Celtics Big 3 Had Big Impact But Run May

The Big 3 was on top in 2008.If coach Doc Rivers had his way, the Boston Celtics’ Hall of Fame trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen would have another go at it. But Rivers likely will not get his way, now that the NBA model for success morphed into a collection of youth and speed.Boston’s Big 3 had talent and heart, but the years of wear and tear slowed them down. It was never more obvious than in Game 7 Saturday, when the Celtics seemed almost transfixed to the floor in the fourth quarter as Miami’s younger, energetic Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh led an 18-4 run that decided the Eastern Conference championship.With Allen and Garnet, both 36, as free agents – and the fact that the currently constructed group did not get it done this year – it is likely general manager Danny Ainge will try to get younger and faster. But that does not take away what Pierce, Allen and Garnett accomplished.How is 327 wins, two conference championships and the 2008 NBA title? It is so good that Miami found it necessary to assemble its own Big 3, although it was achieved in a way that made critics surface. Ainge drafted Pierce out of Kansas and made trades to acquire Garnett and Allen. Bosh and James were recruited to join Wade as free agents.In any case, losing 101-88 Saturday might have been the Celtics’ trio final game together.“I wish we could have had healthy runs,” Rivers said. “I don’t know. Because of, really, Kevin’s injuries, I don’t know if we could have gotten any more out of the group. I would have loved to have seen this team if this whole stretch was injury-free. . . They deserved it with their will.”In a move he hopefully will regret, Garnett left the American Airlines Arena floor before the final buzzer, did not congratulate the Heat players or staff and departed the locker room before media arrived. Allen did the opposite and was even emotional about the team’s future.“Up to this point we’ve fought hard to keep it together,” said Allen, the NBA’s all-time three-point shooter. “Now, there are so many emotions. This one hit me hard. We wanted it so bad.”Said Rivers: “I just want to stick with this group for a little longer, whether it’s a couple days, a couple months.”But Allen faces offseason ankle surgery and Garnett’s body has been wrecked over so many years of playing so hard. The Celtics have point guard Rajon Rondo for the next three years under contract; he has emerged as a premier floor leader in the league. Forward Brandon Bass played strong in the playoffs and has an option to opt out of his contract. Role players such as Mickael Pietrus and Keyon Dooling may be gone, too.If this is the end for Boston’s Big 3, it leaves behind a legacy of toughness and grit and will. And winning. Lots of winning. read more

The 1 Passion propels walkon Eddie Days

Eddie Days doesn’t look much like a basketball player. Generously listed at 6 feet, and weighing 180 pounds, the stocky Days looks more like he should be playing running back for Jim Tressel than guard for Thad Matta. But Eddie is more passionate about basketball than most people are about anything. He simply loves the game. At Richmond Heights High School near Cleveland, Eddie was a star. As a senior in 2006, he averaged 22 points, six rebounds and five assists per game, and was named first-team All-Ohio. But despite all of his success, he still didn’t have any Division I scholarship offers. Eddie had opportunities to play for Division II or Division III schools, but that wasn’t what he had in mind. Even when Eddie was young, he said his dream was to play basketball for the Buckeyes. “I always wanted to come (to Ohio State). My dad came here. All my family lives here in Columbus,” Eddie said. “I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.” Unbeknownst to Matta and his staff, Eddie decided to pay his way and try to walk on the basketball team at OSU. He loved the game too much to stay away. “Even before tryouts my freshman year, I would play ball at the RPAC probably five hours a day,” Eddie said. “Not even just to stay in shape or just because I knew I was trying out, but just because I loved playing.” After those daily, five-hour sessions, he’d hit the weights. “If I didn’t play ball,” Eddie said, “I was having a bad day.” When the day of the tryouts came, Eddie walked up to the Schottenstein Center and, along with 11 other guys, ran a few drills and scrimmaged for about a half-hour. The whole process lasted about 45 minutes. That was it. Everything Days worked for came down to that moment. “Right after tryouts were over, Jamar Butler, Daequan Cook and David (Lighty) were in there watching tryouts,” Eddie said. “Jamar came up to me afterwards and said: ‘The coaches like you. They think you’re probably going to be the one.’” Eddie made the squad. “He was just so, so excited,” said Judie Days, Eddie’s mother. “I can’t explain how excited he was.” Eddie planned to take the bus straight back to his residence hall, but that didn’t exactly happen. “I ended up just sitting on the bus for like an hour, just riding and kind of reflecting on how I played that day,” Eddie said. “I’d probably have to say that would be my favorite memory.” But his happiness was short-lived. During his junior year of high school, Eddie passed out during a morning basketball practice. After running a battery of tests, the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic discovered he had a rare heart condition. Days was put on medication and had no problems following the fainting incident, but OSU doctors didn’t want to take any chances. They wanted to take a closer look at the problem. By the time the doctors were satisfied and cleared Eddie to play, the roster was full. Eddie was denied his chance to be a part of the team. “That was really devastating,” Judie said. “That was really hard for him and (his family).” After being let down, Eddie wouldn’t let up. He kept up with his daily marathon gym sessions, and even started helping the women’s basketball team practice to get more gym time. Though Eddie wasn’t able to play for the men’s team, the way he played during tryouts earned their respect. Former Buckeye guard Jon Diebler has known Eddie since 2007, and said the team thought highly of him. “Eddie’s a guy who has always been around the program, and whenever we would have open gyms Eddie was welcome to come and play,” Diebler said. “Even when he wasn’t on the team, he would still come and play because we knew the type of player he was.” When Eddie came back in 2007, the roster was full and the team didn’t hold tryouts. The following year there was a tryout, but the team ultimately decided not to take anyone. Three years had passed, and Eddie still wasn’t where he wanted to be. Some thought it was time for him to try something else, but he refused to give up. “I even asked him at one point. I said, ‘Well, would you maybe want to think about going into coaching?’ But he said, ‘No, I want to play,’” Judie said. “He was adamant.” So for a fourth consecutive year, Eddie attended tryouts. This time, he made it. “It finally worked out,” Eddie said. “I think they just wanted somebody who would play hard and understand that if they make the team, they may not play a lot, but they still have to bring it every day in practice. And I understood that.” Eddie was a practice player, and said he loved it. “My role was to bring it every day in practice. Especially this year, with five or six freshmen, just to kind of be a leader and show them how things are done and lead by example,” Eddie said. “I think it helps when you play hard on scout teams and the practice team against the starters. It really helps them out.” Eddie was routinely matched up with some of the best players in college basketball. His first year, he was in charge of checking Evan Turner in practice. This year, he guarded William Buford, Diebler and Lighty. “Eddie’s a guy who’s really strong, so he would be really physical with us and he did a great job of guarding us,” Diebler said. “He would challenge a lot of our shots, and I know by him guarding, you know, myself, Dave and Will, it made us better.” Eddie said he loved the opportunity. “I loved playing and practicing against NBA-caliber players every day,” he said. “The things I’ve learned from these coaches and the times we had together, you know, with my teammates and everything, we really became like a family. Especially this year.” Eddie didn’t get a chance to play in many games, but on March 20, with about three minutes left in the Buckeyes’ pummeling of George Mason in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, the OSU faithful at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland started a chant. It was quiet at first, but continued to gain volume. “Ehh-dee, Ehh-dee, Ehh-dee,” the crowd chanted. Shortly thereafter, Matta relented to the crowd’s request, and Eddie entered the biggest tournament in college basketball. “The Eddie chant,” Judie said. “I just could not believe it.” Eddie was fouled at the end of the game, and was sent to the foul line where, in front of his hometown and many members of his family, he hit one of two free-throw attempts for the first and only point in his collegiate career. “For me, (the free throw) felt like 20 points,” Judie said. Eddie wasn’t as excited as his mom, but still enjoyed the moment. “I had a lot of friends and family there,” he said. “It was definitely a good night.” Eddie said he’s definitely going to miss playing for the Buckeyes, but he’s going to miss the people on the team and the times they had most of all. “We were really like brothers,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing; it was always a good time, a lot of laughs.” Diebler remembers Eddie being a fierce pingpong competitor, sometimes showing up 90 minutes before practice just to play a few games and be with the guys. Although Diebler claims to be the pingpong king, Eddie could hold his own. “He was definitely top-five,” Diebler said. Though the experience ended abruptly, and ultimately short of the team’s lofty goals, Eddie said he doesn’t regret a second of it. “I’m really going to miss the program,” he said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet that it’s over.” Now, Eddie will focus on finishing his last quarter at OSU, from which he plans to graduate in June with a degree in consumer sciences and a minor in business. But don’t be surprised if you see him tearing up the RPAC sometime soon, you know, for old times’ sake. read more

Revamp interior with rugs

first_imgIf youre designing your room from scratch, choose the rug first as these decors are the cornerstone for any setups foundation. Experts list some more options on revamping your interiors with rugs: By popular belief, rugs are meant to be used on the floor under your furniture, but the new trend is to use them as wall art, especially semi-geometric patterns. Build the colour scheme of the room around the rug, pulling shades from the rug as colours for curtains, cushions and lamp shades. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDon’t be afraid to play around with different rug textures. When your walls and upholstery are fairly subdued, you can try a rug with embossed (high-low) effect, adding more depth and interest to the room. A rug is one of the best finishing touches you can invest in for your interiors. The right one has the power to really bring a room together, add colour and comfort, define a space… transform it, even. Rugs have long been a signifier of luxury, offering warmth and underfoot comfort as well as texture and pattern. A well-placed rug can be used to divide spaces, define a mood, or simply showcase the art of tapestry across your floors. Here are some ways you can overhaul your interiors using this statement accessory. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveLayer a contrasting rug over an existing carpet to infuse texture and warmth. A smaller rug over a bigger one or a printed rug over a solid-coloured one would be ideal. But be wary of layering too many “warring” patterns in a room; the key is to complement the palette of the room. Use a rug as a focal point in a room. Pick a colour from the rug and reflect it throughout . It’s easier to nip choices in a room to complement the rug, rather than the other way around. Use a patterned or animal skin rug as a wall hanging for a ski-lodge effect. Or drape over a plush sofa for a luxe yet romantic feel. Opt for a large rug with a soft feel underfoot to place under your bed to completely change the look of your bedroom spaces. Rugs aren’t just for winter. Opt for a summer-appropriate soft update in calming hues, geometric pattern, or lighter texture to make your scheme work for the current season and beyond. In larger rooms, use an understated design with a border to ground the space together. Let the way you arrange your furniture dictate the shape of your rug – the assumption that a rug has to be a rectangle may keep you from experimenting with a array of choices available.last_img read more