Celtics

Friday FT's: Rondo to Philipines; Melo takes down folding chair

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Friday FT's: Rondo to Philipines; Melo takes down folding chair

Welcome to the return of Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information about the Boston Celtics that have not made the headlines but are still worth a read.

Before the Celtics head to Italy and Turkey for training camp, Rajon Rondo is traveling to the Philippines. The trip is for a Red Bull campaign wherein three fans will have the opportunity to meet the point guard next week.

From the Red Bull Philippines Twitter:

Whats up MANILA?! Who's ready to meet Red Bull Athlete RAJON RONDO?! We're looking for Rondo's three biggest fans to join us for an exclusive meet & greet with Mr TripleDouble himself on TUESDAY 28TH AUGUST!!!! Get yourself a can of Blue&Silver;and show us how much you love Red Bull Product of Europe. Three most epic photos will be chosen as our winners! Entries close 6pm Sunday 26th August.. redbullgivesyouwings!!!!

To enter, tweet photos to @RedBullPh.

Epic Showdown: Fab Melo vs. the Folding Chair

Fab Melo was voted the funniest rookie in a survey of his first year counterparts. Maybe its because he has such a good sense of humor when he does things like break a folding chair. Check out this video of the 7-0, 255-pound center drawing a laugh and taking it all in stride during the Rookie Transition Program. I think the chair was too weak and an accident happened, he told NBA TV with a chuckle.

ONeal a New Man with a New Team

As Boston Celtics fans anxiously awaited the signing of Jeff Green, former Celtic Jermaine ONeal quietly inked a deal with the Phoenix Suns this month. ONeal, who appeared in 49 games for the Celtics over two seasons, was waived in April after undergoing season-ending wrist surgery. He also traveled to Germany this summer for Regenokine treatment on both knees. ONeal, 33, credited the Celtics medical team for his wrist surgery and is looking to enter his 17th NBA season in better shape than he has been in years, according to the Arizona Republic.

Paul Coro reported:

O'Neal said Regenokine, which centrifuges a patient's blood to make an anti-inflammatory serum for the knee, has allowed him to do lower-body training that he had not done for about five years. He also said he trimmed his body with a 14-day detox and a strict diet.
"I have a different type of lift right now," said O'Neal, who had new Suns teammate Jared Dudley attest to that after a shared Las Vegas workout. "I have a different type of quickness right now. A lot of people may say it's the procedure, but I say it's the work I put in."

ONeal averaged 5.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 25 games for the Celtics last season.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

Been waiting to say this for a while... iamaceltic jeff (@unclejeffgreen) August 23, 2012

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Roy Rogers Jr., who played nine games for the Celtics during the 1997-98 season, turned 39 on August 19. He is the only player to wear the number 99 for the C's and only the fourth player in the NBA to do so. Quinn Buckner turned 58 on August 20. He played three seasons in Boston and was part of the 1984 championship team. The late Si Green (1965-66 Celtics) was also born on August 20 in 1933. The late Harold Kottman, who played all 53 games of his NBA career with the Celtics during the 1946-47 season, was born on August 22, 1922. Tony Dawson appeared in two games for the Celtics in the 1994-95 season. He will turn 44 on August 25.

This Week in Celtics History

On August 19, 2005, the Celtics signed free agent guard Will Bynum. He was waived months later on October 25. The Celtics inked Chris Carr as a free agent on August 21, 2000. He played his final NBA season as a member of the C's. On the same date in 2001, the Celtics traded Eric Williams to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a 1999 and 2001 second round pick. On August 22, 2008, the C's signed free agent Darius Miles. The former third overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft was waived on October 20, 2008. 11 years earlier, the Chris Mills and Tyus Edney signed as free agents on August 22, 1997. The Celtics traded Mills to the New York Knicks in a prior to the start of the season while Edney appeared in 52 games.

'Resilient' Celtics continue to find ways to win

'Resilient' Celtics continue to find ways to win

We have seen the Boston Celtics play less-than-stellar basketball for long stretches, only to turn it on in the second half and escape with a win.

But Monday night’s game at Dallas was different.

Usually it has been Boston’s offense that has kept the game closer than expected, but on Monday it was the team’s defense that struggled more than usual.

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But this team continues to show an ability to withstand all in-game struggles to eventually emerge victorious which was exactly what happened as the Celtics rallied from a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit to knock off the Mavericks 110-102 in overtime.

The Celtics (16-2) have now won 16 in a row which ties the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history.

But this win, like so many of its predecessors during this historic run, was not one to celebrate afterwards.

“Quite a resilient comeback in the fourth,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “Not our best foot forward before that. Of all the comebacks, that did not look good for a long time. We found a way to win it.”

Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 47 points, 10 of which came in the overtime period.

But his performance was just one of many Boston needed to extend its winning streak.

“In a game like this, you have to do whatever it takes, both ends of the floor,” Boston’s Jayson Tatum told reporters afterwards.

And he did just that.

In the final seconds of the fourth quarter, Tatum’s defense forced a Harrison Barnes miss that would have won the game for Dallas.

And in the fourth quarter, Tatum’s rebounding was critical to Boston (16-2) extending its stay atop the NBA standings.

The 6-foot-8 rookie had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds, with four of his boards coming in overtime.

Boston also got another strong game from Jaylen Brown (22 points, nine rebounds) and Marcus Smart, whose shooting was well off the mark most of the night (3-for-15) but like he has done too many times to count, Smart managed to make a positive impact on the game.

He led the Celtics with eight assists off the bench, in addition to a slew of hustle plays that included a desperation save of a ball going out of bounds that managed to find its way into the hands of Kyrie Irving, who drained a much-needed 3-pointer late in the game.

“Those are worth more than whatever the shot goes in,” Stevens said. “That’s why it’s hard to quantify Marcus Smart.”

The same can be said about Boston’s winning streak, which has come about despite several stretches, every game seemingly, where the Celtics struggle.

But to their credit, they don’t allow the in-game setbacks take away from their focus night-in and night-out and that’s to find a way, any way possible, to emerge with a victory.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Stars, studs and duds: Kyrie Irving stands tall

Stars, studs and duds: Kyrie Irving stands tall

As NBC Sports Boston’s Kyle Draper talked with Kyrie Irving following his best performance as a Boston Celtic, you could hear the chants “M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!” from the crowd behind him.
 
Considering the way Irving played on Monday night, that’s not just a case of fandemonium people!
 
Irving delivered a performance that won’t be forgotten anytime soon, tallying 47 points in leading Boston to a 110-102 overtime win at Dallas.
 
With the win, Boston has extended its winning streak to 16 in a row which ties the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history.
 
While there were lots of Celtics who contributed to the victory, no one stood as tall as Irving who tallied 10 of Boston’s 16 points in overtime.
 
“We had to claw, fight our way back for this one,” Irving told NBC Sports Boston’s Kyle Draper. “But we had to earn it. These guys, the Dallas Mavericks, they gave us their best shot.”
 
And the Celtics countered with their best shot – Irving.
 
Even before the edge-of-the-cliff finish, Irving was in a rhythm that made it absolutely clear that he was going to have a big night scoring the ball.
 
“We just have to continue to get better from this point,” Irving said.
 
And as far as those “M-V-P” chants?
 
“It’s pretty awesome,” Irving said of the chants. “But we got a long way to go.”
 
Here’s a look at Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 110-102 overtime win over Dallas which extends Boston’s winning streak to 16 in a row which is the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history.
 
 
STAR

Kyrie Irving

This wasn’t even close, folks. Irving kept the Celtics afloat for most of the game, then guided them to victory with a dominant performance. He finished with 47 points, the most he has scored as a Boston Celtic. And on a night when most of the team struggled to make shots, they needed everything he had to offer.
 
 
 
STUDS
 
Harrison Barnes

He had a chance to win it in regulation, but failed to knock down the game-winning shot. Still, Barnes had a strong game for the Mavericks while finishing with 31 points and six rebounds.
 
Jaylen Brown

Kyrie Irving’s backcourt mate had yet another strong performance for the Celtics. He had a near double-double of 22 points and nine rebounds.
 
Jayson Tatum

Don’t let the 15-point total fool you. Tatum was a major factor in Boston’s comebacks with his ability to finish in transition and his defense down the stretch on Barnes gave the Celtics a shot as the game went into overtime.
 
J.J. Barea

The former Northeastern star was a huge spark off the bench for Dallas, tallying 16 points.
 
Marcus Smart

You can count me among those who cringed at a lot of those shots Marcus Smart took – and missed. Despite going 3-for-15 from the field, Boston doesn’t win this game without Marcus Smart. He made hustle plays defensively. He set teammates up for easy scores. And as bad as Smart shot the ball, he did make one of the biggest shots of the night, a 3-pointer that cut Dallas’ lead to 96-94 with 1:23 to play.
 
 

DUDS
 
Al Horford

He poked the ball free from Harrison Barnes late in the game which was a huge play, but for the most part Horford’s imprint on the game was non-existent. He missed four of his five shots from the field, tallying 3 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists.
 
Dennis Smith Jr.

He is an explosive guard and scored six points in the first couple of minutes. From there, he was a non-factor, finishing with eight points on 4-for-16 shooting and maybe most significant, being nothing more than a cool breeze defensively as Kyrie Irving blew by him time and time again.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE