Most missed bunnies on the Celtics this year? Take a bow, Tyler Zeller!

Most missed bunnies on the Celtics this year? Take a bow, Tyler Zeller!

(NOTE: He didn't miss them all. See the video above!)

With the Celtics season a thing of the past, it’s time to reflect on the year that was . . . and hand out meaningless awards we just made up! First up: The PETA Player of the Year Award, which is given to the Celtics player who humanely refused to hit the most bunnies. 

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While Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier missed a fair share of bunnies this season, their ability to teleport to the rim was just too impressive for them to qualify for this award. So the obvious choice is: Tyler Zeller.

The Celtics 7-foot center managed to miss 32 layups this past season, although 12 of them were blocked. Of the 20 misses that weren’t turned away by a defender, four stood out as the most egregious (heroic?) missed bunnies. Here they are, numbered but in no particular order:



Zeller really set the tone with this beauty from the first game of the season. The Celtics were up 14 points at the time, so NBD; plus, he gets bonus points for the disappointed hop after the miss. (More like TODDLER Zeller, am I right?!)



GodZeller once again burned by the unnecessary reverse attempt in this one. He seems to be trying to avoid the menacing help defense of Emmanuel Mudiay, who did block a total of 13 shots this season … the same amount as Isaiah Thomas. I could go on, but his reaction is way too sad.



Fun fact: Tyer Zeller was the sixth-oldest Celtic this season, and his veteran leadership really showed up in this missed bunny. At this point in the season, Al Horford had already taken a beating by the well-informed and completely rational local talk radio horde, and Zeller essentially nullified Big Al’s big miss by whiffing an even easier attempt on the putback. You’re a freaking hero, Tyler Zeller. A HERO.



Zeller really takes a stand for animal rights on this last one. His defender, Mirza Teletovic, actually stops moving. (Another fun fact: He, too, had 13 total blocks this season.) Now in Zeller’s defense, Greg Monroe was standing right there and, although he didn’t even raise a finger to contest the shot, he was the 55th-ranked center in Defensive Real Plus-Minus this season.

So congratulations, Tyer Zeller, for standing up for all those helpless bunnies out there. Your efforts won’t soon be forgotten. (Also, maybe try dunking next season?)

NBCSB Breakfast podcast: Maybe next year will be the Celtics' year

NBC Sports Boston Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast podcast: Maybe next year will be the Celtics' year

1:31 - With the results of Kyrie Irving’s second opinion on he knee looming, the Celtic’s season is certainly up in the air. A. Sherrod Blakely, Chris Mannix, Kyle Draper and Gary Tanguay debate how and if Kyrie should be used if he returns.

6:02 - Back in October Michael Felger prematurely said the Bruins season was over. The B’s marketing team featured Felger in an ad for playoff tickets now that the Bruins have clinched the playoffs. Felger, Trenni and Gary react to the commercial and discuss the Bruins playoff chances.

11:47 - The Patriots are making moves! on Tursday the Pats made deals with LaAdrian Waddle, Marquis Flowers and Patrick Chung. Phil Perry, Michael Holley, Troy Brown and Tom Curran discuss how despite these moves, the Patriots should still be in search of a left tackle.

Greg Monroe looking forward to his 2nd taste of playoffs

File Photo

Greg Monroe looking forward to his 2nd taste of playoffs

BOSTON – We live in a world filled with success stories that came about by accident. 

The invention of the microwave oven.

Post-It notes.

The creation of potato chips.

The Boston Celtics’ game-winning play against Oklahoma City earlier this week qualfies; a play in which there were multiple miscues made by the Celtics prior to Marcus Morris’ game-winning shot. 


All these Celtics injuries have made Brad Stevens a mad scientist of sorts with some unusual lineups that may be on display tonight against the guard-centric Portland Trail Blazers. 

In Boston’s 100-99 win over the Thunder on Tuesday, we saw Stevens utilize a lineup with Al Horford and Greg Monroe, in four different stints.

Monroe, who had 17 points off the bench - the most he has scored as a Celtic -  enjoyed playing with Horford.

“Al’s so smart. He’s seen it all in this league,” Monroe told NBC Sports Boston. “He’s an all-star. Very cerebral player, unselfish. So it’s easy playing with him. He can space, drive, make plays. I feel like I can make plays, driving. It’s fun playing with him. I look forward to getting out there with him more.”

Horford had similar praise for playing with Monroe.

“Coach (Brad Stevens) made a great move bringing Greg back in, in the fourth, playing us together,” Horford said. “He made some great plays, passing the ball and just … timely plays. It’s one of those things, the more we play with each other the more comfortable we’ll get. I thought it was very positive.”

Monroe’s role has become significantly more important with the season-ending injury (torn meniscus, left knee) to Daniel Theis. And his ability to play well with various lineups will only improve Boston’s chances of weathering this latest storm of injuries which comes on the eve of the playoffs. 

And while there’s a certain amount of pleasure all players take in being on a playoff-bound team, Monroe understands better than most NBA veterans just how special it is to be headed towards the postseason.

In his eighth season, this will only be Monroe’s second time participating in the playoffs. 

The first time? 

That was last year, with the Milwaukee Bucks. 

“This is what everybody plays for, I hope,” Monroe said. “This is what I play for, to get into the postseason, make a run. It’s the best situation. I’ve been through a lot in my career, this year. I’m grateful. I don’t take anything for granted. I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team.”

And he has done that lately.

Monroe comes into tonight’s game having scored in double figures each of the last four games, a season high for the 6-foot-11 center. 

Having spent most of his NBA career watching instead of participating in the playoffs, Monroe is out to prove that he can in fact be a significant contributor to a team that’s postseason-bound.

“For sure. You have to have a little chip, a little fire, at least in my eyes,” Monroe said. “I’ve never doubted myself. It’s about being between those lines and being the best player I can be. That’s what I’m focused on.”