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NBA Links: Are Boston Celtics the 2004 Pistons 2.0? Will Aron Baynes be safe in Rio?

Baynes says eat healthier and read these links while you are at it too!

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Has any East team done enough to stop Cavaliers-Warriors III in NBA final? -- Toronto Star

Not even a sentence or two about the Pistons. Too much about the highly flawed Indiana Pacers.

Speaking of the Pacers...

The Pacers will be faster, but will they be better? -- Hardwood Paroxysm

The Pacers offseason moves have certainly seemed motivated to make Bird's pace-and-space dream a reality. George and second-year center Myles Turner are back, and remain the foundation of the franchise going forward. Their supporting cast, however, will by-and-large look very different. Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey and Lavoy Allen return to either: A) bring down the team's collective shooting percentage; B) play poor defense; or C) both. Gone are Solomon Hill (the team had his rookie option, but stupidly declined it), George Hill, Ian Mahinmi, Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger and Ty Lawson, among rotation players. (Also gone: Ty Lawson's chauffeur.)

In their places are a variety of players who should help Indiana usher into the smallball era. Indianapolis native Jeff Teague is all set up in his parent's basement, ready to push the pace and replace George Hill. Thaddeus Young has been playing smallball four for years and should pair nicely with Turner against teams that can't punish them with size. Aaron Brooks and — especially — Al Jefferson, don't necessarily make you think of teams that like to get up a down the floor but they should be able to anchor a second unit that can afford enough scoring punch for Indiana to avoid punchless stretches like the one they suffered in Game 5 against Toronto.

Danny Ainge Deserves Credit -- Basketball Insiders

It would appear that Ainge saw the mistakes of other franchises and opted to not repeat them. He maximized the value that he was able to get in return for Garnett, Pierce and Rondo and have used them to rebuild his team. He got incredibly fortunate with Horford and will now add him to a young core that is reminiscent of the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons. Those Pistons were renowned for being a sum that was greater than its individual pieces, and it was something that each member of the team realized.

The culture that Ainge has built in Boston and the pieces that he has accumulated there are oddly reminiscent of something we have seen before. So, to say that things are looking up for the Celtics would be a bit of an understatement.

NBA's offseason intrigue more riveting than regular season -- OC Register

What these players might do in the first week of July is now undeniably titillating, particularly when compared to what they might do in the first quarter of a game in January.

The TV ratings for this season's NBA Finals were down from a year ago until Game 7 produced the highest number since Michael Jordan was making history happen for the Bulls.

Yet, no one, at least based on the sheer volume being produced by various media outlets, can consume enough speculation about who's coming, who's going and who's staying put.

Just take Blake Griffin, who, given the rumors, is doing all three of those things and probably at the same time.

Last week, the story was about the Clippers trading Griffin to Boston, perhaps at any moment. This week, the story was about Oklahoma City signing Griffin next summer to pair with Russell Westbrook.

The second report ran in direct contrast to the report that had Cleveland pursuing both Griffin and Westbrook, assuming the report that had Chicago preparing to trade Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic for Griffin doesn't happen first.

At this rate, by the end of July, about the only team not linked to Griffin will be the Clippers, and they're the ones who actually have him and, in all likelihood, will still have him when the 2016-17 season opens.

Let's not forget about our lovable and lobster-y Baynesie buddy in Rio

Ahead of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games due to begin on August 5th, Aron Baynes, having done some careful preparation for him and his young family, is not worried about the Zika virus. But should he be worried about something else during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil?

From the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday (link includes picture of pretty tiny beds in the athletes' village):

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) confirmed on Sunday evening that the athletes' village has been deemed uninhabitable in the short term due to significant plumbing and electrical concerns.


AOC chef de mission Kitty Chiller confirmed late on Sunday night (AEST) that Australian athletes would not be moving into the village, having hoped to do so on Sunday.


"We decided to do a "stress test" where taps and toilets were simultaneously turned on in apartments on several floors to see if the system could cope once the athletes are in-house.

"The system failed. Water came down walls, there was a strong smell of gas in some apartments and there was "shorting" in the electrical wiring. "


Recently some comment sections here have gotten a bit testy, folks. Let's remember to keep eating those veggies (and fruits) and take a breather more often at the ole keyboard. Indigestion certainly causes people to get extra crabby, you know.