Boston Celtics – Playoff Preview

Boston Celtics

Background:

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Boston Celtics ended the season on Tuesday night with a win over the Washington Wizards. Boston’s record was (49-33) and was good to be placed 4th in the Eastern Conference. Celtics did have an up and down season with injuries, Kyrie Irving turmoil and being linked to Anthony Davis. Albeit, the team had high expectations heading into the 2018-2019 season.  Did high expectations get to the C’s early on leading to struggle? I believe the hype is what happened, but now its playoff time.

The Opponent

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers held the 5th seed at season’s end right behind Boston. Victor Oladipo went down with a season ending injury. C’s won the season series (3-1) against the Pacers. Myles Turner has been a nice player for them. Will Indiana continue to play well without their top superstar or will injuries finally throw them off their “A” game?

Player to Watch for

Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyrie Irving should be the player to keep an eye on throughout the series. Seeing Irving missed the end of last season into the playoffs and Boston was one game short of the finals. He has to be the leader of this team and have the young core of players on the same page going forward.

Prediction

Firstly, the Celtics should not take the Pacers lightly. If they take it game by game they win this series in six games. Secondly, Brad Stevens will have a good game plan to make sure the team is ready to go. Guys like Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum need to be healthy and will have to be ready to go. The Celtics will advance with Kyrie Irving as the entire cast will be playing together for the 1st time in the playoffs.

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Duke Blue Devils – History – One and Done

Duke’s Struggles Throughout the Years – One & Done Plague:

The Duke Blue Devils basketball program is one of the most storied college’s in decades. Mike Krzyzewski has had great seasons winning national championships. He’s also coached some of the best players in the NCAA. However, the college has had its up and downs for quite sometime now.

Every single season there always either ranked #1 or at least in the top 10 of the AP poll and not slipping past #15. The Atlantic Coast Conference has seen Duke always at the top of the standings. They either get to the ACC title game or win the entire conference despite the competition. High School athletes are always excited to sign the letter of intent with Duke. They all seem to want to win a national title and jump to the NBA following year. “One and Done’s” have plagued college basketball and Duke has felt that in drastic fashion over the years.

Notable One and Done Players:

Corey Maggette: Corey’s numbers weren’t stymieing while in college. In fact he only averaged 10.6 per contest. However he did that in just 17.7 minutes per game. That’s 24 points per game for a 40 minute time frame. Maggette’s 6’6″ – 220 lbs and extreme athleticism is tough to replace on the college level. In 1999, he was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics. Round: 1 / Pick: 13. Imagine what Duke could have done with Corey Maggette for just one more season?

Kyrie Irving:

Jayson Tatum:

Why Does this keep happening?

I get that top recruits want to play for one of the best programs and coaches that the NCAA has ever seen. Players goals are to win one national title and be a lottery pick after march madness heading into June’s draft every year. I get that if you have the ability to play at a D-1 school you go for it.

More to Come

Zion Williamson:

Scouts, players, coaches have said this young man has been the best player since LeBron James. He can flat out ball up and play. His dunking skills are the best and he has to improve on his offensive and defensive game a tiny bit. Projected top pick in this year’s draft he will help a organization go in the right direction. Free agents probably want to play with him and help develop the basketball IQ better.

RJ Barrett:

Another notable player that might be lost from the Blue devil team. RJ is averaging just over 23 points per game for Duke. Projected top five pick in this year’s NBA Draft. The kid has a great skill set and fits Coach K’s game plan very well. The talent that he has shown this past season has been outstanding game in and game out. His game will transfer to the NBA very quickly and he will perform well at the next level.

Will Duke Win A National Title Any Time Soon?

Duke fans will see another national title heading there way sometime in the near future. The team has a chance this season to make a deep run. But as we have seen in recent seasons either they win the first round game then get upset by a lower seed then leave your head scratching. How does a team with so much potential and talent loose early? The Blue Devils will have chance to change the recent struggles just under a couple weeks as the tourney starts.

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A.D. Rumors

The News:

Here we go again. Rumors surrounding New Orleans Pelicans star Power forward Anthony Davis came out this week. Davis said that he either wants a trade or will leave in free agency this upcoming summer. He also mentioned that he wants to be on a contender and have a chance to win a NBA championship in the future. I get it, he’s sick of always losing. He wants a change in his career, still only being 25 years old. The NBA trade deadline is next Thursday and it should be very interesting what actually happens with A.D.

Boston Celtics:

Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Celtics have been linked to Davis for a few seasons now. Reports as of late are that he prefers to play for the Los Angeles Lakers and join LeBron James. However, the best package for the Pelicans is in Boston, with everyone but Kyrie Irving on the table. Obviously this can not happen until the off season according to the “rose rule”. Jayson Tatum even said earlier this year he would trade himself for Davis. That sounds crazy from a young player like him, as rising star,  on both ends of the floor.

Landing Spot:

If Anthony Davis isn’t moved by next week’s deadline he has a solid chance to end up in green over the summer. As long as Kyrie sign’s a new deal with the C’s and reaches out to Davis I don’t see the deal not working. Both sides will then have to agree on deal that might include Tatum or Brown or both and few other players and most likely draft picks. For now we all wait in anticipation.

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Boston Celtics Season Preview 2018-19

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics Season Preview 2018-19. On Tuesday night the Boston Celtics open up there 2018-19 campaign against a former opponent in the Philadelphia 76ers at the TD Garden. Last time both of these organizations played against one another was in the playoffs last season with Boston coming on top and eventually playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the eastern conference finals. Both teams will be eager to face each other on the outcome of the way last season ended.

Coming Back Strong

Coming back strong will be Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, bouncing back from that horrific injury he suffered on the first game of the year last season. A lot of fans and experts expect big things from this historic franchise especially with the young core of players playing well and being led by one of the best head coaches in the NBA in Brad Stevens.

Good Times

It is a good time to be a Boston Celtics fan.  The team has shown great strides in recent seasons making the playoffs and the eastern conference finals and one game away from playing in the NBA Finals. We all know that Boston’s big threats in the east will be teams like the 76ers and Raptors. The addition of Kawhi Leonard that sent DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio this off season was huge.

Young Guns

Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum all handled themselves last season stepping up when injuries piled up for the team down the stretch, adding big point games and must wins to keep up with LeBron and his Cavs. One less team that Boston shouldn’t have to worry about is Cleveland. James left for the LA spotlight to play with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma. 

Predictions

I predict that the C’s will have the top seed in the eastern conference. There is also a strong possibility to go the NBA Finals and either face the Golden State Warriors or the fan favorite Los Angeles Lakers. I rather see the Lakers to revitalize one of the best rivalries in all off sports. With the talent and depth that the Celtics have it destined to have a great season from start to finish. As long as the core group of players stay healthy for most of the season.

Staff photo by Christopher Evans

Future Plans

Kyrie recently announced that he plans to re-sign with the C’s in the summer of 2019. He wants to work on a long term deal that will keep him in a Celtics uniform for years to come. I believe he will be productive for a long time seeing how he is only 26 years of age. Recent reports on Terry Rozier are that the organization will let him test the free agent market. By time next summer comes around he may be gone. Rozier has proven himself as a top guard in this league as he filled in more than admirably while Kyrie was out with injury last season. As a Celtics fan I can not wait for the season to start and get this show on the road and see how the year play outs from now until June!

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