Kevin Garnett says it’s time for the Celtics to step it up.
He’s right — I listed them as the most disappointing team of the first half of the season, because they have the talent to be better than they are by a long shot.
To address that, Garnett called a players-only meeting before the break, reports A. Sherrod Blakely at CSNNE.com.
So before the team would venture off into the abyss that we know of as All-Star weekend, Garnett held an impromptu team meeting with a clear and very succinct Garnett-esque message.
If you’re not ready to step your game up the second half of the season, step aside and don’t come back because he doesn’t want you and the Celtics don’t need you.
This message matters a whole lot less than the six days off the injured and weary Celtics just got off. (Yes, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo played in the All-Star Game, but it was still less of a grind than the regular schedule.) What an older team like Boston needed more than anything was a chance to catch its breath and let some bumps and bruises heal.
The Celtics open the second half of the season Wednesday against Cleveland. And look for them to seem rejuvenated.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.