Huge Offseason On Tap For Celtics

The Celtics season came to an end on Saturday night, and now begins a fascinating time to watch the decisions that Danny Ainge and the Celtics will make before the team begins training camp in less than four months.

At one point, it was believed that there was a three-year window, after which the team would be in revert back to a lottery-bound franchise. They got five years out of the era, and it may not be done yet.

Danny Ainge has his critics in the Boston media (Hello, John Dennis!), but he has positioned this franchise to continue to be able to be a contender, provided he can put the right pieces together. They’ve got two first-round picks in a deep draft, and with a ton of money coming off the books, the ability to sign free agents or make trades this summer. They’ve got Doc Rivers, who players seem to want to play for. They’ve got Rondo, who makes teammates better and gets them easy baskets. They’ve got Avery Bradley coming back. (When he’s not boxing, apparently.)  Despite being a cold-weather city, Boston has a lot going for it in terms of being an attractive destination for players.

Much hinges on Kevin Garnett, and whether 1) he wants to keep playing, and 2) if he’ll take a greatly reduced salary to allow the team to add pieces around him. In the past few weeks I’ve read media reports of interest from New Jersey, Orlando, the Lakers and Spurs, but I feel fairly sure that if he’s playing, he’s playing here, mostly because of Doc Rivers.

Saturday night was tough to watch. In some ways, it was predictable, you knew the Celtics would put up a fight, and I feared they would fade late. The postgame was even tougher. Doc Rivers’ press conference was very emotional. You had to love the defiance of Rajon Rondo, refusing to admit his team lost steam in the end, you got the impression Ray Allen had played his last game with the Celtics.

Then you had the media schoolmarms wagging their finger at Rondo and KG not sticking around to glad-hand with the likes of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.  Larry Bird didn’t stick around to give hugs and kisses to opponents. I hated when Kevin McHale hugged up Isaiah Thomas when the Pistons finally broke through against the Celtics in 1988.

Sportsmanship is more than just sticking around for a cursory handshake. It’s about playing the game right, respecting your opponent and leaving everything on the floor. The Celtics did that. For someone to immediately focus on raw emotions following a game which could be the last together for a proud group of warriors is the Twitter version of trolling for attention.

Pick up all the Celtics headlines today from CelticsLinks.com.

A few select stories from today:

Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 on ESPN Sets New NBA Cable Record with 9.1 Overnight Rating – Locally, the game scored a 21.7 rating.

Hard to analyze C’s Big 3 – Steve Bulpett has Danny Ainge talking about his expectations and hopes for this group, and what the future holds.

Big calls to make on Three – Gary Washburn looks at the decisions looming.

Celtics enter an era of change – Scott Souza has the team looking at a busy summer.

One more time! – Michael Muldoon want to take another run at it.

Celtics adrift in summer dreams – Peter May thinks the options might be limited for the Celtics.

A couple media-related items.

The NFL and me – In the Globe’s Jobs/Diversity Boston insert yesterday, Shalise Manza Young talks about being on the Patriots beat, and what she feels her role is among the rest of the media.

Haggerty vs Minihane – After their Twitter fight last week, the pair went at it on the CSNNE airwaves as well.

Now that the Red Sox have achieved their goal of breaking the Portland Trailblazer’s record for consecutive sellouts (wink, wink) can we end the charade?

  • Winning_Again

    Bruce, a couple things from the weekend, and more importantly the media, both national and local:

    1) While I wish the Celtics has won, I don’t feel bad about how they went out. They gave it their all, which just wasn’t good enough.

    2) While the fouls in Game 7 were dramatically in the Heats favor, the Celtics had a big lead, and slowly let it trickle away. The refs aren’t the reason they lost, they simply couldn’t make shots, grab key rebounds, and get stops.

    3) Donald Sterns has what he whats, the two biggest stars in the finals. We should have seen this coming, knowing IMO how corrupt this league is. While refs are not instructed to sway games, I believe that certain refs have it built in, almost inane, to call games specifically in one direction. see Randy Mott (ref from Spurs/Thunder game 6)?

    4) I really hope the Heat lose. Lebron James is in that category of (Peyton and Arod) guys you never want to see win a title. Unfortunately both Peyton and Arod ended up winning. 

    5) In regards to Mike “The Moral Compass” Felger on Sports Sunday, the Celtics have no class, decency, and respect for their opponents. He blasted the C’s for being poor sports and leaving the floor early, while comparing to Hockey where they line up and shake hands. This guy is a clown. He can’t go 1 minute without taking a shot at the sport or this team. I love Max going right at him about hockey ratings this year. 

    • Winning_Again

      6) Last, be prepared for a tongue bath from the National Media towards Lebron James. This is going to be brutal is anyone is looking for objective coverage. We will likely hear how he shed the demons from last year, and how this is his time. When only 1 week ago, these same people were discussing the breakup of Miami’s Big Three. What a joke!

      7) Prepare for the dog days of summer. With the Redsox moving along like a tortoise, these are going to be dull summer months. BTW, when is the first PATS preseason game, weee!

    • Winning_Again

      So I don’t mean to be excessive in posting about this topic but on my way home, I heard it brought up by F&M. They waited until the last segment to bring-up the handshake business. My contention isn’t with the general attitude or spirit with their take, but with delivery of the point. My problem with Felger in this specific case is that he remains determined to portray basketball and it’s players negatively with hyping up hockey. Why must we always compare the two, as if one correlates directly to the other? Why must we tear basketball down in order to hype up hockey? Since when did it become good business to slam the sport your station is largely showcasing. It seems to me his agenda is always, what hockey does right, basketball does wrong. Maybe its a simple winter sports comparison. I don’t recall seeing the Cardinals come out on the field in 04 shaking our hands after an 86 year drought, nor the Rangers shaking the Cardinals hands last year. Yet the NBA and specifically the Celtics do this, and it becomes Felger soapbox topic dejour (check my spelling lol). Personally I like the 80s brand of bball where no1 liked each other and that dislike never stopped, even after the game. But that’s just me.

  • bsmfan

    So, less than a week of SCF and about 1-2 of the NBA. Then you enter that “dead” period where it’s some golf, some tennis, but really just baseball. You have about a month of this before that 30-day window with mini-camp/OTA stuff going on, leading up to the HOF/HOF Game and pre-season where your appetite really starts to want football (and college for fans).

    On to local matters…

    Sports Sunday: First, having Felger “size-up” a NBA defense when he has no interest in the sport nor cares to learn anything about it beyond what constitutes a win or loss, was funny. Do we go to Lou Merloni on the differences between a post, slant and go routes? Hopefully not. Maybe
    Jermaine Wiggens can break down Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

    We know Felger doesn’t like the NBA but having him host these segments where he’s more interested in mocking a sport he hates…? It seems silly from a production standpoint on CSNNE. I’ve got to think that something will change there, considering their vested interest in the Celtics.

    Second, Felger got into it about the post-game handshake (or there of). Basically, labeling the sport “unsportsman-like” for not doing what hockey does. While many laud hockey for what they do, especially after how violent hockey can be, basketball isn’t hockey. So, I think trying to degrade one sport because they don’t do what another does is absurd. Maxwell went to this when his only response to Felger was how bad the NHL ratings are compared to the NBA. It was equally absurd, but what else can you do? Plus, it got him to shut-up because there is not much a hockey fan can say there.

    Still, the “quality control” here is.. suspect.

    ————————–

    I mentioned this on another post but this is 1991 all over for the NBA (different story line, sure) but the Heat continue to set records. Honestly, I doubt that, regardless of what happens, the Heat won’t be back next year:

    NBA Finals ratings history:
    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/06/10/guess-the-lebron-james-heat-v-kevin-durants-thunder-nba-finals-tv-ratings-poll-historical-data/137404/

    MVP vs. the “Best” player.. story lines are set.

    • toncy1966

      I don’t know why I put myself through it, but most of the time I do find myself tuning it–at least initially–to Felger’s Sunday night CSNNE show. By the time I’ve had it on for about 15 minutes, I am kicking myself for being dumb enough to watch….again. Last night’s assault on all things NBA and Boston Celtics was to be expected, but what really did it for me was that I just knew he would find a way to spin the Gronkowski contract extension into at least a subtle hit on the Patriots’ organization. And yup, his first words were, “they should do this more often–lock up their key guys early.”

      Of course, he left out a couple of things, such as the fact that the player and the team BOTH have to want to do a long-term extension early in the player’s contract (that was the case with Gronk, as it appears that his agent approached the Pats with the extension idea because his client wanted the financial security in exchange for giving up some of the mega, mega dollars he could have earned down the road); that the Patriots have, in fact, done this before with other players, such as Mayo last season,Seymour in 2006, and others; and the fact that, yes, the salary cap situation often limits the team’s ability to give out deals like this–even if the team really, really would like to do it. Of course, that last point doesn’t fit with Felger’s “the cap is crap” mantra, so he left it out.  

      Again, if Felger is just trying to be a contrarian, obnoxious “personality” pushing certain mantras–in the absence of factual evidence to actually back up said mantras–in order to generate ratings, then I understand that. However, I don’t have to accept it, nor do I have to like it.

      • bsmfan

         I feel the same, many times.

        My desire to consume Felger (in some form) comes from his ability to carry segments and the “host” in him where he’s great at keeping a take or handling callers.

        (I think this is something many hosts in the SportsTalk world lack entirely or have a poor grasp of).

        The thing that, I think, bothers myself and most people is some of the completely idiotic takes. “Cap is crap” for an example. I’m home with him on questioning the integrity of sports. This weekend was one of the worst in history for the integrity of sports, between the Belmont, Boxing and NBA.

        The one part he went off again is the injury excuse. (Bruce/George pointed this out on Twitter first so I want to yield credit.) Without those “injuries” the Celtics would most likely not be in the ECF. So, I think he needs to check his logic there.

        Still, as it continues to be pointed out, and even a caller today emphatically said the same, the alternative from 2-6 is a joke. Again, if WEEI wanted to start stabbing at that 2-6 block, they have an opening.

  • Playactionboston

    They are not as far away from being good to great next year. If Wilcox, Green and Bradley played vs the Heat it would have been over in 5. I would resign KG (if he wants too), make a run at Kris Humpfries and get as many young horses like Bradley and Green to run with Rondo. Humpfries gives them everything they missed this year…REBOUNDS AND 50/50 BALLS!! He will also move Bass back to the bench where he is more effective. U come back next year with Bass, Jeff Green, Greg Stiemsma (healthy) and Wilcox off ur bench with Rondo, Bradley, Paul, Kris Kardashian and KG as ur 5 u could have enough to go deep again. Look out for Jajuan Johnson. Another 6’10 defensive and offensive kid that would fit well with Rondo and Bradley long term. Cerron “Brother Battle” .

  • bsmfan

    I wonder what this means for some folks locally:

    “Get ready for more sports talk radio.NBC Sports is expanding its horizons. This morning, it announced the creation of the NBC Sports Radio Network.
    The
    initial plans will start on a smaller scale with NBC and local Comcast
    SportsNet personalities providing reports and analysis to participating
    stations. Eventually, the expectation is that NBC will have a 24/7
    platform that airs on various stations throughout the country and
    perhaps SiriusXM, much like ESPN and Fox.”

    http://shermanreport.com/nbc-sports-looks-to-get-into-radio/

    ———

    Could CSNNE eventually offer some type of dual-role for people like Felger/Curran/etc?

    I had thought that if they went the radio route, it could mean something good for Yahoo’s Sports Talk (completely my theory here).

  • Nsbombers

    Bruce,I might be the only one watching the stanley cup finals in the boston area.How have the ratings been.Are the nba finals airing locally on eei or rko.

  • Winning_Again

    This just in….

    Today 3:30pm on Fagler and Pipsqueak!

    In an attempt to further discredit the Celtics and the “Green-Teamers” Felger starts a segment berating anyone saying the Celtics over-achieved. I find this topic useless, whats the point of harping on this. Why do we have to maintain whether they under-achieved, over-achieved, or midde-road. The answer: Felger just likes to slam the Celtics and BBall.

    Lucky for us, Felger made a huge blunder in something he usually berates anyone for using as an excuse: “Injuries.” This idiot stated that the Celtics only got to the Eastern Finals because Rose got hurt. It’s true. But then this same D-Bag rants and raves from those same Celtics fans that use Perks injury as an excuse in 2010, or KG’s injury vs Orlando in 09. How convenient for Fagler to shape his argument with the injury byline. My issue isn’t with whether this was true or not, but just the hypocritical nature of Felger using this as ammo.

    Its a lack on insight and an easy way for him to slam to Green Team. This team got to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference against the Second-Coming. This is eerily similar to when they were chastising the Pats for the same thing.

    • JonFrum

       I can’t imagine how you listen long enough to know all that.

      • Winning_Again

         It happened on my ride home from work, between 5:30-5:45. As I said before, F&M annoy me but IMO they’re much better than the alternative ballwashers at WEEI.

        • Guest

          WEEI at least attempted to give some rational analysis of the Celtics playoff run. Not sure why it’s such a “joke” compared to the garbage F&M spew every day. They have people that actually have a clue about basketball on air at least.

          Also don’t think the “ballwasher” label is warranted.  Mikey Adams was the only guy on the station who picked the Celtics to win the Heat series. EEI has been ripping the Red Sox all season too. Felger’s pulled the wool over your eyes.

        • Winning_Again

          Do you actually read anything I write? I’ve had about 6 posts dedicated to ripping F&M. Get some facts, then come back and talk to me “Guest.”

    • bsmfan

       I was annoyed by this, as well.

      This 2-3:30 segment, I swear, was directly aimed at “discrediting the Green Teamers” who mentioned anything with injuries today.

      The take seemed designed to troll Green Teamers more than anything.

      That’s more of a blog-o-sphere, than anything.

      It wasn’t even framed in a Celtics take..

  • Josh

    Why is everyone giving KG and Rondo a pass for walking off the court without shaking hands yet everyone wanted to crucify Bill Belichick for walking off without shaking hands with the Giants after SB XLII?

  • bsmfan

    D+C open the show, I guess because the Red Sox are boring, with a blow-by-blow of the Sandusky trial this morning… a day after the trial begins.. trying to convict everyone and anything associated with the trial.. sigh.. And, now all their callers are being Jack McCoy.

    T+R are talking about Jenny Dell, Jenny McCarthy and implants.. At least they followed up talking about the Dream Team documentary coming out soon.

    Mike and Mike spends maybe 5 minutes talking “hockey”, virtually all pre-arranged and scripted. Second segment in? Lebron. And, I can’t see much more hockey beyond the top-of-the-hour recap.

%d bloggers like this: