Player: Jared Sullinger
2012-13 averages: 6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 19.8 mpg, 49.3 FG%
2012-13 salary: $1.3 million
Final grade: B+
Teacher's notes: Sullinger appeared in only 45 games, and that was about the only thing which might have prevented him from earning any sort of All-Rookie honors. Sullinger's teammates, including Kevin Garnett, gushed about his basketball IQ and ability to carve out an immediate role at the NBA level. Sullinger posted insane rebound rates and -- if you ignore late-season import Shavlik Randolph -- he owned the second-best number on the team in defensive rebound percentage (22.5 percent; Garnett topped the list at 25.9) and had the best overall rebound percentage (17.6 percent; Garnett was next at 15.7). What flew under the radar was how good Sullinger was defensively. Synergy Sports data shows he allowed 0.708 points per play. Among all players with at least 300 possessions defended this season, Sullinger had the third-best points-per-possession stats, behind only teammate Avery Bradley (0.697 ppp) and former Celtics swingman Marquis Daniels (0.707 ppp). The bottom line: Good things happened with Sullinger on the court as the Celtics were plus-42 when he was on the floor, but minus-60 without him.
What's next? The Celtics have Sullinger under their control with as much as four years remaining on his rookie pact. Next season he'll earn $1.4 million. So long as back problems are in the rearview mirror, then Sullinger will again have the opportunity to carve out a role in Boston's frontcourt. While Sullinger faces the same obstacles as most undersized power forwards, he showed he could overcome most of those hurdles with his IQ.
Player: Leandro Barbosa
2012-13 averages: 5.2 ppg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 rpg, 12.5 mpg, 43 FG%, 38.3 3PT%
2012-13 salary: $854,000
Rajon Rondo tore his ACL in late January. All Barbosa did was help Boston win seven straight games before tearing his own ACL in a loss in Charlotte on Feb. 11 (just 17 days after Rondo's injury, with Sullinger's loss sandwiched in between). The Celtics ultimately traded Barbosa's contract (along with Jason Collins) to Washington in a deadline deal for his "wild card" replacement, Jordan Crawford.
Final grade: B
Teacher's notes: The former Sixth Man of the Year arrived content to compete for playing time in a crowded backcourt, and injuries opened doors as he appeared in 41 games for Boston. Better known for his scoring efforts, Barbosa quietly set career highs for both assist rate (19 percent) and turnover percentage (9.1). His 2.76 assist-to-turnover ratio was second best on the team behind only Rondo (2.84).
What's next? Barbosa, set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, is rehabbing after February surgery. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said then that the team desired to bring Barbosa back if the option presented itself. That will ultimately depend on Barbosa's recovery and Boston's roster movement this summer. If the Celtics hang on to Crawford, then there's likely not as much of a need to add someone like Barbosa. Ironically, while big-ticket offseason additions like Courtney Lee and Jason Terry struggled to make a consistent impact during their first seasons in Boston, it was Barbosa who found a way to make an impact off the bench despite his late arrival and bargain price tag.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on the 2012-13 season for Barbosa and Sullinger? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
The Celtics missed Rajon Rondo so much during the 2012-13 season, why not get a clone? You'll have to hop over to Insider for the full analysis. Here are Ford's previous picks for Boston:
Mock 2.0: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse (latest mock, jumps to No. 7)
Mock 1.0: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga (latest mock, not selected in first round)
From the editor of ESPN TrueHoop Network site Bourbon Street Shots that covers the New Orleans Pelicans:
Just heard strange rumor from EC source: Celtics talking about possibility of Pierce and Bradley for Eric Gordon.— Michael McNamara (@McNamara247) May 21, 2013
Chalk it up as the first of many rumors that ought to swirl about Paul Pierce this offseason. Trading Pierce makes a lot of sense if Boston desires a makeover, and there's a definite benefit in getting back a talented young player who can help the team now and into the future. The 24-year-old Gordon, a former No. 7 pick of the Clippers in the 2008 draft, is an intriguing player, but one who's missed 147 games (37 percent of total regular-season games during his five NBA seasons). Here's the other thing: Gordon is a max player signed for three more seasons with a 15 percent trade kicker (meaning he's due roughly $51.4 million over that span, though the final year is a player option). Getting younger is one of the appealing reasons for considering a Pierce swap and it's alluring to other teams because only $5 million of Pierce's deal is guaranteed if he's waived before June 30 (which could help free cap space). The price tag here seems a bit steep because of Avery Bradley's potential, but Boston is likely going to have to include a young player in any swap in order to entice a trade partner to give up something valuable in return. -- Chris Forsberg
Player: Courtney Lee
2012-13 averages: 7.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 24.9 mpg, 46.4 FG%, 37.2 3PT%
2012-13 salary: $5 million
Season highlight: For Lee, his season peaked in late January in the aftermath of a season-ending ACL injury to Rajon Rondo, which thrust him into the starting lineup. Boston went on to play some of its most inspired ball of the season, ripping off seven straight wins after Rondo went down. Lee combined with Avery Bradley to form the "Pitbulls" -- a defensive-minded backcourt that helped Boston go 13-4 through mid-March before injuries finally caught up with the Celtics.
Season lowlight: Lee sprained his ankle in the closing moments of a loss in Dallas on March 22. He missed the next three games and essentially lost his starting job in the process (Boston soon shifted to a smaller lineup that inserted Jeff Green with the starters). Despite closing the season strong with increased time as Boston rested veteran bodies late in the regular season, Lee faded from the playoff rotation after Game 1.
Final grade: C-
Teacher's notes: Let's start with the good: Lee lived up to his reputation as a corner 3-point specialist (connecting on 44.2 percent of those attempts), shot a career-high 46.4 percent from the floor overall, and posted the highest assist rate of his career while tasked with increased ball-handling responsibilities. The bad? Lee struggled mightily with 3-pointers above the breaks (29 percent), watched Boston's defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) climb two points when he was on the floor, and was prone to fits of turnovers. The biggest problem for Lee was that he simply never carved out a role, and once he was relegated back to a bench role late in the season, Celtics coach Doc Rivers struggled to find spots to lean on him. Lee posted solid offensive numbers, as crunched by Synergy Sports Technology (0.942 points per play, 67th percentile), but his defense was inconsistent, even when running with a starting unit that featured Bradley and Kevin Garnett (overall, Lee allowed 0.858 points per play, ranking in the 54th percentile among all league players).
What's next? Lee has three years and $16.4 million left on the deal he inked as part of the sign-and-trade swap. The question is whether he'll continue his journeyman ways (four teams in five NBA seasons) or emerge as a key part of Boston's younger nucleus. Lee was an excellent locker room presence and handled himself maturely when his role diminished in the playoffs. He deserves another chance to assert himself, though his name will almost certainly bubble up in trade whispers given his salary and Boston's potential need to make over parts of its roster (depending on how the summer plays out). Lee pledged to get back to work early this offseason in hopes of a better showing during the 2013-14 campaign.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on Lee's 2012-13 season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
A Million Stories Not One Thats TRUE.....Thanks To Those That Continue To Support Through Devil Testing Times...Those Thats Negative..THANKS— Terrence Williams (@TheRealTWill) May 21, 2013
Williams is due back in court on Wednesday.
He was booked into the King County Jail in Seattle early Monday for investigation of assault. Bail was set during an afternoon court appearance, and the judge scheduled another hearing for Wednesday.
According to a police report, the 25-year-old Williams went to the woman's apartment complex in the suburb of Kent to drop the boy off Sunday afternoon and displayed a gun during an argument. The report says Williams denied pointing the gun at anyone and told police he showed it because he felt threatened by the woman and her boyfriend.
Williams was booked into the King County Jail in Seattle early Monday for investigation of an assault charge, with a court appearance expected later in the day. Det. Melanie Frasier says the woman called police about 1 p.m. Sunday and said she had been threatened with a gun. Williams had left the scene but was later arrested. No one was injured.
Police are withholding other details while the case is under investigation. Kent is located about 20 miles south of Williams' native Seattle.
The 25-year-old Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Celtics in late February, then later agreed to a multiyear contract. He appeared in 24 regular-season games, averaging 4.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists over 13.3 minutes per contest.
Williams, the 11th overall pick of the Brooklyn Nets in the 2009 draft, has played for four teams in four NBA seasons and admitted that his own immaturity played a role in his trouble to stick with a team. He played for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association at the start of the 2012-13 season before joining Boston upon returning stateside.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Williams found a role as a backup point guard with the Celtics and appeared in five of the team’s six postseason games against the Knicks, logging a playoff-high 17 minutes in a Game 5 victory in New York.
Williams is schedule to earn $948,000 if he makes the Celtics’ roster next season. His contract is initially fully nonguaranteed, but has checkpoints that unlock portions of his salary. The Celtics have until June 30th before $200,000 of Williams’ contract becomes guaranteed (jumping to $300,000 on Sept. 1, and becoming fully guaranteed on Oct. 31 near the start of the 2013-14 season).
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg was used in this report.
Player: Jeff Green
2012-13 averages: 12.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 27.8 mpg, 46.7 FG%
2012-13 salary: $8.4 million
Season highlight: We had seen flashes and glimpses of Green's potential throughout the season -- maddening because they were not sustained -- but when Green exploded for 43 points on 14-of-21 shooting in a mid-March loss to the rival Heat, something clicked. From then on, it was as if Green understood he was capable of imposing his will on the game. For the remainder of the regular season, Green averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists over 35.1 minutes per game and maintained that production through the playoffs, all while cementing himself as a starter. An honorable mention: Green's buzzer-beating layup to top host Indiana on March 6 -- capping an incredible fourth-quarter comeback for Boston -- was one of the season highlights for the team, while his winner in Cleveland -- in front of the doctor that performed his heart surgery -- later that month had to rank among Green's top individual moments.
Season lowlight: Green struggled to assert himself over the first three months of the season, his highlight moments relegated mainly to poster dunks. In 15 games in the month of January, Green averaged 9.3 points per contest, failing to reach double figures in scoring in seven games while both his playing time (23.9 minutes per game) and shots (6.9 per game) plummeted. Few could have envisioned the late-season explosion that loomed.
Final grade: B+
Teacher's notes: There was no more encouraging aspect of a Celtics season dotted with injuries and inconsistencies than the play of Green over the final two months. You almost have to split his season in two sections the jump was so pronounced. Taking the campaign as a whole, Green averaged 0.983 points per play, ranking in the 78th percentile among all league players, according to Synergy Sports data (but that number jumped up to 1.04 late in the season). His defensive numbers were solid, too (though they slipped a bit as his offense jumped up and that remains an area to work on) as Green allowed 0.79 points per play overall, ranking in the 82nd percentile. Rivers constantly demanded more from Green at both ends of the floor and he gave more by season's end. The Celtics still need him to be a better rebounder and his turnover percentage spiked a bit with the ball in his hands more often (though his assist rate jumped up as well). Green showed the ability to be a true impact player and, despite the inconsistent start to the season, we'll give him a slight bump up in grade based on his excellent late-season numbers.
What's next?: Is there another level for Green? Can he build off -- and sustain -- what he showed in those final two months? There's an awful lot of optimism about the way he finished off the 2012-13 campaign and you wonder if, moving forward, he can combine with a healthy Rajon Rondo to be the Options 1 and 2 for Boston (which would either ease what the Celtics ask from veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, or allow them to move on if they do not return). Green will earn $9 million next season and -- after all that handwringing last summer -- it would seem an affordable number if he can replicate his late-season production.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on Green's 2012-13 season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Player: Fab Melo
2012-13 averages: (D-League stats) 9.8 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.1 bpg, 26.2 mpg, 51.5 FG%
2012-13 salary: $1.3 million
Teacher's notes: After landing NBA-ready Jared Sullinger at No. 21, the Celtics had the luxury of rolling the dice with Melo. Even when their depth was depleted up front this season, they made sure to keep him in the D-League and nurture his development. The Celtics were hoping Melo would be able to dominate the D-League with his size, but his rebounding numbers suggest he's still working on the fundamentals after a late immersion into the sport.
What's next?: Summer league will provide a nice gauge of just how much Melo has progressed. Unlike his cameos with the big-league team, he'll get extended floor time and a chance to compete with other young players. It seems likely that the 2013-14 season could be another development year if the Celtics remain committed to bringing him along slowly.
Player: D.J. White
2012-13 averages: 2.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.5 bpg, 7.2 mpg, 52.2 FG%
2012-13 salary: $256,000
Teacher's notes: White had some serviceable years in Charlotte and Oklahoma City, but didn't get much of a chance with Boston. What he did get is a head start on a chance to compete for a job for next season and summer league will provide a chance to show what all that time on the practice court and in the weight room did for him. His most noteworthy moment of the season might have been intercepting Jordan Crawford as he barked at Carmelo Anthony following Boston's Game 5 win in New York.
What's next?: It's a big summer for the 26-year-old White, who won't just be auditioning for a spot with Boston, but also for the rest of the league if he can't stick here. With 14 of 15 players from last season under contract -- four nonguaranteed deals -- White faces long odds to stick, but can make a case this summer. His contract becomes guaranteed on Aug. 1, which means the Celtics can waive him with no costs before that point. They can also use his $1 million salary next season as part of any offseason moves, with the inheriting team able to cut him before that date at no cost as well. In that regards alone, he's a valuable asset (think Boston's creative sign-and-trade swap last year involving end-of-the-bench players that reeled in Courtney Lee).
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on the 2012-13 season for Melo or White? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Player: Chris Wilcox
2012-13 averages: 4.2 ppg, 3 rpg, 13.6 mpg, 71.9 FG%
2012-13 salary: $1.35 million
Season highlight: Wilcox's best individual effort came in Phoenix in late February. With Kevin Garnett resting his tired legs, Wilcox put his to good use, running the floor while putting up a season-high 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go along with eight rebounds over 22 minutes. What made the effort all the more noteworthy was that it came on the heels of ...
Season lowlight: In need of guard help after injuries eroded Boston's depth, the Celtics attempted to deal Wilcox to the Washington Wizards as part of a swap for Jordan Crawford at February's deadline. But utilizing a bit of a loophole in the collective bargaining agreement, Wilcox was able to veto the deal (due to impending Bird rights) and forced Boston to send out veteran center Jason Collins instead. That the Celtics were willing to move Wilcox showed their frustration with the inconsistency in his play.
Final grade: D+
Teacher's notes: It speaks volumes when one of the league's most efficient offensive players, competing for one of the league's most stagnant offenses, can't carve out a steady role. Unfortunately for Wilcox, his inconsistent defense and a low rebound rate (he hauled in just 16.4 percent of available defensive rebounds and 12.5 percent of total rebounds -- marks that were close to the worst of his career) made it tough to keep him on the floor (the Celtics were minus-43 in his time on the court). The Celtics eventually gave midseason import Shavlik Randolph a chance and he responded by devouring the glass (rebound rates of 26.3 percent on defensive glass; 22.4 percent overall). You want to give Wilcox the benefit of the doubt coming off major heart surgery, but in two seasons in Boston, he just hasn't been able to put the whole package together. Incredibly, Wilcox was the league's most efficient offensive player during the regular season, averaging a whopping 1.21 points per play, according to Synergy Sports data (albeit in a somewhat small sample size of 214 total offensive possessions). Regardless, Wilcox shot a staggering 71.9 percent from the floor and did a tremendous job of scoring when opportunities presented themselves around the basket. All of this while playing half the season without his alley-oop running mate in Rajon Rondo.
What's next?: Wilcox is the only player on Boston's end-of-the-season 15-man roster who is not under contract for next season. He's eligible for a slight bump in pay if the Celtics desired to keep him around, but with roster space at a premium -- at least at the moment -- it's likely the team will examine other options. Wilcox was a good locker room guy who had supporters, including Rondo, but while the talent is obvious, he hasn't been able to be a 20-minute-per-game guy since his 2007-08 season in Seattle. Wilcox will turn 31 before next season and might find more playing time elsewhere next season, though he clearly values the opportunity to play for a contender.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on Wilcox's 2012-13 season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
TERRENCE WILLIAMS: Williams is set to earn $947,907 next season. If not waived on or before June 30, $200,000 of his contract becomes guaranteed. If not waived on or before Sept. 1, $300,000 becomes guaranteed. And Williams' contract becomes fully guaranteed if he's not waived on or before Oct. 31 (meaning he'd have to make the opening-day roster). Rapid reaction: Williams brings plenty of upside at a low price tag. Barring a run on veteran-minimum deals this offseason, he'll be here next season.
SHAVLIK RANDOLPH: Randolph is set to earn $1.1 million next season. His contract becomes fully guaranteed if not waived on or before Aug. 1. Rapid reaction: Randolph has the summer to show he belongs, but he already proved his value as a low-cost big man with rebounding abilities at the end of the 2011-12 season. He's got an excellent chance to stick if there's not a run on big-man additions.
DJ WHITE: White is set to earn $1 million next season. His contract becomes fully guaranteed if not waived on or before Aug. 1. Rapid reaction: White faces the longest odds of last year's late-season imports, but will get the summer to show he deserves a chance to stick around. With roster space at a premium, White could be an odd-man out unless he really shines in summer league.
Less than a week after saying he had heard whispers of a Celtics-Clippers swap that would include coach Doc Rivers, and a day after Celtics president Danny Ainge said Rivers “as far as he knows” would be on the Boston bench next season, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith stirred up another hornet’s nest.
“According to my sources, Doc Rivers has intimated to people he’s close to that (leaving the Celtics) was something that he thought about, in terms of moving forward. As far as I’m concerned, he’s still thinking about it,” Smith said. “But he is under contract with Boston. Boston would have to let him out of his contract and give him permission to talk to somebody else, and I’m not sure he’s that willing. It would have to be a great, great opportunity.”
Ainge on Thursday scoffed at the suggestion that Rivers would not be coaching the Celtics next season, telling reporters the two are already talking about building next season’s team.
Stephen A. didn’t lend much credence to Danny’s denial:
“Danny Ainge’s words, in this matter, mean nothing to me. Absolutely nothing.”
Smith asserts that if Rivers did indeed leave Boston, the Celtics would have a hard time enticing talented free agents.
“I mean no disrespect to Danny Ainge, he’s a champion as an executive ... but nobody is coming to Boston to play for him. They come to play for Doc Rivers, that’s just a fact.
“So if Danny Ainge wants to maintain his status as a legit executive this game, it would behoove him to keep Doc Rivers happy and keep Doc Rivers in Boston. Because the day that changes is the day that a lot of guys ain’t going to be too willing to come to Boston to play for Danny Ainge.”
Rivers signed a five-year, $35 million deal in May 2011 to coach the Celtics through the 2015-16 season.
Player: Brandon Bass
2012-13 averages: 8.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 27.6 mpg, 48.6 FG%, 86 FT%
2012-13 salary: $6 million
Season highlight: With Kevin Garnett sitting out an extended stretch late in the regular season due to left ankle inflammation, Bass took his game to another level and it spilled into the postseason. Tasked with defending Carmelo Anthony in an opening-round series against the Knicks, Bass used his combination of size and athleticism to make everything difficult for a player who finished third in the league's MVP voting. Anthony often got his points, but not without a high shot volume. Rivers went so far as to suggest that Bass played a "perfect" game early in the series and Bass kept his focus on the defensive end.
Season lowlight: Slow out of the gates, Bass got bumped from the starting lineup for short stretches in the first half of the season. Twice rookie Jared Sullinger took his spot -- including just three games into the season, then again in February before a back injury ended Sullinger's campaign -- and Jason Collins, who would be shipped out at the February trade deadline, took over a starting role for a stretch in late December. The soft-spoken Bass endured it all, including another shuffle to the bench when Jason Terry got moved to a starting role for one game in the playoffs to add additional ball-handling to the lineup.
Final grade: B-
Teacher's notes: The 2012-13 season probably didn't play out like Bass expected, a healthy return for Jeff Green and the arrival of Sullinger muddied up the power forward spot a bit (along with Rivers' desire to take some of the wear and tear off Garnett by pairing him with a pure center like Collins at times). Bass, a consummate professional, rode the playing time wave and still powered through some rocky waters early in the year. Here's what we liked about Bass' season: According to Synergy Sports defensive data, he allowed 0.756 points per play, which ranked him in the 91st percentile among all league defenders. Narrow that list to all players with at least 600 total possessions defended, and Bass ranked third in the league behind only David West and Kendrick Perkins (and one spot ahead of Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol). No one is suggesting Bass deserved All-Defensive consideration, but he did an excellent job of limiting opponents and making things difficult (either using his athleticism away from the basket, or his strength to battle with those bigger than him). And his offensive numbers were not that bad, either (0.954 points per play, 71st percentile). But here's a few things we didn't like: Bass' rebound rate was a career-worst 11.2 percent (including a mere 15.2 percent on the defensive glass); his turnover rate spiked (10.9 percent); and he never quite found a way to become a consistent offensive threat, particularly without Rajon Rondo on the floor, as his shots per game fell 3.4 shots from last season. The plus-minus numbers don't help his cause as the Celtics were plus-160 without Bass on the floor; minus-178 when he was. We saw the impact player that Bass can be at the end of the season, but he needs to bring that consistently -- all while finding a way to still get his shots -- in order to maximize his talent.
What's next?: Bass will earn $6.5 million next season, a somewhat economical number if he remains a starter, but it's a bit more daunting if Sullinger can return to starter form after back surgery. Bass has never really thrived in a bench role and clearly benefits from extended floor time. With the starting unit, he's been able to thrive while focusing on his defensive efforts. Off the bench, it might be more imperative to get him going again offensively (at least if Boston's bench struggles to put points on the board as much as it did for most of this past season). If the Celtics are confident in Sullinger's long-term health, it might make Bass a potential trade asset this offseason, but his versatility -- and his shut-his-mouth-and-do-his-job mentality -- is quite a luxury for Rivers.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on Bass' 2012-13 season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Speaking with reporters at the pre-draft combine in Chicago, Ainge suggested again that -- until Rivers tells him otherwise -- he is progressing as if the coach will be back for a 10th season on the Boston bench.
"Doc and I are talking about our team next year," Ainge told the Boston Globe. "(There is no suspense) from my perspective. We've got a great coach. We've got a coach everybody would love to have and he's got three years left on his contract, and I think Doc likes Boston too."
Ainge told the Boston Herald: "I don't even know why I get asked [about Rivers' future]. Doc is coaching next year. As far as everything I know, he's going to be our coach."
Rivers signed a five-year, $35 million extension after the 2010-11 season, which leaves him under contract for three more seasons. As he does at the completion of each campaign, Rivers left the door open to potentially walk away from coaching. But after Boston's Game 6 loss to the New York Knicks earlier this month, even he said, "I'm coming back until I say I'm not."
Rivers hasn't said anything definitive on his future since Boston's season ended.
During an appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI last week, Ainge said of Rivers' future: "Doc is always unsure. Coaching is very, very draining. Every year with Doc, he’s had to go home and sort of recharge and ask himself that question, ‘Is this something that I’m passionate about and want to continue doing?’ I understand that. And we sort of give him time to unwind and relax, and after a couple of 92s on the golf course, he usually comes back."
Pressed further in that interview on what Rivers will do next season, Ainge added, "I think Doc will be coaching the Boston Celtics."
Ainge told reporters that Rivers is not at the combine after straining his hamstring playing tennis last week.
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