Saturday, June 25, 2016

Terrible (or is it?) Current Song of the Week: "The Power to Turn Back Time" by Jon Bon Jovi

As far as I know, pretty much everybody is disgusted by the fact that Jon Bon Jovi has sunk so low to as to use his musical talents in DirecTV ads:

Maybe they are funny, maybe they're kind of stupid, but I will say this: Now that I've heard Bon Jovi sing the line "That's the power to turn back time" about 400 times, it's definitely stuck in my my head--and I don't hate it.

Is it possible that if there was a real version of this song on the radio we might actually enjoy it?  Scary thought...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Two things I wish the Celtics had done differently on draft night

Celtics Draft Night party at the TD Garden.
I'm fine with the Jaylen Brown pick.  He's the guy I'd been hearing the Celtics wanted, so it wasn't a big surprise.  I also don't mind that they couldn't deal No. 3.  Jimmy Butler is still a Bull and the Sixers still haven't dumped any of their big men, so Boston didn't miss out on either of those two options.  I would've liked to see the Celts in play for Serge Ibaka, but considering the Thunder got Victor Oladipo and the son of Arvydas Sabonis (pick 11) from Orlando for him, it would've taken more to get Ibaka than I'd want the C's to part with (Avery Bradley, 16 and 23 maybe?).

However, there are two things I really think Danny Ainge could've made happen differently:

1. The Celtics should've trumped the Suns bid for No. 8 (Marquese Chriss).  I very much wanted Boston to get a second pick in the top eight, and Phoenix was able to do it by giving Sacramento 13, 28, a future second-rounder and Bogdan Bogdanovic.  The C's could've offered 16, 23, 31 and James Young.  It that wasn't enough they could've added any of the following: 35, 45, 58 and RJ Hunter--clearly at some point that's a much better haul for the Kings.

2. Like I expected, the Celtics dealt a pair of second-rounders for a future pick, unfortunately they got hosed.  Boston gave up 31 and 35 to Memphis for the Clippers' first-rounder three years from now (2019)--but only if it's outside the top 14, in which case it rolls over to 2020, where it's again lottery protected.  If L.A. fails to make the playoffs in both of those seasons, all the C's get is the Clippers' second-round choice in 2022.  This year's 31 and 35 should've been worth a first-rounder next year, not a best-case scenario of No. 15 in 2019.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

My ideal Celtics draft night scenario: Trade up, down, and back (seriously)

There are six guys in play for the Celtics at No. 3 tonight.  I have no idea how to choose one over any of the others, so I'd rather other teams make the call and have Boston sweep up who's left.  Here's my dream scenario for this evening:

1. Trade down from No. 3 to No. 6, 7 or 8.  Maybe they could get somebody like Tyreke Evans from New Orleans, Kenneth Faried from Denver or Willie Cauley-Stein from Sacramento in the process (I'm probably dreaming here, but I'm sure the C's can get something).

2. Also trade up, and grab a second pick in the 6-8 range so they have either 6 and 7 or 6 and 8.  Ideally offering 16, 23 and 35 might get this done, if not they could add 31, 45, or both.  Kris Dunn is going to be in the top 5, so with the 6th pick Boston is guaranteed to get one of the three forwards with huge upside--Jaylen Brown, Marquese Chriss or Dragan Bender.  Then at 7 or 8 the Celtics can take another of those three, or one of the two guards they like, Jamal Murray or Buddy Hield (dealing for 7 and 8 most likely accomplishes this too, but it runs the risk of getting stuck with two guards, the only scenario that's not ideal).

3. Make a selection at 31 if they have it, then move 45 (also if it's still in their possession), 51 and 58 for future picks in later drafts.

This nets Boston two of the guys with star-potential who they are considering at No. 3, hopefully a quality player, a second-round flier, and more options and draft flexibility in years to come.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Crazy people climbing a building in Cleveland

Apparently Cleveland is having some troubling handling its Cavaliers victory parade this afternoon.  The cars (sidebar--it's funny to me to see them driving along in regular old cars, get some duckboats Cleveland!) are struggling to make their way through the overcrowded streets.  Hopefully the city won't also have to deal with people getting seriously injured (or worse) after falling from great heights.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

27-year-old Isaiah Thomas could well be Celtics' oldest player next season

In 2015-16, the Celtics didn't employ a single player in their 30s.  Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko, both currently 29, were the senior members of squad.  Johnson and Jerebko each have non-guaranteed contracts for next season that don't kick in until July 3.  They could well both be elsewhere in 2016-17.

The third-oldest guy on the C's last year was Evan Turner (27), who is an unrestricted free agent and will likely command more money this offseason than Boston wants to offer.  After Turner, Isaiah Thomas (who won't turn 28 until next February) is the oldest Celtic.

A 48-win roster with ever core player age-27 and younger definitely bodes well for the future...

Monday, June 20, 2016

We should send an NBA franchise to the Olympics as Team USA Basketball

Team USA members have been dropping out of the Olympics left and right, with LeBron James the latest to potentially bail on going to Rio.  Maybe it's time to put the Dream Team concept to bed?  NBA superstars just don't care that much about the Olympics, especially the ones who've been there before.

My suggestion?  Send one NBA squad as Team USA.

Yes, I know there are a lot of obstacles--NBA clubs have foreign players, some guys are free agents or are potentially traded in the summertime, and who knows if everybody on a roster would be eager and willing to go (there are tons of other issues I haven't mentioned too).  But, those are all good things because it would decrease the number of franchises interested in becoming Team USA.

Here's how I see it going down:

Many big-time organizations likely wouldn't even care about it (the Celtics, Lakers and Warriors come to mind).  Interested teams could get their applications in to USA Basketball (which would have to work closely with the NBA on this) around the end of the regular season.  They'd have to present their case for why they'd be a good fit, and show that they could provide 12 available American bodies (with D-Leaguers and summer-league contracts included, as well as draft picks from that June).

Hypothetically, let's say the Indiana Pacers were the choice.  They have a star in Paul George, and a reasonably full roster of players born in the United States.  The Pacers have never won a title since joining the league in 1976, and they likely don't have any serious championship aspirations for next season.  Indiana might be willing to thrown their regular offseason routine out the window and potentially jeopardize their 2016-17 NBA campaign for all the benefits and exposure of the Olympics.

Imagine what being known as Team USA on a global stage could do for the marketing/branding of one of the less significant NBA clubs?  I'd guess the idea of a combo USA/their-team-name jersey alone would be enough for several franchises to jump at the opportunity, and that's just the beginning of so many possibilities...

As far as success goes, I'd argue an NBA club that's already a cohesive unit (with its regular coach) might do just as well as a hastily put together group of mismatched All Stars--and even if it didn't, the excitement and entertainment value of finding out would absolutely be worth giving it a try.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

So much history on the line in the biggest NBA game in over 30 years, maybe ever

The NBA Finals don't give us winner-take-all Game 7s that often--this will be just the fifth in the past 28 years.  Michael Jordan never even played in one.

Tonight's features the two biggest stars in the league, LeBron James and Stephen Curry.  The last time anything like that happened in a one-game showdown for the title was on June 12, 1984, when Larry Bird's Celtics knocked off Magic Johnson's Lakers in the first Finals meeting between the two rivals.  Of course, Magic's Lakers had just recently won it all in 1982, as had Bird's Celtics in 1981.  None of this type of stuff was on the line:

- A Warriors victory makes them arguably the greatest team ever, having won a record 73 games in the regular season.

- A Cavaliers victory makes them the first team ever to win a Finals after being down 3-1, gives the franchise its first NBA championship and the city of Cleveland its first major title in 51+ years, vindicates LeBron for his whole "going back home to win one for the 'Land" thing and (gulp) puts him in the conversation with MJ for greatest player ever (I can't even believe I just said that), in part because he brought his club back from 3-1 against the best regular-season squad of all time while doing this:

That's 30.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.2 blocks per game--a legendary Finals performance.  Unless his team loses, in which case it becomes an afterthought.

Take a look back at all the Game 7s in Finals history.  It's possible there was a bigger one in the 1950s or 60s, but I doubt it.

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