Celtics Talk Podcast: Ray Allen's number should not be retired by the Celtics, and here's why

Celtics Talk Podcast: Ray Allen's number should not be retired by the Celtics, and here's why

After the Boston Celtics announced they were sending Kevin Garnett's number to the rafters last week, a discussion about whether or not Ray Allen's number should be retired began.

While Paul Pierce's No. 34 already hangs over the TD Garden court, Garnett's No. 5 will join him -- two members of the 2007-08 Celtics team that won it's first NBA title in 22 years -- so why not Allen?

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Well, Michael Holley and our Celtics insider Chris Forsberg break down their thoughts on the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast -- and Holley had a tremendous point to make about Allen and Garnett's relationship.

Let's pretend that Ray Allen wanted to leave and he had the organization's blessing, and he left at the same time and Paul [Pierce] was like 'hey man, Ray [Allen] you have to do what you have to do even though you took less money from Miami,' and KG [Kevin Garnett] instead of ignoring him on opening night in Miami, gives him a big hug and says 'hey Ray, I love you.' I would still say no, because I would say if that whole group is here for six years like KG then everybody goes up. But, you kind of left at the midway point. And I'm not saying 'well you shouldn't have left' and 'how dare you leave.' It's just strange to be putting that number up after three years.

Holley and Forsberg later corrected themselves, noting Allen was in Boston for five years (not three), but that didn't change their stance on the situation.

"Well, first off, they put 20 back in circulation with Gordon Hayward obviously wearing it now," Forsberg said. "So, that to me was like the time they were like 'hey, this isn't happening.' You don't put that number back out there if you think it's ever going up. So I don't hold my breath on that. I do wonder what the benefit of time will do. Whether there will be a thawing eventually where more people within the Celtics organization are open-minded to the idea, and yet I can't get myself to the point where I say as relaxed as the Celtics have been about the criteria for sending someone up, maybe more so than other organizations, whether they would bring it to the point where they said 'alright, third best player on a championship team.'"

Allen averaged 16.7 points, 2.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game in his five years with the Celtics while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three-point range. He was also a three-time All-Star with the Celtics, but that still wasn't enough to convince Holley and Forsberg that his number should be retired.

"I think he should be celebrated for his achievements when every time we talk about celebrating that 2007-08 team they kind of squeeze him out," Forsberg said. "I do feel some semblance of disappointment. Like, he was a big part of that team, and yet, he had some bad playoff games. He wasn't exactly like, especially in that 2010 year, you go back and he had a couple of 2-for-12 games... he had some rough nights. Everyone had their moments, but if Ray had played better, maybe they would have won."

While Allen did play a roll in the Celtics 2007-08 championship title, he didn't do nearly all Garnett did in his tenure with the organization. And leaving for the Miami Heat certainly shouldn't help his candidacy for number retirement.

For more of the Celtics thoughts including thoughts about Brad Stevens being less stressed this year than he was last year, check out the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, available on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network and YouTube.

This Friday is Jayson Tatum Day here at NBC Sports Boston. Be sure to check out our exclusive content around Tatum throughout the day, both online and on the broadcast of Celtics-Timberwolves, which begins Friday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 8 p.m. You can also stream it on the MyTeams App.

 

 

Celtics Talk Podcast: Brad Stevens seems less stressed out this season

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Celtics Talk Podcast: Brad Stevens seems less stressed out this season

The Boston Celtics have had a much better season this year than they did last year. In 2018-19, the Celtics consistenly failed to live up to expectations, showed little to no chemistry, and made life difficult for Brad Stevens.

But this year, things have been a lot different. They've had better chemistry. Their young stars are growing.

And Stevens seems a lot less stressed than he did most of last season.

On the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, Michael Holley joined Chris Forsberg to discuss some of the major differences between the two Celtics teams.

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And Holley's biggest note overall? Stevens seems "relaxed" and "happy".

He looks so relaxed, so happy. If you notice, Brad Stevens already looks young. [But] he looks 10, 15 years younger than he did last year, because -- now, I don't know if it's connected or not -- maybe he's just like everything's good. I'm in good shape, my family's good. I'm happy. Or, it could be the simple reasons. Players don't want to talk about it, we have to acknowledge it. When you've got a team and you're not permitted to coach the team the way you know it needs to be coached, it's stressful. It'll wear you out and I think he was worn out last year.

Holley would go on to talk about players that were a nuisance to the team (he specifically mentioned Kyrie Irving and Terrry Rozier) and spoke of the great chemistry this squad has. He also brought up another issue that Stevens was facing that didn't draw a lot of consideration.

I pity coaches in this position, when you've got a guy in his contract year and on one hand, you wanna coach him. On the other hand, you wanna do what's best for the organization and retain him. And who knows, in today's NBA, if you have one practice that you shouldn't have, one more shootaround that the player didn't like, you say one thing to a guy that he didn't like, that's the decision that he's going to make. I'm out of here. So you've gotta be mindful of things that really shouldn't be on a coach's plate.

Certainly, that had to weigh on Stevens last year, especially when he also faced the prospect of Al Horford opting out and being unable to land a true replacement for Irving.

Yet the Celtics were able to move some pieces around to free up the room for Kemba Walker. And while Horford left, the team has gotten better-than-expected production out of Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter. So, they definitely seem to be better off comparatively to last year, especially from a chemistry standpoint.

For more of the Celtics thoughts including discussion about the C's retiring Kevin Garnett's number and whether or not Ray Allen should get that honor as well, check out the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, available on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network and YouTube.

This Friday is Jayson Tatum Day here at NBC Sports Boston. Be sure to check out our exclusive content around Tatum throughout the day, both online and on the broadcast of Celtics-Timberwolves, which begins Friday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 8 p.m. You can also stream it on the MyTeams App.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Is Jayson Tatum a superstar?

Celtics Talk Podcast: Is Jayson Tatum a superstar?

Jayson Tatum made a statement in the Boston Celtics' double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

The 21-year-old dropped 39 points while bringing down nine rebounds and locking down Clippers star Kawhi Leonard on the defensive end. It was the perfect way for Tatum to enter a weekend in which he'll play in his first career NBA All-Star Game.

But is he a "superstar"?

On the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, Kyle Draper and Chris Forsberg discuss that very question.

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Forsberg considered Tatum to be right on the verge of superstardom for a while, but the Celtics' young gun pushed himself over the edge with Thursday night's performance.

At points during this 10-game stretch where he's just been amazing, I've just been like, "Alright, he's on the cusp of superstardom.' And I really feel like last night sort of pushed me over the edge, and I think it changed the -- instead of saying he's going to be, I think we can say he is a star now.

To me, the way he's taking over games late and the killer instinct he's playing with, the competition that he's doing it against suggests to me that at 21 years old, in only his third year in the league, Jayson Tatum has made the leap.

Draper mentions how as good as Tatum's scoring prowess has been, his stellar defense deserves more credit.

I think his defense is the most understated part of all of this. I mean, the 29 points over his last five or the 28 since Jan. 1, all that's exciting and everything, but this dude has turned into one of the top defenders.

For more on Tatum, as well as an in-depth conversation about the Celtics retiring Kevin Garnett's No. 5, check out the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, available on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network and YouTube.