Tag: Amare Stoudemire

Are You Buying Into “Linsanity” These Days?

Are you jumping on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon? (Photo Credit: China Sports Review)

By NoontimeSports.com 

He never won an Ivy League championship with the Harvard University men’s basketball team or experienced March Madness as an actual player, but currently, former Crimson standout Jeremy Lin has become a NBA sensation over the past week due to his recent success he’s experienced with the New York Knicks.

Lin, who graduated from the Cambridge campus in 2010, has enjoyed a great deal of overnight stardom by helping the Knicks win three of their last four contests without Amare Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony in the line-up.

Against New Jersey, Utah and Washington, Lin has averaged 25 points, eight assists, as well as 39 minutes.

Also, Lin wowed teammate Tyson Chandler and the Orange and Blue fan base with his first official NBA dunk on Wednesday against the Wizards, which was viewed on YouTube by thousands.

“I didn’t know he could dunk,” said Chandler via the New York Times. “When he’s going in for it, I go: ‘No, Jeremy! Just lay the ball up.’ And all of a sudden he dunks it.”

Lin has certainly changed the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden, and across the NBA world, as well as social media, too. However, Noontime Sports is wondering if his recent three-game performance is a fluke or the real deal? Are you buying into “Linsanity” these days?

If so, post your thoughts or ideas on the comment section below, and let us know if you think Mr. Jeremy Lin is the real deal.

10-Games Boston Celtics Fans Can’t Miss in 2011-12

Does Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics have what it takes to win the NBA Championship in June of 2012?

By Matt Noonan 

The NBA Lockout is far from over. However, the league announced on Tuesday the 2011-12 regular season schedule, which hopefully is a sign of progress.

Although, despite the ongoing NBA drama, here’s 10 games that Boston Celtics fans will certainly want to circle on their calendars, especially if the season starts in November.

Boston at Miami (Nov. 16) – Seriously, who isn’t intrigued by this particular matchup? The newest version of the “Big-3” failed against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA championship this past June, plus, between the ongoing lockout and time apart, Miami should be pretty rusty for the aging Celtics legs.

Boston at Orlando (Nov. 17) – Boston-Orlando has turned into “can’t-miss” television, so, mark your calendars fans, as the Green and White will look win back-to-back games in Florida on this particular weekend in November.

Miami at Boston (Dec. 1) – This matchup should be more intense, especially since it will be at the Garden. Can you imagine the fans reactions when LeBron Jamesis introduced over the public address system? Should be interesting!

Boston at New York Knicks (Dec. 25) – Santa should deliver quite an exciting Christmas Day treat, especially if both teams are healthy. Although this time around, New York’s “Big-3,” (Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups) should know to how to play with one another, so let’s hope for an exciting holiday contest.

Dallas at Boston (Jan. 11) – The Mavericks won their first NBA championship in franchise history last season, so you can expect the Northeast championship tour to be somewhat exciting, especially against the Celtics.

Oklahoma City at Boston (Jan. 16) – This game will totally be worth watching, especially if the Green and White’s old friends, Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson remain with the Thunder. Yet, why did I write that particular sentence? Well, apparently Robinson wants to play football these days; yet, they’re somewhat in a lockout too, right?

Los Angles Lakers at Boston (Feb. 9) – The last time the Lakers invaded the Garden was when the Celtics watched Ray Allen hit his 2,561st three-pointer. Any chance he’ll break another record against Boston’s rival?

Chicago at Boston (Feb. 12) – Ever since their epic seven-game duel in the ’09 playoffs, Chicago has challenged Boston a great deal. Although with youth, talent and Tom Thibodeau on their side, Chicago should run away with this game, but let’s hope that’s not true.

Boston at Houston (Feb. 19) – Once upon a time, Kevin McHale played for the Celtics, but now, he’s the new head coach for the Houston Rockets, so this is another, “can’t-miss” television event. Hopefully The Office won’t be on that evening!

Boston at San Antonio (Mar. 25) – At this point, both teams should have locked up playoff spots, yet, playing in San Antonio can be challenging, especially for the Celtics, who are [38-40] all time against the Spurs.

Miami Beats Celtics, Advances to Eastern Conference Finals

The Heat only needed five games, but beat Boston on Wednesday, 97-87.

By Matt Noonan

Remember Game 7 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Los Angles Lakers in 2010? What happened during the final four minutes in regulation?

Well, in case you forgot, the Boston Celtics ran out of gas and allowed the Los Angles Lakers to comeback and win their 16th NBA Championship. Although, on Wednesday, it was as if Boston was reliving the nightmare, but this time, LeBron James was playing the role of Kobe Bryant.

The Miami Heat tore apart the aging Celtics in Game 5, as well as punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2006 with a convincing 97-87 win. James finished the game with 33 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while his partner in crime, Dwyane Wade added 34 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals.

As for Boston, they watched Ray Allen lead the Celtics with 18 points, while Kevin Garnett added 15 points and collected 11 rebounds. Also, the Celtics received some additional help from their bench during the third and fourth quarter, as Delonte West finished the game with 10 points and Jeff Green added an additional nine points.  

Although, while this loss is certainly painful, it’s pretty easy to state, we saw this coming.

Against the New York Knicks in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, the Celtics displayed their age and tired legs, but were able to sneak past a banged up squad that didn’t even have a healthy Amare Stoudemire. Boston got lucky by sweeping the Knickerbockers in four games, but knew that Miami wasn’t going to be an easy foe.

Miami immediately took control in Game 1, which set the tone for the entire series. The Heat ended up winning the first two games, but lost to Boston in Game 3 at the TD Garden. However, they bounced back two days later and then won again.

The Celtics also witnessed their major contributors, such as Rajon Rondo, Shaquille O’Neal, Paul Pierce, Allen and West either sustain injuries or re-aggravate their ailing bones and muscles.

Boston will now head into the off-season with a lot of questions, such as; will Doc Rivers return to the bench next season as the head coach? What should the Celtics do with Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal? What battled tested free agent veterans can the Celtics scoop up? Also, can the “Big-3” win one more championship?

There certainly is a lot that has to happen if Boston wants to return to the NBA Championship, but after losing to LeBron James and the Miami Heat, I’d say, it’s time to sit back and reflect on the past season.

Indeed, it was a fun run, but certainly not the finish the Celtics and their fans expected, but hey, this is what makes sports so enjoyable, right?

Celtics Sweep the Knicks, Advance to NBA Playoffs Round II

Kevin Garnett led the Celtics past New York!

By Matt Noonan

The Boston Celtics avoided a possible Game 5 at the TD Garden and brought their broomsticks to Madison Square Garden on Sunday, so they could officially beat the Knicks and move onto round two of the NBA playoffs.

However, was this game totally in their control? That’s certainly debatable, as New York attempted to do whatever they could to remain in contention during all four quarters.

Although, despite their valiant effort and Carmelo Anthony’s attempted comeback, the Celtics ended their first round series with a 101-89 win and officially move onto face either Miami or Philadelphia.

Here are our Noontime Sports notes and reflections from Sunday’s win.

*Consider this series sweep a “NBA omen” for the Celtics, but also, Shaquille O’Neal, who didn’t record a single minute against New York. Will he play against Miami or Philadelphia remains a “hot-button” issue, although, neither the Heat nor Sixers have a solid “big-man” that could certainly challenge the Celtics offense, so if Shaq needs another round of rest, I’d say, let it happen. Danny Ainge acquired the Big Shamrock for one reason, which was so he could win one more championship before he retires, so again, having a few extra days of rest won’t be the worst thing.

*Glen Davis certainly snapped out of his “funk,” as he led the bench with 14 points and recorded five rebounds. Davis is indeed one of their more important role players on the Celtics roster because he is expected to secure multiple rebounds on both offense and defense, as well as tally roughly 10-15 points a game. Don’t consider Davis the next coming of Bill Russell or Robert “The Chief” Parish, but hopefully Sunday’s game was a turning point. Also, expect Davis to continue playing roughly 25-30 minutes in round two.

* Kevin Garnett led the team with 26 points and 10 rebounds, which is great, but also a sign that the “Big Ticket” is slowly transforming himself into postseason form. During the first three games of the series, Garnett scored 36 points and pulled down 35 rebounds, which is indeed, typical Garnett, but can he continue this trend going forward? We shall see, but after watching the way he played against the Knicks, it certainly seems like he is incredibly focused and wants to return to the NBA Finals.

* The Celtics defense appeared stagnant through the first two quarters, but eventually ratcheted up their pressure during the second half. They allowed Carmelo Anthony to score 32 points and Amare Stoudemire 19 points. The Knicks turned the ball over 14 times, but also couldn’t compete with Boston on the defensive glass. The Celtics tallied 44 defensive rebounds, which certainly demonstrated the fact that head coach Doc Rivers must have made some changes at halftime.

* Continuing with the defensive theme, expect Rivers and his coaching staff to make sure his defense is ready for their next opponent. Defense was what helped the Celtics earn Banner 17 in ’08, so if the Celtics want to advance to the Eastern Conference for the third time in four seasons, they better play defense.

* Finally, the Boston Celtics recorded their first playoff series sweep since the 1985-1986 season, when they swept the Chicago Bulls in round one, three games to none.

Boston Steamroll's New York, Celtics One Game Away from Second Round

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 38 points, as Boston won their third game of the series against New York at Madison Square Garden

By Matt Noonan

Paul Pierce scored 38 points and Ray Allen complimented his teammates efforts with 32 points, as Boston earned their third win in a row against the New York Knicks on Friday, 113-96.

Besides the play of Pierce and Allen, Kevin Garnett made sure his opponents knew that he came to play, as he recorded 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals and nine points.

Boston jumped out to a quick 22-7 lead during the first quarter and never looked back. The Celtics offense moved the ball quite well, but also forced their opponent to take off-balanced shots.

The Celtics defense were also pretty impressive, as they recorded 30 defensive rebounds and held the Knicks to just 12 offensive boards.

Rajon Rondo had a terrific game both on offense and defense, as he finished the evening with 15 points, 20 assists and two steals. In fact, the Celtics have won 37 games this season when Rondo hands out at least 10 assists.

On the other side, New York appeared incredibly lost, dumbfounded and out of sync, as both Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony combined for 22 points.

Toney Douglas added an additional 15 points and three rebounds while Jared Jefferies contributed 12 points and five rebounds off the bench.

After leading at halftime, the Celtics tallied 34 third quarter points, as well as outscored the Knicks in the second half, 61-52.

Game 4 will be played Sunday at Madison Square Garden and with a win the Celtics can officially punch their ticket to the second round of the NBA playoffs.