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The End of the Celtics Mini-Dynasty: Thank you Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett & Doc Rivers

Rivers teaching Pierce and Garnett how to - basketball

Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Boston Celtics season 2012-2013 season recap

The Boston Celtics started the 2012-2013 season with lots of questions about the future of the team rising. The departure of sharpshooter Ray Allen was costly for the team right from the gecko. Not only did the Celtics lose one of the four wheels of their vehicle to the championship, but they also lost a big part of their momentum. In fact, the entire complexity of the team was different as the season began.

[Related: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basketball_moves]

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo all received more responsibilities offensively. The plays Head Coach Doc Rivers sketched also changed, as the C’s lost a reliable source of points, Ray Allen’s threes. Fortunately for Boston, they were happy to see Jeff Green coming back after an entire season off the courts of the NBA. They also used the help of role players like Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and the emerging Avery Bradley. However, it was crystal clear right from the beginning of the season that the team didn’t have the quality it used to have the seasons before. The Boston Celtics made it to the playoffs, finishing seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 41-40 winning record.

[Related: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry Introduced by Brooklyn Nets (Photo)]

On top of all the uncertainty and the below-standard performances, the team was struck by the season-ending injury of superstar point guard Rajon Rondo. That was possibly the most costly fact that doomed the course of the C’s moving forward. Rondo was and still is the heart and soul of the team. Being one of the best playmakers in the entire NBA, he has unique abilities to set up the entire Celtics team and lead the offensive rhythm. Without him, Boston looked to be in disarray. Another injury, this time from the rookie power forward Jared Sullinger, who provided a solid contribution during the beginning of the season, made things even worse.

[Related: Boston Celtics]

In the postseason, the weaknesses of the team and the lack of metal were exposed. They got eliminated by the New York Knicks in the first round. The only encouraging fact for them was that they saw Jeff Green emerging as a dominant forward. He certainly set the tone for his future and if he maintains his health, his star is projected to shine.

After a disappointing season and an even more disappointing playoff run, the Boston Celtics had no choice but to make radical changes. Danny Ainge chose to ship the aging stars, KG and Paul Pierce, alongside Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets. This blockbuster trade came just days after the Celtics sent their longtime Head Coach to the Los Angeles Clippers. Apart from players, the C’s received several draft picks in exchange for those trades, so a deep rebuilding has already been initiated. Boston also hired a new Head Coach. In surprise to the NBA world, Danny Ainge chose the former college coach Brad Stevens as the next man to hold the wheel for the Celtics. Keeping all the above in mind, we could say that the Celtics will spend the next two-three seasons in rebuilding mode, with the goal to come back strong after that.

This piece is created by Ryan Rainman, who writes on Basketballjumptraining.com about basketball training and tips to show you how to shoot a basketball like a marksman, how to dribble like a magician and has written various basketball training guides.


When most players train to improve their jump shot, they focus on free throws, the mid range shot, the 3-point shot and from close up, the layup shot. Most however, neglect the point-blank range jump shot. The one from within 2-5 feet of the rim. Think of the dotted arc.

If you practice shooting from that area, you will perfect the proper form you need from start to finish to put the ball in the basket. Because you’re so close, it’s harder to shoot a flat jump shot from that range. You’re forced to develop arc. Because the goal’s so close, you’re forced to follow through, wholeheartedly. It’s these simple, little tweaks that aren’t easily perfected when you shoot from longer distances on the court in practices and shoot-around sessions.
Take as many jumpshots as you can from within 5 feet of the rim. Not layups, actual shots. Jump shots, stationary shots, floaters, off-hand, dominant hand. Keep increasing your arc so your strength in your release doesn’t take a hit.
Don’t aim to make the shot, that’s too easy. Instead, focus on swishing the shot without it even touching any metal. All net, baby.
You’ll quickly realize that it’s not as easy of a shot as it may seem and it’s certainly more effective than you’ve ever imagined. Once you master the shot from this range, you can take steps back out to the mid range and long-range areas on the court. Now that your form and release are proper enough, you can shoot lights out with the same consistency. The only thing that changes with distance is arm power/leg power exerted.
Take 100s of mini-range jump shots from left to middle to right of the rim. Try this for a few weeks. Let me know how it goes.

One Tip to Improve your Jump Shot

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How to Shoot like Joakim Noah

Ha, J/K. 

Don’t. Don’t ever aspire to shoot like Joakim Noah. Not because he has a terrible shot, it’s actually quite accurate for a big man shooting a 10-20 foot midrange jumper. But it’s a shot form he created and developed over the years. If you’re starting from scratch and have years to go before you can say you have an exceptional jump shot, then find your natural form first. If it happens to be like Joakim Noah’s, go for it. But remember, his shooting stroke is limited. It’s easy to block if someone is within 3 feet of him. He doesn’t jump. The ball always corkscrews and tornadoes. There’s medium arc. He uses both hands equally, which is what most gurus suggest not to do.

Click here to learn to improve your jump shot by starting with a deadly form.

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The Highest Basketball IQs in the NBA in 2013

Smartest NBA players

Who said basketball is all about jumping high, knocking down shots and dribbling the ball in lightning-quick speed? Well, those could be the major factors for a win, if you’re playing one-on-one. However, in a professional team level, like the NBA, players need to possess way more skills that the above. One of them is a high basketball IQ. Let’s see who the Top 5 smartest active players in the NBA are.

No.5 Tim Duncan

If you need more to justify Duncan’s listing than the fact he is 39 years old and still ranks amongst the top centers in the league, surely there are more. Duncan has managed to retain his performance at the highest level for 16 years. Knowing his weaknesses and strengths, he uses his mind to get the most out of each possession both on offense and on defense. He’s been a big part in the fourth NBA Championships the Spurs have won during his era and he is a lock for the Hall-of-Fame.

No.4 Kobe Bryant

Bryant is another player of the era Duncan started to play in the NBA. He’s been the lone leader of the Los Angeles Lakers for the past years and he will now enter his 18th season in the NBA. Apart from all his athletic skills, his deadly stroke and his abilities to perform acrobatics, the Black Mamba uses his brain to break down the opposing defense. He constantly tries to find its weak spot and hit with his best move.

No.3 Shane Battier

One of the smartest players in the league is definitely Shane Battier. The reasons are obvious. Battier still is one of the best defenders in the forward position. Although he is not the best athlete, he uses his brain to play a lockdown and annoying defense. He stays down on shooters, puts his hands on their eyes instead of trying to block, plus he is one of the best in the league in drawing charges.

No.2 Dwyane Wade

There’s no wonder why Wade gets a spot in the list with the smartest players in the league. His clutch performances and his ability to spot the right timing for the shots he takes are just two of his attributes. Not to mention that he finished his ninth season in the league and opposing defenders still eat his shot fake that results to him drawing a foul and free-throws. Wade also recognizes a bad shot within fractions of a second, in mid-air and passes off when he sees that the shot won’t go in. That generates second chances for his team and teammates.

No.1 Steve Nash

Nash will go down as one of the smartest players to ever play the game. His court vision combines with his experience and high basketball IQ to form a unique mix. He is a floor general, setting his team up and organizing so it takes advantage of all its weapons the best way. The best way he shows his cleverness is the way he finds his teammates.

Intelligent players have a knack for accurate shooting, fundamental rebounding, crisp passing and lockdown defending to go along with all other intangible qualities that make them great basketball players. To learn more, click here.

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Top 5 Passers and Playmakers in the NBA: 2012-13

Best passers in the NBA in 2013

Passing the basketball is an art in basketball. In contrast to dribbling and shooting, which require great athletic skills and body control, passing is more of a mind process. The greatest passers to ever pass from the courts of the NBA had a high basketball IQ, a great imagination and could anticipate where their teammates and opponents would be in the next phase. Passing is easy, in comparison to dribbling and hitting shots, in regards to physical skills, but it requires much more mental training and instincts during the game. Let’s see who the Top 5 passers currently active in the NBA are.

No.5 Steve Nash

Nash has made a living passing the ball and hitting the three-pointer. That’s what he does best and it has been vital to any team he’s been a part of. He’s not just one of the best active passers in the league, but of also one of the best to ever play in the NBA. Another player of his generation, Jason Kidd could be mentioned at this list. He recently retired as a player from the NBA and took over the coaching of the Brooklyn Nets. He and Nash are possibly the two last guru passers of the previous NBA generation left in the league.

No.4 Ricky Rubio

The Spaniard point guard entered the league with big promises about his distributing role. Although he missed the most of the previous season due to an injury, whenever on floor, he proves why he is considered as one of the best passers active in the NBA. He is very creative, makes passes look fancy many times and his supreme ball control only gives him a plus in passing the ball.

No.3 Chris Paul

Passing is all about making things is easier for your teammates, from a playmaker’s perspective. Either the ball handler has to create an opportunity or just find his teammate in the right spot, at the right time and throw a perfectly balanced pass, the ultimate goal is to take find the final shooter at his comfort zone. That means hitting the big man in the paint or kicking the ball to the sharpshooter at the three-point range. Chris Paul does all that and much more with the best way. He is a commander on floor and is one of the best in setting his teammates up.

No.2 LeBron James

We all know LeBron James as the best basketball player currently active in the world. His attributes and his close-to-unreal performances sometimes overshadow his terrific passing skills. LeBron has an outstanding court vision and he also is very unselfish. If he draws a double-team, which he does many times during a game, he will pass the ball effectively to the open teammate thus leading to a score. He is definitely one of the best passers in the NBA.

No.1 Rajon Rondo

Rondo wins the No.1 position and for a good reason. His ability to pass the ball is one of its kind. We’ve all witnessed some of the most creative passes and assists delivered by him, since he stepped foot in the league. He can easily record 15 or more assists per night every night and he really is the main facilitator for his team, the Boston Celtics.

If you aspire to become a great passer, take your Wilson Evolution basketball and start with some individual passing drills at the gym. Be sure to focus on chest passes, bounce passes, 1 hand passes, off-hand passes, pick and roll passes, dribble-drive passes, outlet passes and even behind-the-back passes. Not to

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Interesting basketball quotes

Everything negative – pressure, challenges – are all an opportunity for me to rise.” 

  • Kobe Bryant

And then as kobe chucks away, he says to himself. ‘All these kids out here playing some damn checkers, I’m playing chess. LoL.

“I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.”

  • Michael Jordan

That’s exactly why he popped Steve Kerr in practice and..Wil Perdue? And then Bill Cartwright said ‘If you fuck with me, give me that attitude again, I’m going to break both your legs’. Jordan never said shit to him ever again. True story. Got it from Sam Smith’s book, Jordan rules. Need to finish that little gem.

“There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself.”

  • LeBron James

Thankfully, he stopped putting that extra pressure on himself. But who could blame him? The world was rooting against him. No one’s ever felt that level of pressure that he has, in the NBA or any sport for that matter, and yet he won 2 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs and 2 rings in the last 13 months. Not bad, even though hes on the Miami cHeat. Sorry, I had to. 

Go Bulls.

Check more about quotes, basketball scoring lessons from great coaches and just other hoops related stuff in general if you got some time to kill. Also, Grantland!! The have some great basketball stuff especially from the draft and the Finals coverage.Imageot a

basketball shooting tips
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Easy tip to snap out of a basketball shooting slump

Taken from Leo’s ZenHabits article on breaking out of creative slumps and writers block, here is one of my favorite basketball shooting tips for struggling players who can’t quite seem to break out of a funk.

While this tip is for writers, designers and other creators of art, basketball itself is an art and this can just as well apply to it. In fact, this is one of my favorite tips, but it’s not your typical basketball tip nor do you ever hear a typical basketball player ever share it.

Read about it daily – about basketball or about something completely unrelated.

When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.

Simple Basketball Hack to refreshing your mind

So yes, he’s talking about reading a book or something similar to the topic on hand. Reading alone in itself doesn’t provide answers, it provides a way to help you (re)think about things and it also clears your head. A fresh perspective is sometimes all you need to enlighten and refresh your mind so you can get back to domination.

You can read about basketball, other sports or a completely unrelated book about business, poetry, science, art or frankly any other book that captivates and stimulates your mind. If it makes you think, there’s a good chance you can benefit as a basketball player because you can see the game in a different light. Believe it or not, this gives you a competitive advantage over most other players who show absolutely no interest in reading. Think Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. And Phil Jackson.

A book that’s long enough to keep you occupied for hours and days and weeks is the Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons. It combines basketball, business, art, science and a fan’s perspective from watching the game for years. If you’re truly a student of the game, then the basketball stories you’ll read by Bill Simmons will give you all the inspiration you need to break out of your basketball shooting struggles.