Friday Free Throws: Doc gets a thumbs up, on Perks bad mood

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Friday Free Throws: Doc gets a thumbs up, on Perks bad mood

Welcome back for the another edition of Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that have not made the headlines.

At one time Doc Rivers' future as a head coach was in question as the father of four pondered life away from basketball. Now his name is mentioned not only as a top NBA coach but also as a possible successor for the Team USA head coach once Coach Mike Krzyzewski steps away from the sidelines.
Rivers has already received positive endorsements along with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay was one of the recent players to give Rivers his nod of approval.
When asked by Hoopsfix.com who he would like to see coach the team, Gay replied, Hmm, someone like Doc Rivers or maybe Coach Popovich they have both done a great job where they are.

Ohio State Moving Forward Without Their Forward
The Boston Celtics were excited to add Jared Sullinger to their roster when he was still available at the 21st pick in this years NBA Draft. Now, the Ohio State Buckeyes will have to move forward without their star forward.
Last season he averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Buckeyes. Head coach Thad Matta talked to ESPN.com about the season ahead sans Sullinger:
Weve had some great players leave this program. ... The thing I always tell the guys is, "We dont need you to be Jared Sullinger. We need you to be who you are. We need you to be very effective with what youre capable of doing." Thats always been the approach. Do we maybe change a little bit the way were playing? Yeah, we probably will. But I think one of the biggest fallacies a young man can have is "Hey, Im going to get his points or Im going to get his rebounds. I got it." It just never works that way.
Sullinger will adjust to a new situation himself. The rookie has emphasized his willingness to learn and improve as he plays behind his veteran teammates on the Celtics.

Thunder Coach Roaring Over the Scowl
Over the years, Kendrick Perkins' scowl and seemingly unhappy demeanor became one of the bright spots on the Celtics. The Oklahoma City Thunder have embraced his intense persona since acquiring him in 2011 in exchange for Jeff Green. Thunder head coach Scott Brooks is looking forward to having his center back on the court this season following left ankle and groin surgery.
"He gives us an edge," Brooks told the Los Angeles Times. "He hates his opponent. He's not happy unless he's unhappy. His teammates love him. He's always in a bad mood. I love guys who go out on the court and compete. He's not shaking hands and trying to be buddy buddy. He respects them, but he's going to try to beat them and then move on."

Former Celtics Staff Goes National
Leo Papile, former assistant executive director of basketball operations for the Celtics, has gone national. Papile joined the Unite State Mens Development Team staff as an assistant, the Boston Herald reported. Im looking forward to the challenge of helping to develop young men to go up against competition overseas, he told the Herald. In my time with the Celtics as well as coaching the BABC, I used to love to go overseas and watch international basketball, the way they play the game.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Celtic-for-a-season Dan Dickau turned 34 on September 16. He played 19 games for the Cs during the 2005-06 campaign and was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the Raef LaFrentz deal. ... Rasheed Wallace celebrated his 39th birthday on September 17. Wallace played the final season of his 15-year career as a member of the 2010 Celtics team that reached Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. The big man earned four All-Star selections and won a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. Like Wallace, former sixth overall pick Doug Smith was born on September 17 and also played the final season of his career in Boston (1995-96). Kermit Washington also turned 62 on the same day. He appeared in 32 games for the Celtics during the 1977-78 season. ... The late Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson was born on September 18, 1954. Johnson, a five-time All-Star, won three NBA championships, including two with the 1984 and 1986 Celtics. He passed away on February 22, 2007. Former Celtic Greg Minor, who turned 41, was also born on the same day. He played his entire five-year career in Boston during the 1990s. ... Jim Ard, who wore number 34 years before Paul Pierce in the 1970s, turned 64 on September 19. J.R. Bremer, 32, was also born on September 19. The guard played his rookie season with the Celtics. Sidney Wicks turned 63 the same day. ... Artis Gilmore, who played the final 47 games of his 17-year career with the Celtics, turned 63 on September 21.

This Week in Celtics History
On September 16, the Celtics signed free agents Ruben Wolkowyski and Kenny Battle in 2002 and 1992, respectively. ... Brian Oliver signed with the Cs as a free agent on September 17, 1993. He was waived the following month. ... On September 21, 1992, the Celtics signed Marcus Webb. He appeared in nine games that season before being waived on St. Patricks Day in 1993. ... Boston native Dana Barros joined the Celtics for his first stint with the team on September 22, 1995. He played five seasons for the Cs and re-signed with them again in 2004 and played one game in his final NBA season.

Celtics force overtime, come up short in 127-123 loss to Blazers

Celtics force overtime, come up short in 127-123 loss to Blazers

BOSTON – For the second time in as many games, the Boston Celtics ran into a team that played with a greater sense of desperation.

And the result was yet another defeat as the Portland Trail Blazers, playing their second game in less than 24 hours, were able to get off their losing skid with a 127-123 overtime win over the Celtics.

Boston (26-17) has now lost back-to-back games at home, while the Blazers (19-27) snapped a four-game losing streak.

In the extra session, Portland jumped out to a 117-113 lead only for Boston’s Al Horford scoring on a bank-shot in the paint and Thomas draining a go-ahead 3-pointer for Boston.

Portland regained the lead when Al-Farouq Aminu made a pair of free throws with 59.3 seconds to play to make it a 119-118 game.

Boston soon fell behind 122-118, but a pair of Thomas free throws with 44.8 seconds to play made it a two-point game.

Mason Plumlee scored with 24 seconds to play in overtime, and an Al Horford miss – rebounded by Plumlee who was then fouled by Horford – essentially put the game away with 13.5 seconds to play.

Boston found themselves down late in the fourth quarter and seemingly headed towards defeat, only to get an unexpected lift in the final seconds from Terry Rozier.

Trailing by three points late in the fourth, Boston had one last chance to force overtime so who did they turn to?

If you were thinking Thomas which is what the Blazers and most fans were thinking, you would have been dead wrong.

The fourth quarter may be Thomas’ time to shine, but at that point in the game it was Rozier’s moment as he drained a 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds left that ultimately forced overtime. He finished with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists off the bench.

The Blazers came into the game with the kind of potent scoring punch in the backcourt that strikes the fear into the heart of any defense, let alone one that has been as up and down as the Boston Celtics this season.

For most of the game, Portland’s 1-2 punch of Damian Lillard (28 points) and C.J. McCollum (35 points) lived up to the lofty billing as they combined for 63 points.

McCollum and Lillard both did their share of damage down the stretch, but it was their bench – specifically Meyers Leonard – whose play kept Portland in the game early on.

He finished with 17 points off the bench.

Boston led 65-56 at the half, but soon found itself in a 67-all game after McCollum made the second of two free throws.

But Boston countered with a put-back basket by Kelly Olynyk and a 3-pointer from Isaiah Thomas to push Boston’s lead to 72-67.

Once again the Blazers fought back and eventually took the lead 74-72 on a powerful put-back dunk by Haverill (Mass.) native Noah Vonleh.

Brad Stevens had seen enough of his team getting pushed around, as he called a time-out with 5:31 to play in the quarter.

It didn’t help as Portland continued to bully their way around the rim for second and third-shot opportunities with their lead peaking at 78-72 following a put-back basket by  Plumlee.

But the Celtics responded with a 7-2 spurt capped off by an end-to-end, driving lay-up by Rozier that cut Portland’s lead to 80-79 with 2:44 to play in the quarter. Boston continued to be within striking distance as the third quarter ended with the Celtics trailing 88-86.