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Sunday , Nov , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kendrick Perkins on Boston trading him: ‘It still hurts’

“Hurt, surprised, I think it really still hasn’t hit me yet — not really,” he said later. “I think everything happened so fast, last year coming back from my ACL injury and getting traded to Oklahoma City where I had to be a leader. “It still hurts that I got traded, but then the city of Oklahoma has been great to me. They’ve embraced me with open arms, and I have no complaints about the city of Oklahoma and the whole organization.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kendrick Perkins reminds me of John Starks.

There are differences: Perkins is a center, Starks was a guard; Perkins is a defensive anchor, while Starks played both ends of the floor; Perkins won a championship with the Boston Celtics and Starks’ New York Knicks fell short in the NBA Finals.

However, Perkins and Starks are both fiery and have massive hearts.

Consider that the veteran-laden Celtics fell apart after Perkins was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder last February. Part of this had to with the hole Perkins left down-low, but this was more about the hole he left in the locker room.

Rajon Rondo missed Perkins, his best friend. Kevin Garnett cried when told of the trade. And the green-and-white never recovered.

Yesterday Perkins received a massive ovation while at an exhibition game near Boston.

Starks, a real life Rocky, had a similar impact in New York. He played at several colleges, semi-pro leagues, and bagged groceries before sticking with the Knicks.

Fans could relate to Starks` blue-collar work ethic. Eventually, he became an All-Star and a key part of some rugged Knick teams.

He was immortalized with his dunk on THE GOAT and when the Beastie Boys declared 'I got heart like John Starks'.

The lockout has shown what’s wrong with the NBA. The league needs more players like Perkins and Starks.

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Monday , Sep , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Celtics looking for bargains to complement ‘Big Four’

If the NBA institutes a hard salary cap and eliminates the mid-level exception, the Celtics would likely to be forced to build around their Big Four with minimum-salaried players.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The new NBA will be different.

With the luxury tax likely replaced by a hard cap financial structure, have-franchises like the Boston Celtics will have a top heavy payroll.

Translation: the green and white will pay big-ticket salaries to Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo, and everyone else will earn the league minimum.

So GM Danny Ainge and the club’s front office are searching far and wide for bargains that can plug holes and fill roles next to their Big Four.

The green-and-white’s front office are scouting colleges, Europe, Asia, and anywhere else there's basketball.

This, of course, could be the new reality of the NBA, where a hard cap and revenue sharing creates some semblance of parity between big and small markets and have and have-not franchises.

In theory, an NFL style system sounds good, however, the NBA has always been a star driven league with high profile franchises. Think of the following for LeBron James and 'The Heatles' last season.

The NBA’s new and different financial system may kill the golden goose of showcasing players and teams.

--O. Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Garnett: ‘I want to finish my career as a Celtic’

"I want to finish my career as a Celtic,” said Garnett, who joined Boston in a trade with Minnesota before the 2007-08 season. “This is it. I don’t plan on bouncing from team-to-team, that’s not really the plan. Hopefully God willing, I can finish my career out in the classy, elegant with a class-full organization as Boston. I don’t want to downgrade. I want to continue to be where I’m at. This is the first option and hopefully the only option.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Why would he leave?

Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics seem a match made in heaven, and the future member of the Hall of Fame wants to finish his career with the storied green-and-white.

Garnett, who has a year left on his contract at $21 million, claims to have little interest in demeaning his legacy by bouncing from team-to-team, especially since he already won a championship.

Leaving is easier said than done. Garnett’s passion for basketball may keep him in an NBA uniform into his late thirties.

If so, it’s unlikely Garnett retires with the Celtics as GM Danny Ainge won't prolong rebuilding around Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Green: Joining Celtics was ‘Tough’

“They’ve been together for a number of years,” Green said of the Celtics. “They’ve already won a championship, they’ve already have a system, they already have their chemistry and that bond on that team. “It was tough to go into that situation.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Three future members of the Hall of Fame. One All-Star point guard. One championship. One NBA Finals appearance. And a heap of pressure on a young forward to replace the team's heart-and-soul.

Welcome to Jeff Green's world last February.

The Boston Celtics acquired Green from the Oklahoma City Thunder at the trade deadline. The green-and-white gave up Kendrick Perkins, their burly center, in the deal. 

It didn't matter that Perkins was coming off knee surgery or that his contract demands were impossible to meet.

Trading Perk' didn't go over well. Kevin Garnett cried, Rajon Rondo went into a funk, and the team lost their tough, blue-collar identity.

Worst of all, fans and players felt GM Danny Ainge had given up on 2011 to prepare for the future.

All of this impacted Green, who came into an impossible situation. The expectations were sky-high, while fans and teammates were slow to embrace him.

The Celtics, however, will make every effort to re-sign Green, a restricted free agent. In time, this trade could work out.

After all, Green has talent. He can guard multiple positions, score, and stuffs the stat-sheet with the all-important little things.

For now, things are tough, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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NBA Players who can reach near Magic Johnson level
Saturday , Aug , 20 , 2011 J.N.

NBA Players who can reach near Magic Johnson level

Magic Johnson was a triple double machine 6-9 point guard. There will not be any one reaching “NEAR” Michael Jordan level anytime soon, but is there anyone who can reach near Magic Johnson? Magic has 138 career triple doubles in the regular season and 30 triple doubles in the playoffs from a career 190 playoff games. His career averages are 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists. Those are ridiculous numbers for anyone to obtain. What players today have the skills to do that?

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Thursday , Aug , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq: President Obama crushed Rajon Rondo’s confidence

The next day Rondo shot the ball horribly. He stopped taking shots after that. He’s so sensitive. I think it was a real jolt to hear the outside perception of a basketball fan who happens to be the President of the United States. It messed with his mind. I’m sure of it.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The critics say President Obama has done nothing during his first term in office.

Well, they're wrong.

Last March, 'The Leader of the Free World' did something 29 NBA teams couldn't do: he destroyed Rajon Rondo, the All-Star point guard for the Boston Celtics.

Shaquille O'Neal claims Obama publicly joked that Ray Allen, the NBA's greatest three-point marksmen, needed to teach Rondo a thing or two about shooting when the Celtics met the president at a fund raiser.

Shaq, a former Celtic who signed with TNT as a broadcaster, believes the incident shattered Rondo's confidence. The Big Broadcaster says Rondo, from that day forward, shot the ball poorly and eventually stopped taking outside shots.

Obama, love him or hate him, has done something while in office: he wrecked the confidence of a top NBA point guard. 

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.    

 

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Sunday , Aug , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Can Thunder and NBA punish Kendrick Perkins for drunken, Fight Club antics?

EARLIER SATURDAY-KFDM has confirmed that NBA star Kendrick Perkins was booked and released early Saturday morning into the Jefferson County jail around 4:00a.m. on charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct. The charges are a class C misdemeanor. Per Texas penal code 12.23, an individual guilty of a class C misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500. Perkins posted bond of $150 shortly after being booked and was released.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps he’s secretly a member of Fight Club (but he won‘t talk about it). Perhaps he just saw Patrick Swayze’s cult classic Roadhouse. Perhaps he’s practicing for an upcoming MMA bout with Shaq.

The truth: the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins was arrested for being drunk, belligerent, and causing a scene/brawl at a club in Beaumont, Texas.

Worst of all, Perkins had to cancel today’s charitable event in Beaumont -which he organized and was to feature fellow stars like Kevin Durant, Stephen Jackson, and Rajon Rondo.
 
Way to go Perk'!
 
The Thunder can’t be impressed. These incidents are never good, but are especially damaging when the player represents a small market like Oklahoma City.

What can be done? The team and league have no power to disciplin during the lockout. And the Thunder just signed Perkins to a 4-year, $32 million extension this spring.

Perkins will take a hit in the media. That, however, seems to be it.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rajon Rondo: Celtics ‘affected’ by Kendrick Perkins trade

“It wasn’t like the man passed away or something,” Rondo said. “I think we put too much emphasis on it. It’s a business. He got traded. He’s very happy where he’s at. We still talk and I’m always going to have his back. It shouldn’t have affected us the way it affected us.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For all intensive purposes, it ended the Boston Celtics’ season.

Last February, Celtics executive Danny Ainge sent center Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green.

In theory, it made sense. Perkins was coming off a nasty knee injury. He wanted a multi-year, big-ticket contract. And Green, a talented player, would be around long after The Big Three retired.
 
The reality was different, though. Perkins, even when injured, formed a large part of the Celtics’ identity as a tough, defensive-minded club.

And Perk’ did the little things: he banged, he glared, he rebounded, he blocked shots, he sometimes delivered cheap-shots, and he intimidated. In short, he did what an aging Kevin Garnett is no longer capable of.

So it didn’t matter who Ainge was getting back. And it didn’t matter that the O’Neals, Jermaine and Shaquille, never got healthy.

Boston had lost their identity, their way. It was plying the middle for an upstart Oklahoma City club.

Ainge can do his part by acquiring a body to plug-the-hole down-low. The current crop of Celtics need to forget Perk' -if they want one final run at a championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , May , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

What does Doc Rivers’ 5-yr, $35 million deal mean for Boston Celtics?

“Doc Rivers has agreed to a five-year, $35 million contract extension to remain coach of the Boston Celtics, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You don’t need to be a Johnny Kemp fan to know Doc Rivers ‘just got paid’

Instead of cashing a two-week cheque for minimum wage, the personable sideline boss is getting $35 million over five years to coach the Boston Celtics.

There are several storylines worth noting with this development:

First, Rivers had always taken the summer to decide whether he wanted to continue coaching. It was a year-by-year process. And the Celtic faithful were on pins-and-needles/shamrocks-and-clovers to know if he was staying.

Well, no more uncertainty. Rivers is the Celtics’ man for the long-term, and vice-versa.

Remember, the team is on the hook for the full $35 million if they fire Rivers. And Rivers is giving up the chance to be a basketball dad and watch son Austin start his college career.

Second, many thought Rivers’ future was tied to The Big Three. He would leave the Celtics, or perhaps coaching, when Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce called it a day.

The term of this deal means he’ll stick around long after Allen, Garnett, and Pierce retire. He’ll be part of the rebuilding process and clearly likes the chips he already has in Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo.

Third, Rivers must be comfortable with current Celtics GM Danny Ainge. And he must be convinced Ainge will be in the front office for a while.

After all, Rivers is Ainge’s guy. Always has been, too. Even when the Celtics were a perpetual lottery team and Rivers was seen as a guy who struggled with ‘Xs’ and ‘Os’.

So Rivers is staying. He’ll be the constant for the green-and-white. Expect the Celtics to shake-up their core and make changes after falling to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , May , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Rajon Rondo dislocates elbow, still leads Celtics to game three win

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: One arm was all Rajon Rondo needed to have an effective fourth quarter against the Miami Heat.

Turns out the Boston Celtics’ star table-setter dislocated his elbow in the third quarter, popped it back into place in the locker room, and played the final frame with just one arm.

His courage, defense, and passing were instrumental in the Celtics winning the game and getting back into the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the star-studded Heat.

Watch the video of Rondo’s arm getting bent like a pretzel and get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.  

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , May , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Does an injured Rondo spell the end for Boston?

Rondo was hampered by a back injury that began bothering him yesterday morning. He wore a wrap around his midsection during the team's morning shootaround, which he said kept his back warm. While Rondo downplayed the use of the wrap, it reappeared during Tuesday night's game. "His back was bothering him this morning," coach Doc Rivers said. "It was bothering him through the game. One time he asked to come out because he got tired."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The straw that stirs the Boston Celtics’ drink wanted out of the game/drink –temporarily.

Of course, Rajon Rondo was hurt for game two of their series against the Miami Heat, which is an issue for the Boston Celtics. These days, Rondo is Axel, Michael, and Wayne Rooney, while the Celtics are ‘G&R’, the Jacksons, and Manchester United.

He leads. They follow.

Rondo’s penetration and ‘quicks’ forces opposing defences to help, providing room and time for veterans like Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Respectfully, ‘The Big Three’ need that cushion. But a hobbled Rondo can’t get in the lane and create opportunities for others, so Allen, Garnett, and Pierce have to expend extra energy to score.

Rondo is also the club’s defensive catalyst. His on-the-ball defense is a nightmare for opposing point guards and he often jumps the passing lane for easy hoops.

Bottom line: if Rondo isn’t at full health, the Celtics are in deep, deep trouble.

--Oly Sandor.

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Miami Heat making NBA playoffs look too easy. Who can stop them?
Wednesday , May , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Miami Heat making NBA playoffs look too easy. Who can stop them?

Everything is set up perfectly for the Heatles to win it all. They made quick work of the Philadelphia Sixers. The Boston Celtics are falling down all over the place trying to guard LeBron and Wade. Their opponent in the Eastern Conference Finals will probably be quick work, too. This is what LeBron, Wade, and Bosh wanted. This is reality. They are making the 2011 playoffs look like an exhibition. It’s like that?  

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Friday , Apr , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Heat want Celtics for lunch

Taking a metaphor right through the final bell of the first round,LeBron James was asked how his breakfast -- with NBA playoff rounds serving as meals -- went. "It was good!" said James, smiling. "Now we're preparing for lunch."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is LeBron James hungry? Did he miss a meal?

I bring this up because the Miami Heat superstar referred to his team’s first round opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers, as ‘breakfast’.
 
James dropped this little metaphor at the end of the Heat-76ers series. The implication being that the heavily favored Heat was going to ‘finish their breakfast’.
 
Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of the King’s little literary devices.
 
James’ Heat is facing the Boston Celtics in round two. Facing the mighty green-and-white hasn’t stopped James from continuing to torture us with the meal metaphors. James called the Celtics ‘lunch’. This won’t get over well with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, or Rajon Rondo.
 
After all, the Celtics are reigning Eastern Conference champions. Not some also-ran. Or lower seed that stumbled into the second round. Perhaps they are deserving of greater respect. Perhaps not.
 
Providing the mediocre 76ers with bulletin board material is one thing. Providing the talented Celtics with bulletin board material is entirely different.
 
They’ll make James pay. And in a couple of weeks he could be the one getting feasted on.
 
--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Apr , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

D’Antoni on Rondo: ‘I’d like to see him on Minnesota’

D'Antoni on Rondo: "I'd like to see him on Minnesota and see how well he does." But quickly adds, "He's a really good player."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Mike D’Antoni should’ve been worrying about his New York Knicks beating Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics.

After all, D’Antoni’s Knicks were trailing their series 3-0 when he spouted off on whether Rondo could succeed without The Big Three on a weaker squad like the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The sideline boss had to field a team without starting point guard Chauncey Billups. Instead of preparing a solution like, say, inserting veteran Anthony Carter earlier on, D’Antoni provided bulletin board material for Rondo.

Know this: Rondo would be a player in The Frozen Tundra of ‘Sota -or anywhere else, for that matter. He’d pile-up assists with Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, and anybody else.

And Rondo makes his squad go, as demonstrated by his 21 points and 12 assists in game four against the Knicks. Now his Celtics are going to the second round after sweeping D’Antoni’s Knicks.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Apr , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Derrick Rose embarrasses Rajon Rondo

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last night, the Chicago Bulls made a statement by beating the Boston Celtics. And Derrick Rose made a statement with his play, specifically when he caught Rajon Rondo off guard with an incredible fake.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Apr , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose on the Celtics: ‘We know we can beat them’

With Perkins gone, everything changed for the Celtics and they knew it: the toughness, the tenacity, the presence in the post. “He was tough,” Rose said. “We could defend on someone that was big. He was really tough to go around. … They’re different.”

Different doesn’t mean better. It means diminished. The Bulls beat the Celtics 44-22 in the paint, beat them badly on the boards, too. They assailed the Celtics the way the Celtics used to assail everyone else. “We know we can beat them,” Rose flatly said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last night was the proof. It was the smoking gun, the bloody glove, and weapon of mass destruction all in one.

The Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls, two of the Eastern Conference’s premier teams, are moving in different directions. The Celtics are stumbling; the Bulls are soaring.

No other conclusion can be drawn from the Bulls’ decisive victory on Thursday in front of a national audience. The difference at point guard says everything.

After all, these teams live and die by their point guards, All-Star Rajon Rondo and MVP candidate Derrick Rose. As Rondo and Rose go, so goes the Celts’ and Bulls.

Rose soared last night, notching 30 points, 8 assists, and limiting Rondo’s effectiveness. There’s no longer any doubt he’s MVP worthy. His play clinched it.

Best of all, Rose spoke publicly of no longer fearing the Celtics, especially since they dealt defensive five Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green.

Conversely, Rondo struggled. Mightily.

After getting outplayed, the Celtics’ floor general expressed doubt about his club’s ability to flip a switch ala 2010. He then requested a meeting with his coach, Glen ‘Doc’ Rivers.

Of course, the Celtics surprised everyone with last year's run. Repeating such heroics seems unlikely –if their point guard and best player doesn’t believe.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Apr , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Doc Rivers on Jeff Green: ‘I think he’s too nice’

Celtics coach Doc Rivers offered an interesting criticism of Jeff Green following Sunday’s 101-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons. ‘I think he’s too nice,’ Rivers said. ‘He’s trying to please the other guys on the floor. I’ve always thought playing with us is difficult, when you’re new, because you’re playing with Paul [Pierce] and Ray [Allen] and Kevin [Garnett] and [Rajon] Rondo and you almost don’t think like you deserve to be an aggressive offensive player or you should be, and I think he does that way too much.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:  You know where nice guys finish, right?

It’s hardly surprising Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers wants Jeff Green to stop deferring to future Hall of Famers Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce and headstrong All-Star Rajon Rondo.

Of course, it can’t be easy for Green, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Oklahoma City Thunder for Kendrick Perkins.

He doesn’t have the luxury of training camp, the regular season, or practices. He must learn on the fly. The playoffs are fast approaching.

Green’s best strategy is to use his athleticism and size on both ends of the floor to be an effort player. In time, he’ll get comfortable with the team’s half-court sets. Then, he’ll become more assertive.

For now, the Celtics have to settle for a nice guy.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Apr , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

What does Shaq’s latest injury mean for struggling Celtics?

O'Neal missed 27 games with foot and Achilles' tendon injuries and was making his first appearance since Feb. 1. "The update is that it's not the same injury," Rivers said. "Had nothing to do with the Achilles; it's a calf strain. It's not a bad strain, but it's a strain. So similar to the one Von [Wafer] had but not even close to the severity. Well, 'I don't know [when he will be back]' is the answer."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Just when you thought 'The Big Shamrock' was back, he’s out –again.

Shaquille O’Neal finally returned to the Boston Celtics’ line-up yesterday after missing 27 games with an Achilles injury. His good health appears short-lived, though.

O’Neal left in the second quarter of last night’s game with a calf injury. He did not return.

While the injury isn’t serious, the fact O’Neal has missed months of action is. The future Hall of Fame center has never been known for fitness, and this is magnified by his age.

Here’s the question: what can O’Neal provide the green-and-white in the playoffs?

Well, nobody knows. But O’Neal must perform because the Celtics’ other fives like Jermaine O’Neal and Nenad Krstic are hurt. And there’s no Kendrick Perkins, who was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder for combo forward Jeff Green at the trade deadline.

Shaq’, when he returns, needs to anchor the middle, allowing Kevin Garnett to play the majority of his minutes at power forward. It wouldn’t hurt if he provided a target for point guard Rajon Rondo, too.

Bottom line: the sliding Celtics need O’Neal. A return to the NBA Finals is unlikely without him holding his own down low. 

--Oly Sandor.

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2010-2011 Top 10 Fantasy Statistical Point Guards (5-1)
Thursday , Dec , 02 , 2010 J.N.

2010-2011 Top 10 Fantasy Statistical Point Guards (5-1)

I was standing in front of a food truck called “Oh For Sweet Sake” located in Orange County, California somewhere. I was enjoying some conversations with owners Lisa and Al while enjoying my hot coco and Mac N Cheese. Some guy in my fantasy league offered Derrick Rose and Anderson Varejao for Tyreke Evans and Brook Lopez. I took it because Rose is performing at an MVP level. Stats are accurate as of December 1, 2010. Thanks for the hot food, guys! That made my head clearer especially with sports conversations. Follow their Twitter - http://twitter.com/ohforsweetssake

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Friday , Nov , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Paul Pierce mocks LeBron James

"It's been a pleasure to bring my talents to south beach now on to Memphis''.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Can you say rivalry?

The Boston Celtics do not like the Miami Heat. Not one bit.

The Celtics, who were a quarter away from winning the NBA Title, are miffed the Heat was picked to win the Eastern Conference, even though The Holy Trinity had yet to play a game together.

After manhandling the Heat for the second time in two weeks, Pierce, the Celtics’ closer and leading scorer, felt obligated to talk a little viral trash. His tweet is spoofing James’ (in)famous line during The Decision. 

Fair enough. Pierce has good reason to be confident.

Kevin Garnett has turned back the clock; Rajon Rondo is the NBA’s top all-around table-setter; Ray Allen’s stroke is still silky; the bench will be productive, especially when Kendrick Perkins and Delonte West get healthy.

Garnett and Rondo, in particular, should please Pierce and worry the Heat

The Big Ticket is one of many physical Boston posts who will give Miami’s smaller frontline trouble. Also, Rondo will have his way with the underwhelming Carlos Arroyo.

A rivalry is brewing between the Celtics and Heat. Right now, it’s one way, though.

--Oly Sandor.


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