Celtics Question of the Day: Which big men will get the most time off the bench?


Celtics Question of the Day: Which big men will get the most time off the bench?

For all that has gone well for the Boston Celtics in recent years, rebounding has been a constant issue. The C's have been either the worst or second-worst rebounding team each of the last three seasons.

Shaquille O'Neal. Jermaine O'Neal. Rasheed Wallace. No matter who the C's trotted in to bolster their frontline, nothing has worked rebounding-wise with any level of consistency.

Will this season be any different?

The Celtics certainly hope so with the additions to their lineup that will enter training camp vying for a spot in the team's big man rotation. Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass will be Boston's starting center and power forward, respectively. So in terms of bigs who will play, we know they're in.

Beyond that it gets pretty interesting.

During the regular season, C's coach Doc Rivers will likely go 10-deep most nights. Even if Boston plays a lot more small-ball lineups, you can count on the Celtics using at least two big men off the bench.

All indications are that rookie Jared Sullinger will be in the rotation at both power forward and at times, center.

That leaves Chris Wilcox, Fab Melo and Jason Collins vying for what may be one spot in the C's regular big man rotation. Of that trio, look for Wilcox to win out at the start of the season.

His experience, familiarity with what head coach Doc Rivers expects and his overall talent, will give him a decisive edge over Melo initially.

But there will come a time when Melo's shot-blocking prowess will help the C's win a game or two. That will pave the way for the rookie to showcase other parts of his game that will likely cut into Wilcox's role.

As for Collins, it's unlikely he'll see much playing time this season.

His experience and defense-first mentality make him an ideal "situational" player who may see his role expanded against players like Andrew Bynum of Philadelphia or Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Warriors force Game 7 with 108-101 win over Thunder


Warriors force Game 7 with 108-101 win over Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Klay Thompson made a playoff-record 11 3-pointers and scored 41 points, and the defending champion Golden State Warriors forced a seventh game in the Western Conference finals with a 108-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.

Stephen Curry bounced back from a slow start to finish with 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The Warriors, who set the league's regular-season record with 73 wins, will host Game 7 on Monday. The winner will play Cleveland in the NBA Finals.

Oklahoma City dominated Games 3 and 4 at home, but the Warriors made 21 of 44 3-pointers on Saturday, while Oklahoma City was 3 of 23.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Russell Westbrook added 28 for the Thunder. But Durant made just 10 of 31 shots and Westbrook was 10 of 27.

Trying to become the 10th team to overcome a 3-1 deficit, the Warriors trailed much of the game and trailed by eight going to the fourth quarter.

Thompson kept them in it with four 3-pointers in just over seven minutes to start the period. Curry then hit two 3s, the second of which tied the game at 99 with 2:47 to play.

Thompson's 3 with 1:35 to play put the Warriors up 104-101.

The Thunder, who blew a number of fourth-quarter leads during the regular season, fell apart in the final minutes after Golden State had finally gone ahead for good.

Westbrook lost control of the ball, and after Thompson missed a 3, Westbrook turned the ball over again. Curry's layup with 14.3 seconds to play put the Warriors up by five, the Thunder turned it over again, and the Warriors were in the clear.

The Thunder led 23-20 after one quarter, then seized momentum early in the second. Steven Adams' powerful one-handed dunk on Draymond Green drew a roar from the crowd and gave Oklahoma City a 37-28 lead. Green, who had hit Adams in the groin area twice during the series, was a constant target for the vocal Thunder fans.

Thompson opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Warriors a 54-53 edge, but the Thunder closed the quarter strong and led 83-75 heading into the fourth.