LOS ANGELES Kobe Bryant is good; real good.
And the scary part?
The more you watch him play, the clearer it becomes that even after all these years, his game is still expanding.
"His low-post game has really improved," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "He's so much craftier at it."
Although Bryant has not shot the ball well from 3-point range this year (he came into the game shooting 27.9 percent on 3s this season), he's still as clutch a scorer as you'll find from anywhere on the floor.
In the fourth quarter, Bryant had 10 of his game-high 26 points which included connecting on two of his three, 3-pointers.
"His three-point shooting has always been good," Rivers said. "But when you allow him to set his feet, he's basically going to make it. He's one of the greatest offensive players or players in general to play the game."
And the even crazier part is despite this being his 16th NBA season, the 33-year-old Bryant still ranks among the NBA's leaders in minutes played.
Bryant (38.2) and his Lakers teammate Pau Gasol (37 minutes per game) are the only NBA players ranked in the top 10 minutes played, who are at least 30 years old.
"At his age, that's amazing," Rivers said of Bryant.
Though the Celtics spent Thursday discussing a trade with the Pacers for Paul George, Brian Scalabrine still has designs on the C’s getting Kevin Love.
Scalabrine says he could imagine the Celtics landing Love from the Cavaliers in a three-way deal that would sent George to the Cleveland. He noted that Love won’t be as difficult to acquire as he was when Cleveland traded for him, though he said he wasn’t sure if Boston would have to include recently drafted third overall pick Jayson Tatum.
With that said, Scalabrine intimated that the sides have the assets that a deal between the teams would make sense.
“I’m saying, we’d all look at the deal and be like, ‘Yeah. All right,'” Scalabrine said.
BOSTON – Jayson Tatum was all smiles after hearing his named called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number 3 pick by Boston in Thursday night’s NBA draft.
And as he made his way towards the commissioner and put on the customary Celtics hat, a bright future surely awaited him.
But is it going to be in Boston?
CSNNE.com confirmed an earlier report by Yahoo Sports! the Vertical that the Celtics were indeed engaged in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.
Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is no stranger to taking chances that most GMs would not consider or take a pass on.
Trading for George, who informed the Pacers that he would not re-sign a long-term deal with them and would instead prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers when he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, is a huge risk.
While the particulars of the possible trade are still being discussed, Boston will likely have to include the number three pick – Jayson Tatum – in a deal for George.
Ainge appears willing to gamble that a season in Boston will be enough to convince George to re-sign a long-term deal in the summer of 2018 which would be a win-win in terms of bolstering their chances to compete with Cleveland for Eastern Conference supremacy, and keep him away from the Lakers.