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Sports Then and Now



Is It The End of An Era in Boston Celtics Basketball? 9

Posted on June 11, 2012 by Brendan Tyman

The Boston Celtics could be without Kevin Garnett (left), Paul Pierce (center), and Ray Allen (right) next season.

All great things come to an end.

The Big Three revival ended on Saturday night when the Boston Celtics were ousted by LeBron James and the Miami Heat, 101-88, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Now, the uncertainty of the offseason arrives.

Saturday night’s game was reminiscent of the last five years with the Celtics having the opportunity to win multiple championships, but they missed chances and suffered debilitating injuries. In the 2009 postseason, they lost Kevin Garnett to a season-ending knee injury in February. Ultimately, the team fell to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference semifinals. They fought all the way to Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers where they played without center Kendrick Perkins, who tore his ACL in Game 6 of that series. In an ending eerily similar to the 2010 Finals, the Celtics could not hang with the Heat in the final six minutes of the game on Saturday. Like in 2010, the Celtics head into the offseason with the possibility of the Big Three breaking up with Ray Allen and Garnett as free agents. Paul Pierce has two years left on his contract, but only one season is fully guaranteed. The Celtics could either trade Pierce, amnesty him, or keep him while they rebuild.

There is still a chance that the Celtics could bring the core of the last five years back together for a final run for 2012-’13. After last night’s press conferences from an emotional Doc Rivers and teary-eyed Allen, it appears that the team has long-term goals in mind to build the team around point guard Rajon Rondo. Read the rest of this entry →

Boston Celtics Quest for Banner 18 Will Have to Wait 11

Posted on May 16, 2011 by Raj Prashad

Banner 18 or Bust?

Every Celtics fan must have gone through the 2010 summer slump, as we sat and watched the Lakers celebrate, then thought, “Next season is 18 or bust.”

Honestly, as a fan, was that fair of us or to the organization? Was it fair to think, “This team has to win a title, or this season will be a total failure.”

Most teams consider finishing the season .500, making the playoffs, getting to the second round, or making it to the Finals a success. In Boston, we have a championship atmosphere. This last decade has provided the greatest city on earth some breathtaking moments, but is it fair to think championship or bust on any given season?

I was one of those fans sitting there after game seven, saying “If Perk….If Rasheed….If If IF.” The offseason would prove difficult as many pieces, including Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen were thought to be moving on. Then Danny Ainge made some incredible moves with such a restricted salary. Doc came back and Ray Allen re-signed. Then Paul Pierce made the ultimate sacrifice, he took less money to stay in Boston and allowed the management to do what they could. Ainge signed Jermaine O’Neal, Von Wafer, Delonte West, Marquis Daniels, and Nate Robinson all for bargain deals. He got the legend of LA, Shaquille O’Neal, to sign for the minimum and put together a pretty solid bench. We were given hope. Hell, the motto for the regular season was, “It’s All About 18.” Read the rest of this entry →

Boston Celtics Keep On Winning 0

Posted on December 23, 2010 by Carl Desberg

The team's average margin of victory has been 12.5 over the streak, but Pierces jumper late gave the Celtics a closer win.

On November 22nd, the Boston Celtics started their winning streak with a lopsided win over the Atlanta Hawks. Over a month later, the C’s still have not lost.

Coach Doc Rivers has an interesting take on this stretch in an interview with WEEI radio this morning: “I know it sounds crazy but it’s a strange streak in many ways. As a staff I can tell you we’re not looking at it at all. We’re so focused on the next game and who is going to play and how we’re going to get a decent practice. In some ways every streak is a joy, but I don’t know if we’ve enjoyed this one as much because of all the other things.”

Doc’s right in many ways. During this streak, the Celtics have battled injuries just as much as the opponent. At times, the team has only had eight healthy bodies to practice, which makes it hard for the squad to refine their game. Shaq O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal, Rajon Rondo, Delonte West, and others have missed significant chunks over the past month which has really tested the depth of this team.

Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge spent much of the offseason compiling a strong bench in an effort to lengthen the playing rotation to ensure less playing time for his starters. The idea was good, but the result has not gone quite as planned. Due to numerous injuries, the Celtics’ Big Three have been carrying the load.

Playing their best basketball in years, the Big Three has led this 14 game charge. Each of the savvy veterans is playing like they’re in their prime and have truly adjusted to whoever is on the court with them better than ever. Doc Rivers preaches togetherness and it has never been more apparent than this month stretch. Read the rest of this entry →

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      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

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