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Category Archives: Aron Baynes

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Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics prove it’s better to win than to lose

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Aron Baynes: “We’ve still got a lot of room for improvement, but it’s better to learn when you win than it is to learn when you lose.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 24, 2018

The Celtics desperately needed to make a statement; not to the Hawks but to themselves. They have been a sputtering bunch for weeks and getting off to a strong beginning to one of the worst teams in the NBA, was exactly what they did in scoring 45 points which ranks among the highest scoring first quarters in Celtics history. That kind of early dominance set the tone for the rest of the game which was never really much in doubt afterward.
NBC Sports Boston: Balanced, steady Celtics attack keeps Hawks grounded
Sure, one might question how much meaning can be applied to a triumph over the now 3-16 Atlantans, who got just five points from prized rookie Trae Young. But, hey, the Celts had just had their lunch eaten by a Knicks outfit that arrived at the Garden with a 4-14 record.
In other words, they weren’t about to look an easy win in the mouth.
It was, for all intents and purposes, a first round knockout.
The Celtics had a 7-5 lead three minutes in. Then they bid the Hawks adieu.
With Kyrie Irving being aggressive from the get-go, the C’s pulled away quickly. It took fewer than nine minutes to lead by 20, and by the end of the opening period they had a 45-23 advantage.
It was easily their highest first quarter of the season (34 at Denver) and best period overall (40 twice — in the second quarter at Oklahoma City and the fourth on Wednesday against the Knicks when New York had 33 to keep their edge secure).
Herald: Celtics finally get back in black by routing Hawks
Boston was indeed in control all the way last night. In a reversal of Wednesday’s Knicks game, Boston led by as many as 29 and never trailed at any time. Their first quarter was amazing: 16 of 25 shooting, including a scorching 8 of 12 on threes. They had 12 assists in the period, too, and served notice that they weren’t going to underachieve again.
The Celtics finished the game making 42 of 91 shots for 46.2%, their fifth-best shooting performance of the season, and much better than their overall average of 43.5%. Stop me if you’ve heard this, but advanced analytics have consistently determined that it’s easier to win when your shots go down.
Not that they were sharp for the full 48. In the second quarter, they inexplicably hit just 4 of 18 from the field and allowed Atlanta to crawl within 16 at halftime. But that’s as close as the Hawks got all night.
So it was not a great win, but it was a comfortable win, which put the Cs back above .500 at 10-9. Coincidentally, that’s the same record as New Orleans, which lost last night to the Knicks, which might make you feel a tiny bit better about last Wednesday.
As a bonus to the one-sided contest, every Celtic got playing time and also scored. Best of all, the Timelord played nine minutes and had two dunks in two tries, which brought his perfect season totals to four shots, four baskets, four dunks, and one awesome tweet about all of that.

100% of Robert Williams' FGs this season have been dunks pic.twitter.com/81VKaHBSFV
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) November 24, 2018

With another game tonight at Dallas, the Cs will be tested again. The effort that they put forth in Atlanta will only matter if they continue it.
But the Celtics did not cure any of their biggest problems on Friday night. Their consistency woes can only truly be solved with sustained multi-game effort. They still have not given a full 48-minute performance but they can at least build off Friday’s showing when they visit Dallas on Saturday.
“Did what we were supposed to do,” Irving told reporters in Atlanta after finishing with 13 points. “Start of a business trip.”
But how can Boston build off this?
“Just not being complacent, not being satisfied,” added Irving.
NBC Sports Boston: Celtics start ‘business trip’ with much-needed win
Related –
MassLive: Boston Celtics roll Atlanta Hawks 114-96: Gordon Hayward improves, issues at the rim, plus 10 things we learned
NBC Sports Boston: Here’s what happened in the Celtics’ 114-96 win over the Hawks  |  Celtics erupt for historic 45-point first quarter against Hawks
NESN: Celtics Notes: Strong Start For Boston Helps Snap Three-Game Skid Vs. Hawks
On Page 2: Never mind
Two non-stories “broke” yesterday.
A source with intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the NBA told Get More Sports that Davis is considering five teams in the near and distant future: The Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers.
The determining factor in the short term will be the level of success the Pelicans do or do not have during the first half of the upcoming 2018-19 season. If they are middle-of-the-pack or worse in the competitive Western Conference, it is more likely than not that Davis will be moved before the trading deadline.
_ BOSTON CELTICS (Even money):  Ainge has more talent on the roster right now than he knows what to do with, and there is a glut of young talent that could be moved. Because of salary cap rules, one big money player would have to be included, and that would likely necessitate putting Marcus Smart’s $11 million (this season) deal into a deal if Al Horford ($29M) and Gordon Hayward ($20M) were not included. Trade candidates would likely include Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, and Ainge is sitting on four first-round picks in the 2019 draft: Boston’s own, Sacramento’s (Top 1 protected), Memphis’ (protected 1-8 in ’19; 1-6 in ’20 and unprotected in ’21) and the Clippers (protected Top 14 in ’19 and ’20).
Get More Sports.com: Sheridan: Anthony Davis to Lakers a big possibility, but Celtics in the mix, too
This report is flawed because it fails to consider what Dangercart, Celtics Twitter’s resident salary cap expert, explained weeks ago:

No, it's against the rules to have Kyrie on his current contract and add Davis via trade because they both signed Rose Rule eligible extensions
— Ryan Bernardoni (@dangercart) October 31, 2018

And as Chris Forsberg explained on last night’s pregame show, the only way the Celts could deal for Davis before the summer is if they sent Kyrie to New Orleans (watch video).
That was one report, then there was this…

After marveling at Vince Carter's longevity this morning, Kyrie Irving was asked if he could envision himself playing that long.
"No, no," he said. "Once I’m done with this, hopefully in my early-to-mid 30s, I’m done with this."
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) November 23, 2018

Keep in mind, Kyrie entered the league at age 19, and this is his eighth season. If he plays until age 34, that would be another eight seasons. So let’s not worry about it yet.
Related – Herald: Kyrie Irving cuts short talk of long career  |  ESPN: Celtics guard Kyrie Irving hoping for early-to-mid-30s retirement
And, finally… Three views of sorcery

KYRIE DIFFERENT pic.twitter.com/lMfexbFJmO
— Blue Devil World (@BlueDevilWorld) November 23, 2018


who did it better @KyrieIrving or @michaeljackson pic.twitter.com/BfK9d9s3JQ
— Bd (@Billyd2411) November 23, 2018


this dude is not human pic.twitter.com/E3nKTlqq0l
— xanny ainge (@Mr_546) November 23, 2018

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Your Morning Dumps… Where Tommy Heinsohn gets the team in shape

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I think he’s maybe a little out of shape,” Heinsohn stated, while recognizing that Irving was coming off of offseason knee surgery. “To me, it looks like he’s a little overweight. And to me — his timing, his quickness — he’s maybe an instant slower than he’s been.”
Rather than viewing Heinsohn’s criticism in a negative light, Irving used it as motivation.
“I was on the bike the next morning,” Irving claimed. “I was on the Versaclimb, I was doing everything possible to make sure I prepared my body for what’s to come the rest of the season.”

Irving needed some form of encouragement, and Heinsohn’s comments, which he stumbled upon last week, came at just the right time.
“It’s always great when someone challenges you like that, especially with the respect-level that I have for past Celtics Legends,” said Irving. “And for him to really kind of pinpoint, as me being one of the leaders on this team, a main [focal] point of this team, I had to be in better shape as well as challenge myself on both ends of the floor. I think he made it very clear to me.
Kyrie Irving then went on to clarify that giving short, simple, concise answers would literally kill him (Ok, not really).
It was the perfect storm of circumstances that got Kyrie back to looking like his normal self. With Heinsohn’s comments as a wake-up call, he ditched the Hendrix look, hit the treadmill, and took previously 4-0 Detroit Pistons to school. Irving’s 30 points (10-16 shooting), five assists, and five rebounds probably surprised many of us, as he posted just three points (1-5 shooting) to go with seven rebounds and five assists against the same Pistons team on Saturday. Playing yesterday’s game in Boston might have helped him get comfortable, but the most logical conclusion could be tied to the most significant change of all: shaving the afro. With great success requires sacrifice, or so they say. RIP Shimmy Hendrix.
(Apparently Jayson Tatum disagrees with me)

Jayson Tatum doesn't want Kyrie's fro to get a bad name after his season-high 31 points: "I told him, I said, 'If you have a good game tonight, don't blame it on the fro.' I told him I didn't want to hear nothing about your haircut."
— Brian Robb (@BrianTRobb) October 31, 2018

I find it strange that it was Tommy’s comments that inspired Kyrie to work a little harder to get in shape, as if he wasn’t already tracking his progress since coming back from his injury. We hear so much about diet, body fat percentage, and weird workout equipment these days, I figured that even if an athlete wasn’t totally on top of their conditioning, that a trainer would have notes on a clipboard somewhere to help them along. Then again, reading too much into a Kyrie Irving quote is asking for trouble – it’s nearly impossible to parse through it and separate the most important few words from the rest. Reading his quotes is like a scavenger hunt for philosophy majors.
On page 2, Aron Baynes is in one piece

Aron Baynes made his return Tuesday night against the Pistons, and as Brad Stevens said, his presence was immediately felt. pic.twitter.com/NPkRWvaXSu
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 31, 2018

Aron Baynes said he didn’t even feel his hamstring tonight. Banged his knee during the first half, but enjoyed it because it “gave me something to think about other than my hammy.” He’s a sick human.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) October 31, 2018

We were starting to get ‘Hospital Celtics’ vibes from early injuries to Daniel Theis and Baynes early in the year, but it looks like Baynes is in better shape than expected. And from now on, I’m calling banging knees to cover up the pain of another ailment “The Australian Recovery Program”. It’s like a really masochistic spin on drinking to cover up a hangover.
Seeing guys like Baynes and Al Horford hold their own against the Pistons is about as good as Kyrie torching their guards, if you ask me. Griffin was looking unstoppable in Detroit’s first games (dropped 50 on Philadelphia, scored 31 in two games vs Boston), and while Andre Drummond’s stock may have wavered in the past couple years, he’s still Andre Drummond: enormous and deceptively quick for somebody with his build. (Drummond’s only game this year without a double-double was Saturday vs Boston)
I’m putting ‘turning Aron Baynes into a modern NBA center’ onto the mantles of Brad Stevens’ greatest accomplishments, right next to Jordan Crawford’s Player of the Week award. I’ve seen Karl-Anthony Towns and Jonas Valanciunas get played straight off the court in playoff games, and yet Baynes has carved a niche for himself to always be relevant while he’s in. He’s secretly one of the best post defenders in basketball (seriously), and adding a three-point shot is icing on the cake. In a potential playoff series against Detroit, I’d take Baynes’ defense over nearly anybody else’s, which is why I can’t believe nobody has outbid the Celtics for him two years in a row.
The rest of the links
ESPN: Kyrie Irving shows off new haircut, then show up big against Pistons
Boston Globe: Kyrie Irving, Tommy Heinsohn lead Celtics to win (yes, you read that right)
Boston Herald: Kyrie Irving finds form as Celtics take down Pistons
CBS Sports: Gordon Hayward still dealing with soreness in his surgically repaired ankle

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Your Morning Dump… Where Kyrie confirms his old New York State of Mind

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“Every team was under consideration but obviously New York had a special place for me,” he said. “Just being from Jersey and obviously envisioning myself as a free agent and taking a meeting and playing for [coach David Fizdale] and a great young core that they have here, playing with KP [Kristaps Porzingis], that was a big thing before I planned on re-signing back with Boston. But yeah, New York was a strong consideration.”
Globe: Kyrie Irving acknowledges Knicks once were a lure
“I think if you were in my position, I think it would be an easy decision,” Irving said of his decision to commit to the Celtics. “Thinking about who we have (in Boston) and the future and what we’re set up for. For me, it was where I am in age and how I envision my career going. And kind of the lineage of guys that have come before me in the Boston Celtics is something I wanted to be a part of. Obviously, my dad and my mom met in Boston, so I had a lot of history there, as well. Obviously, being from New Jersey, (there’s) history there. But Boston, there’s nothing like it.”
ESPN: Kyrie says he once considered joining Knicks
This has to be a gut punch for Knicks fans.
Imagine a girl you love standing there saying “I was basically on my way to meet you and I really could see myself with you… but… there was a detour and I had to stop and I met the man of my dreams there. But if i didn’t meet him I’d totally want to be with you.”

I’m not saying that I know this from a soul crushing experience or anything, but all a quote like Kyrie’s does is make you hope for a breakup. Knicks fans have probably started moving on since Kyrie announced he wants to re-sign with Boston… but this probably makes a few of them keep an eye on his situation in Boston.
“Oh… remember when he sat for the end of the Philly game?”
“Hey… isn’t Jayson Tatum getting a lot of touches?”
I have to admit, if I didn’t see all his other quotes leading up to this, I’d say he’s speaking a little too glowingly about New York, but I feel really good that he’s sticking to his word.
Related links: 
NBCSN Boston: Kyrie Irving confirms: ‘New York was a strong consideration’  |  As Knicks fans make pitch, Kyrie reaffirms love for Boston
MassLive: Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving considered signing with New York Knicks, but ‘Boston, there’s nothing like it’
Page 2: Baynes has a hamstring injury
Boston Celtics big man Aron Baynes suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of Boston’s 103-101 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday, which caused him to be ruled out for the final two periods.
In the immediate aftermath of the game, Brad Stevens hadn’t been told much.
“I don’t have any update on it,” Stevens said. “Hamstrings are scary to me.”
MassLive: Aron Baynes Injury: Boston Celtics big man has hamstring injury, which is ‘scary’ to Brad Stevens
Hamstring injuries tend to linger. The Celtics will also very likely be extremely cautious about this.
They haven’t made an announcement yet, but I’d anticipate him missing at least a couple of games. I’d be shocked if he plays tomorrow night against Orlando. The next game is Thursday in Oklahoma City… I’d say that’s iffy too. We won’t know for sure until he gets the MRI and a full determination is made.
Related links:
NBCSN Boston: Aron Baynes departs Knicks game with hamstring injury
And Finally…
Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul get into the fight that’s been brewing for probably a decade or so…

There were some legitimate punches being thrown, which you don’t normally seen in an NBA fight. There will be multiple game suspension for Rondo and Ingram for sure because Rondo threw a punch that connected and another than almost did while Ingram flew in out of nowhere with a punch. He also set this whole thing into motion by shoving James Harden.
Chris Paul’s punishment might not be as severe but he put a finger right on Rondo’s face that did provoke him. If I had to guess it’d be five games for Rondo, two or three for Ingram and one or two for Paul.
Side note, Marcus Morris had the best reaction of the night.

That’s was a Nice ass left Rondo !!! Lol
— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2) October 21, 2018

Is this not a perfect Mook response?
Related links:
Herald: NBA roundup: Game breaks out at Chris Paul vs. Rajon Rondo fight
PS… Go Red Sox!!

We will always approve this message #BeatLA https://t.co/TzP5CaJDYV
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 21, 2018

The rest of the links
The Athletic: Men in the Mirror: Raptors take early season clash, but duel with Celtics likely to be a long one
Globe: Gordon Hayward skips Knicks game to rest  |  Thanks to Jayson Tatum, Celtics barely hold off lowly Knicks  |  76ers trying everything to help Markelle Fultz regain his confidence
ESPN: Which NBA player had the best kicks in the first week of the season?
NBCSN Boston: Tatum shining early in sophomore season
MassLive: Jayson Tatum redeems himself with clutch shots to beat New York Knicks  |  Boston Celtics’ Gordon Hayward’s absence vs. New York Knicks wasn’t pre-planned
Herald: Full spectrum for Jayson Tatum, but big shot gets C’s past Knicks at end  |  Celtics notebook: Gordon Hayward sits out vs. Knicks  |  NBA Notebook: How Mike Gorman spent his summer vacation

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Marcus Smart avoids suspension

Marcus Smart will be on the floor for the Boston Celtics when the open the season next Tuesday.
The NBA announced today that Smart has been fined $25,000 for his escalation of a scuffle between JR Smith and Aron Baynes. Smith was fined $15,000 for initiating the altercation. Baynes was not punished.
I thought the level of aggression Smart showed was going to earn him a game suspension. I don’t think many people would have been surprised by that.
Luckily for Smart, he’ll only have to pay the fine. He should probably throw a few bucks at Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum for saving him from a lot worse.
Watch for how the next Cetlics-Cavs game is officiated, though. These two have a growing history with each other… the NBA doesn’t want an all out brawl. Technical fouls will undoubtedly be quick so don’t be shocked if there’s a double tech if these guys blink at each other wrong.
Smart’s situation was heavily discussed on the new Locked On Celtics podcast. Please listen and, if you’re new to the podcast, please subscribe.

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