Boston Celtics: 2014AllStar

C's catch breather on a star-less weekend

February, 15, 2014
Feb 15
2:15
PM ET
Three years ago when the All-Star game was in Los Angeles, the Boston Celtics showed up with four players and the team's entire coaching staff in tow, making it impossible to turn on the weekend's festivities without catching at least a glimpse of green.

And that's the way it's been for the better part of the last 13 years. Paul Pierce carried Boston's star torch while appearing in 10 All-Star games from 2002-2012. The one year that Pierce missed the festivities, Boston still reveled in watching Gerald Green win the 2007 Slam Dunk contest.

Which is why it's simply a bit striking that -- after Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger participated in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night -- Boston is set to endure a star-less weekend, a rare sort of anonymity as it navigates the early stages of a rebuild.

With a rare blast of free time, Celtics coaches and players planned to downshift this weekend and divorce themselves for basketball for a couple days.

"I’ll work on Friday, just to kinda get myself organized heading into [next week's West Coast road trip], then I’ll take the weekend with my family off," said Celtics first-year coach Brad Stevens, who, save for a brief Christmas respite, has been pretty much full-go since he got hired on July 3.

"We’re going to reconvene [in Phoenix] -- we’ve got a gym on Monday for guys that get in early if they just want to shoot and work out. We’ll reconvene Tuesday and practice. I think it’s imperative and important that everybody in our travel party gets mentally ready for the next 28 games ... and make sure that we’re playing our very best basketball when we reconvene. But also take a couple of days, and take a breath."

Team captain Rajon Rondo, a four-time All-Star who missed last year's festivities after tearing his ACL, said he planned to utilize the four-day break for rest and relaxation.

"Gonna chill," said Rondo. "Take a trip. Undisclosed location."

Asked if a tiny part of him was distressed not to be in New Orleans this weekend, he offered a matter-of-fact "No." With his focus on his return to basketball after missing nearly a full year, Rondo was happy to utilize this bit of downtime to rest those achy muscles that have been put back in service.

Even Sullinger said that, after Friday's rookie/sophomore mixer, he was headed back to Columbus, Ohio, to spend time with his family. With no teammates around for the rest of the weekend's festivities, Sullinger was planning to get his fill of All-Star weekend on Friday (and a bit on Saturday morning) and join his teammates in relaxation mode.

With 54 games in the rearview mirror, Gerald Wallace noted this weekend was a rare chance to "relax your body. We put so much on our bodies that ... we need a couple days. Don’t even have to think about basketball. Just get away with your family, enjoy the weekend, rest your body."

With the trade deadline looming next week, the Celtics know that nothing about this team is guaranteed moving forward. The one thing that was assured was this weekend's break and they planned to utilize every second of it.

Rapid Reaction: Sully, Olynyk at Rising Stars

February, 14, 2014
Feb 14
11:11
PM ET
Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty ImagesCeltics Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger at the Rising Stars Challenge.
Rapid reaction after Boston Celtics young bigs Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk participated in the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend on Friday night in New Orleans:

THE NITTY GRITTY
Both Sullinger and Olynyk were fan-voted starters, joining New Orleans' Anthony Davis, Orlando's Victor Oladipo, and Philadelphia's Michael Carter-Williams on Team [Chris] Webber's first unit. Sullinger lived up to his promise of hanging out around the 3-point line, putting up nine of his 11 shots beyond the arc. He finished with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting (three triples) to go along with four assists, two rebounds and two blocks over 20 minutes. Olynyk was more efficient, scoring nine points on 4-of-5 shooting with three steals, two assists and a block over 25 minutes. Team [Grant] Hill emerged with a 142-136 triumph fueled by a monster 30-point, 25-rebound effort from Detroit's Andre Drummond, who took home MVP honors. Dion Waiters put on a show with 31 points on 10-of-14 shooting as well, dueling with New York's Tim Hardaway Jr. (36 points on 12-of-23 shooting) at one point.

WHAT IT MEANS
Celtics teammates Sullinger and Olynyk showed their chemistry on one second-half sequence in which Sullinger took the ball out below the hoop after a made basket and threw a Hail Mary strike to Olynyk for a reverse layup. Sullinger's other highlight was some sort of running half-hook scoop shot while sweeping through the lane in the second half. Most importantly for Boston, the two players emerged without injury. Sullinger and Olynyk got a chance to mingle with some of the other up-and-coming talents in the league and served as rebuilding Boston's focal point for this All-Star weekend. They'll get the rest of the weekend to relax before reconvening with their teammates out west on Monday in Phoenix.

Sullinger, Olynyk on same Stars squad

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
10:10
PM ET
Boston Celtics rookie forward Kelly Olynyk and second-year center Jared Sullinger will be on the same team at the 2014 Rising Stars Challenge as part of All-Star weekend in New Orleans later this month.

Both Olynyk and Sullinger were chosen to be part of Team (Chris) Webber at the event that was previously rookies vs. sophomores. The Boston duo will be joined by Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn), Tim Hardaway Jr. (New York), Steven Adams (Oklahoma City), Victor Oladipo (Orlando), Michael Carter-Williams (Philadelphia), and Trey Burke (Utah).

Team (Grant) Hill features Damian Lillard (Portland), Pero Antic (Atlanta), Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers), Harrison Barnes (Golden State), Terrence Jones (Houston), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto) and Bradley Beal (Washington).

Fans can vote HERE for each team's starters.

The Rising Stars Challenge will be played Friday, Feb. 14, at the Smoothie King Center and will be broadcast on TNT.

Sullinger, Olynyk in Rising Stars game

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
7:25
PM ET
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics second-year center Jared Sullinger and rookie forward Kelly Olynyk will represent the team at All-Star weekend next month after being selected to the player pool for the 2014 Rising Stars Challenge.

The event, previously the rookie vs. sophomore game, will featured mixed nine-man rosters (meaning the two could be on the same team) for the game that tips on Friday, Feb. 14 at 9 p.m.

Both players expressed excitement about traveling to New Orleans to represent the Celtics a part of All-Star Weekend. But both seem more focused on Boston's current team struggles as a team rather than celebrating individual accomplishments.

"I think, like the team, you can always get better," Olynyk said when asked to rate his freshman season. "I’m not in the All-Star game, so I’m doing as well as some of the other guys in this league. You can always get better, keep learning. It’s still early on in [his] career, I’ve got a lot to learn. Not only with the game, but the league and how it operates and all that stuff."

Asked if he was excited to have Sullinger along for the trip, Olynyk noted, "He’s really deserving it of it as well. A lot more than me, I would say. I’m glad he’s getting the opportunity as well."

For his part, Sullinger suggested he'll take a light-hearted approach to the matchup.

"It’s a guards game, so you’ll probably see me around the 3-point line a lot," he said. "Just let the guards go to work."

As for trekking to All-Star weekend, Sullinger added, "It’s going to be a lot of fun, you get to see all the old heads walking around that haven't been in the All-Star game for about 25 years now. It’s an experience of a lifetime. It’s going to be a lot of fun."

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was happy for his players, but made sure to note they each have a long way to go in their individual development.

"I think it’s an honor for them and I think the nice part about it is they can both get a lot better," said Stevens. "It's a good start to their young careers, although I think both of them would like to play better on a night-in, night-out basis, so hopefully that’s just validation for them and it encourages them to continue working the right way."

Read on for a look at the entire player pool and how rosters will be determined:

(Read full post)

C's in final All-Star voting

January, 23, 2014
Jan 23
7:15
PM ET
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo finished sixth in voting for the Eastern Conference backcourt, while Jeff Green was 11th in the frontcourt in final All-Star balloting released by the NBA on Thursday evening.

The fan-voted starters for the East: Carmelo Anthony, New York; Paul George, Indiana; Kyrie Irving, Cleveland; LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Miami. And for the Western Conference: Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers; Stephen Curry, Golden State; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers; and Kevin Love, Minnesota.

Frontcourt
1. LeBron James (Mia) 1,416,419
2. Paul George (Ind) 1,211,318
3. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 935,702
4. Roy Hibbert (Ind) 524,809
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 406,867
6. Kevin Garnett (Bkn) 209,398
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 181,145
8. Andre Drummond (Det) 163,798
9. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 137,512
10. Luol Deng (Cle) 121,754
11. Jeff Green (Bos) 121,040
12. Carlos Boozer (Chi) 103,502
13. David West (Ind) 95,363
14. Paul Pierce (Bkn) 95,034
15. Josh Smith (Det) 75,433

Backcourt
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 929,542
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 860,221
3. John Wall (Was) 393,129
4. Derrick Rose (Chi) 359,546
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 250,909
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 174,654
7. Lance Stephenson (Ind) 148,382
8. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 131,228
9. George Hill (Ind) 129,533
10. Deron Williams (Bkn) 126,423

The 63rd NBA All-Star Game is Feb. 16 in New Orleans. As for the reserves, the NBA notes, "The 30 NBA head coaches must vote for seven players within their conference, including two guards, three frontcourt players and two players regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. After the coaches select the reserves, if a player is unable to participate in the All-Star Game, the NBA Commissioner will select the replacement. Reserves will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 30, on TNT."
The NBA unveiled the third return on balloting for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game and Boston's two top vote-getters saw little change in their position. Rajon Rondo stands firm at sixth among Eastern Conference backcourt players, while Jeff Green slipped a spot to 10th in the frontcourt.

A look at the top performers at each spot for the East:

Frontcourt
1. LeBron James (Mia) 1,076,063
2. Paul George (Ind) 899,671
3. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 702,869
4. Roy Hibbert (Ind) 385,964
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 304,986
6. Kevin Garnett (Bkn) 164,021
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 128,201
8. Andre Drummond (Det) 120,844
9. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 101,637
10. Jeff Green (Bos) 96,336
11. Luol Deng (Cle) 90,730
12. Carlos Boozer (Chi) 80,271
13. Paul Pierce (Bkn) 72,581
14. David West (Ind) 61,612
15. Brook Lopez (Bkn) 58,477

Backcourt
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 718,109
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 652,522
3. Derrick Rose (Chi) 323,099
4. John Wall (Was) 278,516
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 190,086
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 133,448
7. Deron Williams (Bkn) 95,309
8. George Hill (Ind) 89,428
9. Lance Stephenson (Ind) 77,364
10. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 68,985

Balloting concludes on Jan. 20 and fan-voted starting lineups will be unveiled three days later. The 63rd NBA All-Star Game is Feb. 16 in New Orleans.

All-Star 2nd returns: Green drops a spot

December, 26, 2013
12/26/13
2:15
PM ET
The NBA unveiled the second return on balloting for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game and Boston's two top vote-getters saw little change in their position. Rajon Rondo remains sixth among Eastern Conference backcourt players, while Jeff Green slipped a spot to 9th in the frontcourt.

A look at the top performers at each spot for the East:

Frontcourt
1. LeBron James (Mia) 854,105
2. Paul George (Ind) 712,808
3. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 580,795
4. Roy Hibbert (Ind) 304,829
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 222,861
6. Kevin Garnett (BKN) 137,520
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 101,308
8. Andre Drummond (Det) 91,132
9. Jeff Green (Bos) 78,693
10. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 77,496
11. Luol Deng (Chi) 73,418
12. Carlos Boozer (Chi) 64,861
13. Paul Pierce (BKN) 60,541
14. Brook Lopez (BKN) 52,907
15. Josh Smith (Det) 46,836

Backcourt
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 565,455
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 524,000
3. Derrick Rose (Chi) 299,950
4. John Wall (Was) 210,988
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 143,714
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 111,335
7. Deron Williams (BKN) 74,047
8. George Hill (Ind) 66,030
9. Lance Stephenson (Ind) 50,444
10. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 48,744

Balloting concludes on Jan. 20 and fan-voted starting lineups will be unveiled three days later. The 63rd NBA All-Star Game is Feb. 16 in New Orleans.

All-Star 1st returns: Rondo, Green in top 10

December, 12, 2013
12/12/13
2:45
PM ET
The NBA unveiled the first return on balloting for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game and Boston has two players in the top 10 in Rajon Rondo (6th in Eastern Conference backcourt) and Jeff Green (8th in frontcourt).

A look at the top performers at each spot for the East:

Frontcourt
1. LeBron James (Mia) 609,336
2. Paul George (Ind) 489,335
3. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 424,211
4. Roy Hibbert (Ind) 208,369
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 156,364
6. Kevin Garnett (Bkn) 102,825
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 75,229
8. Jeff Green (Bos) 55,912
9. Luol Deng (Chi) 54,340
10. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 51,738
11. Andre Drummond (Det) 51,351
12. Carlos Boozer (Chi) 48,745
13. Paul Pierce (Bkn) 45,145
14. Brook Lopez (Bkn) 37,153
15. Josh Smith (Det) 32,025

Backcourt
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 396,279
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 365,712
3. Derrick Rose (Chi) 272,410
4. John Wall (Was) 124,851
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 99,464
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 80,889
7. Deron Williams (Bkn) 44,282
8. George Hill (Ind) 42,536
9. Evan Turner (Phi) 33,605
10. Mario Chalmers (Mia) 32,996

ESPN Insiders' Tom Haberstroh makes a pitch in his early East All-Star glance today that Boston's Jordan Crawford might deserve a spot as a reserve for the East. A snippet: "Don't laugh... Crawford always has been a better passer than his reputation dictated, but no one saw this coming. Crawford has notched as many 10-assist games this season as Jose Calderon, Damian Lillard, Eric Bledsoe and George Hill combined (three). All told, Crawford owns the fourth-highest PER among East guards. Brad Stevens, miracle worker."

Rondo, Green, Wallace on All-Star ballot

November, 15, 2013
11/15/13
5:15
PM ET
The NBA tipped off balloting for the 2014 All-Star Game on Friday and three Celtics are available for the Eastern Conference.

Rajon Rondo is one of 24 members of the East backcourt, while Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace are part of 36 options in the frontcourt. A total of 120 players were selected by a panel of media who cover the league.

The 63rd All-Star Game takes place Sunday, Feb. 16 in New Orleans.

Read on for the myriad of ways to vote for this year's All-Stars.

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES

PODCASTS

Capital Games with Andy Katz and Rick Klein

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Congressman Peter King join the debut podcast to discuss security at this year's Boston Marathon.

Inside Out with Prim Siripipat

Boston Marathon runner Demi Clark and her husband Brian, talk about the impact of witnessing the bombings last year. Dr. Jonathan Katz speaks about dealing with trauma.

Hockey Today

Scott Burnside is joined by Craig Custance, Katie Strang, Joe McDonald and Pierre LeBrun to break down each series of the first round of the 2014 NHL playoffs.

Baseball Tonight

Buster Olney talks with Tim Kurkjian and Aaron Boone about the Braves hot start, the Nationals' injury woes, John Farrell's ejection after a blown replay and much more.

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.8 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9