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Boston Celtics

Kyrie Irving Wants To Win Without LeBron James



Newly minted Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving had a public fallout with LeBron James. This fallout caused Irving to request a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers and ended up getting him to Boston.

In his first media appearance as a Celtic, he took to ESPN’s First Take to tackle a number of issues including LeBron James. In regards to James, Irving doesn’t care about the future hall of famers feelings and didn’t even tell him he wanted out of “Believeland”.

Smith: “Did you speak to LeBron James or talk to LeBron James before you or your representatives met with ownership to let them know that you wanted out?”

Irving: “No.”

Smith: “Why not?”

Irving: “Why would I have to?”

Smith: “If you don’t speak to someone about it, they might take it personally.”

Irving: “Yeah.”

Smith: “Do you care about that at all?”

Irving: “No.”

When Irving requested out of Cleveland the Cavs handled the situation poorly and leaked the request to members of the media. For that, Irving was even more at ends with them.

“I felt like the timing was impeccable if you ask me,” Irving explained. “I think how ironic it was that I was on my China trip and how my trade rumors all of a sudden just came out publicly. And it was hurtful because I knew how professional I had kept it throughout the whole entire process, and how strategic it was. Because I knew it was going to be madness, and it turned out to be like that. And when you’re living in a reality-based (world) and I’m a very awake individual and you have all these exterior forces trying to change or skew everyone else’s opinion, and I’m not able to say anything, and I’m sitting back and being very, very patient, it became something that I didn’t understand because of the amount of moments that we had together as a team. .. It was hurtful to see that a lot of the reports, and a lot of things that were happening, there was minimal truth to it.”

When it came down to it though, the culture and environment surrounding Cleveland was a driving factor in making him want out. Part of it admittedly was likely the departure of former GM David Griffen and James’s controlling factor.

“When you think about the journey, and you also put things into perspective for what they really are, it’s a truthful environment. And I wasn’t getting that (in Cleveland). And that’s where it really stands,” he explained.

Despite being considered one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference this season Irving understands a lot of work will need to be put into making the Celtics compete.

“That’s the kind of difficult question that will be asked throughout the entire season until we form our identity,” Irving said when asked about expectations. “Only four guys from last year’s team are returning. It’s totally a new journey. I have high expectations and we share that as a group.”

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

Boston Celtics

Cleveland Cavaliers Will Rebound, But Celtics Have Yet To Peak



The state of the Eastern Conference is an interesting one. Currently, the Boston Celtics sit in first and the Cleveland Cavaliers sit on the outside looking in. Both teams where the number 1 and 2 favorites to start the season, but despite the vastly different records, this NBA season hasn’t even started.

Championship teams in the NBA tend to start off slow and start to heat up after the first 50 games of the season. So for Cleveland, all is not lost. The Cav’s are an old team in terms of roster age with a lot of players with banged up lower bodies. With no real young motivating factor, they may need to make a trade for some legs when the time is right.

But Cleveland will have Isaiah Thomas joining their rotation in the near future and could launch that team right back on track. For Boston, their hot start and 8 game winning streak is a sign of good things to come. But will their current success continue? Can they improve from where they currently are?

The answer is clearly yes. Young players like Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum all have a lot of room for growth in their game. Some of them have already exceeded expectations, but growth should come. In terms of the superstar Kyrie Irving, he has been inconsistent so far but has shown signs of brilliance. Irving has fit right into the Stevens system, but true comfort could still be coming.

The only spot on the roster that could be in midseason form is Big Al Horford. Horford has been spectacular so far this season and has played an unstoppable two-man game with Irving. He is a great player, and may already be at his season peak as he shows why he is a max player in the second year of his deal with Boston.

So while the Cleveland Soap Opera will likely evolve as the season goes on, the streaking Boston Celtics like the Cavs, have yet to play their best basketball. Going forward the idea of winning banner #18 this season even without Gordon Hayward should be very real. But as stated in the second graph, the first 50 games aren’t the telling signs. So while many might jump to the championship idea, the importance of waiting is key. Even with that, the Boston Celtics will be one of the top teams in the East in the. Will they be better than Cleveland is the question.

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Boston Celtics

The Misevaluation of Jahlil Okafor



Somebody needs to tell Danny Ainge - the Celtics are not broke. Stop trying to fix them.

There have been rumors circulating, in regards to Boston’s interest in acquiring, the 76ers (benched) center Jahlil Okafor. The tabloid factory that is promoting this brand of weak hype is doing the Celtics, and their fans, a disservice.

We do not need another face-value big man to dissolve in Brad Stevens’ system.

If you only examined the back of this dude’s basketball card then you’d mistakenly presume that he would be a valuable asset on any NBA team. You would also be in agreement with the 2015 Philadelphia 76ers, who selected Okafor 3rd overall in that year’s NBA Draft. Now do you feel stupid?

He promised to be the first heartening glimpse of “the process”, or the rebuilding of the 76ers. 2 years into Okafor’s turbulent tenure with Philadelphia, and he’s their most expensive ornament riding the pine.

There is a reason why Philly has given up on Jahlil Okafor. And it suggests that the Celtics should reconsider their valuation of this potential pick-up. Okafor is the illusion of an NBA superstar; a mirage that disappears when it’s put to the real test.

Damaged Goods

The excitement surrounding Okafor’s request to be “traded or bought out” is completely understandable. He has had his fleeting moments of prolific scoring, in the NBA and in college. But eventually the law of large numbers betrays a truth about sustainability.

Okafor’s game is not sustainable, due to the problems manifold that have kept this guy off of the court, for a good portion of his NBA career. He has missed just about 40% of the games that he could have played in. That’s far from the portrait of a dependable player.

Celtics fans should be familiar with an incident that plagued Okafor earlier in his career. There is video evidence, from November of 2015, of Jahlil getting caught up in a fight, outside of a Boston nightclub. This was the second time that he had been accused of getting into an altercation, after playing a game against the Celtics.

Clearly Boston is not this guy’s favorite city to visit. Why would he want to play here, for any period of time?

The 76ers decided that Okafor’s belligerent behavior was worthy of a suspension. He was a member of the visiting team, when the incident(s) occurred. This problematic sample, implies that there would be more trouble to come if Jahlil Okafor was given the opportunity to find it, here in Boston.

The list goes on. In his rookie year, after returning from the 2-game nightclub suspension, Okafor tore his right meniscus. For those of you who need a layman’s translation - he injured his right knee.

As a center who is 6’11” and 255 lbs, having both knees available is more than critical to performing the responsibilities of his job. It’s necessary. Once that cartilage and those tendons start to deteriorate, recovery is a bumpy road to go down.

The 76ers would tell you that Okafor is currently being benched because of some “disagreement” or “internal argument”. But that’s just business-babble. They’re selling a product after all. A look through the microscope might reveal that Okafor is more damaged (psychologically and/or physically) than he is dissident.

Don’t get it twisted - Jahlil Okafor is not the prodigy, once heralded coming out of Duke, that everyone expected him to be. He is an egg that doesn’t respond to incubation. Unfortunately, at this point in his career, it appears as though he may never hatch.

And the Celtics simply do not need him. The preconceived rebounding problem on this 2017-18 team does not exist. At best, he would give the C’s 20 minutes a night, coming off the bench, of middling and incongruent basketball.

For once, Boston and Danny Ainge should take the advice of the Philadelphia 76ers (they would know) - you do not want Jahlil Okafor on your basketball team.   

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Boston Celtics

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly



The world of Boston Sports seems to be in perfect harmony, at this juncture in early November.

Fall is in the air - soon the trees will be majestically swaying with resplendent foliage. The Patriots and the Celtics reign at the top of their respective divisions. It’s certainly the best time of the year to live in New England.

So allow me to disillusion you, and wake you from you’re bright-eyed wallowing, with a dose of ambivalent pessimism.

After all, as New Englanders, we’re not supposed to be happy. We’re supposed to be insatiably critical - of everything.

Let’s explore that philosophy with another installment of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Get Angry Edition.

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