Celtics

Bonner 'dancing in the street' after 3-point invite

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Bonner 'dancing in the street' after 3-point invite

HOUSTON Matt Bonner has been waiting for this moment for well, forever.

And his response to finding out that he would be a participant in this year's 3-point shooting contest during all-star weekend said it all.

"I was on my front steps and I took my Iphone and chucked it in my neighbor's lawn, started dancing in the street," Bonner said.

Joining Bonner in the 3-point contest which will be played tonight at the Toyota Center, will be a pair of all-stars in Indiana's Paul George and Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, along with Ryan Anderson of New Orleans, Stephen Curry of Golden State and Steve Novak of the New York Knicks.

It's hard to imagine any of the entrants are more excited to be in the competition than Bonner who has been among the NBA's better 3-point shooters for a number of years.

The Granite state native is currently ranked fifth in the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage (44.6) and has shot 41.7 percent on 3s for his career which ranks 13th on the NBA's all-time leaders list.

His consistency certainly was a factor in him finally getting an invite to the contest.

It didn't hurt that he got a little help from social media, either.

His younger brother Luke Bonner, a former UMass-Amherst basketball player, set a social media campaign in motion that seemed to generate some buzz on what has been a long overdue invite for his older brother who acknowledges that social media is not his thing ... until now.

"Throughout the process, I learned what a hashtag is," Matt Bonner said. "What it is to like someone on Facebook."

Although he has been part of championship teams in San Antonio, winning the 3-point shooting contest would certainly rank high among his greatest NBA achievements.

And on the eve of the event, Bonner had a message for the folks back home in his home state of New Hampshire.

"For everybody back home in New Hampshire, thanks for your support," Bonner said. "I'm going to go out there and do my best to win it and make the Granite state proud."

WATCH: Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic

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WATCH: Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics host the 76ers at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview:  Celtics need to improve shooting

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Celtics-Magic preview: Boston looks to improve shooting down the stretch

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Celtics-Magic preview: Boston looks to improve shooting down the stretch

BOSTON – When Celtics coach Brad Stevens was asked about what he saw in the team’s newest (10-day) addition Jarell Eddie, his response was, “shooting  . . .  shooting.”

Indeed, shot-making has been the one area of play that has been problematic for the Celtics most of this season.

Boston comes into today’s game against Orlando (13-32) shooting just 44.8 percent from the field which ranks 25th in the NBA.

In the month of January, Boston has been even worse, connecting on just 41.8 percent of their shots which ranks 29th in the league this month.

While the addition of Eddie had more to do with the recent flu bug that has made the rounds throughout the Celtics lineup and the uncertainty a couple days ago surrounding Kyrie Irving’s sore left shoulder (it has improved and he’s expected to play today), adding Eddie speaks to a greater problem -- guys making shots -- that has to be addressed in some capacity sooner or later.

Boston always has the option to pursue a trade. They also have an $8.4 million disabled player exception they can use on free agent players, with the most likely pool of talent that they will choose from consisting of players who would have been bought out by their current teams.

Or there’s raiding the G-League for talent, which is what they did in signing Eddie to a 10-day contract.

Regardless, there’s a growing sense that this team has to add more scoring punch to the mix or at a minimum, improve the overall offensive execution of the roster as it stands now.

“We have to do our stuff better,” Stevens said. “The start of the season it was predictable, losing Gordon (Hayward who suffered a dislocated left ankle injury in the season-opener) and having to adjust. The middle portion of games we were pretty darn good. And then I thought we were reasonable in London, reasonable against New Orleans. But the other three of the last five games, we weren’t very good.”

Boston’s offense should get a boost from Irving’s return to the lineup after missing Boston’s 89-80 loss to Philadelphia with a sore left shoulder.

And while it was just one game, Irving understands the challenge that lies ahead in getting Boston’s offense to play better and more consistently.

“We have very unique talents on this team,” Irving said. “When you’re trying to put that together and guys are coming back into the lineup and getting their rhythm still and guys are in and out sometimes … big picture, down the stretch, we’re going to need everyone to be on the same page.”

Marcus Morris has been one of the players who has been in and out of the Celtics lineup because of a sore left knee.

However, the schedule has eased up to where he’ll be able to play more games, for longer stretches.

He comes into today’s game having scored in double figures each of the last three games.

“I’m just trying to get healthy. I know what I can do,” Morris told NBC Sports Boston. “My confidence is always going to stay high, no matter if I miss or make shots.”

In the last three games, he has averaged 15.0 points while shooting 45.7 percent from the field.

While Morris’ play of late is promising, it doesn’t diminish the concern Boston should have for an offense that for the most part, has been sputtering this season.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE