Making an attempt to understand Celtics’ priorities

Just about exactly a year and a half ago, the Boston Celtics announced that they were rebuilding a new team, and they did so in grand style. A seismic draft-night trade sent franchise icons Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets, in exchange for three to four first-round picks. (The Celtics have Brooklyn’s first-round picks for 2014, 2016, and 2018, plus the option to swap picks in 2017.) Then, a few weeks later, they signed their new coach, Brad Stevens to a six-year deal—an eternity, as far as coaches’ contracts go. I’m not alone in thinking that these moves represented a bold and progressive attack on the future. I thought that perhaps Boston might have a down season or two, but they were doing their best to raise banner No. 18 as soon as possible.
Eighteen months after that double-whammy of transactions, it’s still tough to figure out what the future holds for the Celtics. On the one hand, the Celtics possess all of the trademarks of a productively rebuilding team…

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Kemba Walker Comes Out of Nowhere for Huge Block on Calderon’s 3-Point Attempt

Kemba Walker may only be 6’1″ when he’s standing on stilts (even though that’s his listed height), but boy can that man elevate.

While New York Knicks guard Jose Calderon casually set his feet for a seemingly easy three-point shot attempt vs. the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night, Walker sprinted down the floor and did horrible things to the rounded ball of leather.

[National Basketball Association]

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Tim Duncan trolled Corey Brewer by mimicking flop attempt (video)

Class was in session on Friday night as Tim Duncan showed Corey Brewer how to properly flop.
The two collided on one particular play when the Timberwolves and Spurs squared off.
Duncan attempted to get Ginobili open by setting a screen for him. Brewer came off the pick but ran into the Spurs’ big man and flopped backwards…

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Kentucky’s Alex Poythress Spikes Frank Mason III’s Layup Attempt

No. 1 Kentucky is facing off against No. 5 Kansas during the 2014 Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, and the Wildcats are proving to be a dominating force as they took a 38-28 lead into halftime. 

The first half proved to be a block party, as the Wildcats recorded eight rejections while allowing only eight field goals to the Jayhawks (8-of-34).  Kentucky’s Alex Poythress delivered a gorgeous chase-down block on Frank Mason III in the initial half and spiked the ball off the glass for the most impressive of all the stuffs. 

It’s going to be a long year for players who want to attack the paint against the Wildcats. 

[Vine, Sporting News' Ryan Fagan]

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Lance Stephenson slaps himself in poor attempt to draw a foul (video)

Charlotte Hornets guard Lance Stephenson once blew in LeBron James’ ear and has also attempted to enter the huddle of an opposing team. But he’s never attempted to draw a foul call quite like he did on Saturday night.
The Hornets may have lost to the Warriors, 112-87, but Stephenson did his best to keep the game as close as possible in the first quarter.
He slapped himself in the face in what was a poor attempt…

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Watch: Kobe Bryant makes ridiculous circus shot while being fouled on layup attempt

Kobe Bryant is clearly in midseason form as he continues to make highlight-reel plays game after game.
Saturday night’s game against the Warriors was no different. With the Lakers trailing late in the second quarter, 59-51, Bryant did all he could to keep his team in the game with an insanely-difficult reverse layup.
He received the ball at the top of the three-point arc and was met by Shaun Livingston. Bryant then blew by him and drove to the basket, where he was then fouled by Festus Ezeli.
But it didn’t matter. Kobe still managed to get off a ridiculous circus shot, going up and under with a reverse layup attempt. The ball[...]

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Nuggets’ Timofey Mozgov Gets Rim Checked on Uncontested Dunk Attempt vs. Lakers

The NBA preseason is finally underway, so get ready for a bunch of players trying to shake off the rust.

During Monday night’s game between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers, Timofey Mozgov had an uncontested dunk attempt. Unfortunately, the rim got in the way, and Mozgov ended up missing.

After the play, all Mozgov could do was hang his head.

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Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao’s Alley-Oop Attempt Somehow Goes in

After seeing this play, does anyone on the Cleveland Cavaliers coaching staff tell Anderson Varejao that he needs to work on his passing?

Varejao attempted to set teammate Tristan Thompson up for an alley-oop during the Cavaliers’ preseason game against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday. However, the lob ended up going in the hoop.

Although Varejao didn’t mean for the pass to go in the basket, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

[Vine, h/t Twitter]

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Deron Williams Gets Denied by the Rim on Dunk Attempt Against the Wizards

Brooklyn Nets‘ Deron Williams got rejected in emphatic fashion during the waning seconds of the first half in a Saturday night game against the Washington Wizards

Unfortunately, “D-Will” wasn’t blocked by John Wall, Trevor Ariza, Marcin Gortat or any other member of the Washington roster. It was the rim doing the swatting, which only adds to the embarrassing nature of the point guard’s adventure in the air.

Quite frankly, he might have been better off just remaining on the ground while his teammates finished off the first half without him. Nothing good can come after a play like that. 

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Phoenix Suns’ Ish Smith Rejects Jared Sullinger’s Dunk Attempt in Boston

Ish Smith may stand a diminutive six feet tall, but that didn’t prevent him from getting up and making a tremendous defensive play on Friday night. 

During the second quarter of the Phoenix Suns‘ contest with the Boston Celtics, Smith bolted over to the weak side and provided some tremendous help defense, denying the 6’9″ Jared Sullinger at the rim with an emphatic rejection. 

Suns guards seem to have an affinity for rejecting imposing big men this season. 

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