Boston Celtics

Box Score Bank: Kendall Gill and Reggie Lewis

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Box Score Bank: Kendall Gill and Reggie Lewis

Last Saturday nightSunday morning, I was up late watching NBA TV.

Pretty sad, I know. But in retrospect, I'm glad I was there. Otherwise, I would have missed this story.

At the time, Dennis Scott (one of the 90s deadliest three-point shooters) and Kendall Gill (one of the 90s best defenders) were on set discussing the art of "getting open." More specifically, the best way for a shooter to run his man off a pick. And in turn, the best way to defend it.

After running a few skeleton drills against each other in the studio, Scott had a question:

Scott: "Kendall, for the people at home, whether it's Joe Dumars, old school Ricky Pierce or even Rip Hamilton: Who was the toughest guy you had to cover coming off screens?

Gill: Yeah, there was Pierce and Hamilton. Of course, Reggie Miller. But the guy who gave me the most problems, may he rest in peace, was Reggie Lewis. He was so great at coming off of picks and shooting the basketball. He knew how to read your better than anybody."

I thought that was pretty cool.

In a way, I guess it makes sense. After all, Gill's first few years in the league coincided with Reggie's prime. Or at least the start of it. Back then, Gill was just learning the rules of playing defense in the NBA, and I'm sure Lewis was a very willing tutor. The result? A permanent stamp on Gill's memory: Damn, Reggie Lewis could play.

Anyway, for today's Box Score Bank, I wanted to track down one of the games that helped cement Gill's respect for Reggie's game, and it didn't take long to find the perfect example:

April 12, 1992: Reggie Lewis hits 15 OF 19 SHOTS and scores 35 points on Kendall Gill and the Hornets. For good measure, Lewis added nine rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks. Ah, that's good Reggie.

And how about Kevin Gamble?

(Note: It didn't fit with the tone of this post, but it's probably worth mentioning that Gill was guarding Lewis the night he collapsed. Not that Gill had anything to do with it. Just a weird coincidence.)

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

No longer the little team that could, Celtics may need time to jell

No longer the little team that could, Celtics may need time to jell

Fireworks have been ablaze in the NBA all summer long, with the latest electrifying salvo being tossed by the Boston Celtics in trading for Kyrie Irving from Cleveland in exchange for a package of playerscentered around Isaiah Thomas and a first-round pick centered around Isaiah Thomas. Without question the Celtics were among the biggest winners this offseason as they went about transforming their roster significantly despite having the best record in the East while advancing to the conference finals. But good wasn’t good enough, a similar mantra by a number of teams in the NBA. 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!

BOSTON – Expectations for the Celtics this season are the highest they've been in the Brad Stevens Era.
 
The past couple of years, Stevens’ crew was seen as a scrappy bunch.
 
That all changed Tuesday night when the Celtics pulled off a blockbuster trade in acquiring Kyrie Irving from Cleveland for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

MORE ON THE KYRIE IRVING BLOCKBUSTER:

 
Acquiring the four-time All-Star would have made this offseason one of the best ever for the Celtics. But prior to landing the 25-year-old point guard, Boston was able to sign Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $127.8 million contract after he spent his first seven seasons in the NBA with the Utah Jazz.
 
The new guys join a Celtics team that returns just four starters, a group led by Al Horford, who stands as the lone returning starter from last season’s squad which finished with the best record in the East (53-29) while advancing to the Eastern Conference finals before losing in five games to Cleveland.
 
Adding a pair of All-Stars to the mix will certainly benefit the Celtics for this upcoming season. But for their continued growth, they will also need to get more from their youngsters.
 
Second-year forward Jaylen Brown had a strong offseason and is poised to build off of a rookie season in which he was named to the All-Rookie second team. Boston will also look to get quality play from rookie Jayson Tatum who was selected by Boston with the third overall pick in the NBA draft.  
 
For Boston, the biggest concern has to be chemistry.
 
There’s no question there’s more talent on this roster from top to bottom.
 
But with this being the first go-around for most of the players, it remains to be seen just how long it will take for all of the core players to get on the same page and find success.
 
That challenge won’t be easy, especially with the Celtics opening with seven of their first 11 games on the road.

Even with all the new faces and a challenging schedule out the gates, that won’t diminish the heightened level of expectations for a team that will surely have a bull’s-eye on its back all season for a journey that should result in yet another deep playoff run.
 
Key free agent/trade additions: Kyrie Irving (from Cleveland); Gordon Hayward (from Utah); Aron Baynes (from Detroit); Marcus Morris (from Detroit).
 
Key losses:
Avery Bradley (traded to Detroit); Amir Johnson (Philadelphia); Jonas Jerebko (Utah).
 
Rookies of note:
Jayson Tatum; Semi Ojeleye.
 
Expectations:
60-22 (First in the Atlantic Division, first in the East)

CSNNE SCHEDULE

BST PODCAST: What grade would you give the Celtics trade for Kyrie Irving?

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BST PODCAST: What grade would you give the Celtics trade for Kyrie Irving?

0:41 - What grade would you give the Celtics for their trade for Kyrie Irving? Michael Holley, Kayce Smith, Tom Curran, break it down and give their grades.

4:32 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakley discuss how Kyrie Irving will fit in the Celtics system and how Brad Stevens will handle the roster with new egos.

8:50 - We take a look back at the Pierce and Garnett trade to the Nets that landed the Celtics multiple 1st round picks. Are you pleased with how the Celtics used those picks? Is Danny Ainge a Hall of Fame executive? Michael Holley, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Tom Giles discuss.

14:30 - Our BST crew talk about the Red Sox getting the win over the Indians, Eduardo Nunez being hit intentionally by Corey Kluber, and if Chris Sale will retaliate.