There’s plenty of overlap between the NBA’s most successful franchises and the ones the league wants to highlight.
Every NBA champion after the Trail Blazers won the 1977 title in the first season following the NBA-ABA merger has hosted an All-Star game.
Except the Celtics. Boston has won four post-merger titles but hasn’t hosted the All-Star game since 1964.
Fresh off the city’s first home Christmas game, that could change.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:
“We’re looking at an application package,” Grousbeck told the Globe. “But we have to work it out with the Convention Center. We are going to ask for an application package and we’ll see what happens.”
“We can’t get all of our fans into the game, all of our season ticket-holders,” Grousbeck said. “We have a season ticket-holder wait list and relatively few of our season ticket-holders would be able to come to a game that we host. But nonetheless, we’re going to get a package and see if we can work something out.”
The All-Star game isn’t for local season-ticket holders. It’s more for the NBA’s national business partners.
In that regard, Boston is fine. Too cold in February, but at least the seafood is good. Probably some East Coast bias in effect, too.
The next several All-Star games are set:
- 2018: Los Angeles
- 2019: Charlotte
- 2020: Chicago
- 2021: Indianapolis
But beyond that, Boston seems like a potential contender.
Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas was reportedly targeting an early January return from injury.
The big game narratively: Wednesday against the Celtics – Thomas’ old team, which he has strong feelings toward.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
Now it sounds like Isaiah Thomas won’t play for the Cavaliers in 2017, and there’s doubt growing on his availability for his anticipated return to Boston Jan. 3.
Tyronn Lue was quick to rule him out for Saturday’s game at Utah, and then hedged a bit by saying “I don’t know” when asked if he was already sure Thomas wasn’t playing against the Jazz.
It’s virtually out of the question for a player to play in back-to-back games after being out since May with hip injuries. So, if Thomas were to play against the Blazers, it would be hard to believe he’d also play against the Celtics the next night, even though that’s the team which traded him to Cleveland in the offseason.
Also, there was reluctance from both the Cavs and Thomas for his first game to be a marquee opponent like the Warriors, which was among the reasons he sat out the Christmas game.
It’d be a bummer not to see Thomas in Boston. Considering he’s so comfortable with a chip on his shoulder, it’s highly anticipated to see how he’d respond.
But the Cavs aren’t trying to set up a revenge game. They’re trying to win a championship. In that regard, it’s practically irrelevant precisely when Thomas returns. He’ll clearly play soon, and there’s plenty of time to integrate him before the playoffs.
And there’s always Feb. 11, when Cleveland visits Boston again.
With their 124-107 win over the Raptors last night, the Thunder have won six straight.
If only there were a symbol for how Oklahoma City is heating up…
John Hamm of Daily Thunder:
Rajon Rondo held the ball and halted the Pelicans’ offense while directing Cheick Diallo into post position. Once Diallo finally posted up, Rondo bounced a pass into Diallo, who had to move away from the basket to grab the ball. Diallo dribbled twice then hit a turnaround half-hook shot.
Assist No. 25.
Rondo’s 25 assists in New Orleans’ 128-113 win over the Nets on Wednesday were the most in an NBA game since Jason Kidd in 1996. Sure, Rondo chases some assists. Sure, passes are sometimes questionably credited as assists league-wide.
This is still a magnificent accomplishment.
Here are the highest-assist games since 1963-64, as far back as Basketball-Reference records go:
Rondo recorded his 25 assists in 30:18 of playing time, far less than anyone else on the above chart. Only John Lucas (24 assists in 28 minutes during a 1984 Spurs-Nuggets game) ever neared that combination.
We’ll see whether all 25 of Rondo’s assists hold up, but this almost certainly will. Rondo now has as many 20-assist games as all other active players combined:
Russell Westbrook and Jonas Valanciunas didn’t want to share.
So, they each got their own technical foul.