Celtics

Why Charles Barkley thinks "the fix is in" on Anthony Davis to Lakers

Why Charles Barkley thinks "the fix is in" on Anthony Davis to Lakers

If you ask Charles Barkley, the Boston Celtics might as well not even try to trade for Anthony Davis.

During an appearance Thursday on ESPN's "Get Up!" the Basketball Hall of Famer explained why he feels Davis is virtually guaranteed to wind up on the Los Angeles Lakers alongside LeBron James.

"When I heard that Anthony Davis had signed with Klutch Sports, I knew the fix was in," Barkley said. "That’s the first thing that came to my mind when he signed with Rich Paul, who is a fantastic agent.

"The first time I heard Anthony Davis signed with Klutch, I said ‘Anthony Davis is going to L.A.’ So I feel like the fix has been in for like over a year now -- and that’s unfortunate for the NBA."

Davis officially signed with Klutch Sports (which represents James) on Sept. 23 of this year. The New Orleans Pelicans are expected to offer the 25-year-old a supermax contract extension this summer, but if they have another disappointing season (they're currently 15-17), many believe Davis will request a trade.

Boston and L.A. are the two clubs best positioned to land Davis in a trade, but the Lakers could have an edge with James, who openly endorsed the idea of Davis coming to L.A. earlier this week.

The silver lining for Celtics fans: Boston arguably has better trade assets than L.A., so perhaps president of basketball operations Danny Ainge can make the Pelicans an offer they can't refuse.

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Celtics-Heat simulation: C's dominate in Eastern Conference showdown

Celtics-Heat simulation: C's dominate in Eastern Conference showdown

The NBA season has been put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis, meaning we may have to wait until mid-April at the earliest to watch the Boston Celtics again.

As a way to make up for the loss of Celtics action, we'll be using the NBA 2K20 video game to simulate each game on the schedule until they finally return.

PREVIOUS FIVE SIMULATIONS

The Celtics were supposed to be taking on the Miami Heat on Wednesday in an Eastern Conference showdown. Here's how our simulation of the marquee matchup went:

CELTICS STATS

If you've been paying any sort of attention to these simulations the past couple of weeks, you've noticed that Kemba Walker has been on an absolute tear offensively. That didn't change Wednesday, as he dropped a game-high 32 points to lead the way in the C's blowout win.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, a.k.a. "Fire and Ice," continued their strong offensive output with 27 and 21 points respectively. Tatum was a force on the defensive end as well, notching nine rebounds, three steals and three blocks.

With the game in hand, Boston's reserves played for nearly the entire fourth quarter. Brad Wanamaker and Vincent Poirier tallied seven points each off the bench.

HEAT STATS

Four Heat players scored in double figures, but it still wasn't enough to keep up with the Celtics. Jimmy Butler led Miami with 21 points, though he struggled from the field going just 7-for-21 shooting. Kendrick Nunn was far more efficient, going 6-for-13 and finishing with 19.

TEAM STATS

This game really wasn't close at any point, and in these sims, the C's have established themselves as the clear superior Eastern Conference squad. The biggest takeaways from the list of stats above are Boston's defensive prowess (12 steals, seven blocks), and dominance in the paint (54 points).

FINAL SCORE: Celtics 119, Heat 98

Make that nine wins in a row for the unstoppable NBA 2K Celtics. Can they keep it going? Tune in Friday for their next matchup vs. the Orlando Magic and find out.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Isaiah Thomas recalls ending Warriors' home streak, ready for another comeback

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Celtics Talk Podcast: Isaiah Thomas recalls ending Warriors' home streak, ready for another comeback

In the latest edition of the Celtics Talk Podcast, Isaiah Thomas looks back at one of his signature victories as the C's point guard when Boston came into Oracle Arena, where the Golden State Warriors had won 54 in a row, and upset the defending NBA champions.

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It happened four years ago on April 1, 2016, and Thomas vividly recalled a victory that put Brad Stevens' up-and-coming Celtics, who would go on to win 48 games and reach the Eastern Conference Finals that season, on the map.

"We were treating it like a must-win, knowing everything that was at stake for the Warriors," Thomas told A. Sherrod Blakely. "That year … they were unstoppable. We knew how hard it was to win in Golden State because of how great their fan base is. Not only that, how great a team they were. We went in like it was a must-win."

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Thomas said that win made the league take notice of not only the Celtics, but himself as well. 

Nobody thought we would be what we were. Nobody thought I would be what I was. ... Everybody on that team showed a lot of people that we were good enough to be a really good team and individually, we had really good players that to this day are showing what they're capable of doing.

Injuries have kept Thomas, now 31, from reaching the level he enjoyed with the Celtics and he's again looking for a team after he was waived by the Los Angeles Clippers after being dealt there by the Washington Wizards at the trade deadline. Still, his signature confidence hasn't waned. 

I got a lot left in the tank. I know what I can do. I'm never going to sugar coat it. I'm one of the best players in the world if given the opportunity.

And could that come in again in Boston next season?

You never know. If given the opportunity, I'd love to come back. I would love to be able to be a part of what the Celtics got going on. Just be able to help. Not come in with any expectations.

Blakely also catches up with ex-Celtics forward Jared Sullinger, who was a part of that 2015-16 team and had a big night in that win over the Warriors (20 points, 12 rebounds).

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