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Celtics Tweets of Interest: C’s Visit Walter Reed Center; Jared Sullinger Echoes Brad Stevens

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After Monday night’s loss to the Bulls in Chicago, the Boston Celtics (23-52) were officially eliminated from the postseason.

Nobody expected the Celtics to make the postseason since they are undergoing a transition and their best player, Rajon Rondo, was out for half of the season. Rondo has also been unable to play in back-to-back games because he is resting his surgically repaired knee. Like their defeat on Monday night, the Celtics remain competitive until the fourth quarter when they lack execution on both ends of the court with young players. The Celtics are also without a scorer they can isolate or run pick-and-rolls in the final stretch.

Rondo made his debut as the color commentator on Monday. While Rondo was quiet at times early in the game, he did provide some interesting comments. Rondo noted that Bulls guard “Kirk Hinrich is one of the most physical guards in the NBA.” Hinrich is a solid two-way player who can defend on-the-ball while shooting from the outside. Over his 10-year career, Hinrich shoots at nearly a 38% clip from beyond the three-point line. Cedric Maxwell debated this notion when he sat with CSNNE’s Mike Gorman in the second half. Maxwell said there are more talented defensive guards in the NBA such as the Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade. Rondo also told a story about how he and Bulls center Joakim Noah came to an understanding after spending a decade with the two competing against each other through AAU, college basketball, and in the NBA. Both players played in the same conference (SEC) in college with Rondo at Kentucky and Noah playing for Florida. They are both highly competitive who can produce baskets for themselves and their teammates. The Celtics point guard also said that one of Brad Stevens’ plays worked because the Bulls love to tag cutters. This is all part of Rondo’s knowledge and recognition through game film.

Here are the tweets:

This is a tweet from the Celtics with a picture of Brad Stevens and a few Celtics players with Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and designated hitter David Ortiz. The Celtics and Red Sox both visited the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Tuesday. Players such as Brandon Bass, Jerryd Bayless, and Kris Humphries were all in the picture with a wounded warrior. Both teams are in the Beltway region as Celtics took on the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night and the Red Sox are in the midst of their opening series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Red Sox also visited the White House on Tuesday morning to celebrate their 2013 World Series championship.

It’s nice to know that Celtics players are not tuning out Stevens and the coaching staff as the 2013-’14 season is coming to a close. The Celtics have played hard throughout this tough season. Sullinger tweeted a message from Stevens as he was watching the Dayton-Florida game on Saturday evening. The top overall seed Florida advanced with a 62-52 win, but Sullinger was rooting for Dayton since Sullinger was raised in Ohio. The Celtics forward played for Ohio State, who coincidentally was upset by Dayton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

In a side note: On March 28th, the Celtics observed a moment of silence for the Boston Fire Department before their game against the Toronto Raptors. Then in last Sunday’s loss to the Bulls, the Celtics wore black warm-up shirts to honor the Boston firefighters. My prayers go out to the families of Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh and Michael R. Kennedy as well as all of the Boston firefighters who risk their lives everyday.

Celtics Tweets of Interest: Jared Sullinger’s Well-Wishes to Perk; Kelly Olynyk Cheers for Canada

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This has been a newsworthy week for the Boston Celtics. The team came off a four-game road trip without a win on the West Coast.

On Tuesday, Danny Ainge commented on 98.5 The Sports Hub that Rajon Rondo celebrated his 28th birthday in Los Angeles instead of traveling with the team to Sacramento.

Apparently, Rondo’s camp claimed there was a miscommunication between himself and the team. Earlier this month, Rondo stayed in Boston while the Celtics played in Milwaukee on the second night of a back-to-back.

The airwaves on sports radio was filled with some hosts and callers discussing Rondo’s lack of leadership. While I’m not excusing Rondo, this could be misconstrued as a simple mistake.

Here is an example of a former Celtics captain who made a mistake. Paul Pierce was ejected late in a tight Game 6 of the 2005 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers. After Jamaal Tinsley intentionally fouled Pierce and hit him in the neck, Pierce swung his elbow at Tinsley. With the Celtics holding an 84-83 lead, the officials handed Pierce a second technical foul. In the post-game press conference, Pierce created a sideshow with a bandage wrapped around his head. The Celtics were facing elimination and they were fortunate to come away with an overtime victory. Pierce’s ejection could have been costly.

Both Pierce and Rondo had to fight criticism of their attitudes throughout their early years in the NBA. George Karl called out Pierce after the 2002 World Championships for Pierce’s selfishness.Of course, Pierce was able to change  perception over the course of his career. Rondo should be given the same opportunity to overcome his errors in judgement.

I would be more concerned if Rondo was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm like New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton on Monday night.

Here are notable tweets:

Jared Sullinger never played with Kendrick Perkins when Perkins was a member of the Celtics. Sullinger is sending well-wishes to the Oklahoma City Thunder center because Perkins underwent surgery on his left groin earlier this week. The injury occurred in the third quarter of the Thunder’s loss to the Miami Heat last Thursday. Meanwhile, Sullinger missed the last three games because he suffered a concussion in the Celtics’ 101-92 defeat against the Los Angeles Lakers last Friday. Here is well-wishes to both Perkins and Sullinger and they can both recover from their ailments quickly.

Kelly Olynyk is from Toronto so obviously he was cheering for Canada’s hockey team during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Canada shut out both the United States and Sweeden in the medal round to win their second consecutive gold medal.

Celtics Circuit: Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce Tributes (VIDEO)

Paul Pierce (left) and Kevin Garnett (right) were greeted with applause from Celtics' fans.

The TD Garden was rocking on Sunday night as the Boston Celtics honored Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce with separate video tributes. Fans shared tears with both Garnett and Pierce. The crowd gave a standing ovation for the two stars and chanted their names even when current Celtic Kris Humphries shot free throws.

The Garnett tribute came during a television timeout near the end of the first quarter. In the video, there were clips of Garnett’s introductory press conference and when he shouted, “Anything is possible.” The latter moment was after the Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals. Garnett spent six seasons with the Celtics. The Celtics made two appearances in the Finals (winning in 2008) and the Celtics lost in the Eastern Conference finals in 2012 to the Miami Heat. He was the defensive anchor as he played both power forward and center. Garnett averaged 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

 

Pierce’s video occurred after the opening quarter concluded on Sunday night. Pierce spent his whole career with the Celtics before he was traded along with Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets this summer. In Pierce’s 15 years with the Celtics, he made the organization relevant again with multiple playoff appearances. He hit many clutch shots in his career with the Celtics and was named MVP in the 2008 NBA Finals. The 6-foot-7-inch forward was not only embraced on the court, but he was an inspiration off the court with his charity work in the community. In 1998, the Celtics drafted Pierce with the 10th overall selection. Pierce became the second leading scorer in Celtics history with 24,021 points behind only John Havlicek (26,395). Pierce’s nickname was “The Truth” (given by Shaquille O’Neal) and he will go down as one of the greatest scorers in Celtics’ history.

 

The Nets defeated the Celtics, 85-79. The fans at the Garden enjoyed a truly special night.

Celtics Tweets of Interest: Celtics Add Vander Blue; Jared Sullinger’s Charity Event

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Rajon Rondo returned to the Boston Celtics’ starting lineup on January 17th against the Los Angeles Lakers. Rondo is playing on a limited basis to rest his knees as he recovers from last year’s surgery. The Celtics’ star point guard is back directing the offense, but the Celtics continue to have their struggles in the fourth quarter without a primary scorer.

The Celtics are also dealing with a depleted back-court. Jerryd Bayless sprained his left big toe in the 93-91 loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday night. Bayless is day-to-day. On Tuesday, Avery Bradley also sprained his right ankle while he was defending Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers in the Celtics’ 93-86 defeat in Miami. Bradley is expected to be out for at least two weeks. The Celtics added reinforcements as they signed Chris Johnson last Friday to a 10-day contract and Vander Blue joined the team on a 10-day contract this week.

In the 113-111 overtime win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, the Celtics rested Rondo because the game was the second of a back-to-back. Bradley and Bayless were both out with their injuries. Phil Pressey started and scored 20 points before he fouled out in the final minute of overtime. Pressey knocked down five three-pointers. This was only the Celtics second victory in their last thirteen games in the month of January.

Despite the Celtics’ close losses, they are competing in the majority of their contests and they are never out of a game. The Celtics continue to blow big leads such as the 18-point halftime advantage against the Wizards.

Here are a couple of notable tweets:

Blue was ecstatic after the Celtics signed him to a 10-day contract. The former Marquette guard was playing for the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League. The 6-foot-5-inch undrafted Blue was averaging 19.0 points in 30.5 minutes per game. In an interesting twist, Blue (29 points) helped Marquette eliminate Brad Stevens’ Butler Bulldogs in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. This was the last game that Stevens coached at Butler when he joined the Celtics in June.

Jared Sullinger is hosting his 2nd Annual Clothing Drive next Thursday. The Drive is at Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries on 1010 Harrison Avenue in Boston from 5:30-7:30 PM. Every donor must bring in at least seven used clothing items. All donors receive a prize. Their are special gifts for the first 100 donors and the donor who gives the most items.

Celtics Part Ways With Jordan Crawford & MarShon Brooks

Jordan Crawford's strong play dropped in the last month.

Jordan Crawford’s strong play dropped in the last month.

The Boston Celtics cleared more room off their roster today. They sent guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors as part of a three-team trade that also involved the Miami Heat.

The Celtics received Joel Anthony from the Heat and two draft picks. One of those selections could become a first-round pick if the Philadelphia 76ers finish out of the lottery in 2014 or 2015. Since the 76ers are 12-25, it seems like the Celtics will not be getting that pick in the opening round for 2014. The Sixers have three 2014 first-round picks along with Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, who will be returning from a torn ACL injury next year. They could sneak into the playoffs if their young talent develops quickly in a poor Eastern Conference. Right now, the Celtics appear headed towards getting two second-round choices in this deal.



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While the Warriors added Crawford and Brooks, they sent reserve guard Toney Douglas to the Heat. The Warriors needed depth at the guard position and the Heat wanted to clear money to possibly sign center Andrew Bynum.

Anthony is getting paid $3.8 million for this season and he has a player option for $3.8 million next year, which he will most likely trigger this summer. The 6-foot-9-inch, 245-pound center/forward is a role player who can defend and set screens. He can score around the rim, but he is not a primary offensive threat. This season, Anthony has only played in 12 games. Anthony’s career averages are 2.4 points per game in 16.4 minutes.

This move also opens the door for Rajon Rondo to return to the court. Earlier this week, Rondo speculated that he might make his season debut for Friday’s home game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The guard sent a cryptic tweet that spanned the time from when he underwent surgery on his knee on February 13, 2013 to the start time of Friday’s game. Rondo did not say anything to the media about when he will come back, but head coach Brad Stevens raised the possibility that Rondo will play on Friday. The team reassigned Rondo to the Maine Red Claws today and they called him back after the Red Claws’ practice.

 

On paper, the Celtics are taking a gamble that they can get a first-round pick from the Sixers in 2015. Anthony’s contract does not help them for next year, but the money will not handcuff the Celtics for their roster. They were able to acquire assets for two journeymen who were not going to be with the Celtics next year.

 

 

Celtics Tweets of Interest: Jeff Green Shops With Children; Jared Sullinger Sends Christmas Greeting

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The Boston Celtics are enjoying their extended Christmas break this year. In the past five seasons, the Celtics had been showcased as part of the NBA’s Christmas package of games on national television. Since the Celtics lost Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, the team has no star power. Also, Rajon is Rondo sidelined because of his torn right ACL.

While most pundits and fans believed the Celtics were in a rebuilding stage, the Celtics have surprised everyone. New head coach Brad Stevens has received the most out of his players’ ability. Through 29 games, the Celtics are 12-17 and they are competing for a possible playoff berth. In most years, the Celtics would be considered mediocre, but the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks have been major disappointments. This has left the Celtics to compete with the Toronto Raptors atop the Atlantic Division.

Avery Bradley has emerged as confident outside shooter. Bradley is shooting 41 percent from three-point range this season. Jared Sullinger is proving why he should have been a lottery pick. After undergoing back surgery last February, the second-year forward is averaging 14.1 points and 7.1 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game. Jordan Crawford was seen as a volume shooter and a malcontent after he lost minutes to John Wall and Bradley Beal with the Washington Wizards, but he has become a capable point guard with the Celtics. While Jeff Green can disappear at times, he is leading the team with 16.1 points per game and has been successful defending players like Carmelo Anthony late in games. Green also made the game-winning three-pointer to beat the Miami Heat on November 9th.

Here are tweets from the players who enjoyed taking time away from their families to support their community and were in Christmas spirit:

On December 18th, Green shopped at Macy’s with 19 children. He attached a picture through Instagram. Green was a proponent of the NBA Give BIG program through social media. He spread holiday cheer to many people, especially children.

Sullinger sent Christmas wishes to his Twitter followers on Wednesday. He also reminded everyone about the religious aspect of Christmas. The 6-foot-9-inch forward’s avatar is a picture with him in a Santa Claus hat. Apparently, Sullinger enjoys the Holiday season like most people.

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