Celtics

Friday FT's: Shaq invades Google, Rondo on set

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Friday FT's: Shaq invades Google, Rondo on set

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.

Before Shaquille ONeal announced he is joining TNT, he made a discreet appearance at Google. "I've broken inside the Google building. Nobody knows I'm here. Shhh. I love Google, baby," he said on a Tout video. While inside, he "camouflaged" himself behind a less-than-Shaq-size plant and eventually got pinned down to a Google pool table, apologizing to the "Google people." Safe to say ONeals attempts at disguising himself were unsuccessful.

Lights, Camera, Action for Rondo: On Thursday night Rajon Rondo posted, "At a Nike shoot today in LA" on his Facebook page and tweeted several photos, including a helicopter, fans, and a very sophisticated ensemble.
(Now that is taking your style to a whole new level.)

Rondo is the face of the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2011, which he is expected to wear next season.

Ray Ready for Anything: Ray Allen was in Los Angeles for the ESPY Awards, where he was nominated for Best Record-Breaking Performance for breaking the NBA all-time three-point shooting record last season. (U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy won the award.) Before the event, Allen was asked about the unavoidable topic of the NBA lockout. "I think you have to expect the worst, always, he told ESPNs Erin Andrews on the red carpet. And with that, the guys have to save their money, make sure that they're not doing anything too frivolous. And at the same time, you've got to take care of your bodies because we've seen back in '99 a lot of guys' careers ended because they didn't take care of themselves, they didn't take care of their bodies, they didn't prepare for the long haul."
KG Inspiring Young Athletes: During the NBA Draft it is not unusual to hear picks list Kevin Garnett as one the players they looked up to as they worked toward becoming pro athletes. Recently two high school athletes who are still years away from the NBA noted the influence Garnett has made on their games already.

When reading about Everett, MA native Nerlens Noel, a 6-11 center, it is clear he has been inspired by Garnett. Mentions of energy, defense, and team basketball are usually good indications. Nerlens, who plays for the Tilton School in Tilton, NH, is ranked as one of the top players in his class nationwide. Wrote KentuckySports.com, I just want to win the game and be a good teammate, he said. I know defense is one thing people will sleep on, but defense wins championships. Noel, who cites Kevin Garnett as possessing the intensity he wants to emulate, said he hoped to have a list of 15 schools by the end of the summer.

Chinoso Obokoh, a big man from Nigeria who plays for Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester, NY, has also been influenced by KG. According to the NBE Basketball Report, This 6-foot-10 defensive terror who says his favorite team is the Boston Celtics and his favorite player is Kevin Garnett already has many schools already drooling over his services.
Pinckney to Europe: NBA players arent the only ones going overseas -- former Boston Celtics forwardChicago Bulls assistant coach Ed Pinckney will also head to Europe. CSNChicago.com reported he will serve as an assistant coach for the Ukrainian National Team under head coach Mike Fratello. Pinckney played for the Celtics over six seasons in the late 1980searly 1990s.
Celtics Award Camp Scholarship: This week the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation announced a new partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. As part of the partnership, the Celtics awarded a scholarship for the Reebok Youth Basketball Camps to a 16-year-old Charlestown Boys & Girls Club member who best exemplified being a team player. The camps are co-hosted by the Celtics and will feature former Cs Cedric Maxwell and Dana Barros.

Celtics Tweet of the Week:
@paulpierce34: They knocked me out of the Main Event Monday nite I'm still licking my wounds but I'll b back

Celtics Birthday of the Week:
Jim Paxson, who played with the Celtics from 1988-90, turned 54 on July 9 . . . Paul Silas, who played four seasons for the Celtics in the 1970s, turned 68 on July 12.

This Week in NBA History:
Jermaine ONeal agreed to sign with the Celtics on July 8, 2010. ONeal struggled with injuries for the majority of his first year in Boston, averaging 5.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 24 regular season games. His standout performance of the postseason came in the first round against the New York Knicks when he scored 12 points off of perfect 6-for-6 shooting. ONeal told CSNNE.com he plans to return next season. "I have a lot I can still give to this team," he said.

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

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.

KYRIE FOR MVP?

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.

WANTED: BENCH SCORER

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.

BROWN EMERGES AS TWO-WAY TALENT

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.

TATUM’S GROWTH A SILVER LINING IN HAYWARD INJURY

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.

WE TALKIN’ ABOUT PRACTICE

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.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end

0:41 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and DJ Bean discuss the Celtics 16-game winning streak being snapped by the Miami Heat.

6:05 - Tom Curran and Mike Giardi talk about Tom Brady missing practice due to an Achilles injury and Randy Moss’ chances to make the Hall of Fame.

11:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the mental and physical fatigue that the streak had on the Celtics and if there is a sense of relief that the streak is over.  

16:11 - With it being the 5th anniversary of the Butt Fumble, we compare it to other embarrassing sports moments in history.