchange for nothing more than financial flexibility.

My guess is that there are legs to the story, but that the Kings will have to sweeten both offers.

-----------------------------

The latest from KHTK is that Detroit has agreed to a deal and that everything hinges on Ainge now.    I don't know how valid the report is, but if it is on the money, I hope Danny stops dithering and gets down to making a deal.  It's time for everyone to have a chance to move on.

----------------------------

No progress on the Rondo side, it seems, according to KHTK (assuming it is/has a real source):

 As far as Rondo, that's the trade I'm told is most likely not to happen, but per source, the Kings will NOT make one trade w/o other.
Perhaps Danny is still hoping that Rondo will turn it on as the Celtics leader, though it seems more likely to me that he's continuing to hope that he can bet a 'big haul' for Rondo.

Blame It On Rondo


One of the most ridiculous 'factals' that has been propagated into near truth is the claim that Rajon Rondo was awful in 2013-2014.   I suppose that one of the reasons this notion has taken on legs is that the Celtics organization - as is their wont - badly misled people about what to expect from Rondo last year.  We were led to believe that Rondo would be  back by opening day, and that he very possibly would be better than ever.  We now know that return from ACL rarely plays out that way.

If we measure Rondo's return against more realistic expectations, it would make more sense to say it was a great success than to say that it was a failure.  The most important thing that happened was what didn't happen;  Rondo didn't re-injure himself.  Another very good thing was that Rondo shot the ball more, and initially, with much improved success.  He showed better form and more confidence in his shot.  One of this most important tasks this summer has to be to finally get 'over the hump' as a shooter.  Hopefully he is shooting until his arms fall off.  Hopeful signs need to be turned into sustained advances.

Rondo's movement on the court seemed less explosive, but his mastery as a playmaker seemed to be better than ever.  Rondo seemed to be in control of opposing defenses, as if he had opposing players on a string.  Sometimes, as Rondo dribbled around, it looked like he was turning the other team's defense into origami. 
His own teammates seemed slow to understand what he was up to at times, and slow to respond.  This is a sign not of his failure, but of needing better, or more attuned, teammates.  Even so, Rondo basically led the league in assists last year.  If you take out his first month, when his minutes were limited and he was shaking off rust, he averaged better than 11 apg.  That is a genuinely astonishing achievement.

In fact, Rondo has basically led the league in assists for four straight years.  In 2011, Nash barely caught Rondo at the end of the season because injury and team confusion brought Rondo down, and Nash came on.  In 2012 and 2013, Rondo led the league outright.  This last year, Rondo would have led the league if you took away his first six games back and if he had enough assists.  This guy, who has essentially led the league in assists for four straight years, as his team has deteriorated  around him, and despite injuries;   this is the guy who is routinely now almost looked upon as some kind of a joke by many?!  Leading the league in assists is a tremendous achievement.  Moreover, the numbers confirmed what the eye saw - that Rondo's mastery as a playmaker is better than ever.

There were important disappointments.  Rondo's defensive play continued to deteriorate and his shooting confidence, which started out high, collapsed.  Worst of all, Rondo continued to slow the pace down.  This became so bad that Heinsohn, who loves Rondo, publicly called him out for it.  On the other hand, it is absurd to blame Rondo for going through the motions some on a team designed to tank only slightly less blatantly than the Sixers.

Overall, one should grade Rondo's return-from-ACL season as incomplete.   As we now know, that is the typical grade after return from ACL injury.  The fantasy that Rondo would come back and lead the D-league level tankarama Celtics to number 18, like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland showing that a bunch of kids with a little grit and moxy can beat the odds, crashed pretty hard into reality.  Rondo is the wrong person to blame for this.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lakers great Cooper says Bird was harder to guard than Jordan



I get what Cooper says, and he's right. But to be clear. When it comes down to one-on-one, Jordan was better. Jordan was a bit more predictable, and Bird was a free spirit out there. He was unpredictable, and that's why he's one of the best that ever played. I love hearing these old stories. It never get's old for me.

Mass Live

MassLive: I want to start with Larry Bird. He’s said before that you were the toughest player to defend him. Was he the best player you ever had to defend?

Cooper: He was the toughest in the sense that anytime Larry was on the floor, you had to be aware of his presence because he was going to make something good happen. I played against George Gervin, Andrew Toney, Dr. J., a young Michael Jordan, some of the best players that have ever played this game, but Larry would have to be the best. You knew if Jordan had the ball, once he gave it up, you were okay with that. Larry could go get offensive rebounds. He could make a great pass. He was the ultimate offensive threat. Anytime he was on the offensive side of the floor you had to defend him. To me, that makes him the best I’ve ever played against.

Waiting for the Love trade, that won't include Boston



As Crowded House once said "Don't dream it's over", but I think it is over for Boston in the Love sweepstakes. It was a nice "dream" for the past month or so. But now back to reality. Maybe it was a way to sale more tickets? Maybe it was a genuine attempt by Ainge and Wyc to put the Celtics in contention again. The fireworks backfired, and Ainge is missing a finger or two.

I wanted Love, and I've made that clear for the past month. Love is a top 3 power forward, and that was the best thing possible for Boston going forward. With a Love to Cleveland deal around the corner. What's plan B. I've asked this already, and I wonder what can Boston do. I think most believe Rondo is a sitting duck, and Ainge is a phone call away from trading the last player from the 2008 championship team.


So what can Boston do? Well Josh Smith? No, I'm not serious. I might have been okay with that two years ago, but last season was a major turnoff for me. Smith did average a solid 16.4 points per game, but on a pretty bad team. That's very Jeff Greenish. I guess the question to ask is this. Who would you rather have Green or Smith? I prefer the cheaper Green. How about the headcase that is DeMarcus Cousins? He's very high on Rondo, and maybe the Celtics can turn that guy around, or he will be Ricky Davis all over again.

At this point the Celtics could have mid-season fireworks, if they're buyers. At this point the C's will have to wait for next summer, but the free agency class doesn't scream out to me. LaMarcus Aldridge does, but he's made it clear that he wants to stay with Portland.

The Top Free Agents next summer, besides Rondo.
-Brook Lopez
-Paul Milsap
-Al Jefferson
-Klay Thompson
-Roy Hibbert
-David West
-Marc Gasol
-LaMarcus Aldridge

Nothing great, so the Celtics and Rondo are stuck. If Boston keeps Rondo throughout the season, what will Rondo do if Ainge is unable to get veteran help. Rondo could easily jump ship. I don't feel very confident in Ainge when it comes to striking a big deal. I know he can build this team again, but not in Rondo's prime, which is sad for me, and for many fans out there.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Celtics legend Bill Russell is feeling okay after scare


Glad he's okay, take it easy Mr. Russell.

ESPN

Basketball legend Bill Russell was hospitalized Thursday after feeling faint while giving a speech in Nevada, the Boston Celtics said.

Russell, 80, left the event at the Hyatt Regency resort in Incline Village on a stretcher and was taken to a hospital as a precaution, according to the Celtics.

The Hall of Fame center is "feeling better," the Celtics said, and is expected to fly back to his Seattle-area home as early as Thursday night.

Tanguay and Jeff Goodman attack Rondo, and blame him for Celtics woes in free agency




The other bloggers are right. Red's Army and Jeff Clark from Celtics blog called this guy out, and they should have. He's not very good at his job, so he stirs the pot. Tanguay is another animal. This guy has no redeeming qualities. He's always on Rondo, and he calls for a trade every other day. Jeff Goodman has no idea, and Tanguay as well. In the past Kobe said he wanted Rondo, Kevin Love even said he wouldn't mind playing with Rondo, and so has Melo. As for Doc leaving. The other blogs nailed it. Doc wanted to leave because he didn't want to rebuild, and Rondo said he still talks to Doc. They've patched up things I'm sure.

This stuff is getting old, and I hate to do this. But doesn't Danny get some of the blame? He's had Rondo dangling over the balcony ready to drop. These guys get fuel by the rumors, and they go ahead and make ever crazier rumors. It's all a mess for Rondo. We often talk about how bad Pierce had it from 2004-2007 in Boston. But with social media today and more and more blogs. Rondo has easily been a harder target. In case you missed the back and forth between Red's Army along with Celtics blog against Jeff Goodman, you can find it here.

Red's Army Article

LeBron has spoken with Kevin Love about joining the Cavs, not great for the Celtics




I think the Love to Cleveland deal is nearing. It's just something that Love wants now, and Cleveland has the most to offer the Wolves. What's plan B for the Celtics? I have no clue. I felt the Celtics needed another star this summer somehow. I thought Love, but without that. I don't see Ainge keeping Rondo past the trade deadline. Which is sad..

CSNNE

Things may be getting closer to the Cavaliers becoming even more of a contender in the East than they already are, after making the free agent coup of the summer by signing LeBron James.

Kevin Love is not a free agent, but Minnesota is fielding offers for him because he has informed the team that he will not re-sign there when his contract is up after the 2015 season.

The catch, obviously, is that Love would have to agree to re-up anywhere he is traded in order for another team to give up any real assets in exchange for his services. And LeBron is apparently doing his part to try to convince Love that a pairing in Cleveland would be the right long-term decision.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

"LeBron James has reached to tell Kevin Love of his desire for them to play together with the Cavaliers, front office sources tell Yahoo."

Escorting Rondo to the Ainge Express?


It can be a  weird experience reading some of the blogs and journo-blasts  revolving around the Celtics.  They seem, at times, to emanate from an alternate universe.  In this alternate universe, sometimes dubious opinions are hammered by repeated assertion and usage into absolute fact, or  into near fact.  Thus it is a near fact that Rondo - as it is said -  will not abide by any sort of Celtics rebuild and  will leave town next summer if the team does not become an instant contender.   This near fact has  a corollary near fact:  if the Celtics do not land Kevin Love, it is widely said, Rondo must be traded, for he will surely leave town next summer.  Rondo might leave town, and of course he wants to be on a contender as soon as possible, but he has repeatedly asserted his desire to stay and his willingness to help the team grown.

Another near fact is that Danny Ainge is a trading genius who will never lose a trade.  This near fact relies fairly heavily on another  astoundingly surreal near fact;  the Perkins trade, it is widely thought, was a huge win for Ainge and the Celtics.   In fact, Danny has made some trades and moves that worked out brilliantly;  he has also made some that didn't work out so well;    he has made some that are questionable and he has made bad to awful trades and moves.  The main evidence for Danny being a genius can be said to be that he recognized Kevin Garnett as a man who could re-establish Celtics Pride, and he had a friendly GM in Kevin Mchale who was willing to  help give KG, the Cs, and the 'Wolves fresh starts.  Recognizing that KG could change the Celtics' culture and fortunes wasn't exactly genius, though it was a very good move.   But for every brilliant Danny move, there is an opposite bad Danny move.   The Perkins trade was the opposite to the KG trade.  It blew a strong and determined  Celtics team out of championship contention.   It solidified Oklahoma as a strong contender.  The Celtics ended up with the better player in the deal, yes, but that better player was an inconsistent player in a position where he was redundant, while trading Perkins left a gaping hole at the five that still hasn't been addressed, three years down the road.  It looks like Danny's genius solution for fixing that gaping hole he made may be yet another tankjob season.  Ah, but there's another near fact;  teams that want to win need to avoid the rut of mediocrity, and that means they have to tank for lottery picks.  Of course, tanking has ruined some teams, leading to a seemingly endless tank cycle, or in Cleveland's case, a boom or bust cycle, but nevertheless, it is, we are told, the only way for smart people. 

In my view, one of the most egregious 'absolute facts' is the claim that a good GM is ready to trade any player at any time, and that even the best and most loyal player should always keep his bags packed by his door, just in case some really sweet deal cannot be resisted by such a good and responsible GM.  This is just so ludicrous.   To build a good team, to play good basketball, you need some dedication and loyalty from your players.  It surely should be too obvious to say that one cannot expect loyalty and dedication from players to whom one refuses to give loyalty and dedication.  The key here, as in all things, is - of course - context and balance.   Of course trades can and must happen at times.   Sometimes they even  benefit everyone involved.  But it should go without saying that the more important a player is to your team, the more dedicated he is, the more important it is to show  loyalty to that player. 

There is an even more egregious 'absolute fact' that this one is based on:  the claim that sports is just a business, and that therefore personal feelings and relationships have no place in sports decisions.  Of course none of that is 100% true in even the most hard-headed business environments,  but it's just absurd to claim that sports leagues are businesses in the normal sense, which I believe is enshrined legally in their avoidance of anti-trust actions.  Sports play an important role in the social fabrics of entire communities, which subsidize those sports in myriad ways, not just financial ways, but those too.

With many of these group think fact-like social artifacts, it is, I think, always interesting to ask cui bono.
Who benefits from certain attitudes being promulgated and repeated until they harden into near facts?  It's really naive to, in my view, to think that factals really just come into being spontaneously.  Maybe some do.  I think that many of them take quite a bit of coaxing to form properly.  I thought this was particularly obvious after the Perkins trade.  Rationalizations for the Perkins trade seemed to spread through the internet in waves.  Perkins would never resign with us, we were told.  Yet he wept when he was traded.  He wanted too much money, we were told.  Yet there were apparently no real negotiations, just an initial offer.  He was finished physically, we were told.  Yet he is still the starting center of a perennially contending NBA team.
Shaq would come back from injury and replace him, we were told.   But we knew that would take a miracle. because Shaq was in a chronically debilitating phase of his career.  Krstic would be even better, we were told.  Yet Krstic was not noted as a defensive player.  The most important thing for our team was spacing, we were told.  Yet spacing, while important, had not been elevated as such a crucial need before.  We were told that Green would be tremendous.  Yet Green had been a journeyman.  A kind of palace of illusion was created around the Perkins trade, and it worked. 

I can't help but wonder if the same is being done in preparation for a Rondo trade.  We are told that Rondo wants to go max in his next contract, though what he has said publicly suggests that he is open to different possibilities, and there have apparently been no negotiations beyond an initial offer.  There is an insinuation that Rondo may never fully recover from his ACL, though  in some ways he played more brilliantly than ever  even in the shortened season  he had last year, and full recovery typically doesn't happen until the season after return to play.  There is the unspoken presence of a replacement waiting in the wings, in draft pick Marcus Smart.  There seems to be a growing consensus that not only is Rondo not someone to build around, but that he is not even a top point guard anymore.  One writer even mocked Cousin's statement yesterday that Rondo was the best pg in the league, as if it was not only not true in his eyes, but actually ludicrous. But of course, the fact that Rondo has now repeatedly led the league in assists, by itself, is a strong argument that he is the best point guard.   Sure, one can argue that Paul is, or Westbrook, or Curry, or even Rose, and not Rondo, but one cannot reasonably laugh/sneer at the notion that Rondo might be.

When Danny finally pulls the trigger and trades Rondo, assuming he does, expect the talking heads and sages to declare their surprise, while nodding their heads about how inevitable and smart a move it really turns out to be, when you think about it...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Despite the distraction of rumors, Rondo needs to show the world why he's capable of being the best point guard



Work hard and turn your dreams into reality. That's what most believe, and honestly hard work does workout in some ways, depending on your god given abilities, or some luck and attitude. Rondo has the ability, and the hard work ethic. That has been proven many times. Rondo is at his peak, he's 28 and the time is now to become the best or a top 5 point guard once again. This is a contract year, and despite the rumors, and what Danny intends to do with Rondo.

As hard as it sounds. Rondo needs to focus on himself. With this one season in mind as selfish as it sounds. He can't think about anything but this season. His focus should be playing the best basketball of his career, because honestly that will result in more wins than losses for Boston. Rondo's focus should be on his teammates and the season ahead. His focus shouldn't be on Danny's master plan. Rondo is playing for his career this season,and with the Celtics looking more and more like a bottom feeder again in the Eastern Conference.

Rondo needs to be a bit selfish. He's auditioning in some ways for other teams. Not because he wants to, but because that's the nature of it. Because it's the best thing for him, and I'm sure he wants to get back at Ainge a bit for years of rumors. At the end of the day Rondo may end up in Boston. But for his sake, and as a fan of the player, no matter of what name is on the front. He needs to focus on himself this season. The team part will fall into place. DeMarcus Cousins still thinks highly of Rondo at least. A possible teammate of Rondo's someday? He called Rondo the best point guard during an interview with Bill Simmons.


Listen to the Bill Simmons interview here

The Wizards have put together a nice team



The Wizards have one of the best young backcourts in the NBA today. I'm not a huge fan of John Wall, but I think he's one of the best scoring point guards in the game, if not the best with Rose out of action for the past two seasons. Wall could take a lesson or two from another former Kentucky point guard in Rondo. Wall did have a career-high in assist last year with 8.8 assists a game. Bradley Beal also showed great growth in his second season. He averaged 17 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds per game for the Wiz.

The Wizards have been busy this summer. They've actually set off fireworks.. They retained Gortat, they signed Paul Pierce, and Kris Humphries. They traded for DeJuan Blair, and they also retained Drew Gooden, with Andre Miller a late signing from last year. The Wizards also extended Randy Wittman's contract. This is a nice core of young and old. I still think the Wizards have a lot of question marks. But adding Paul Pierce into the mix means more for budding superstars Beal and Wall. Paul can truly reach them and teach them.

The East is wide open as I've said. The Wizards have built a deep roster, and with so many question marks in the air about certain teams. The Wizards could somehow reach the Finals. Anything can happen in the East.

Former Celtics 1st round pick Len Bias will be inducted into the Maryland Hall of Fame

CSN Baltimore
Former Maryland basketball star Len Bias will be inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the 2014 class, the university announced in a release on Wednesday morning.

Bias is one of eight former athletes and members of the athletics staff who will be honored this year. He joins men’s lacrosse player Bob Boneillo, two-sport track standout and football player Edward G. Cooke, field hockey and women’s lacrosse player Maureen ‘Bean’ Scott Dupcak, women’s lacrosse player Alex Kahoe, women’s basketball player Debbie Lytle.

It's always hard thinking about Len Bias. It's always hard guessing what could have been, but the bigger picture is his lost life. Along with the loved ones that miss him.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Eastern Conference is wide open thanks to James, who do you like?



The Miami Heat would be the best team in the East right now if LeBron remained in south beach. But the plot has thickened in the Eastern Conference in 2014-15. The playing field is leveled, for this season at least, or so far. With the Cavs young raw star Wiggins, and with some other young players in Cleveland. Many believe James will have his hands full in year one back in Cleveland. I agree to some to degree. I think the Cavs roster is the best in the East. James is there, and that's been enough for the past 4 seasons in the East. Of course the Heat two other All-Stars to aid James to four NBA Finals in a row.

But looking at the potential in Cleveland, compared to the field in the East. You still put Cleveland a cut above the field. I wouldn't be shocked for a second to see the Wizards, Pacers, or Bulls win the Eastern Conference. But are you sold on those three teams? The Pacers had and epic collapse last year, and the Wizards still have some immaturity issues that I worry about with Wall and Beal. The Bulls have the bigger question. Will Rose play, and will he ever play at a MVP level again?

The Eastern Conference could have any of their top 5 teams reach the Finals. The Heat even have a weird outside shot. I don't like them to go past the second round, or even the first round. They will make the playoffs, but to trust that Wade is able to lead a team for 80 games a season is false. I like Cleveland, but with free agency still open,and with a few possible trades in the air. A dark horse team can come out of nowhere. The Celtics for one, could be a team that shock some people.

For me, I just don't trust the Bulls, and their ability to stay healthy. Gasol has been unable to play long seasons lately, and Rose has been gone for two years, despite a brief return in the middle. The East is open, and that's the story for now at least.


CSNNE

"They defend, they have the best coach," said Ryan. "If Rose is healthy, I assume he's going to be 90% of his old self. They just signed Pau Gasol which means they have the smartest frontcourt with himself and Noah. I like the Chicago Bulls."

Minihane believes the East could be shaken up a little more before the season.