Boston Celtics

Friday Free Throws: Doc gets a thumbs up, on Perks bad mood

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Friday Free Throws: Doc gets a thumbs up, on Perks bad mood

Welcome back for the another edition of Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that have not made the headlines.

At one time Doc Rivers' future as a head coach was in question as the father of four pondered life away from basketball. Now his name is mentioned not only as a top NBA coach but also as a possible successor for the Team USA head coach once Coach Mike Krzyzewski steps away from the sidelines.
Rivers has already received positive endorsements along with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay was one of the recent players to give Rivers his nod of approval.
When asked by Hoopsfix.com who he would like to see coach the team, Gay replied, Hmm, someone like Doc Rivers or maybe Coach Popovich they have both done a great job where they are.

Ohio State Moving Forward Without Their Forward
The Boston Celtics were excited to add Jared Sullinger to their roster when he was still available at the 21st pick in this years NBA Draft. Now, the Ohio State Buckeyes will have to move forward without their star forward.
Last season he averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Buckeyes. Head coach Thad Matta talked to ESPN.com about the season ahead sans Sullinger:
Weve had some great players leave this program. ... The thing I always tell the guys is, "We dont need you to be Jared Sullinger. We need you to be who you are. We need you to be very effective with what youre capable of doing." Thats always been the approach. Do we maybe change a little bit the way were playing? Yeah, we probably will. But I think one of the biggest fallacies a young man can have is "Hey, Im going to get his points or Im going to get his rebounds. I got it." It just never works that way.
Sullinger will adjust to a new situation himself. The rookie has emphasized his willingness to learn and improve as he plays behind his veteran teammates on the Celtics.

Thunder Coach Roaring Over the Scowl
Over the years, Kendrick Perkins' scowl and seemingly unhappy demeanor became one of the bright spots on the Celtics. The Oklahoma City Thunder have embraced his intense persona since acquiring him in 2011 in exchange for Jeff Green. Thunder head coach Scott Brooks is looking forward to having his center back on the court this season following left ankle and groin surgery.
"He gives us an edge," Brooks told the Los Angeles Times. "He hates his opponent. He's not happy unless he's unhappy. His teammates love him. He's always in a bad mood. I love guys who go out on the court and compete. He's not shaking hands and trying to be buddy buddy. He respects them, but he's going to try to beat them and then move on."

Former Celtics Staff Goes National
Leo Papile, former assistant executive director of basketball operations for the Celtics, has gone national. Papile joined the Unite State Mens Development Team staff as an assistant, the Boston Herald reported. Im looking forward to the challenge of helping to develop young men to go up against competition overseas, he told the Herald. In my time with the Celtics as well as coaching the BABC, I used to love to go overseas and watch international basketball, the way they play the game.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Celtic-for-a-season Dan Dickau turned 34 on September 16. He played 19 games for the Cs during the 2005-06 campaign and was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the Raef LaFrentz deal. ... Rasheed Wallace celebrated his 39th birthday on September 17. Wallace played the final season of his 15-year career as a member of the 2010 Celtics team that reached Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. The big man earned four All-Star selections and won a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. Like Wallace, former sixth overall pick Doug Smith was born on September 17 and also played the final season of his career in Boston (1995-96). Kermit Washington also turned 62 on the same day. He appeared in 32 games for the Celtics during the 1977-78 season. ... The late Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson was born on September 18, 1954. Johnson, a five-time All-Star, won three NBA championships, including two with the 1984 and 1986 Celtics. He passed away on February 22, 2007. Former Celtic Greg Minor, who turned 41, was also born on the same day. He played his entire five-year career in Boston during the 1990s. ... Jim Ard, who wore number 34 years before Paul Pierce in the 1970s, turned 64 on September 19. J.R. Bremer, 32, was also born on September 19. The guard played his rookie season with the Celtics. Sidney Wicks turned 63 the same day. ... Artis Gilmore, who played the final 47 games of his 17-year career with the Celtics, turned 63 on September 21.

This Week in Celtics History
On September 16, the Celtics signed free agents Ruben Wolkowyski and Kenny Battle in 2002 and 1992, respectively. ... Brian Oliver signed with the Cs as a free agent on September 17, 1993. He was waived the following month. ... On September 21, 1992, the Celtics signed Marcus Webb. He appeared in nine games that season before being waived on St. Patricks Day in 1993. ... Boston native Dana Barros joined the Celtics for his first stint with the team on September 22, 1995. He played five seasons for the Cs and re-signed with them again in 2004 and played one game in his final NBA season.

30 teams in 30 days: Grit-and-Grind days are over in Memphis

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30 teams in 30 days: Grit-and-Grind days are over in Memphis

We’ll take a look at all 30 teams in the next 30 days as they prepare for the 2017-2018 regular season, which is when the real fireworks begin! Today's team: The Memphis Grizzlies. 

Memphis is no different than any other NBA team when it comes to making changes.
 
It’s an inevitable part of the NBA.

 
There are changes, and then there’s losing Zach Randolph and Tony Allen to free agency.
 
They didn’t lose the face of their franchise.
 
They lost its backbone.
 
And when you throw in the departure of Vince Carter, the Grizzlies are getting younger and more athletic and maybe just as significant, further removed from the physical, rough-and-tough brand of basketball they played for years.

You’ll have to go to YouTube to see Grit-and-Grind anymore.
 
Still, this isn’t all that surprising when you consider they brought in a new coach last year, David Fizdale, who came from Miami but also spent time on the bench as an assistant in Atlanta and Golden State.

Those teams played a more position-less, free-flowing brand of basketball compared to the Grizzlies.
 
So what we’re starting to see now is a Memphis team that will eventually look and hopefully play, more akin to what their coach envisions.
 
While the DNA of this team has changed dramatically, the Grizzlies will still be among the teams battling for one of the last playoff spots in the West this season.
 
They return Marc Gasol who still ranks among the best centers in the NBA. They also have point guard Mike Conley Jr., who unfortunately still holds the title for the best veteran player to not be named to an NBA All-Star team.
 
He’s coming off his best season as a pro when he averaged career highs in scoring (20.5 points per game) and shooting (45.9 percent from the field, 40.7 percent on 3’s) along with 3.5 rebounds, also a career benchmark.
 
In addition, Conley’s 6.3 assists per game were just 0.2 assists away from tying his career best in that category.
 
But for Memphis to surprise many and extend its playoff run to eight years in a row, the Grizzlies’ inside-outside tandem of Gasol and Conley, will need help.
 
A healthy Chandler Parsons would be a huge boost.
 
One of the more versatile wing players in the league, injuries have left Parsons a shell of the player that he once was.
 
He has had each of his past three seasons end prematurely due to injuries, so it’s hard to imagine Memphis will be banking on him to be healthy enough to make a major impact on the team this season.
 
They added Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans, both from Sacramento, to the roster this season.
 
Both come into training camp competing for a starting job.
 
The Grizzlies also have high hopes for 6-9 forward Rade Zagorac, a second-round pick in 2016 acquired from Boston who spent an additional year overseas before coming over to the NBA.
 
The new faces will be critical to the success of Memphis in those post Grit-and-Grind era.
 
Key free agent/draft/trade additions: Ben McLemore (Sacramento); Tyreke Evans (Sacramento).
 
Key losses: Zach Randolph (Sacramento); Tony Allen (New Orleans); Vince Carter (Sacramento).
 
Rookies of note: Rade Zagorac; Ivan Rabb; Dillon Brooks.
 
Expectations: 33-49 (fourth in the Southwest Division, 11th in the West).
 

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