Celtics

30 teams in 30 days: Can Wall, Wizards take the next step?

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30 teams in 30 days: Can Wall, Wizards take the next step?

The Washington Wizards were among the big spenders this offseason, choosing to reward its own rather than try and lure high-level talent from other franchises. 

That’s why despite having a team that on paper should be among the best in the East this season, you hear little about the Wizards being among the best in the Eastern Conference with most of the talk centering around Cleveland and Boston.

Now that’s understandable considering they were the last two teams standing last season in the East, and the two were involved in arguably the biggest offseason trade having just completed a four-player swap centered around Kyrie Irving coming to Boston while Isaiah Thomas was headed to Cleveland. 

While both Cleveland and Boston have tremendous talent, the one concern for both is chemistry – something the Wizards have down to a science now. 

By matching the four-year, $106 million offer sheet Brooklyn presented to Otto Porter Jr., Washington returns its starting five from a year ago as well as eight of its top nine players. 

And remember, they finished the second half of the season with a 27-14 record which ranked among the best records in the NBA over the final 41 games of the season.

That kind of success plus a strong showing in the playoffs, is reason enough for the Wizards to believe that they can pick up where they left off last season and be one of the top teams in the East. 

Leading that charge will be Wall, who seems to be overlooked at times when talking about the best point guards in the NBA despite being a four-time all-star. 

The Wizards certainly showed him lots of love with a four-year, $170 million extension that will take effect beginning in 2019.

Wall, who averaged a double-double of 23.1 points and 10.7 assists per game last season, believes he’s more than just one of the better playmakers in the NBA.

“I’m the best two-way point guard in the league,” he told Ballislife.com following a workout at the University of Miami this summer that included teammate Kelly Oubre Jr. as well as Cleveland’s LeBron James.

And while James and the Cavs are the standard all teams in the East are measured against, Wall is confident in himself as well as his teammates that their time to be among the elite teams in the East, is now.

“He’s LeBron James; that’s big brother to me,” Wall said. “But I’m working out with anybody like that, him, Kevin Durant or whoever I’m with, I want to be better than them because whenever I step on the court I feel I’m the best player, no matter who you are. That’s just my mindset.”

 Key free agent/draft/trade additions: Tim Frazier (New Orleans); Jodie Meeks (Orlando); Mike Scott (Atlanta).

Key losses: Bojan Bogdanovic (Indiana).

Rookies of note: None.

Expectations: 51-31 (First in the Central Division, 3rd in the East)

Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for his inappropriate language with a fan

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Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for his inappropriate language with a fan

BOSTON – As expected, the NBA has fined Celtics guard Kyrie Irving $25,000 for using “inappropriate language” toward a fan at the Friday night game in Philadelphia.
 
The incident occurred at halftime as Irving and his teammates were heading to the locker room, trailing by four. Boston went on to win 102-92 for their first victory of the season.
 
A fan yelled, “Hey, where’s LeBron?” to which Irving replied with a lewd suggestion to the yeller.
 
The Celtics practiced on Saturday with Irving addressing the incident.

When asked if he had any regrets about the incident, Irving replied, “Hell no. Man enough to record it on video, that’s on him. I’m glad he got his ad name out there, and his five seconds of fame and it’s gone viral. That’s social media platform we live on.
 
Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”
 
When asked about the incident on Saturday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he had not seen the video but was aware of it.
 
“People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on,” Stevens said. “There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”

It was the second such fine levied by the league in as many days. 

New Orleans center DeMarcus Cousins was fined $25,000 for "inappropriate language" toward a fan when the Pelicans lost 103-91 at Memphis on Wednesday. 
 

Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

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Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

WALTHAM, Mass. – The NBA has talked with  Celtics guard Kyrie Irving about disparaging comments he made to a fan at halftime that have since gone viral.

Irving said the incident happened as the Celtics were heading back to the locker room at halftime after the Celtics fell behind 50-46 to the Sixers.

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“Kyrie, where’s LeBron?” yelled the fan.

Irving replied with a lewd suggestion. 

After practice on Saturday, Irving acknowledged that he did say something to a fan and that he had a conversation with the league regarding the incident.

Regrets?

“Hell no,” Irving said. “Man enough to record it on video, that’s on him. I’m glad he got his ad name out there, and his five seconds of fame and it’s gone viral. That’s the social media platform we live on.

Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”

The league has not officially announced a fine for Irving, but it’s more a matter of when not if that will be forthcoming.

In fact, earlier today, the league fined New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins $25,000 for “inappropriate language” towards a fan in the Pelicans’ 103-91 loss at Memphis on Wednesday.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens had not seen the video in question but was aware that Irving had been in conversations with the league office regarding the incident.

“Guys know what the right thing to do is,” Stevens said. “People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on. There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”