OFFSEASON

Celtics squash Kings, 99-81

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Celtics squash Kings, 99-81

BOSTON The night began with the Boston Celtics seeking answers to how they can move on without Rajon Rondo this season.
It ended with an emphatic 99-81 win over the Sacramento Kings which left Celtics Nation another question to mull over.
Are the Celtics (22-23) this good, or the Kings (17-30) that bad?
At this point in the season, it doesn't matter.
With the C's having already given away more games than they can afford, every win -- regardless of the opponent -- is a big one.
And this one was just that in every sense of the word even if the Celtics did what the Celtics seem to always do which is allow the game to get closer than it should be.
After spending a good chunk of the third quarter and early part of the fourth leading by 20 or more points, the Celtics saw their lead down to 82-67 following a pair of free throws by Sacramento's Tyreke Evans with 10:21 to play.
But the Celtics soon increased their lead to 20-plus points and never looked back.
Finishing strong by Boston was similar to how the C's began the game.
Boston opened with an 8-0 run only to allow the Kings to get back in the game and close out the first quarter with a 6-0 spurt of their own to lead, 24-22, going into the second.
That's when the C's went into takeover-mode, completely dominating Sacramento in every phase of play.
Boston wound up scoring a season-high 37 second-quarter points which gave them a decisive 59-38 lead at the half.
Such a dominate showing was nothing new to the C's who delivered a similar first-half pounding to the Atlanta Hawks recently only to give the lead away in the third quarter and ultimately lose in double overtime.
But the Kings and Hawks are nothing alike, as the Celtics proved in maintaining firm control of the game in the third quarter which ended with the C's ahead 80-60.
About the only thing that worked against the Celtics was Jared Sullinger having to leave the game in the first quarter with what team officials described as back spasms.
Sullinger, drafted by the C's with the No. 21 pick in last June's NBA draft, was projected as a top-10 pick but fell to the C's due to medical concerns that his back might shorten his playing career.
Wednesday's game was the first time this season that Sullinger's back forced him to the bench.

OFFSEASON

Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

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Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

Veteran forward Larry Sanders, who hasn’t played since December of 2014, has taken to Twitter to get feedback on “Which team do you believe will utilize my skills the best?”

So far, it’s his last team, the Milwaukee Bucks leading, with the Celtics edging the Cavaliers for second place.  

Sanders, 27, has been away from basketball after two drug-related suspensions and issues with anxiety and depression led him to accept a buyout from the Bucks.  The 6-11 Sanders was a solid rim protector. He averaged 1.8 blocks a game in his career. Could the Celtics, with an already crowded roster, take a flyer on him as a low-cost option? 
 

OFFSEASON

Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

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Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

By Dan Feldman, NBCSports.com Pro Basketball Talk

Michael Jordan might have never said “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

But that quote has defined him politically.

Whether the perception has been fair or not, he’s clearly trying to change it.

Jordan in ESPN's The Undefeated:

As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.

Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.

To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

You can read Jordan’s full statement here.