Noonan: The Celtics Exceeded Expectations, But Are On The Path To Contend For ‘Banner No. 18’

NBA: Boston Celtics at Detroit Pistons

Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics are close to becoming title contenders for the next few seasons. (PHOTO CREDIT: CSNNE.com)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

As we all know, the Boston Celtics overachieved this season, taking that ‘so-called’ next-step with an impressive Game 7 win earlier this week against the Washington Wizards to secure a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Players like Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Avery Bradley and yes, Kelly Olynyk, have made impressive contributions for the Green and White over the past few weeks.

However, we all know this crew is not ready to contend with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Instead, we, the Celtics fans, have witnessed another brick being added to the foundation. Danny Ainge’s process is slowly coming to fruition, which means the Green and White are inching closer to their ultimate goal of ‘banner number 18.’

It will come, I promise, but it won’t be this season. Maybe it will be next season or the year after, but the Celtics, who certainly exceeded expectations this spring, have proven they deserve a spot at the ‘big boys’ table with Cleveland, Golden State and San Antonio.

And while the outcome of this current series certainly favors the Cavaliers – yes, Cleveland dominated the opening game last night, downing the Celtics, 117-104 – Boston must at-least show some fight to keep the excitement on Causeway Street going into next season.

What the Celtics do following the Cleveland series is an unknown. Yes, there have been speculation, thoughts, tweets and opinions about the Green and White dealing their number one pick or perhaps luring Paul George or Gordon Hayward to Boston, but nothing is official.

If I were Danny Ainge, I would consider trading the top pick or perhaps selecting Markelle Fultz (Washington) or Lonzo Ball (UCLA). I would also be open to welcoming drafting Josh Johnson (Kansas) or Jayson Tatum (Duke) to Boston, too.

For now, just like many of you, I am going to enjoy this current run by the C’s. Yes, it maybe painful at time – who doesn’t want to see Thomas and his teammates defeat ‘The King’ and last year’s champions, but in the back of my mind – like many – I know this is just the beginning of what should be an exciting few years of Celtics basketball.

The future is promising, Green and White fans, so enjoy the remainder of the series and get set for what should be an exciting offseason.

Will The Celtics Re-Sign Ray Allen?

Do you think Ray Allen will join Miami for the 2012-13 season? (Photo Credit: CelticsTown.com)

By Matt Noonan 

It’s the summertime, which means news can be incredibly slow, which is why Noontime Sports has decided to pose a few questions pertaining toward the various professional sports teams in Boston.

In this particular post, we decided to ask the question: Will Ray Allen re-sign with the Boston Celtics? And below we’ve provided a thoughtful answer.

I doubt it, but I hope my gut is wrong.

Ray Allen is one of the greatest deep shooters in NBA history and it’s certainly possible that a three-year, $9.3 million contract would intrigue the shooting guard to join forces with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Yet, if he wants more money, and what professional athlete doesn’t these days, he’d re-sign with the Celtics, a squad that could offer him more than the Heat.

When Boston acquired Jason Terry this past week, many believed that particular acquisition marked the end of the Allen era in Massachusetts. However, if Allen really wants to win one more championship before retirement, then why wouldn’t he attempt to do it with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce? Wouldn’t that be the ideal storybook ending?

Allen, Garnett and Pierce most likely have one or two years remaining, so I personally believe it would be the wrong thing for him to leave Boston for the NBA’s “evil empire.”

Boston currently has enough cap room to not only re-sign him, but also add additional pieces that could help the veteran squad compete for Eastern Conference glory against Brooklyn, Indiana, Miami and New York.

According to the Palm Beach Post, Miami put on the full-court press on Thursday to persuade Allen to join the Red and Black. And as noted in Ethan J. Skolnick’s blog post, Allen could see more minutes in a Heat uniform, especially if Wade continues to be hampered by a knee injury. He also mentioned that LeBron posted a picture of the shooting guard in a Heat uniform on Twitter this past week, which obviously was designed through Photoshop, but stirred up excitement by the various South Beach supporters.

All in all, I think there is a good chance that Allen will indeed ink his name on a contract that’ll provide him with a Miami uniform. Although, anything is possible, especially in the world of sports, so don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

Expect Boston to produce a counterattack that could possibly persuade Allen to re-join the Green and White for one last title run before he makes his decision.

What’re your thoughts? Do you think Ray Allen will sign with the Heat or return to the Celtics? Feel free to send your thoughts to NoontimeSports@gmail.com or respond to us on Twitter @NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog. 

Celtics Clinch Atlantic Division

By Matt Noonan 

The Boston Celtics earned their 30th division crown on Wednesday, as they defeated the Orlando Magic, 102-98 at the TD Garden.

Boston is now 37-26 overall, and will most likely enter the upcoming NBA playoffs as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. However, their potential first round opponent, Atlanta, defeated Detroit on Wednesday, and currently is a 1/2 game up on Boston with a 37-25 record. Both teams will square-off on Friday when Boston travels to Atlanta.

The Celtics have three regular season contests remaining against Atlanta, Miami and Milwaukee, and would certainly like to conclude their abbreviated schedule with 40 wins.

For a rapid reaction on Wednesday’s clash — CLICK HERE.

Daily Noontime – April 2, 2012

Rajon Rondo recorded his fifth triple-double of the season on Sunday, as Boston beat Miami, 91-72! (Photo Credit: RajonRondo.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Monday to everyone. Also, Happy April, too. It’s time to unveil some headlines and news from the Boston sports scene!

* The Boston Celtics won their fifth consecutive game on Sunday, as they defeated the Miami Heat, 91-72. Rajon Rondo finished the contest with his 16 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, while Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 23 points. Boston has now won 15 of their last 20 contests, and will return to the hardwood on Wednesday when they host the San Antonio Spurs.

* As of Monday, Apr. 2 – Boston owns a one game lead over Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division, and currently resides in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. So, if the playoffs were to start this week, they’d face the Indiana Pacers.

* The Boston Bruins picked up two critical wins this past weekend, as they defeated the New York Islanders on Saturday and New York Rangers on Sunday. The Black and Gold also clinched the Northeast Division crown, and will most likely be the No. 2 seed in the 2012 NHL Playoffs.

* The Bruins will conclude their regular season slate this week with two home contests against Pittsburgh (Apr. 3) and Buffalo (Apr. 7), as well as a trip to Ottawa (Apr. 5).

Rivers: “Before The Season [Started], I Thought We Could Go Deep”

Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers seems to think that his team could make a deep playoff run! (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By Matt Noonan 

The Boston Celtics earned their third consecutive win on Wednesday when they defeated the Utah Jazz, 94-82. And while the victory didn’t exactly catapult them to the NBA Finals, it certainly was a critical momentum builder for the Green and White, who’re currently locked in a two-way tie atop the Atlantic Division with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Yet, while there is still a lot of basketball left on the docket before the abbreviated 66-game season concludes, Doc Rivers believes that despite all the trials and tribulations his team has experienced over the past few months, they’ll be ready to make a “deep run” once the postseason begins.

“Well, before the season [started], I thought we could [go deep] – beginning of the season I wasn’t so sure, and now I do,” Rivers said during his Boston sports radio appearance on WEEI on Thursday.

“You have to be healthy – you just have to be healthy, [and] the one thing that is good is that we rest more in the playoffs. The playoffs – the games are harder, but the rest is more, and you have a great opportunity to play, rest, you don’t travel, so that’s the best you’re going to be during the playoffs,” he added.

Boston will conclude their March schedule on Friday against the Timberwolves in Minnesota before returning to the TD Garden for two critical back-to-back contests against Miami and San Antonio.