What you missed while watching a national championship game that lived up to the hype…
Rockets 108, Celtics 102: There are some fighters — whether boxing or MMA — that you just never look good fighting. It’s clenching and grappling and just no flow, and it takes you out of your game. That is what the Houston Rockets do to you. They are a scrappy team that just makes you work for everything. It’s never pretty. It’s never easy beating them.
Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics are not the same defensive team, as evidenced by giving up 124.1 points per 100 possessions to the Rockets. It was not what you expect of Boston. But credit Houston for spreading the rock around — Aaron Books had 24 but it was about balance as seven Rockets scored in double digits.
Bobcats 96, Grizzlies 82: A snowstorm had pretty much shut down Charlotte (the city), which meant only about 1,000 people showed up to see this one. That smattering of people saw a Bobcats team without Gerald Wallace get 27 out of Stephen Jackson and 18 out of D.J Augustin, who has started to blossom under Paul Silas. Charlotte is 5-2 under Silas (or since Larry Brown got fired) but the schedule is about to get tougher.
Bulls 95, Pistons 82: It’s good to have stars — Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose were the two best players on the court and they decided this game. Boozer had 27 on 12-17 shooting, Rose had 29 on 10-20 shooting. The Bulls defense held the Pistons to 38 percent shooting.
On a bright note for Detroit, Greg Monroe is showing some of that promise he was drafted for, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.