It’s Over For The Celtics

After an amazing run in the playoffs getting past D-Wade and the Heat, Lebron and the Cavs and Superman and the Magic their run to the playoffs ended in a heartbreaking 7-game series with their all-time rival the Lakers.

Now, they look down the road as Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are gonna be free agents. Garnett is entering the final year of his contract you would think they would trade him to get a younger more dynamic player. You could probably say their gonna be a lottery team next year, but if they do bring back Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, questions will start whether they have enough in them to win another championship and can they stay healthy.

Their biggest problem still is their coach area. Tom Thibodeau will be the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls. With that said, their defense will likely collapse next season. Coach Rivers, on the other hand, has agreed to stay one more year. Without Doc, they would’ve been a lost team, although they could look forward to Rajon Rondo’s progression. Also, if they bring Paul and Ray they’ll be over the luxury tax which could be a drag for the front office.

This could probably be the apocalypse for the Big Three all of them gone, except Rondo, who is a very valuable piece to build around if they decide to start from scratch. A lot of questions are gonna be answered this off-season. Every move they make this off season will shape their future, which wont be very bright either way.

Now, we ask you, NBA fans.

Do you believe it’s the apocalypse for the C’s now?

Don’t forget to comment down low.

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PHOTO CREDITS:

1 & 2) Getty Images

Paolo Palanca is a contributor to Hoops Head Central.

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The NBA Finals Recap: Game Five

GAME FIVE

West’s Los Angeles Lakers versus East’s Boston Celtics (86-92)

(Celtics lead series 3-2)

Last Celtic home game of the season. Yes, the crowd was fired up.

The Celtics went off on a torrid start, shooting 3-straight field goals. The Lakers would then start to toughen up. Both Andrew Bynum and Derek Fisher were making unbelievable plays after another. Kobe Bryant would then add some of points in the scoreboard as well. A KG-Rondo-Pierce trio led the Celtics in the 1st Quarter. The quarter went back-and-forth. In the end, the Celtics would seize the lead, a 20-22 1st Quarter lead over the Lakers.

The 2nd Quarter was similar, as well. The Boston bench, who apparently sparked the Game 4 win, didn’t play stellar. Glen Davis and Nate Robinson, combine for 4 points only. Other than that, The Boston starting line-up made up for the inconsistency of the bench. 45-39 Boston at the half.

The 2nd half got a lot more interesting. The Black Mamba scored on all cylinders like it was an ocean. He scored 19 straight points at a time for his team. Sadly, Basketball is a team game. The other Lakers never contributed in the 3rd. Only Ron Artest, Pau Gasol and The Machine contributed. However, they contributed below than 10 points. On the other side, the Boston Celtics were just scoring bucket-after-bucket. No one can stop each and every single one of them, who stepped on the court. KG and Paul Pierce went on a scoring-tear. The Celtics’ Defense looked so inevitable. Even Tony Allen blocked a 7′ footer, named Pau Gasoft, err, Pau Gasol.

In the 4th Quarter, we saw Rajon Rondo do this:

-Yes, I too say it’s surreal.

A 21-19 4th Quarter would seal the victory for the Boston Celtics.

Hustle plays and Defense made the Celtics look inescapable. Throughout the night, we saw both of these in play. Now, the series shifts back to the City of the Angelic. Will we see L.A. have another ‘Bean Town Hang-Over’, or shall we see the Lakers push the series to Game 7? I say ‘Go Celtics!’.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

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Comments are much appreciated. Please leave them down low.

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Shoot me an email at cualocsin12@gmail.com

Q&A Session: Lucas Shapiro – The Celtics’ NBA Final Preview

Well, this is kinda late. Sorry.

Yes, the Boston Celtics. We all know them. They’re not as championship-hyped this year. But, hey, they proved everyone wrong. After winning against the Heat, the Cavs and the Magic, they’ve made a bold statement to the league and us, the fans. Remember the 2nd-half of the season? They were playing horrid. Finishing 4th in the Eastern Conference standings. Albeit, they still have that experience inside their team. And obviously, the Playoffs is a different scenario now. They’ve woke up and they’re now much more energized than ever before. Now, their against their all-time rival, the Los Angeles Lakers.

I brought in my good friend, Lucas Shapiro, who actually is my 1st boss in the NBA blogosphere. Anyway, he’s best-known for his works in Bleacher Report as a Featured Columnist and in Dimemag.com as an Intern. He is also Real Sports Net’s Director of Content in the NBA area.

The Q’s are in Orange while L-Shap’ anwsers are in Celtic green.

Way before the Playoffs started, Celtics weren’t even in talks being in the NBA Finals. How does it feel seeing your Celtics be back in the limelight after a 1-year absence and proving those analysts and haters wrong?

I’m happy for them. I definitely did not see this coming. I thought they were going to be gone in the first round since they were not playing hard at the end of the season. I guess the new trend of taking the second half of the season off has worked for them.

This team is completely different from the NBA’s regular season. With your guys getting rejuvenated and all, have you even expected them to wake up?

I thought they wouldn’t wake up. I was watching how poorly Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were playing and I thought they didn’t have a chance this year.

What are Boston’s keys to win these series?

Their main problem is rebounding. They are not the tallest team, so their key is to box out. That means everyone too, not just the big man. Everyone needs to crash the boards, force L.A to only take one shot on each possession. If they can do that, they can win the series.

When the season started, we saw a different Rajon Rondo. He garnered an All-Star performace in Dallas early in the year. Not only that, he also lead the league in steals; earning him a spot in the All-NBA Defensive team. Now, the Celtics main concern is him being limited. How does this affect the team’s play and how do the Celtics bounce back from this?

I always knew Rajon Rondo was going to be a great player ever since the beginning of the 2008 season. The lack of a consistent three-point shot can be a problem only if Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are missing shots. We saw Allen and Pierce go 0-6 from the three-pointer in Game 1 and that is one of the reasons why Rondo was less effective.


The Celtics are renowned for players, who contribute unexpectedly. Players like Glen Davis (HEAT series), ‘Sheed (CAVS series) and Nate Robinson (MAGIC series) headline the list. Now, which specific Celtic is gonna breakout and be the X-Factor in the team’s quest for Championship #18?

I really think that Tony Allen is the key to the series. It was mentioned on Dimemag.com recently and I completely agree. The Lakers don’t pay attention to the Celtics role players and Allen is the type of guy who can pick up the tempo and expose the Lakers’ lack of speed.

I’ve read your article on Bleacher Report about the 2010 NBA Finals. And I saw you picked the Celtics in 6. Why is that? Just to let the readers know.

(I actually picked the Celtics in 7) I think the Celtics have better chemistry and toughness. Everyone is talking about how the Lakers became tough. I don’t really believe it. They won one game! Call me biased but I think it takes more than one game to show your true colors.

I think that’s about everything, man. Anything else to say?

I’d say check my stuff out at Bleacher Report and Dimemag.com (*Click the links).You have a great site Mark and I’ll be sure to check it out. Keep up the great work.

Thanks! I really appreciate the time you gave us. Don’t give up on writing, Lucas. You’re bound for ESPN or any supreme Sports network out there in a few years.

PHOTO CREDITS:

Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images

Elsa/Getty Images

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

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Comments are much appreciated. Please leave them down low.

Follow Mark On Twitter (@InOutNBAMacGelo)

Shoot me an email at cualocsin12@gmail.com

NBA Playoff Recap 5/28: The Final Stand.

The Magic Vs Boston. The Final Stand.

The Magic Vs Boston. The Final Stand.

At home with the crowd behind them and a huge upset loss in Orlando, the Celtics nice and motivated, came into game 6 out to prove a point. That is exactly what happened, no excuses about it, the Celtics came in and punched the Magic in the mouth. They told the Magic, pack up and get your bags, because your going home. With all the support in the world, and krypto-nate showing a rare appearance, it was no surprise that the Celtics came out and dominated.

Dwight did all he could do.

These are the same Celtics that everyone ruled out of the title, because they just couldn’t get it going. Now I am NO Celtics bandwagon fan, I am actually a Suns and Magic fan, but you never count out a team that is full of previous championship winners and vets. Anyone with a basketball IQ will tell you that. That is what made them so dangerous in this series, they have been there and done all that before. They have been in a situation in where they had to rely on a Paul Pierce iso or a Rando-KG pick-n-roll, they knew they were going to win, and it showed.

Krpto-Nate came up big when they needed him.

Krpto-Nate came up big when they needed him.

They jumped out to a huge 30-19 lead, and never looked back. Nate Robinson was huge after only scoring 6 points in the whole series, he went on to have a solid 13 points of the bench. (I am petitioning for a “please play krypto-nate more” chant.) He was huge, even tried to dunk on Dwight “superman” Howard. That just shows, the Celtics just weren’t afraid tonight. The Magic played well, just it was too late. Dwight had a fantastic series as did Vince Carter and JJ Redick, (who better play a ton  more next year, he just does everything right), but with a disappearing act done by Rashard Lewis and Vince shooting the ball poorly, the Magic just seemed to be digging a bigger and bigger hole for themselves this whole season.

He proved he could lead them through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, now through a NBA Final?

He proved he could lead them through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, now through a NBA Final?

The Celtics seemed to dominate the whole series and it showed in the final game, they deserved the Eastern Conference Championship. Rando deserved to show everyone he could lead this team, who by the way solidified his spot as a top 5 PG in the game. Good luck in the finals,  Good Luck The Big 3,  Good Luck Rando and Doc, and last but not least Good Luck Bill Simmons.

NBA Playoff Recap 5/24: Magic Avoid Broom Service.

GAME FOUR

2nd-seed Orlando Magic vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics

(96-92)

The Magic and the Celtics started off hot, and I mean scorching hot. Both teams made shots back-and-forth. The Magic were pretty balanced in scoring with Matt Barnes leading the way. He made 2 threes in the 1st Quarter alone, plus 1 deuce, ending with 8 points. Jameer Nelson had 7 points and 3 assists. Dwight Howard with 6 points. The Truth, Paul Pierce scored 12 1st Quarter points. I have nothing to say about the 2nd Quarter, since most of the happenings happened in the other half. Magic lead 51-47 after 2 Quarters.

3rd Quarter starts Matt Barnes makes the 1st bucket of the 2nd half with 11:20 ticks in the clock. A scuffle between Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard ensued. Only KG was given a technical. Celtics’ fans didn’t like it one bit. But, they were fired up. The crowd shouted chants of ‘Defense!’. The Celtics put it in their mindsets. Results were Defense turning into Offense. Kevin Garnett had his game-face on and he looked motivated. Sadly, he went 0/7 until the end of the game. Ray Allen scored 7 points in the 3rd Quarter alone. Dwight Howard also scored 6 , with some 3 rebounds.

The 4th Quarter was one hell of a quarter in the last few minutes, Glen Davis contributed alot and the Celtics thought they could win the game. Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard worked together, and they seem to know what the other was doing. They take an 85-78 lead after the combined effort. Paul Pierce would rally the crowd for one last time, with a strong flush to the basket. It followed with a Ray Allen three, and an And-1 from the Truth. Game was again tied. Rajon Rondo, who was pretty quiet in the game, stealed the orange away from Jameer Nelson. And Celtics’ fans knew the game-winning shot would go to the hands of Paul Pierce. Ray Allen found an open shot. Sadly, Paul Pierce wanted an isolation play. Magic doubles him, he loses the handle and we head to Overtime–the 1st Overtime of the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

Overtime, no one scores after 2:18 minutes. Until, Jameer Nelson made back-to-back threes. Ray Allen would release his skills from his arsenal, shooting 2 threes too. In the end, Dwight Howard was too much. He would ice the game at 96-92 with an And-1. Paul Pierce also was nothing in that OT. In the end, the Magic celebrate a well-deserved win. Game 5 is on Wednesday.

PHOTO CREDITS

1) Elsa/Getty Images

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NBA Playoff Recap: May 11th, 2010

4th-seed Boston Celtics vs. 1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers (120-88)

(Boston leads 3-2)

The Cavs went into this game seeking a 3-2 lead in the series. And, so were the Celtics. Many eyebrows were raised during Game 4 due to issues concerning the Cavs‘ play, with headlines striking the Internet like “LeBron James should guard Rajon Rondo.” and “Shaq should play more minutes.” Ironically, the Cavs didn’t manage to give answers for the news during Game 5. Shaq played 26 minutes, but ended with 21 points as the Cavs leading scorer. If he could’ve played more minutes the game would’ve been close. LeBron James was able to defend Rondo for some part in the game, but it was Mo Williams defending him mostly in the game.

Early on, the Cavs looked for Shaq down the post, where he scored 7 early points. His presence down low took him to the free throw line too, converting 3/3 free throws. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who has received a couple of DNP-CD‘s, played back-up for Shaq.

Celtics again played magnificent defense, they were able to make the Cavs force shots with the shot clock expiring. Their offense was perkulating too. The Big Three lead the way, scoring 64 of their team’s 120. The Celtics ended the 2nd-half with a 50-44 lead.

The 3rd quarter belonged to the Boston Celtics. They outscored the Cavaliers 30-19 in the 3rd quarter alone. It started with Ray Allen threes that lead to Rajon Rondo drives. Speaking of Ray Allen, he finished with 25 points. Rajon Rondo ended with 16 points and 7 assists. Kevin Garnett also hoisted some jumpers too. The 3rd quarter would end in the favor of the Celtics with a 80-63.

The Cavs lost all hope in the 4th Quarter. Again, they were dominated by the Celtics with a 40:25 point ratio. Cavs hope to even the series and avoid elimination while the Celtics look to close them out on Thursday.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images

2) Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images

3) Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

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NBA Playoff Recap: May 7th, 2010

1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics (95-124)

(Cleveland leads series 2-1)

If you’re a Cavalier fan then this is what you have been hoping for. The Cavs started well, all because of LeBron James. He was draining so many jump shots in the 1st Quarter that the cylinder looked like an ocean. For the C’s? Let’s just say that they looked dead the whole game. They didn’t even manage to grasp a single lead in the contest.

LeBron James might have controlled the game with his 38 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. But, he had help too. Antawn Jamison had a 20-12 performance, which leads me say that this is his “Best Game of the Series”. Other than that, 6 players were in double figures for the Cavs, now that’s a balanced attack, these are the rest of the 3 starters, which is Shaq, Anthony Parker and Mo Williams. Delonte West was the only bench player, who was in double digits. From start to finish, the Cavs controlled each aspect in the game.

Rajon Rondo scored 18 and 8 assists. Kevin Garnett had 19 to lead the Celtics while Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 18 points. After this game, the Celtics’ Paul Pierce said it was their Defense that paved the way for their Game 3 loss. Adjustments are expected to be made for Game 4.

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 7th-seed San Antonio Spurs (110-96)

(Phoenix leads series 3-0)

The Spurs went off to a great start. At one point, they seized an 18-point lead. During the 2nd Quarter, the Suns managed to make a 19:5 run to cut the lead to 6 after the 1st half. And then the 3rd Quarter started. Manu Ginobili and Steve Nash seemed to swapped basket for another. Manu ended with a Spurs‘ team-high of 27 points, and some 6 dimes. Steve Nash, on the other hand, scored 16 points while grabbing 8 rebounds and add 6 assists too.

But then Phoenix Suns‘ Head Coach Alvin Gentry deployed the Goran Dragic experiment, which turn’t out to be a success. He would score 23 points in the 4th Quarter alone, he finished with 26 points in the game. Amar’e Stoudemire had an off-night with 7 points. Jason Richardson scored 21 and Grant Hill added 18. Tim Duncan finished with 15 and Tony Parker with 10. As the game went to a finished, it all would  go down to Dragic‘s excellent play, as the Suns win Game 3.

My Spurs are DEAD. I guess we’re done for the Playoffs now.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

2) Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

3) D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images

4) Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images

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NBA Playoff Recap: May 3rd, 2010

4th-seed Boston Celtics vs. 1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers (104-86)

In Game 2, “The Big Three” scored a combined 54 points with the help of Rajon Rondo, who had 13 points and 19 assists. Lebron James helped the Cavs causes with 24 points. As the game progressed, it became more physical. Anderson Varejao and Kendrick Perkins had a scuffle, both had T’s as punishment. Cavs made an unbelivable run, it started with Lebron James floater with 8:03 seconds in the fourth, cutting the lead to 10, which was 23 before the run started. But, the Celtics had an 11-3 run to end the quarter, to snatch the much-needed victory in Game 2. Momentum is now theirs.

Additional note: Lebron James presented his MVP award to the Cleveland crowd before the game started. Fans gave a well-deserved applause for his repeat.

7th-seed San Antonio Spurs vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns (102-111)

In Game 1, Steve Nash started strong in the game, scoring 17 points in the 1st Quarter alone. He later ended with 33 points and 10 assists with the help of Jason Richardson, who scored 27 points. For the Spurs,  Manu Ginobili scored 27 points to lead San Antonio. Tony Parker had 26 points in a loss. Tim Duncan had 20 points and 11 boards, but it was not enough as the Suns win Game 1 of their classic NBA series. As I end, I would like to say Go Spurs Go! (I’m a Spurs fan!)

Don’t forget we have one more game tomorrow. (UTA/LAL)

PHOTO CREDITS:

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Christian Petersen via Getty Images

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The Rematch: Boston vs. Cleveland

Another postseason match-up that, Basketball heads, should’nt miss.

Once in a while, I have been thinking about the best rivalry in the NBA today. So, something went into my mind, it was the Celtics and the Cavaliers of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Ever since the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals started, both of the teams have shown deep hatred toward each other.

Let’s start with the Cavaliers.

First off, this team is arguably the best team in the NBA today. After capturing the 1st-seed status in the NBA, they battled with the Bulls (Well, I thought it’s a sweep, but i’ll take a Game 5 conclusion.) Now that they get to meet with the Celtics in the Semifinals again. They will not worry since they have alot.. and I mean alot of acquisitions in the offseason,which gave them length and size for defense yet performs well in offense. The players that they added were key additions, players like Shaq, Anthony Parker, JJ Hickson to name a few. I almost forgot, Antawn Jamison is one of the them (acquired via Trade Deadline). He also has contributed a lot to this Cavalier team, since he has averaged 19.4 against the Bulls in their 1st-round match-up.

But, at the end of the day, Lebron James is still Lebron James. He is the Cavs’ key to win this rematch (R-I-V-A-L-R-Y!). If he puts up numbers similar to his regular season statistics, then the Cavs can just cruise against the Celtics.

Let’s now concentrate with the Celtics.

To be honest, I, myself, am a Celtics fan. The C’s might be playing well this postseason. But they’ve struggled against the Cavs the whole year, winning only 1 game out of 3-4 outings. That’s the problem for them, the only thing I can say is that “They should’nt think about the Cavs’ great play and focus to what is more important, is TO WIN 4 GAMES IN THE SERIES. If everyone plays well and no one misses a beat, then the C’s might see a Conference Finals outing in the East.

The keys for this series are Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Why? KG is the one responsible for Shaquille O’Neal’s size in the paint since Kendrick Perkins is a bit undersized. He needs to defend like it was 2008 (where he won his only Defensive Player of the Year), since he has not shown any of that in the season. For Paul Pierce, well, he’ll be like Lebron too. He’s the captain of this team, he has to take more shots in a nightly-basis and make them. If both of these players don’t come up big, then Cavaliers get the date in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Sure, home-court advantage is nice, but it’s not all about the fans or the refs, it’s about the players. If each player makes the most of his minutes and everyone thrives in his role then it’ll be an easy transition to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Don’t forget to leave a comment down low.

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