Friday FT's: Why West Picked Pacers, Baby Out of KGs Shadow


Friday FT's: Why West Picked Pacers, Baby Out of KGs Shadow

Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news notes, and information that have not made the headlines, but are still worth a read.

Why West Picked the Pacers

Since the formation of the New Big Three in 2007, players have made Boston a destination of choice when deciding on a new team. Others have taken paycuts to stay part of the organization.

So when David West chose to sign with the Indiana Pacers, who have not won more than 40 games in a single regular season since 2006, over the Celtics, the decision raised eyebrows.

Including Ray Allens.

"Once it got down to the end, I think his ego kicked back in," Allen told ESPNBoston.coms Jackie MacMullan. "He wanted the dollars. I guess it comes down to 'What is a championship worth to you?'

"Think of all the guys who have made 20 million and could be considered one of the best ever, but they get chided because they never won. We the Big Three all had to do less when we won. We're still taking less to make it work. But it's worth it. No one can ever say to KG, Paul or me, 'You guys never got your ring.'"

Settling in with his new team, West responded to the comments.

"What they're dealing with up there is a lot deeper than David West," Conrad Brunner of reported West saying. When I was figuring out what I was going to do, everybody that knows me knows I'm a thought person. I don't rush to judgment and the decisions I make are well-thought-out. This was a well-thought-out decision on my part. There's a reason why I'm in Indiana and not anywhere else. This team is young and deep with some really good pieces. And it's deep."

Davis Out of KGs Shadows ... Seriously?

During the four years he spent in Boston, Glen Davis was a key member of the Celtics bench. He also stepped into the starting lineup in place of an injured Kevin Garnett. To many, he was seen as the Cs sixth man. But to Davis, he saw it as playing in the shadows.

Davis, who was traded to the Orlando Magic as part of the Brandon Bass deal, recently reflected on his time with the Celtics.

"My whole career, I was playing behind KG, and I don't think people really were able to see what I can do," he told FOX Sports Florida. "The times that I didn't have to play behind KG, I did a great job. Now, I'm (with the Magic), and I have an opportunity to be a starter, and I'm just embracing the moment."

A former role player saying he felt overshadowed by his All-Star veteran teammates? Hm, we've heard this before.

Former Celtics: One Out, One In for Lakers

Two former Celtics participated in the Los Angeles Lakers training camp this month. But when final cuts were made, only one was remained on the roster.

2005 Celtics first round draft pick Gerald Green was waived on Thursday, the Lakers announced on Twitter. Green was scoreless with two personal fouls in eight minutes in one preseason game.

Troy Murphy, who played 17 games for the Celtics last season, signed with the Lakers this week. He averaged 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in two preseason games with his new team.
Celtics Tweet of the Week

@unclejeffgreen: "Thank u everyone for ur thoughts and prayers...much appreciated love u all..and I'll be back soon stronger and better than ever I promise"

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Joe Wolf, who played two games for the Celtics in the 1992-93 season, turned 47 on December 17. Former Celtics training camp invitee Stephane Lasme turned 29 on the same day. ... Hall of Famer Kevin McHale turned 54 on December 19. He is currently the head coach of the Houston Rockets. Tom Gugliotta celebrated his 42nd birthday that day as well.

This Week in Celtics History
On December 19, 1956, Bill Russell signed his first contract with the Boston Celtics. He made his debut for the C's three days later, recording 16 rebounds and six points against the St. Louis Hawks. On the same date in 1990, Kevin McHale scored his 15,000th career point in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. ... On December 22, 1949, Tony Lavelli presented an accordion mini-concert to over 5,000 fans at the Boston Garden during halftime of their game against the Minneapolis Lakers.

Haggerty: Subban looking more like a 1st-round bust than NHL goalie

Haggerty: Subban looking more like a 1st-round bust than NHL goalie

BOSTON, Mass – Malcolm Subban says that he believes that he can still be a No. 1 goaltender in the NHL.

While that’s admirable on some level for the sheer, brazen self-confidence involved in saying this after getting yanked from a 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden, pretty much all of the evidence points out the contrary. Nearly two years after getting pulled from his NHL debut in against the St. Louis Blues after giving up three goals on six shots, Subban was pulled from Tuesday night’s appearance after giving up three goals on eight second period shots with the Bruins desperately in need of a quality start in goal.

He maintained a defiantly confident tone after another humbling NHL effort against Minnesota, and that’s a testament to the maturity and mental toughness of the person behind the goalie mask.

“It sucks. Obviously, I’m just trying to finish the game, let alone win one. Obviously it sucks, but what can you do now, right?” said Subban, who has now allowed six goals on 22 career shots faced in two starts. “Obviously I want to be a number one goaltender in the league. I was a high pick for a reason. I have the potential, and I just have to show it. Obviously I haven’t done that so far yet, but I think I’m getting closer to it. Honestly, I think I can do it right now. I just got to show it. Obviously, I didn’t [do it] today, but tomorrow’s a new day.”

Given the stunningly bad quality of his two NHL starts combined with a thoroughly pedestrian body of work at the AHL level over the last three years, there is literally zero tangible evidence Subban is tracking to be a franchise goaltender. Instead he’s the emergency goaltender called on by the Bruins only after Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin have both been shelved by injuries, and he’s now flunked the two pop quizzes when the NHL team needed him to come through.

Meanwhile, a sizeable selection of goaltenders taken after him in the 2012 NHL Draft class have already proven their NHL worth and broken through at the elite level: Matt Murray, Frederik Anderson, Connor Hellebuyck and Joonas Korpisalo.

Subban was hoping all along to break through this season in Boston, but things went south on him quickly with a Bruins team not playing well in front of him. The first goal was a fluttering Charlie Coyle shot that trickled between his glove hand and the top of his leg pad. The third goal was a softie low and to the glove side, power play strike authored by Ryan Suter. It added up to poor goaltending and shoddy defense, but it also added up to a Bruins goaltender that didn’t even give his hockey club a chance to win.

“It could be a combination of both. There are some goals – I’m not going to lie – there are some goals that we thought our goaltenders should have had. But I’m not here to talk about a goaltender who’s in one of his first few games because he let in a couple of bad goals,” said Julien. “We were terrible in front of him and we weren’t any better, and that’s the big picture. That’s more important.

“I don’t care who’s in net. I think when you have some injuries you need to be better in those situations and we weren’t good enough tonight. It doesn’t matter if Tuukka [Rask] is in net and we had injuries up front, or we’re lacking players here or there. You’ve got to let the system take care of the game. If you play it the right way, you have a chance to win. When you don’t, you don’t. That’s what happened [against Minnesota].”

There’s no question the defense in front of Subban wasn’t nearly good enough, and Adam McQuaid and Torey Krug in particular struggled to lock things down in the defensive zone. The wide open shots from the slot - like the Chris Stewart score in the second period that arrived 12 seconds after Minnesota’s opening goal - are indicative of a hockey club that’s not sticking to the game plan once things start to get a little wonky.

But this is about a player in Subban that should be entering the NHL stage of his career after being a first round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, and anybody would be hard-pressed to see him as an NHL goalie after failing in each of his first two NHL starts. Combine that with the lack of dominance at the AHL level over the last three years, and there’s a better chance that Subban will be a major first round bust for the Bruins rather than suddenly develop into a late-blooming No. 1 goaltender in Boston.

The scary part is that Subban and fellow young netminder Zane McIntyre are all the Bruins have for Wednesday night’s game at Madison Square Garden, and perhaps longer than that if Rask can’t make rapid progress with his lower body injury.

Maybe Subban can be a bit better than he’s shown thus far, and the four goals allowed to Minnesota were not all his fault. The bottom line, however, is that Subban should be up for doing this job right now. Tuesday was a big chance for the young goalie to make a statement that he was ready for it.

Instead he looked like the same goalie that’s been pulled from two of his first four AHL starts this season, and plays like a goaltender that’s never going to truly be ready for the call in Boston. 

WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1


WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1

CLEVELAND - Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a striking start and Roberto Perez put away Chicago in the Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.

Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Perez homered twice and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a three-run lead.

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