Lottery is a Crap Shoot

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Lottery is a Crap Shoot

June 24, 1998

The Clippers are in control of the 1998 NBA draft. Is there any wonder why things are out of control? Karl Malone likes to go driving with a state cop. The Clips prefer Mr. Magoo. No one is sure what Donald Sterling's brain-dead brain trust will do, but you can be sure that down the road, it either will be the wrong choice or it will bring a calamity on the franchise. That's the Clipper Way. Go back to 1988, the last time the Clippers controlled things. They had the first pick, just as they do today. They actually did the right thing and drafted Danny Manning. You already know that story.


Deal in the Works for Kandi?

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Deal in the Works for Kandi?

June 23, 1998

Like a lot of teams, the Celtics are trying to move up in the draft to acquire Pacific center Michael Olowokandi. And, like many teams, the Celtics don't want to give up their best players to get him. The Celtics would like to dangle Travis Knight, Greg Minor, and their first-round pick (No. 10 overall). Everyone knows the Clippers don't have a history of being the smartest team in the league, but even they would have to be cautious about that for Olowokandi.

"We haven't worked him out," Rick Pitino said, "but there is a possibility that we can draft him." According to Pitino, Antoine Walker would not necessarily be a part of a deal. But word from the West Coast is that Walker's name was mentioned in a potential trade with a Pacific Division team. That would make sense when you consider that the Clippers have the first pick, while the Warriors and Kings are at Nos. 5 and 7, respectively.

Coach's choice

 During a 30-minute press conference at the Celtic offices, Pitino said he wanted either Nazr Mohammed, Ruben Patterson, or Jelani McCoy . . . Pitino said he was happy with the offseason work of soon-to-be free agent Popeye Jones. The coach said Jones has dropped 40 pounds.


Lakers Drop 47 Points in Third Quarter

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June 3, 1984

With each fast-break basket scored by Los Angeles in the NBA Championship series—i.e., Magic Johnson passing to Michael Cooper or James Worthy or any other flashing bolt from the blue—the Lakers' fascination with pyrotechnic explosions becomes more and more apparent. And in the wake of Sunday's 137-104 thrashing at the hands—or feet—of the Lakers in Game 3 at the Forum, it was clear that the Boston Celtics obviously had forgotten one of childhood's basic tenets: Play with fire and you'll get burned.

Olowokandi's Stock is Rising

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Olowokandi's Stock is Rising

June 21, 1998

He is rapidly becoming the "must have" of the 1998 NBA draft. Considering that many hoop fans never even heard of him a year ago, well, it says that Michael Olowokandi has come a very long way in a very short time. He's testament to two NBA articles of faith: (1) You can't coach height and (2) centers are hard to find. NBA scouts are ignoring Olowokandi's limited college career (77 games) and lack of tough competition (he went to Pacific) and are spinning things to the upside: He didn't start playing seriously until college, and the unvarnished prospect (he played recreationally in Europe) has not gotten spoiled by hangers-on and anti-fundamentalists. He has excellent footwork and agility, thanks in part to years of playing soccer.


Lakers' Break Takes Flight

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- After Sunday's supersonic 137-104 victory over the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers might want to consider a move to Edwards Air Force Base.

Life there among the jet fighters might more befit the fast-breaking Lakers than the Forum, where they soared to victory in Game 3 of the NBA championship series, taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 will be played here Wednesday (9 p.m., Chs. 4, 34).

No go on Seikaly

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No go on Seikaly

June 20, 1998

The Nets have been making inquiries to teams, trying to determine if there is interest in Rony Seikaly. John Calipari should not call Boston. The Celtics had a chance to acquire the 7-footer before last season's trading deadline and declined . . . Pitino dismissed a rumor that the Celtics are prepared to reassign or fire several employees after July 1. "The Boston Celtics are status quo," he said . . . One name that should not be disregarded in the draft is that of Kentucky center Nazr Mohammed. The 6-10 Mohammed knows how to play PitinoBall and is very close to Walker. If he were there at No. 10, it would be difficult for the Celtics to pass on him. But word is that 76ers coach Larry Brown - who tormented the Celtics last season by taking Keith Van Horn and then trading him to the Nets - is enamored of Mohammed and is considering taking him with the eighth pick . . . Dana Barros and Travis Knight are participating in the Beantown Basketball League at Boston College. The first time their teams go head to head is June 30 at 6:40 p.m. The games, held at Conte Forum's Powers Gym, are open to the public. Admission is free . . . The Celtics' pre-draft media briefing Monday will be broadcast live via the Internet. Visitors can access the Celtics' website (www.bostonceltics.com) at 12:30 p.m.


Will Game 3 Bring another Laker Blitzkrieg?

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May 31, 1987

The scary thing is that the Los Angeles Lakers believe they haven't really started to show the Boston Celtics anything yet.

This, after a 115-109 in Game 1 of the NBA title series at Boston Garden - the first win by an opponent at the Garden in the playoff season.

Celtics Give Garrity a Look

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Celtics Give Garrity a Look

June 20, 1998

Pat Garrity's recent itinerary reads like a Bruce Springsteen concert tour.

Yesterday the sharpshooting Notre Dame forward was at Brandeis University in Waltham to work out for the Celtics - after having auditioned in Toronto, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Houston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Charlotte, and Orlando.


The Lakers Don't Play Eastern Conference Basketball

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May 31, 1987

The seeds for Boston's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the NBA finals were first sown on April 17, when the Celtics took the floor to face the Washington Bullets in their first-round series.

Washington was the first of three Celtics' opponents whose chosen playing style was of the walk-it-up variety. For all four games of the Washington series, all seven of the Knicks' series and all five of the Milwaukee series, the Celtics were dealing with slow-tempo basketball, and yesterday they paid the price - defensively.


Celtics Audition Keon Clark

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Celtics Audition Big Men

June 19, 1998

If the Celtics keep the 10th pick in Wednesday's NBA draft, you can be sure they'll select a big man. Five players who are listed as centers or power forwards come to town today to work out for coach Rick Pitino: Keon Clark, a 6-foot-10-inch forward from UNLV; Notre Dame's Pat Garritty, a 6-9 forward; Baylor's 6-10 Brian Skinner; 6-9 Ansu Sesay from Mississippi; and Rashard Lewis, a 6-10 high school center from Texas. Michigan's 6-8 Robert "Tractor" Traylor was scheduled to visit today but had to change his plans.

Celtics' Hand Rises from the Grave

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May 31, 1984

The time is 12:04 in the morning. Cedric Maxwell has taken the final inbounds pass from Larry Bird, and there isn't a Los Angeles Laker in sight.


Hitler was a Lakers Fan

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Employee #8 Not the Most Accurate from the Stripe

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The Celtics lost to the Hornets, 102-98, last night at the FleetCenter. Forget that score. The issue is this: The Celtics are seeking advice from any person who ever has started a job and completed it. That's it.

Here's a warning: Do not be deceived by the final 19.3 seconds. David Wesley was not the reason the Celtics lost for the 11th time in 12 games. "I would never give myself that much credit," he said. "If I had made the last shot, I wouldn't say I won the game for us, either."

Rick Fox was not the reason the Celtics lost. Neither was Antoine Walker, who missed five free throws in the fourth quarter, free throws that would have given the Celtics a tie if they had been made at the 8:17 mark (87-85) and the lead if they had been made at 2:41 (92-91).

At times, the Celtics rookie makes the taxing parts of this game look routine. But the free side of the NBA has been so difficult that Walker is now leasing property in the statistical Land of Shaq.

Walker: 47 free throws made, 87 attempted, 54 percent.

O'Neal: 133 free throws made, 267 attempted, 50 percent.

"The thing that hurts me most is that I've had some big misses in the fourth quarter," Walker said. "I'm hurting the team and I'm hurting myself."

"What do we have, 58 games left? By the end of the season, I think I can be up to 78, 80 percent," Walker said.

"I work on them all the time," Walker said of his freebies. "I struggled with them a little bit in college, but never like this." He was 2 of 8 from the line last night, a stat that will make his 14 points and nine rebounds irrelevant.


Blunders, Blunders Everywhere

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May 31, 1984

Was Cedric Maxwell surprised by all the miscues?

"Not when you're playing with this much intensity and that much on the line," he said. The end "was like being on death row, waiting for time to tick down, tick down, and waiting for the governor's reprieve."

Laker Coach Pat Riley expects the intensity to continue.

"All the games are going to be competitive," he said. "It's what everyone wanted and it's what everyone is going to get."

The Celtics cringed at the idea of becoming the only team in 37 years of NBA championship series to drop the first two games at home. Now they go to Los Angeles with renewed spirit.

"We're going to be very confident knowing L.A. doesn't play well at home," said Henderson. "If we can go in and get one game -- we're going for two -- but if we can get one we'll be OK."

A split would restore the homecourt advantage for Boston, where Game Five will be next Friday night.

Los Angeles had only the 13th best home record in the NBA's regular season, while Boston was the top road team. But the Lakers are 7-1 at home in the playoffs.


Danny Ainge Decides to Crash the Party

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May 31, 1987

A Wall Street type thinker might not consider either Danny Ainge or Scott Wedman prudent long-term investments, but for at least one playoff game the Celtics were able to forget about how much more they have always expected from either of these two oft-frustrated athletes.


This Ainge Guy Can Play a Little

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May 31, 1984

Over? Hardly.

Boston guard Danny Ainge says the NBA Championship Series has only just begun as it heads into tomorrow afternoon's nationally televised Game 3 (Channel 10, 3:30) at the Forum.

Ainge certainly showed signs of coming back to life Thursday night, scoring 12 points and contributing five assists as the Celtics tied the best-of-seven series at one game apiece with a 124-121 overtime victory at the Boston Garden.

Celtics Bit Players Stop Showtime

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May 31, 1987

The bit players emerged from the shadows at Boston Garden and stopped the National Basketball Association's premier show.

That's one of the things that will be remembered about Game 2 of the championship series - a drama-drenched overtime game in which the Boston Celtics, teetering on the precipice, fought back for a 124-121 victory over the error-prone Los Angeles Lakers, thereby gaining a 1-1 split going into tomorrow afternoon's game on L.A.'s home court.


Antoine is Center of Attention



M.L. Carr knew he'd be filling his center position "by committee" going into the season. The problem is that his committee --Dino Radja, Pervis Ellison, Frank Brickowski and Alton Lister -- is now a committee of one--Antoine Walker, after Lister missed another game hamstring problems. Radja (knee surgery) is out for the season, Ellison (toe) won't be back any time soon, and Brickowski (shoulder surgery) will be sidelined at least another month.


The Ebbs and Flows of an NBA Season

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1984 was an interesting year (aside from George Orwell). The Boston Celtics couldn't beat any body that mattered, at least until it counted. The green started the 1983-84 season 9-5, while this year's team started 10-4, but this year's team did post a big win on opening night against Cleveland in Cleveland.