Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The San Antonio Spurs are champions again, and like most coaches around the NBA, Stevens was in awe of how they methodically toppled the Heat to win the title.
“It’s clear that we’re all chasing them,” Stevens said.
He also gushed about the Spurs’ selflessness, especially from their bench players.
“I just think everybody is so locked in to their role and trying to be the best teammate they can be,” Stevens said.
“Against us, they didn’t have three of their starters the second time they came here and they drilled us. I think that’s who they’ve been all year. They’ve been able to sit guys, rest guys, do all that stuff and never miss a beat.’’
“The way that they played and the way that their young guys have increased their roles and the way that their old guys have continued to play great and accept those young guys — at the end of the day, it’s been a great thing to emulate.”
Boston Globe - Celtics looking at lottery guys and long shots
The San Antonio Spurs destroyed the two-time defending champion Miami Heat with beautiful, team-oriented basketball that involved incredible spacing and ball movement on offense. In every league, you see teams try to emulate the blueprint of the current champions. The Celtics, who sort of created this style of play in the late 50’s and 60’s, are now looking at the Spurs as the path back to greatness. All they need is the next Tim Duncan. Kidding aside, it is an admirable goal and one that should definitely be pursued. Generally, I think most teams in the NBA (at least the better ones) could play like the Spurs, but it requires sacrifice and changing habits that have been ingrained in players from such an early age. There is something to the AAU culture as well as the ESPN culture. They grow up watching how superstars get all the attention and fanfare. They get it early by shoe companies and through the NCAA. Are they solely responsible? No, but it doesn’t help.
If you watch the Spurs closely, they are a beautiful team to watch, but there are a lot of basic basketball principles that any professional team should be able to execute and sustain over a long period of time. Think about it. How often do you check a Spurs box score to check on individual stats as opposed to the gaudy team stats? How many teams do you actually do that for? If Brad Stevens and the Celtics are aiming at this goal then pay close attention to the players they draft and acquire. They discussed having depth as a start, but they also still need to get the talent. The Spurs still play as a team, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking they don;t have star players. Duncan is in the discussion as one of the greatest to ever play the game. Tony Parker is one of the best point guards in the league and Manu Ginobili can still bring an Argentinian Army Knife set of skills. Oh and yeah, they have a budding star and Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard. The C’s have some work to do, but they could do much worse having a long-term goal as emulating the Spurs. They could even simply look back at the own illustrious history and watch how the teams of the 60’s and even Tommy Heinsohn’s coached teams of the 70’s played.
Page 2: Antoine Walker revisits Boston with a new documentary
If you’ve been a fan of the more recent Celtics, then you’re probably well aware of Antoine Walker’s financial troubles. Since his playing career ended, there have been several stories about how Walker lost $100 million (give or take a few million) by loaning money to friends, investing in some bad ventures and also gambling debts. Walker tweeted out that he has a new documentary coming out soon. Unfortunately he’s not the first NBA player or athlete to have gone through this, and he likely won’t eb the last. Hopefully, Walker’s message can be useful in a similar way that another former Celtic’s has been, that of Chris Herren. Take a look at the preview below:
The rest of the links:
MassLive – Shabazz Napier’s winning pedigree stands out to Boston Celtics | Boris Diaw explains almost joining Boston Celtics before joining San Antonio Spurs in 2012 | Rajon Rondo once delivered a metaphorical ‘knockout punch’ to Marcus Williams during Boston Celtics pre-draft workout, says Autsin Ainge