Celtics

Celtics' Big Three blueprint doesn't work for all teams

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Celtics' Big Three blueprint doesn't work for all teams

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

NEW YORK When the Boston Celtics added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to a roster that featured Paul Pierce back in 2007, no one knew for sure how this Big Three unit would mesh.

During the season, they dominated. And while they had their share of ups and downs in the playoffs that season, the end result - Banner 17 - proved that you could indeed mesh three great talents to form one great team.

Well, that blueprint has been copied in Miami and most recently, here in New York.

So far?

Let's just say things haven't quite worked out the way most anticipated.

The Miami Heat did not steamroll through the league the way many predicted.

In fact, they have been at their worst against the best teams and are currently third in the East behind Boston and Chicago.

And the New York Knicks have shown little to no improvement in terms of wins and losses, since adding Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey to a team being led by Amar'e Stoudemire.

The Celtics' Big Three have said many times that the way they came together so quickly, doesn't necessarily mean it'll happen like that all the time.

"It's going to be a process for them," said Paul Pierce, speaking about the Knicks. "That's why they're inconsistent. You can't just put a team together and go out there and say, 'Play well,' regardless of the talent. They have to develop chemistry, a feel for one another. Where you like the ball, where you like to get help at defensively. It's a process."

Making that more difficult, Pierce added, has been the fact that the Knicks and their Big Three came together just a few weeks ago.

In 2007, Pierce along with Allen and Garnett had an entire training camp to get familiar with how to play with one another.

"You don't know when that day will come when everything will click and things are running smoothly," Pierce said. "You have to continue to work, practice and eventually the light will turn on eventually."

While Celtics coach Doc Rivers acknowledges that it does take time, the success of joining three superstars ultimately falls on the players - at least, that's how it worked with his Big Three.

"At the end of the day, they wanted it work," Rivers said of Boston's Big Three. "They wanted it to work. You hear it a lot, but I don't know if everyone means it."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

BEST OF BST PODCAST: C's back from All-Star break, how will Stevens change rotations?

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NBC Sports Boston Photo

BEST OF BST PODCAST: C's back from All-Star break, how will Stevens change rotations?

(1:00) A. Sherrod Blakely joins Boston Sports Tonight to discuss Brad Stevens hinting that he will change the Celtics rotations after All-Star break, and what changes he thinks Brad will make. (4:30) How will Marcus Smart’s return impact Terry Rozier?

(5:40) Evan Drellich and Lou Merloni discuss why the J.D. Martinez announcement was delayed another day as doctors review his physical, and whether Red Sox fans should be concerned.

(11:50) DJ Bean reacts to the Bruins trading Frank Vatrano to the Panthers and Anders Bjork being out for the season following shoulder surgery.

(14:40) Mike Flynn joins Kayce Smith and Tom E. Curran to discuss Sports News article that says that the Denver Broncos could possibly release Aqib Talib. We debate what it would take to get Talib back to New England and how well he would fit in with the Patriots defense. 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

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Celtics set to play with greater sense of urgency in return to action

Celtics set to play with greater sense of urgency in return to action

WALTHAM, Mass. – The road to getting back atop the Eastern Conference standings for the Boston Celtics following the All-Star break will begin – where else? – on the road.

And that’s a good thing.

Boston, which plays its first two games after the break on the road beginning at Detroit tonight and New York on Saturday, has been among the league’s best all season when it comes to winning on the road.

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Only two teams, Golden State (22-7, .759 winning percentage) and Houston (21-7, .750 winning percentage), have a better road winning percentage than the Celtics (19-8, .703 winning percentage) this season.

“Our schedule is really hard as we hit this last home stretch 23 games,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “And that’s a good thing with us. We are going to have to have that urgency.”

Boston (40-19) has lost three straight and four of its last five games.

Aware of how quickly a couple of losses can snowball into a full-blown losing skid, Boston players understand the importance of playing with a greater sense of urgency.

“I think we have a sense of urgency about ourselves,” Brown said. “I think we understand the second half of the season and the importance of it, getting ready for playoffs. And how you can see some of the older guys, Kyrie (Irving), Al (Horford), the attention to detail, the stress about the little things is becoming more evident.” 

Said Irving: “We hit a little bit of a stretch where we haven’t been playing our type of basketball. Not necessarily being as consistent as we’d like to be. We just want to get back to being consistent and doing the right things.”

Stevens added, “Hopefully these little hiccups that we have had prior to the break, which more pertains to who we are playing … hopefully benefit us down the road.”

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Al Horford said more than anything, the Celtics have to ratchet up their attention to details in all phases of play.

“The focus is really now more than any point in the season taking it day-to-day,” Horford said. “And I felt like we got better, today was a good practice. This is a good start, so now for us it’s just to keep building that and just take it game-to-game because these are … the rehearsal games, if you want to call them that. That’s what I like to call it with this group. So, getting everything straightened out for when the playoffs come around.”

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