Celtics Blog 2017-

The New Celtics.

On First Blush. Part III.

By Tom Mahoney

The other problem I had was that Kyrie shot his way out of Cleveland. He went to the Finals three years in a row, won one Ring with an amazing comeback, and that wasn't good enough for him. That crap usually doesn't bother me. Like I find burning a shirt of a player leaving is just so stupid, childish, and ignorant. I was one of the few people who had no trouble with LeBron's "Decision" to leave Cleveland in the first place. I would have run screaming from that team.

But his stating he was sick of it just bugged me. "I’m sure he hears stuff. I mean, it’s hard," Kevin Durant said about Kyrie on the Bill Simmons show. "It’s hard to quiet that noise, but at the end of the day, you still gotta go play every day, so you wanna have a good environment where you wanna play as far as, you want some type of structure, you wanna learn the game at a different level, you wanna kind of challenge yourself to fit in with the team and use your skill set a different way." I have never had a problem with guys wanting to leave a team, like the way Durant bailed on Westbrook.

But Irving always seemed like a selfish Stats-Guy to me. I didn't like how he bailed on Duke after being injured most of his only season there. He played 11 games and only started 8, and didn't look like he was ready for primetime to me. I was wrong about that. The thing thing I don't like about Irving is that I seem to be consistently wrong about him, and his basketball abilities.

But I did see it in the Playoffs this year. Was as good a player as I have seen going to the hole and scoring, and that was after watching the year of Isaiah. He is an incredible scorer going to the hole. I love how he goes up and adjust the ball in the air so it looks like could shoot it from four or five different release points, and defenders leap out of his way defending the wrong shot, and then he flips it in easy-peasy. But he wasn't the leader of that team. The starting PG has to be a leader. That's why LeBron was the point guard of that team.

But again (and I'm probably wrong again;) the whole wanting to be the focal point of the team being more important than fighting for a Championship every year bugged me. "Kyrie reminds me of myself," Bryant said. "Just from the outside looking in. I may be wrong on all these things, but from the outside looking in, I’ve been around him for a month or so, he reminds me of myself as far as just loving to play the game, just wanting to learn it and try to get better at it every day. I can feel that, I can sense that in him." I had no problem with Durant leaving OKC.

So it puzzled why I was so worried the Cavs were going to trade him to Boston. It just seemed like a fit, once I read the Celtics were rumored to be interested. Everybody knew Ainge had the ammo. I always thought he was more of a ball hog than his stats showed. So this more of the selfishness that I saw on the court, and by that declaration that he doesn't want to go the Finals next year sounded selfish to me. Plus, it was obvious that they would have to part with their one-year wonder, the amazing Isaiah Thomas. Who had the most incredible season I had seen in years. He was maybe the funest player I have ever seen, when you add in his height, and his ability to be in complete control of the offense, while scoring 30 PPG and 6 APG.

Playing second fiddle to LaBron is one of the best jobs in the world. "When you’re around LeBron James, there’s so much that comes with that. Outside distractions and conversations, and just noise that just comes around just from being around LeBron James," Durant said. "And Kyrie was at the point, like, 'All right, we lost the championship. This whole season’s gonna be about if LeBron's gonna leave or not. I’m ready for a new challenge.' All that stuff kind of met at the pinnacle of why he wanted to leave. And it just felt like he wanted a situation where he would just be free from all of that and just play." So he probably knew for sure that LeBron was gong to leave next season, and he would be left alone in Cleveland.

After this season, the Cavs are going be Lottery bound for a while (I laugh when anyone claims Love could lead them to the East Finals, never mind the Finals;). "He did what he was supposed to do in Cleveland. It's on to the next chapter," Durant said. "I can really appreciate what he did. He stood up for himself. He showed a lot of courage, man, because it's hard to take that type of criticism. When you just want to play ball. I feel him on that." Most importantly Stevens system is perfect for Kyrie.

Isaiah showed how effective Kyrie could in Steven's Spread offense, which opens up gigantic valleys to drive into to score or kick. Kyrie is at his best, like Isaiah, when he can break down a defender and attack the hoop. That is what Steven's system is designed to do. That is why is Horford standing out at the 3-point line, and not clogging up the paint like DeMarcus Cousins. It allows guys like Gordon and Irving to attack the hole and score or pass to an open teammate when defenders leave them to help inside.

Only Irving is 6-3 and not 5-9, which is one of the main reasons for the trade. "It’s a perfect system for him in Boston. It’s a perfect fit," Durant said. "Because he’s a 6-foot-3 Isaiah Thomas, basically. And Isaiah just thrived in that system, and then he got Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, who are gonna be able to make plays for him, too. It’s gonna be pretty sweet. I think it was a great deal. But I just think Kyrie just wanted a place where he can focus on just playing basketball and not worrying about the other drama that comes with." Irving can fill that role with as much aplomb as Thomas.

The real difference between the two is that Irving is 6-2/6-3 and can, supposedly, handle the physical grind of the NBA better than Isaiah, and he is four years younger. "I just think Kyrie just wanted a place where he can focus on just playing basketball and not worrying about the other drama that comes with [playing alongside LeBron," Durant said. "It just felt like he wanted a situation where he would just be free from all of that and just play." That is simply not the case.

What Isaiah does a 5-9 is simple amazing. But the biggest difference between Isaiah and Kyrie, besides size, is that Thomas was the man. Kyrie was able to hide in the shadow of LeBron. Now Irving is expected to be the Man. He can't be the selfish guy. He has to be the Captain. The leader. The LeBron. He has to be the guy who cast the shadow that the young guys can hide in.

Thomas was able to do that last season. He was the guy everyone was looking too, especially in the Playoffs. He took on all the pressure that demanded, and was the man at the end of the game. That is Irving's role now. Can he lead a young team to the Playoffs? Or is he just the selfish Stat-Guy that I thought he was?


Be A Citizen! Not a Subject! 

Fascist is as Fascist does. Beware American. President Jerkballs is pulling the cowardly republican Senate closer and closer to the cliff.

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances:

The 1st Amendment to the Constitution is the greatest paragraph ever written by mankind. It is the truest diagram of how to ensure a free Country of citizens survives. But is is also a list of what to attack when you want to be a fascist dictator. President Jerkballs is attacking every article in the 1st Amendment. Beware subjects, or you will be subjugated:


Trump (I refuse to call him President anymore) just pardoned on the worst Republican Terrorist we have seen in the modern era. A coward who made his career cowardly attacking the most helpless, vulnerable, and weakest people who could not fight back, and were fleeing tyranny. He beat, bullied, and terrorized them, and sent hundreds and maybe thousands to their deaths.

Minimally, Arpaio is a criminal. He was told by the Courts that his cowardly attacks  against "the least among us" were Unconstitutional, illegal, and immoral. If Jesus was here he would spit in their faces. Meanwhile, Texas was being ravaged by a hurricane:

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