Celtics

Brad Stevens' decision to start Shane Larkin pays off

Brad Stevens' decision to start Shane Larkin pays off

Shane Larkin was anything but an obvious choice for Brad Stevens when it came to pick who would start in place of Kyrie Irving who was out with a sore left knee.

Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier have been the guys to fill in for Irving in the past. And with both playing so well off the Celtics bench, it would have made a lot of sense for Stevens’ pool of possible replacements for Irving was a pool of two.

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And while we’ve heard Stevens speak of how he’s confident in any player on the roster, these are the times when Stevens’ words are put to the test.

His decision to go with Larkin worked well for both the player and the team as Boston had no problem beating the Chicago Bulls 105-89.

Larkin, making his first start for the Celtics and first in the NBA since 2016, had nine points on 3-for-3 shooting to go with four rebounds and four assists. 

“I felt good,” Larking told reporters after the game. 

Although Larkin was filling in for the Celtics’ leading scorer, he knew his role wasn’t about replicating what Irving brought to the table. 

Aware that the Celtics have others who can score besides Irving, Larkin was more concerned with his defense and making sure he got his teammates the ball where they could play their game.

“I was trying to get in the lane and let those guys be effective,” Larkin said. “I felt it was a good job today.”

Said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens: “He was great; he was great. We talked about who should start and everything else. When you trust all three of those guys, then it becomes who do you want to play off the bench. He was really good tonight.”

His teammates echoed similar sentiments. 

“It was nice to see him step up to the challenge,” said Boston’s Al Horford. “Shane is a professional, very professional. He stays ready. It was good to see him with that … he brings a lot of energy anytime that he comes on the floor. And tonight we needed it.”

And unlike some games we’ve seen pitting the Celtics against a cellar-dweller, they did not give the Bulls any hope that this game would be anything other than a blowout. 

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Larkin, making his first NBA start since 2016, was mindful of how important it would be for the Celtics to get off to a good start. 

Boston did just that as they more than doubled up the Bulls in the first quarter which ended with the Celtics holding a commanding 35-16 lead.

“It was very important for me and the team,” Larkin said. “Last time we were here they jumped on us early. Today, we wanted to make sure we hit them early. On my end, every time I’m out there I’m trying to make positive impact play.”

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Re-live Kevin Garnett's "Anything is possible" moment on anniversary of Celtics' title

Re-live Kevin Garnett's "Anything is possible" moment on anniversary of Celtics' title

It's hard to believe the Boston Celtics won the 2008 NBA Finals over the Los Angeles Lakers 11 years ago.

Monday marks the 11th anniversary of the C's winning their 17th championship on June 17, 2008, so it seems like a good time to bring back an iconic moment from the celebration.

The Celtics trounced the Los Angeles Lakers 131-92 in Game 6 at TD Garden to clinch the franchise's first title since 1986. While there were many memorable moments from the postgame festivities, nothing stands out as much as Celtics star Kevin Garnett shouting "Anything's possible!" to ESPN's Michele Tafoya. 

Re-live Garnett's amazing moment in the video below:

Celtics fans will never tire of that video, and nor should they.

Garnett waited 13 years to win his first NBA championship. He had accomplished nearly everything but a title in his 12 years with the Minnesota Timberwolves before joining the Celtics via trade in the summer of 2007. Garnett's triumph in 2008 a fitting addition to his Hall of Fame résumé.

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Kendrick Perkins hints at more big moves for Lakers after Anthony Davis trade

Kendrick Perkins hints at more big moves for Lakers after Anthony Davis trade

The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a blockbuster trade Saturday night by agreeing to acquire superstar center Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, and one former Boston Celtics player doesn't think the Purple and Gold are done making impactful moves.

Kendrick Perkins, who won a championship with the Celtics in 2008 as their starting center, hinted at more fireworks from the Lakers in a tweet Saturday.

The Lakers have around $25 million in salary cap space after the Davis trade, so they still are in play for a max-contract free agent once the market opens June 30, although a top-tier free agent would need to take a small discount to sign with Los Angeles. 

L.A. still needs a point guard to facilitate the offense after giving up Lonzo Ball in the Davis trade. Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker, who's eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer, would be a nice fit next to James. Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving, also an upcoming UFA, could choose to reunite with James after spending three years together on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-15 through 2016-17.

Perkins seems pretty confident in the Lakers' chances of building a championship-caliber roster for next season, and he's not alone: oddsmakers have already pegged L.A. as the favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals. Plenty of work remains for the Lakers in constructing a title-contending team, however, but they are off to a good start following the acquisition of Davis. 

Click here for biggest winners and losers from the Anthony Davis trade>>>

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