Is the Celtics locker room fractured?

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The Celtics success in 2008 was based around Ubuntu. It was about team first. Unity and chemistry making the whole better than the sum of the parts. Got them another banner.

On the court, the Celtics clearly do not look the same. Do their problems extend into the locker room, is it fractured? Boston Globe reporter Gary Washburn said yes.

The Celtics’ locker room is fractured. There are the old schoolers (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Michael Finley), the Sheed crew (Wallace, Robinson, and Daniels), and the future stars (Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins), while the rest bounce from group to group.

But Doc Rivers called that, um, hogwash.

“It’s not [accurate]. There clearly are groups that hang out with each other more than other groups, but that’s no different. Why does that have to be negative? It’s ridiculous. … Come on, guys, that’s just silly talk, and a [reporter] looking for something. Usually you hang out with your age group, there’s no difference in that. Usually, you hang out with guys personality-wise that you match. Larry Bird and Kevin McHale didn’t go out together. So I guess they didn’t like each other. That’s just silly. That’s just looking for stuff and stirring the pot.”

The Celtics might night have that same Ubuntu spirit, but who cares if they are hanging out together at the same clubs after the game? The question is if they can play together well, and right now the Celtics are not doing that as well as fans or the team itself expects. And Dwyane Wade is not going to make that any easier starting Saturday.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.