Celtics

Celtics Talk Podcast: Previewing the potential Celtics-Pacers first-round matchup with J. Michael

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Celtics Talk Podcast: Previewing the potential Celtics-Pacers first-round matchup with J. Michael

Kyle Draper, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Chris Forsberg are talking all things Celtics, including a discussion with the Indianapolis Star's J. Michael about what seems to be an inevitable first-round meeting with the Pacers: 

1:26 - Draper, Blakely and Chris Forsberg take a look at the Celtics current position in the Eastern Conference with just 10 games left in the regular season and discuss what the loss to the 76ers showed them.

5:52 - One of the biggest concerns with this Celtics team is figuring out who can step up with a big shot other than Kyrie Irving. Which players will need to make an impact in the playoffs?

9:06 - It's been discussed that Kyrie Irving and Al Horford could sit out a few games down the stretch. Is this the right move by Brad Stevens or do the Celtics need to establish a rhythm down the stretch?

12:38 - Marcus Smart was ejected for shoving Joel Embiid in the Celtics' loss in Philly. The guys talk about how Smart needs to keep his cool, especially in the postseason.

16:03 - The guys are joined by Pacers beat writer at the Indianapolis Star, J. Michael, to preview what is looking like a set first-round matchup between the Celtics and Pacers. Michael surprisingly thinks it will be a much closer series than people are expecting.

20:12 - Michael addresses a handful of concerns surrounding the Pacers, including their inability to finish out games and their lack of a player who can take control of a game when it matters the most.

26:01 - How do the Pacers feel about not being considered real contenders in the Eastern Conference Playoffs? Michael explains how they're used to being counted out and how it fuels them.

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NBA odds: Celtics open as underdogs vs. Bucks in second-round showdown

NBA odds: Celtics open as underdogs vs. Bucks in second-round showdown

The Boston Celtics breezed through their first-round NBA playoff series with the Indiana Pacers. Their prize? A matchup with the top team in the NBA.

The fourth-seeded Celtics have a second-round date with the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks, who finished with the NBA's best regular-season record at 60-22.

So, it's no surprise Boston has opened as a +240 underdog while Milwaukee is a +300 favorite to win the series, according to SuperBook USA.

The Bucks absolutely dominated the Detroit Pistons in Round 1, and many expect them to come out of the Eastern Conference thanks to the immense talent of Giannis Antetokounmpo and a strong supporting cast.

But the Celtics are an intriguing candidate to play spoiler, as they were preseason favorites to win the East and appear to be jelling at the right time after a tumultuous regular season.

That upset potential is reflected in the odds, which give the Celtics just a slightly worse chance than the No. 3 seed Philadelphia 76ers (+180) in their second-round matchup with the Toronto Raptors.

Boston will have to wait to prove itself against Milwaukee, though, as Game 1 won't happen until this weekend.

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Pelicans' David Griffin explains how history with Danny Ainge could impact trade talks

Pelicans' David Griffin explains how history with Danny Ainge could impact trade talks

Want another fascinating subplot for the Boston Celtics' pursuit of Anthony Davis?

The man in charge of trading him used to work for Danny Ainge.

New Orleans Pelicans general manager David Griffin got his NBA start as a video intern for the Suns when Ainge was the head coach in Phoenix. The two have maintained a good relationship ever since, with Griffin actually crediting the current Celtics president of basketbll operations for helping him rise through the NBA ranks.

So, does that mean Ainge -- who has a history of fleecing fellow general managers with shrewd trades -- has the inside track of striking a Davis deal with his old pal?

Griffin candidly discussed the tricky situation Tuesday on ESPN's "The Jump."

"I think to some degree you’re mindful of what his tact is, right? You’re very mindful if you’re doing this, right?" Griffin said. "You’re very aware of what everyone’s tact is and the negotiating tactics and ploys that somebody might utilize -- you’re gonna be aware of that.

"Danny’s not unique in that way, that he’s got a very specific style. What makes the situation with Danny unique is, we have the kind of relationship where we can really call each other on all that nonsense, and just sort of (say), ‘This is what it looks like.’ I think because we have that ability it makes any conversation we would have along the way a fruitful one."

Griffin actually said earlier this month he'll try to keep Davis in New Orleans, but the expectation is the Pelicans will try to move the 26-year-old this offseason, with the Celtics among their top suitors.

That means Ainge should be making at least one call this summer to Griffin, who added this great line about his former boss"

"He called me 'Freak.' He still calls me 'Freak.' We make fun of each other rather often."

If you believe Griffin, though, it'd be all business between the two on the topic of a Davis trade.

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