Celtics

WickedLeaks: The Gonzalez Hoax

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WickedLeaks: The Gonzalez Hoax

By Adam Hart
CSNNE.com

A series of cables revealing the inner workings of the Adrian Gonzalez trade has been released by WickedLeaks, the preeminent publisher of confidential false documents.

Wicked Good Sports has obtained the e-mail "cable" series, and presents it to you in its original form:

FM: RDSXWNR HNRYT: RDSXGM, RDSXPRZ, RDSXTVGY

It is protocol to exclude vowels from the heading of these cablegrams, but 'sometimes Y' has always caused me to overly ponder. Discontinuance of this mode of communication may be for the best, my dears.

FM: RDSXTVGYT: RDSXGM, RDSXPRZ, RDSXWNR HNRY

John, I think now is not the sometime 'Y' is a vowel. Plus, how will we dominate the international sport theatre if we don't play the part? It's like we're professional diplomats; reminds me of using walkie talkies as a kid -- "over."

FM: RDSXWNR HNRYT: RDSXGM, RDSXPRZ, RDSXTVGY

Your imagination runs so wild, Tom. And I like it like that. The cablegrams will proceed as planned.

My bride has informed me this "Felger" has been menacing all about the radio waves, propagating suspicion of our motivation with the Red Sox portfolio. Granted, ratings have dropped where other sports have gained. I may order you to once again manufacture public interest in this portfolio.

FM: RDSXPRZT: RDSXWNR HNRY, RDSXTVGY

One uuuhh word: Hoax.

FM: RDSXTVGYT: RDSXGM, RDSXPRZ, RDSXWNR HNRY

Larry, you forgot to include Theo on that last cable.

Anyway, a hoax is the greatest form of a ratings booster. Remember Balloon Boy? That was television gold. But where will we find a weather balloon?

From: TheoTo: JWHenry, LLucchino, ThosWerner

I have some encouraging news. Conversations to acquire Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres for prospects have reached the final stages. We will not part with any Major League talent. This is a steal, but only if we sign him to a big-money, long-term deal. Can I get you three to sign off on this?

FM: RDSXTVGYT: RDSXGM, RDSXPRZ, RDSXWNR HNRY

Come on, Theo. Didn't you receive the memo on cable heading protocol? I've attached a copy to this cable.

But you say his name is Adrian, huh? Any relation to Adrian Beltre? It'd be great TV to use that on our season storyboard: Two brothers reunited in Boston to help defeat the Evil Empire. I'll get my writing staff on it ASAP.

From: TheoTo: JWHenry, LLucchino, ThosWerner

No. Adrian is his first name; they are in no way related. And Beltre is not coming back. We talked about this.

San Diego is ready to move on if we don't give them an answer soon. Please let me know if we can commit something like 180 million to him.

FM: RDSXPRZT: RDSXWNR HNRY, RDSXTVGY, RDSXGM

I'd prefer ARod.

From: TheoTo: JWHenry, LLucchino, ThosWerner

Really, it'd be so much easier if we could just do this in person. Or over the phone?

FM: RDSXWNR HNRYT: RDSXGM, RDSXPRZ, RDSXTVGY

Negative.

Theodore, we have monies prepared to allocate toward the payment of a premier employee. The acquisition of the Liverpool portfolio has no doubt created angst in Boston. We have foreseen the need to offset that angst with such an employee. It is my understanding that he will bring quite the return in baseball and monetary production. An asset like Mr. Gonzalez would add worth to the Red Sox portfolio. The green light has been lit remotely from Liverpool, a city with wondrous cloud cover.

FM: RDSXTVGYT: RDSXGM, RDSXPRZ, RDSXWNR HNRY

Signing Gonzalez would be great. I mean, we can even get ratings on Telemundo. But let's not forget about the hoax.

From: TheoTo: JWHenry, LLucchino, ThosWerner

Hoax? No hoax. I'm telling San Diego the deal is on. We're flying in Gonzalez for a physical and negotiations on an extension. My phone will be off for most of Sunday. Don't do anything stupid.

FM: RDSXTVGYT: RDSXPRZ, RDSXWNR HNRY

Alright guys, now that grumpy-pants is gone let's build some drama here. It's Saturday and every media outlet in New England is slobbering all over this Adrian deal. We need to extend it to Monday. That football team is hogging the stage -- MY STAGE!

FM: RDSXPRZT: RDSXWNR HNRY, RDSXTVGY

Easy there, uuhhh Tom. My team has leaked a uuhhh missive that negotiations have hit a uuhhh uuuhh roadblock. Fear mongering is our safest uuhhh bet. At 3pm a second uuuhh missive will inform the media we did not meet our uuhhh deadline.

FM: RDSXTVGYT: RDSXPRZ, RDSXWNR HNRY

Perfect! That will be our hoax: Adrian's not coming to Boston, sorry. Then when they've all but turned on us, we win them over again by acquiring him. I can't wait to have Beltre back. Wow, Larry. You really are an evil genius.

FM: RDSXPRZT: RDSXWNR HNRY, RDSXTVGY

I just like to uuhhh expletive with Theo.

FM: RDSXWNR HNRYT: RDSXPRZ, RDSXTVGY

You fine gentlemen have done a bang-up job securing an increased market share for the Red Sox portfolio. My bride has gathered a few samplings of reaction to our ruse via my prefered form of communication, the Internet. What else is a bride good for, am I right?:

@MikeGiardi, @ElGuaposGhost, @Marc_Bertrand, @SI_JonHeyman

The fear has most definitely been mongered.

FM: RDSXTVGYT: RDSXPRZ, RDSXWNR HNRY

And now once Theo reaches his deal we'll look heroic, like we swooped in and defeated the evil agent and his contract demands. It's almost too easy. I hope the viewers don't catch on. It'll be like a good episode of CSI.

FM: RDSXPRZT: RDSXWNR HNRY, RDSXTVGY

Let's take it a step uuhhh further. I'll leak that we uuhhh want to take him for a uuhhh proverbial test drive before we sign him to an extension.

FM: RDSXTVGYT: RDSXPRZ, RDSXWNR HNRY

This will drag out interest in our club even longer! "Will the Red Sox let the same thing happen with Adrian they let happen with the catcher they traded for, Pedro Martinez? No way they let another slugger walk as a free agent?"

From: TheoTo: JWHenry, LLucchino, ThosWerner

Guys, what the hell is going on? I'm getting blasted all over the place for "low-balling" Gonzalez. It's like a tsunami of hate. I just got out of negotiations. We have a deal in place: 7 years, 170 million -- less than Teixeira. Why does the media think the deal is off?!

FM: RDSXPRZT: RDSXWNR HNRY, RDSXTVGY

Because I uuhhh told them so. I am now leaking that the trade is uuhhh complete. But it's anyone's guess if we keep ARod past this uuhhh season.

From: TheoTo: JWHenry, LLucchino, ThosWerner

Larry, it's not ARod. This is Adrian Gonzalez. .29831101 last season. He's seven years younger than ARod. You lost out on him a long time ago. Get over it.

FM: RDSXPRZT: RDSXWNR HNRY, RDSXTVGY

Fair enough. But, Theo, it would be wise to not let slip a "we did it for the show" during Monday's press conference. Your life job depends on it.

From: TheoTo: JWHenry, LLucchino, ThosWerner

I seriously hate you. All of you.

When word broke Sunday that Gonzalez would not be coming to Boston after all that attention, it was easy to picture that giant Jiffy Pop floating in the sky. Without Falcon captaining it.

Celtics' cup has runneth over so far this season

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Celtics' cup has runneth over so far this season

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics are no different than the rest of us. They have a lot to be thankful for.
 
There’s the usual good health, family and friends. But they have a few more things to be thankful for, as well.
 
So as you take a brief time-out today from the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, here’s a look at five things the Celtics are thankful for this season.


 
KYRIE IRVING
 
The Celtics have had some solid players in recent years, but the addition of Kyrie Irving was a game-changer. He provides Boston with an unmistakable superstar who has a proven track record of success on all levels -- he's won an NBA championship and an Olympic Gold medal, and is also a four-time All-Star. Did I mention he’s just 25 years old?


 
AL HORFORD
 
His numbers will never adequately measure the impact Horford has had on the Celtics. The big plus with Horford was him simply agreeing to be a Celtic. For years this franchise has been built on the success of developing draft picks or trading for talented players. But rarely have they had the financial flexibility or, to be frank, the kind of appeal to free agents to go out and acquire a proven All-Star like Al Horford. His arrival has enhanced an already-established winning culture, one that has become a player on the free agency market ever since.


 
DANNY AINGE
 
Other than Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti, it’s hard to imagine another front office executive having as good an offseason as Ainge. He rolled the dice to go down two spots in last June’s NBA draft, and wound up with arguably the most NBA-ready player (Jayson Tatum) among those selected in last June’s NBA draft. (Remember, the likely rookie-of-the-year Ben Simmons did not play last year after Philadelphia drafted him with the top overall pick in 2016.) The free-agent pickups of Aron Baynes, Daniel Theis and Shane Larkin have all had moments where they carried the team to victory. Even second-round picks like Semi Ojeleye and two-way players like Jabari Bird have contributed to wins this season. Fans may not like some of Ainge’s decisions in the moment but he deserves a lot of credit for the team we see today, one that has played at a level few envisioned they'd reach this quickly.


 
BRAD STEVENS
 
And to think, the Big Three (Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford) Boston was planning to build around this season has played less than five minutes together. Stevens has been pushing all the right buttons, putting guys in unexpected positions to succeed with a cast that’s long on talent and well, well short on experience. Boston’s first win of the season came at Philadelphia, a game in which the Celtics played six different rookies. It’s not unusual for teams to use first-year players frequently, but for a team that was built to contend for a championship? That’s highly unusual. The biggest thing is despite the lack of experience on the floor, Stevens hasn’t allowed them to use that as a reason to fail. Instead, Stevens has had them lean heavily on film study and the wisdom of veterans, as well as empowered them to have a “next-man-up” mindset with one goal regardless of what they are tasked with doing: Get it done. No excuses.


 
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
 
Boston has spent most of this season atop the NBA standings, fueled in large part by a 15-game winning streak -- the longest of the Brad Stevens era and the fifth-longest ever by a Celtics team. But within that winning streak, there have been some noticeable areas of concern (i.e., bench scoring) that have made games more challenging. And that's what makes these Celtics so scary to the rest of the league. If they’re beating teams consistently now, how much better will they be when the offense catches up or, at a minimum, gains some ground on what has been an impressive stretch of play defensively? That’s why as good as this first full month of the season has been, there's reason to believe they’ll only get better. The Celtiheircs have seen  share of adversity. They've played without their All-Stars. They have fought back from double-digit deficits to emerge victorious. This is a young squad, but battle-tested already. Because of all that, they have a certain level of confidence that regardless of the situation, regardless of the score, they feel they will find a pathway to success. And that, Celtics Nation, is something to be thankful for.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE


 

Blakely's takeaways: Moving on without the streak

Blakely's takeaways: Moving on without the streak

The streak is over! The streak is over!

We now return the Boston Celtics to their regularly scheduled pursuit of success without the growing pressure that comes with a historically relevant winning streak.

The 104-98 loss at Miami on Wednesday night brought an end to what had been one of the more unlikely winning streaks we’ve seen in the NBA for quite some time.

Boston reeled off 16 straight wins, many of which were the come-from-a-double-digit-deficit variety. In the end, the Celtics’ winning streak ranks as the fourth-longest in this storied franchise’s history.

“I told you, we’re not as good as the 16-game win streak,” Stevens said following the loss. “But we do have a lot of resolve.”

That resolve will surely be challenged with the Celtics taking Thanksgiving off, only to return and play three games in the next four nights beginning with Orlando on Friday, followed by a road game at Indiana on Saturday and a home date against the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

Here are five takeaways from the Boston Celtics’ 16-game winning streak.

KYRIE FOR MVP?

When the Boston Celtics traded for Kyrie Irving during the offseason, there was a sense that his presence would be a plus in some capacity, at some point. But few envisioned Irving would not only have a relatively seamless fit with the Celtics, but deliver in such a way that would catapult them to the top of the NBA standings and in doing so, establish him as one of the early front-runners for the league’s MVP award. This season, Irving is averaging a team-best 22.5 points and 5.2 assists while shooting 47 percent from the field but most important, the Celtics (16-3) have the best record in the NBA.

WANTED: BENCH SCORER

If you are a fan of good defenders, you probably love the Boston Celtics’ second unit. Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart are both ball-hawking defenders who can make some miserable times for opponents when they are on top of their game. Daniel Theis provides great energy on the glass and defensively. But the second unit needs a jolt offensively. Because as good as they can defend collectively, the Celtics have to have at least one starter on the floor most of the time because the bench doesn’t have an adequate collector of buckets that they can rely on consistently. Marcus Morris looks like an ideal choice for that role, but the left knee soreness that kept him out for eight games seems to be flaring up from time to time. Whether they address this with a trade or possibly with a player bought out, the lack of a second-unit scorer is very much an issue for this team.

BROWN EMERGES AS TWO-WAY TALENT

The plan was for Jaylen Brown to be an elite, shut-down defender this season. He has shown himself to be a good defender this season, but what has really made him stand out is the growth in his game offensively. The second-year wing has scored 20-plus points in three of Boston’s last four games. Doing that along with continuing to play good defense has him looking like one of the NBA’s promising young two-way talents.

TATUM’S GROWTH A SILVER LINING IN HAYWARD INJURY

You never want to see the Boston Celtics or any team for that matter, lose a player for the season let alone one who meant as much as Gordon Hayward to the Celtics. But if there is a silver lining in his ankle injury which is expected to keep him out all season, it is the opportunity it created for Jayson Tatum. The 19-year-old has been arguably the best player from last June’s draft class, playing major minutes with a major role for the team with the best record in the NBA. The opportunity to play around 30 minutes a game would not have been there for Tatum if Hayward didn’t get hurt. The challenge for Tatum going forward is to stay consistent, because now that teams have seen him for almost a quarter of the season, you can expect they will make some adjustments in how they defend him as well as try to attack him when he’s defending.

WE TALKIN’ ABOUT PRACTICE

During Boston’s 16 game winning streak, the Celtics played the last eight games in 16 nights. That’s a game every other night for more than two weeks. In that time, there’s little to no time for practice which has been a factor in Boston not being quite as sharp in the last few games, as they were at the start of the streak. After Thanksgiving, Boston plays three games in four nights with a pair of days off to follow before they return to action. There’s a very good chance that the Celtics will use one of those two days to practice, something this team desperately needs to clean up some of the minor mistakes that were big problems in their loss to the Heat on Wednesday.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE