Basketball as football

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Basketball as football

With Doc Rivers and Rajon Rondo both in attendance at Monday night's PatriotsTexans game, you knew that football would be on everyone's mind Tuesday at Celtics practice.

And guess what? You knew right.

"Rondo is our Tom Brady, as far as being the point guardquarterback," Doc said this afternoon. "Kevin Garnett probably as far as all of the relationship stuff. Tom Brady has got to be right there as one of the best in history. It's surgical watching him play."

Asked about the comparison, Rondo said: "Point guard and quarterback are pretty much the same thing. Tom Brady? I don't know about that."

I don't know either, but I definitely agree that point guard and quarterback are cut from the same uniform cloth. And I don't think I need to explain that any further. I mean, you get it, right? We all get it. Folks have been comparing point guards and quarterbacks since the beginning of time. And I mean that literally.

But what about the other positions? How do the other four spots in a basketball line-up best relate to the NFL game?

I'd say that centers are most like middle linebackers. Ideally, they're the base of communication on the defensive end. The core that you build your entire defense around.

The power forward especially in today's game is your tight end. A guy who can get out and run, and be a factor on the offensive end when you need him to. But also a guy who's strong enough and tough enough to hold his own in the trenches; who can be gritty and grimy and smash a few heads when you need him to.

As for the last two spots? You can make an argument that both the shooting guard and small forward are receivers in their own right. They both are best when getting out in open space and filling the lanes, and those with the greatest combination of speed, size, agility and power are generally the most successful. Based on that, I'd say the shooting guards are more of a slot receiver the smaller, quicker, shiftier guys who (in the half court set) get open by maneuvering through creases in the defense. Meanwhile the small forwards (although there are exceptions) are your game breakers. Your home run hitters.

And that brings us to the baseball analogies . . .

Nah, just kidding. Maybe another day.

And definitely not tomorrow.

Much like the C's, tomorrow it's back to being all about basketball.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Warriors force Game 7 with 108-101 win over Thunder

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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.

Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones shot and killed

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Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones shot and killed

By Kurt Helin, NBC Pro Basketball Talk

This is a sad and stunning development.

Bryce Dejean-Jones, the rookie guard of the New Orleans Pelicans, has died, the Dallas, Texas, County Coroner has confirmed to NBC Sports. Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune broke the news.

Dejean-Jones was just 23.

The coroner’s office would not give a cause of death, but Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports had the tragic detail.