Celtics

Friday Free Throws: Lockout rules; Rondo's kicks

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Friday Free Throws: Lockout rules; Rondo's kicks

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
Normally, Friday Free Throws is a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that have not made the headlines. But this week we have to make an exception as we address the hottest issue in basketball that's been in the headlines for weeks: the lockout.

On Thursday evening the NBA announced the lockout would begin at 12:01am on July 1. In the statement, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said:

The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams. We need a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates our players, and provides teams, if well-managed, with an opportunity to be profitable.

We have made several proposals to the union, including a deal targeting 2 billion annually as the players' share -- an average of approximately 5 million per player that could increase along with league revenue growth. Elements of our proposal would also better align players pay with performance.

We will continue to make every effort to reach a new agreement that is fair and in the best interests of our teams, our players, our fans, and our game.

The NBA also noted restrictions for both players and teams during this period:

- Players will not receive their salaries
- Players will not be able to use team facilities for any purpose
- Teams will not negotiatesigntrade player contracts
- Teams will not conduct or facilitate any summer camps, exhibitions, practices, workouts, coaching sessions, or team meetings.
Rondos Winning Approach
Last week we told you about the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2011, the sneaker Rajon Rondo is expected to wear next season. A promotion for the shoe is on Nike's website with the slogan, "Stay Quick or Stay Home," and a photo of Rondo with the sneakers hung around his neck.

Rondo sat down with the crew from Nike to talk about the shoe, his love for basketball, and how he views his role as a point guard. Check out a few snippets below or view the entire interview.

- "I love the game, I love competing. I want to be the best at what I do."

- When you're not 100 percent in a game and you try to push through it, I think the most important thing is adrenaline. Once, say if you sprain an ankle or something, you get back out there, you get a flow, you get up and down, you just try not to think about it. Once the game is over obviously it may swell up or it hurts a lot more, but during the game you just keep going and keep pushing.

- "From my rookie season where I didn't play a lot to now as a starting point guard, my mental preparation has changed because it starts with me on the floor. I feel like it starts with the point guard. I'm an extension out there on the floor of the coach, so if I don't bring it, it's a trickle-down effect to where my teammates might not want to bring it or have their energy if you're playing in an arena that's not full of fans. So it starts with the point guard and it finishes with the point guard."

Former Celtics Honored
A pair of former Celtics were honored this week by local and statewide halls of fame. Raef LaFrentz was announced as a class of 2011 inductee to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (via SB Nation Kansas City). LaFrentz, a former Big 12 Player of the Year, played four years for the University of Kansas Jayhawks and is the school's third-leading scorer. In 2003 he was traded by the Dallas Mavericks to the Celtics along with Chris Mills and Jiri Welsch in exchange for Tony Delk, Antoine Walker, and a future draft pick the Cs would use to select Delonte West. LaFrentz played three seasons in Boston before being sent to the Portland Trail Blazers in 2006 as part of the Sebastian Telfair deal.

Bridgeport, Connective native John Bagley will be inducted to the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame in October. Bagley, who wore No. 5 nearly 20 years before Kevin Garnett, played over two seasons with the Celtics. He averaged nearly six points and six assists in 137 games in Boston. NBA official Bennett Salvatore (Stamford, CT) will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame, as reported in The Daily Weston.

Celtics Tweets of the Week
Celtics draft picks JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore came to Boston this week and took to Twitter while they were in town.

@JaJuanJohnson: Weoutchere! http:lockerz.coms114677458

@33ETwaun: Thanks to all Boston fans for showing love!

Birthday of the Week
Former Celtics first round draft pick (and current Atlanta Hawks guard) Joe Johnson turned 30 on Wednesday. Johnson was selected by the Celtics with the 10th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft and was traded to the Phoenix Suns in February of his rookie season. He played just 48 of his 771 career games with the Cs.
This Week in NBA History
On June 29, 1982, the Celtics drafted Indiana University standout Landon Turner, who had been paralyzed in a car accident before his senior year of college, in the 10th round of the NBA Draft. Turner had helped the Hoosiers win the 1981 NCAA Championship. On June 30, 1969, Bill Russell retired from the Celtics after winning 11 NBA championships in 13 years. Russell was a five-time MVP and 12-time All-Star. He served as a playercoach in his final three years with the Celtics and went on to coach the Seattle SuperSonics for five seasons. Plans for the creation of a Bill Russell statue in Boston were announced earlier this year.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA

Celtics continue comeback narrative with win vs. Hawks

Celtics continue comeback narrative with win vs. Hawks

The Boston Celtics trail by double digits. The Celtics rally to make it relatively close by halftime. Boston continues to gain ground in the third, pull it out in the fourth.

Rinse. Recycle. Repeat.

That has been the Celtics’ mantra this season, with the latest chapter in their comeback narrative being a 110-99 win at Atlanta.

“We need to put an emphasis on playing with space and getting the ball to the other side of the floor,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “It just stuck too much early on. We were staring at some post-ups that if we got it to the other side, maybe you could take advantage of.”

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Boston (15-2) fell behind by as many as 16 points against the Hawks (3-13), the second straight game the Celtics have rallied from a double-digit deficit.

In Boston’s 92-88 win over Golden State on Thursday, the Celtics fell behind by as many as 17 before rallying for their most impressive win of the season.

That said, it still shouldn’t take away from what happened on Saturday against an Atlanta team that despite their record, has shown signs of playing better in their recent games.

Players are aware of the penchant they’ve shown thus far for falling behind only to mount a furious comeback for the win.

“We don’t try to (go down early),” said Kyrie Irving following Saturday’s win which extended their winning streak to 15 straight which is the fifth-longest streak in franchise history. “Some teams, they go on runs and whether that be us giving up some easy ones or giving up some turnovers or doing things we can correct. When we do correct them, it turns into a different game.”

And that is what makes this stretch of play so impressive.

The Celtics have not played a full game; instead they have had stretches of good play that have often masked their mistakes early in the game.

That’s why head coach Brad Stevens, obviously pleased with the team’s success, knows as well as anyone that his team has to become more consistent in their play if they are to get the most out of these wins and continue to build off of them and achieve their ultimate goal – getting back to the NBA Finals.

“We’re going to keep playing,” Stevens said. “But the biggest thing is, we can’t keep digging these holes.”

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Stars, studs and duds: No lack of confidence for Brown

Stars, studs and duds: No lack of confidence for Brown

When it comes to the top backcourts in the NBA, you seldom hear about Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown.

That may soon be changing if they have more games like the one they delivered on Saturday as Boston put together a solid second half to pull away from the Atlanta Hawks, 110-99.

Irving had a game-high 30 points which was his second game with at least 30 points scored – both against Atlanta.

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And Brown, who had a strong 22-point performance in Boston’s win over Golden State on Thursday, was even better against the Hawks in tallying a career-high 27 points.

We all know about Irving who has established himself as one of the NBA’s top guards.

But is Brown on the way?

One thing Brown won’t have to develop going forward is, confidence.

He has long maintained that he believes he’ll be among the best in the league. It’s just a matter of him performing at a high level at both ends of the floor, consistently.

“I’ve always had that confidence, I can play with the best in the world,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin following the win over Atlanta which extended Boston’s winning streak to 15 in a row. “It’s just a matter of coming out, doing it. My teammates found me tonight. We had a good team win tonight.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 110-99 win at Atlanta which extended the Celtics’ winning streak to 15 in a row which is the fifth-longest winning streak in franchise history.

 

STARS

Jaylen Brown

Back in his home state of Georgia, Jaylen Brown delivered another monster game for the Celtics by scoring a career-high 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting with four 3-pointers.

Kyrie Irving

Irving had his most efficient game this season for the Celtics, tallying 30 points on 10-for-12 shooting to go with four rebounds and five assists.

Dennis Schroder

Atlanta’s best scorer delivering a strong 23-point, 9-assist performance for the Hawks.

 

STUDS

Jayson Tatum

He only had 14 points, but they all came in the third quarter and they included a few crowd-quieting dunks.

John Collins

He came into the league with the reputation of being a high motor player, and he has not disappointed. His hustle and energy led to him tallying 18 points and seven rebounds.

Marcus Morris

When the offense struggled mightily in the first half, it was Morris’ scoring that kept them within striking distance. He finished with 14 points, 10 of which came in the second quarter.

Kent Bazemore

He was Atlanta’s number two scoring option most of the night, and finished with 19 points.

 

DUDS

Boston’s first quarter defense

The Celtics can’t keep digging themselves these early holes, expecting they will turn it on and find a way to climb out of them. The Hawks led 35-20, fueled in large part by shooting 64.7 percent (11-for-17) in addition to out-rebounding Boston 8-6.

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