Celtics

On second thought, the 2017 NBA RE-draft

On second thought, the 2017 NBA RE-draft

BOSTON – The 2017 NBA draft was one of the youngest ever with the most college freshmen ever selected in the first round. We’ve had a chance to see most of this year’s bumper crop of rookies play, with many showing skills beyond their youth.
 
Still, there are some who haven’t exactly set the league on fire as expected, which has a few league GMs wishing they could do a draft-day do-over.

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Here’s a bit of revisionist history at work today as NBC Sports Boston looks at the top 10 prospects that would be available if teams had the benefit of foresight.
 
Jayson Tatum: His length and scoring ability were a given. But what has really set him apart from his fellow rookies and among the Celtics players, is his defense and overall feel for the game.
 
Kyle Kuzma: Drafted 27th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, his ability to shoot from the perimeter, attack close-outs and rebound, makes Kuzma the biggest surprise this year among the rookies.
 
Lonzo Ball: The potential remains extremely high for Ball who comes to the NBA with the kind of court vision we’ve seldom seen from such a young prospect. But he has to become a better shooter if he’s going to ever reach the superstardom level so many envision for the No. 2 pick by the Lakers in last June’s NBA draft.
 
Donovan Mitchell: He showed flashes of being a player who might prove to be more impactful than a 13th overall pick. So far, he has not disappointed with strong play for the Jazz.
 
Markelle Fultz: The jury is still out on just how impactful Fultz will be. It's a process that has been slowed by a shoulder injury. I’m still of the mindset that this kid, when all is said and done, will be really good in this league.

De’Aaron Fox: His end-to-end speed has set him apart from just about every rookie and for that matter, most veterans. He gives the Kings legitimate hope that their playmaker of the future has arrived.
 
Lauri Markkanen: An efficient scorer, there’s a lot to like about this big man’s game except for one thing...he plays for a really bad Chicago team. And because of that, it’s hard to tell if he’s putting up numbers because he’s a good player or because he’s on a really bad team. The truth most likely lies somewhere in the middle.
 
Malik Monk: Selected by Charlotte 11th overall, Monk has provided a nice scoring option off the bench for the Hornets to help ease the scoring burden on the team when Kemba Walker needs a break.
 
Dennis Smith Jr.: Similar to Markkanen, Smith has put up big numbers on a team that has struggled all season. But the explosiveness and knack for simply getting points are evident regardless of how much the team he plays for may struggle this season.
 
John Collins:
There’s a huge void of talent in the frontcourt for the Atlanta Hawks and Collins has the potential to fill it sooner rather than later. He’s a double-digit scorer and grabs 7.6 rebounds per game to show that he’s a much better player than the 19th overall pick.
 

Celtics' comeback falls short as Bucks take Game 4, 104-102

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Celtics' comeback falls short as Bucks take Game 4, 104-102

MILWAUKEE – The Boston Celtics were down big to the Milwaukee Bucks, and managed to make it a down-to-the-wire finish, the kind of game we’ve seen them find a way to win often. 

Not today, as the Bucks held off Boston’s rally to escape with a 104-102 win. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo tipped in a Malcolm Brogdon miss with five seconds to play for what would be the game-winning basket. 

After a Celtics timeout, Marcus Morris’ jumper rimmed in and out as time expired. 

And so now we have a series tied at two games apiece, with Game 5 in Boston on Tuesday and a return to Milwaukee for Game 6 on Thursday. 

Jaylen Brown had a career-high 34 points for Boston while Jayson Tatum had 21 points. For the Bucks, Antetokounmpo had 27 points while Khris Middleton had 23.

After falling behind by as many as 20 points, Boston mounted a 22-10 run to end the third quarter. 

And that surge had the Celtics well within striking distance, 75-67, going into the fourth. 

Boston continued its strong play with a 10-2 run to start the quarter that included a lay-up by Marcus Morris to tie the game at 77-all with more than nine minutes to play. 

But the Bucks bounced back with a 6-2 spurt that included a pair of 3’s by Thon Maker and Eric Bledsoe. 

The Milwaukee surge continued, with Bledsoe sinking a pair of free throws after being fouled by Terry Rozier that increased the Bucks’ lead to 90-85 with 5:27 to play.

Boston was indeed playing a better, more complete brand of basketball that was evident from the opening tip as they opened the game with a 12-5 run. 

But in reality, the score should have been even more lopsided when you factor in the open misses by the Celtics that kept them from really putting some much-needed distance between them and Milwaukee. 

And as was the case in Game 3, the Bucks turned to their second unit and they once again delivered a first-rate performance. 

Jabari Parker, a key contributor in Game 3 after being a non-factor in Games 1 and 2 who grumbled about his diminished role, was once again coming up big for the Bucks.

At the half, Parker had 12 points along with some impressive defensive plays that included stripping Marcus Morris.

Maker was still making the Celtics pay from 3-point range and with his help defense.

Meanwhile, the Celtics looked like a team that was searching for someone, anyone to provide a spark. 

Brown was as close as we saw to a Boston player bringing that dynamic to the game. 

With Boston trailing 51-35 at the half, Brown was doing his part to contribute as he scored 15 of his career-high 34 points in the first half.

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Celtics look to limit Bucks bench in Game 4

Celtics look to limit Bucks bench in Game 4

MILWAUKEE – The Boston Celtics will surely look to make some changes for today’s Game 4 matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks after getting thoroughly smashed 116-92 in Game 3.

But don’t look for the Celtics to change up their starting lineup according to head coach Brad Stevens.

The Celtics have had the same starting five – Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Aron Baynes – in each of the first three games.

“Our five starters have played pretty darn well if you take out Friday night,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “If we make a change to the starting lineup at some point, it would be more of a matchup change.”

One area that the Celtics will look to shore up is the impact of Milwaukee’s bench.

In Game 3, they outscored the Celtics bench 50-34.

Even more significant, the Bucks had multiple players from their second unit who impacted the game with their defense and overall energy as well.

Matthew Dellavedova’s full-court pressure on Terry Rozier was a factor. Ditto for Thon Maker’s interior defense.

“They really had a lot of good things going on,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “Their starters killed us, too. That was a thorough butt-kicking and we move on, play better.”

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