Celtics

Edelman eager to put hand injury behind him

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Edelman eager to put hand injury behind him

FOXBORO -- Lost in the ugly drama of New England's 29-26 overtime win over the Jets was the return of Julian Edelman. 
The receiver was active Sunday after being stuck on the sidelines for three weeks. Edelman injured his hand on a 7-yard touchdown catch in the Patriots' loss to Baltimore. 
He had a quiet comeback against New York: Two catches for 7 yards. 
Still better than nothing. 
"It's good," he said Tuesday. "I'm getting back into the routine of things. Getting out there and preparing with your teammates is always a fun thing."
Precious little was learned about the exact nature or severity of the ailment. Edelman was whisked away from the media's sights immediately and totally. 
It was quite a change, considering how bright the spotlight had been at the start of the season. 
Edelman had the best training camp of his career this year. This, coming off a strange 2011 where injuries in the Patriots secondary forced him to play 94 snaps at defensive back against 111 on offense. 
It seemed all but a dream by the time 2012 started. 
Edelman played 23 offensive snaps against the Titans in Game 1. The following week, his participation skyrocketed and he played 75 of 82 total snaps. Tom Brady's No. 1 receiver, Wes Welker, played 63 by comparison. 
Going into the Ravens game, he was on pace for 53 catches and 453 yards, both of which would be career highs. Easily. We're talking about a guy who had just 11 receptions for 120 yards in the last two years combined. 
Edelman played the most of any receiver in the first half against Baltimore (38 snaps). 
Then came the injury.  
"It's something I can't control, so if I get frustrated about that I'm thinking about the wrong things," Edelman said of being derailed. "It's part of the game. It's unfortunate sometimes, but you get knocked off the horse, you've got to get back on."
He did what he could over the last three weeks -- went to meetings, watched practice, did everything he could to actually simulate participating in practice. Turns out, there's one good thing about a hand injury: It's not going to stop a guy from running. 
"I kept my shape up. Usually that's the thing when you get injured -- you get out of shape and all that stuff -- but it was something I could deal with," he explained. 
So now we know a little more of what Edelman has gone through. But that's not the biggest takeaway from his first media meet. The most striking thing? How desperate the receiver is to move on. 
"That's all in the past," he said about half a dozen times. "I'm really just trying to focus on the role that I'm going to be given and I'm looking forward to that task."
One has to wonder if that role will resemble anything as big as his first few games suggested. Though there's probably no one more eager to find out than Edelman. 

Reports: Cavs players aren't happy with roster

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Reports: Cavs players aren't happy with roster

As the Cavaliers fall further and further behind the Celtics, it appears there's some internal grumbling that the problems that have led to eight losses in their past 10 games aren't fixable with Cleveland's current roster.

Multiple reports indicate that a number of "prominent" Cavs  (and there's no more prominent player in the NBA than LeBron James) shared those thoughts with ESPN, Cleveland.com and TheAthletic.com.

After their loss to the NBA-champion Golden State Warriors Monday night in another Finals rematch, the third-place Cavs have dropped 7 1/2 games behind the Celtics and 3 1/2 behind the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference.

The complaints are a clear message to management that a change will be necessary at the trade deadline and, according to Cleveland.com, the offseason acquisition of Isaiah Thomas isn't going over too well. Thomas, who was out until Jan. 2 while he recovered from hip surgery after he was acquired from the Celtics in the Kyrie Irving trade, is shooting 36 percent and is averaging almost as many turnovers (2.4) as assists (3.4). But it's his defense that's hurting the Cavs more. Here's what Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon reported a "league source" told him:

“Rotations are awful. IT is so much worse than Kyrie defensively it’s insane. There is not a great feeling anywhere. They need to limp into the All-Star break and get away from each other.”

Meanwhile, the guy Thomas was traded for has led the Celtics to an East-leading 34-10 record and become a leading MVP candidate.

The Case Against Anthony Davis to the Celtics

The Case Against Anthony Davis to the Celtics

Let’s get this out of the way: the Celtics should absolutely try as hard as possible to land Anthony Davis. Danny Ainge’s track record means any deal that ultimately lands “The Brow” would, at worst, be fair, and at best, be a steal.

That said, there are arguments to be made against an Anthony Davis trade. Here they are:

1. GARY TANGUAY CAN'T BE RIGHT
This is more important than anything else. Gary Tanguay cannot have this win. We can’t validate his reckless speculation with a Davis-to-Celtics deal. Banner 18 is not worth the years of Gary telling us he was right about this. All joking aside, let’s give Tanguay some credit for predicting this, even if it was luck.

2. ACQUISITION COST
Freedom isn’t free and neither is a 24-year-old mega-star. It’s important to realize that the Celtics are not the only team making this trade. The Pelicans will, justifiably, need one of the biggest return packages in NBA history in order to move Anthony Davis. For starters, say goodbye to Jayson Tatum. The C’s wunderkind looks like a future star and there’s just no way New Orleans makes this deal without him. Ditto for the Lakers/Kings pick acquired from the 76ers this summer and at least one more future first-rounder. Did we mention Al Horford yet? His salary is almost a must in any deal for Davis. 

MORE CELTICS:

I’m not positive a package of Tatum, Horford and every future pick of value is enough to convince the Pelicans to trade Davis. If I’m New Orleans, I’m asking for Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Horford and the LAL/SAC pick for Davis and the ridiculously expensive corpse of Omer Asik. So yeah, the Celtics have positioned themselves to pull off a deal of this magnitude, but it’s sure gonna cost them.

3. FINANCIAL COST
Including Horford in a deal for Davis lessens the blow of adding another max player; however, the Celtics will also be trading at least one of their rookie-scale starters, and that cannot be overlooked. Tatum and Brown aren’t just potential All-Stars, they are cost-controlled starters who the Celtics are paying a combined $10.6 million this season. The other seven Eastern Conference playoff teams (as of Tuesday) are paying an average of $36M for their starting SG/SF combos. Losing one or both of Tatum and Brown means the C’s will be pinching pennies to try and fill out their starting lineup. The calculus gets much harder when Kyrie Irving opts-out of his deal after next season.

4. INJURY CONCERNS
Davis is an absolute stud when he’s on the floor. The problem is he’s often sidelined with injuries. Davis has never played more than 75 games in a season, averaging 67 games through his first five years in the NBA (he’s already missed seven games this year). Davis’ alien-like size/athleticism combo make him a devastating two-way force, but might also make him injury prone for his entire career. Similar to Joel Embiid of the 76ers, Davis sometimes seems too big and fast for his own good, crashing to the floor at a rate rivaled only by Kelly Olynyk.

5. DOES HE MOVE THE NEEDLE ENOUGH?
Is Davis good enough to overcome reasons 1-4 on this list? Going by individual stats, absolutely. Davis has the third-highest career Player Efficiency Rating (PER) in NBA history, trailing only Michael Jordan and LeBron James. But that individual success has only led to a 165-206 record and one playoff appearance for the Pelicans franchise. Before this season, the Davis-led Pelicans boasted a top-10 offense once in five seasons. It’s the same on the defensive end, with one top-10 finish in Davis’ first five years. If Davis is such a game changer, how come he hasn’t been able to impact winning at a greater clip? Most of that can probably be blamed on Pelicans management for doing a terrible job building around him, but it should be a question the Celtics ask before trading just about everything to acquire him.

The Celtics would be crazy turning down the chance to add Davis to a core of Irving, Gordon Hayward and Brad Stevens, even if it does mean Tanguay can brag for the rest of his life. Ainge has assembled a super team before and you better believe he’s on the phone right now trying to do it again.

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