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Celtics Al Horford Believes Boston Can Win Championship

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Boston Celtics biggest free agent acquisition Al Horford, who came over from the Atlanta Hawks, is excited about the 2016-2017 NBA season, his new team and Boston’s potential, which he believes is championship worthy.

Although he admitted his first practice with Boston was a little strange, Horford exuded confidence and excitement about his new home.

“It’s definitely a weird feeling, but I feel good,” Horford said. “It feels right to be here.

“I took a chance on coming here, because I believe in the type of guys we have here in the organization and the potential there is. So that’s why I’m here, and I have a lot of respect for a lot of these players.”

Count teammate Jae Crowder as one of the many people around the organization that is excited for the addition of Horford.

“It’s no coincidence that, wherever he goes, he wins,” Crowder said. “He’s a winner. It’s good to see him on our side.”

“‘Our style of play fits how you play’ — we stressed that [to Horford],” Crowder said. “We were just stressing like, ‘You don’t have to change anything in your game. Bring whatever you brought to Atlanta. Bring that with you, and you’re going to be fine.'”

“Even though I was in Atlanta last year and we beat the Celtics in the playoffs, I was very impressed with how hard the guys played and how good the team could be under Coach Stevens and just what I saw from the group,” Horford said.

“It just really intrigued me, and when the free-agency process came around, at the beginning I would say I was very comfortable with Atlanta, but, as the time kept going on and I met with the Celtics, it just became real to me,” Horford said.

One of the things that appealed to Horford was the Celtics’ young core which includes Crowder and Isaiah Thomas.

“Looking at my career at this point, I’m going into my 10th year and want to be able to be a part of something special and win a championship. With the type of guys that we have here, we have that possibility, and that’s something I wanted to be a part of.”

“When we were recruiting him, I was like, ‘It’s sunny all the time!'” Thomas joked.

“He deserved that contract,” Thomas said. “It’s a lot of money. If we go out for team dinners he can pay for everything. Around Christmas, we’re looking forward to really nice gifts.”

“He’s going to help us in so many ways” Thomas continued. “These last couple of weeks [before training camp] I was able to work out with him and play 5-on-5. He’s so unselfish.

“He knows how to make the right play out of the pick-and-roll. He can help us in a lot of ways, not just offensively but defensively. He’s someone we needed. I’m excited to be going with him.”

“The guys had a really good year last year here,” Horford said. “We have some great leaders here already, and I just want to be able to come in and help our team grow, just get acclimated as fast as I can and help us be a better team. That’s basically what I’m here to do. I want us to grow as a team and be better.”

“We all know the situation of the flexibility and all the future draft picks and all that stuff,” Horford said. “That was there. But, for me, just the guys that we have here, the group that’s here, is what I felt good about with Coach Stevens, playing under his system.

“I feel like one of [Stevens’] strengths is passing, and I feel like the bigs in this offense handle the ball a lot, and that’s something that excited me, just the thought of putting those things together and then being in a place like this. It’s a special place.”

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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Cavs’ Tyronn Lue Stresses Maintaining Urgency In Game 4

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Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue is making sure that his team doesn’t get too ahead of themselves after their Game 3 blowout win over the Boston Celtics, and is looking for the Cavs to maintain their sense of urgency ahead of Game 4 on Monday.

It will be interesting to see how the odds stack up as the Cavs and Celtics series continues, especially if Cleveland can even the series, and sites such as BetStars will certainly be worth keeping an eye on as the Eastern Conference Finals plays out.

“We know what it takes,” Lue said on Sunday, according to ESPN. “We did it before. We’ve got a lot of veterans, a veteran crew and they know what it takes to win. We can’t get satisfied with just one win, it’s just one, we’ve got to come out [Monday] night and duplicate it again.”

Lue used the film study to show his players the exact type of effort he wants to see as things progress in the series.

“Just remind them that this is the way we have to play,” Lue said of his approach with the team.

Naturally, the Cavs will be leaning on LeBron James’ performance to guide them in Game 4, and while James has been his usual, super-productive self offensively, he has amplified his play on the defensive side of the court, which sparked the rest of his teammates in Game 3’s victory.

“I thought [Saturday] night was one of LeBron’s best games I’ve seen in a long time as far as helping, closing out to Jaylen Brown’s chest, making him put it on the floor,” Lue explained. “Closing out to [Marcus] Morris. Closing out to [Marcus] Smart, so he did a really good job of just setting the tone of multiple efforts and that was good for us.”

The Cavs will be turning to their bench to put in another solid performance, mainly Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.

Clarkson in particular saw an uptick in his shot volume, but struggled, shooting just 3-for-11 from the field and 3-for-7 from 3 point land

“I don’t think he’s nervous,” Lue said. “He’s not scared or afraid at all. When you take 11 or 12 shots off the bench in the playoffs, you’re not scared, you’re not afraid, so that’s what he does.

“He’s just got to be smart, time and score when to do it, but he’s doing a good job of just trying to be aggressive and attacking and I think he will make shots.”

“When I’m on the court, it’s always just basically shooting it with confidence,” Clarkson said. “The more looks I get, I feel like they will go in.”

“Larry knows his job,” said Clarkson. “He’s going to screen, he’s going to roll, he’s going to get rebounds and he’s going to defend. I think his time is coming in this series.”

“His energy, his athleticism, his ability to switch and guard multiple positions is good for us,” Lue said. “When he’s rolling to the basket, he got a couple dunks last night, and when they pull in to help, now you’ve got Kyle Korver and JR making 3s. His athletic ability and his force rolling to the rim is really key for us.”

“We’re starting to figure out that LeBron doesn’t have to take 20-some shots to beat a great team by 30,” Nance said. “The rest of us are very good basketball players in our own right and it’s nice to show that.”

 

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NBA Playoff Schedule 2018

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Are you ready for the NBA Playoffs? Well, we have you covered with the full NBA Playoff schedule including game times, TV coverage info, matchups and dates.

Here is how things are breaking down, schedule wise, per NBA.com. NOTE: * = if necessary

Western Conference

No. 1 Houston Rockets vs. No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves

Game 1: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: April 15 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: April 18 at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves: April 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4: Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves: April 23 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: April 25 at TBD

*Game 6: Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves: April 27 at TBD

*Game 7: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: April 29 at TBD

 

No. 2 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 7 San Antonio Spurs

Game 1: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: April 14 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC

Game 2: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: April 16 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs: April 19 at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 4: Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs: April 22 at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

*Game 5: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: April 24 at TBD

*Game 6: Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs: April 26 at TBD

*Game 7: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: April 28 at TBD

 

No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers vs. No. 6 New Orleans Pelicans

Game 1: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers: April 14 at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 2: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers: April 17 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans: April 19 at 9 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Game 4: Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans: April 21 at 5 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers: April 24 at TBD

*Game 6: Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans: April 26 at TBD

*Game 7: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers: April 28 at TBD

 

No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz

Game 1: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder: April 15 at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder: April 18 at 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Game 3: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz: April 21 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz: April 23 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder: April 25 at TBD

*Game 6: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz: April 27 at TBD

*Game 7: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder: April 29 at TBD

 

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 8 Washington Wizards

Game 1: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors: April 14 at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 2: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors: April 17 at 7 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Game 3: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards: April 20 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2

Game 4: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards: April 22 at 6 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors: April 25 at TBD

*Game 6: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards: April 27 at TBD

*Game 7: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors: April 29 at TBD

 

No. 2 Boston Celtics vs. No. 7 Milwaukee Bucks

Game 1: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics: April 15 at 1 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics: April 17 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks: April 20 at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks: April 22 at 1 p.m. ET on ABC

*Game 5: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics: April 24 at TBD

*Game 6: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks: April 26 at TBD

*Game 7: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics: April 28 at TBD

 

No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 6 Miami Heat

Game 1: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers: April 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 2: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers: April 16 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat: April 19 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 4: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat: April 21 at 2:30 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers: April 24 at TBD

*Game 6: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat: April 26 at TBD

*Game 7: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers: April 28 at TBD

 

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 5 Indiana Pacers

Game 1: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers: April 15 at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Game 2: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers: April 18 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers: April 20 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4: Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers: April 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers: April 25 at TBD

*Game 6: Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers: April 27 at TBD

*Game 7: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers  April 29 at TBD

 

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Celtics’ Jaylen Browns Says Donald Trump Made It ‘More Acceptable for Racists to Speak Their Minds’

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Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown is speaking his mind about racism ahead of the Celtics game against the Philadelphia 76ers in London on Thursday, mainly pointing a finger of blame at President Donald Trump.

Brown asserts that Trump has only exacerbated racism issues, not helping.

“Racism definitely exists across America today. Of course it’s changed a lot—and my opportunities are far greater than they would have been 50 years ago” Brown said in an interview with Donald McRae of the Guardian.

“So some people think racism has dissipated or no longer exists. But it’s hidden in more strategic places. You have less people coming to your face and telling you certain things. But Trump has made it a lot more acceptable for racists to speak their minds.”

“Racism definitely still exists in the South,” Brown said. “I’ve experienced it through basketball. I’ve had people call me the n-word. I’ve had people come to basketball games dressed in monkey suits with a jersey on. I’ve had people paint their face black at my games. I’ve had people throw bananas in the stands.”

Brown had praise for Colin Kaepernick and Brown pointed toward Trump’s Twitter feud with LaVar Ball regarding the detainment of LiAngelo Ball for shoplifting in China as one of the issues he has with the president.

Brown also talked about his own experience with racism during his upbringing in Marietta, Georgia.

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