Having the first two weeks of the NBA season wiped out is one thing.
But now Christmas games, too?
NBA commissioner David Stern told WFAN-AM that unless a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is nailed down soon, look for more cancellations next week.
Next week, the NBA and the players union will meet with a George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Cohen was brought in to help bring about an end to the NFL's lockout several weeks before the two sides came to terms on a new CBA.
There's no way to tell if Cohen's impact will bring about a similar result with the NBA.
After meeting with the mediator, Stern said he would meet with the players union on Tuesday with his owners in town for meetings Wednesday and Thursday.
Stern is hoping to be able to have at least the framework for a new deal to present to his owners this week, well aware that time to salvage this season is running out.
"We will have lost two weeks for sure on our way to losing more games," Stern said. "Offers will get worse, possibly on both sides, and the deal's going to slip away from us, as may the season. So this is the time to make a deal."
Well it appears that Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic wasn’t the only one who didn’t see Jaylen Brown’s powerful dunk over him coming.
Apparently, Brown didn’t see it coming either.
“It caught me off-guard,” Brown said after Boston’s 117-87 thumping of the Magic. “I wasn’t even expecting it. It happens. It’s part of basketball. It’s two points.”
The play in question came early in the second quarter when Brown blew past Jodie Meeks into the lane and took off towards the rim.
Vucevic jumped late, got dunked on and the Celtics bench went bananas!
“It gave our team a lot of energy,” Brown acknowledged.
Brown understands part of his job in coming off the bench is to make an impact with effort.
And in doing so, he senses that his teammate’s confidence him in and his game can only grow.
“I feel like my teammates are trusting me more, getting more trust from the coaching staff,” said Brown who finished with 13 points.
Avery Bradley likes what he’s seen from Brown, a young player who has shown tremendous promise.
And that dunk over Vucevic?
“You’re going to see a lot more of those in his career,” Bradley said. “He gets us going.”
There was Terry Rozier, delivering dizzying crossover dribbles that set up open jumpers, soon followed by defenders he then beat to the rim for easy scores.
“I felt like I was in college a little bit,” Rozier told reporters Wednesday night.
The second-year guard is a long way from his days at Louisville, but make no mistake about it.
His basketball education is ongoing, but on Wednesday it was Rozier and rookie Jaylen Brown teaching the Orlando Magic a lesson as Boston pulled away for a 117-87 victory.
Playing without Isaiah Thomas (right groin), Rozier came off the bench to score a career-high 16 points.
And Brown, whose hustle and above-the-rim play energized the Celtics most of the night, had 13 points which included a powerful, poster-worthy dunk over an unsuspecting Nikola Vucevic.
"I didn't expect to dunk, nor did I expect him to jump," Brown told reporters after the game. "When it happened, I was just as surprised as everyone else."
The Celtics (13-9) were pleased with the victory which included contributions from several players.
But there was added pleasure for the veteran Celtics in watching their youthful teammates step up and play well.
“It’s hard as a young player to come in and find yourself on a team,” Boston’s Al Horford told reporters after the win. “And those guys are really hard workers. As the season goes on, they’ll become more comfortable with what we’re trying to do.”
We have seen Brown put in positions where he was given an opportunity to make a major impact.
His first NBA start came against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Boston lost 128-122 to the Cavs, but Brown had a career-high 19 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Brown said when he’s on the floor with Rozier, the two have a very specific agenda.
“Me and Terry get in, we talk to each other and say, ‘we gotta run,’” Brown said. “That’s our focus; we’re young. We try to get up and down the floor. It makes the game easier for us.”
The Celtics' second unit has been in a constant state of change most of this season due to the number of injuries sustained by the preferred starting five.
So getting more consistent play from the team’s youngsters like Rozier and Brown is huge for this team going forward especially if they will be without Thomas for multiple games which is a possibility.
“It was a great opportunity; they seized it,” Horford said. “Moving forward, if they play like they did tonight; defense first, confident, I feel like there will be plenty of more opportunities to show what they have.”