Celtics

Cavs' interest in Anderson could lead Love to Celtics

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Cavs' interest in Anderson could lead Love to Celtics

SALT LAKE CITY – Cleveland’s growing interest in New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson bodes well in Boston’s seemingly never-ending quest to acquire Kevin Love in what's shaping up to be a potential three-team deal that would include the Boston Celtics.

The particulars of the deal are still in the discussion phase, but the end result if it comes to pass would send Love to Boston, according to a league source.

The deal is still "very fragile" at this point, but it does provide Boston the best shot it has had in landing a player the Celtics have coveted for some time now.

Boston has spent a significant amount of time in recent weeks trying to convince the Cavs to part ways with Love, only to be rebuffed.

The Celtics have pursued bringing a third team into the mix as a way of sweetening the deal to Cleveland's liking.

New Orleans would make for an ideal partner considering Anderson becomes a free agent this summer and the Pelicans aren't expected to pay Anderson the kind of money his status on the free agent market would warrant.

And when you look at his skills in terms of stretching the floor and scoring around the basket, he in many ways provides similar talent (but not as good a rebounder) to Love.

There are still a number of hurdles that need to be overcome before a deal of this magnitude is complete.

But the current stage of discussions is further proof that Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, is focused on delivering a superstar to this roster sooner rather than later.

And at this point, Love presents the best chance Boston has had in recent years of achieving that goal.

Is 'Paul Pierce curse' real? Ex-Celtic's prediction for Bucks isn't aging well

Is 'Paul Pierce curse' real? Ex-Celtic's prediction for Bucks isn't aging well

Forget injuries or shooting slumps. The biggest threat to an NBA team's success is Paul Pierce.

Remember when the former Celtics star declared Boston's second-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks "over" after the C's won Game 1?

Boston promptly lost its next four games to lose the series.

Pierce tried a new angle last Friday, putting his eggs in the Bucks' basket both before and after their Game 2 win over the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Guess who hasn't won since Pierce sent those tweets? Yup: Milwaukee dropped its third straight game to the Raptors on Thursday night and now trails the series 3-2 entering a must-win Game 6 in Toronto.

Heck, even Pierce's prediction for last Sunday's "Game of Thrones" finale turned out to be wrong.

At least the All-Star-turned NBA analyst seemed to be aware of his jinxing abilities after the Bucks' loss Thursday.

We shouldn't be too hard on Pierce; the Bucks did appear to have the momentum after taking Games 1 and 2 and had yet to lose at home in the playoffs before Toronto stormed back to win Game 5.

But if you want the Golden State Warriors to lose in this year's NBA Finals, history suggests you should be rooting for Pierce to pick them.

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About last night: Kawhi pushes Bucks to brink of elimination

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

About last night: Kawhi pushes Bucks to brink of elimination

WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

Blakely: Raptors take control of Eastern Conference Finals 

Less than a week ago, the Toronto Raptors were an overmatched, underperforming hot mess against a Milwaukee Bucks squad that was clicking on all levels. 

Today? 

The tide of the series has turned dramatically with the Raptors now having won three straight over Milwaukee to be within one win of advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. 

Kawhi Leonard continues to be arguably the best player in the postseason, and was sensational in Game 5 with 35 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. 

But the true difference-maker was Raptors reserve Fred VanVleet, who had 21 points, including seven 3-pointers, the same number of made 3’s by the entire Milwaukee starting five. 

With steady play by veteran Kyle Lowry (17 points, seven rebounds, six assists) and Pascal Siakam (14 points, 13 rebounds, three blocked shots), the Raptors have gone from a disaster to being a win away from venturing into unchartered territory: the NBA Finals. 

Forsberg: Troll job goes to waste 

Biggest disappointment for the Bucks has to be wasting the amazing troll job by owner’s daughter Mallory Edens, who wore a Pusha-T T-shirt courtside as a hilarious shot at Drake. 

Well, that and losing three straight games for the first time all season. Not ideal timing there for Milwaukee. 

But cyborg Kawhi Leonard continues to come up with all the big plays and his big-game experience and poise is accentuated compared to these young Bucks.

SO... THAT HAPPENED


NUMBER OF NOTE

35 — Kawhi Leonard has seven games with at least 35 points this postseason. The only other player in the last 20 years to have seven 35-point games before the NBA Finals? LeBron James, on three separate occasions.

THEY SAID IT

"This isn't the sexy answer, but from the first day of training camp we've been saying we're going to stay level. A s---ty preseason game is just gonna get written off. A great win at Golden State, same thing. A terrible game in San Antonio, 'Let's bounce back.' And we've done it all year. We've kept it even-keeled."

— Raptors head coach Nick Nurse to ESPN, on storming back to move within one game of the NBA Finals

THURSDAY'S SCOREBOARD

  • Raptors 105, Bucks 99 (TOR leads series 3-2)

WHAT WE'LL BE WATCHING

BlakelyDurant-drama continues… 

The he-said, he-said back and forth between Kevin Durant and FS1’s Chris Broussard makes for good theater

But more than anything else, it serves as a timely distraction from what’s really going on with the Golden State Warriors. 

Whether they will own it or not, his absence has in many ways brought this group closer together, a team that’s embracing the fact that they need one another more than ever with Durant’s uncertain return.

He is a brilliant basketball player, one whose presence makes the Warriors damn near unbeatable this time of year. 

But the social media beef he and Broussard are involved with, only cements the perception that Durant is overly sensitive when it comes to being criticized or questioned by the media. 

As I said earlier, it makes for good theatre. But Durant returning to the floor for the NBA Finals?

That’s the show that everyone is eager to see him involved with this time of year.

Forsberg: Backed against the wall 

Love Giannis’ attitude after the loss, and now Game 6 can’t come soon enough.

“We're gonna come back to Milwaukee being pissed,” Giannis told reporters. Now it’s time to go show it.

The Bucks had a chance to step on Toronto’s throats early in Game 5 and let the Raptors off the ropes. Are the Bucks just not ready for the moment yet? We’ll find out when they have to fight for their lives on the road.

Selfishly, we want two more games out of this series. 

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