Celtics

Rondo selected as All-Star Game replacement

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Rondo selected as All-Star Game replacement

OKLAHOMA CIY I guess it is a happy birthday after all for Rajon Rondo.

Rondo, who turns 26 years old today, will play in the 61st annual all-star game this weekend.

A league source confirmed toCSNNE.comthat Rondo will be named as an all-star replacement for Atlanta Hawks guardforward Joe Johnson.

This will be Rondo's third straight all-star appearance. He joins Paul Pierce, who will be making his 10th all-star appearance for the C's.

The omission of Rondo from the Eastern Conference reserves announced on Feb. 9 caught some - including Rondo - off guard.

"It is what it is," Rondo said.

The Celtics and their 14-10 record at the time of the announcement certainly was a factor in the selection process by the coaches.

However, multiple league sources confirmed his omission had more to do with him missing eight games with a sore right wrist injury. Coaches had to submit their all-star reserves by Feb. 7 which meant the last impression many of them had of Rondo, was the first couple of games he played upon returning from the injury.

In his first game back, a 91-89 win over New York on Feb. 3, he had seven points and seven assists but turned the ball over five times. He followed that up with a five-point, 14-assist game in a win over Memphis, but he struggled shooting the ball (he was 2-for-6) and once again, he had five turnovers.

As he got healthier, his play began to pick up.

But by the time he dropped 32 points and 15 assists in a win over Chicago, or 35 points and six assists against Detroit, the all-star team had been set - and it didn't include him.

"Whether he plays in it or not, Rajon Rondo is an all-star," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau toldCSNNE.comprior to Rondo being chosen as an all-star replacement. "He's one of the best in the game. That's why in Boston, they're a Big Four now, not a Big Three."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE