News Roundup: City Edition, Tatum, & more!

Here are some recent headlines in the world of the Celtics.

1. The C’s unveil their new City Edition uniforms

Ever since Nike took over making NBA uniforms back in 2017, they have made a habit of changing each team’s City Edition uniform on an annual basis. The Celtics unveiled their new City Edition uniforms today, and they are primarily green with gold and black accents, even though the leaked image from Ines Kanter’s Instagram story indicated that they might have been teal (which Kanter blamed on the lightning of his surrounding). These uniforms harken back to the team’s St. Patrick’s Day uniforms from the pre-Nike era, but feature a Gaelic font.

The team has announced that they will wear their City Edition uniforms on the following dates:

November 27th vs Brooklyn
November 29th at Brooklyn
December 6th vs Denver
December 12th vs Philadelphia
December 25th at Toronto
January 9th at Philadelphia
January 16th at Milwaukee
January 20th vs LA Lakers
January 30th vs Golden State
February 13th vs LA Clippers
February 23rd at LA Lakers
March 3rd vs Brooklyn
March 15th at Chicago
March 18th vs New York
March 20th at Toronto
April 3rd vs Orlando
April 15th vs Chicago

Personally, I am a fan of this uniforms, but it’s hard not to see them as a downgrade from last year’s minimalistic iteration of the City Edition.

2. Tatum earns PG13’s respect

Jayson Tatum was unbelievable during the Celtics’ 107-104 overtime loss to the Clippers on Wednesday night, as he led Boston with 30 points. Tatum’s main highlight came late in the fourth quarter when he broke Paul George’s ankles, and hit a three-pointer to tie the game.

Following the game, George had this to say about Tatum.

3. Kyrie Irving’s “homecoming” may not be happening

One of the most anticipated games on Boston’s 2019 schedule was the return of ex-Celtic Kyrie Irving, with his new team, the Brooklyn Nets. Due to a shoulder injury, Irving’s status for next Wednesday’s game at the TD Garden has been in question, which may deprive the Boston faithful from giving him a “warm” welcome.

For his part, Celtics GM Danny Ainge hopes that the Boston crowd doesn’t boo Irving if he is present for the game.

4. The front office makes the team’s core untouchable

The Celtics are consistently mentioned as a team willing to make a move when there’s an opportunity to improve its roster, due to their vast array of assets (whether it be players or picks). However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is reporting that the Celtics have made it clear to other teams that key members of the team, such as Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart are “absolutely not available.” This likely means that the Celtics would have to give up draft picks if they wanted to procure an improvement at center.

 

 

smart gh 19 .jpg
(Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)

 

News roundup: Hayward, Kyrie & more!

Here are a few notable headlines regarding the Celtics over the past week.

Hayward undergoes surgery: 

hayward injury
(Photo by Tony Dejak/AP)

Celtics fans can still remember the nauseating sight of Gordon Hayward grasping his fractured left ankle on opening night back in October. Hayward’s recovery process was extensively covered by the national media, with many analysts and fans wondering when he would return to the court for the Celtics. Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens, and the rest of Celtics’ management were cautious with Hayward’s rehab process, as they chose to not rush his recovery. 

Hayward made sure to keep Celtics’ fans in the loop, as he shared several videos showcasing him dribbling and shooting, which were definitely tantalizing for several fans, as they imagined the strength of a Celtics’ lineup that includes Hayward.

On Wednesday, the Celtics reported that Hayward had undergone a successful surgery to remove plates and screws from his ankle, as they were causing “irritation to his peroneal tendons”. According to the Celtics, Hayward’s ankle and fibula are now structurally sound, and he should be able to resume basketball activities in 6 to 8 weeks. This should be exciting news for Celtics’ fans, as they will soon be able to witness their team in full strength.

Kyrie spotted playing pickup basketball in New Jersey:

Kyrie Irving took some heat for missing the Celtics’ Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, as many pundits felt that his presence would have been invaluable for the Celtics’ young stars. Danny Ainge explained Irving’s absence by mentioning that he had undergone surgery to repair a deviated septum in his nasal canal (which was reportedly suffered when Aron Baynes elbowed him in the early stages of the season). 

Kyrie was recently spotted playing some pickup basketball in Hoboken, New Jersey, which is an encouraging sign for Celtics fans. For the people asking why Kyrie was able to play pickup hoops if he’s injured, it is almost impossible to compare the physicality of a pickup game to an actual NBA game.

Tatum’s appearance on ESPN:

Jayson Tatum had a great appearance on ESPN’s Get Up, as he discussed various topics, such as his dunk on LeBron James, and his experience as a rookie in the NBA. 

One of the highlights of this interview was Tatum’s puzzled expression when ESPN Analyst Jay Williams mentioned that he picked the Cavs to win the NBA Finals over the heavily favored Golden State Warriors.

https://twitter.com/NYSportCast/status/1002298590902083584

This interview showed that Tatum’s ability to spell is probably not as good as his ability to dunk, as he struggled mightily to spell out his former coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last name.

Tatum and the C’s dominate the Cavs to take 3-2 lead in the ECF

Team 1 2 3 4 T
BOS 32 21 23 20 96
CLE 19 23 18 23 83

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics utterly dominated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and are now one game away from the NBA Finals after taking a 3-2 series lead. Tonight’s victory improved the Celtics to 10-0 at home in the playoffs.

Here are a few takeaways from today’s game.

1. Bouncing back from Games 3 & 4

The Celtics’ woes on the road continued in Games 3 & 4, as they struggled to gain any momentum against LeBron and the Cavs. In both games, the Celtics dug early holes, as they started off ice cold from the field. For instance, they fell behind by 19 in Game 4, which made it extremely hard for them to come back. Aided by the raucous crowd at the TD Garden, the Celtics were able to start off hot, and take a 13 point lead at the end of the first quarter. 

When compared to the last two games of the series, the Celtics were much more composed, and made better decisions with the basketball. The C’s were able to absorb several Cleveland runs, including a decisive one in the fourth quarter which trimmed their lead to 12 points following a 9-0 run. With about five minutes remaining in the game, it appeared as if the Celtics were reeling after several head-scratching possessions, but a lob from Terry Rozier to Al Horford ensured that the game would not slip away.

2. A star in the making

Jayson Tatum has been absolutely remarkable for the Celtics in the playoffs, and his stellar performance continued tonight. Tatum logged 24 points to go along with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Tatum was clearly the best player on the court for the Celtics and hit a number of key shots throughout the game which helped extend the Celtics’ lead. 

Tatum was thrust into the spotlight following Kyrie Irving’s injury, and his sustained brilliance has the Celtics one win away from a return to the NBA Finals.  

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(Photo by Matt Stone/Boston Herald)

3. Is Lebron tired?

Even though LeBron James had 26 points, it was still an off night for the King, as he had more turnovers than assists (six and five, respectively). LeBron had several careless turnovers which the Celtics benefited from, and it appeared as if carrying the Cavs in the early stages of the game had an impact on his effectiveness. On several occasions throughout the game, it was evident that LeBron was exhausted, which did not help the Cavs at all. 

 This could be attributed to the Celtics’ strategy of throwing several bodies at him, which requires him to exert more energy while driving to the basket. LeBron’s ineffectiveness made it much easier for the Celtics to utterly dominate the Cavs in Game 5. However, the Celtics cannot afford to let their guard down in Game 6, as LeBron will likely come at them with everything he has in an effort to stave off elimination.

LEBRON Game 5
(Photo by Charles Krupa/AP)

Looking ahead: With a victory in Friday’s Game 6, the Celtics would clinch a berth in their first NBA Finals since 2010. However, they must find a way to overcome their struggles on the road in the playoffs, as they are only 1-6 away from the TD Garden.