Celtics

Miller's Hall of Fame snub bodes ill for Allen

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Miller's Hall of Fame snub bodes ill for Allen

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

LOS ANGELES The news that Reggie Miller will not be part of this year's Naismith class of Hall of Famers caught many by surprise - including Boston's Ray Allen.

Miller, widely considered a lock to at least make it as a finalist, was not among the 10 players chosen by the North American Committee.

Aside from an NBA title in 2008 with the Celtics, there are a lot of similarities between what Allen has done in his career and what Miller did prior to retiring.

Because of that, it gives Allen reason to pause and wonder about his legacy that, like Miller, is widely considered to be one that will end with his enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"I didn't see the overall report of (who) the finalists were, but I am surprised," Allen said. "I don't know what else he has to do. I don't understand how the Hall of Fame works, the balloting and obviously, the different people around the country voting. His career is not going to change the next time it comes around. It would see that they got it wrong on this one."

Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors, said the process by which players are chosen for the Hall of Fame has to become more transparent.

However, Colangelo has no plans to reveal who the voters are.

"The only thing I'm not saying is who the people are that are voting," Colangelo said. "I want to protect the integrity of our process by not identifying the individuals."

Colangelo didn't get into too many specifics, but there were a number of factors that might have weighed against Miller getting in this year, his first on the ballot which, Colangelo said, may have been one of the factors considered by the North American Committee.

"There isn't one individual who is there for the first time," Colangelo said. "He (Miller) would have been a first-time selectee. There are a number of people who ended up here, who were not first-time selectees. Sometimes you wait your turn. Within a group, you need to get traction. When you discuss any individual, you talk about accomplishments. We'll talk about where he kind of falls. Sometimes an individual is looked at more as a specialist than maybe an all-around player. And maybe it's just not his time. Timing, that's another issue with the selection into the Hall of Fame."

Colangelo added, "Reggie just didn't get enough traction this time. He's a first time candidate. That speaks nothing about his future. He could very well, next year could be a whole different story for Reggie Miller, he's certainly a candidate going forward for the Hall of Fame."

The same could be said for Allen, who recently surpassed Miller as the NBA's all-time leader in made 3s.

Still, Allen now understands even that might not be enough to get him into the Hall of Fame on his first attempt.

"He's been in his era, he's been the best shooter playing the game and I'm trying to figure out I need to get to the bottom of it. What are they looking for?" Allen said. "What's going on? When I saw that this morning, I was surprised. It seemed like an injustice."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Young Celtics playing high-level defense without fouling a lot

Young Celtics playing high-level defense without fouling a lot

When you’re an NBA rookie or early on in your career, there’s so much to learn, especially when it comes to playing defense.
 
Despite having at least two players with a year or less experience in the starting lineup and at least three or four other rookies who see regular action, Boston’s top-ranked defense has been able to do the seemingly impossible – defend without fouling a lot.
 
Boston comes into tonight’s game against Atlanta averaging 19.8 fouls committed per game which is the ninth-lowest total in the league.

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Celtics guard Kyrie Irving has some ideas as to how the team has been able to defend without fouling a ton.

“Our length, being able to communicate on the fly, having a system that’s predicated on shrinking the floor, just being very active,” Irving said. “Obviously, we’re going to foul. But the times we don’t foul, we limit teams to some tough shots, some tough two’s or some tough contested threes; I feel we put ourselves in great position. And then when you have guards down there rebounding as well as bigs down there boxing out and staying active it makes all our jobs easier, all five connected out there. We understand the importance of valuing each possession.”
 
The qualities that Irving talks about make sense when you’re talking about the qualities of an elite team defensively.
 
But for the Celtics to have so much youth tossed into such prominent roles, it is unusual to see everything seemingly come together so quickly.
 
“They utilize their length appropriately,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “They’re both long for their positions; that helps. So, you’re not playing Jaylen at the 3 (small forward) as much, and Jayson (Tatum) at the four (power forward) as much. You’re playing them at the two (shooting guard) and three (small forward) a lot. So, they can use that length rather than try and have to battle.”

Irving points out there’s added incentive to play at a high level defensively without fouling.

“If you don’t, you’ll be on the bench,” Irving said. “Brad has made that very clear. If the effort isn’t being put out there, and you’re not paying attention and you’re not preparing the way all of us should be preparing, that goes from the head coach all the way down to the 15th guy, if you’re not preparing the way you should and not perfecting your craft outside the game and that’s being very diligent, understanding what we’re trying to do in strategy, understanding our system, why it works, and why we’re doing it, then why the hell would you expect to play? So, he made it very simple. All the guys understand that. We’re a young team, but what we’re trying to accomplish will take a lot of energy and effort and focus. They understand that at a very young point in the season.”

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Stevens: Celtics haven't played well enough to make streak 'valid'

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Stevens: Celtics haven't played well enough to make streak 'valid'

You know who else - besides Charles Barkley - isn't impressed by the Celtics' 14-game winning streak?

Their coach. 

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At the shootaround in Atlanta before the Celtics attempt to make it 15 in a row tonight against the Hawks, Brad Stevens told reporters, including ESPN's Chris Forsberg, that his team hasn't played well enough to make the streak "valid." 

“We haven’t played well enough to consider this win streak to be valid in my opinion,” Stevens said."We’ve figured out ways to win games. We gotta play a lot better.”

The Celtics have come back from double-digit deficits a number of times in the streak. Stevens said they're fortunate those rallies have kept the streak going.  

"We've got to be better, and we know that," Stevens said. "We can't get so caught up in the results of all these games and ride that emotion. We've been fortunate to win a lot of the games in this streak, including Thursday night [92-88 over the defending champion Golden State Warriors]. If we dig ourselves a 17-point hole every other game, it's not going to be as much fun as we've had recently."