NBA Playoffs Celtics Magic Game 3: J.J. Redick's schizophrenic series

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We told you J.J. Redick would be a part of this series. And for better AND for worse, he has been.

Redick put his mark on Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals moreso than any playoff game in his career. It was Redick who scored 16 points and added five rebounds and four assists, while being assigned to Ray Allen. Allen scored just 4 points in close to 39 minutes on the floor, thanks mostly to the work of Redick, plowing through screens and constantly challenging Allen. Then Redick erased his terrific play by failing to recognize the situation he was in upon rebounding a Kevin Garnett miss, costing his team both time for the final shot and the ability to advance the ball.

Such a terrible way to end a great performance. And yet, tonight in Boston, it’ll again be Redick who will be called upon to attempt to shut down one of Boston’s Big 3. It’ll be notable to see how Redick responds to the world of controversy he’s faced over the last week in an attempt to bounce back. Redick is a reliable three point shooter, which the Magic have been hunting for, with the Celtics geared towards running off the shots they allowed in last year’s Semifinals.

Redick played brilliantly but may have cost his team the game. So tonight, he’ll be called upon to do everything he did in Game 2, all except that.

The chess game continues, even as Boston has checkmate in sight.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.