OFFSEASON

Sixers feeling confident heading back to Philadelphia

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Sixers feeling confident heading back to Philadelphia

BOSTON -- After a one-point loss to the Boston Celtics in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Philadelphia 76ers were determined to make the necessary adjustments to change the outcome in Game 2.

The end result was another one-point win, this time in the Sixers favor, which left the Celtics looking to do the same as they prepare for Game 3.

"It's all about execution," Elton Brand said following Philadelphia's 82-81 win. "Because the games come so fast, you don't get a lot of practice time. But we watched tons of film and our lack of execution was why we lost Game 1."

On Monday night at TD Garden, the 76ers limited the Celtics to just 13 points in the second quarter and 11 in the third. They held Rajon Rondo, who recorded a triple-double with 13 points, 17 assists, and 12 rebounds in Game 1, to 8 points, 13 dimes, and 7 boards. They also limited Kevin Garnett to 15 points, 14 less than on Saturday.

I think we saw the same type of game last game," said Evan Turner. "We spoke on our day off and we just all pulled together and believed we could win the game, and thats what really happened.

The Game 2 victory gave the 76ers a change in momentum as they return to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Friday. After fending off the Garden crowd, they look forward to their own fans' support in the next two contests.

Its going to be really crazy," said Turner. "Its going to be a great game. Our fans are definitely excited and it's going to be great to be in front of them to compete.

Just as the Sixers did after Game 1, the Celtics will watch film and make adjustments. The next task for the 76ers will be holding off the C's fight in Game 3.

"Our young guys just keep growin and theyre really becoming men. Im so proud of them," said head coach Doug Collins. "Doc Rivers arguably the best coach in the NBA, and for our guys to just scrap through a game tonight. We just found a way. Again I have to tell you all season long we couldnt win these games and now our guys are believing they can do it, and it is pretty special to watch.

OFFSEASON

Report: Celtics agree deal with Zeller and picks Jackson, Bentil

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Report: Celtics agree deal with Zeller and picks Jackson, Bentil

On a busy Saturday for the Celtics, they have brought back center Tyler Zeller and agreed to deals with draft picks Demetrius Jackson and Ben Bentil, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported.

Earlier Saturday, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reported that the Celtics will sign guard Gerald Green. 

Himmelsbach reports that Zeller's is a $16 million, two-year deal with the second-year not guaranteed. Jackson, the point guard from Notre Dame who was the 45th overall selection in the draft, has a guaranteed deal and Bentil, the forward from Providence who was the 51st player drafted, has a partially guaranteed deal. 

Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald reported that the second-year of Zeller's deal is a team option and that Green agreed to a one-year deal at the $1.4 million veteran mininum based on his nine years of NBA service.

The 7-foot Zeller averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds in 11.8 minutes a game last season. 

R.J. Hunter, James Young, Bentil and John Holland are in position to fight for the final roster spot, Himmelsbach reports, pending more deals, which the Celtics are reportedly working on. A source told Himmelsbach, that while there are probably changes coming, "There is no big deal right now." 

With Green, Zeller, and No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown, the Celtics have has 15 guaranteed contracts and three partial or non-guaranteed deals. 

 

OFFSEASON

Report: Celtics to bring back Gerald Green with one-year deal

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Report: Celtics to bring back Gerald Green with one-year deal

The Celtics will sign free agent Gerald Green, the guard they drafted with the 18th overall pick back in 2005, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reported.

Green, 30, played for the Miami Heat last season and averaged 8.9 points a game. Deveney reports Green will sign a one-year guaranteed contract. 

Green has been well-traveled since being traded by the Celtics in the Kevin Garnett deal in 2007, the year he won the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest. He has played for seven other NBA teams and played two seasons in Russia. His best season was 2013-14 in Phoenix when he averaged 15.8 points a game for the Suns. 

Deveney also reports that sources around the league continue to indicate the Celtics are looking to make a trade for a "star-caliber type" player. Last week, he reported on their interest in the Clippers' Blake Griffin. 

 

OFFSEASON

Celtics are anything but "a middle of the road team"

Celtics are anything but "a middle of the road team"

Charles Barkley said Friday that the Boston Celtics are a "middle of the road team in no man's land." Kevin O'Connor joined Greg Dickerson on Sports Tonight and explained just how foolish of a statement that is.

Make sure you watch the video above, but here are some of the key stats O'Connor mentions regarding the state of the Celtics.

Competitive teams rarely select at the top of the draft, but the Celtics have already done it before and could again in 2017 and 2018. Over the last 40 years, only 10 teams have won at least 45 games and used a top five pick in the draft. Here’s the list:

PLAYER TEAM WINS YEAR PICK
Greg Ballard Washington 48 1977 4
Mychal Thompson Portland 58 1978 1
Magic Johnson LA Lakers 47 1979 1
Kevin McHale Boston 61 1980 3
James Worthy LA Lakers 57 1982 1
Charles Barkley Philadelphia 52 1984 5
Sam Bowie Portland 48 1984 2
Len Bias Boston 67 1986 2
Darko Milicic Detroit 50 2003 2
Jaylen Brown Boston 48 2016 3

Two of those teams won a single championship (Washington and Detroit). Two became dynasties (Boston and the Lakers). Four of the players are Hall of Famers (Johnson, McHale, Worthy, Barkley). You’ll also find Jaylen Brown, who could be a cornerstone even if we don’t know it yet.

If they play their cards right and the Nets struggle as much as everyone expects them to, they’ll be right back in the conversation for another star next season. Due to their tremendous flexibility, that could happen through the draft, the trade market, or free agency.

For more on this topic, click here.