“Celtics Band Together, Grab Win for Marcus Smart”

Marcus Smart drives in the paint.

Marcus Smart drives in the paint.

By Marc D’Amico © | @Marc_DAmico
Via Celtics.com ©
November 8, 2014

BOSTON – For a moment, time stopped. Emotions boiled over. Hands covered mouths. Mouths gasped for air.

Boston’s promising young rookie, Marcus Smart, was down. He wasn’t getting up.

He agonized in pain under Boston’s basket, his hands grasping around left leg. His future was in doubt, directly in front of 17,000-plus pairs of terrified eyes.

Was it a blown out knee? Had his Achilles popped? Did his leg break?

Every soul in TD Garden feared the worst, including Brad Stevens.

“It was really scary,” Stevens said after his team rallied to beat Indiana 101-98. “And then obviously he was writhing in pain, so that makes it even more scary.”

This wasn’t just any player on the floor. This was a player who has built a reputation for getting up. Every. Single. Time.

Smart is only five games into his NBA career, but it is already understood that he’s as tough as nails. Nothing, many believed, could cast a chink in his armor.

“The guy’s tough, man,” said Jeff Green, whose open-heart surgery taught him a thing or two about the subject. “It’s plan and simple. He’s just tough.”

Toughness, however, couldn’t turn the pain off.

The game clock stuck at 11:07 of the fourth quarter for nearly 10 minutes as Smart lay on the floor, following his attempt to score on a fast break. Those 10 minutes felt like an eternity.

With an arena’s worth of eyes watching down on him, and with every one of his teammates and coaches standing by his side, Smart was placed onto a stretcher and wheeled away. As he gazed back to the court and toward his brothers in green, Smart gave one simple gesture that fueled the remainder of the night.

“He put his thumbs up and that let us know he was still good and in good spirits,” said second-year point guard Phil Pressey, who filled in admirably in Smart’s absence. “We just wanted to get this win for him.”

Against all odds, the Celtics made that happen. The stared adversity in the eyes and beat it.

“It’s tough to see a teammate go down the way he went down, not knowing what the circumstances were of his injury,” Green said, “but the game had to continue. We had to pull ourselves together quick.”

The Celtics quickly rallied around their fallen teammate, and it showed in their play. They outscored the Pacers 26-23 over the remainder of the contest, coincidentally accounting for the final margin of three points.

Boston played inspired basketball across the board over the final 11-plus minutes of the game. Everyone from Phil Pressey to Jared Sullinger to Gerald Wallace to Brandon Bass made contributions. They banded together as one and would not allow this game slip away.

This game was important to them. This game was for Marcus.

“It all was for him,” an emotional Green stated after the game. “That guy came into the game when we were going through our downside of our game and he came and brought some good energy. It was tough to see him go down, but that game was for him. We got the win for him.”

After going nine days without the taste of victory, this night tasted extra sweet to the Celtics. And became even sweeter once the game was deposited into their win column.

Boston’s players and coaches made their way back to their locker room to find positive news waiting for them. Initial feedback indicated that Smart might have sidestepped a devastating injury.

“We’re hoping it’s a (left ankle) sprain, but we don’t know that,” Stevens relayed to the media. “So obviously a great deal of concern for him, number one, and hopefully he can get back sooner rather than later.”

In the meantime, Smart’s teammates will be right by his side, just as they were Friday night as he was carted off of the parquet. This group is a family, as Jared Sullinger called it, and each of its members truly care about one another. That’s why time stopped when Smart went down. That’s why basketball took a back seat for 10 long minutes.

That’s why this win was for Marcus.

“I’m glad to be a part of it,” Stevens proudly stated at the end of the night. “I’m glad to be a part of a team that feels like that.” – Marc D’Amico

John Karalis vs Gary Tanguay: LIVE on RedsArmy.com


Will this one on one go the full 12 rounds? Or end in a knockout? (Image: @auscelticsfan)

It’s real. It’s happening. The moment we’ve all been patiently waiting for. Gary Tanguay will go toe-to-toe with John Karalis LIVE on RedsArmy.com to discuss the TRUTH about Boston Celtics Point Guard, Rajon Rondo, once and for all.

The gloves are off, so to speak. Don’t miss the event of the year.

Australian fans your appropriate time conversions are below:

Boston (U.S.A. – Massachusetts) Sunday, 9 November 2014 at 9:00:00 PM EST UTC-5 hours
Brisbane (Australia – Queensland) Monday, 10 November 2014 at 12:00:00 Noon AEST UTC+10 hours
Melbourne (Australia – Victoria) Monday, 10 November 2014 at 1:00:00 PM AEDT UTC+11 hours
Adelaide (Australia – South Australia) Monday, 10 November 2014 at 12:30:00 PM ACDT UTC+10:30 hours
Perth (Australia – Western Australia) Monday, 10 November 2014 at 10:00:00 AM AWST UTC+8 hours

- @AusCelticsFan


Boston Celtics & Adidas Unveil Grey “Parquet Pride Collection”

Marcus Smart showing off the new "Parquet Pride Collection" Uniform.

Marcus Smart showing off the new “Parquet Pride Collection” Uniform.


“Being a true Celtic means honoring the past while building the next championship team. The Celtics and adidas just unveiled a new alternate uniform for the 2014-15 season. The new gray Parquet Pride Collection celebrates the most famous playing surface in sports, the Parquet Floor, and its many great moments.” – Celtics Press Release


So, what do we all think about the new “Parquet Pride Collection” Uniform?

- @AusCelticsFan

Is It Bad To Be Excited By Evan Turner’s Potential?

Yes, it’s only preseason. Yes, his time at the Pacers was underwhelming. But Evan Turner can play multiple positions and create for himself and his teammates. The former #2 pick was a solid player for a struggling 76ers team for the best part of 4 seasons. Unfortunately for Turner, the status of being taken as the second overall selection in the 2010 draft has often overshadowed his game.

As is often the case, it can be hard for players to produce their best efforts when representing a team in the midst of a rebuild – especially one as deep as Philadelphia have found themselves in. Coupling that with sharing minutes with All-Star guards, Turner was never able to find a high level of consistency with the 76ers, something he even acknowledges himself.

After warming the bench for Indiana in last season’s playoff run, Turner may have found a good fit here in Boston. As Brad Stevens likes to utilise the talents possessed by his players rather than pigeonhole them to certain positions, Turner’s versatility will be seen as a big strength this year, telling the Boston Herald

…when I played my first few years in Philadelphia we had unique players like Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala

There wasn’t much room for us all to do the same thing. Obviously there’s a big plan here, and in the end it’s going to pay off pretty well. I just think this is making the most out of my talents. Sometimes I’ve tried to go as an off-the-ball player, but I don’t think anyone is a genius if they put me in a corner and try to make me a catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter. Here they just play into each player’s strength and that’s about it.

This confidence and versatility is the reason to be excited by the 6’6” point guard/shooting guard/small forward from Ohio State. With Rajon Rondo sidelined yet again, the Celtics can take advantage of Turner’s ability to run the point. His sensible ball-handling skills and knowledge of delivering the right pass at the right time are bound to be on display. Together with his ability to create his own shot off the dribble, Turner could become a valuable asset to running the Celtics offense in Rondo’s absence.

Another underrated skill is his ability to rebound the ball from the guard position, while his length alone should worry opponents at both ends of the court. Given it’s only a small sample, his first two preseason games have produced averages of 12 points, 5 assists, and 7 rebounds from 26.5 minutes of action.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Celtics rebuild may not lie with Rajon Rondo alone, but rather with 37 year old coach Brad Stevens. The man seems to get the best out of his players, and Evan Turner could very easily become the next cab off the rank.

- Michael

Offseason Recap: The Marathon Approach

The 2014 offseason gave Celtic fans plenty of hope that a rebuild could be achieved in a short time-frame. Big name players visiting Boston (see Kevin Love), the thought of a legitimate 7-foot centre joining the ranks by sliding in the draft (see Joel Embiid), and an arsenal of trade chips at Danny Ainge’s disposal all created optimism that the C’s were only a couple of great moves away from returning to the top in 2014/15. Now that we know how the offseason has panned out, it would appear we are in for at least one more season of mediocrity.

With Kevin Love moving to Cleveland and making them a legitimate powerhouse alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the 76ers taking Embiid at pick #3, and Ainge unable to find teams willing to trade with Boston, the Celtics’ front office had to readjust their strategy. Draft night provided the Celtics with the opportunity to pick the best talent available, selecting Marcus Smart and James Young with picks #6 and #17 respectively.

Marcus Smart is a 6’3” point guard out of Oklahoma State, renowned for his defensive tenacity and a level of leadership that exceeds his 20 years of age. As with many young point guards, his offensive game will progress with time, most notably his outside shot (sound familiar?) and decision-making. He holds a story worth reading about.

James Young is a 6’7” shooting guard/small forward who will provide instant offense for a Celtics team that struggled from the perimeter last season. Young was regarded as one of the top shooters in this year’s draft class, but will need to work on his defence to see consistent minutes under Brad Stevens.

From a trade perspective, Danny Ainge played a smart game considering the Celtics inability to find suitable trade partners. Taking advantage of Cleveland’s cap-saving moves, Ainge was able to acquire centre Tyler Zeller and veteran shooting guard Marcus Thornton in a three-way trade with Brooklyn. This trade cost the Celtics nothing, as the trade exception collected in the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade last year was set to expire just days after the trade was completed, essentially handing the Celtics a great opportunity to land a centre with potential at little risk.

Finally, free agency proved a difficult avenue for Boston. With more lucrative teams offering big name players opportunities, the Celtics held tight to remain below the luxury tax again and sign Evan Turner on a low-risk deal. The former number 2 pick struggled with the Pacers last season, and will be looking to improve his market value, while the Celtics have possibly gained a big offensive boost.

Although this deal still hasn’t been officially announced, Turner is expected to be with the Celtics when training camp begins. Ainge has been hanging onto Keith Bogans’ non-guaranteed deal for as long as possible, in the event a trade opportunity presents itself.

Heading into training camp, the Celtics roster looks like this;

PG: Rajon Rondo, Marcus Smart, Phil Pressey

SG: Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Marcus Thornton, Chris Babb (non-guaranteed)

SF: Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace, James Young, Chris Johnson (non-guaranteed)

PF: Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass

C: Tyler Zeller, Vitor Faverani, Joel Anthony

While it doesn’t exactly shape to be a playoff-bound team, the season will be interesting to see who the Celtics will move forward with, who will be offloaded before the trade deadline, and how well some of the younger players will develop with another season under Coach Stevens. One thing is for sure, the dedicated fans of the green team will continue to support this team as it pushes through the ups and downs on the way to finishing this marathon.

- Michael (@mickyt34)

Smart Move Signals A Changing Of The Guard

First off I would like to congratulate Marcus Smart and James Young on becoming the newest members of the Boston Celtics. I can’t wait to see what both are able to bring to the floor.

We all know that Danny Ainge went in to the draft with the tactic of drafting the best player available, not based on what the team needs right now. This is an obvious thing to do as it is clear the Celtics are a long way from title contenders.

Having said that, by drafting Smart with the 6th pick there is obviously going to be ramifications for the rest of the guards that Boston already possesses.

Credit: Brad Penner

Credit: Brad Penner

Rajon Rondo was the name that many people thought of first.  I truly believe that Smart and Rondo can co-exist. They are both brutal competitors and could form a very dangerous back court duo.

The trade rumours are obviously going to be crazy this off season, but I don’t think Ainge will actively shop Rondo. He is a four time All Star and Captain of the team, they don’t just grow on trees. It will take a huge offer for Ainge to pull the trigger, and I hope the offer doesn’t come.

The player I believe the selection of Smart effects most is Avery Bradley, who is a restricted free-agent. If Smart moves to the shooting guard position, and plays alongside Rondo, Bradley is left as the odd one out. Smart’s rookie contract is going to be a lot cheaper than retaining Bradley, who could ask for up to $9 million this off season.

Avery Bradley has always been known for his defence. Much like Bradley, Smart plays great defence and never gives up on a play. Smart is 1″ taller, and has a 2″ longer wingspan than Bradley. This may not sound like much but on the defensive end a long wingspan is so very valuable.  This only adds to the fact that Bradley could now been seen as dispensable by Ainge.

As much as I love what Bradley brings to the Celtics, I don’t believe he is worth $9 million. Sadly, I think we’ve seen the last of Avery Bradley in Boston.

Phil Pressey showed tremendous promise throughout his rookie season in 2013/14. He went undrafted but showed he can definitely have an impact in the NBA.

The drafting of Smart will have a huge effect on Pressey’s minutes going forward. Smart will take a lot of the minutes that Pressey saw last season. That being said, if Smart is moved to the two guard position, Pressey will most likely still see some court time as Rondo’s primary back up.

I think Pressey is definitely worth keeping around, especially due to the fact that he is cheap and is learning from one of the best in Rajon Rondo.

Jerryd Bayless came to Boston in the Courtney Lee trade last season. Mainly seen as a cost-saving move, he did provide some quality games for the Celtics and was a solid contributor once he became familiar with sBrad Steven’ system.

This off season, Bayless becomes an unrestricted free-agent. Unlike Bradley, Bayless could be signed for a reasonable amount. If the Celtics can sign him for a good price I think he will still have a role to play for the team. He could slot in nicely as a sixth man, behind Rondo at the point and Smart at shooting guard.

Marcus Smart brings so much fight and heart to the Celtics. He is mature beyond his years and has an NBA ready frame and mindset. Whilst his selection could be problematic for individuals, the future of the Celtics looks to be in good hands.

A Study In Green: Jason Collins

In this week’s addition to A Study In Green, we talk about former Celtics centre Jason Collins. Let’s see how Collins’ time with the Celtics panned out.


The Good

Collins’ strength may not appear on the stat sheets but in his time with the Celtics, he was able to demonstrate his ability as an effective defender who was able to set hard screens for the other scorers.

Although Collins has shortcomings as a player, he is universally regarded as a fantastic teammate. A great role model towards the younger players, he is the kind of guy who plays hard in practice and relishes the opportunity to mentor younger guys.

The Bad

Collins is far from the best player in the NBA. In 32 games for the Celtics, which included 7 starts, he averaged 10.3 minutes per game, 1.2 points per game and 1.6 rebounds per game. In addition, Collins would also find himself in early foul trouble in many of the games he played.

He was never really able to find a spot in the Celtics under Doc Rivers’ rotation and was subsequently traded, along with Leandro Barbosa, to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Crawford.

The Verdict

There isn’t much to say about Collins’ time at the Celtics. To sum up, it was an uneventful tenure. In a Celtics team that lacked height, Collins did provide a presence in the paint and on the defensive post.

There have also been questions of whether Collins could possibly be a Celtic again next season as he would come cheap and provide great leadership. This now seems unlikely since the Celtics have signed Brazilian centre Vitor Faverani and a coach who is keen on going forward with a young team. Being on the wrong side of 30, it will be hard for Collins to find a team in the NBA.  However, any team could benefit from Collins’ presence as he could provide a veteran defensive post presence in limited minute.

What did you think of Jason Collins’ time as a Celtic? Would you want to see him back for the Celtics? Why or why not?

A Study in Green: Jordan Crawford 2012/13 season review

Jordan Crawford fan art credit Kaine Underwood, resident Celtics Down Under artist.

Jordan Crawford art credit Kaine Underwood, resident Celtics Down Under graphic artist.

Every night, he scares both coaches.”

Doc hits the nail on the head with this quote when asked about Jordan Crawford.  After our bench scoring spark plug in Leandro Barbosa went down, Boston had no choice but to try to bring in somebody else to add a semblance of offense to the bench unit.  Enter Jordan Crawford, who prior to joining the Celtics, was known for throwing down a 2 handed dunk on LeBron, and his love for shooting the basketball.  Towards the end of his Washington stint, Crawford’s questionable shot selection and maturity contributed to him being buried deep on both Washington’s bench, and Randy Whitman’s dog house.

The Good

At the price of seldom-used Jason Collins and an injured Leandro Barbosa, Boston’s biggest need was met when they traded for Jordan Crawford mid-season at a very cheap price (he is still on his rookie deal also).  Not only was his bench scoring (9.1ppg in 21mpg over 27 games with Boston) important, but, his ability to create his own shot was equally as important, especially with Rondo injured and out of action.

Crawford is also an extremely good passer, to the point when Danny Ainge casually mentioned that Jordan might be the best passer on the team.   Jordan’s vision and patience in probing a team’s defence has been one of the most underrated aspects of his game.

The Bad

Shot selection.

Jordan Crawford, Alonzo Gee, Kyrie Irving

Crawford has never met a shot that he doesn’t like.  Doc knew the type of player that Jordan was, but, he could not change him in such a limited amount of games, so, he just let him play.  There was a lot of good, but, unfortunately, there was a lot of bad too.  jump shots instead of moving the ball more, contested long jump shots early in the shot clock, and out of control drives were things that would drive us fans crazy.

Crawford also struggled mightily in the playoffs, where he saw his averages drop to 3.6ppg in 11.8mpg.  After an incident free run in Boston during the regular season, his immaturity came up again after a stirring Celtics win in game 5 at MSG.  In a game where Crawford was a DNP-Coach’s Decision, he had some choice words for Carmelo Anthony after the game-and nearly came to blows with the star.  It was an undisciplined act that left a sour taste in my mouth in what otherwise was a great victory.


After some major moves, the Celtics now have an unbalanced roster, which includes a logjam at the shooting guard position.  With that in mind and with the acquisition of Marshon Brooks, a player with a very similar skillset, the Celtics have reportedly shown interest in moving Crawford.  The roster is severely unbalanced at the moment so dealing some of our shooting guards will be a must-whether we can get any value back for Crawford will be a deciding factor on if he is moved or not.

Jordan Crawford is the definition of an X-factor.  If he can control some of his wild shots/drives while playing with some more consistency, he could very well carve out an important sixth man role (just like Jamal Crawford type), whether or not it is for the Celtics, only time will tell.

What are your thoughts on Jordan Crawford?  How would you rate his performance in his short stint with Boston?  Is he a keeper, or trade fodder?

Great off-season review!


Touchdown in Milan, Celtics get day off.

Rivers Gives Celtics First Day Off – Celtics.com

Their 9 p.m. local time tip off in Istanbul, Turkey, led to a late-night finish that pushed midnight. The team took a lengthy bus ride to the airport after speaking to the media and then headed out for the two-and-a-hal-hour flight to Milan, Italy, for the second leg of its journey.

By the time the Celtics landed in Milan, it was already 3:45 a.m. local time. It took another 45 minutes to get to the hotel, which meant players and coaches didn’t get into their rooms until about 5 a.m. at the earliest. And then they had to wait for their bags to arrive at their rooms in order to change out of the clothes they had worn on the flight.

It was a late night of travel, to say the least. It was so late that Doc Rivers put it in a very rare category.

“That was one of the later ones, yeah,” Rivers confessed when asked if it was one of the later nights of travel he had experienced in his tenure as Celtics coach. “We’ve had a couple like that. You usually have one a year.”

Talk about a crazy travel routine huh? It’s good to hear about the team getting some rest, something they have not had since media day apparently. Hell, that’s a pretty long stretch to go without off days.

This will be the first day the team has had off since it convened for media day on Friday, Sept. 28. Boston had strung together six consecutive days of practice and then last night’s game in Istanbul. That’s a lot of basketball, and not a lot of time to recover.

“They haven’t had a day off yet,” Rivers said prior to Friday night’s contest against Fenerbahce Ulker. “So it’s probably time to give them a day off.”

Not much to talk about until the next game rolls around, may the team be enjoying themselves over at Milan.


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