Category Archives: Boston Celtics Jerseys China

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The Celtics don’t have many assets opposing teams want, and that list is even smaller when considering just who Boston would be fine parting with at the NBA trade deadline.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are not Wholesale Boston Celtics Jerseys going anywhere this week, obviously. Kemba Walker, who is making $34 million this season while not playing back-to-backs, is not going to have many suitors steadfast in his pursuit. And then there are Boston’s bench pieces — Grant Williams, Semi Ojeleye, Tremont Waters, etc. — but we don’t expect teams to be lining up for them, either.

The reality is that three players — veteran guard Marcus Smart, up-and-coming big man Robert Williams and rookie first-rounder Payton Pritchard — probably are the only ones who both would entice other teams and get Boston a solid return.

Smart, specifically, seems to have developed a market for himself. The Atlanta Hawks have “expressed interest” in the longest tenured Celtic, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Atlanta, as you may have heard, has been linked to Boston in recent weeks as the Celtics were reported to be among teams kicking the tires on 23-year-old forward John Collins.

It begs the question: Should the Celtics be willing to part with Smart if it means they will acquire Collins?

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon, Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams, Tristan Thompson
Nine Random Celtics Thoughts With NBA Trade Deadline Looming
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Admittedly, this is a tough one.

With Smart, first and foremost are the intangibles, so we’ll start there. He has developed into the team’s vocal leader all while his hustle plays have, at times, made us wish Boston had more players like him. It’s not crazy to believe he has won the Celtics games because of said winning plays. Additionally, his vocal role seems to be one the Celtics sorely need, and you don’t have to look too far for proof. Boston put together a horrendous month-and-a-half stretch without Smart due to a calf strain leading up to the recent All-Star break. The C’s were 5-9 without him before closing the first half of the season with four straight wins.

And his intangibles weren’t the only thing they missed during that absence. The Celtics were abysmal on the defensive end and lacked another shot creator. Trading Smart, 27, for a player like Collins, who wants more shots but needs others to create for him, doesn’t really help the current problem Boston has. Because while each Brown and Tatum have tried to become more of a facilitator, the C’s still are in need of more, especially with Walker’s minutes and absence.

Smart is an extremely unique circumstance due to how Celtics fans tend to feel two completely opposite ways. So while Smart has half the fan base praising his work ethic and the role he fits, there’s the other half who bash him for his inability or hinderance on the offensive end.

That’s the other side of this, and it’s fair, too. Smart has, at times, showed far too much confidence in his shot-making ability and it’s, at times, led to a brutal shot selection. Smart’s 3-pointers or drives through contact have meant less touches for players like Brown, Tatum or even Walker.

But this writer tends to overlook that because the good tends to outweigh the bad. Never mind the fact he’s the heart and soul of the Celtics.

Never say never, we guess, but the Celtics should be hesitant to deal Smart for Collins. If it means throwing a substantial amount of draft capital to accommodate then they should do so. And there’s absolutely no way the Celtics should even consider it unless they can lock up Collins, a restricted free agent after this season, long term.

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Khris Middleton — 27 points, 11-for-20 shooting, 13 rebounds, 4 assists

Middleton and Bobby Portis were crucial and had plenty of looks due to the Celtics’ defensive game plan. But once again, as always seems to be the case, Middleton was the Celtics killer down the stretch. The Celtics just seem to have had nothing for him over the years, and Wednesday was no different.

What it means
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The Celtics looked dead in the water as late as the second half — angry, frustrated and yet somehow still somewhat lifeless.

But Kemba Walker made the game respectable with a flurry of offense in the third quarter, and the Celtics appeared re-energized. They got some stops, scored some transition baskets and even had a couple of chances to tie or take the lead.

The Celtics deserve some credit for battling back. They deserve some criticism for letting the game get out of control. They deserve some leeway — half the players on the roster can’t confidently say they know they’ll be on the team by 3:01 p.m. tomorrow.

But wins and losses are a zero-sum game, and Wednesday was a loss. Whatever mitigating circumstances the Celtics can claim, they are still 21-23 with another game against the Bucks on Friday.

Takeaways
1. Kemba Walker has taken a lot of criticism this season, and he took plenty for the first two quarters. Some of it was deserved — he had four turnovers midway through the third. But Walker responded impressively and performed the task the Celtics have so desperately need him to perform all year: He relieved some pressure on Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, stepping up while they struggled. In the fourth quarter, he buried a 3-pointer that helped the Celtics close the gap, and he punished Milwaukee for leaving him open.

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“I thought we just picked up our effort, our energy defensively,” Walker said. “That was the most important thing. And whenever we got stops, we got out and ran, and that kind of helped us and we started to get a little bit Cheap Boston Celtics Jerseys more momentum. Obviously we just didn’t do that earlier on in the game, so we’ve just got to get to the film and learn from our mistakes.”

Walker has been off and on, but he picked a great time to have perhaps his best game — and unquestionably his best half — of the season.

2. Jeff Teague has quietly played well over the last week as well — he finished with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting on Wednesday after an impressive shooting night in the starting lineup on Monday. Teague is a streaky player, but he looks a lot more comfortable and confident recently.

3. The final play will haunt Daniel Theis for a while. Milwaukee’s defense did everything to take away looks for Brown, Tatum and Walker, and Theis sprang wide open. Theis did everything right, got a great look, shot confidently and put the ball directly online.

The shot, however, was just a little long. The Celtics bench, which had a direct angle on it, appeared to think it was good, and Theis yelled in frustration.

“He stepped in and shot it with authority,” Stevens said after the game. “It looked good.”

Watching the replay, perhaps Theis could have tried to draw a foul on Brook Lopez, who closed out hard and looked a little out of control. But before you criticize Theis, honestly ask yourself if you would have stood your ground with a 280-pound behemoth leaping directly at you, and if you answered “yes,” ask yourself why you are lying.

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4. Jayson Tatum returned to the lineup after missing Monday’s game with an illness, but he didn’t look like himself — 18 points on 7-for-19 shooting (1-for-6 from three).

5. The Celtics sold out trying to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo in the paint with mixed results. Antetokounmpo finished with just 13 points on 4-for-11 shooting, but Milwaukee finished with six players in double figures, including Khris Middleton’s 27 points on 11-for-20 shooting. The Bucks revolve around Antetokounmpo, but they have a lot of players who can score as well. It will be interesting to see if Stevens employs a similar strategy on Friday hoping to avoid a similarly imposing deficit.

Jeff Teague Jersey

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Rather than let himself get down in the dumps after registering six DNPs over an eight-game stretch from Feb. 11-23, Jeff Teague opted to take a proactive approach. Eager to push through the slump that had landed him near Wholesale Boston Celtics Jerseys the back of the Celtics’ bench, the 32-year-old point guard hit the gym with the eagerness of a rookie.

“I think those DNPs just made me want to go a little harder,” Teague said Friday night. “So I just tried to get some extra reps in and I’m going to continue to keep doing that.”

As of late, he has seen his hard work pay off. In his last two games, Teague has logged back-to-back 14-point efforts, after reaching double figures just once in his previous 14 appearances.

His latest performance Friday night complemented a 32-point effort by starting point guard Kemba Walker, as the veteran ball-handling duo helped to spearhead a 118-112 win over the Indiana Pacers.

The victory in itself was gratifying for Brad Stevens in that it ended a three-game losing streak for his team. But the coach expressed extra delight in seeing the way Teague impacted the game after the difficulties he had faced throughout the early portion of his first Celtics season.

“I was really happy for Jeff,” Stevens said of Teague’s performance against the Pacers. “This has not been an easy transition for him. He didn’t play the way he wanted to (earlier in the season) or didn’t feel good about it. But he’s been putting in as much work as any of our young players over the last two weeks and that’s showing itself.”

The main difference for Teague has been the change in his approach, which he summed up in two words: “Be aggressive.”

“I wasn’t aggressive in those last games and that got me DNPs,” said Teague, whose heightened tenacity over the last two games earned him 14 total trips to the free-throw line. “So I said if I get a chance I’m just going to try to be aggressive and make something happen. Good or bad, let the chips fall where they may.”

Prior to the past couple of games, Teague hadn’t seen his chips fall where he had hoped they would. His transition to Boston has been challenging, but that should come as no surprise considering how he had gone 10 months without playing basketball before being thrust into an entirely new situation, amidst a pandemic, nonetheless.

“I knew it would be an adjustment period,” he said. “I mean, I didn’t think it would be like this, but you learn. It’s something that happens and I’m going to continue to grow as a player and as a person.”

All along, Teague’s teammates have remained faithful that he’d push through his struggles, knowing how much work he’s been putting in behind the scenes.

“He’s been around for a long time,” Walker pointed out of the former All-Star. “Not everything is always going to go our way. People go through adversity at points in their life, points of their careers. I mean, he had some DNPs, but he never put his head down. He just kept waiting for his opportunity, and he’s played really well.”

Walker went on to add how important Teague’s presence is for this team, taking into account his role as the eldest member of the roster.

“We need Jeff,” Walker insisted. “We need that veteran leadership, that veteran player. He knows how to play the game very well.”

Over the last two games, Teague has played quite well, and now his confidence is soaring. He’s just got to continue to stay aggressive and, as he says, “continue to stay the course.”