The Dunk Heard Round The World

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The Dunk Heard Round The World

The list of Best In-Game Dunkers in Celtics history isnt a very long one. In fact, it was a struggle to even come up with a starting five. But like many great men before me, I persevered and overcame, and now present you with the following:

Obviously, the Celtics "In-Game Dunker" starting five has to begin with Gerald Green. In reality, it should also end with Gerald Green. He is to Celtics "In-Game Dunkers" what Tom Brady is to Patriots quarterbacks. He's so far and beyond everyone else that I feel like hitting play on this video, tossing my laptop in the trash and never typing another word.

But I won't do that. Instead, say hello to the Captain.

Next, let's go with Ricardo Tyree Davis IV, aka Ricky Davis, aka the leader of the Get Buckets Brigade, aka No. 2 on my list of the best in-game dunkers in Celtics history.

Here's a countdown of his Top 100 dunks OF ALL TIME. And while they don't all come in a Celtics uniform, there are enough to easily justify his standing.

For No. 3, I'll give the nod to Tony Allen.

Important Note: TA's tendency to black out after an especially awesome dunk negated the time he blew out his ACL attempting to throw one down after the whistle. (I was going to link to that video, but I just watched it again and it's still way too emotionally scarring. Search "Tony Allen ACL" on YouTube if you're in the mood for a good cringe.).

Anyway, here's a glimpse of Tony, in happier times.

As we move on, the pool is getting shallow. Where else can we turn? Kedrick Brown was a ridiculous dunker prone to performing "Michael Jordan jobs" but he was never much of a factor. Dominique Wilkins was an all-time great, but not by the time his 35-year-old legs showed up in Boston. DeAndre Jordan puts on a show every night, but he's still no match for J.R. Giddens . . .

So, let's go with Dee Brown.

While Dee will always be remembered as more of a contest dunker, he was never afraid to throw it down during the real thing, and his skinny, 6-1 frame always added to the aesthetics.

Here's a grainy video (glittered with random outbursts of foreign commentary) to prove it.

Finally, it's time for No. 5. And to be honest, even though it's early, it's hard to ignore Jeff Green. It's been a real long time since we've seen anyone drop a hammer like Green did last night on Al Jefferson, and when you factor in the very similar embarrassment he laid on the Knicks during the pre-season, it's fair to assume that this will become a somewhat regular occurrence. Jeff Green's gone be posterizin'. And since I've been pretty hard on him this year, I'll be a nice guy and give him the benefit of the "in-game dunker" doubt.

Green's my No. 5.

BUT, at the same time, last night's dunk didn't come without it's fair share of typical Jeff Green head-scratching. Here's what he had to say in the post-game locker room:

"It felt great," he said, re: the dunk. "I mean, I have been playing a little lackadaisical as far as effort before the prior few games or so. It boosted your confidence up and it gets you going a little bit, so it felt good to get that to go down."

OK, listen. I don't want to be an a-hole (as KG would say) and suggest that Jeff Green might not understand the definition of lackadaisical. But either he doesn't understand, or he essentially just admitted to not trying very hard over the first two weeks of the season.

On one hand, that makes sense, because it didn't look like he was trying very hard. But on the other: "WHAAAAA!?" Lackadaisical effort? How does that even register as a viable excuse for not playing well? I don't know. I guess we can only wait and see what happens next with Green. Hopefully he can pick up a few more dunks to keep his confidence rolling and his effort in a non-lackadaisical state.

But either way, I'm spending the rest of the afternoon watching Gerald Green videos on YouTube.

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

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

BOSTON – Prior to Saturday’s game, Terry Rozier talked to CSNNE.com about the importance of staying ready always, because “you never know when your name or number is going to be called.”

Like when trailing by three points in the fourth quarter with less than 10 seconds to play?

Yes, Rozier was on the floor in that scenario and the second-year guard delivered when his team needed it.

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But Rozier’s fourth quarter heroics which forced overtime against Portland, did not provide that much-needed jolt that Boston needed as the Blazers managed to fend off the Celtics in overtime, 127-123.

For Rozier’s part, he had 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

The 15 points scored for Rozier was the most for him since he tallied 16 in a 30-point Celtics win at Orlando on Dec. 7.

But more than the points, the decision by head coach Brad Stevens to draw up a play for him in that moment, a time when most of what Boston does revolves around the shooting of Isaiah Thomas who has been among the top-3 scorers in the fourth quarter most of this season, was surprising to many.

And at that point in the game, Thomas already had 13 fourth-quarter points.

Stevens confirmed after the game that the last shot in the fourth was indeed for Rozier, but Thomas’ presence on the floor was important to its execution.

“He (Thomas) also draws a lot of attention,” Stevens said. “So I think you just weigh kind of … what kind of shot you’re going to get, depending on who it is.”

Rozier had initially screened for Thomas, and Thomas came back and screened for him.

“I was open as soon as I caught … and I let it fly,” Rozier said. “Coach drew up a play for me and it felt good to see the ball go in.”

Being on the floor at that time, win or lose, was a victory of sorts for Rozier.

He has seen first-hand how quickly the tide can change in the NBA for a young player.

After a strong summer league showing and a solid training camp, Rozier had earned himself a firm spot in the team’s regular rotation.

But a series of not-so-great games coupled with Gerald Green’s breakout night on Christmas Day, led to his playing time since then becoming more sporadic.

Rozier, in an interview with CSNNE.com, acknowledged it hasn’t been easy going from playing regular minutes to not being sure how much court time, if any, he would receive.

But he says the veterans on the team have been good about keeping his spirits up, and one in particular – Avery Bradley – has been especially helpful.

Like Rozier, Bradley’s first couple of years saw his playing time go from non-existent to inconsistent. But Bradley stayed the course and listened to the team’s veterans who continued to tell him that his hard work would pay off sooner or later.

Those same words of wisdom Bradley received in his early days, he passes on to Rozier.

“It’s big,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “He (Bradley) tells me things like that. I felt I was ready for this (inconsistent minutes) after all that he told me. It’s big to have a guy like him that has been through it all with a championship team, been around this organization for a while; have him talk to you is big. It’s always good. That’s why I stay positive, and be ready.”

Which is part of the reason why Stevens didn’t hesitate to call up a play for the second-year guard despite him being a 33.3 percent shooter from 3-point range this season – that ranks eighth on this team, mind you.

“He’s a really good shooter,” Stevens said of Rozier. “I think with more opportunity that will show itself true, but he made some big ones in the fourth quarter. We went to him a few different times out of time-outs, and felt good about him making that one.”

And to know that Stevens will turn to him not just to spell Thomas or one of the team’s other guards, but to actually make a game-altering play in the final seconds … that’s major.

“It helps tremendously,” said Rozier who added that his confidence is through “the roof. It makes me want to do everything. You know defense, all of that. It’s great, especially to have a guy like Brad trust you."