Marc Gasol to Boston: A Possibility?

After firing their former coach, the Grizzlies are in house cleaning mode

First, they lost Mike Conley due to injury. Then, came an 8-game losing streak. Next, David Fizdale was fired as head coach due to his decision to bench Marc Gasol in the 4th quarter during the Grizzlies’ game against the Brooklyn Nets. Clearly, things aren’t going well in Memphis, right?
When you are on an 8-game losing streak, then there’s clearly something wrong with your team. Even though the Memphis Grizzlies are relatively a playoff-bound team during the past few seasons, the front office is now looking to make moves to make sure that they can still salvage what’s left of their otherwise ugly season. One of these moves that Memphis might be considering right now is involving their statistical leader, Marc Gasol. 
Due to Marc Gasol’s obvious displeasure over David Fizdale’s decision to bench him- even saying that he wasn’t valuable to the former coach, there’s a tension inside the Grizzlies’ locker room and that tension won’t simply go away with Fizdale’s exit. Now, Marc Gasol’s name has been resurfacing in trade rumors anew and this basketball pundit on wheels isn’t surprised if Gasol is to be traded even before the trade deadline next year. But where would Marc Gasol go?
There are many possibilities right now but let’s just talk about one team in the Eastern Conference that may land Gasol via a blockbuster trade, the East-leading Boston Celtics.
Why? Here’s why:
One NBA executive said that the Grizzlies are not yet done cleaning up their own house, believing that Memphis could part ways with Gasol even before the trade deadline.

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Now, the Celtics may be winning many of their games due to their balanced scoring but rebounding-wise, they are lost as we have seen in the Celtics’ defeat at the hands of the Detroit Pistons. The very reason for that weakness is simple: Boston doesn’t have the height. It doesn’t have a 7 footer who can score and get those rebounds. That’s where Marc Gasol can help the Celtics. And right now, Boston is rumored to be the favorites to get Marc Gasol’s services.

Will it work?

Yes. But, there’s a sacrifice that the front office of Boston needs to make. Trade Al Horford or one of the young guys like Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown in exchange for Marc Gasol. Although the three mentioned players are untouchables right now, Memphis won’t settle for role players. They want to win that’s why they are in rebuilding mode already.

Conclusion

One way or another, the Celtics will need a legitimate center who can increase their rebounding numbers. They can get Marc Gasol or some other center. For the Memphis Grizzlies, the ball is currently in their hands. They do have a choice: trade Gasol and undergo a complete overhaul or, stick with the current line-up, wait for Conley to return and see where things will go from there. 

A Wheeler’s Opinion: GSW will Beat the Celtics

Boston may be on a streak but the Warriors are the champs

GSW’s trio of firepower will definitely cause problems for the Celtics

When the 2017-2018 season started, one of the major storylines that most people are following is the inevitability of another Finals duel between the Golden State Warriors of Stephen Curry and, the Cleveland Cavaliers of LeBron James. 
Even when the Cavs swapped Kyrie Irving for a still-injured Isaiah Thomas from the Boston Celtics, the Cavs are still relatively a talented team- at least on paper, thanks to the signing of former MVP Derrick Rose.
With the regular season almost a month old, after dropping their first two games which were highlighted by a freak injury that hit Gordon Hayward, 6 minutes into the season, the Boston Celtics went on a rampage, winning 13 straight games. Mind you, folks. Various injuries hit various players along the way which included an injury in the face that forced Kyrie Irving to wear a mask. And yet, they’re flawless in 13 games heading into their match-up against the Warriors.
The Warriors, on the other hand, are on their streak on their own- a 7-game winning streak and yes, they’re back on top of the West after stumbling during the early goings of the season.

Question: Will GSW beat the Celtics? 

Yes. They have their Big 3 intact

Let’s begin with the obvious one. Sure, Kyrie Irving may have been playing one of his best seasons despite wearing a mask. Sure, Jayson Tatum is making a case for the Rookie of the Year. But the Warriors have one thing that the Celtics don’t have at the moment: a healthy and playing Big 3. Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are averaging over 20 points per game. 

Firepower

Firepower is another thing that will enable the Warriors beat Boston. They are the best offensive team in the league as of the moment, averaging 119 points per game. They are also the top shooting team making 51% of their attempts, including a league-leading 41% from three.  

The Durant Effect

Like it or not, Kevin Durant is one guy that will cause more problems for Boston. Why? The Celtics have no one on their team that can match-up against Durant. He’s the second-leading scorer in the league with small forwards, averaging 24 points per game. He’s also the top rebounder in his position with 7 rebounds per night. Kevin Durant may be the reason why GSW will keep their streak going after playing against Kyrie Irving and company.  

Conclusion

The Celtics may be undermanned against the defending champions but they are not certainly lacking talents. But they may need more than the talents of Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum to beat GSW team. But who knows? Brad Stevens may have prepared something for Steve Kerr and the Warriors. 

By the Numbers: Irving-Less Celtics beat Toronto for Win #12

Al Horford returns as Boston wins 12 straight

Al Horford returned and helped the Celtics keep their streak going. 

Kyrie Irving is out.
Gordon Hayward is out for the season.
Another win for the hottest team in the league right now.
Just when we all thought that the Toronto Raptors would end the 11-game winning streak of Boston, Jayson Tatum scored on an acrobatic with under 2 minutes to play in the 4th quarter to give the Celtics, a 5-point cushion, en route to a 95-94 victory for the Boston Celtics- their 12th consecutive win and the first win without superstar guard Kyrie Irving who was elbowed in the face in their previous game.
So how did the Celtics come out victorious this time around? 
Below are the numbers:

Defense Won it All

  • DeMar DeRozan: 8 of 22 (including 1 of 4 from the three-point line)
  • Kyle Lowry: 5 of 10
If the backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan is defended well, you beat Toronto. Simple. Why? DeRozan, for one, is never a great shooter, to begin with, and if you put clamps on him, the more shots he will clank. In fact, he had two chances to beat Boston. Two chances. Two misses. Two clanks! Typical DeMar, isn’t it?

The Horford Effect

With the Celtics missing both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, having Al Horford back after missing 2 games due to a concussion, was a welcome development for Boston and Horford didn’t disappoint either. He top-scored with 21 points, making 8 of 9 field goal attempts including 1 three-pointer. Just the kind of offensive output Boston needed from one of its veterans.  

Another Balanced Effort from the Starters

  • Al Horford: 21 points
  • Jaylen Brown: 18 points
  • Marcus Smart: 14 points 
  • Jayson Tatum: 13 points
  • Aron Baynes: 8 rebounds
One of the reasons why the Celtics have been so successful even without their stars is the mere fact that whoever starts for them, he can produce good numbers one way or another. Sure, DeRozan and Lowry had 24 and 19 respectively but they were the only Toronto starters in double figures. And that’s the reason why they lost.
Boston had 4 starters in double figures to compensate the struggles of their bench. And yes, Tatum was again, efficient- making 6 of 15 attempts and grabbing 7 rebounds- all in 33 minutes of action. 

Conclusion

If anything, this win proved something: the Celtics can compete even without Kyrie Irving on board. If they can keep up this level of competitiveness, they will definitely be a force to be reckoned with come the playoffs.  

By the Numbers: Undermanned Celtics Beat Hornets

Bench players to help erase a 12-point deficit in the 4th quarter

Kyrie Irving got hurt early in the game and never returned. 

First, Gordon Hayward is long out after twisting his foot 6 minutes into the Celtics’ opening night game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then, Al Horford got hurt and missed the last few games which the Celtics fortunately won. Jayson Tatum also got hurt but was able to play.
Then, this.
Just when everyone thought that from the very moment Kyrie Irving got elbowed in the face during the first quarter, Boston’s winning streak may be over as they fell behind, 26-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Nope!
The Boston Celtics fought their way back into the game and outscored the Charlotte Hornets in the 4th quarter, 26-11, en route to a 90-87 victory over Kemba Walker and the rest of the Hornets. That, folks, is Boston’s 11th STRAIGHT VICTORY. This pundit on wheels emphasized that because the Celtics did it without one of the prized acquisitions during the off-season. 
Just how good the Cs against the Hornets last night? Check out the numbers below:

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Balanced Scoring

Unlike the Hornets who had Kemba Walker leading the way with 20 points but no other starters scored in double figures, one of the many things that enabled the Celtics to keep their winning streak going was their balanced scoring:
  • Jayson Tatum: 16 points 
  • Shane Larkin: 16 points
  • Terry Rozier: 15 points
  • Marcus Morris: 14 points
  • Jaylen Brown: 10 points and 13 rebounds
The best thing about this win for the Celtics: they can win even without anyone scoring above 20 points. Now that’s efficiency at its finest, folks. 

Celtics Took Advantage of their Free Throws

In a game where both teams were having a bad shooting night (Celtics at 35% while Hornets at 38%), another thing that won the game for the Celtics was their free throw shooting. Compared to Charlotte who only made 19 of their 33 attempts from the line, the Celtics hit 21 of their 25 free throw attempts. Given how close the final score was, one could only think: if Dwight Howard could only hit more than just 2 of 9 attempts, the outcome would have been different, right?

Conclusion

If the Boston Celtics can keep up the consistency and the determination that they showed against the Hornets, they can definitely round up more wins especially with the possibility of Kyrie Irving missing the Celtics’ upcoming game against the Toronto Raptors.
And if you were the Raptors,  you wouldn’t want to underestimate a Celtics team that is already without Hayward and Horford to begin with. You have seen what they could do with Irving on board. You have seen what they could do without #11. 
Either way, the Boston Celtics are still the hottest team in the league right now. 

By the Numbers: Defense, Kyrie Irving, Rebounds Help Boston Beat San Antonio

The Celtics handed the Spurs their 3rd straight loss

LaMarcus Aldridge only made 5 of his 13 attempts against the Celtics
First, they lost to the Orlando Magic who dominated the game from beginning to end. Next, came along another stunning defeat at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. Now? The San Antonio Spurs just lost their 3rd straight game, this time losing to Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics on a 108-94 victory by the Celtics. So how did the Celtics do it against the Spurs?  Below are the numbers:

Defense Shut Down San Antonio

To win a basketball game, you have to score more points than your opponents while trying to limit their offensive output. 
Both things were achieved by the Celtics against the free-falling Spurs. Boston, as a team, shot 47% in the field but struggled from long distance as they only made 35% of their shots from outside. 
Defensively, the Celtics successfully shut down the Spurs’ stars as LaMarcus Aldridge scored 11 points but had to take 13 shots and only made 5 of them. Pau Gasol went 4 of 10 from the field for 11 points on his own while Dejounte Murray had 10 points on 5 of 11 shooting. Rudy Gay added 14 markers on 5 of 12 shooting. 
The Spurs  did manage to finish the game on a 41% field goal shooting but we all know that Gregg Poppovich was visibly upset with how the offense of the Spurs faltered especially in the 3rd quarter when the Celtics outscored the Spurs, 26-18. Now that’s how you defend, folks. 

Kyrie Irving’s 24  Points

With the Spurs struggling on offense and equally struggling on defense, Kyrie Irving took advantage and poured in 24 points as he led his new team to another victory against another elite team in the West which improved Boston to 5-2 in the season. Irving was efficient on offense, making 10 of his 16 shot attempts in 30 minutes of action. He also had 6 assists and 3 steals plus a rare block.

54 Rebounds

If you allow a team to grab 54 rebounds against you, don’t expect to win. Especially in the NBA. 
Out of those 54 rebounds that the Celtics grabbed against the Spurs, 15 came from the offensive end. In addition to this, the Celtics had two 2 players finished the game with double-digit rebounding numbers:
  • Jayson Tatum- 11 rebounds
  • Al Horford- 13 rebounds
On the other side, the Spurs, a team who is averaging 49 rebounds per game- 4th in the league, only managed 40 rebounds- 12 from the offensive end. No wonder why the Spurs lost.

Conclusion

It’s still early to tell whether the Boston Celtics have improved since the blockbuster swap between Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas during the off-season. And while it’s rare for the San Antonio Spurs to drop 3 consecutive games, everyone is asking, “What has suddenly hit the Spurs?” Is the absence of Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard finally catching up on the Spurs? 
But one thing is certain: Kyrie Irving is in a better position than his former team, right?  

Celtics Rookie Jayson Tatum Can Dunk Even With a 65-pound Armor On

Jayson Tatum was drafted by the Celtics, 3rd overall in this years draft. Boston had an opportunity to draft first pick but they traded that option for the 3rd pick to draft a power forward with the name of Jayson Tatum.
With two guards drafted before him, Jayson Tatum is the best big man prospect in the draft and that is exactly what the Celtics needed. Tatum has shown his dominance and power in college and Sports Science went crazy on him and wanted to see how powerful he really is.
NBA prospect Jayson Tatum has shown he can throw down a nice dunk, but Sport Science decided to go a step further and see if Tatum could do it with armor on.