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Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics got a split on their trip out west

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Over the span of a week, the Celtics fell at the buzzer to the Los Angeles Lakers; lost Marcus Smart after the guard struck a picture frame at the team hotel; wondered whether Al Horford had suffered another concussion (he had not); stormed back to control the Los Angeles Clippers without Horford, who sat as a precaution; dropped an entertaining and well-played game to the mighty Golden State Warriors; and arrived in Denver looking to close out the trip with a .500 record.

“It would be a pretty decent trip if we could go 2-2,” Irving said, “especially with the steps that we’ve taken to improve on both ends of the floor.”

Consider it a decent trip. But he Celtics added another adventure to their growing list by losing all of a 20-point lead, rallying back, and surviving a last-second scare from the Denver Nuggets

MassLive

Well, the Celtics headed out west having lost three in a row. Then they lost to the Lakers, then Marcus did something stupid, and ironically, things kind of started to go better after that.

I mean, they did lose to the Warriors, but they looked pretty respectable in the process.

Last game on the trip and the chance to salvage a split was last night in Denver.

Eleven months back, the Celtics went out west in the midst of a bit of a slump. Like this year, the Celtics played the Lakers, Warriors and Clippers on that trip as well. With the exact opposite results-losing to the Clippers and beating the Lakers and Warriors. They also had a game against Phoenix on that trip, and, like this trip, the Celtics closed out the trip in Denver.

It didn’t go well.

At all.

The C’s lost by 20, and believe me, it wasn’t even that close.

So, given the C’s crappy trip last year (they even lost to the Suns, for cryin’ out loud), I’m willing to take last night’s win over Denver regardless of how ugly it was (or how close it came to being a loss).

Tatum got 20 points, and Jaylen Brown took a pretty fearless shot that proved to be the game winner, and Daniel Theis looked more or less like what we hoped Ante Zizic would be–so, on the whole, it was a nice win to build off of. Especially with the Knicks on tap next–it’d be nice to see the Celtics work out some of the past few weeks’ worth of kinks and frustrations against ye olde Knickerbockers–basically the 21st century’s worst professional basketball team.

Page 2: Where what the heck?

The first blockbuster major deal of the trade season went down Monday night with the Detroit Pistons agreeing to terms on a six-player deal headlined by Blake Griffin going to Detroit. Ex-Celtic Avery Bradley was among those players moved from Detroit to the Los Angeles Clippers where he will reunite with his coach in Boston, Doc Rivers.

NBC Sports

So last summer, Blake Griffin was a free agent, and the Clippers locked him up with one of those new gigantic super-max contracts. At the time, people were pretty impressed that the Clips had sealed the deal:

Two days after salvaging the Chris Paul situation with a clever trade, the Clippers have reportedly re-signed Blake Griffin on a five-year maximum contract. Considering that there was a real possibility both stars could have walked and left the Clippers reeling, this should be seen as not only a turning point for the franchise, but a victory. Rather than sinking into a rebuild and considering the possibility of trading DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles will start next season with renewed energy. 

CBS Sports

Now, the consensus is that the Clippers have gotten out from under a “bad contract”.

And Doc Rivers will be coaching yet another ex-Celtic.

For those of you keeping track at home, this is his seventh:

  • Avery Bradley
  • Austin Rivers
  • Brandon Bass
  • Paul Pierce
  • Jeff Green
  • Glen Davis
  • Nate Robinson

What do the Clippers get out of all of this? I don’t know. Allegedly they think they can get a meeting with LeBron this summer. If that’s the case, John’s probably got the sharpest take on it:

For the Pistons this looks like the kind of maneuver that keeps mediocre teams mediocre.

Remember when people were fretting because Ainge was going to get Boston stuck in the NBA’s middle?

Well, what the Clippers, Pistons, Lakers, Hornets, Knicks and Bucks have done shows how you get stuck in mediocrity: You overpay for a free agent to ‘make a splash’, or you trade for a top priced player without having a really good idea what to do with the guy.

As long as you’ve got a broad swath of the NBA making the same stupid moves over and over again, even the slightest measure of competence is enough to set you apart.

Finally: It’s Brad-ception

Honestly, the face of the fan is pretty much enough all by itself, without being surrounded by real life and t-shirt versions of Brad’s “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed” pose.

The rest of the links:

MassLive: Richard Jefferson, proud of flat-Earth joke, not surprised Kyrie Irving has thrived with Boston Celtics Blake Griffin traded to Detroit Pistons: Blockbuster deal sends Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley to Clippers

Boston Globe: Celtics end rocky trip with nail-biting win in Denver

NBC SportsC’s confidence an encouraging signOn blog, Hayward offers update on rehab

Boston HeraldCeltics notebook: Marcus Morris will be cheering on his hometown EaglesCeltics hold off Nuggets as last-second hoop ruled too lateDenver’s Richard Jefferson big fan of ex-teammate Kyrie Irving