Celtics

Basketball as football

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Basketball as football

With Doc Rivers and Rajon Rondo both in attendance at Monday night's PatriotsTexans game, you knew that football would be on everyone's mind Tuesday at Celtics practice.

And guess what? You knew right.

"Rondo is our Tom Brady, as far as being the point guardquarterback," Doc said this afternoon. "Kevin Garnett probably as far as all of the relationship stuff. Tom Brady has got to be right there as one of the best in history. It's surgical watching him play."

Asked about the comparison, Rondo said: "Point guard and quarterback are pretty much the same thing. Tom Brady? I don't know about that."

I don't know either, but I definitely agree that point guard and quarterback are cut from the same uniform cloth. And I don't think I need to explain that any further. I mean, you get it, right? We all get it. Folks have been comparing point guards and quarterbacks since the beginning of time. And I mean that literally.

But what about the other positions? How do the other four spots in a basketball line-up best relate to the NFL game?

I'd say that centers are most like middle linebackers. Ideally, they're the base of communication on the defensive end. The core that you build your entire defense around.

The power forward especially in today's game is your tight end. A guy who can get out and run, and be a factor on the offensive end when you need him to. But also a guy who's strong enough and tough enough to hold his own in the trenches; who can be gritty and grimy and smash a few heads when you need him to.

As for the last two spots? You can make an argument that both the shooting guard and small forward are receivers in their own right. They both are best when getting out in open space and filling the lanes, and those with the greatest combination of speed, size, agility and power are generally the most successful. Based on that, I'd say the shooting guards are more of a slot receiver the smaller, quicker, shiftier guys who (in the half court set) get open by maneuvering through creases in the defense. Meanwhile the small forwards (although there are exceptions) are your game breakers. Your home run hitters.

And that brings us to the baseball analogies . . .

Nah, just kidding. Maybe another day.

And definitely not tomorrow.

Much like the C's, tomorrow it's back to being all about basketball.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end

0:41 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and DJ Bean discuss the Celtics 16-game winning streak being snapped by the Miami Heat.

6:05 - Tom Curran and Mike Giardi talk about Tom Brady missing practice due to an Achilles injury and Randy Moss’ chances to make the Hall of Fame.

11:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the mental and physical fatigue that the streak had on the Celtics and if there is a sense of relief that the streak is over.  

16:11 - With it being the 5th anniversary of the Butt Fumble, we compare it to other embarrassing sports moments in history. 

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

When you reflect upon Boston’s 16-game winning streak which came to an end with Miami’s 104-98 win on Wednesday, there were moments in just about every game that played a major factor in their success.

So it was only fitting that in the Miami loss, it would be a whole lot of little things that ultimately brought the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history to a screeching halt.

  • Al Horford missed a pair of free throws.
  • Marcus Smart split a pair that had he made both, would have tied the game up in the fourth quarter.
  • Jayson Tatum had his only turnover of the game, in the fourth.
  • Terry Rozier had a rebound that he could not corral and bounced off his hands out of bounds.

And that doesn’t even factor in the missed open shots and unforced turnovers that collectively played a major role in Boston’s winning streak being a thing of the past now.

“I turned it over, we missed some free throws . . . we had some unfortunate things happen,” Tatum told reporters following the loss.

MORE:

Even with the loss, the Celtics (16-3) still boast the best record in the NBA.

Kyrie Irving has elevated his all-around play to a level to where he’s legitimately in the conversation as a league MVP candidate.

Jayson Tatum has established himself as one of the league’s top rookies from his draft class.

“As you could see, they kept hitting us, hitting us, until we were knocked out,” Irving said. “They deserved that win tonight.”

Disappointed with the loss, but it was not at all surprising to head coach Brad Stevens who has been raising concerns about his team’s attention to detail for the past few games and sensed it would catch up to them sooner or later.

“I told you, we’re not as good as the 16-game win streak,” Stevens said. “But we do have a lot of resolve. I can’t say enough about our guy’s will to come back. It’s incredible we were able to erase that lead that quickly and give ourselves a chance.”

Indeed, the Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit to come within a single point in the fourth quarter. But unlike previous games, Boston couldn’t find a path to victory.

“We’re just going to continue to learn and continue to get better,” Irving said. “It’s the same things echoed when we were winning. Just continue to get better and understand, there’s still a lot for us to accomplish going forward.

He added, “It was a good streak, and it’s finally come to an end.”

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