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NBA 2009-2019 Season Predictions

Posted by r1zzo23 on October 29, 2009

Just wanted to post my season predictions. I wrote these up at work last Friday, October 23, but was just too lazy to post them. I have records for each NBA team as well as playoff results, postseason awards and draft lottery order. Here are the predictions for what they’re worth…

Atlantic Division:

  1. Boston Celtics – 64-18
  2. Toronto Raptors – 45-37
  3. New Jersey Nets – 41-41
  4. Philadelphia 76ers – 40-42
  5. New York Knicks – 27-55

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2009, Offseason | 2 Comments »

Celtics Ready For Title Run… Again

Posted by r1zzo23 on September 29, 2009

Can you guys see that picture up there? Well that’s what the team gets to look at every time they walk into their practice facility in Waltham. The 2008 championship banner is nice, but to add a 2010 banner would make it even sweeter. Everyone from Wyc, Ainge and the Big Three thinks that this team is as good, if not better, than the title team two years ago, and who would disagree? Sure we lost James Posey and PJ Brown from that team, but we’ve added Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels. Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis are another year older and only getting better. The Big Three are getting older, but hopefully the supporting cast will be able to step up and take some pressure off their shoulders.

This will be the third season with this core of players and like the two before it, health will be the biggest factor in whether or not this team is playing in June. That mainly hinges on Kevin Garnett as he is a rare mix of offensive ability and defensive passion that infuses the team with more energy than any other player in the league. All reports coming out now are that he is “all systems go” as he has been finally cleared to play. This is great news and let’s hope that he gets eased into the season without having to go and play 35-minutes a game right from the get-go. If he goes down, the Celtics become just a very good team rather than a great team, but there is one new face that would be able to ease the pain if we were to lose KG for an extended amount of time.

Rasheed Wallace, for many years our enemy in Detroit, is now most likely going to become a fan favorite here in Boston. He won an NBA title with Detroit in 2004 and played in the championship series again in 2005, so he has got all the experience we could ever ask for from our 6th man. But then the question arises, is he really a 6th man for this team? Kendrick Perkins has been the starting center for this team for years and, most notably, for the NBA title. Many believe (myself included) that it is a foregone conclusion that Perk retains his job as the starting center. Would it be better for this team if Sheed were to start? Personally, I like the defensive presence (not saying Sheed can’t play D) that Perkins brings. Sure, he doesn’t have nearly the offensive game that Wallace does, but Perk’s defense is becoming top-notch when looking at every center in the league. I think bringing Rasheed off the bench gives Doc Rivers so many options as to how he wants to set up his lineup as the game goes on.

Looking past the big name players on the squad, we have to analyze what we have towards the end of the bench. Marquis Daniels, arguably the best free agent pick-up for this team (including Rasheed Wallace), will get plenty of minutes, but what about the other wing players on the bench? JR Giddens and Bill Walker both need to show that they’ve made some tremendous strides in their respective games to carve out any sort of consistent minutes in the rotation. Then there is the human enigma: Tony Allen. Many Celtic fans are ready to say “good-bye” to Tony and I don’t blame them. Ever since that horrible knee injury, he hasn’t been the same. His decision making has always been worse than questionable and for a player who’s game was built on athleticism, he’s just not the same player.

The fourth and fifth big men on the roster are Glen Davis and Shelden Williams. Big Baby tried hard to find himself a team to overpay for his services, but that didn’t happen. Now, he’s back in Boston for probably the next two years at reasonable money for the team. We saw him grow up before our eyes when Garnett was out last season and if he can bring that same production again this season, we will most definitely have one of the most dangerous benches in all the league.

Shelden Williams, a.k.a. The Landlord, has been a huge disappointment since being drafted with the #5 overall pick in 2006 by the Atlanta Hawks. The 6’9 forward was a consensus All-American selection his senior season at Duke and was named the NABC Defensive Player of the Year in both 2005 and 2006. Being a team that is predicated on defense, I don’t think there will be any argument that he is worthy of the 14th roster spot for this team. Playing behind Garnett, Wallace, Perkins, Davis and Brian Scalabrine, there aren’t many expectations for Shelden. That should make it much easier for him to just go out and play rather than having the expectations of the #5 pick on his back.

And what about that 15th roster spot? Many wanted a veteran point guard, but that can wait until later in the season when buyouts become common practice. The 15th spot seems to be between two players who both received non-guaranteed contracts this morning: rookie guard Lester Hudson and veteran forward Michael Sweetney. To me, it’s pretty obvious that there’s no room on this roster for Sweetney and he’s being brought in to have a full team for training camp while KG eases his way back in and Tony Allen is still recovering from offseason surgery. This spot is for Hudson to earn.

Lester Hudson was the leading scorer in the NCAA last season and showed flashes in the summer league this year that he could be a viable option off the bench. He brings a great scoring mentality and if Marquis Daniels is handling the ball, Hudson would be relieved of all point guard duties and could focus on doing what he does best.

There are so many questions to be asked heading into preseason. Some of which can be answered and some can not, but who cares? The season starts in about a month and this one, hopefully, will be a season to remember for a long time. With the new additions, the team should be rejuvenated, especially with the energy that Rasheed Wallace will bring. I know many of you are with me, but I just can not wait for this season to start!

Posted in 2009, Offseason | Leave a Comment »

Amar’e to Golden State?

Posted by r1zzo23 on June 25, 2009

Ric Bucher reported that there are serious talks about the Suns sending all-star forward Amar’e Stoudemire to the Golden State Warriors for Andris Biedrins, Marco Bellinelli and Brandan Wright. Bucher also went on to say that the deal, if agreed upon, would not be able to be made until the free agency period starts.

Posted in 2009, Offseason, Rumors | Leave a Comment »

Orlando Adds Vince Carter In Four Player Deal

Posted by r1zzo23 on June 25, 2009

From ESPN Alerts:

ESPN News – C. Ford: Nets agree to deal 8-time All-Star Vince Carter to Magic for Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee and Tony Battie.

To add to the report, the Magic will also receive Ryan Anderson to their roster along with Carter.

Let’s just say that a starting lineup of Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Hedo Turkoglu (free agent), Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard can definitely rival Boston’s starting five, but only if Hedo re-signs.

Posted in 2009, Offseason, Trades | 1 Comment »

Big Al Staying Put

Posted by r1zzo23 on June 18, 2009

From RealGM.com:

A source confirmed to the Boston Globe on Thursday that the Timberwolves will not trade Al Jefferson to the Suns.

There were rumors late Wednesday of a deal that would send Jefferson and the sixth overall pick to Phoenix for Amare Stoudemire.

One source acknowledged that the two teams discussed a trade, but another said that the Suns quickly turned down the swap.

Minnesota general manager David Kahn has even called Jefferson to tell him that a trade will not occur, according to one of the sources.

Now that’s more like it. Stick by your young stud big man and build around him along with the #6 pick. I knew Minnesota was in a transition period and their new owner is looking to make a big splash this offseason to really make his presence felt, but this proves that he isn’t desperate by any means. With rumors like this popping up, it sounds like me a lot of them are just wishful thinking by Phoenix fans. Can’t blame them for wanted current or former Celtic players…

Posted in 2009, Offseason, Rumors | Leave a Comment »

Al Jefferson Heading to Phoenix?

Posted by r1zzo23 on June 17, 2009

Big Al

From Marc Spears:

An NBA executive told the Boston Globe today that the Minnesota Timberwolves is working a deal with the Phoenix Suns that would send former Celtics forward Al Jefferson and their sixth pick in next week’s NBA Draft for All-Star Amare Stoudemire.

The Suns, which have dangled Stoudemire for some time, fiound a suitor in Minnesota that is in transition. The team announced today that coach Kevin McHale has ended his 15-year association with the team. New basketball of operations David Kahn is looking to take the franchise into another direction.

In my mind, this is a great deal for Phoenix and a desperation deal my Minnesota, especially if they don’t hammer out an extension with Stoudemire prior to the deal. Jefferson is just a more complete big man and if the 6th pick yields a good prospect, this would be a steal for the Suns.

Posted in 2009, Offseason, Rumors | Leave a Comment »

Celtic Updates: Eddie, Ainge and Red’s Son

Posted by r1zzo23 on June 14, 2009

House Undecided about Future in Boston:

Eddie House has a $2.86 million player option on his contract for the 2009-10 season.

House has until June 30 to exercise the option to remain with the Celtics, and feels as though he might to be able to make more money elsewhere.

“We haven’t made a final decision,” agent Mark Bartelstein said. “He’d love to stay in Boston. He loves everything about what he has here. The fans have been great to him, and he’s been a big part of the team.

“But I think it’s safe to say that he’s outplayed his contract.”

We saw this with James Posey (another one of Bartelstein’s clients) last season and House could do the same thing. Not sure how many title contenders could really use him, but if one does come with a better offer than what Boston is willing to shell out, then Eddie could be packing his bags.

Ainge Isn’t Worried about Rondo’s Extension:

Celtics president Danny Ainge said recently that a possible contract extension for Rajon Rondo is “not a priority right now.”

Boston has until the end of October to agree on an extension with the point guard, who excelled in the postseason. If no agreement is reached, Rondo will be a restricted free agent in 2010.

“I’m not going to talk about contract extensions right now,” Ainge said. “It’s not a priority right now. We have until the end of October.”

Personally, I think a lot of the trade talks involving the Celtics moving up for a high draft pick or a player like Amare Stoudemire is because people assume that Boston won’t be able to afford to pay Rondo starting next season when he’s going to need a new contract. This could be Ainge’s way of saying we aren’t going to be trading Rondo and he will be here for the future.

Auerbach’s Son: “It’s a Different Record”:

Randy Auerbach believes that his father’s nine championship rings are different than those of Phil Jackson.

“Not to take away from Phil, but it’s a different record,” said Randy Auerbach. “You’re talking about a record with one team in which he won the first one and then won in eight consecutive years. Phil did it with two different teams and it wasn’t consistently. It’s about quantity. If that’s his case, good for him.

“But it has to be broken down. It’s a different record. How do you compare eight in a row, nine in 10 years?”

Jackson will statistically become the most successful coach in NBA history if the Lakers are able to finish off the Magic in this year’s Finals.

“Red probably could have won two or three more championships,” said Jackson. “But I think Bill [Russell], to kind of keep him involved, he turned the team over to Bill in that general manager role and Bill went on to win a couple more championships, playing and coaching at that time. So it’s completely different.

“Of course, free agency wasn’t part of the game. It was eight and then expanded to 10 teams at that time. Maybe it was nine there and then went to 10. So it was a different league entirely.”

Well, that argument could go either way. You could say winning eight straight is unprecedented, but then you could turn around and say winning six in one place and three (most likely going to be four by the end of the week) in another is just as impressive. Either way, both of these coaches are legends in every sense of the word and will go down in NBA history forever.

Posted in 2009, Coaching, News, Offseason, Players | Leave a Comment »

Ainge Really Likes Tyreke Evans

Posted by r1zzo23 on June 12, 2009

CelticsBlog :

“While the Celtics have shot down a rumor that they were talking to the Suns about an Amare Stoudemire for Rajon Rondo swap … we keep hearing their name more and more in conjunction with a top-to-mid first-round draft pick — a sign that Danny Ainge must see someone he likes up high.

While various sources have different players pegged, there seems to be some consensus that one player in particular — Memphis’ Tyreke Evans — is an Ainge favorite.

If the Celtics are going to get Evans, they’ll have to get somewhere in the top 10, most likely the top five.

The Grizzlies, Thunder and Wizards all have picks in the top five and have been open to swapping their picks. While it’s doubtful that Rondo is their bait, Ray Allen and his expiring contract could be.

The Celtics could trade Allen to Memphis for a combination of Darko Milicic, Greg BucknerMarko Jaric. That could save the Grizzlies a little money now and a lot of money next year … but that seems like a stretch. The Grizzlies don’t need Allen and I’m sure he wouldn’t be thrilled to play there.

The Thunder aren’t great partners either. They don’t really have any bad contracts and while Allen would give them a nice veteran perimeter presence, they’re not giving up the No. 3 pick in the draft to get him.

The Kings have also reached out to the Celtics and would be willing to deal the No. 4 pick if they could get Rondo in return. The Celtics would likely want more than just the No. 4 pick for Rondo — and the Kings might be willing to throw in either Jason Thompson or Spencer Hawes

That leaves the Wizards, who are really intriguing. Allen is a fit in Washington. The Wizards are a veteran team that is looking for another piece to make it a contender. Allen also is in the last year of his contract, which means the Wizards could get some long-term cap relief if they put together the right deal. Would trading Allen for Etan Thomas, Mike James, Darius Songaila and the No. 5 pick make sense for the Wizards and Celtics?

If Boston can’t find a workable deal in the top five, several other teams including the Nets (11), Pistons (15), Bulls (16, 26), Wolves (18), Kings (23) and Grizzlies (27) are open to moving their picks. While those wouldn’t be high enough to land Evans, it would get the Celtics a solid pick in the first.”

Posted in 2009, Draft, Offseason, Rumors, Trades | Leave a Comment »

Trading Up for the #2 Pick?

Posted by r1zzo23 on June 9, 2009

If you are a Celtics fan, you’ve obviously heard of the rumor that the Celtics are interested in the #2 pick of this year’s NBA draft. This would make this years’ draft much more interesting for Celtic fanatics as we currently only hold the #58 pick of the draft. Adding the #2 pick of the draft would definitely bring a new face to the team that would (hopefully) contribute right away, but who would we have to give up to get this pick?

The one name that seems to be automatically assumed to be part of any deal for the #2 pick is Rajon Rondo. To Celtics fans, if we are trading Rondo for #2, we’re selecting Ricky Rubio. For a team looking to win titles with the window of opportunity one or two years away from slamming shut, giving away a great (and on the verge of elite) point guard in the league is proposterous. As the league knows, Rondo is a jump shot away from becoming just about unguardable. And to trade him for an unproven commodity at the most important position on the court could be detrimental to the team’s championship aspirations.

Looking at the deal from just a talent standpoint, this is an awful deal for a Boston team that will only be content with winning the NBA title. But when you put your GM hat on and see the fiscal burden Rajon Rondo will undoubtedly bring to the payroll in the 2010-2011 season, maybe moving Rondo will keep the Celtics roster more flexible in the near future. If Rubio is as good as advertised, perhaps he can play some serious minutes right away. He’ll be on the floor with three future Hall of Famers, so that should ease his transition to the NBA game. But one thing he won’t have is the chemistry that Rondo has developed with the entire roster.

Do I really think the Celtics will trade up for the #2 pick in this year’s draft? No, not really. If we do, do I want to see Rondo on the move? Absolutely not. But if Danny thinks that this is the best way to continue to build the franchise, who am I to argue against it? Personally, I think there is a much better chance that Danny grabs a foreign player at #58 that will be a contributor in two years than the Celtics trading for the #2 pick.

Posted in 2009, Draft, Offseason, Rumors | Leave a Comment »

Tim Thomas Starts List of Interested FA’s

Posted by r1zzo23 on June 7, 2009

From RealGM.com:

Tim Thomas is quietly expressing interest in joining the Boston Celtics, according to a source. Thomas spent time with the Clippers, Knicks and Bulls during the 2008-09

I really believe there will be a long list of savvy veterans that will be looking to grab a roster spot in Boston. Tim Thomas is the first to express interest and I’m sure soon after the draft we will have a much better idea of who exactly wants to be here and weed out the garbage and take a much closer look at the possibilities.

Posted in 2009, Offseason, Players | Leave a Comment »

 
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