Posts Tagged ‘boston celtics’

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward suffered a dislocated left ankle and fractured tibia as a result of his gruesome first-quarter fall during Tuesday’s season opener in Cleveland, head coach Brad Stevens said following the loss, according to CLNS Media Network.

Just over five minutes into his Celtics debut, Hayward elevated to catch an alley-oop pass from Kyrie Irving, but crashed to the court when LeBron James flew in to break up the play. Hayward’s left leg and foot crumpled awkwardly beneath him, resulting in a grotesque scene that left his teammates, Cavaliers opponents, and Cleveland fans visibly shaken.

Hayward was stretchered off the court, with the Celtics later announcing that the All-Star swingman suffered a fractured ankle. Stevens further detailed the extent of the leg injury while addressing reporters at the conclusion of Tuesday’s contest.

Hayward was set to be taken in an ambulance to the airport, where he would then fly back to Boston for further evaluation.

Along with Irving, Hayward was a centerpiece of Boston’s offseason overhaul, which left the Celtics with only four holdovers from a 2016-17 team that earned the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed and advanced to the conference final.

The 27-year-old signed a four-year, $128-million maximum contract after averaging 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and a steal in his seventh season with the Utah Jazz last year.

Advertisements

kyrie-irving-twitter-380

Boy, is Kyrie Irving glad to be out of Cleveland.

The All-Star point guard was traded to the Boston Celtics in the offseason after informing the Cavaliers he wanted to be dealt. It’s believed he grew tired of playing in LeBron James‘ shadow and wanted to be the focal point of another squad.

Ahead of his fourth preseason game with his new team, the 25-year-old raved about Beantown.

“Boston, I’m driving in and (thinking), ‘I’m really playing in a real, live sports city?” Irving said Wednesday, according to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell.

The 2016 champ wasn’t done there.

“A lot of different cultures, food, and people. You get it all, especially in Boston. You would go to Cleveland and it would be at nighttime and things would be going on, but you just see a vast difference.”

Irving paced the C’s with 16 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, and a steal in their 108-100 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. With the win, Boston finished the preseason undefeated, while his former team is 0-4 in exhibition play.

Of course, none of those results matter. They will, though, in the regular season, which begins Tuesday when the Cavaliers host the Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.

Hopefully, Irving can find an alternate route to the stadium around the bridge he burned.

 NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics
 

When a beloved, high-profile NBA talent elects to take his talents elsewhere in free agency, they’re mostly met with a barrage of negativity from their former fan base and media for a business decision they had every right to make.

But when management moves a player who had every intention to stay around for the long haul, there’s not nearly as much outrage, if any.

All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas feels as such about his move to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thomas said he hopes his trade from the Boston Celtics will open up eyes about the double standard, while using Kevin Durant signing with the Golden State Warriors as a prime example to support the other side.

“I actually think this was a good lesson,” Thomas wrote in The Players’ Tribune. “Not only for me, but for the league as a whole. And for the fans and the media, too, you know, just in terms of how they talk about guys changing teams.

“I was thinking about that last year with KD and his free agency – about how people gave him such a hard time for doing what he felt was best for him and his future. How they turned him into a villain, just for doing what was his right to do as a free agent in this league. Suddenly, it was, ‘Oh, he’s selfish,’ or, ‘Oh, he’s a coward.’ Suddenly, just for doing business on his end, and doing right by himself, he was portrayed as this bad guy.”

Thomas added that the pain of being shipped off by the Celtics still lingers to this day, and that loyalty is really “just a word” if players who displayed his level of commitment can be sent packing.

“I want them to see how my getting traded – just like that, without any warning – by the franchise that I scratched and clawed for, and bled for, and put my everything on the line for? That’s why people need to fix their perspective,” Thomas wrote.

“It’s like, man – with a few exceptions, unless we’re free agents, 99 times out of 100, it’s the owners with the power. So when players are getting moved left and right, and having their lives changed without any say-so, and it’s no big deal … but then the handful of times it flips, and the player has control … then it’s some scandal? Just being honest, but – to me, that says a lot about where we are as a league, and even as a society. And it says a lot about how far we still have to go.”

Nonetheless, Thomas says there’s “no hard feelings” with Boston, although he’s still hopeful the basketball world will look at what happened to him and perhaps think twice the next time it wants to pile on a departing free agent.

464408892

Isaiah Thomas was apparently “emotionally wounded” when made aware that the Boston Celtics had traded him, but now that the move to Cleveland has settled in, he’s seemingly ready to embrace the change.

The All-Star point guard has “entirely bought in” to playing for the Cavaliers next season, sources told Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon.

Thomas is also committed to rehabbing his injured hip and getting on the floor for his new squad as soon as possible.

There remains concern over just how long Thomas will be out of action, though, with the notion that he could miss a large chunk of the 2017-18 campaign having reportedly tempered both LeBron James and head coach Tyronn Lue’s enthusiasm for the acquisition.

The decision was made to not undergo surgery to repair the damage, which initially occurred in March and then worsened in the Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland.

Thomas played two-and-a-half seasons in Beantown, averaging a career-high 28.9 points (third in NBA) on 46.3 percent shooting, 5.9 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in 2016-17. He was sent to the Cavaliers, along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets‘ 2018 unprotected first-round pick, and a 2020 second rounder, in exchange for Kyrie Irving.

10022_93a27b0bd99bac3e68a440b48aa421ab

Paul Pierce bleeds green through and through, but he’s not letting the hype of this offseason get to him.

The Truth still sees his beloved Boston Celtics chasing the Cleveland Cavaliers for tops in the East after the two leading East powers swapped Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas this week.

“The Cavs are definitely better,” Pierce explained on ESPN’s “The Jump.” “You have King James, you’ve been to the Finals for three straight years, and then you got better this offseason.

“You added Derrick Rose. You added Isaiah Thomas that does many of the things Kyrie does. Then you talk about their bench. They have Jae Crowder, they got a 3-and-D guy, and those guys don’t come a dime a dozen.

“They’ve gotten better, they’ve gotten deeper, and they’re still the team to beat in the East.”

Boston and Cleveland both significantly retooled this summer, but the Celtics added more talent to close the gap between the two sides.

The Celtics signed Gordon Hayward in free agency, nabbed Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick, and dealt for Irving and Marcus Morris. The Cavaliers responded by signing cheap veterans and by flipping a disgruntled Irving into two future assets in addition to Crowder and Thomas.

However, the bottom line still comes down to James, who the Celtics have absolutely no answer for. Whichever team he plays for in the Eastern conference will automatically be considered the team to beat given his history.

Pierce did acknowledge, however, that the Celtics are next in line for East supremacy with their collection of stars in their prime and blue-chip prospects.

“If you look at Boston with the way they’re positioned, for the next five or six years with the young players surrounded by the veterans, this could be a team that could be in the Finals three or four times,” Pierce said.

kevin_durant

Kevin Durant knows all about making unpopular decisions, about prioritizing personal well-being when choosing one’s career path, and about facing the public blowback that often accompanies those choices.

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Durant empathizes with Kyrie Irving, and respects Irving’s decision to force his way out of Cleveland, out of LeBron James‘ shadow, and into a new situation with the Boston Celtics – despite the fact that he’d gone to three straight Finals with James and the Cavaliers.

“He did what he was supposed to do in Cleveland. It’s on to the next chapter,” Durant said of Irving on Thursday’s edition of The Bill Simmons Podcast, using a conspicuously familiar idiom.

“I can really appreciate what he did. He stood up for himself. He showed a lot of courage, because it’s hard to take that type of criticism when you just want to play ball.”

Durant, who has said he made “the 100 percent correct decision” signing with the Golden State Warriors last summer, understands why Irving was keen to get out of Cleveland, especially given all the rumors about James’ planned departure after this season.

“When you’re around LeBron James, there’s so much that comes with that,” Durant said. “There’s so much outside distraction and conversations and just noise that comes from being around LeBron James. And Kyrie’s at the point like, ‘Alright, we lost the championship, this whole season’s gonna be about if LeBron’s gonna leave or not. I’m ready for a new challenge.’

“It just felt like he wanted a situation where he could just be free from all of that, and just play. And it’s a perfect system for him in Boston.”

kyrie-irving-qa

Kyrie Irving is now a member of the Boston Celtics, and he could stick around for the long haul.

The All-Star point guard was dealt to Beantown on Tuesday night, and he’s thrilled, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who also indicated the Celtics will have a “great chance” of eventually re-signing Irving.

That “strong belief” they’ll retain his services is why the Celtics were willing to surrender starting point guard Isaiah Thomas, along with small forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets‘ unprotected 2018 first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the blockbuster deal.

Following Cleveland’s third straight NBA Finals trip, Irving asked the club to trade him last month. It’s believed the 25-year-old had grown tired of playing in LeBron James‘ shadow, and wanted to be the primary option on another squad. In Boston, he’ll form a new Big Three alongside Al Horford and prized free agent Gordon Hayward.

Irving averaged 25.2 points, 5.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in his sixth season with the Cavaliers, who drafted him first overall in 2011. The All-NBA talent has two guaranteed years remaining on his contract, and can opt out following 2018-19.

Boston is apparently under the impression he’ll stay beyond that and help the team contend for years to come.

The Celtics surprised many last season when they finished with the best record in the East and reached the conference finals, where they were knocked out by Irving and the Cavs.

Irving won’t have to wait long to face his former club, as Cleveland hosts Boston in the very first game of the 2017-18 regular season.