Team USA (Photo courtesy of NBA.com)

Starting on Saturday, Spain will host the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, where Team USA will look for its second straight championship and fifth overall, which would tie Yugoslavia for the most ever. The United States will be bringing a young and inexperienced team to the tournament, but one that still has to be considered the favorite to bring home a fourth straight major title, including the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics gold medals. What follows is a rundown of the USA’s chances of coming out on top at the end of what will be an intense two-week competition, and who will be standing in the Americans’ way.

Team USA: Still the favorite

Most of the headlines about the U.S. pre-World Cup training camp revolved around the absences, with big men Blake Griffin and Kevin Love both dropping out voluntarily before Paul George‘s gruesome leg injury knocked him out for the upcoming NBA season. Love’s absence leaves Anthony Davis and James Harden as the only returning players from the London Games, while Stephen Curry, Rudy Gay and Derrick Rose will all return four years after their 2010 World Cup win in Turkey. Continue reading 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Preview »

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Danny Ainge

With a GM as secretive and prone to throwing out red herrings as Danny Ainge, it’s nearly impossible to understand his train of thought and  predict who the Celtics will try to acquire in their quest to raise banner number 18. Yet we cannot help ourselves as it compels our experience watching a lackluster team compete.

Owner Wyc Grousbeck hinted that this offseason could include “fireworks” and perhaps rival 2007′s groundbreaking offseason that saw the formation of the Big Three, but it has come and gone without any big-name signings. Whether or not Rajon Rondo will be dealt continues to be a mystery as teams struggle to determine what a poor-shooting point guard’s value is in the modern NBA. Continue reading Five Targets for the Celtics’ Rebuilding Process »

Rajon Rondo (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics will officially lose out on the services of superstar power forward Kevin Love on August 23. Once the calendar turns to that date, the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to send the first overall pick of the 2014 Draft, Andrew Wiggins, along with a few other assets to Minnesota in exchange for Love. Before Cleveland signed LeBron James, it appeared the Celtics were one of the few teams that had a chance to acquire Love, but the Cavs had plans of their own to sign the big man once James decided to head back home to Ohio.

The Celts were very vocal about the potential of a big offseason this year, but as of now their biggest moves have been re-signing Avery Bradley and acquiring free agent Evan Turner. The question the C’s now face is what to do moving forward, after co-owner Wyc Grousbeck admitted that his team missed out on the “fireworks” they had been hoping for. Continue reading Celtics Should Continue Patient Approach to Rebuilding Process »

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Al Pacino, Paul Pierce

Say what you want about Al Pacino’s acting skills (OK, I will — his role in “Two For the Money” was trash. Pure garbage), but he picks some good company to hang out with.

Right Paul Pierce?

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Marcus Smart lived up to his name and played the role of smark aleck at the NBA Rookie Photo Day. (Boston.com)

First, Marcus Smart was highly touted for his play as a member of the USA Select Team, younger players chosen to play against the candidates for the USA National Team in this summer’s FIBA World Championship. The Celtics rookie, one of just two first-year players picked to play against the best American NBA players, was getting props? I started to get excited about the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Kevin who?

Then I saw this video of Smart pranking his fellow rookies at their photo day as part of a SportsNation scavenger hunt. And I fell in love  – no capital “L” necessary:

Continue reading Video: Celtics Smart (Aleck) Pranks Fellow Rookies for SportsNation Scavenger Hunt »

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Brian Scalabrine (CSNNE.com)

While there has been a lull in the Celtics’ offseason activity over the past couple of weeks, former Boston power forward Brian Scalabrine gave fans something to smile about with a parody of LeBron James‘s recent “I’m Coming Home” Sports Illustrated article. In a similar first-person piece published Monday on CSNNE.com, Scalabrine announced that he will be working as a broadcaster for Comcast SportsNet New England, to work with Mike Gorman and Tom Heinsohn during the upcoming season.

The White Mamba played five seasons in Boston, including the 2008 Championship year, and became a fan favorite despite averaging just 2.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. After the 2009-10 season, he followed former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau to Chicago, where he played his final two years. After a short stint at CSNNE, Scalabrine joined the Golden State staff as an assistant, but was demoted to the D-League’s Santa Cruz Warriors amid reported differences with head coach Mark Jackson. Continue reading Scalabrine Returns to Boston, LeBron-Style »

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Vitor Faverani

Celtics center Vitor Faverani has been arrested on DUI charges in Spain, according to reports.

Faverani is accused of running a red light and crashing his BMW into a bus. No one was injured in the collision.

The 6-foot-11, 260-pound Brazilian blew a 0.18 blood alcohol content (above Spain’s legal limit of 0.06), police said. Continue reading Celtics’ Vitor Faverani Arrested on DUI Charges in Spain »

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