Friday FT's: Delonte's new ride; Rondo bored

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Friday FT's: Delonte's new ride; Rondo bored

Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that have not made the headlines but are still worth a read. In spite of the NBA lockout, there's still plenty of hoops to talk about.

First, he tweeted his job application to work at a furniture store. Then, he posted photos of his days on the job. Delonte West has been keeping his fans updated on his life without basketball during the NBA lockout, and now hes sharing photos of his new mode of transportation.

Earlier this week he tweeted, "Just brought a 94 all white bronco 4 3stacks...oj Simpson style.....now on side of road....broke down before I even made it to gas station," followed by a photo of himself pushing the car to the gas station.

No word if he will be making another freestyle rap video from this car.

Rondos Getting Bored

Rajon Rondo isn't one to need many words to express his point of view. During an exhibition game in Kentucky, Rondo shared his take on the NBA lockout. Its just boring, reported the Kentucky Kernel. He added that he is staying game-ready and that, "'I just live my life and enjoy what Im doing every day.'

Shaq Keeps the Entertainment Coming

After appearing in television shows, movies, and on record albums, Shaquille ONeal is finding new ways to keep people entertained. This week he hosted an Apollo Gong Show at the University of Florida. The Gainesville Sun had details from O'Neal's appearance: "He judged a dance contest between crowd members, traded momma jokes with the audience and tried to live up to a career philosophy that he described as wanting to give people a great time. During the event, he discussed the NBA lockout, adding, Im not worried about it. Im not playing anymore." Click here to read more and see photos from his appearance.

Cousy vs. Paterno: The Story Years Later

While recently recalling his college days at Brown University with PennLive.com, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno shared one memory involving former Celtics star Bob Cousy, who attended the College of the Holy Cross. Paterno said, I played basketball one year until I guarded Cousy and he got 35 points in six minutes. That was the end of my college career."

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@paulpierce34: "About to have my breakfast then off to the gym http:pic.twitter.comWUsvC45w"

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Hall of Famer Dave Cowens turned 63 on October 25. Cowens played 10 seasons with the Celtics, earned seven All-Star selections, and won two championships with the team . . . Rick Carlisle turned 52 on October 27. Before leading the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA title as head coach, he played three seasons with the Celtics during the 1980s and won a championship.

This Week in Celtics History

On October 22, 1997, the Celtics traded Chris Mills, a 1998 second-round draft pick, and a 2000 second-round draft pick to the New York Knicks in exchange for Scott Brooks, Dontae' Jones, Walter McCarty, and John Thomas . . . On October 28, 1965 the Celtics signed Don Nelson as a free agent. Nelson played 11 seasons for the Celtics and won five championships with the C's.

Stevens on Thomas' groin injury: 'It’s important that he’s 100 percent'

Stevens on Thomas' groin injury: 'It’s important that he’s 100 percent'

There’s no such thing as a good time to have an injury. 

But in terms of Isaiah Thomas being sidelined with a right groin injury and the schedule awaiting the Boston Celtics … this is about as bad a time as you can imagine to be without their scoring leader.

Thomas returned to Boston ahead of tonight’s game at Orlando, marking his first game missed since the 2014-2015 season. 

He suffered a right groin injury in the second quarter of Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston on Monday. 

At the time, Thomas was optimistic that he would be able to play tonight. But with a day off from practice, the soreness proved to be too much for Thomas to suit up and play tonight. 

While it’s unclear just how severe his groin injury is, the Celtics are likely to be overly cautious (like they are with most injuries) about his return which may result in him missing more games than Wednesday night’s matchup against Orlando. 

“Those things (groin injuries) are a little unpredictable,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters earlier today. “Especially in this sport, you have to be able to stop and change direction on a dime, especially him. It’s important that he’s 100 percent.”

Stevens is spot-on when he talks about how uncertain a return for Thomas is currently. 

New York’s Kristaps Porzingis suffered a groin injury against the Celtics in a preseason game back in October that didn’t result in anything more than him missing a day of practice. 

It was a different story when Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic suffered a right groin injury last spring (March 7-29) that sidelined him for 13 games. 

The timetable for Thomas’ return to the floor is likely to fall somewhere within those two timetables which would make an already daunting stretch of games even more difficult. 

Following tonight’s game, Boston has 12 games remaining in the month of December with nine being against teams with a winning record. And of the three games against teams below-.500 (Miami twice, Indiana), two of them are on the road. 

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

As expected, Marcus Smart will get the start for the Boston Celtics tonight against the Orlando Magic in place of the injured Isaiah Thomas. 

Thomas, who leads the Celtics (12-9) in scoring (26.0) and assists (6.2) this season, suffered a right groin injury in Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston on Monday.

Head coach Brad Stevens explained his decision a few minutes ago.

“He’s started a lot of games here in the past as a point guard,” Stevens told reporters. “He’s basically our sixth starter. It wasn’t one that I had to think a ton about.”

Starting Smart also allows second-year guard Terry Rozier to continue in his role coming off the bench. 

Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Smart’s production has been consistent. 

In the five games he has started this season, he has averaged 10.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. 

His numbers off the bench are almost identical with Smart averaging 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists as a reserve. 

Stevens also mentioned that Amir Johnson would be back in the starting lineup in place of Jonas Jerebko. Earlier in the day, Stevens told reporters the decision to start Jerebko on Monday was strictly because of the matchup with Houston. 

“We have to be able to be flexible in doing that,” Stevens said. “Houston plays four guards. We didn’t feel like we could defend them unless we switch one through four. I thought he (Jerebko) did a pretty good job. This (Orlando) team is different than Houston other than both are super-hot.”

Orlando (10-12) has won four of its last five games in part because of its size, strength and versatility along the frontline which includes Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic who now comes off the bench. 

And while the Celtics have benefited heavily from the play of their guards, obviously that plan will be amended tonight with Thomas out. 

“He (Thomas) generates a lot in the open offense what we call flow, spread offense,” Stevens said. “So some of those type of things you may not generate at the same rate. But certainly there are other ways that we’ll look to play when he’s not in the game normally, or when we’re trying to play through bigs in the post. You have different ways to play within all your schemes. Hopefully we can play to each other’s strengths and go from there.”