For Celtics, no Bosh just means more James, Wade


For Celtics, no Bosh just means more James, Wade

MIAMI The absence of six-time all-star Chris Bosh on paper at least, is a good thing for the Boston Celtics.

But C's coach Doc Rivers coaches against players, not paper. He knows all too well that no Chris Bosh means more opportunities for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to dominate play.

"It almost activated them (James and Wade) to be more aggressive, which puts a lot of stress on your defense," Rivers said.

Since Bosh went down with an abdominal strain that has kept him sidelined for Miami's last five games, the James-Wade tandem has been in the kind of flow, the kind of rhythm that has been seldom seen before.

After Bosh went down in Game 1 of their second round series with his current injury, the Heat dropped two straight and fell behind, 2-1, in their best-of-seven series.

With an extra day off between Games 3 and 4, it allowed the Heat to get healthy both mentally and physically.

Part of that improvement involved figuring out how to fill the void left behind by Bosh's absence.

Sure, the Heat have a handful of big men such as Udonis Haslem who have been called upon to contribute more in his absence.

But the true turn-around for them without Bosh, has been James and Wade.

In the five playoff games without Bosh, James and Wade have combined to score 58.6 percent of Miami's offense. And if there's an assist made by the Heat, chances are pretty high - 63.2 percent high - that it was one of them.

Celtics guard Rajon Rondo says Miami has become, "a two-man team."

He added, "Those guys are unselfish, especially LeBron. They have to take a couple more shots per game, but they're still trying to find their teammates. When they don't, they make the plays for themselves."

So if there's any thought that the C's were catching a break with Bosh out of the lineup, Rivers and his players don't see it.

"When you have two players as dynamic as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are, the last thing you want is for those guys to have more opportunities to be great, which is what they have with Bosh out," C's guard Keyon Dooling told "Chris is great player for them, but those guys (James and Wade) are smart, intelligent, very talented basketball players. They know how to play, and play at a high level, regardless of who is on the floor or who is out."

The C's have had their share of injuries all season. And while some might believe those injuries made the Celtics worse off, Rivers has a slightly different take on the matter.

"I don't know what the difference is (without Bosh)," Rivers said. "But just like our guys, (being injured) changes you. It shouldn't make you worse, it should just make you different."

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson was named the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations after longtime Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and vice president of basketball ops Jim Buss were fired, the team announced.

"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights [late owner] Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss, Jerry Buss' daughter, Jim Buss' brother and Lakers president and co-owner, said in a statement. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”

Johnson, the Hall of Famer guard who led L.A. to five NBA titles, said in the same statement: “It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family. Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”

Johnson, part of a group that owns MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, returned to the organization as an adviser earlier this month. Johnson coached the Lakers briefly in the 1993-94 season, going 5-11. 

Johnson's new job with the Lakers won't change his role with the Dodgers, according to the L.A. Times.

The current Lakers have the third-worst record in the NBA at 19-39 after finishing with the second-worst mark in the league (17-65) last season. Kupchak was named an assistant GM under Jerry West in 1986 and in 2000 took over for West as GM. 


Drummond to Boston? Pistons big man's tweets fuel speculation

Drummond to Boston? Pistons big man's tweets fuel speculation

BOSTON -- Two of the NBA’s biggest names on the trade market, Serge Ibaka and DeMarcus Cousins, changed zip codes (Ibaka to Toronto from Orlando, Cousins to New Orleans from Sacramento) without the Celtics showing much interest in swinging a deal for either player.


Could it be because they had their sights set on Detroit’s Andre Drummond all along?
Pistons general manager/head coach Stan Van Gundy has made no secret about talking with lots of teams about his players leading up to the trade deadline, well aware that his team has been one of the league’s biggest underachievers.

Detroit (27-30) is eighth in the Eastern Conference, trailing first-place Cleveland by 13 games.
Drummond was reportedly offered to Sacramento as part of a deal for Cousins, so it should not come as a surprise that his name has found its way into the rumor mill.
Still, Drummond only added fuel to the rumor mill fire by re-tweeting the eyeball emojis posted by the Celtics' Isaiah Thomas, something Thomas did shortly before Boston added Al Horford to the mix last summer.

And then Drummond followed that up by posting his own set of eyeball emojis on Tuesday, which adds to the speculative nature of a trade-deadline season that ends Thursday at 3 p.m.

Drummond, a former UConn standout, is an easy-going, fun-loving guy, so the emoji stuff isn’t all that out of character for him. But he also changed his Twitter profile picture to him waving goodbye. after removing Pistons information from his bio.

Is he pulling our leg, or giving a heads-up that the Celtics are close to pulling off a trade?
A league source tells that while no deal is imminent, Boston is a possible landing spot for Drummond if the Pistons are, in fact, planning on trading him. That, says the source,"is not a definite. [Van Gundy] knows he has to do something significant with that team, if not at the deadline [then] definitely this summer.

"So he’s looking to find out the value for all his guys, Drummond included.”