Tag: Boston Celitcs

Why Shaq didn't go to Atlanta: money and minutes

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Thumbnail image for ONeal_Dunk.jpgShaquille O’Neal and his people tried hard. They pushed the idea that he as a bargain at the mid-level exception of $5.8 million, that he was a guy who should start and get big minutes still.

That is what got in the way of him coming to Atlanta, and saving face was why he chose Boston, according to Michael Cunningham at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

I’ve been told that Atlanta wouldn’t budge on giving Shaq a starting nod over Al, who is after all still only 24-years old and an All-Star. Shaq believes he will get the starting nod over Jermaine O’Neal in Boston as Kendrick Perkins rehabs from his knee injury.

Atlanta also wasn’t willing to pay Shaq more than the minimum and that was a sticking point for him. He didn’t want to sign for the minimum when the Hawks had their bi-annual and mid-level exceptions available because of the perception that would create-as in the Hawks could have paid him more but didn’t. That’s not the case with Boston, which had neither of those exceptions and so could only give him the minimum.

The big guy still has his pride.

The Hawks may not need Shaq, but they do need a big body. They were pushed around by the Orlando Magic in the playoffs; they need to be able to counter the big front lines in Orlando and Boston. And, frankly, Milwaukee, who would have beaten them in the first round if Andrew Bogut had been healthy.

But when the best name on the market may be Kwame Brown, well, the pickings are slim. Scott Schroeder at Ridiculous Upside may have hit the nail on the head, suggesting the Hawks give a young player like Garret Siler or Alade Amimu, who played for the Hawks at Summer League, a chance. He lists some other guys the Hawks would be wise to consider.

NBA releases opening week, marquee games: You better like watching the Heat


Thumbnail image for bosh_wade_james.jpgIt’s the hot hot Heat.

And the Lakers. But mostly the Heat. And if you can pair them then all the better.

As for the other, unmentioned half of the league… you don’t seem to matter much.

That’s what becomes obvious as you look at the highlights of the NBA schedule released in a new television special on NBATV Tuesday night. (What is it with the NBA and televised announcements this summer?) The NBA is going to sell its stars, sell its marquee teams. The rest of you can go play in the shadows.

Opening night is a perfect example. First game is the debut of the Miami Heat at the Boston Celtics. So plenty of “old big three vs. new big three” hype there. Then the second game is the expected return of Yao Ming and his Houston Rockets against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on the night they get their rings and put up a new banner.

Or check out Christmas Day, when the two marquee, ABC games are Boston at Orlando then Miami at Los Angeles Lakers. Stick with the stars.

There are three other Christmas Day games, but it’s not like the NBA went away from showcasing big names: Chicago at New York, Denver at Oklahoma City, Portland at Golden State.

And on and on an on. You are a glamour player on a glamour franchise or you don’t get mentioned. Atlanta? Can’t find them. Dallas? Not mentioned. Forget being Memphis or Minnesota. Or Cleveland now.

Here is the rest of the already sponsor-sold Kia Motors NBA tip off week includes an interesting game with Chicago at Oklahoma City on Oct. 27, along with a second game of Portland against last year’s number one pick Blake Griffin and the Los Angels Clippers. Both of those games will be on ESPN.

On Oct. 28 the Orlando Magic will open their new Amway Center arena against No. 1 pick John Wall and the Washington Wizards. Then it is Phoenix at Utah, a battle of revamped teams with top point guards.

On Oct. 29 it is Orlando at Miami, followed by the Lakers at Phoenix. Your televised games the next three nights: Denver at Houston on Oct. 30; Utah at Oklahoma City on Halloween, then Portland at Chicago on Nov. 1.

Stars baby. Sell the Heat. Sell the Lakers. Sell Boston and Orlando and Chicago. The rest of you, you’re on your own.

Your season opener: Miami at Boston. On Christmas Miami will be in L.A.


Thumbnail image for wade_bosh_james_highfive.jpgHow about this for your Oct. 26 season opener: The old big three vs. the new big three. Miami at Boston.

That’s what’s happening according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. It’s a matchup of the new favorites against a team that has had several players say Miami should not automatically be the favorite.

On Christmas, the Heat will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers in the marque game of the day. That according to friend-of-the-blog Ira Winderman, who has seen the Heat’s early schedule and confirmed the Boston opener.

After Boston, tthe Heat will then play the Sixers on the road on Wednesday, Oct. 27. They will open the season at home against Orlando on Oct. 29.

That contradicts an earlier report that the Heat would be in Orlando to open the new Amway Center Oct. 28.

Not an easy way to start the season for Miami. And one that will test
their one perceived weakness on paper — the ability to defend big men
and the rim. Boston has a long front line with Jermaine O’Neal at the
heart (Kendrick Perkins will still be recovering from his knee injury, but O’Neal is the better offensive player), while Orlando has Dwight Howard in the paint.

We also know that joining the Lakers and Heat on Christmas Day will be the Bulls and the Knicks. Remember there were five Christmas Day games last season.

The opening week games and the Christmas games will be officially revealed on an NBATV show at 7 p.m. Tuesday.