We’re a long way away from the Chicken Little “the sky is falling” predictions about the Celtics season coming true, but this isn’t a good start.
Paul Pierce didn’t practice on Friday and Doc Rivers sounded less than optimistic he would be able to go in the Celtics season opener Sunday against the Knicks, reports Jessica Camerato at CSNNE.com.
Pierce did light shooting after practice and Rivers noted he has been working out more. If he were able to suit up, Rivers would limit his minute off the bench.
“Paul may wake up and say, ‘Coach, I want to go,’ ” Rivers said. “I can tell you this, it’s very unlikely he’ll start if he plays. I don’t think that’ll happen. So if he does play, he’ll play 15, 20 minutes, but right now I don’t see him playing.”
Jeff Green was to be Paul Pierce’s backup, but he is out for the season, too. That means Sasha Pavlovic will likely start and Marquis Daniels will be the first guy off the bench.
Which is bad news against the firepower the Knicks bring to the table. With Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire New York is going to put up points, even against a good Celtics defense. The Celtics should be able to put up points of their own against what should be an improved but not rock solid Knicks defense. But being without Pierce and his shot creating skills tilts the scales toward the Knicks.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.