Good morning, Boston Celtics fans!
It’s June 3 – do you know what that means? Today marks the 20-year anniversary of Magic Johnson‘s 21-assist game against the Boston Celtics, a game which the Lakers won 137-104. I would say that this is a sad day in Celtics’ history . . . accept this thrashing is what prompted Larry Bird to call out his teammates, en route to the infamous Kevin McHale close-lining of Kurt Rambis in game four of the NBA Finals. The Lakers’ domination of Boston in game three inspired the Cs to step it up, and eventually bring home championship banner number 15.
So rejoice! And enjoy some good reads around the web.
You know that I always try to share the Morning Shootaround with you, just because it’s a nice way to stay current with NBA hot topics. Today, however, the Shootaround is required reading for all Celtics fans, as it reveals that Rajon Rondo did not try and pitch the Cs to Kevin Love over the weekend:
No. 2:Rondo talks about Love’s visit to Boston — Kevin Love‘s visit to Boston over the weekend sent Celtics fans into a tizzy and when a photo of he and star point guard Rajon Rondo shaking hands hit Twitter, things really caught on fire. What did the pair talk about? Are they gearing up to unite forces in Beantown? Rondo says don’t count on any of that yet, as Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com reports . . .
Hmmmm. I’m not sure how much I buy into Rondo’s claim, but I appreciate his being discreet about the topic, since the “Kevin Love to Boston” rumors are just that right now: rumors.
Despite my almost total lack of interest in the NBA Finals, I’m guessing some of you will tune in to watch, hopefully to see the Spurs extract a measure of revenge against the Heat. If so, here is a preview of the ten storylines you have to follow for these Finals:
We’re just days away from the 2014 NBA Finals, and within it the elaborate, multifaceted matchup of stars and strategies that will decide the NBA title. Here are 10 subplots to watch for in what’s sure to be a fascinating series between the Spurs and Heat:
1. Manu Ginobili goes back into the fire
Over the past year, Ginobili’s playmaking wizardry has fizzled against Miami. He was a complete non-factor in the Spurs’ two regular-season games against the Heat — one a decisive win and the other a double-digit loss. He teetered into self-destruction during last year’s Finals (the Spurs were outscored by 10.1 points per 100 possessions with Manu on the court) by throwing away passes and leaning into difficult shots. The daring that makes Manu so potent and unpredictable can at times trigger his undoing, and it would seem that the targeted pressure of the Heat defense is particularly effective in goading Ginobili to that end.
And although this piece might repeat some of the ideas presented in the 10 storylines one, here is SI’s look at the X-Factors for these Finals.
For those of you who are worried about whether or not the Celtics should trade Rajon Rondo, or attempt to rebuild around him, you might want to check out this Tweet and the article that accompanies it:
Rajon Rondo: ‘I Don’t Want To Leave’: http://t.co/Xs1b5e6SdO
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 3, 2014
Just in case there was ever any doubt, San Antonio’s Greg Popovich is a good coach. Nay – a great one, So great, in fact, he has completed his ascension and now sits among the cream-of-the-crop on the Mount Rushmore of NBA coaches:
Still, whatever happens between now and the NBA’s next coronation, Pop’s place in basketball history has already been cemented. He belongs not only in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but on the Mount Rushmore of NBA coaches. . .
Finally, for those of who wondering whether the Boston Celtics will play it safe on Draft night, think again: according to Danny Ainge, the Celtics “have a history of being very aggressive on draft night,” which would seem to imply we can expect a little excitement from the Cs on June 20!