Your Morning Dump… The place Celtics followers are lastly having enjoyable
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The question, then, is what you believe – the sharp, physical Celtics team that handed a big loss to their likely first-round opponent on hostile hardwood Friday night, or the group responsible for a season’s worth of dumpster fires.
The first group appears to be on the floor right now, after Friday night’s 117-97 win over Indiana. They lead the Pacers by a game in the chase for the Eastern Conference’s fourth playoff seed and, above all, homecourt advantage in the first round.
The Celtics won the tiebreaker, finishing with a 3-1 season series edge, and going back to last Friday’s win in Boston, seem to play this team better with each successive chance. Indiana, minus the surgically shelved Victor Oladipo, didn’t have the necessary firepower Friday night.
The Celtics, on the other hand, hit a somewhat overdue flow, including Gordon Hayward’s 21 points off the bench to go along with another 22 from Jayson Tatum and 17 from Kyrie Irving. Overall six Celtics broke into double figures.
Of course, those numbers came without Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward around due to injuries. They’re both back this season and playing some of their best basketball right now.
Still, how well they play won’t affect Tatum’s impact, particularly when he is being as aggressive, as we saw on Friday night against the Pacers.
Tatum seemed eager to attack each and every matchup that was in his favor, beating players to the rim with his dribble-drive game. And when they tried to take that away, he made them pay with his 3-point shot.
The biggest development for the Celtics over the last week? Before the last month or so, every positive Gordon Hayward assessment has been couched with some form of qualifier. Over the last month, however, Hayward has just been good, no qualifiers necessary. He’s getting to the line consistently, getting to the rim even more, scoring with AND without screens (the latter was rare earlier in the season) and finding teammates when he collapses the defense. Hayward is making a strong case for extended minutes in the postseason, and — more importantly — he appears to be adding the missing ingredient nobody could quite point out for the Celtics this season.
Are we having fun yet? It seems that, yes, we finally are.
Celtics fans have been saying for weeks now – because we had no choice – that the regular season wouldn’t matter if the Cs could turn it on in the postseason. Now, suddenly, there’s reason for optimism.
We all know the preseason consensus was that this Celtics squad would win 60+ games and steamroll the East. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way. Not even close. And the way they failed – home losses to Phoenix and New York, huge blown leads to the two L.A. teams in consecutive games at home, to name a few examples – had everyone canceling their memberships in the Terry Rozier-Mook Morris Fan Club.
But in the past week, the Celtics won four out of five, beating Miami and Indiana twice apiece, with the last two coming on the road in fairly dominant fashion. What could have been a disaster – if they had failed to show up, or had allowed any big comebacks – instead became a possible turning point in the inconsistent, frustrating season.
Perhaps the main reason for the newfound optimism is Hayward’s emergence. Over the past two weeks, Gordo off the bench has averaged 16.4 points on 58.8% shooting. In Miami on Wednesday, he scored 25, went to the line 13 times, and added 8 boards and 5 assists. In Indiana last night, he made 9-9 FGs and 3-3 FTs on his way to 21 points.
It’s the first time Gordon Hayward has scored at least 15 points on 100% shooting in 588 career NBA games https://t.co/Mk44PCttJv
One more win will give the Celts the fourth seed, along with home court in the first round against now-faltering Indiana. The Celts would then almost certainly play the Bucks in the second round. Milwaukee may be the top team in the league, but Boston matches up better with them than Toronto. Also, the Celtics have lost eight straight in the Raptors’ arena, six of them by double digits. It’s a good place to avoid.
Next weekend we will start to find out if these Celtics can find redemption in the playoffs. If they do, we’ll really have fun.
Whether he’s directing traffic from the elbow, engineering a dribble hand-off, pushing the ball in transition, drawing a double-team in the post, dragging his man to the corner, scurrying through myriad pick-and-roll coverages, or (he really does this!) darting off an unexpected pindown to launch an open three, Horford prevails as a cure-all balm who streamlines Boston’s attack in limitless ways. His game, in other words, is Whac-A-Mole, and the Celtics would untether themselves from anything close to championship contention if he wasn’t there.
As untrustworthy as Boston has looked since the all-star break, they still own a top-10 offense and the best defense in the league when Horford is in the game. When he sits, the Celtics lose their compass and get outscored by 13.2 points per 100 possessions.
According to Cleaning the Glass, only the Milwaukee Bucks and Warriors outscore teams at a higher rate than the version of the Celtics with Horford on the floor. If you strictly measure his impact on half-court offense, the Celtics are 10 points per 100 possessions better with him in the game, an effect that puts Horford among the likes of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Paul George.
It’s simple: Al Horford gets it done. Good to see a piece about the many ways that’s true. This should be required reading for all the Boston media loudmouths who criticize Horford without understanding his true value. Or as this Celtics fan put it:
i want to be clear on 1 thing. Any fan or sports media "personality" who spent 1 second analyzing whether or not al horford is overrated should not be allowed to watch the nba ever again.
Basketball pioneer Chuck Cooper, the first African-American drafted in NBA history, will be announced as an inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday in Minneapolis, a source told ESPN’s The Undefeated.
Cooper was selected to the Hall of Fame by the special direct-elect Early African-American Pioneers Committee.
The former Duquesne University star was drafted by the Boston Celtics 13th overall on April 25, 1950.
Cooper endured strong racial prejudices on and off the court that rivaled what Hall of Famer and Celtics legend Bill Russell experienced in Boston.
While with the Celtics, Cooper often had to stay at a different hotel or eat in different restaurants than his teammates because he was black. The Pittsburgh native once slept on the train instead of in the team hotel in North Carolina. Then-Celtics coach Red Auerbach once said Cooper “had to go through hell” as an NBA player. Hall of Famer and former Celtics great Bob Cousy once cried in an interview while reflecting on what Cooper went through.
Each morning, we compile the hyperlinks of the day and dump them right here… highlighting the large story line. As a result of there’s nothing fairly as satisfying as morning dump.
The query, then, is what you imagine – the sharp, bodily Celtics crew that handed a giant loss to their seemingly first-round opponent on hostile hardwood Friday night time, or the group chargeable for a season’s value of dumpster fires.
The primary group seems to be on the ground proper now, after Friday night time’s 117-97 win over Indiana. They lead the Pacers by a sport within the chase for the Jap Convention’s fourth playoff seed and, above all, homecourt benefit within the first spherical.
The Celtics gained the tiebreaker, ending with a 3-1 season collection edge, and going again to final Friday’s win in Boston, appear to play this crew higher with every successive probability. Indiana, minus the surgically shelved Victor Oladipo, didn’t have the required firepower Friday night time.
The Celtics, then again, hit a considerably overdue move, together with Gordon Hayward’s 21 factors off the bench to associate with one other 22 from Jayson Tatum and 17 from Kyrie Irving. Total six Celtics broke into double figures.
After all, these numbers got here with out Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward round as a result of accidents. They’re each again this season and enjoying a few of their finest basketball proper now.
Nonetheless, how properly they play gained’t have an effect on Tatum’s impression, significantly when he’s being as aggressive, as we noticed on Friday night time towards the Pacers.
Tatum appeared desperate to assault each matchup that was in his favor, beating gamers to the rim together with his dribble-drive sport. And once they tried to take that away, he made them pay together with his 3-point shot.
The most important improvement for the Celtics over the past week? Earlier than the final month or so, each optimistic Gordon Hayward evaluation has been couched with some type of qualifier. Over the past month, nonetheless, Hayward has simply been good, no qualifiers obligatory. He’s attending to the road persistently, attending to the rim much more, scoring with AND with out screens (the latter was uncommon earlier within the season) and discovering teammates when he collapses the protection. Hayward is making a powerful case for prolonged minutes within the postseason, and — extra importantly — he seems to be including the lacking ingredient no one might fairly level out for the Celtics this season.
Are we having enjoyable but? Evidently, sure, we lastly are.
Celtics followers have been saying for weeks now – as a result of we had no selection – that the common season wouldn’t matter if the Cs might flip it on within the postseason. Now, all of the sudden, there’s motive for optimism.
Everyone knows the preseason consensus was that this Celtics squad would win 60+ video games and steamroll the East. Clearly, it didn’t work out that approach. Not even shut. And the way in which they failed – dwelling losses to Phoenix and New York, large blown results in the 2 L.A. groups in consecutive video games at dwelling, to call a number of examples – had everybody canceling their memberships within the Terry Rozier-Mook Morris Fan Membership.
However previously week, the Celtics gained 4 out of 5, beating Miami and Indiana twice apiece, with the final two approaching the highway in pretty dominant style. What might have been a catastrophe – if they’d failed to point out up, or had allowed any huge comebacks – as a substitute turned a doable turning level within the inconsistent, irritating season.
Maybe the principle motive for the newfound optimism is Hayward’s emergence. Over the previous two weeks, Gordo off the bench has averaged 16.four factors on 58.8% taking pictures. In Miami on Wednesday, he scored 25, went to the road 13 occasions, and added Eight boards and 5 assists. In Indiana final night time, he made 9-9 FGs and 3-Three FTs on his solution to 21 factors.
It’s the primary time Gordon Hayward has scored at the very least 15 factors on 100% taking pictures in 588 profession NBA video games https://t.co/Mk44PCttJv
What different East crew has a sixth man like that?
And if Jayson Tatum is aggressive sufficient to get off 19 photographs, like he did final night time, that can be a terrific signal that the Celtics are attacking on offense – a positive recipe for playoff success.
The playoff seedings are additionally lining up correctly.
— Celtics on NBC Sports activities Boston (@NBCSCeltics) April 6, 2019
The Pacers play the Nets at 5 p.m. on Sunday. In the event that they lose that one, the Celtics would know whether or not or not they are going to have the No. four seed by the point they tackle the Magic that night.
Yet one more win will give the Celts the fourth seed, together with dwelling court docket within the first spherical towards now-faltering Indiana. The Celts would then nearly actually play the Bucks within the second spherical. Milwaukee often is the prime crew within the league, however Boston matches up higher with them than Toronto. Additionally, the Celtics have misplaced eight straight within the Raptors’ enviornment, six of them by double digits. It’s place to keep away from.
Subsequent weekend we’ll begin to discover out if these Celtics can discover redemption within the playoffs. In the event that they do, we’ll actually have enjoyable.
Whether or not he’s directing visitors from the elbow, engineering a dribble hand-off, pushing the ball in transition, drawing a double-team within the publish, dragging his man to the nook, scurrying by myriad pick-and-roll coverages, or (he actually does this!) darting off an surprising pindown to launch an open three, Horford prevails as a cure-all balm who streamlines Boston’s assault in limitless methods. His sport, in different phrases, is Whac-A-Mole, and the Celtics would untether themselves from something near championship competition if he wasn’t there.
As untrustworthy as Boston has appeared because the all-star break, they nonetheless personal a top-10 offense and the most effective protection within the league when Horford is within the sport. When he sits, the Celtics lose their compass and get outscored by 13.2 factors per 100 possessions.
In response to Cleansing the Glass, solely the Milwaukee Bucks and Warriors outscore groups at the next fee than the model of the Celtics with Horford on the ground. In the event you strictly measure his impression on half-court offense, the Celtics are 10 factors per 100 possessions higher with him within the sport, an impact that places Horford among the many likes of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Paul George.
It’s easy: Al Horford will get it accomplished. Good to see a bit concerning the many ways in which’s true. This needs to be required studying for all of the Boston media loudmouths who criticize Horford with out understanding his true worth. Or as this Celtics fan put it:
i wish to be clear on 1 factor. Any fan or sports activities media "persona" who spent 1 second analyzing whether or not or not al horford is overrated shouldn’t be allowed to observe the nba ever once more.
Basketball pioneer Chuck Cooper, the primary African-American drafted in NBA historical past, can be introduced as an inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Corridor of Fame on Saturday in Minneapolis, a supply advised ESPN’s The Undefeated.
Cooper was chosen to the Corridor of Fame by the particular direct-elect Early African-American Pioneers Committee.
The previous Duquesne College star was drafted by the Boston Celtics 13th total on April 25, 1950.
Cooper endured robust racial prejudices on and off the court docket that rivaled what Corridor of Famer and Celtics legend Invoice Russell skilled in Boston.
Whereas with the Celtics, Cooper usually needed to keep at a unique lodge or eat in several eating places than his teammates as a result of he was black. The Pittsburgh native as soon as slept on the prepare as a substitute of within the crew lodge in North Carolina. Then-Celtics coach Pink Auerbach as soon as mentioned Cooper “needed to undergo hell” as an NBA participant. Corridor of Famer and former Celtics nice Bob Cousy as soon as cried in an interview whereas reflecting on what Cooper went by.