Despite the storied history of the Celtics franchise and the one owned by the Kings that is just as strong in a losing direction, the two teams find themselves in very similar situations.
While Boston indeed made the playoffs this season and the Kings were a far cry from doing so in the West, the Celtics finished the year six games under .500, and really aren’t any closer to contending for a title than Sacramento is.
The difference between the two teams is that the Kings have a legitimate All-Star player in DeMarcus Cousins, and while his attitude and demeanor have been somewhat horrific at times, his averages of 24.1 points 12.7 rebounds make him one of the games best big men from a talent perspective.
That explains the report that Boston would be interested in trading for Cousins. But at least at this point, the Kings have no desire to see their mercurial center play anywhere else.
From Bill Herenda of CSN Bay Area:
The Kings want to make a playoff run next season with DeMarcus Cousins as the centerpiece of the franchise, league sources told CSNCalifornia.com.
This was in response to a report earlier that the Celtics would dip into their vault of future first round draft picks and try to make a run at trading for Cousins this summer.
But just like Sacramento, Boston is not a place where All-Star caliber free agent talent willingly chooses to sign. The Celtics know this, and that’s why they’re doing the smart thing by trying to trade for an All-Star with multiple years left on his deal, someone they might be able to convince to re-up there by building a winning team around him.
The Kings hope to do exactly that, and even if they were potentially interested in dealing Cousins, they can drive the price up by putting it out there that they have zero interest in doing so.
The Clippers are a team built on the strong foundation of their starting lineup, and once you get past Jamal Crawford, there are few if any reliable reserves to be found.
Besides Crawford, only Austin Rivers and Glen Davis have played double-digit minutes consistently off the bench in the first round of the playoffs against the Spurs, and after Davis left Game 6 with an ankle injury, his status is in doubt for Saturday’s Game 7.
From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:
Los Angeles Clippers forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis is questionable for Saturday’s Game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs with a left ankle sprain.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Davis would be a game-time decision with the team not holding a practice Friday or shootaround on Saturday. …
“I don’t know how serious it is. I know Big Baby’s a worker,” Chris Paul said. “Guys stepped up when he went down, but we need him. We need him. Baby’s an emotional leader for our team. He really leads that second unit, and we have an amazing training staff, I think the best training staff in the league. Those guys will get him ready to go by Saturday.”
Paul’s overly-optimistic remarks show just how important Davis is to the rotation.
He’s the only big man to come off the bench for the Clippers thus far in the playoffs, and though Davis is only averaging 12.5 minutes per contest, L.A. needs to not be too undersized out there during the brief moments that Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan come out of the game to get some rest.
In a Game 7, though, with the season literally on the line, Doc Rivers may just choose to play his starters even heavier minutes than usual.
Kurt Helin takes a closer look at Chicago’s blowout win over Milwaukee in a Game 6, explaining how Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler repeatedly found their way into the paint and were able to convert at the rim.