Mom offers thanks to Celtics’ Gerald Wallace in inspiring letter

Gerald Wallace hasn’t seen much playing time for the Boston Celtics this season. As one of the team’s elder statesmen, he’s assumed more of a leadership role, imparting wisdom on the Celtics’ bevy of young players.
But while Wallace’s impact on the box score has been minimal, he has had an immeasurable effect on the life of one young boy.
Sharon Randell’s son, Davis, has Down syndrome. In a column posted on The Mighty, Randell detailed how Davis, who dreams of becoming a professional basketball player, had the chance to meet the Celtics forward before a recent game.
“Dear Gerald Wallace,” Randell wrote. “Thank you for sitting and talking with my son, Davis. Although, for you, this was just a moment in time before heading off to your work as a basketball player on the Boston Celtics, for us it was a glimpse of our boy living his dream.
“… So as we navigate the terrain of guiding this child as he grows, we thank you for giving us a story to sustain his dreams and bridge the gap. W

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Paul Pierce: Celtics’ Big Three was like ‘Holy Trinity’

 

The last few years haven’t exactly been kind to the Boston Celtics. But it wasn’t too long ago that wins at TD Garden were as common as traffic on I-93.
 
Prior to the 2007-08 season, the Celtics signed free agents Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, who teamed up with Paul Pierce to form the celebrated “Big Three.” The trio won nearly 70 percent of its games over the next five seasons, bringing a championship banner to Boston in 2008 and making the playoffs four years in a row after that.
The dream team since has disbanded — Allen to the Miami Heat, Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets and Pierce to the Washington Wizards. But since there’s never a bad time to relive the glory days, Pierce opened up to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck about Boston’s magical run.
“It was meant to be,” Pierce said. “It was just like the pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly… We all were different, but we all complemented each other. The next thing you know, the chemistry and everything is perfect.”
The

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Celtics Notes: Blazers’ Bench Shines; Kelly Olynyk Lays Goose Egg

The Boston Celtics showed a lot of encouraging signs Sunday night, especially on the defensive end, but it was not enough to earn them a victory over a very talented Portland Trail Blazers team.
Join us as we recap some tidbits from Portland’s 94-88 win.
– Kelly Olynyk arguably is the best shooter on the Celtics’ roster, but he finished with exactly zero point in the loss and attempted just three shots. Olynyk also went scoreless last Monday against the Phoenix Suns, but he played just 13 minutes in that contest.
“They didn’t allow him a lot of opportunities on the outside,” head coach Brad Stevens said after the game. “They decided to guard him. There’s different ways to then become effective, and we just need to continue to help him find those ways. I think he’s going to be frustrated by that, but I think that’s part of the curve for him as a starting forward.”
– Much of the talk about the Blazers entering this season centered around improvements they made to their bench. Longtime

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Reports: Jeff Green, Brandon Bass Drawing Trade Interest For Celtics

BOSTON — Trade talk concerning the Celtics isn’t a new development this season. For a change, however, it doesn’t center on point guard Rajon Rondo.
While Rondo continues to be the Celtics’ most intriguing trade piece — largely because he’s simply their best player — he’s not the only guy attracting attention. Opposing teams have begun inquiring about power forward Brandon Bass, the Boston Herald reports, while the trade market for small forward Jeff Green is as strong, “if not stronger,” than demand for Rondo, according to CSNNE.
“They’re two totally different players and their roles with a team are different, too,” the unnamed league executive told CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely, referring to Green and Rondo. “But Green can do a lot of things to help just about any team, as long as you’re not making him the guy you build around. Green’s the guy you add to the guy you’re trying to build around.”
Bass, meanwhile, enjoys strong interest around the l

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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Boston Celtics 11/23/14: Video Highlights and Recap

Owners of a league-high six-game winning streak, the Portland Trail Blazers headed east as they looked to make it seven straight against the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics were looking to turn things around, having lost seven of their last 10 contests.

Watch the video for full highlights.

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Blazers’ Steve Blake Crosses over Celtics’ Evan Turner, Drains Jumper

The game is already over, but the Boston Celtics’ Evan Turner is still wondering where Portland Trail Blazers guard Steve Blake went on this play.

In the final minute of the third quarter of Portland’s 94-88 road win, Blake lost Turner with a nasty crossover and then drained a jumper to finish off the play. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Blake dropped 11 points and five assists off the bench.

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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Boston Celtics: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

Today’s game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics is underway! Stay tuned for live updates and reactions!

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Celtics Injury Update: Vitor Faverani may be out for the entire season

The Boston Celtics fell to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday by the score of 117-100. The loss dropped the Celtics to 4-7 on the season, third in the Atlantic Division. Things will not get any easier for the Celtics as they play the Trail Blazers on Sunday. The Celtics will continue to be without Vitor Faverani due to a knee injury and there is no timetable for his return.Halley from Boston via Wikimedia CommonsI reported on October 14 that Faverani, whose 2013-2014 season ended in surgery in March after tearing the meniscus in his left knee, had swelling in his knee and underwent knee surgery and would be out 6-to-8 weeks.A. Sherrod Blakely, who covers the Celtics for CSNNE.com, tweeted the following update on Faverani.#Celtics Vitor Faverani (knee) says no timetable for his return. Says there has been no talks about him being out all season. #Celticstalk— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) November 22, 2014Faverani, a 26-year old center from Brazil, played in 37 games for the Celtics last season. He averag

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Boston Celtics: What we know so far

The Boston Celtics have gotten off to an exciting start to the season, taking many people by surprise. Although they still sit under the .500 mark with a 4-6 record, the Celtics have played competitive basketball. Predicted to finish in the Eastern Conference cellar, Boston is a couple of possessions away from 6-4 or 7-3.
The Celtics have had no trouble putting the ball in the basket, scoring 106.8 point per game, good for third in the NBA behind Dallas and Golden State. Boston is also shooting at an impressive .485 clip. The troubles lie on the defensive side of the ball where Boston ranks 28th in opponents points per game and tied for 24th in opponents field goal percentage.
Getting stops will continue to be an issue
Jared Sullinger
So far the Celtics have lost games in which they scored 113, 114, and 120 points.  They lost games in which they led in the fourth quarter to Phoenix, Cleveland, and Oklahoma City, where games tend to grind to a halt. The Celtics have been effective at turning games into tr

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How Rajon Rondo Allows Avery Bradley to Thrive with the Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics guards Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley are undersized, but still compliment each other very well. It’s difficult not to blend in with a healthy Rondo—who’s regained his stranglehold on the assist leaderboard—and Bradley is taking full advantage of the opportunity (especially on offense).

Last season, with Rondo on the sidelines, Bradley was out of place and awkward as Boston’s lead ball-handler. He was asked to create for others when he had a hard enough time consistently carving point-scoring inlets for himself. Bradley isn’t a playmaker, and each off-the-dribble excursion into the dark depths of a defense read like an eternal pessimist’s choose-your-own-adventure story. 

The ball isn’t meant to be in Bradley’s hands when the shot clock is above 18, but that’s where it was for a whole year. He was miscast, and everyone knew it. Now that Rondo is back, Bradley is thriving in a role better suited to his skill set. He’s off the ball, making baseline cuts and spot-up threes. He’s also facing less restriction from a defense that’s constantly worried about stopping the Celtics’ best player.

Last year’s struggles weren’t a complete waste of time, though, as Bradley molded one of the league’s best pull-up jumpers into his repertoire. But it’s good to rest most of the team’s ball-handling duties on Rondo’s lap. It’s where they belong.

Bradley’s touches per game have fallen from 47.7 to 38.1, per NBA.com. His usage rate is down, and his assist percentage is at a career low 5.7. Not all this season is peachy, however. Bradley’s PER is dangerously close to single digits, he isn’t getting to the free-throw line (11 attempts in 10 games) and, somehow, his turnover rate is actually up from last year. 

It’s early in the season, though, and most of these figures should balance out eventually (most notably his outside shot). Bradley’s three-point percentage is considerably lower than it was last season, but that shouldn’t be cause for concern.

Rondo is giving Bradley more time and space to get deep shots off. Roughly 19 percent of Bradley’s attempts during the 2013-14 season were three-pointers with the closest defender over four feet away. That percentage is up to 27.6 this year, per NBA.com. Not all of this is Rondo’s doing, but a good chunk certainly is. Just over 40 percent of all passes that Bradley catches comes from Rondo (by far the most of any teammate). 

Bradley’s field-goal percentage on two-point shots is also markedly up from a year ago (from 45.1 to 51.6 percent). Even though Bradley doesn’t score on this play, his brilliantly timed off-ball cut off Rondo’s penetration shows just how easily he can put himself in position to score. Rondo’s chaos is Bradley’s gift.

Bradley has played just 80 minutes without Rondo by his side this season—a sample size too small to extract much meaning. But an interesting takeaway to note is where Bradley shoots with Rondo on the floor (as opposed to without him).

A higher chunk of Bradley’s attempts come in the restricted area, the non-restricted area of the paint and behind the three-point line (both above the break and in the corner) with Rondo feeding him. When Bradley is by himself, exactly half his looks are mid-range jumpers. This isn‘t the worst news ever, considering that Bradley is an above-average shooter from this area of the floor, but it’s far from ideal. 

Over the long-term, Rondo’s impact should make Bradley a far more efficient, effective player—someone who can focus on his strengths and not worry about fumbling through his weaknesses (of which there are several with the ball in his hands). 

Boston’s offense functions as a top-five unit when Bradley and Rondo are both on the floor, and it’s no secret why. The four-time All-Star is making life easier for his young teammate, and the more they play together the better they’ll be.

 

All statistics are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com or NBA.com, unless otherwise noted.

Michael Pina is an NBA writer who’s been published at Bleacher Report, Sports on Earth, FOX Sports, Grantland and a few other very special places. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelVPina.

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