There is a whole lot of optimism in Boston about this Celtics team.
Because they made a run all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, then brought back Kevin Garnett (who played fantastically in the playoffs), then got deeper and better with the addition of guys like Jason Terry and Courtney Lee.
How much optimism? Check out this quote from Rajon Rondo, via CSNNE.com.
“I believe this team is more talented than that team,” Rondo said. “But the key to the 2008 team is that everyone bought into the system….
“Guys probably won’t play their normal amount of minutes that they have in the past because we’re such a talented team.”
That 2008 NBA championship team had Kevin Garnett playing at a consistently higher level than today’s KG (but he can turn it on for stretches), it had Ray Allen, James Posey and Kendrick Perkins scowling in the paint. But the 2012-13 team has a better Rajon Rondo, and more depth with Terry and Lee and Jeff Green.
If KG doesn’t slide backwards too far and Paul Pierce continues to play at the same level, this year’s Celtics may be better. The problem: The mountain between them and an NBA title this year is much harder to climb and much steeper. They could be better and still not reach their goal.
The Pistons will start Reggie Jackson at point guard, and they signed Ish Smith to provide better backup at the position.
The competition for the third point guard spot is heating up.
With Lorenzo Brown and Ray McCallum already signed to unguaranteed deals, Detroit is adding undrafted Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman.
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:
The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.
Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.
Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.
Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.
For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.
But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.
With 32 wins and missing the playoffs, last season wasn’t exactly what the Knicks hoped for. However, last season also came with hope in the form of Kristaps Porzingis.
And there were highlights. Check out the team’s Top 10 plays, courtesy NBA.com.
It starts with some Derrick Williams moments, and ends with a Jose Calderon game winner, but there are moments from players the fans actually like in between.
At this point, there is zero chance Russell Westbrook‘s posts are a coincidence.
First. he posted a video of himself singing along to Lil Uzi Vert’s “Now I Do What I Want.”
Then came the shoe ad that was another little jab at now Warriors Kevin Durant.
Now comes Westbrook’s return to karaoke posts, this time singing Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.”
Apparently, Westbrook and Durant are having one rough teenage breakup.
One of the great stories of last season was the return of Paul George to All-Star level form (then to watch him be crucial to the USA winning gold this summer).
It was a great story because vintage Paul George was so great. Watch this throwback video of him blowing by LeBron James and dunking over Chris Andersen from a few years back — this is vicious.
By the way, if you’re not following NBA history on Twitter and Instagram, you’re doing it wrong.