Boston Celtics: Trade Ideas.

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The Boston Celtics don’t have to improve that much as I said here

Who is available?

Jose Calderon, Chris Kaman, Michael Beasley, James Anderson, Stephen Jackson, Marvin Williams, Ramon Sessions, J.J. Hickson (maybe), Devin Harris, Paul Millsap (maybe), Cole Aldrich (maybe), O.J. Mayo, Chris Andersen, Monta Ellis, Andrew Bogut

So what deals could you make? These trades have been worked on through ESPN NBA Trade Machine

Rajon Rondo, Jermaine O’Neal to the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Kaman. However then you need to upgrade the Point Guard position.

Ray Allen to the Los Angeles Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and Randy Foye. Didn’t really work in the Trade Machine, Clippers would have to shed about a million dollars but maybe throw in a third team or send them cash to make it work.

Ray Allen to the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis. He would step in, be the Point Guard and might be a better player to try to entice other players to play in Boston. Obviously, throwing in a pick will probably be necessary but it’s still a move that is believable.

Kevin Garnet to the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia. Not sure Atlanta would do this without another big coming back there way which would mean a third team would be involved, especially since Atlanta is doing so well.

Rajon Rondo and Marquis Daniels or Sasha Pavlovic to the Milwaukee Bucks for Brandon Jennings and Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson has a bad contract however and I’m not sure this move would make you better now and could make you worse depending on Jennings and Jackson.

Rajon Rondo to the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash. The Suns, who respect Nash a lot and what he’s done for them, trade him to a contender and in return get a Point Guard they can move forward with. Being a younger and athletic team fits Rondo’s style better.

You can trade Marquis Daniels and/or Sasha Pavlovic to just free up a roster spot so you could bring in someone else who can make an impact. Who? James Posey, Gilbert Arenas could be options. You also have the NBA D-League and a name the Celtics could be interested in is Jeff Foote, according to CSNNE.com.

Trading Rondo is a risk because how sure are you that Avery Bradley can step in and take over that starter role. Another name that is an interesting one is Monta Ellis and with his 22 points per game and 6 assists per game, he is the guy to take the load off of Pierce. In addition, he is not afraid of clutch moments but has been compared to Stephan Marbury because of his tendency to be a slight ball-hog.

It will depend on if Danny thinks that they need to make some moves to get a better shot at winning a title or to move forward past the Big 3 era. With the expiring deals of most of the roster, I don’t see Danny making any moves that would bring extra money onto the salary cap for next season, not unless he likes the player. However, the free agent pool next season is not the deepest and not filled with many game changers past Deron Williams and Dwight Howard and I don’t see either of them in green. Despite what the Boston Celtics record says, I’m okay with them the way they are. Check what  Danny Ainge said here about the Boston Celtics and the trade deadline. I’m also not a huge fan of the ESPN NBA Trade Machine because as long as the salaries match up you can make any trade successful but it is a good idea by ESPN so can’t blame them for having it.

NBA Trade Deadline is March 15th at 3 P.M. EST.

UPDATE: Leondaro Barbosa, Andray Blatche, Armon Johnson are also on the trade block. Also according to a New York Post article the Celtics have shown at least some interest in Timberwolves SF Michael Beasley.

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Boston Celtics: To blow it up or to not blow it up.

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So will Danny Ainge, President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics, blow this up with the lack of consistent play from the Celtics? On the other hand, will he wait and see if they can get it together? After all Boston’s Big 3, which consists of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnet are not getting any younger and Rajon Rondo is not developing into that all-around Point Guard that they might have hoped. However, this is one of the better benches that they’ve had since the Big 3 era began with the key additions of Mickael Pietrus, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox. In addition, the draft picks have worked out; both E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson have played very well in the time they’ve earned thus far. In addition, Greg Stiemsma has contributed, mainly with his knack for blocks.

So far, Rajon Rondo’s numbers are slightly up but it is good. Shooting percentage, 3-point percentage, and free throws are all up just a little. However, free throws are up from last season he still needs some work to get back to 65%, which he shot during his first season. His points per game are at just about 15 and assists per game is still hovering around 9-10. Paul Pierce’s numbers have taken a slide but that could be just a side effect of his slow start and injury that started the season. Ray Allen is around the same that he always has been with his numbers except his points per game is down to 14. Kevin Garnet has sort of rediscovered his 3 point shot but still the Celtics are in the bottom of the playoff seeding. So what is missing? Why are they losing?

Well it could be other teams’ defenses tightening up on Paul Pierce and Ray Allen or lack of offensive rebounds; I mean it’s like a disease to them honestly. It could also be the lack of penetration (shut up you know what I mean) and not getting to the line or the condensed schedule but I think it’s just a little bit of all of them. If I was coaching another team, I would tell them to play Pierce and Allen tight and focus on the boards cause the Celtics won’t fight for them but that’s basic I think because I have seen it in most games thus far.

Rondo makes this thing go but he is the biggest piece that you have in order to get the team back to the top so what do you do? Do you hope that Rondo will improve with a more athletic team, or surrounded by a team that he thinks are his equals and not hall of famers? Rondo would benefit from a younger, more athletic team but everyone knows that and it has been said many times on CSN during games or online sites. If you do plan to blow this thing up or making moves to give you a better shot at a title what do you do? Well you have to look at some underachievers on the bench right now in Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic maybe you upgrade them. However, Pavlovic has some potential to play much better than he has and really needs to step it up because he is a better play than Marquis. Maybe giving more time and more confidence to Greg Stiemsma or move him? You have James Posey, Leon Powe and some others available but are they an upgrade over Marquis, Pavlovic and “The Steamer”? No, except maybe Posey over Daniels but that’s a coin flip really.

I think you do not blow this up and stand pat with what you have on your roster. It’s a good roster and has some potential to be better. This team is better than its record and while they are not real title contenders, they have a chance to steal a title. You have to get better with rebounding, they aren’t the flu, go after them and you have to get better on the offensive side of the ball somehow. Whether it is through adjusting rotations, starting lineups or just something to increase the energy. Rondo cannot be afraid to go to the line, which so far he hasn’t been, and he must take more of the offensive load. This is his year to prove himself, that Danny can put a team around him next season, and they will succeed. I don’t know why Rondo “can’t shoot” but 2 years ago he did very well facing off against Kevin Durant in the finals of the H.O.R.S.E. competition after it coming down to 3 point shots and he did shot after shot (check you tube, I kid you not). In addition, this year he landed second in the Skills Competition and one of the reasons was not because he fell short at the shooting station. (Actually, in the finals Deron Williams fell short at that station)

I still think that minutes played and Rondo’s fear of going to the free throw line was one of the main reasons they lost against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals in 2010. You can blame the refs and you can blame the rebounding but it was conditioning. Anyway, they cannot let that get in the way this season and like I said, they have a chance to maybe sneak into the NBA Finals and steal a win but honestly, I see them as a second round elimination. Danny has put his pieces where he wants them and at the end of the year, this team will be “blown up” so why not just stand pat and see where it goes. Maybe a minor tweak if you want but I would not make any huge moves like those that he did last season, which was a mistake.

Will Jeremy Lin change the NBA? Who else was missed?

Jeremy Lin at the 2010 Golden State Warriors o...
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By: Ian

It wouldn’t be a sports blog without joining the rest of the crowd and talking about Jeremy Lin. So in this case if everyone jumped off a bridge I’d follow. Jeremy Lin has caused such a stir in the media, the internet and the NBA world, even with aliens. If they ever came to this planet and commanded to take them to our leader, you better take them to Lin’s place, of course I’m kidding. What a great story to tell, a player who got cut twice, went undrafted and now has his chance to show that everyone missed a golden nugget and he is doing just that. I love what is happening in New York with Jeremy Lin and I hope that it continues and he proves to be a legit Point Guard. The way his career was going there was no way he would have ever been compared to Steve Nash or any elite Point Guard but he turned that around but all of this just makes me think… who else did everyone miss on? Who didn’t get the chance to shine and went unseen? Did the NBA miss the next Michael Jordan? Bill Russell? Larry Bird? Did we all miss someone who, might not be elite, but be able to scratch the surface to being one? Whose bench did he rot on? Out of all the sports we watch on television does basketball need a second league?

In the NBA you never hear about a late round gem or anything like that, heck if you’re not picked in the top 10 then a team might not even think you can “make it”. Yet in the NFL you have 7 rounds and it is very likely for a team to get a solid, consistent starter in the later rounds like 4th or 5th. Example being the Kansas City Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop who was picked last in the draft a few years ago, gaining the title Mr. Irrelevant, but he has made his case and has become a decent starter. I know, it’s a kicker, but okay then let’s look at Tom Brady who was a 6th round draft pick, even Darrelle Revis the top shutdown corner in the  league was picked in the 3rd. Kurt Warner anyone? So, how is it that in the NBA even 1st round picks must fight to be noticed and the 2nd round is full of future d-league players?

Obviously the numbers of players per team is a reason, 15 being the most, but only about 12 can dress for a game. Also most starters play a significant amount of time and on both sides of the ball so a player must be good at both offense AND defense, which can sometimes hurt the offensive studs who are defensive duds (unless your name is Carmelo Anthony then you’ll be fine). Also you have to take into factor that if a team has a star on the team then that player is most likely going to see about 40 minutes or so at his position who that doesn’t leave a lot of room for others. The NBA is also not known for player loyalty or General Managers trying to build through the draft, which I think hurts them because with a high turnover in rosters then it’s hard for players to develop and prove themselves. Also you have cases of players being played out of position out of necessity or because someone sees them playing that position, even if they’re potentially better at another.

So far the story is Jeremy Lin but one of the hidden stories could  possibly be Sacramento Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas, who they picked last in the 2011 draft and has played well and is establishing a role for himself on that team and in the NBA. Who could have been a name that maybe surprised some people? I’d say Kyle Singler, who was once a first round pick but because of a poor senior year at Duke he fell in the draft to the second round. Who am I honestly surprised isn’t on an NBA team yet? Jon Scheyer, the former Duke star who is now playing overseas and who I really believe could be a good role player for a team. Also Boston Celtics shooting guard E’Twaun Moore has shown that he can play in this league so I plead with the NBA General Managers… in the 2nd round instead of picking international players who MIGHT be on your team during your tenure why not instead pick a young kid who can come in and be a role player for you. Maybe guys like Lin, Thomas, Moore and others can turn the NBA around and show that talent does exist outside of the top 10, you just have to be willing to look for it.

Some key names from the 2nd round

2008 NBA Draft: Guard Mario Chalmers to Miami Heat, Center Omer Asik to the Chicago Bulls (eventually), DeAndre Jordan to the Los Angeles Clippers.

2009 NBA Draft: DeJuan Blair to the San Antonio Spurs, Chase Budinger to the Houston Rockets,

2010 NBA Draft: Landry Fields to the New York Knicks

Who eventually could become a key role player? Greg Stiemsma undrafted player who currently plays for the Boston Celtics who could turn into a defensive type of role player who has a knack for blocking shots. Greg need to look no further than Ben Wallace as a guy who made it as a specialist in the league. He is also fairly decent on the offensive side of the ball cause he can hit the outside shot. Luke Harangody who was drafted in the 2nd round in the 2010 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics and was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers mid-season. He is a player who has some good hustle, can score and has decent rebounding ability. I see him as a Matt Bonner/Troy Murphy type of guy eventually if he is given a chance. He just really needs to work on his defense. Chandler Parsons who got drafted this past draft by the Houston Rockets. He is a good player, picked by a team who has a tendency to find some good players late and actually keep them. Another team who can do that? Boston, except they don’t usually keep those guys but that is the life of a competitive team, I guess. Lance Stephenson who was drafted by the Indiana Pacers. He showed some promise early in the league but has trailed off but I think he can be a decent player eventually. Of course most of these guys could easily end up solid d-league starters but they have to work hard on getting better and being consistent cause they won’t be all-stars but they can be a key member of a bench.

I’m not sure how many other all-stars the NBA has missed but seeing what Jeremy Lin can do and knowing that even the Knicks were about to cut him makes me think. I guess however for every diamond in the rough you can find a hand full of all-stars so it evens out but still, it’d be nice if the NBA had more late draft/undrafted steals cause it’s not really out of the realm of possibility. This is just one area of the NBA that can bother me and one of the reasons why I can’t get into the NBA as much as I could.

Where do the New England Patriots go from here?

NEW ENGLAND Patriots Wallpaper

NEW ENGLAND Patriots Wallpaper (Photo credit: Axel.Foley)

After losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl you have to think, where do they go from here? Well it was obvious, to me anyway, that the Patriots have some holes that really need to be filled if they want to win another Super Bowl ring. The score of the game cannot blind them, yes, if they scored a touchdown then they would have won and ESPN and other outlets would be swamped with comparisons of Tom Brady and Joe Montana, and we would be trying to find a channel that was not talking about it and most likely failing. However, the Patriots defense could not stop the Giants on that last drive and even on other drives made some crucial mistakes and they lacked playmakers on that defense. The Giants had 114 yards rushing and 282 through the air and they won the time of possession battle. So where do the Patriots go from here?

So out of all of the Patriots free agents, a list can be found here, who comes back? Wes Welker I believe is a given, Deion Branch, Dan Connolly, Matthew Slater, I do believe will all be back. Who is on the fence? Andre Carter, Mark Anderson and BenJarvus Green Ellis– all had decent seasons and could be offered contracts that the Patriots don’t want to match or beat. Especially with Green Ellis who hasn’t fumbled yet, what team wouldn’t want that and by letting him go you make a commitment to the two young running backs that you drafted last season, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, they deserve to play more than they did last season and bringing back Green Ellis will just stunt any production I believe. The top priority is obviously Wes Welker but Matthew Slater is also on top of that list as well and as for Branch, well if he is willing to take a reduced role then we should sign him.

So what positions should be looked at in free agency? They need a pass rusher we all noticed the impact Andre Carter had so to have that consistently and from both sides would really make a difference. Defensive backs- they need better corners and safety. Bringing some impact defensive backs can really turn around a defense and a game. I’m not sure any team respects our corners and safeties. They also need an explosive Wide Receiver, only one who is strictly a deep threat but just an explosive WR that will get teams to respect the talent and notice he can be a deep threat. Even with the pending retirement of Brian Waters, I believe the Patriots are okay with the offensive line but grabbing a player or two in free agency or the draft would not hurt.

As much as we say it’s an offensive league, a defense still wins championships. Since 2004, every team who won a Super Bowl had at least a good defense, except the Indianapolis Colts but they were against the Chicago Bears who probably should not have been there. Maybe it’s not all about where you rank but more about the players you have and the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers this season I believe proved that but they shouldn’t be fooled, The Patriots deserved to be last especially when they released Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders without getting anything in return.

So who do the Patriots look at in free agency? Well this is a little tricky because they will look for talent but most likely not top talent because they will command big money. So with that being said who could be on the radar? Well you have Wide Receiver Reggie Wayne, something that former Patriots Willie McGinest pointed out. I know he’s a top WR but I have him because he played with Peyton Manning in a complicated offense, so you know he will grasp the playbook and know what is expected of him from another future Hall of Fame Quarterback Tom Brady. So what other names jump off the page? Well Defensive End Aaron Smith is one name, if healthy, can provide some energy and make an impact. Also obviously, Mario Williams would also be worth looking into but who knows if the Houston Texans will franchise tag him. Corners and safeties that could be available- Rashean Mathis, Marcus Trufant, Eric Wright, LaRon Landry, Chris Hope and Jordan Babineaux. Also some decent linebackers available, which could be on the radar as well. What should be watched is the situations in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Oakland because Pittsburgh and Philadelphia want to dump salary to make room for others and Oakland is going under a change in direction, strategy and everything since Al Davis passed away and is looking to release some “bad” contracts.

Some moves might be based on how they feel about Ras-I Dowling who was a 2nd round pick and was on injured reserve, also has a past of injuries. In addition, do they cut or keep Ron Brace, Jermaine Cunningham, Myron Pryor, and Chad “Ocho” Johnson and will they move Devin McCourty permanently to safety. This is certain though, Bill Belichick will make some moves, just as he did last off-season and with a whole off-season to teach the playbooks and system it will make a difference.

Key areas to improve- Cornerback, Safety, Defensive End, Outside Linebacker, Wide Receiver and Offensive Line.

Whom to target in the upcoming NFL draft? Safety Mark Barron from Alabama could drop to them since he has an injury and his time at the Scouting Combine will be limited. If he is still on the board at 20 or so, they should try to trade up and snag him. DT- Michael Brockers, DT- Dontari Poe, DE- Fletcher Cox, WR- Mohamed Sanu, OLB- Courtney Upshaw. It’s hard to predict what Bill will do in the draft but this is what I predict- Mark Barron will indeed fall to the Patriots at 27 but Bill will trade down for another second round pick and the Baltimore Ravens will pick Barron. Why? Well they will see someone else who maybe has the same skill set as Barron but with a lower ceiling and will be cheaper.

Franchise Tags can be applied- February 20th

Free Agency begins on March 13th

NFL Draft starts April 26th

Chad Ochocinco doesn’t know the playbook still? I don’t buy it!!

English: Chad Ochocinco praticed in 2011 New E...

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Yes a bold statement from a guy who watches sports and maybe a little too much and has a blog who no one reads but still… I would like to think I have at least minimal knowledge. At least more knowledge gained from listening to the radio, reading about it, watching it, and etc. than some have who actually play football claiming that they learned what they know from Madden the video game. Madden, really? You learned about a team’s defense or offense by playing MADDEN and that’s how you see the NFL in real life? So if you let a corner beat you and coach asks you what happened you reply… what? That guy is an 86 overall, I’m only a 79 of course he beat me? You realize the coach is going to test you for drugs every hour after that right?

Anyway, sorry for the rant but I found that funny but annoying when I read that, back to the point. Chad Johnson has been less than productive this season for the New England Patriots and you hear a lot of chatter about him not knowing the playbook. You also hear that he doesn’t know where he is supposed to be on the field at a particular time and his 15 catches for 276 and a TD certainly does draw those conclusions but I do not agree, maybe it was that at first but I’m just not sure. I mean we are missing something, he is still on the team, still getting praised by his teammates and Bill, so I have to say… what are we missing? They didn’t defend Joey Galloway, Torry Holt, or any of the other epic failures that have worn a Patriots uniform, usually when asked they give a typical “Patriots answer” and move on but not with Chad. Is it because Bill, Tom and teammates respect Chad and genuinely like him as a person so they defend him more? Or is it because we are not seeing everything? Or is it both? It’s not like we are in the locker room all the time, or in Bill’s meetings with his players and coaches so we diagnose what we are seeing on the field quickly and assume and lean on this one idea until proven otherwise… and so do I.

I believe Chad knows the playbook, knows where he is supposed to be and even knows what Brady and Bill expects out of him but what holds him back? Could it be as simple as him trying too hard, being nervous and afraid to screw up? I think so. When you go from driving a 1980 P.O.S. that you’ve been driving since you got your license to years later owning your dream car, or a new car you don’t drive it the same way right? No, you drive paranoid, nervous and might make some stupid mistakes that you normally wouldn’t make because you’re thinking too much and 9 times out of 10 you think “crap, why did I just do that?”. So why is he still nervous, or thinking too much you ask? Well it’s because he is trying to prove himself, no not to us, but to Bill and Tom and is just making mistakes he wouldn’t normally make and when he does he gets pulled or not looked at when on the field. Is it right? No, but are they wrong for doing it? Not necessarily.

Chad went from being the number one guy for the Bengals to someone who is probably close to last looked at while he is on the field. Not his fault, Brady will look at Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez before Chad if all are on the field at the same time so sometimes he might have to get open 2-3 times on a play and by then he has abandoned the route but before Tom can get back to him he must dump it off or hit the hot receiver cause he doesn’t have forever back there, 2-3 seconds tops. What has stood out to me during his time here is that he has seemed to really buy into the Patriots Way. He’s been quite, hasn’t complained about anything really and has been a true professional and from what I can tell has done everything that they have asked, that stands out because if this was the Bengals I don’t think we could say that. Almost like when the Boston Celtics were in the playoffs two years ago and Nate Robinson came into the game and made an impact on defense, yet when he came here all you heard was he is “uncoachable“… Doc didn’t seem to have many issues coaching him… it just didn’t work out and he has become a solid role player for the Golden State Warriors and even contributed heavily in a win they had against the “almighty” Miami Heat.

Has Chad worked out as a Patriot? No he has not, I’m not denying that but I don’t believe that his lack of production is because he doesn’t know the playbook. The Patriots offensive system doesn’t help him much either, but I’ve already talked about that, you can check that out on my page. For you guys out there it’s like this: you’re in a relationship with a girl who is 7 out of 10 and then one day you meet a girl who is a 25 out of 10… You really don’t want to mess up the opportunity but yet with each mistake dig yourself into a deeper hole and after a while, you’re digging up and that is not easy. So in conclusion I will make this BOLD statement: I think the Patriots should bring Chad Johnson back next season and see if he is any more comfortable… after all what do they have to lose really? Not working out again then see you later.