Boston Celtics Extend Winning Streak To 10

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The Boston Celtics are the best team in the NBA!!

Okay, maybe we should pump the brakes a little, but they do have the best record in the NBA. Through 12 games, the Celtics stand at 10-2. After losing their first 2 games, they are winners of 10 in a row. The next closest winning streak is 5 games by the Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors (the actual best team in the NBA).

Last night, the shorthanded Celtics hosted the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics were without starting center, Al Horford, as he is in the concussion protocol. They also lost the services of rookie forward, Jayson Tatum, when he left the game in the 2nd quarter after twisting his right ankle. Tatum would not return and was seen in a precautionary walking boot following the game. Despite their injury bug, the Celtics handled the Los Angeles Lakers 107-96.

Yes, the success (or failure) of the Boston Celtics will be about Kyrie Irving. He can dribble, he can shoot, and he can flat out put the ball in the basket. He’s the cornerstone of the franchise at just 25 years old. BUT, Wednesday night was NOT about Kyrie Irving. It was about a man named Aron Baynes. Mr. Baynes, a native of New Zealand, is currently the backup center for the Celtics. With Al Horford sidelined, Baynes was thrust into the starting role, a place he is largely unfamiliar with. Baynes has started just 32 games in his 6-year career. He did not disappoint. Baynes was the game’s high scorer with 21 points on 8 of 12 shooting, adding 8 rebounds and 3 assists in just 23 minutes. WOW!!

With Al Horford in the concussion protocol, we’ll have to get used to that thing Baynes calls a hair style. Horford missed 9 games with a concussion last season, so expect the Celtics to play it safe with their ‘113 Million Dollar Man’. As for Tatum, his X-Ray came back negative and is scheduled for an MRI this afternoon. With or without Tatum, the Celtics will look to extend their winning streak when they host the Charlotte Hornets Friday night @ 7:30 P.M. EST.

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As for my Knicks, they laid and egg (112-99). I know, I know, they were without Kristaps Porzingis, but 99 points against the Orlando Magic ain’t gonna cut it. The Magic allow an average of 105.6 points per game. Porzingis sat out the 2nd of back-to-back games due to an injury to his right elbow. Porzingis is dealing with bursitis in his elbow and may require a procedure this coming offseason. Hopefully this doesn’t effect his status for many games this season. 7’3″, with the ability to dribble, shoot, and defend is beautiful, but you can’t score from the trainer’s room.

Porzingis will look to get back on the court Saturday night, as they host the Sacramento Kings @ 8:00 P.M. EST.

 

Who is the best team in the NBA?? How many games will the Knicks win this season?? Break it all down for me in the comment section below.

 

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Let The Trades Begin!!

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The NBA offseason is more entertaining than the ACTUAL NBA season. The NBA Finals ended 9 days ago, and I ‘ve already had more fun discussing possible trades and the upcoming draft than I did watching the Golden State Warriors embarrass the league. The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers kicked off the fun Monday with their trade of picks, but that was just the snowball at the top of the mountain. Tuesday had us wondering if that snowball would turn into an avalanche.

Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in Thursday’s draft. This trade makes sense for both teams, however, the Lakers got the better end of the deal. Yes, they lose Russell, who was the 2nd overall pick just 2 short years ago, but his time in L.A. has been rocky to say the least. More importantly, the Lakers rid themselves of an atrocious Mozgov contract. His original 4-year, $64 million contract has 3 years left, so the Nets will eat the remaining $48 million. The Lakers receive the expiring contract of Brook Lopez, which will create oodles of cap-space come this time next year (aka the push for Lebron James). And they receive a draft pick. It’s always good to receive draft picks rather than give them (ahem, Brooklyn, ahem New York, ahem). Lastly, this leads to the assumption that the Lakers will select the walking distraction, Lonzo Ball, with the 2nd overall pick on Thursday.

In their own version of a salary dump, the Atlanta Hawks sent the albatross contract (3 years, $70.5 million) of Dwight Howard and the 31st pick to the Charlotte Bobcats for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st pick in the draft. There’s not much of a story here, as Dwight Howard is a shell of himself. Charlotte shouldn’t expect Howard to bring any Defensive Player of the Year trophies to Charlotte anytime soon.

And then there’s the New York Knicks. My beloved Knicks. Just when you think they’ve hit rock-bottom, they whip out the sledgehammer and drill through the floor. How is it possible that Phil Jackson is shopping Kristaps Porzingis?!

Kristaps Porzingis should be virtually untradeable.

The Knicks are in total rebuild mode. I’m sorry, let me try that again. The Knicks SHOULD be in total rebuild mode. It’s hard to rebuild when you don’t (or can’t) trade Carmelo Anthony. And it would be impossible if you trade the 21-year old, building block that is Kristaps Porzingis. IF, Phil Jackson wants to entertain trade offers for Porzingis, his price should be so obnoxiously high it causes rival general managers to throw up in their mouths. I’m serious.

For example, if Celtics’ General Manager Danny Ainge calls, Phil Jackson should ask for the 3rd pick in this draft, next year’s 1st round pick, and Jaylen Brown. Oh and they’d have to take on Joakim Noah’s contract (quite possibly the worst contract in NBA history). I know exactly what you’re thinking, “that’s crazy, that’s way too much!!” EXACTLY!! Because you SHOULDN’T trade Porzingis!!

Here’s a point I haven’t heard anyone suggest. We all know Phil Jackson is doing a horrible job as the President of the Knicks. All I keep hearing is, “when Phil Jackson is gone, and in 2 years when we aren’t being force fed the Triangle.” Yeah, well why do we assume James Dolan won’t extend Phil Jackson’s contract???? Maybe Dolan thinks Phil is doing a great job. You and I, and anyone who knows anything about sports, would think that’s insane, but our opinion doesn’t matter.

James Dolan’s opinion is the only one that matters.

SOOOOOOOO, imagine a world where James Dolan extends Phil Jackson’s contract 3 more years. That may cause fans to jump ship and root for a new team………..

 

What would it take for you to trade Kristaps Porzingis?? Who got the better deal in the Lakers/Nets trade?? Tell me all about it in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

 

2017 NBA Pre-Draft Fireworks

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Two teams couldn’t wait for draft-day to make some noise. The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers got the ball rollin’ today, finalizing a trade. A high-profile pick swap if you will. The Celtics will trade the 1st overall pick to the 76ers for the 3rd overall pick and their 1st-round pick for 2018. The 76ers pick is actually courtesy of the Los Angeles Lakers (but is protected). Meaning, if this pick falls outside of the top-5 in 2018, the Celtics will receive a 1st-round pick in 2019. Either way, the Celtics are moving in the right direction, yet again, days before the draft.

The 2017 NBA Draft, aka The Right to Draft Markelle Fultz, is on Thursday, June 22nd. Barclays Center in Brooklyn will play host for the draft this year. The 76ers will pick #1 overall for the 2nd consecutive year and will mark the 5th time they’ll select in the top-10 in the last 3 years. Which begs so many head-scratching questions:

  • How inept is the 76ers organization?!
  • How many years can you tank in a row?!
  • How is it that the entire front office hasn’t been fired by now?!
  • At what point does the owner throw in the towel and sell the team?!

I could keep going, but my head is starting to hurt. All I keep hearing out of Philadelphia is “Trust the Process”, “Trust the Process”. Yeah, well how about you trust me when I say, “fire everyone”. It is time to start fresh in Philadelphia. If you don’t know who to hire, give me a call. I’ll have you in the playoffs in 2 years, and I’ll win you a championship within 5 years. I guarantee it!!

Anyway, enough of the stupidity, let’s talk about the genius that is Danny Ainge. See, I can be positive. I’m not always negative and critical all the time..just most of the time.

Danny Ainge is the General Manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics. He continues to make all the right moves. Granted, he took advantage of the Brooklyn Nets in ways I can’t describe here, but I guess it’s true what they say, ‘there’s a sucker born everyday’. Danny Ainge’s Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference Finals this past year. At the same time, they still owned the #1 overall pick in the draft. I’d say Ainge deserves a raise.

The question now is: Who will Ainge draft at #3?? My guess is they’ve liked Josh Jackson of Kansas this whole time. And since they don’t ‘need’ a point guard like Fultz, they’ll get ‘their’ man anyway. This is exactly the same as what John Lynch and the 49ers did to the Bears in the 2017 NFL Draft. They traded down for extra picks and got the guy they wanted anyway. As the old Guinness Beer commercials used to say, “Brilliant!!”

As for my team, the Knicks, they don’t often collide with the word brilliant very often. I imagine they will draft the best point guard available at #8, but at this point, who knows what the hell that egomaniac Phil Jackson will do. Man, I can’t wait to see him pack his bags. Hey Danny Ainge, after you finish bringing an NBA Championship to Boston, you wanna come on down to New York and help us out?? That’d be great, thanks!!

Tune into ESPN on Thursday night @ 7:00 P.M. to see how the draft plays out.

Who do you think the Celtics will take at #3?? Who should the Knicks take at #8?? Share your wisdom in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

2013 NBA Draft In Review

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I just love surprises don’t you? Nerlens Noel was considered by most to be the best player in this years NBA Draft, and was projected to be the #1 overall pick. Boy was everybody wrong. Noel fell all the way to the 6th pick as his flat top surely shrunk as he waited to hear his name called. Upon his selection to the New Orleans Pelicans, he immediately got shipped off to Philadelphia. The 76ers did what everybody does and made a trade based on money and money alone. No one in their right mind can tell me that Nerlens Noel (a virtual unknown coming off major surgery) is worth up and coming superstar Jrue Holliday AND a future 1st round pick. The only positive for the 76ers here is that they cleared $41 million in cap space for the future, but in the process they lose one of the best young talents in the NBA. Yeah that decision shouldn’t haunt you for the rest of your life. Now, back to the task at hand: Who was the first overall pick in the draft you ask? The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Anthony Bennett of UNLV to play alongside the über talented Kyrie Irving. Cleveland management clearly wants to win now as Bennett is regarded as the most NBA ready player of anyone in this years draft (I have to respectfully disagree with that). From there the shocks and surprises kept on coming. I believe there were two picks in the top 10 that stood out. Cody Zeller going 4th overall is egregious. I’m starting to figure out why Michael Jordan is not a good executive and should never be allowed to make decisions for his team ever again. If you think Cody Zeller is going to live up to his draft position, then you must be sipping on the same stuff MJ is. On the other hand, the best value pick has to be Ben McClemore as the 7th overall pick. McClemore is probably the most talented player in the entire draft, and I think between he and Victor Oladipo, they will be duking it out for Rookie of the Year honors next season. Overall it was a very active day in the NBA, and I will break down all the important moves right here.

Thursday’s NBA Draft represented David Stern’s 30th and final draft. Over those 30 years he has stood on that stage with some of the NBA’s greatest players of all-time. As most of you know, Stern will be stepping down as commissioner in February making way for a new era in the NBA. This years draft, while not as deep in terms of obvious talent, certainly did not disappoint. It was a wild night as 11 of the first 30 picks were traded, and the host site of the draft made the biggest splash of all. The Brooklyn Nets have brought new meaning to the term win now as they traded away 5 players and 3 future draft picks to the Boston Celtics. Here is how the trade breaks down:

The Nets get:
Paul Pierce
Kevin Garnett
and Jason Terry

The Celtics get:
Gerald Wallace
Reggie Evans
Kris Humphries
Keith Bogans
Tornike Shengelia
and 1st round picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018

The Nets starting lineup instantly gets better, and this makes them a top 3 team in the NBA on paper. However, as we all know, a bunch of names thrown together doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work (especially with a rookie head coach in Jason Kidd). The way I see it, the Nets have to win the championship this year, or this will be considered a failure. Forget who they traded, they traded away 3 1st round picks. If this doesn’t work out then they’ll be in the proverbial hurt locker for some time now. What I see happening is they will finish with a solid record (probably 50 wins), but come playoff time they will meet their match against the Heat. As for the Boston Celtics, this is simply the final move to having a clean slate to rebuild on. It’ll be years before Boston competes again in the East, so get comfy. If you take a quick glance at the Eastern Conference, it is strong. For the Knicks to be the 5th best team in the Conference, you know the East is ready to dominate the NBA yet again. Speaking of the Knicks, I did like their draft pick from last night. They chose Tim Hardaway Jr. with the 24th overall pick. If your team likes to shoot then draft a shooter.

All in all it was a crazy night in the NBA. We saw a shocker at #1, we saw a blockbuster trade, and we saw a staple in the NBA conduct his final draft as commissioner. Now all that’s left to do is find out where Dwight Howard will suit up next year, and we’ll be ready for another action packed NBA season. What team do you think had the best draft? Who had the worst draft? Leave me your answers and comments below.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

We’re Going Streaking!!!!

History is being made right before our eyes.  The Chicago Blackhawks and the Miami Heat continue to extend their impressive winning streaks.  The Blackhawks have now earned at least one point in 24 straight games.  During this streak they have now won 11 games in a row.  Not all of their games have been easy, but they keep finding a way to win night in and night out.  Last night the Blackhawks scored 2 goals in the 3rd period to earn a come from behind victory; 3-2.  The game winning goal came from Daniel Carcillo with just under 50 seconds left in the game.  The Blackhawks will continue to keep their points and winning streak alive on Friday night when they visit the Colorado Avalanche.  The Blackhawks should be able to win that game easily, as the Avalanche have one of the worst records in the league.

Another streak that continued Wednesday night was the Miami Heat’s winning streak.  A win against the Orlando Magic brought their streak to 16 games.  The Heat continue to pile up wins and are an amazing 27-3 at home this season, but they should be a little concerned that they nearly blew another big lead against a sub-par team.  They were up by 15 at halftime, and by the time they were heading to the 4th quarter they were only up by 3 points.  They did the same thing against the Sacremento Kings, blowing an 8 point lead with only 1:12 left in regulation.  It was also nice to see Lebron finally hit a game winning shot for the Miami Heat.  It was his first with the Heat, and by my recollection his second of his career (it’s about time buddy).  For his sake, hopefully he can add clutch to his resume in the near future.  As of now that’s just about the only thing missing from his resume.  The Miami Heat will look to keep their winning streak alive Friday night at 8:00 P.M. against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Both of these streaks are extremely impressive.  How far do you think each streak will go?  Which streak do you think is more impressive?  Leave me your feedback in the comment section below.  I look forward to hearing your reactions.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!