You may have forgotten already but the Boston Celtics were 12 minutes away in Game 7 against the Miami Heat, from advancing to the NBA Finals. Strong free agent acquisitions have these Celtics gearing up for a run at a championship in 2013.
According to ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg, the Celtics have officially signed Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, and Chris Wilcox to deals. Together, along with NBA first round pick Jared Sullinger, will improve the Celtics' frontcourt production, which is arguably the one weakness that kept the Celtics from an NBA Finals berth last season.
Forsberg also mentioned that the Celtics have handshake agreements set with both Jeff Green and Jason Terry, but a few details must be worked out prior to finalizing the signings.
Boston is not only improving their squad with these top-tier talents, but they are also putting themselves a step ahead of last season as well.
Here are three major reasons why this new-look Celtics team will be a tougher, more feared championship contender than last season.
On Tuesday night, the New York Knicks offcially decided that Linsanity would have only a one-season run on Broadway.
Lin is headed back to Houston after the Knicks decided on Tuesday that they wouldn't match the Rockets' three-year, $25 million offer for the restricted free agent.
The 23-year-old point guard, who went undrafted out of Harvard, became an international phenomenon and the biggest story in sports during one dazzling month in the Big Apple. But the Knicks decided keeping the show in town was too costly.
"Extremely excited and honored to be a Houston Rocket again!!" Lin posted on his Twitter account. "Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support the past year...easily the best year of my life."
Lin will return to Houston, where he spent two weeks in training camp in December, before the Rockets waived him. General manager Daryl Morey later regretted the move and alluded to the mistake as he celebrated the re-acquisition of Lin on Twitter late Tuesday:
"Welcome to Houston @JLin7. We plan to hang on this time. You will love #RedNation."
After a successful first round of summer league basketball, the Boston Celtics will now be traveling to Las Vegas. But before we look ahead, lets look back at some of the standouts and also see how their new rookies did in their first NBA action.
The Celtics went 4-1 this week down in Orlando, and a large part of that was from the contributions of Dionte Christmas, E'Twaun Moore, Jared Sullinger, and Kris Joseph.
To start out, Dionte Christmas was the biggest surprise. I didn't know who he was before the summer league began, but he really impressed me with what he can do.
Yesterday alone, Christmas had 21 points, 19 of them came in the first half. Throughout the whole week he had been consistent scoring 10 points four out of five games. He not only can score, but he can rebound and do all the intangibles. In his first game Christmas grabbed 10 rebounds, all of them were defensive. He plays great defense, brings a lot of energy, and he doesn't play out of control.
For a long time it looked like the Brooklyn Nets were going to do whatever it took to get Howard. However, after signing Brook Lopez to four-year $60 million contract, it appears that deal will not happen.
Several teams have had at least some interest, but the Magic are going to make sure that they get what they think is a fair deal before they let Howard go.
Howard, who signed a one-year option this past season, has said that the only team he would re-sign with is Brooklyn. That statement has kept some teams away, while others are willing to risk having him for just one season, hoping to convince him otherwise. It has been confusing, and it seems like it could drag on even longer. Someone will eventually come up with the right price for Howard, but the question is who?
The Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic have exchanged trade proposals in the past, but the two sides have apparently reconstructed their offers in order to make the trade more attractive to the Magic. The Rockets also decided recently to use their amnesty clause on Luis Scola to clear up extra cap room for Howard.
New role, same old result for Kevin Durant; and even with another loss from its roster, the U.S. Olympic basketball team just keeps on rolling along.
Durant picked up where he left off in international competition, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead the Americans to a 113-59 victory over the Dominican Republic on Thursday night in an exhibition game.
The MVP of the world basketball championship two years ago, Durant came off the bench to shoot 9 of 11 from the field, making 5 of 6 3-pointers in 22 minutes. He said coach Mike Krzyzewski told him shortly before the game that Carmelo Anthony would start alongside LeBron James at forward, and he adjusted just fine.
"It felt good to me," Durant said. "It was cool to come off the bench for the first time. Wherever they need that spark, I'm going to try to come out and give them that spark. So I was looking forward to having different roles playing with USA, so it was kind of fun for me, actually."