Celtics

30 teams in 30 days: Don't call it a rebuild for Clippers (but it is)

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30 teams in 30 days: Don't call it a rebuild for Clippers (but it is)

When Doc Rivers left Boston in 2013 for Los Angeles, he did so in part because he didn’t want to go through another rebuild.
 
You won’t hear the word "rebuilding" when it comes to describing what he’s doing now with the Clippers.
 
But when you lose an All-Star (Chris Paul), one of the most accurate 3-point shooters in the league (J.J. Redick) and one of the best sixth man (Jamal Crawford) of this era – in one offseason, mind you – that is what we refer to as a team that’s rebuilding.
 
Regardless of the semantics, there’s little doubt that the Clippers are no longer among the favorites to contend for a title out West.
 
With so many new faces on the roster, developing chemistry trumps chasing titles at this point for Rivers whose GM duties will now be handled by longtime friend Lawrence Frank.
 
The Clippers are now a team that will be built in part around the talents of Blake Griffin and new addition Danilo Gallinari.
 
And like most teams, Rivers is looking to field lineups that are high on talent and versatility, even if it at times means playing smaller lineups.
 
“I also believe in size but it has to be versatile,” Rivers said. “If you’re gonna beat some of these other teams you’re going to have to stand out some other way.”

Leading Rivers’ versatility movement will be the 1-2 frontcourt punch of Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari.
 
Griffin, a five-time All-Star, will be at the epicenter of the Clippers’ efforts to remain among the better teams in the Western Conference while Gallinari arrives from Denver, where the 6-foot-10 forward has established himself as one of the better inside-outside bigs. He was pursued by a number of teams, including the Celtics, this summer in free agency.
 
Whether you use the term rebuilding or reshaping in describing the Clippers, the bottom line is they will play a different brand of basketball that relies more on the collective sums of their parts rather than a handful of superstars, which has been the case in recent years.
 
“The fact that we have versatility plus size, I feel we’ll create mismatches that way,” Rivers said.
 
Key free agent/draft/trade additions: Danilo Gallinari (Denver); Patrick Beverley (Houston); Lou Williams (Houston); Milos Teodosic (Serbia); Montrezl Harrell (Houston); Sam Dekker (Houston).
 
Key losses: Chris Paul (Houston); J.J. Redick (Philadelphia); Mo Speights (Orlando); Jamal Crawford (Minnesota); Raymond Felton (Oklahoma City); Paul Pierce (retired).
 
Rookies of note: Sindarius Thornwell
 
Expectations:
42-40 (second in the Pacific Division, eighth in the West)
 
 

Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant post messages to Gordon Hayward

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Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant post messages to Gordon Hayward

A couple of NBA legends - one old school and one more modern-day - were among the luminaries wishing Gordon Hayward well after his gruesome ankle injury in the Celtics' season opener in Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Celtics legend Bill Russell tweeted his best wishes to Hayward on Twitter and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant posted a message to him on Instagram.

Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you. Time to move on and focus on doing everything in your power to prepare for surgery, ask all the questions to be sure you understand fully the procedure so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of it’s success. Then focus on the recovery process day by day by day. It’s a long journey but if you focus on the mini milestones along the way you will find beauty in the struggle of doing simple things that prior to this injury were taken for granted. This will also mean that when you return you will have a new perspective. You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. You see the belief within you grow with each mini milestone and you will come back a better player for it. Best of luck to you on this journey my brother #mambamentality always.

A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

Hayward went down about five minutes into his first regular-season game with the C's and is awaiting surgery for an ankle dislocation and fracture at New England Baptist Hospital.

New Celtics teammate Kyrie Irving and the player Irving was traded for, Isaiah Thomas, also posted Wednesday in the aftermath of the injury. 

WE ALL got you brother, No matter what. @gdhayward 3/23 🔺👁☘️

A post shared by Kyrie Irving (@kyrieirving) on