Friday FT's: Do you recognize Perk?


Friday FT's: Do you recognize Perk?

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.

The next time Kendrick Perkins returns to TD Garden, you may have to do a double-take. Before he was traded from the Celtics to the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, Perkins said he wanted to continue losing weight after rehabbing from a knee injury (last season he was listed at 610, 280 pounds). Watch just a few seconds of this video (music NSWF) and you can see a very noticeable difference in the big man.

Perkins also recently talked to Crave Online about the NBA lockout and getting back on the court. I just look to play as much ball as I can with other NBA players and at colleges, he said. But I know theres in shape and in NBA shape, so well have to get to it hard once were back in camp.

See Where Pierce Hones His Game
Paul Pierce has been holding his The Truth Strikes Again Celebrity Bowling Tournament for years, and now has he offered a glimpse into how he hones his skills. Pierce tweeted two videos of himself bowling . . . in his house. Pierce has a two-lane bowling alley complete with flat screen televisions and a 2008 championship banner for extra dcor.

On the same topic, Jermaine ONeal is reportedly selling his 7,500-square-foot Nevada home.

Early Hall of Fame Taste for KG
There is little question Kevin Garnett will be heading to the NBA Hall of Fame after his career as a basketball player is over, but this weekend he is getting an early taste of being an inductee. On Saturday, Garnett and Celtics coach Doc Rivers will be honored as members of the inaugural class of athletes in the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame. Garnett, who attended Farragut Career Academy, and Rivers, who went to Proviso East High School, will be honored as part of Boys Post-1960s class. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 5 at Memorial Stadium located on the University of Illinois campus. If you are in the Chicago area, visit for ticket information.

Arroyo to Join Howard, Former Teammates in Exhibition Game
Carlos Arroyo has been representing Puerto Rican National Team in competition during the lockout. This month, he will take the court back in the States. Arroyo, who previously played over two seasons with the Orlando Magic, is one of 18 players who have reportedly committed to play in Dwight Howard's charity exhibition game on November 13 at the UCF Arena. According to the Orlando Sentinel, other participants include current and former Magic players who have made several trips to the TD Garden during the regular season and playoffs against the Celtics, including Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas, Trevor Ariza, Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, and Mike Miller. Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway is also on the list.

Former Celtic Pruitt Drafted by Skyforce
Former Celtic Gabe Pruitt was drafted by the Sioux Falls Skyforce with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NBA D-League Draft on Thursday night. Pruitt was originally drafted by the Celtics with the 32nd pick in 2007. He appeared in 62 games over two seasons in Boston, averaging 2.0 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 7.4 minutes per contest. He has also played in 56 D-League games. Pruitt retweeted a photo of his name being written on the Skyforce draft board.

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@iambigbaby11: "Take the 51 man and let's play."

Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Blue Edwards, who played 31 games for the Celtics during the 1994-95 season, turned 46 on Halloween . . . Marcus Landry turned 26 the following day. He appeared in one game for the Cs in the 2009-10 season . . . Tom Thacker, who won a championship with the Celtics in 1968, turned 72 on November 2 . . . Mikki Moore celebrated his 36h birthday on November 4. Moore had two stints with the Celtics 3 games in 2002-03 and 24 appearances in 2008-09. Matt Wenstrom (1.6 ppg in 1993-94 season) turned 41 the same day.

This Week in Celtics History (The Debuts)
On November 1, 1996, Ray Allen made his NBA debut as a starter for the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored 13 points (3-10 FG, 2-3 3PG) in the Bucks 111-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. On the same date 10 years later, Rajon Rondo made his NBA debut with the Celtics against Chris Paul and the New OrleansOklahoma City Hornets. Rondo played nearly 23 minutes off the bench, recording six points, four rebounds, and three assists . . . On November 2, 2007, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Allen played their first regular-season game together on the Celtics. The C's beat the Washington Wizards on Opening Night, 103-83. The "New Big Three" combined for 67 points, 29 rebounds, and 11 assists . . . Garnett made his NBA debut at 19 years old on November 3, 1995. He scored eight points (4-4 FG) in 16 minutes off the bench during the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-86 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Smart yet to be ruled out of Celtics’ opener


Smart yet to be ruled out of Celtics’ opener

WALTHAM, Mass. – Marcus Smart remains out with a left ankle sprain injury sustained earlier this week, but has yet to be ruled out for the season opener against Brooklyn next week.

An MRI came back negative on Smart’s ankle, which was good news.

But there’s still a high level of uncertainty as to whether Smart will heal in time for the team’s opener at home against Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

He sprained the left ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holiday.

Smart fell to the floor and was helped to his feet by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas in addition to the team’s head trainer Ed Lacerte.

The Celtics are indeed hopeful he will heal in time to play next week, but league sources indicate it’s doubtful due to the nature of the injury and Smart’s history with left ankle sprains.

He sustained one in his rookie season and it kept him out for several weeks and he has had a few minor ankle sprains since then.

Even if he shows signs of being healthy enough to play prior to the opener, the Celtics are likely to be overly cautious to best insure that when he does return he does not re-aggravate the ankle.

Smart appeared in all seven preseason games for the Celtics this season, averaging 8.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Smart shot 42 percent from the field, but struggled mightily from 3-point range while connecting on just 13.6 percent of his 3-point shot attempts.

If Smart is unable to play in the opener or potentially longer, look for the Celtics to lean heavily on Terry Rozier who has been the breakout performer for Boston in the summer and in camp.

“I’m just trying to do whatever they need me to do, to help us win games,” Rozier told “I’m feeling good, real good about where my game’s at now. Obviously we’re a better team in every way, with Marcus out there. But if he’s not ready to go, the next man up has to get the job done. If that’s me, it’s me. I’ll be ready.”








Ainge admits tough decision ahead between Young and Hunter for final roster spot


Ainge admits tough decision ahead between Young and Hunter for final roster spot

WALTHAM, Mass. – With the Celtics waiving Ben Bentil on Friday, Danny Ainge confirmed what has been reported for weeks: the final roster spot for the Celtics will come down to James Young and R.J. Hunter.

“It’ll probably go down to the wire, down to Monday,” said Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations.

Boston currently has 16 players in camp with guaranteed contracts. The league-maximum of 15 players has to be met by Monday at 5 p.m.

“We’re continuing to evaluate and look for opportunities out there,” Ainge said. “If there are any deals to be had which we’ve been looking for, for a few months. Both of those guys [Hunter and Young[ have played very well and have made the decision very difficult.”

Having to make a tough call at the end of training camp is nothing new to Ainge.

But this time around is very unique.

It’s highly unusual for a team to have to waive a former first-round pick that they selected.

Young was the 17th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by Boston, while Hunter was selected by the Celtics with the 28th overall pick in the 2015 draft.

“Sometimes the decision is made for me. It’s really easy,” said Ainge. “But this year it hasn’t been that way. Both of those guys have had some outstanding moments in practice, in training camp and in games. So it’s been challenging.”

Boston being in this roster conundrum is due to having lots of draft picks in recent years that either didn’t turn into impact players initially, or were unable to be flipped for more established talent via trade.

In Young’s draft class, Boston selected him with the 17th pick after picking Marcus Smart with the sixth overall pick.

And in 2015, Boston picked Terry Rozier with the 16th overall pick and Hunter with the 28th overall selection. In the second round of that draft, Boston nabbed Jordan Mickey with the 33rd overall pick and Marcus Thornton at No. 45.

Last year’s draft was an even bigger haul for the Celtics, who went into the draft with a record-eight picks.

They traded two of the picks to Memphis, but used the other six which included Jaylen Brown with the third overall selection.

Ainge reiterated that the Celtics like what both players are doing, but doesn’t anticipate a trade scenario presenting itself that would result in both players sticking with the team.

“Unlikely, but always possible,” said Ainge when asked if it were possible for both to remain Celtics.

Both players are still on their rookie contracts, so that along with the increased salary cap teams have now makes each of them a low-risk addition.

However, most of the teams in the NBA have a full roster and the ones that don’t have a couple players in mind to fill out whatever openings exist.

That means there’s a decent chance that Hunter or Young will be waived, clear waivers and can then sign with a team of their choosing.

It sounds good, only if there’s a team to sign with which as stated earlier, is far from a given.