Boston missed Jeff Green last year.
He was going to be their sixth man, the first wing off the bench, a key contributor before he was found to have a heart condition that required surgery. We can discuss how I think Celtics fans (and at first Thunder fans before them) overvalued Green, but it was still quite a drop off when he left.
Green is back next season, one of the reasons the Celtics look like they may be stronger than they were last season (put the usual “if they can stay healthy” disclaimer here).
Green has sounded positive lately and did again on the Heels to Hoops blog written by former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Damaris Lewis (via CSNNE.com).
“I feel awesome. I actually feel a lot better than I did prior to the surgery. It was a blessing, and I’m doing better now.”
I’m happy for Green — that was a life threatening condition that could have ended tragically if not caught by doctors.
The Celtics have agreed to terms with Green but have not formally announced his deal. He will be overpaid at $9 million a year for multiple years — that is how much he was supposed to make before the heart condition that voided his last deal. It was nice of the Celtics to offer that much again. But he would have been overpaid last year as well.
Still, the Celtics are going to be better with him, and it will be good to see him on the court again.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.