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Author: Travis Babcock

You Won’t Believe What NBA Legend Grant Hill Had to Say About Jayson Tatum

Spoiler Alert! Jayson Tatum is a good basketball player. The expectations for Tatum’s sophomore season, and his career, are soaring. After polishing off one of the greatest individual playoff runs in NBA history for a Rookie, people are talking about BIG things for the young star. How Big, You Ask? Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame big. Fellow Duke basketball alumni and NBA legend Grant Hill will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame on Friday, and he believes Jayson Tatum will follow suite one day. “I think he’s on his way,” Hill told MassLive’s Tom Westerholm. “… He’s in a great situation, which is really good. In some ways you could say it’s a blessing and a curse. Because (the Celtics) are so talented, he doesn’t have to do as much, which is great for a young player, and they have a chance to win a championship, and have a lot of runway for the next five, six, eight years. But also it doesn’t really allow us to see the full package. I think we did see that last year when injuries hit that team, and now it was like they needed him to show and prove, and he did. And he was just a rookie. 19 years old. I think time. Time is what he needs, and I can’t wait to watch and see what he ultimately...

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Are the Boston Celtics Too Deep?

I’m sure the Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns, and Sacramento Kings among others would love to be in the position the Boston Celtics are in. The franchise hasn’t missed the playoffs since the 2013-14 Season, yet lottery picks continue to pour in due to Danny Ainge’s brilliancy in the trade market. They boast three perennial All-Star talents in Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford. Oh, and the ‘other’ two guys in the starting lineup aren’t too bad, either. Boston has the potential to send five guys to the All-Star game this season. In more ways than one, this team stacks up relatively well to the likes of the juggernaut Golden State Warriors. They also happen to be younger. Boston Boasts Arguably the Deepest Bench in the League SOURCE: AP Photo/Charles Krupa Depth on this roster is no issue, either. Terry Rozier blew up last season as a key contributor down the stretch and throughout the playoffs. The 24-year-old point guard out of Louisville has been mentioned in the same sentence as Kemba Walker and Dame Lillard, both All-Star talents. Oh, and he isn’t even this team’s sixth man. That role belongs to $52 million-dollar man Marcus Smart. After signing a $13 million per year deal that retains his services in Boston for the next four years, Smart has now become one of the league’s highest paid bench players. Worth...

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Boston Celtics’ Rookie Robert Williams Still Not Cleared for 5-On-5 Action

Robert Williams has been battling knee tendonitis since the end of his college tenure with Texas A&M. The big man managed to play in only six minutes of Summer League before colliding with a 76er, and missed the rest of the action after reaggravating the injury. With Training Camp Around the Corner, Williams Looks to Get Back on Track Quick Training camp is just a few weeks away, but Williams has been working hard to make a comeback as efficiently as possible. “Still taking it day by day,” Williams said. “There’s people that have a lot of time, a lot of money invested in you now, they don’t want to mess up what they got going. But I’m thankful for the trainers and the coaches, just taking it day by day.” He understands the situation he is in and just wants to get back to healthy playing shape as soon as possible. Williams has spoken highly of the Celtics organization and their patience in dealing with his injury. He also see’s this down time as an opportunity to learn the X’s and O’s of the offense and all of the other technical aspects of being an NBA player. “Just strengthening places I need to strengthen,” Williams said. “Obviously my knee, obviously knowing what’s going on out there on the court, knowing the calls before (Brad Stevens) throws in me a...

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Countdown to Celtics Tipoff: 43 Days

Welcome Back to the Celtics Season Tipoff Countdown! Each day, we’ll give a review of news surrounding the Celtics. We’ll also look back in history to see what happened on today’s date in team history (September 3rd). To round out the day’s post, we’ll give you stats and fun facts related to the number of days remaining before the first game (43 today). Let’s get to it! Recent Team News Danny Ainge recently opened up about the Kyrie Irving trade from last summer, and had this to say; “I feel like there’s opportunities that you have to look at and explore, and Kyrie was one of those opportunities that, unanimously, internally it was something that we all felt like we should do,” Ainge said told ESPN. “Everybody, unanimously, wanted to do it.” There is no doubt that Boston has zero regrets regarding this move. Both Isaiah Thomas and Jay Crowder finished the season on different teams, and the Brooklyn pick landed at No 8. That being said- watch out for Collin Sexton (Cleveland’s selection with the pick). He averaged 19.6 points in the Summer League and is highly regarded by his fellow Rookies. If he pans out then Cleveland will be in decent shape post fallout of the Irving trade. On This Date Not a whole lot going on for this date in Celtics history, but on September 3,...

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Countdown to Celtics Tipoff: 44 Days

Welcome Back to the Celtics Season Tipoff Countdown! Each day, we’ll give a review of news surrounding the Celtics. We’ll also look back in history to see what happened on today’s date in team history (September 2nd). To round out the day’s post, we’ll give you stats and fun facts related to the number of days remaining before the first game (44 today). Let’s get to it! Recent Team News Terry Rozier made headlines yesterday when his name was mentioned in Phoenix Suns trade rumors. According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports’ 98.7 Radio Show, Rozier was targeted by the Suns to fill their starting point guard role. The Suns struck out and, at least for the time being, Scary Terry remains in Celtic green. 2K Sports released their NBA 2k19 player ratings, and boy were they fans of the Celtics this year! Here is a quick rundown of the ratings for the starting 5:• Kyrie Irving- 93• Gordon Hayward- 88• Jayson Tatum- 87• Al Horford- 86• Jaylen Brown- 84 The most notable rating on this list has got to be Tatum’s. The 20-year-old just polished off a phenomenal rookie campaign, but many feel that an 87 overall rating is still a tad high for such a young prospect. Then again, Tatum could blow the doors off of these expectations and elevate his game to a whole new level....

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David Price Likely to Miss Next Start in Atlanta

David Price was struck on the wrist by a line drive in Wednesday’s 14-6 blowout of the Miami Marlins. Alex Cora took a cautiously optimistic approach to the injury. He mentioned that Price was okay, but would need the next few days to make a decision on his next start against Atlanta. Price “Still Sore” Could Miss Some Extended Time Price saw a specialist earlier this week and has now reunited with the team for their 4-game series in Chicago. David was slotted in to pitch next against Atlanta on Monday, but Cora has all but ruled that out now. “Still sore. He hasn’t thrown yet, most likely he won’t make his start in Atlanta,” said Cora. “He was supposed to pitch Monday. Two days, it doesn’t make any sense. I haven’t sat down with him yet, but (trainer) Brad (Pearson) told me he’s still sore. Feeling better but I don’t think he’s going to be ready for that one. So if he’s not ready for that one, we’ll push it back. “He’ll be around us, but most likely won’t pitch in Atlanta.” Price has been instrumental to the Red Sox in their success this season, posting a 14-6 record with a 3.60 ERA in 26 starts. Boston currently holds a 7.5 game lead in the AL East over the Yankees with 27 games to play. The team will...

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ESPN’s BPI Predicts Celtics-Warriors 2019 NBA Finals Matchup

News flash everyone! The Boston Celtics are going to be a great team this year. As long as Gordon Hayward doesn’t attempt another alley-oop dunk or Kyrie Irving doesn’t have a zen moment and realize he doesn’t want to play basketball, this team is on a direct flight to the NBA Finals. Boston Lands in a Favorable Spot in the Finals Odds Prediction ESPN’s BPI, which is a machine generated predictive metric, gives the Celtics the best odds to win the Eastern Conference and plots them at 2nd to win the whole enchilada. Shockingly (kidding), the Golden State Warriors are once again the overwhelming favorites to win it all. Here’s ESPN’s rationale behind these odds; “Two reasons. First, the aforementioned departure of James, which helps free up the East and removes a major obstacle in Boston’s path,” ESPN’s Neil Johnson and Seth Walder wrote. “Second, rising expectations for the Celtics, given how well the team played in the face of major injuries and the breakout of Jayson Tatum. Boston’s defensive BPI rating (3.7) has more than doubled from this time last year (1.5).” Think Twice About Betting Against this Celtics Squad Image courtesy of the Boston Globe At this point who would realistically bet against this squad? This is a team that was a single win away from an NBA Finals birth a few short months ago despite season...

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With AL East Lead Down to Six, Boston Needs Their Ace Back

Chris Sale has been on the disabled list since August 19th with left shoulder inflammation. He has been battling with this issue for most of the 2nd half of the season but has made it clear to the media that he is fine. In fact, Sale has even mentioned that if the games were more important, he would be pitching. Well, the games are about to get a whole lot more important. Boston’s Dominance For the majority of the season, the Red Sox have been cruising atop the AL East despite New York’s impressive season. The team leads the majors in 9 offensive categories including runs, hits, doubles, total bases, runs batted in, batting average, on base percentage, slugging, and OPS. They are currently ranked 3rd in team pitching across the majors. As it stands to head into Tuesday’s matchup with Miami, the team sits 48 games above .500 with a 90-42 record. The Recent Skid Has The Team Searching for Answers Via WEEI The Red Sox remain the only team in the league that has avoided a 4-game skid. Until last weekend, they were also the only team to avoid the broomsticks all season. After the worst three-day stretch of the year for the Sox, the team has seen their 9-game lead over the Yankees dwindle down to 6 with 30 left to play. Everything has gone Boston’s...

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Jayson Tatum vs LeBron James By the Numbers

I know how crazy this will sound. Who in their right mind would even consider comparing an unproven 20-year-old to arguably the greatest basketball player to ever live? Before you all get out the torches and sharpen your pitchforks let me explain. This piece focuses on how much potential Jayson Tatum has. With some recent articles floating around social media making the case that Taco Jay is ‘overhyped’ I felt the need to come to his defense. There is no defense stronger than proving to the world that the 20-year-old talent put up comparative advanced metrics to the King in their respective rookie seasons. Let’s dive into the numbers. Jayson Tatum Advanced Metrics for 2017-18 Season LeBron James Advanced Metrics for 2003-04 Season Player Efficiency Rating and Usage Percentage The first metric that strikes my eye is each player’s PER (Player Efficiency Rating) vs their USG% (Usage Percent). To clarify the PER sums up all of a player’s positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns the per-minute rating of a player’s performance. The USG% figure refers to the percentage of team plays used by a player while on the court. Jayson Tatum finished his rookie campaign with a respectable 15.3 PER against a modest 19.5 USG% in 2438 minutes played. LeBron James finished his rookie campaign with a slightly higher 18.3 PER against a MUCH higher 28.2 USG%...

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