The GMs have spoken: Celtics get high marks

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The GMs have spoken: Celtics get high marks

This afternoon, NBA.com released the results of its annual GM Survey, and as you might expect, the Celtics are well-represented throughout.

First of all, two-thirds (66.7) of the leagues GMs picked Boston to win the Atlantic Division. This doesnt come as huge surprise seeing that the Cs have won the Atlantic crown in each of the last five seasons, but whats interesting is that despite the Sixers getting Andrew Bynum, the Nets re-loading and the Knicks having another year of chemistry-building under their belt more GMs picked the Cs to win this year, than last year (64.3).

Only 3.3 percent of the GMs picked Boston to win the Eastern Conference, which isnt great, but its 3.3 percent more votes than any team not named Miami. The Heat received the remaining 96.7 percent.

In the positional groupings, Rajon Rondo picked up 6.9 percent of the votes for Best Point Guard, behind Chris Paul (69 percent) and Derrick Rose (20.7). Rondo also finished third in "Best Passer" and "Fastest with the Ball." KG was tied for fifth with Blake Griffin among power forwards at 6.7 percent.

One interesting twist here: LeBron was voted the leagues best small forward (73.3) and the league's third best power forward (16.7).

KG also finished second (23.3) to Chris Paul for "Best Leader."

The C's were big winners in the off-season section, as Jason Terry (13.3) and Courtney Lee (10.0) finished second and third, respectively, in the "Most Underrated Acquisition" category. Keeping with that theme, Jared Sullinger (17.3) was voted the rookie most likely to be a "Sleeper Success."

Defensively, Kevin Garnett was an honorable mention for "Best Defensive Player," Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo (6.7) tied for third (along with Thabo Sefolosha and Andre Iguodala) as the league's best perimeter defender, and the Celtics finished third (23.3) in the Best Defensive Team category.

Lastly, as you can imagine, Doc Rivers got a lot of love in the coaching categories, finishing second (13.3) in "Best Coach" and "Best Motivator" (40.0). In both cases, Gregg Popovich finished first.

So there you have it. Not a bad showing for the Celtics.

Think they should have done better? Fair enough. But don't get angry. Just consider the source. Despite their job description, most of these GMs don't exactly have the best track record when it comes to evaluating anything NBA-related.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Isaiah Thomas' recent shooting woes mirror those of Celtics

Isaiah Thomas' recent shooting woes mirror those of Celtics

BOSTON – As Isaiah Thomas walked off the TD Garden floor Monday night in the fourth quarter of the Celtics' 114-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the All-Star guard’s franchise streak of 43 games with 20 or more points scored was about to end.
 
Credit the Hawks, whose defense made life miserable for Thomas most of the game, limiting him to 4-for-21 shooting (19 percent) which stands as the worst shooting night for Thomas as Celtic when he has taken at least 10 shots from the field.
 
Thomas chalks up his struggles Monday as just one of those bad nights that comes from time to time in an 82-game season, but it’s part of what has been a stretch of inefficient shooting games for him.
 
And it’s not a coincidence that the Celtics (38-22) have lost three of their past four at the same time Thomas finds himself in one of his worst four-game stretches for shooting the ball this season.
 
In fact, Thomas has shot just 35.4 percent from the field in Boston’s past four games. In that span, he has made less than 45 percent of his shots in each game, which is only the second time this season he has had a four-game stretch like that.
 
And while defenses certainly give him more attention than any other Celtic, he’s still getting to the spots he wants to get to while taking the shots that are best for him.
 
The only difference of late, is that more shots are off the mark than previously.
 
“I missed a lot of shots in the paint. I got where I wanted to,” Thomas said. “That wasn’t just me; that was our team. We missed a lot of shots we normally make.”
 
Which is why there’s no sense of panic or heightened concern on the part of the Celtics heading into their game Wednesday night against the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
Boston rookie Jaylen Brown was quick to credit Atlanta for doing a good job defensively against the Celtics.
 
But he too recognized that at times they were their own worst enemy with all of the blown opportunities.
 
“We missed a bunch of easy shots and I think that is just focus,” Brown said. “We’re not going to hit every shot every game, but I do expect us to play a little bit better than what we did and I think we’re more capable of being a bit more locked in. It happens; you just got to forget about it and bounce back Wednesday against Cleveland.”