Celtics

More NBA games, paychecks at serious risk

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More NBA games, paychecks at serious risk

NBA players have said from the outset of this lockout that they were prepared to miss paychecks.

Well, we're about to find out.

NBA commissioner David Stern is expected to announce more cancellations as early as Tuesday, which will directly result in most NBA players missing out on what's usually their first paycheck of the season.

Players usually get paid on the 15th and 30th of every month during the season, beginning in November and ending in May. Others have their pay spread out over the course of a year, beginning from Nov. 1 through Oct. 31.

Stern has said in the past that it would take about a month after a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed upon with the union, for actual games to be played.

He has already canceled the first two weeks of the season (Nov. 1-14), with the remainder of games in November expected to be wiped out soon. The next round of cancellations come on the heels of the owners and players breaking off talks following a three-day stretch - and more than 30 hours of negotiations - last week in New York City.

"Ultimately, we were unable to bridge the gap that separates the two parties," NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said shortly after talks ended.

Figuring out how to divide the basketball-related income as well as systematic changes to the salary cap remain two of the biggest issues keeping both sides from reaching a new CBA.

A league source said both sides are likely to return to the bargaining table later this week, although its unclear if the next round of talks will include George Cohen, who served as a mediator between the two sides last week.

Whenever they do return to the bargaining table, the tone of those talks is sure to have a greater sense of urgency for both players and owners. Players for the most part have been the focus when talking about folks losing money during the lockout. But the owners are the ones who cut the checks to the players, so they, too, are taking a hit financially because of the lockout.

"The costs are getting more expensive for all sides," said Peter Holt, owner of the San Antonio Spurs in addition to being Chair of the NBA's Labor Relations Committee. "More and more every day, going up."

But the deeper both sides dig into their respective positions on all matters, the clearer it becomes that both sides are fighting for more than money. As much as both want to get paid in the new CBA, it's becoming more and more about principle for both sides.

"We have certain core beliefs that we have to address that we think are absolutely necessary to achieve, before we continue to play NBA basketball," Silver said.

And that, unfortunately, is one of the few things where the players and owners are in agreement.

"We've been extremely reasonable," Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBAPA, told the B.S. Report. "We're prepared to be reasonable. We just don't want to be totally exploited."

Streak reveals depth even Celtics didn't know they had

Streak reveals depth even Celtics didn't know they had

Coaches in all sports will tell you that winning is not easy.
 
Making the Celtics’ 16-game winning streak even more impressive is that a number of the victories have involved Boston turning to some unlikely sources of production.

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And that has provided a glimpse into a franchise that’s getting the best of both worlds: quality play from its core group while developing reserves who have contributed to the team reeling off 16 straight wins in a variety of ways.
 
Because coach Brad Stevens has gone deeper into his bench this season than past years, it has created a roster with minutes more evenly distributed and with that, less wear and tear on the bodies of key players.
 
And while this team is led by Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, there has been at least one other Celtic to emerge as a top-three performer every night...and often it’s not the same player.
 
“Much more unpredictable now,” a league executive texted to NBC Sports Boston. “That number three guy, is it [Jaylen] Brown? [Jayson] Tatum? Sometimes it’s Marcus [Smart]. You don’t know who it’s going to be because a lot of times, I don’t think they [Celtics] know who it will be. It’s why they’re so good, man.”
 
Here are five under-the-radar storylines heading into tonight’s game in Miami with the Celtics trying to push their winning streak to 17:

KYRIE FOR MVP
It’s one thing for the home crowd to get into the ‘M-V-P’ chants when you’re at the free-throw line. But it’s a completely different matter when those same cheers are being heard on the road. That’s where Irving was following the 110-102 overtime win at Dallas, a game in which Irving dropped 47 points, 10 in overtime. It’ll be interesting to see if another strong game by Irving will lead to another serenading of ‘M-V-P’ chants for the most dominant player on the team with the league’s best record.


 
TURNING DOWN THE HEAT
The streak is the talk of the NBA right now, but streaking was going to be part of the conversation leading up to tonight’s game regardless. The Celtics come into tonight’s game having won eight in a row over the Heat, their longest current winning streak over any team. Boston has dominated this matchup for years, posting a 70-44 record all-time against Miami in the regular season.
 

DUKE CONNECTION
College basketball just kicked off and Duke is once again among the game’s top teams, a school that consistently produces NBA talent at a relatively high level. That’ll be very apparent tonight when you consider this Boston-Miami matchup features three players (Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum for Boston, Justise Winslow for Miami) from Duke who will all be in the starting lineup and a fourth (Boston’s Semi Ojeleye) who attended Duke but later transferred to SMU.


 
JUSTISE WINSLOW
Every front-office executive has that one player they tried – and failed – to acquire that, in hindsight, not getting him was a really good thing. Winslow is that guy for the Celtics. While he hasn’t been necessarily a bust, his impact at this level hasn’t been enough to have warranted all the assets Boston was willing to part with on draft night in order to move up and select him. Still, he’s healthy now and starting to play better which is evident by his numbers in most offensive categories on the rise, while his defense has been relatively solid.
 

THREE-POINTERS
The Heat have made the 3-point shot a much bigger part of their offense this season, evident by Miami ranking seventh in the league in 3-point makes (11.2) this season. In Boston, one of the keys to their top-ranked defense has been their length, which has come in real handy defending the 3-pointer. In fact, Boston has limited opponents to just 32.1 percent shooting on 3’s this season, which ranks third in the league.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE


 

WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics play the Heat in Miami. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: Will Celtics be drained by emotional comeback win Monday in Dallas?

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE