Should they? Will they? They shouldn't. Trade rumor edition of the "Celtics Talk" podcast

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Should they? Will they? They shouldn't. Trade rumor edition of the "Celtics Talk" podcast

The NBA is less than two weeks away from the NBA trade deadline, and every rumor seems to start and end with Boston. Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely break down the latest rumors with John Karalis from RedsArmy.com and the "Rainin' J's" podcast.

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  • (1:00) Is there a trade that makes the Celtics a title contender?
  • (4:50) How the value of the Brooklyn pick changes before and after the lottery
  • (7:46) John Karalis from Red's Army
  • (8:30) Gut feeling on will there be a blockbuster trade
  • (14:06) Discussing a loaded, guard heavy NBA Draft 
  • (19:20) Kevin O'Connor's trade proposal with the Celtics getting Blake Griffin and Paul Pierce
  • (26:20) Jaylen Brown's increased role and contribution
  • (30:45) State of the Eastern Conference playoff race

Celtics-Lakers preview: L.A.-Boston rivalry doesn't have same feel

Celtics-Lakers preview: L.A.-Boston rivalry doesn't have same feel

BOSTON – Times have definitely changed in the NBA, one where tradition doesn’t seem to hold the same weight as it used to.

Think about it.

The Boston Celtics are hosting the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, a longtime rivalry that historically has brought out decades of bad blood between two of the winningest franchises in the NBA.

And yet Celtics Nation is likely to get more excited about seeing the Toronto Raptors, the Washington Wizards or even that other team from L.A., the Clippers, at the TD Garden.

Much of the indifference that exists now has to do with two franchises that are for now at least, headed in dramatically different directions.

Boston (31-18) comes in with a five-game winning streak. If they beat the Lakers (17-35) tonight, Brad Stevens and his coaching staff will be coaching the East All-Stars on Feb. 19.

Meanwhile, the Lakers -- losers in 9 of their last 11 games -- have a roster full of young talent that’s still learning the ins and outs of the NBA, taking their share of lumps along the journey.

Motivation for Boston will have nothing to do with the Celtics-Lakers rivalry.

“We know about the history and all that, but we just have to keep winning games,” Amir Johnson told CSNNE.com. “It really doesn’t matter who we play. We have to just keep winning, keep getting better and closer to that number one spot.”

And then there’s the Lakers, who are gunning for the No. 1 pick in June’s draft. Including games played on Thursday, the Lakers have the third-worst record in the NBA this season.

Tonight’s game doesn’t have the same sizzle as past years when Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant always gave the game what it needed -- proven superstars.

That said, here are three things both franchises and their fan bases should be excited about tonight.

Isaiah Thomas

He’ll be off to his second straight All-Star game later this month, having put together a monster season thus far. He’s averaging 29.7 points per game which is second in the NBA. And his 10.7 points in the fourth quarter is tops among all NBA players and if it stands, would be the highest fourth-quarter average we’ve seen in more than 20 years. He’s the most interesting (and damn near unstoppable) force in the NBA right now.

The Rookies

Tonight’s game will feature two of the top-three picks in last year’s NBA draft in Laker’s wing Brandon Ingram and Boston’s Jaylen Brown who were selected with the No. 2 and 3 picks, respectively. Both have undergone their share of growing pains, having shuffled in and out of their respective team’s lineups. But the biggest difference is that Ingram is logging major minutes on a bad team, while Brown is carving out playing time -- not nearly as bountiful as Ingram but quality nonetheless -- on a team that’s positioning itself to be one of the top three seeds in the East.

The Coaches

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton is doing his best to establish a positive culture that’s more about being competitive than necessarily winning games. Having come from Golden State a year ago, he knows all too well that the Lakers have a lot of work to do before they can be a playoff team again, let alone one competing for a championship. Brad Stevens was in a similar spot back in 2013, but has put the Celtics on a faster-than-expected track of success. He has Boston poised to make a third straight trip to the playoffs, and most likely home court advantage for the first time under his leadership. No one would be surprised if Walton leads the Lakers on a similar trajectory.

Marcus Smart takes responsibility for hole in wall at Verizon Center

Marcus Smart takes responsibility for hole in wall at Verizon Center

BOSTON – Emotions were still running high for Marcus Smart in Wednesday’s game against Houston, less than 24 hours after he lost his cool and composure on the sideline at Washington and took his frustration out on the Celtics’ assistant coaches.

Smart didn’t have one of his best games of the season on Wednesday, but he played with clearer head, better focus and still played with a great amount of emotion that ultimately helped Boston to pull away for a 120-109 win over the Houston Rockets.

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Smart, who came off the bench after head coach Brad Stevens replaced him with Jaylen Brown, had seven points, six assists and three steals as the Celtics (27-18) snapped a three-game losing streak.

Head coach Brad Stevens had said earlier that he and Smart discussed the incident, and that it was being handled internally.

But there was no mistaking Smart’s play seemed to have a greater focus and purposed about it, while he still played with great passion and emotion.

“I’m an emotional player,” Smart said. “I give my all every night. I went about it the wrong way (on Tuesday). I let my emotions get the best of me. But my teammates and the coaching staff, they know the kind of person I am … we talked about it. It’s in the past; we’re moving on.”

Well … not quite.

See there’s the matter of the hole in the Washington Wizards’ visiting locker room that no one seems to know exactly who did … but they all have a pretty good idea who did it.

Stevens didn’t know if it was Smart who put the hole in the wall. But if it was, Stevens said Smart would pay for it. And if it was another player, then they would pay for it.

“Oh, I didn’t know that,” Smart said when asked if he put the hole in the wall. “It wasn’t there when I came in, so I don’t know. I guess … I don’t remember doing it. But if it’s a hole in the wall, I put it there. I’ll take that one.”