Celtics Release 2014-’15 Schedule

The Boston Celtics released their schedule for the 2014-’15 season on Wednesday.  The Celtics will play only one nationally televised game on January 14th at home against the Atlanta Hawks. This means the Celtics are not a premier team in the NBA.

Their lone star (Rajon Rondo) is in the final year of his contract. Their roster is filled with either players who have been disappointments (Jeff Green, Evan Turner, and Tyler Zeller) and rookies like Marcus Smart and James Young.

The Celtics schedule in November looks to be daunting. They have to travel to Houston (Rockets), Dallas (Mavericks), and Chicago Bulls. The only game where they could be favored is on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers. Then they have a six-game road trip through the Western Conference from January 19th through January 28th.

Here are some notable games for Celtics fans to look forward to.

-October 29th – The Celtics open the season versus the Brooklyn Nets at the Garden. Kevin Garnett could be back with the Nets. This might be Garnett’s final season in the NBA.

– November will be filled with home dates against the elite teams in the NBA. On November 12th, the Celtics will square off against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Two nights later, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will visit Boston. Then on November 28th, the Bulls make their first appearance at TD Garden. On the last night of November, the Celtics will face the defending champion San Antonio Spurs.

– Paul Pierce, Kris Humphries, and the Washington Wizards play in Boston on December 7th in their only visit to Boston.

– The Celtics will not play on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. Boston sports fans will have a doubleheader with the Bruins and Celtics both playing at home on Black Friday (annual ritual except in the case of lockout) and New Year’s Eve. The Celtics will host the Bulls on Black Friday and they will see the Sacramento Kings on New Year’s Eve.

– In January, the Celtics begin their journey on the West Coast against Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers come to Boston on March 29th.

– The All-Star break is lengthy this year as the Celtics will be off from February 11th until the 20th. The Celtics last game before the All-Star break and trade deadline (February 19th) is against the Hawks at home. This could be Rondo’s final game with the Celtics among other veterans like Brandon Bass, Green, etc.

– Featured rookies: Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves will be in Boston on December 19th. The Milwaukee Bucks led by Jabari Parker play in Boston on April 3rd.

– The Celtics’ two meetings against the Los Angeles Lakers will be on December 5th (in Boston) and February 22nd (in Los Angeles).

This season appears to be another frustrating trek in the win-loss column. Though,there could be some interesting developments in the 2014-’15 season such as whether the Celtics will move Rondo and the development of Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Smart, and Young. Next summer, the Celtics will have money coming off their books, but Kevin Love is not walking through that door.

Thoughts on Playoffs, Adelman

I wanted to start a column where we could discuss some current happenings in the NBA on a more regular basis. Please let me know your feedback whether you enjoy or not. Also, if you have any suggestions or interests, please let me know those as well! Now, on to the news.

The number 1 seed in the East, the Indiana Pacers, lost at home to the 8th seed and under .500 Atlanta Hawks. As I said in my preview last week, the Hawks present a terrible matchup for Indiana. This is a team that can rain 3’s, are gritty and can play in low scoring games. Indiana continued to look like an absolute mess on offense and what else can be said about Roy Hibbert? He doesn’t look like he’s engaged or has any energy out there. If I were Frank Vogel, I would have to seriously consider benching him and running out Luis Scola. Scola has a better chance to defend Pero Antic on the perimeter and would at least give the impression of a player who is engaged. The Pacers continue to struggle with the Hawks and my series prediction of the Pacers winning in 5 will be wrong.

The Portland Trail Blazers, led by LaMarcus Aldridge, beat the Houston Rockets in a fantastic game late Sunday night. Aldridge is finally breaking in to the main stream national spotlight and he stole the show with a 46 point, 18 rebound performance. My concern if I’m a Houston fan is they will not be able to get the defensive stops when they need them, especially if Patrick Beverly is hurt for an extended period of time. I would also be concerned that Houston will not be able to hold a lead, especially in front of the raucous Portland crowd. I still believe this series will go the distance as Houston is just too talented to lose in a short series.

The Spurs and Thunder both look fantastic. The Spurs were trailing most of the game and then suddenly the Mavericks went ice cold and the Spurs blew by them while making it look easier than the wind blowing weed seeds around your yard (personal problem). The Thunder looked utterly dominant in their opening game versus the Grizzlies and will look to strike fear into the heart of San Antonio. From the initial eyeball test, I don’t think there will be anyone other than San Antonio and Oklahoma City competing for a trip to the finals.

Rick Adalmen retires from coaching after a disappointing season in Minnesota. There were high hopes for the Timberwolves this season with the addition of Kevin Martin and the healthy duo of Rubio and Love. They were a better team than last year but really have no defensive presence to speak of (until they decided to play Gorgui Dieng when the season no longer mattered). Their bench was awful and they lost an absurd amount of games in the last minute. I’ve always thought Adelmen is a good offensive mind but is overrated as a head coach. Early in his career, he had playoff success with Portland but in the last 19 years of coaching, he didn’t make the NBA finals. He will always be a guy that won a lot of games and made some average players much better but never was able to get over the hump. As for the Timberwolves going forward, they need to do everything they can to appeal to Kevin Love. He is their franchise and if he leaves, they are going to have to be back to a 20 win team within a couple years.

In Case You Forgot, Dwight Howard Is Just Annoyingly Awful

On Tuesday, an article was published in the Orlando Sentinel where Josh Robbins was able to talk with Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard. Howard, of course, spent eight seasons with the Orlando Magic and helped get them to the NBA Finals in 2009. The Rockets face the Magic in a preseason game in Houston Wednesday night. With that backdrop, Robbins asked Howard some questions about his departures from both Orlando and Los Angeles and if he’s learned anything.

Howard used the opportunity to pretty much present himself as a brave man who had to just do what was right. The one thing about Howard that has always been especially infuriating is his complete lack of self-awareness. While he seems to know that there are people who don’t like him, he doesn’t seem to understand why. It seems like he just puts it off with the general attitude of ‘haters gonna hate’, and not realizing that publicly, he comes across as a selfish and petulant child.

Some quotes from the article still show that Howard really just doesn’t get it, as he positions himself as somebody fighting for something of real worth. Remember, this is an extremely talented and famous pro athlete making millions of dollars a year. He isn’t a revolutionary fighting The Man. Yet, to listen to him, you’d think that he was just fighting for the greater good, rather than just constantly keeping attention focused solely on Dwight Howard.

Just so much to dissect in these two paragraphs. First off, you have to love the use of the well-worn cliché of Howard referring to himself in the third-person. On top of that, is Howard really trying to present himself as a martyr, saying how his decision to take a bunch of money from Houston to play there took a lot of guts? Seriously? All one has to do is point to that little exchange to see why a lot of people just absolutely can’t stand Howard.

Yet, the article revealed even more unrestrained narcissism from Howard. As the discussion got into his time with the Magic and how he’ll be facing his former team on Wednesday, Howard stated that he was a little hurt that the team decided to let another player (Tobias Harris) wear #12, his old jersey number. In his mind, he feels it should be off-limits and basically retired due to his contributions to the franchise.

Uggghhhhh. Dwight Howard is just goddamn insufferable. First off, Howard spent the entire 2011-12 season whining that he wanted out of Orlando. That is something not lost on the fans or the team. Second, he is still an active player who will probably be playing for another 10 years. Third, it isn’t as if he won multiple MVPs or brought Orlando a championship in his time there. Get over yourself, Dwight.

Finally, just to put an extra cherry on top of what makes Dwight Howard just impossible to like, the article points out that Howard told a Houston reporter that same day that he went out and bought a cowboy hat and some chaps to show that he’s now a true Texan. He also plans on getting some cowboy boots. He said that he’s wear his new outfit during the Finals if the Rockets get there. Much like Shaq before him, Howard suffers from the delusion that he is really funny and charming. And, just like Shaq, he really, really isn’t. Nothing is worse than the unfunny guy who thinks he’s hilarious.