Jusuf Nurkić (Photo: Jean-Marc Lequime)

We continue our look at players the Celtics could target with their second pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, number 17 overall. Check out our profiles of UCLA point guard Kyle Anderson and North Carolina State small forward T. J. Warren. For more big men, read up on power forwards Julius Randle of Kentucky and Aaron Gordon of Arizona.

Name: Jusuf Nurkić

Club: KK Cedevita (Croatia)

Position: Center

Age: 19

Stats: 6’11″, 280 lbs.

Background

Nurkić is widely considered to be the third-best international prospect in the 2014 Draft, behind Australian guard Dante Exum and Croatian forward Dario Šarić, both of whom should go off the board in the top 10. Nurkić, a Bosnian national, didn’t start playing basketball until the age of 15, but his size alone has been enough to catch NBA scouts’ attention. He’s also deceptively skilled, and has been compared to the Timberwolves’ Montenegrin center, Nikola Peković, in terms of both body type and, potentially, talent. Continue reading Celtics 2014 Draft Targets: Jusuf Nurkić »

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Carmelo Anthony (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

Let’s start with this: the Carmelo Anthony to Boston rumor is just that – a rumor. Bert Ramirez of Rappler.com is not a particularly reliable source as far as I can tell. That being said, we have heard rumors in the past of Carmelo wanting to play with Rajon Rondo and the NBA is a league, especially in this era, where a team needs three stars to be a true contender. If the Celtics want to contend next season, they’d be silly not to consider ‘Melo, and vice versa. Right?

I’m not so sure. This is a guy who has been past the first round of the playoffs only twice in his career. Once was with Denver in 2008-09 and once was against a weakened, Rondo-less Celtics team in the 2012-13 postseason. In a league where half the teams make the playoffs, getting past the first round is really a bare minimum to be a contender. Does Carmelo have it in him to be a winner? He’s played with some talented teams and coaches but can’t seem to make the jump to being a champion. He’s running out of time too - he’ll be 30 next season. Continue reading Is Carmelo Anthony to the Celtics a Good Idea? »

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The Heat and Spurs will duke it out once more for basketball's greatest prize. (http://www.theguardian.com/)

The NBA Finals are here, and it’s a rematch from the previous season with San Antonio and Miami squaring off for all the marbles. Of the past six such rematches, only Michael Jordan’s Bulls were able to win both years. But if anyone else can duplicate the feat, it’s LeBron James and his loaded lineup. Of course, San Antonio can win just as easily. That fact made its way into our predictions, with our experts split as to who will win. However, most agree on a lengthy series, which would certainly be appropriate for something of this magnitude.

For the Finals, we’ve added the scoring category of choosing the Finals MVP, which was generally easy to choose for for either team that was picked to win. And in addition, all picks are doubled! That means that picking the winner of the series is worth four points, while picking how many games the series will last and the MVP are worth two points each.

And in the event any of our experts tie, we’ll also be predicting how many points will be scored in the series’ FINAL GAME by Miami’s Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh COMBINED.

So check below for our picks, and come back when the Finals is complete for the final standings and results. Continue reading 2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: NBA Finals »

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Heat vs Spurs: Round Two

June 5, 2014 at 4:55pm in Featured, NBA, Opinion
Heat and Spurs fight in finals

Ever since last October 30, the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs have been on a collision course to meet in the 2014 NBA Finals. The Heat and Spurs are once again the last two teams standing, and will clash in the Finals for the second consecutive season. It is the first time that the same two teams will play in the Finals since 1997 and 1998, when the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz faced off in back-to-back years. In 2013, the Heat needed a game seven at home to capture its second straight NBA Championship. Will it be the same story in 2014?

The rematch

The Heat’s and Spurs’ rosters are very similar to last year’s. Mike Miller for the Heat and Gary Neal for the Spurs are key players that will not be in this year’s Finals, while Miami added Rashard Lewis and San Antonio now has Marco Belinelli in the fold. The Spurs have home court advantage this time around, but Miami has had an easier road getting to the Finals. San Antonio needed seven games just to get out of the first round against the Dallas Mavericks, and had a tough six-game series in the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Miami, on the other hand, has only lost three games in the playoffs. The question now is, will the Heat complete the three-peat, or will the Spurs avenge their 2013 Finals disappointment? Continue reading Heat vs Spurs: Round Two »

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Aaron Gordon (Jeff Gross/Getty Images Sport)

We continue our look at the top candidates to be selected by the Celtics with the sixth pick in this month’s NBA Draft. See also our profiles of Kentucky’s Julius Randle and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart.

Name: Aaron Gordon

College: Arizona

Position: Power forward

Age: 18

Stats: 6’9″, 225 lbs.

Background

Gordon is one of the youngest players in the 2014 Draft, as well as one of the talents that will need the most development before becoming a bona fide NBA star. He also has tremendous potential, and has been making waves since high school. As a senior at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California, he was named USA Basketball’s male athlete of the year and was the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game. Prior to beginning his college career, he led Team USA to its fifth FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Prague, where he was also the tournament MVP, following in the footsteps of the likes of Toni Kukoč, Andrei Kirilenko, Andrew Bogut and Jonas Valančiūnas. Continue reading Celtics 2014 Draft Targets: Aaron Gordon »

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With any luck, Kevin Love will be shaking hands on the court with a different #9 - Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. (Photo courtesy of NBCSports.com)

If Kevin Love simply visiting the city of Boston was enough to set Celtics fans’ hearts aflutter, the sight of Love shaking hands with Rajon Rondo is liable to lead to a full-blown coronary.

Well, hopefully you have a CPR kit handy, because that’s exactly what happened with both NBA All-Stars taking in Sunday’s game between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park:

Continue reading Photo: Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo Catch Red Sox Game at Fenway »

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Julius Randle

Click here for our prospect profile of Randle.

With the 2014 NBA Draft approaching, the Boston Celtics are in a spot they have not been in since 2007, drafting inside the lottery with the sixth overall pick. In 2007 the Celtics traded the number 5 pick, Jeff Green, to the Seattle SuperSonics in the Ray Allen deal. The Celtics may make a trade again this year, but if they decide to keep their top pick, drafting 6-foot-9 power forward Julius Randle from Kentucky could be a solid option.

Randle played just one season at Kentucky, but his freshman year was very impressive. Randle looked to be a man amongst boys, recording the most double-doubles in all of college basketball with 24 and averaging 15 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Randle could give the Celts a big boost in the paint, especially being teamed up with fellow young big man Jared Sullinger. Randle has a lot of strengths that would help the C’s immediately, but also has weaknesses in his game that need to be improved upon. Continue reading Celtics Should Target Julius Randle in Draft »

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