Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Ray Allen’


Who’d of thought he’d be such a huge loss?

Since I can’t find my copy of Four Views of the Book of Revelation in order to cover the 3rd view, I’ll consider sports. I’ve been meaning to work on this post for a few weeks, but haven’t had the free time and mental space. You may think I still don’t have the mental space for it.

I want to consider a similarity between the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Celtics: injuries. The point being how injuries have derailed the last few seasons for both teams. Sports teams are really fragile things. There are times when teams can survive and even thrive during a rash of injuries. The Green Bay Packers did this to win the Superbowl in 2011. Those instances are rare. Most often, the depth of a team is tried and then depleted. Hopes vanish and dreams are squashed.

The Celtics won the NBA title in 2008 and seemed poised to win a few more before the New Big Three fell apart. But injuries have continually derailed that hope, and Celtics fans are disappointed. In 2009 it was Kevin Garnett’s various injuries that left them depleted. Without him they nearly beat the Magic to advance in the playoffs, but it was not to be. A healthy KG, and the Celtics go to the Finals. The next year, KG was not healthy, but was playing. They made it to the Finals against the Lakers. Then, in Game 6, Perkins blew out his knee. His presence in that abysmal Game 7, the film of which should be burned for the sake of both teams, may have made a significant difference. We won’t know. But the Lakers did triumph.

Then there was last year. KG was healthy, but there was the big trade that sent Perkins packing for 2 players. He was still not right, but the emotional toll on the team seemed too big. Both O’Neals had injury problems. Until the playoffs. They put it together after their late season skid. They made it to the conference finals against the arrogant Miami Heat who hope to win 7-8 titles in their imaginations (Father, may it not even be one- oppose the proud!). In a painful moment caught on film, D-Wade pulled down Rondo while falling. Really cheap play, and their series this season against the Pacers shows they are inclined toward the cheap plays. Rondo’s dislocated elbow sunk the Celtics. He valiantly tried to play, but with only one functioning arm, his defense was a liability. That moment dashed the Celtics hopes.

We felt his pain.

The Red Sox are in a similar state of affairs. They won the World Series in 2007. Despite injuries to Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, the Red Sox made it all the way to the AL Championship against new rivals the Rays in their first ever play off appearance. Beckett pitched, but was a shell of himself. So close, but they fell in 7 to the Rays who would get handled easily in the World Series. Oh, for a healthy Beckett or Lowell. Just one would have tipped the scales enough. Just one.

2009 was just a mess for the Red Sox. It is a blur of injuries in the last few months that sunk a promising season. I have erased it from my memory.

2010 looked so promising. In the opening weeks they lost Ellsbury and Mike Cameron for essentially the season. Beltre not only provided power to the line up but single-handedly destroyed the outfield.  The only remaining starting outfielder was J.D. Drew, and we all know he’s good for a few trips to the DL. Daniel Nava and Darnell McDonald came out of nowhere to provide some spark. But then the injuries began to mount up- Youkilis, Pedroia, Martinez. So many injuries to key players- there were done. D-O-N-E.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


When We See This Again

It is incomprehensible that the Bruins are still playing and the Celtics are done.  Both the Celtics and Patriots were sent packing earlier than expected, and the Red Sox can’t seem to break .500.  The Bruins?  They just defeated long-time foes the Canadians and Broadstreet Bullies (who derailed the last few seasons for the Bruins by putting key players out of commission).

So what went wrong with the Celtics’ season?  Lots of things actually.  Danny Ainge, in a WEEI interview today, admitted that one of the key mistakes he made was letting Tony Allen leave for Memphis.  There he has found more playing time (now that Rudy Gay got hurt) and they are still playing though not for long.  That was an important decision, and they could have used Tony to defend the Heat on the perimeter.  While Tony has issues, he was an important piece for the last few seasons.

Instead of Tony, they initially relied on Marquis Daniels to spell Paul Pierce.  This probably wasn’t the wisest thing since he was injured much of the previous season.  He actually played very well, until the injury that ended his season.  The stage was set for a perfect storm.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


Yes, I’m about a week late on this.  But I wanted the dust to settle instead of having a knee-jerk reaction to the trades made by the Boston Celtics.

You have to keep the context in mind to understand what went down.

  • The Celtics had no available roster spots available.
  • The Celtics were over the salary cap.  The new CBA may have a hard cap, we’ll have to see.
  • The Celtics have been crushed with injuries.  They had been able to weather the injury storm okay until Marquis Daniels was injured.  There was no legitimate back-up for Paul Pierce.  The aging Paul Pierce who has been enduring some less serious injuries.
  • Kendrick Perkins had rejected a contract extension offer by the Celtics.  He didn’t want an unreasonable amount of money, but it was more than the Celtics could commit.

This put Danny Ainge into a difficult position.  He had to find some suitable replacements, particularly for Daniels.  This set up the perfect storm for 3 trades that reduced salary and opened up some roster spots while also providing 2 healthy players at key spots- center and small forward.  They also picked up a few draft picks as they look to the future.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


I'm Excited, But It's Early

It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.

My congregants know I’m a Boston sports fan from my childhood.  As part of pastor appreciation in October, I was given 2 tickets to the Celtics-Suns game when the Celtics made their only appearance in Phoenix (unless both teams inexplicably end up in the the Finals).  The long-awaited day finally arrived.  The night before I watched the Celtics play a tough game in Portland, and expected them to come out flat.  I couldn’t have expected what unfolded.

Around 3:30, the guy who lives with us (henceforth known as CavFriend) and I departed Casa Cav for Phoenix.  He grew up in Phoenix, so I was glad to have him as navigator.  It was pretty much smooth sailing on good ol’ I-10.  While driving, CavFriend finalized plans for us to have dinner with some of his family members.  We were going to meet his dad at Tom’s Tavern at 6:30.

We arrived into town a bit early and drove around trying to find parking.  Plenty of open meters to choose from.  But, unlike anyplace I’ve ever been the meters were operational until 8 pm.  While we could have moved the car after the 2 hour limit (7:30), we didn’t have enough quarters to get us that far.  So, we bit the bullet and paid for the $8 event parking in a garage a few blocks from the arena.  The closer garage was $10, and the closest was $15, so a good move.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


It has been an interesting off season for the Boston Celtics thus far.

The first move was an obvious no-brainer: tending an offer to Glen “Big Baby” Davis making him a restricted free-agent.  This allows the Celtics to match any offer, which they will most likely do unless that offer is outrageous.  Big Baby showed some maturity and ability to perform consistently in the playoffs with both KG and then Leon Powe injured.  He rose to the occasion.

It was not a Celtics’ move, but one that helped the Celtics.  Eddie House picked up his player option, staying with the Celtics.  He’s been a great player for them, and his contract is quite reasonable.

The third was one that disappointed most Celtics’ fans, and players.  Leon Powe was not tendered an offer.  This does not rule out a return by Leon Powe, but means they don’t have the right to match any offers he does receive.  Many think it inhumane since Leon was injured during the playoffs and is currently recovering from surgery.  I’m sure Leon will be on someone’s roster come January, but perhaps not until he proves the knee allows him to play his game.  This was the whole reason he slipped to the Celtics in the draft in the first place.  He has displayed lots of guts and grit.  But having 2 under-sized c/pfs on the team was too much.  Big Baby gets the nod as the player most likely to be a big contributor for years to come.

Fourth, offering Rasheed Wallace a contract for the full MLE (for 2, possibly 3 years).  I’m not sold on this move, and Celtics Blog’s Jeff Clark is trying to talk himself into it.  He hasn’t talked me into it yet.  I’m not sure ‘Sheed will stop being bored and play hard for 20 minutes each night.  I’m not wild about 6’11” guys who love to shoot the 3.  That’s what we pay Ray Allen and Eddie House to do.  I want a big man who will take it to the hole, create contact, draw fouls and create space for the outside shooters.  IF Wallace accepts, I really hope it works.  But I won’t be convinced until it does..

Fifth, the Celtics are trying to woo Grant Hill.  He was productive with the Suns, and could provide some good punch off the bench so Paul Pierce doesn’t have to play 37-42 minutes a night.  P Squared was absolutely exhausted in that Magic series (oh, and we win by Hedo heading north, the Magic are much weaker defensively now).  On the other hand, the Celtics could start looking like the Lakers’ failed attempt to win the title with aging players like Malone and Payton.

Other rumors?  Tryrone Lue.  Please, he hasn’t impressed me at any stop he has made.  Save the money for Big Baby, Pruitt is a cheaper guy who will play about as well.  Danny is also talking about how Walker and Gliddens are competing for 1 roster spot.  This doesn’t bode well for one of them, and maybe us.  I’d rather have them both continue to compete and develop until one of them shows themselves as worthless as Tony Allen has.  Now there is a guy we should dump.  Yeah, who would want him at this point.  But maybe he and Scals’ expiring contract can get a 2nd round pick in 2015, and open up a roster spot for someone who can actually play.  And who knows what will happen to Lester Hudson.  This week’s summer league in Orlando will be telling.

So, thus far a mixed report card for the Celtics.  But keep in mind, an old Shaq does not a champion make of Cleveland.  They will play the slower game that the Celtics like and King James really doesn’t.  I see Phoenix Part 2 taking place in Cleveland, except there is no Amare to be a fearsome inside presence when Shaq is sucking wind.

Update: It would appear that ‘Sheed has committed to sign with the Celtics for 2 years.  I really hope they are a good 2 years.

Read Full Post »


Danny, please smile.  You brought home #17!

This is a happy occasion, let's not quibble about who voted for whom.

I really love this picture.  Like many a Celtic fan, I’ve been frustrated from nearly 20 years.  When I grew up, the Celtics were expected to prevail, and the Sox to fail.  Then the world turned upside down- slowly. 

This seemed so unlikely after the draft lottery fiasco.  But Trader Danny (why the glum face, Danny?) was able to work his plan by trading those chips he’d accumulated into KG and Ray Allen.  Suddenly he had free agents wanting to come to Boston for a chance to be part of something special.  This photo is for all of us who suffer all those many years.

From a CelticsBlog interview Wyc said this:

8. Do you have any untold, behind-the-scenes stories to share with us?   Perhaps something about the KG trade or the Italy trip or even the playoffs?

The first time I saw KG carefully examine each of our 16 championship banners, I knew we were going to likely hang a 17th one. Then he turned to me and promised me we would get number 17. That was unforgettable. Then, I saw KG, Paul and Ray running wind sprints at 8:30 am in early September last year…they were already bonded together and focused. It is a great feeling knowing you are the favorites to win a world championship.

The main players still have the same attitude.  They are working hard already rather than being satisfied with a taste of success.  Go for 2!

Read Full Post »


It only took 22 years, which is nothing compared to 86 years.  But that is still a long time when you are a life-long Celtics’ fan.  In the 80’s we had a sense of entitlement.  The Celtics were champions or contenders nearly every year that decade thanks to Larry Joe Bird, the Chief, McHale and all the rest.

It seemed nearly anti-climatic.  The Celtics just blew the Lakers out.  It reminded me of Game 7 against the Knicks in 1984.  I was there.  It had been a tough series, and Bernard King was lighting the Celtics up.  But in the 2nd half, the just ran over the Knicks for a dominating win.  KG finally showed up, and helped the Celtics dominate Kobe and the Lakers.  The Lakers had the best player, but the Celtics clearly had the better team.  And it was one of the largest point spreads in an NBA Finals game.

This was a team that I thought wouldn’t do it when the trade rumors were circulating last summer.  But Danny Ainge put together a great supporting cast for the 3 stars.  He, not Larry or Kevin, is the first player from those glory years to put together a championship team.  He had an assist from Kevin.  Danny was much maligned, but now he should feel vindicated.  The “plan” worked perfectly.

Paul Pierce should feel vindicated too.  Many people wanted him shipped off.  There were trade rumors all the time.  People dismissed him.  Not being on a team that was able to compete, he was asked to do too much and his defense suffered.  This year he showed he could play defense.  The Captain led this Celtics team to a championship.

Ray Allen should feel vindicated.  Earlier in the playoffs he was written off as D-O-N-E.  But he had a great series, breaking the record for 3 pointers in the championship series.  This despite worrying about a sick child, and having Odom rake his face.

Doc should feel vindicated.  He was accused of being a horrible coach who should have been fired long ago.  He carried the stigma of never winning a playoff series as a coach.  Now he has coached a great Finals.  He outcoached the man wanting to surpass Red.  Danny didn’t give up on him, and he proved Danny right.  He was the right man for this team.

Indeed, how sweet it is.  Now, how about 18!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »