Friday FT's: Pierce teaming up with HGTV?


Friday FT's: Pierce teaming up with HGTV?

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that may not have made the headlines but are still worth a read.

What does Paul Pierce have in common with HGTV (yes, that is short for Home & Garden Television)? It has nothing to do with planting begonias or picking out new window treatments.

Pierce teamed up with "Home by Novogratz," a program featuring a husband and wife design duo, to make over his high school gym in Inglewood, California as part of his Truth on Health foundation. The episode is schedule to premiere on August 20.

A preview from the shows episode guide:

"NBA All Star Boston Celtic Paul Pierce asks Cortney and Robert to take what used to be an old storage room at his high school alma mater Inglewood High and transform it into a state of the art student-athlete lounge as part of his Truth on Health foundation to help fight childhood obesity. Basketball and children's health are close to Robert and Cortney's heart, so they dive into the project with local designer Suzanne Kisbye tearing up the beat up linoleum floors and turning them into parquee floors, ala the infamous Boston Garden. . . . Paul Pierce and his celebrity friends celebrate the finished space as part of the 2011 NBA All Star Weekend in Los Angeles."

"Working with a big NBA star like Paul Pierce was pretty cool, and doing something wonderful for the kids at his high school alma mater in LA was even more satisfying, the hosts told CasaSugar.com.

Bonus link: Pierce isnt the only familiar face to appear on TV. While compiling this weeks Friday Free Throws, I came across a television appearance by Brian Scalabrine. Back in May, he welcomed the cast from NBCs The Doctors into his home for a segment on parenting tips. Even if the topic doesnt interest you, its nearly three minutes of Scal. Enough said.

Daniels, Rondo, Allen Together for a Cause: There are former Celtics who are no longer on the team but stay on the minds of fans in Boston. Marquis Daniels is one of them. As part of his charity, Daniels hosted the Q6 Foundation 5th Annual Celebrity Weekend in Orlando. Rajon Rondo and Tony Allen were in attendance at the all-white party, hosted by Daniels and SLAM Magazine. Check out photos from the event here, including one of a reunited Celtics trio. During the weekend, Daniels was also honored by his alma mater Edgewater High School when they retired his high school basketball jersey.
A Comical Place for KG Collectibles: A comics convention may not sound like a place to pick up some Kevin Garnett memorabilia, but this week it is featured at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International. Action Figures Xpress is offering a limited edition commemorative box set of NBA playoff figures at the event, which includes Garnett, Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and Amar'e Stoudemire. (ht GlobalGrind)
Celtics Summer Soiree: On August 3, the Celtics and XFINITY will host a Summer Soiree at Scampo (located in the Liberty Hotel) to benefit the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. Cs legends including Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, and Tommy Heinsohn will be at the event, as well as Celtics dancers and Lucky. The soiree will feature live music, food, and a silent auction. For ticket information, click here.
Celtics Tweet of the Week:
@Aabradley11: So blessed.. Don't even realize it sometimes

Birthdays of the Week
Chris Mihm, who played for the Celtics during the 2003-04 season, turned 32 on July 16. Mihm averaged 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 54 games. Eric Williams turned 39 on July 17. Williams was drafted by the Celtics with the 14th overall pick in 1995 and played his first two seasons with the team. He returned to Boston in 1999 and spent over four more seasons with the Cs before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the Ricky Davis deal. Ray Allen turned 36 on July 20. In addition to breaking the NBA all-time 3-point record in a Cs uniform last season, Allen has scored over 5,000 points for the Celtics since being traded to the team in 2007. Von Wafer turned 26 the following day on July 21. Wafer averaged 3.2 points in 58 games last season in his first stint with the Celtics.

This Week in NBA History:
On July 22, 2002, Vin Baker and Shammond Williams were traded from the Seattle SuperSonics to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Kenny Anderson, Joe Forte, and Vitaly Potapenko.

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

Celtics' cup has runneth over so far this season


Celtics' cup has runneth over so far this season

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics are no different than the rest of us. They have a lot to be thankful for.
There’s the usual good health, family and friends. But they have a few more things to be thankful for, as well.
So as you take a brief time-out today from the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, here’s a look at five things the Celtics are thankful for this season.

The Celtics have had some solid players in recent years, but the addition of Kyrie Irving was a game-changer. He provides Boston with an unmistakable superstar who has a proven track record of success on all levels -- he's won an NBA championship and an Olympic Gold medal, and is also a four-time All-Star. Did I mention he’s just 25 years old?

His numbers will never adequately measure the impact Horford has had on the Celtics. The big plus with Horford was him simply agreeing to be a Celtic. For years this franchise has been built on the success of developing draft picks or trading for talented players. But rarely have they had the financial flexibility or, to be frank, the kind of appeal to free agents to go out and acquire a proven All-Star like Al Horford. His arrival has enhanced an already-established winning culture, one that has become a player on the free agency market ever since.

Other than Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti, it’s hard to imagine another front office executive having as good an offseason as Ainge. He rolled the dice to go down two spots in last June’s NBA draft, and wound up with arguably the most NBA-ready player (Jayson Tatum) among those selected in last June’s NBA draft. (Remember, the likely rookie-of-the-year Ben Simmons did not play last year after Philadelphia drafted him with the top overall pick in 2016.) The free-agent pickups of Aron Baynes, Daniel Theis and Shane Larkin have all had moments where they carried the team to victory. Even second-round picks like Semi Ojeleye and two-way players like Jabari Bird have contributed to wins this season. Fans may not like some of Ainge’s decisions in the moment but he deserves a lot of credit for the team we see today, one that has played at a level few envisioned they'd reach this quickly.

And to think, the Big Three (Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford) Boston was planning to build around this season has played less than five minutes together. Stevens has been pushing all the right buttons, putting guys in unexpected positions to succeed with a cast that’s long on talent and well, well short on experience. Boston’s first win of the season came at Philadelphia, a game in which the Celtics played six different rookies. It’s not unusual for teams to use first-year players frequently, but for a team that was built to contend for a championship? That’s highly unusual. The biggest thing is despite the lack of experience on the floor, Stevens hasn’t allowed them to use that as a reason to fail. Instead, Stevens has had them lean heavily on film study and the wisdom of veterans, as well as empowered them to have a “next-man-up” mindset with one goal regardless of what they are tasked with doing: Get it done. No excuses.

Boston has spent most of this season atop the NBA standings, fueled in large part by a 15-game winning streak -- the longest of the Brad Stevens era and the fifth-longest ever by a Celtics team. But within that winning streak, there have been some noticeable areas of concern (i.e., bench scoring) that have made games more challenging. And that's what makes these Celtics so scary to the rest of the league. If they’re beating teams consistently now, how much better will they be when the offense catches up or, at a minimum, gains some ground on what has been an impressive stretch of play defensively? That’s why as good as this first full month of the season has been, there's reason to believe they’ll only get better. The Celtiheircs have seen  share of adversity. They've played without their All-Stars. They have fought back from double-digit deficits to emerge victorious. This is a young squad, but battle-tested already. Because of all that, they have a certain level of confidence that regardless of the situation, regardless of the score, they feel they will find a pathway to success. And that, Celtics Nation, is something to be thankful for.



Blakely's takeaways: Moving on without the streak

Blakely's takeaways: Moving on without the streak

The streak is over! The streak is over!

We now return the Boston Celtics to their regularly scheduled pursuit of success without the growing pressure that comes with a historically relevant winning streak.

The 104-98 loss at Miami on Wednesday night brought an end to what had been one of the more unlikely winning streaks we’ve seen in the NBA for quite some time.

Boston reeled off 16 straight wins, many of which were the come-from-a-double-digit-deficit variety. In the end, the Celtics’ winning streak ranks as the fourth-longest in this storied franchise’s history.

“I told you, we’re not as good as the 16-game win streak,” Stevens said following the loss. “But we do have a lot of resolve.”

That resolve will surely be challenged with the Celtics taking Thanksgiving off, only to return and play three games in the next four nights beginning with Orlando on Friday, followed by a road game at Indiana on Saturday and a home date against the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

Here are five takeaways from the Boston Celtics’ 16-game winning streak.


When the Boston Celtics traded for Kyrie Irving during the offseason, there was a sense that his presence would be a plus in some capacity, at some point. But few envisioned Irving would not only have a relatively seamless fit with the Celtics, but deliver in such a way that would catapult them to the top of the NBA standings and in doing so, establish him as one of the early front-runners for the league’s MVP award. This season, Irving is averaging a team-best 22.5 points and 5.2 assists while shooting 47 percent from the field but most important, the Celtics (16-3) have the best record in the NBA.


If you are a fan of good defenders, you probably love the Boston Celtics’ second unit. Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart are both ball-hawking defenders who can make some miserable times for opponents when they are on top of their game. Daniel Theis provides great energy on the glass and defensively. But the second unit needs a jolt offensively. Because as good as they can defend collectively, the Celtics have to have at least one starter on the floor most of the time because the bench doesn’t have an adequate collector of buckets that they can rely on consistently. Marcus Morris looks like an ideal choice for that role, but the left knee soreness that kept him out for eight games seems to be flaring up from time to time. Whether they address this with a trade or possibly with a player bought out, the lack of a second-unit scorer is very much an issue for this team.


The plan was for Jaylen Brown to be an elite, shut-down defender this season. He has shown himself to be a good defender this season, but what has really made him stand out is the growth in his game offensively. The second-year wing has scored 20-plus points in three of Boston’s last four games. Doing that along with continuing to play good defense has him looking like one of the NBA’s promising young two-way talents.


You never want to see the Boston Celtics or any team for that matter, lose a player for the season let alone one who meant as much as Gordon Hayward to the Celtics. But if there is a silver lining in his ankle injury which is expected to keep him out all season, it is the opportunity it created for Jayson Tatum. The 19-year-old has been arguably the best player from last June’s draft class, playing major minutes with a major role for the team with the best record in the NBA. The opportunity to play around 30 minutes a game would not have been there for Tatum if Hayward didn’t get hurt. The challenge for Tatum going forward is to stay consistent, because now that teams have seen him for almost a quarter of the season, you can expect they will make some adjustments in how they defend him as well as try to attack him when he’s defending.


During Boston’s 16 game winning streak, the Celtics played the last eight games in 16 nights. That’s a game every other night for more than two weeks. In that time, there’s little to no time for practice which has been a factor in Boston not being quite as sharp in the last few games, as they were at the start of the streak. After Thanksgiving, Boston plays three games in four nights with a pair of days off to follow before they return to action. There’s a very good chance that the Celtics will use one of those two days to practice, something this team desperately needs to clean up some of the minor mistakes that were big problems in their loss to the Heat on Wednesday.