Moore and Johnson reflect on loss of Allen

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Moore and Johnson reflect on loss of Allen

ORLANDO, Fla. - Boston Celtics guard E'Twaun Moore counts Ray Allen among the
many Celtic players who helped him in his transition to the NBA last season.

At the end of the day, Moore understands Allen's decision to sign a three-year deal worth more than 9 million with the Miami Heat is just part of the business of being an NBA player.

"I didn't really know what was going on," Moore said. "It's kind of surprising. But that's a decision he has to make for himself."

It was a decision that might benefit Moore who comes into this summer league trying to do enough to warrant the C's bringing him back for a second season.

That path became a little more clearer with Allen's decision to not return to Boston and accept a two-year deal worth 12 million.

"It gives me a greater chance (of making the team)," Moore said of Allen's departure. "I just have to take advantage of it."

With the C's already having a backcourt of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley and
soon-to-be acquired Jason Terry, the addition of Allen would have made it a lot
tougher for the Celtics to justify keeping Moore when they have so many other
holes in their roster in need of addressing.

"He's gone," Moore said. "So now I just have to worry about me and go ahead and play."

Moore's play, especially his confidence in his shot, has been aided by spending a year with Allen who has made more 3s (2,718 and counting) than any player in NBA history.

Many of the lessons needed to achieve such a milestone, Allen has passed on that knowledge to players like Moore.

"He definitely shared his wisdom," Moore said. "Especially on keeping your body healthy; make sure you take care of yourself by staying in shape. Those were some of the things he always talked about."

Although they play different positions, Boston forward JaJuan Johnson counts Allen among the Boston veterans to provide some guidance and direction during his first season as well.

"He was a great teammate," Johnson told CSNNE.com. "The biggest thing Ray did, was lead by example. He always stuck to the 'true team' concept, always professional. Those were the two things I take away from being around Ray."

Celtics assistant coach Tyronn Lue who is coaching the C's summer league team, counts himself among those who will miss having Allen around.

As much as Allen helped him and the coaching staff's job become easier, the impact he made on the team's young players - like Moore and Johnson - was one of Allen's strengths that often went unnoticed.

"Ray's the ultimate professional. He comes ready to play, everyday," Lue said. "The same workout he's been doing for the last 15 years. Young guys will miss him, but other guys will step up and take on the responsibility."

Lue, like most Celtic fans, is still processing the idea that No. 20's last big shot around these parts was the one he delivered on Friday when he decided to take his sweet-looking shot to South Beach instead of sticking around and making another run at Banner 18.

"I was shocked," Lue said of Allen's decision. "I see Ray as a Celtic. But in this business, you have to do what's best for you. I guess he thought Miami was best for him."

Bird not renewing Vogel's contract; McHale not a candidate

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Bird not renewing Vogel's contract; McHale not a candidate

Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, a good friend of Brad Stevens, is out in Indiana.

Pacers president Larry Bird made the official announcement on Thursday.

Vogel’s contract was up in Indiana and Bird elected to not renew it. That, according to Bird, was hard for Vogel to hear.

Both Bird and Vogel spoke shortly before Bird’s press conference with members of the media, and that’s when Bird gave him the news.

There is speculation now as to who will take over as head coach. With Kevin McHale removing himself from consideration for the Sacramento Kings job, there was some thought that he could become the head coach of the Pacers under good friend and former teammate Bird.

That isn’t going to happen either.

Which players fill Celtics Top 5 draft needs?

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Which players fill Celtics Top 5 draft needs?

BOSTON – When it comes to the NBA Draft, nobody has the flexibility to address a need the way the Celtics can this year.
 
If you are a draft-eligible player expected to be among the 60 names called next month, you are within the Celtics’ reach of being drafted.
 
That’s what having eight draft picks (three in the first round and five in the second) can do for you.
 
And while the Celtics have lots of needs, here’s a look at five specifically that they can address through the draft, and the best players to fill those voids.
 
5. Undervalued talent: Marquese Chriss
Getting players whose talent exceeds where they are drafted is certainly something the Celtics would love to do in a year when they have so many picks. Marquese Chriss of Washington could be that player. He’s a 6-9 forward who in this small-ball era in the NBA, can play both forward positions and have a matchup advantage at both spots. He’s targeted to be selected in the middle of the first round which makes him a prime target of the Celtics who could tab him with their second, first-round selection which will be the 16th overall pick.
 
 
4. Rim Protection
You have to give the Celtics props for having a defense that ranked 4th in the NBA despite no legit rim protector other than 6-9 Amir Johnson. As good as Johnson was, the Celtics need to add at least another player or two with rim protection as their strength. Enter Michigan State’s Deyonta Davis. He’s limited offensively in terms of what he can do, but his knack for blocking/altering shots, lateral quickness, vertical leap and overall strength makes him a force in the middle. He too is a player Boston has to give some thought to selecting if he’s still on the board (he’s considered a possible late-lottery pick) when it’s time for the Celtics to choose at No. 16.
 
 
3. Defensive versatility
One of the reasons Boston’s defense was so good this season was because of its ability to make defensive switches and it not create huge mismatches. Having players with the talent and skill to defend multiple positions will remain something the Celtics will also value on draft night. That’s why Jaylen Brown of Cal could be in the mix depending on where the pick Boston gets from Brooklyn, eventually falls. If it’s outside of the top-4, Brown becomes a viable possibility. He gets props for his strength and ability to use it as a means of scoring. But NBA teams are just as excited about his potential as a defender, already possessing an NBA-ready body with the tools to potentially defend all three perimeter positions.
 
2. Wing scoring
The Celtics ranked 11th in 3-pointers taken per game (26.1) but only 28th in 3-point percentage (.335) which shows that they were getting plenty of long-range shots but unable to make them with any consistency. Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield could change all that. He was hands-down the best shooter in college basketball this past season. And with him being a senior, he’s more likely to come in and make an immediate impact than many of his younger draft brethren who are judged more on potential than proven work. If the Celtics wind up with a top-3 pick, Hield would be a bit of a stretch. But if Boston is on the clock with the No. 4, 5 or 6th pick, he should be on their short list of possible targets.
 
 
1. Superstar potential
The best shot Boston has of landing that superstar they’ve longed for, is to land the top overall pick. And with that pick, there’s a growing consensus that Duke’s Brandon Ingram should be that guy rather than LSU’s Ben Simmons. Ingram has a game that in many ways is reminiscent to a young Kevin Durant. But at this stage, Ingram is a better 3-point shooter (he shot 41 percent on 3s in his lone season at Duke) which is one of the many areas Boston could use a boost through the draft.
 
 

Ainge: McHale's clothesline on Rambis was 'sweet'

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Ainge: McHale's clothesline on Rambis was 'sweet'

If you know anything about basketball in the 1980s and early 1990s, you know it was a physical game. And in the playoffs, that physicality multiplied.

The Boston Celtics were no exception to that. There are countless highlights of Celtics players getting into it with their opponents, but perhaps the most famous incident was when Kevin McHale clothelined the Lakers' Kurt Rambis in Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was a member of that team, and discussed that play on Thursday morning with the guys from the Toucher and Rich Show.

“I remember that we were at shootaround the morning of the Kevin McHale / Kurt Rambis clothesline incident,” Ainge said. “They had just beat us by 30 . . . it was Hollywood showtime Lakers all the way and we were humiliated. We came to practice the next day and we had some guys chirping about that, like, ‘We have to take some hard fouls. We cannot let these guys fast break over us and dunk on us in transition. We have to take some hard fouls.’ And I said to the whole team, I like screamed at them, I said, ‘Hey listen, I’m booed in every arena in this league because I’m the only guy who takes hard fouls. I need some of you guys to take some hard fouls. And sure enough Kevin clothelined Kurt Rambis and that was sweet.”