Thibodeau: Celtics playing at 'high level'

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Thibodeau: Celtics playing at 'high level'

BOSTON -- Tom Thibodeau has seen the Boston Celtics play championship-caliber basketball. He has also watched them struggle at times on the court.

After a slow start at the beginning of this season, the former Celtics assistant coach and current Chicago Bulls head coach believes the Cs are back on track.

Theyre very experienced and I think theyre playing at a very high level, Thibodeau said following the Celtics 95-91 win over the Bulls on Sunday. Even in the Lakers game (an 88-87 Celtics overtime loss), I thought they played very well and could have won that. Of course they won the nine out of ten -- Ill throw out the Toronto game (an 86-74 loss) because to me that was a scheduling game. Back-to-back, late start here, and then travel to Toronto, that was a tough game for them.

Theyre playing at a high level. When you have (Paul) Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin (Garnett), and (Rajon) Rondo running the team, their bench I think is playing very well, theyre getting a lot of contributions from a number of different people. So theyre going to be a dangerous team.

During the Bulls previous visit to Boston, in which they won 88-79, Thibodeau emphasized the impact Pierce has on the Celtics. Pierce was coming off a foot injury at the time and was still working to find his rhythm back on the court. Now that he has established it (he was recently named Eastern Conference Player of the Week), Thibodeau points to the Celtics captain as a major factor in their success.

He also noticed the improvements in the Celtics bench. Rookie JaJuan Johnson scored a career-high 12 points on Sunday and Chris Wilcox, moved to the starting lineup in place of an injured Jermaine ONeal, contributed 11 points and nine rebounds.

I think Paul is healthy, so thats the big thing, he said. Rondos healthy, Kevins been at a high level all year, and Rays had a spectacular year. But I think the big thing is their bench has had time now to get acclimated to their system and comfortable playing with each other. I think when you have a shortened camp like everybody did, if you have new players its going take time. But I think the big thing is Pauls health.

The Celtics (15-12) will face the Bulls (23-7) again on Thursday in Chicago.

Rasheed Wallace shows KG his amazing Doc Rivers impression

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Rasheed Wallace shows KG his amazing Doc Rivers impression

By Dane Carbaugh, NBCSports.com Pro Basketball Talk

Rasheed Wallace is a man of many talents. Playing basketball. Getting ejected. Helping the disenfranchised. Throwing towels. He’s a Renaissance man, really.

Oh, and apparently he does a spot-on Doc Rivers impersonation.

During a segment on Kevin Garnett’s “Area 21” TV show, Wallace not only brought attention to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, but was able to emulate the Los Angeles Clippers coach strikingly well. It came while Wallace was breaking down Rivers recent explosion and ejection from a game against the Brooklyn Nets, an outburst for which he was fined $15,000.

From the Area 21 Twitter page:

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that.