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

Celtics-Hawks preview: Thomas 'not worried about' Schroeder

Celtics-Hawks preview: Thomas 'not worried about' Schroeder

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. –  Isaiah Thomas has respect for the Atlanta Hawks team.

So when I asked him about the Hawks, Thomas spoke glowingly about Paul Millsap as being a “special player” and Dwight Howard having a huge impact on shot attempts whether he’s blocking them or not.

But he knows all eyes will be on him and Hawks point guard Dennis Schroeder who had some not-so-nice things to say about Thomas following Boston’s 103-101 win at Atlanta on Jan. 13.

The two waged a feisty, highly combative game most of the Jan. 13 game with Thomas getting the better of Schroeder in just about every statistical category such as scoring (28 points for Thomas compared to 4 for Schroeder), assists (nine to three), and minutes played (36:16 to 22:36).

And then there was the one statistic that mattered most … the win.

But after the game, Schroeder told reporters that Thomas had spoken badly about his mother.

“I’m playing basketball,” Schroder told reporters after the game in January. “If he think that he got to curse at my mom or say some dumb stuff about my family, that has nothing to do with basketball. That’s his choice. I’ve got too much class for that. Next one, we are going to get it.”

The news got back to Thomas who emphatically denied he said anything along those lines.

“I don’t talk about nobody’s mom,” Thomas said when he became aware of Schroeder’s comments. “I don’t cuss at anybody’s mom and I don’t talk about people’s family. So whatever he said, that’s a 100 percent lie and he knows that.”

When I asked Thomas about Schroeder following Boston’s 104-98 win at Detroit Sunday night, he had little to say about the Hawks point guard.

“Man I’m past that. I’m not worried about that guy,” Thomas said. “Once he did that the last game, where he tried to damage my character, (saying I was) talking about his parents … I’m past that. Hopefully we can beat the Atlanta Hawks. I’m not even worried about him.”

Schroeder may not be on Thomas’ radar as a major concern, but the players he spoke of earlier – Millsap and Howard – are two players who can have a significant impact on whether the Celtics can continue to build off of the good things they did against the Pistons.

And Atlanta (32-26) will come in extremely thirsty for success having lost their last three games – all by 15 or more points - and four of the last five.

Despite the Hawks recent struggles, the Celtics understand that despite their success this season they are in no position to take any team lightly.

“They’re a good team. They play the game the right way,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “They have some really good players, some really good shooters, really good bigs down low. We have to come out and play harder than them, match their intensity, execute, move the ball, share the ball and have fun.”

Shaughnessy: Why I'm not a fan of Celtics not trading at deadline

Shaughnessy: Why I'm not a fan of Celtics not trading at deadline

Dan Shaughnessy joins Sports Sunday and talks with Felger about why he hated the Boston Celtics not making any moves at the deadline.